Freo's View

NEW MARKETING MANAGER SHOULD HAVE SAY ON NEW FREO STRATEGY

Posted in bid, city of fremantle, hospitality, local government, retail, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on April 16, 2018

 

I have been thinking a bit about the push for Destination Marketing Fremantle, which would likely mean the end of Fremantle BID, and why there is a sense of urgency when we hear that Tom Griffiths, the present Manager Economic Development and Marketing, will be leaving the City of Fremantle.

There is no doubt that the new marketing manager will have her/his own thoughts about retail versus destination marketing, or a combination of both, so would it not make more sense for Fremantle Council to wait with its decision until a new marketing manager has been appointed and our elected members can find out from that new officer which direction (s)he wants to go with a new marketing strategy?

I agree with critics that BID has not worked as well as it could have. It connected Freo’s traders well but failed to have a big picture approach, but let’s also be clear that BID specifically was created for the CBD retailers and hospitality traders. But I also believe that the City’s Fremantle Story is not a great marketing campaign because it too did a lot of small things and there is far too much and hard to find information on that website.

Destination marketing will attract people to Fremantle, but an essential part of it needs to be to communicate with visitors what they can do in Fremantle every day, but also on the specific day(s) they are here. That has been lacking forever and it needs to change, so that people will linger longer in Fremantle. Getting back to basics with a What’s On In Freo Today might just be the start.

Starting a new marketing strategy just months before a new marketing manager will be appointed makes no sense, so Council should be very careful not to rush a decision about Destination Marketing Fremantle prematurely.

Roel Loopers

NEW DESTINATION FOR FREMANTLE MARKETING MANAGER

Posted in city of fremantle, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on April 12, 2018

 

There has not been an official announcement from the City of Fremantle yet, as far as I am aware, but there is the intriguing situation that Tom Griffiths, the Manager of the Economic Development, Property and Marketing Department, who has been pushing most for the Destination Marketing Fremantle concept and no longer supporting BID with the differential rates, will not see it through to fruition because he will be leaving Fremantle City to lead the  South West Group which is based at Garden City.

The South West Group is a voluntary organisation of six councils; Fremantle, East Fremantle, Cockburn, Melville, Kwinana, Rockingham.

Tom Griffiths has done a very good job at the City of Fremantle and will very much be missed. The challenge now is for the CoF to replace Tom Griffiths with another creative person and not a pen pusher.

Roel Loopers

CAN BID SURVIVE FREMANTLE DESTINATION MARKETING?

 

The future of the Fremantle Business District-BID is in doubt after the FPOL Committee of Fremantle last night approved the Destination Marketing Fremantle concept, which will see the additional differential rates CBD businesses pay go to the marketing department budget and no longer to BID.

It is very doubtful BID will be able to continue without funding from the City of Fremantle, although several councillors mentioned that there was a need for something like BID and that is had done grassroots work well.

There were public speakers in support of continuing BID and others supporting the new destination marketing strategy, but the consensus of the elected members was that a new marketing approach is needed and that BID was not the way forward.

Supporters for BID said BID was a lifeline and a voice for small retailers and that BID had businesses working together for the first time. That is true and nothing stops traders from continuing to work together in a kind of precinct format, I believe, so not all is lost and the good momentum BID created could continue.

BID wanted another 12 months extension and believed it could become self funding, but they had already been granted the extension and could not show they were raising enough money to be able to continue without council giving them the differential rates.

Councillors said this was not a debate about BID versus the destination marketing strategy but if Council wanted a new marketing approach for the city. It is not either or, Councillor Andrew Sullivan said. He also said the City needed to support the concept of BID and offer more support for retailers.

Councillor Rachel Pemberton said that we needed to acknowledge the incredible work BID had done and that BID was always about collaboration and grassroots level liaising with businesses, and that can continue.

Councillors agreed the City needed to try something different as the present marketing is not working and businesses are not happy with it.

Councillor Doug Thompson wanted to know before the item goes to full council next week who the marketing experts would be the marketing department wants on a panel of experts.

Councillor and FPOL chair Hannah Fitzhardinge said clarity had been lacking about what BID does and what the marketing department does.

I want to make one point that gets ignored at the Freo City marketing department and that is the lack of information the City sends out to tourist destinations in the city. More often than not the tourist guides at the Roundhouse are not informed about festivals and events, so they can’t send tourists to them. We have never had a poster or leaflets for example to promote the Winter Festival and other events that happen on the Esplanade. We have begged for info about the Hidden Treasures music festival, Street Arts Festival, etc.etc. We can’t even tell tourists what’s on at the Fremantle Arts Centre.

There is also no communication between the tourist destinations, so Roundhouse volunteers don’t know about special exhibitions or events at the Maritime Museum, Fremantle Prison, etc. That needs to be coordinated by the City’s marketing department and could be as easy as emailing a short list of what is on next week. It’s very good to get more people visiting Fremantle, but we need to be able to keep them here longer and tell them what else they can do.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE BID FUTURE IN DOUBT

Posted in advertising, bid, city of fremantle, economy, local government, retail, Uncategorized by freoview on April 11, 2018

 

The FPOL Committee of Fremantle Council will consider tonight the City’s future role in delivering destination marketing also known as the ‘place marketing’ service. Some of the reasons for it are :

The service aims to support the viability of the Fremantle business community by improving awareness of the overall Fremantle offering to visitors, improving perception of the overall Fremantle offering to visitors, and ultimately increasing visitation to Fremantle to provide opportunities for local businesses to capture expenditure.

The service encompasses the marketing of all business-to-customer or population-driven industries including (but not limited to) retail, hospitality, professional services and traditional tourism attractions.

Combining the City’s destination marketing budget with the use of the central area differential rate to enable a greater investment in destination marketing, and

Establishing an ‘arm’s length’ group comprised of a marketing professional as chairperson and key representatives from the business community with appropriate skills or experience in marketing to set the plan for:

the overall strategic marketing approach, including different stages over next four years

how to achieve ongoing business community engagement in marketing activities

appointment of a marketing agency and/or marketing contractors (via a normal City procurement process) to deliver destination marketing services, and

sponsorship of existing and new private events and grass roots business activation projects.

It is recommended that the destination marketing advisory group will operate for a four year period (2018/19 – 2021/22) with agreed terms of reference, and process for nomination and appointment by council. The group would make recommendations to council on matters related to destination marketing. In many ways, comparisons can be made to the way the Design Advisory Committee operates.

The Group will consider the ‘brand values’ and ‘unique selling points’ of Fremantle within the context of increasing competition from competing Perth metropolitan centres, global customer trends, disruptions to major industries such as retail, and the economic development aspirations of Fremantle.

Following organisations that have submitted letters of support: Experience Perth, Tourism Council of Western Australia, Fremantle Chamber of Commerce, Fremantle Prison, Fremantle Tourism Association, Fremantle Accommodation Association, Fremantle Markets, MANY 2.0 and Sirona Capital.

The current recipients of the differential rate, the Fremantle BID and some of its supporters, have submitted letters opposing the proposal. This is an expected and logical position for the BID to take as the recommended model requires discontinuing the BID’s funding after this financial year.

This report does not comprehensively evaluate the performance of the Fremantle BID but does assume that the recommendations in the report will deliver a more effective use of the differential rate money. That assumption is made by comparing the expected outcomes of the officer’s recommendation and the level of business support for it, against the level of support for the Fremantle BID and the outcomes delivered for the approximate $2.2 million in funding provided to the BID since 2012/13 FY.

One of the issues that is not addressed is that the additional differential rates are only paid by businesses who operate in the CBD, while the new destination marketing strategy will be for all of Fremantle, so how will the City make this fair for inner city traders that are paying the extra rates?

Roel Loopers

TIMING TO SCRAP BID ALL WRONG

Posted in bid, city of fremantle, hospitality, local government, retail, Uncategorized by freoview on March 28, 2018

 

Fremantle Council is considering scrapping the BID but the timing for it appears to be all wrong. Why do it now when there is major development going on and much more starting soon, that impacts negatively for the next years on CBD traders. They need nurturing, and at least that is what the Business Improvement District is good at.

Jenny Marslen of BID is a great nurturer. She connects regularly with our traders with positivity and great energy and that reassures them. BID is good at doing small things right but I don’t know that they get the big picture yet.

The scrapping of BID is probably driven by the Economic Development and Marketing department director, who expressed from the moment he started his position in Fremantle that he was not a fan of BID. I probably agree with him that BID in its present form does not work as well as it could, so it needs to reinvent itself, step up and change, or falter.

But is handing over $ 300,000 to the ED&M department a better idea? I can’t see much evidence that the Fremantle Story marketing is making a tangible difference, and while it gets a lot of hits on its website it is a hard to navigate the clutter of hundreds of small promo windows.

I also wonder why the officers suggest to council to create a group of marketing experts to guide them, and even to engage a marketing company. Why do we pay marketing officers  high wages when they need outside help to do their job? It happens all the time in all forms of governments and should be strongly scrutinised.

A marketing, PR or advertising consultant will want at least $ 200-300 per hour to sit around a table for a chat, without any guarantee of improvement, and the plan to also have a member of the Chamber of Commerce on the expert marketing panel is baffling, unless the FCC does have a professional marketing person on their board.

I agree that BID needs to improve or go, but why do it now when the inner city looks like it has been bombed, and it won’t get any better soon with the development of the Manning building, and two developments in Henderson Street due to start, and it will get a lot worse once the massive Woolstores shopping centre development starts.

The scrapping of BID is not a priority as it makes little sense to start a new major marketing campaign for Fremantle before the Kings Square Project is finished. What the city should do instead is to start working on creating a marketing and festivities campaign that will be implemented in the last quarter of next year when Kings Square will become a great attraction for shoppers.

I suggest to leave the nurturing of the CBD traders to BID for the time being but put them on notice that if they do not change BID will be abandoned at the start of the 2019-20 financial year in July next year. But if Fremantle Council scraps BID make sure to offer a job to BID’s Jenny Marslen who is a great asset to the group and Fremantle.

Roel Loopers

TO BID OR NOT TO BID IS THE FREO QUESTION

Posted in bid, city of fremantle, hospitality, local government, retail, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on March 20, 2018

 

The City of Fremantle is seeking the community’s views on the best way to promote Fremantle as an attractive destination to shop and enjoy.

The City of Fremantle’s current marketing activities include the Fremantle Story website, magazine and social media platforms, school holiday activities and other promotions and also the Fremantle Business Improvement District (BID).

Fremantle BID is funded through the City Centre Differential Rate levied by the City of Fremantle on commercial properties with the Fremantle CBD.

Local businesses are being asked if they support continuing the existing model, or would prefer to see the City’s destination marketing budget combined with the differential rate funds to expand the overall program.

The one-year funding agreement with the BID due to expire at the end of June.

The City worked with the business community to set up Fremantle BID in 2012 to address the economic impact of many years of decline in daily visitor numbers to Fremantle’s CBD.

It was a five-year program to support local businesses, with funding extended for a further year in 2017. In that time, the City has contributed around $2.2 million to the BID in differential rate funds.

 

The alternative model would establish a group of marketing professionals and business representatives to advise the council on how to get the best value from marketing activities and the biggest benefit for local business.

Under this proposal, the City’s funding of Fremantle BID would cease at the end of the current financial year.

People can find more information and provide their views on the proposal on the My Say Freo website.

 

DESTINATION MARKETING FOR FREO THE RIGHT MESSAGE

Posted in chamber of commerce, city of fremantle, comsumers, retail, shopping, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on February 27, 2018

 

Ivan Dzeba, the very likeable and always relaxed new president of the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce spoke at the Fremantle Network at the National Hotel on Monday night.

Dzeba has been operating the very popular Benny’s Bar and Cafe on the Cappuccino Strip for 18 years so he has witnessed many changes in Fremantle and he firmly believes that Freo is a safer place now than when he opened his bar.

He said the priority for the Chamber was to support local businesses and attracting people in the present day.

Fremantle needs to become better at how we market ourselves and not create negative impressions.

The Chamber sees incredible scope in connecting businesses in O’Connor and Hilton.

We have so many things in Fremantle that other destinations don’t have but our destination marketing brand is not strong enough. There needs to be an umbrella message for Fremantle, not just lots of little unconnected messages we are getting on Fremantle Story, Dzeba said.

I have been wondering for years why there is no stronger focus on destination marketing from the City of Fremantle and getting the Fun Freo message out better, stronger and more focused.

Retail marketing is wasted as we can not compete at present with the large shopping centres. If destination marketing gets the people to Fremantle they will also shop.

Roel Loopers

BAD COMMUNICATION A FREO ISSUE

Posted in city of fremantle, communication, community, Uncategorized by freoview on October 23, 2017

 

I am not going to analyse the Fremantle Council election results, but to say that one needs to do more than just criticising the incumbents to take over. The community wants vision, reassurance, new ideas, and hope that Freo’s rebirth and revitalisation is well under way.

Voters are clever enough to understand that offering free parking is not a great vision, or even a solution.

The main lesson I learned, and Fremantle Council should take heed off, is that the community is largely ignorant about what Council does and the role the administration plays.

There is a real lack of knowledge in the community about what goes on at Council , so there is a lot of unwarranted blame addressed at the wrong people.

Communication is quite clearly an issue here and needs to be drastically improved and prioritised if Fremantle Council wants to get rid off the us and them feeling that exists in the community.

It is a very unhealthy situation when a large part of the community considers Council the enemy of the people. We vote Councillors in to represent the community, so we need to respect and trust them. That requires thorough understanding about what they are doing

There is an attitude in the administration that the community has to find out for themselves what goes on, instead of actually ‘hand-delivering’ information to the community. The assumption that people will find out on social media what the City of Fremantle does is lazy public relations and marketing and not good enough.

It was clear when talking to hundreds of people over the last couple of months that there is a disconnect between Freo City and the community, hence conspiracy, innuendo and negativity.

The facts and achievements need to be out there for all to read, and real changes need to be implemented fast on how the City communicates with the people.

When people know what goes on and take ownership off and pride in our city we can work better together to create an even better Freo.

I might have lost this one battle to get onto Council, but I’ll continue to demand better, more consistent and more balanced governance from our elected members, and a much better performance at many levels from parts of the City’s administration.

It is more than ever essential to scrutinise the City of Fremantle with a fine comb and to not let them get away with anything. I’ll endeavour to do that on Freo’s View!

 

Roel Loopers

TOURISM SHOULD BE FREMANTLE PRIORITY

Posted in city of fremantle, local government, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on September 17, 2017

 

 

The rather optimistic prediction by Sirona Capital that the Kings Square Project innovative and exciting FOMO retail concept will double tourism in Fremantle made me think on how we can increase tourist numbers and offer a better tourism experience in the port city.

For reasons I cannot understand there is reluctance to sell the great brand of Fremantle in destination marketing, and our retail marketing is not anywhere good enough. Retail is hard to sell anyway, as Fremantle lacks variety in shopping.

There is lack of coordination between the major players, and I have the feeling there are a few egos in the way. The City’s marketing people don’t really believe BID is necessary and the Chamber of Commerce is also not a big fan of it, and the major players in town are often left out, so everyone does their own bit, instead of working together on major strategies.

There is an assumption of communication, simply because visitors to Fremantle can access the Fremantle Story on-line or go to different Facebook pages about festivals, etc.

Fact is though that there are many people who do not engage with social media and who can’t be bothered to do long searches to see what is available to them.

Why can’t a visitor to Fremantle, who is staying Tuesday and Wednesday night, find out where live music is on those nights, which pubs have got specials on, etc?

At the Roundhouse we are not supplied with information about events. Many of the volunteer guides don’t live in Fremantle, so they do not know what is going on. It should be a matter of routine that the City’s marketing department emails a list of events, etc. every Monday morning to the Maritime and Shipwreck museums, Fremantle Prison, the Roundhouse, etc. but that is not happening.

Every year we have to contact the City to beg for festival programs, flyers, even a small poster about the Winter, Beer, Chilli festivals, whatever, but it is not forthcoming.

The City of Fremantle does not see tourism as a priority and great opportunity to boost the retail and hospitality industries. If thousands more people come to Freo and stay longer they will shop, eat and drink and support our traders, but BID mainly does cutesy things for locals during school holidays and festivals, which already attract people, instead of being a conduit for all the major players, such as developers, Fishing Boat Harbour, museums, etc.etc. come together, and work on strategies for Freo’s tourism.

The majority of overseas visitors are looking for an indigenous experience, but can’t find it. There is an opportunity here for Fremantle, but we do tokenism better that high impact stuff. There is no big picture thinking on tourism.

We light up the Arthur Head cliff face at night, but close the Whalers Tunnel at 7 pm, so there is no direct access from High Street. Why?!

We should have substantial tourist promotion for Fremantle at the airport, in the Perth CBD, and in Kalgoorlie and Esperance for those who drive here, but we preach to the locals mainly.

The Roundhouse volunteers want to improve the displays, but the City is not pro-actively involved in supporting them, and appears quite happy to leave it to the mostly senior amateurs to sort something out, while they could do with good professional advise and financial support.

The City should lobby the Royal Australian Navy and ask them to reconsider putting the planned Sailor monument on the North Mole, and instead put it on Victoria Quay or in Pioneer Park, or even Kings Square, because tens of thousands of visitors to Fremantle will miss out on seeing it. The North Mole is too remote for people who don’t have a vehicle, and riding one’s bike there is a challenge with all the trucks in the area.

The City of Fremantle needs a think tank on tourism, something substantial and outcome based. We have plenty of talkfests and don’t even do those well, because they procrastinate into nothing.

Our traders deserve and demand support, and we need to have a more innovative approach on how we can sell brand Freo, because our promotion is stale, and Fremantle does not get much help from the Perth-centric state tourism promotions.

Many tourists to Fremantle comment on how different we are, and that Perth is just like other big cities, but we do not sell our heritage beauty well, or even our gorgeous High Street that ends up at Bathers Beach.

Fremantle needs creative people who are willing and able to think outside the box, and who don’t do same same every year, time and time again. Fremantle’s marketing is boring, uninspiring and not working!

Roel Loopers

VOTE ROEL FOR CITY WARD!

FREO ARTS CENTRE COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER JOB

Posted in art, city of fremantle, employment, fremantle arts centre, Uncategorized by freoview on August 16, 2017

 

Communications Officer Fremantle Arts Centre

Ref. 14_18
Permanent Part Time (30 hours per week)
Hourly range – $29.52 – $35.84 per hour plus superannuation

Fremantle Arts Centre is looking for an energetic, savvy Communications officer for Marketing, Publicity and Communications.

FAC is an ambitious multi-arts organisation committed to developing audiences and supporting artists.

Working with the Communications Coordinator, the officer will support and promote FAC’s high quality visual arts, music, artists’ residencies, courses, events and audience development programs.

The successful applicant will have a passion for the arts, outstanding written communication skills and public relations and/or marketing experience (or similar). We’re looking for a strategic digital and social media guru who can create high quality, engaging content tailored to FAC’s different program areas and respective audiences.

Relevant qualifications or experience is essential.

For more information and to apply for these vacancies please visit our website (ref Career Opportunities) or send your application attention to to PO Box 807, Fremantle WA 6959. Should you require additional information about this position contact Fremantle Arts Centre Communications Coordinator on 9432 9564.  Applications close Wednesday 30 August 2017.

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