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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Atlanta Housing Authority Board balks at $750,000 PR price tag

Posted By on Thu, Jun 16, 2011 at 11:59 AM

AHA CEO Renee Glover answers to $750,000 bill for public relations
  • Alisias Group
  • AHA CEO Renee Glover answers to $750,000 bill for public relations
According to Atlanta Progressive News, Atlanta Housing Authority board member Dan Halpern sought an important explanation at last night's Board of Commissioners meeting:

"I don't know why the [housing authority's] day-to-day PR work can't be done in-house."

Halpern's fellow board members apparently shared in his confusion, and voted to dramatically reduce the amount of money that the private public relations firm Alisias Group will receive in 2012 for representing the AHA — from $750,000 to a more sensible $84,000.

Naturally, it was incumbent upon CEO Renee Glover to explain exactly how a housing authority — charged first and foremost with providing shelter for the indigent — could spend $750,000 on PR alone. Here's how APN says she broke it down:

According to Glover, the budgeted amount for Alisias included $42,000 for a report to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; $15,000 to hold academic roundtables; $15,000 to create newsletters; $52,000 for meetings; $70,000 for website management; $115,000 for internal communications on a web portal; and $180,000 for media relations.

The consensus among board members and resident representatives appears to have been that the money would be better spent at AHA's remaining public housing facilities, which includes several highrise residences for senior citizens.

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