As a lifelong resident of Santa Ana I love my city and there is no other place that I want to live. When it comes to Orange County we are unique and much more interesting than places like planned communities like Irvine. We have character and we have flair. One thing that we also have, justifiably or not, is an image problem. In order for Santa Ana to progress forward we need to fix that.
For far too long the city of Santa Ana has let others define who we are and what our city is all about. Be it the media outlets like the Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register and the OC Weekly, new online sites such as the Voice of OC or blogs and bloggers with an agenda and an axe to grind, everyone is defining Santa Ana except Santa Ana.
Just this morning the Voice of OC had a post that yet again painted our city council in a negative fashion. Every time we read about our city we have folks like Doug Irving, Adam Elmahrek or some unhinged blogger trashing our city and our elected officials. They want to paint a picture of our city as some sort of third world feifdom. They want everyone to believe Santa Ana is Bell.
Well if you ask me this is just garbage and biased reporting. Santa Ana is a great city, our elected officials are doing a terrific job and there is much more positive stuff going on than negative. So what’s the problem? The city of Santa Ana has nobody in place to help get this information to the media and the public at large. Instead of promoting our own city we are allowing these media types and malcontents to craft the city’s image for us.
The City of Santa Ana needs a public information officer to get our side of the story out there and not allow these folks to continue defining our city for us. This would be a wise investment that would lead to an improved image and help attract businesses and homebuyers to town. This could lead to a boost in our economy and help increase our tax base, something we desperately need.
I had the pleasure of speaking with the Voice of OC’s Editor-in-Chief Norberto Santana earlier today and he described for me how difficult it is to get information from City Hall. There is no point of contact for stories and he said nobody contacts him letting him know about new projects or positive things happening in the city. Sometimes it is a councilmember, sometimes a staffer but it is never clearly defined who he and the other media folks should talk to. We need to change that.
Santa Ana is the 7th largest city in the state of California and we need to have someone who deals solely with the media. We need a professional who knows how to handle them and how to build relationships with them as well. We can’t expect bureaucrats or politicians who are not properly trained in dealing with the media to be the ones responsible for promoting our city.
Regarding the funding for this position I would suggest that city officials consider using the money currently going towards supporting neighborhood associations and Comlink. I think the city as whole will be better served if that money was used on a PIO instead.
The time is now and the place is Santa Ana. Let us know if you think Santa Ana needs a PIO.