I was surprised to learn that the Northfield EDA voted 6-1 last week to have a $38,000 video made “to create a short promotional video highlighting the distinctive characteristics and qualities that make Northfield an attractive place to live, work, attend school, start a business, or simply visit and play.” The EDA will contribute $15K towards the cost. See pages 11-19 of the EDA packet for 5/27 and this week’s Nfld News: EDA to pay for video that promotes city.
Over a year ago, the City approved the making of a series of promotional videos by CGI Communications, funded entirely by advertisers, called the Northfield Video TourBook. It’s been sitting on the left sidebar of City’s home page since then. For your viewing convenience, I’ve combined all 5 videos into one below.
I blogged about the videos last May, critical of the fact that the embed code wasn’t being made available.
It may be that the quality of a $38K video will put the freebie to shame. But a few questions:
- Is this a good time to spend this money, in the middle of a recession, with a budget in tatters and a $14.4M police/fire facilities bond soon to pitched to taxpayers? Yes, yes, I know, it’s money from separate silos. But it’s all taxpayer money and it sends a mixed message to the citizenry. “$43K for laserfiche? No problem! $15K for a promo video? No problem! Sunday library hours? No way! City interpreter? No way!”
- What has been tried with the current Northfield Video TourBook to promote the city? Why isn’t it promoted on the EDA website? Why isn’t it promoted on the Chamber’s website or the Chamber’s Visiting Northfield website?
- Why is an expensive video better than the EDA using a free blog, free Twitter account and a free Facebook page, in which real people are available to interact? The Chamber/CVB is doing a pretty darn good job with their CVB Facebook page and CVB Twitter account. Why not the EDA?
Here are the 5 Northfield Video TourBook videos, all rolled into one. I’ve deliberately captured the screen area around the video window since the advertisers who helped to pay for it are displayed there: