Manchester Alderman Bill Nickels has questioned some of the choices of the Manchester Tourism and Community Development Commission. In a recent email to members of the Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen (BOMA), Nickels questioned the effectiveness of paying a company to manage social media posts and create content for the city – for $3,400 a month – and suggested that those tourism funds could be used more effectively. Nickels resigned from the tourism commission about two months ago. Alderman Ryan French, who also served on the commission until recently, defended the use of funds, saying they were allocated appropriately. 

Nickels: Is $3,476 in funds per month for creating content spent efficiently?

Nickels also questioned the effectiveness of spending funds for a company to manage social media posts for the city and suggested that those tourism funds could be used more effectively.

The city pays $3,476 per month to Carroll Multimedia to manage social media posts for Manchester City. That includes: $636 for creative director per month; $530 for video and photo coverage per month; $1,378 for video production/design/editing per month; $540 for social media management per month. 

“I have been thinking of a way to use the ($3,476) per month tourism spends in creating content in a more direct way,” Nickels said. “I sat in on a luncheon (recently) with Carroll Multimedia, with whom I have great confidence. But I don’t see what we are getting from that group that we are not getting from South Central Development Tennessee Tourism, Chamber of Commerce and a myriad of other sources of promotion. There are many people working on increasing exposure all over the state. How many drone shots of the courthouse and Old Stone Fort do we need to pay for? And how many Facebook posts can we look at (one) time? When does all this become a cacophony of digital noise that no one pays attention to?

Nickels suggested hiring a part-time employee would be more effective.

“What if we hire a part time person, using this money, who operates and is directed from the Chamber of Commerce, and who coordinates with the Chamber, City Hall, Recreation, especially the conference center and the downtown movement, to make a coordinated, cohesive effort to let people know what is happening in our wonderful community?” Nickels said. “We can do so much more if we gather our resources rather than having colloquial tribes guarding their villages. All the good things that have come from that account can be done out of the chamber office with just the same effect and in a more visible, coordinated, direct way.

“I have had push back for bringing up ideas of change,” Nickels said.

According to Alderman Ryan French, the tourism commission pays Carroll Multimedia, and the company has a contract for one year “to create content that could be used year after year.

“It was never intended to be an ongoing contract,” French said.