The city of Mount Airy will soon be in the market for a new employee — a marketing director.
That position is among two full-time additions to the municipal payroll that were approved in the 2016-2017 city budget, which goes into effect Friday.
The other is an IT (information technology) analyst.
City Manager Barbara Jones pointed out Wednesday that someone is needed to handle marketing and communications responsibilities for the local government.
“This employee will communicate with the media, prepare marketing brochures and coordinate city events,” Jones added.
The multi-faceted position also will include “working hard” to obtain grants citywide, according to Jones. The person hired additionally is to be responsible for research, communications and working with the city manager to disseminate information to citizens to keep them better informed.
He or she will be responsible for promoting Mount Airy through public information, social media and different marketing venues, based on a job description provided by Jones.
Efforts to market Mount Airy’s surplus water supply, an off-stated goal of city officials in recent years with the closing of major water users such as textile companies, will be another function of the new job.
“We are working to do a better job in getting our word out about the great quality of life we have to offer here in Mount Airy and our great water,” the city manager commented.
“I want a stronger concentration on our quality water and sharing that information to all citizens in Mount Airy and in other areas as well.”
Support was expressed for the new two positions during a recent budget workshop of the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners. Their additions will increase the ranks of municipal employees to 172.
However, Commissioner Shirley Brinkley asked how the need for the marketing director position as it relates to work already being done by Todd Tucker, the president of the Surry County Economic Development Partnership (EDP).
Jones responded that Tucker promotes the entire county, while the new Mount Airy marketing director will be focused on the city.
The city manager also believes that person will not interfere with the work of Martin Collins, the city’s community development coordinator. “The two positions should complement one another,” Jones explained.
“Martin does a great job in his position and works very diligently with economic development and the Surry EDP. He provides data to companies that inquire about Mount Airy and also shows different properties.”
Collins has been “very successful in grant writing” according to Jones, with his concentration being grants that will enhance economic development. The new position is to focus more on the whole community and information, while Collins’ functions will continue to be geared toward business development.
In his position, Collins coordinates many economic-development projects, from showing property to working with the Economic Development Partnership on finalizing economic incentive grants and closing deals.
“I want his concentration to remain working with existing businesses and working on the recruitment of new business to Mount Airy,” Jones stated.
“This other (marketing) position will be to help get the word out to our citizens and work to market our quality of life and products to others.”
In Jones’ view, “Martin does a great job for the city and I want him to continue his work with the (EDP) and all businesses in and around Mount Airy as he does now. He has an amazing amount of knowledge and data on our community and has a great work ethic.”
The salary for the new marketing position will be negotiable depending on the successful applicant’s qualifications, Jones said Wednesday.
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.