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Gary tries to boost social media presence

Updated: January 18, 2013 6:07AM



GARY — A city official Wednesday said Gary is boosting the city’s new social media presence without paying contractors or high technology fees.

Communications Director Chelsea Whittington said Gary has entered into an agreement with Social Media Development Group to improve Gary’s online presence. SMDG is a joint venture between Fye Bye, a 10-year-old company, and Infinite Solutions, Inc., also a local company.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Whittington, who was tasked with building Gary’s online offerings. “We’re not paying (SMDG) a dime, and they came to us with the idea, so it’s a win-win for everybody.”

The joint venture is headed by Gary residents Brandon Griffin, of Fye Bye, and Milton Thaxton, formerly group sales manager for the SouthShore Rail Cats.

In exchange for providing space in the city’s parks and recreation department at 839 Broadway, the City Hall Annex and a couple of phone lines and computers dedicated to Gary work, SMDG will manage the city’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, build a YouTube channel, manage the city’s website and work closely with the city’s television station.

“Team Gary Indiana” is the Twitter handle and Facebook page for Gary.

SMDG can work with other clients as long as they do not use any of the equipment dedicate to Gary work, Whittington added.

According to the one-year memorandum of understanding between Gary and SMDG, no money will change hands. The company began working days before Thanksgiving.

Whittington said time constraints and a list of other obligations keep her from posting content and updating social media as quickly as a dedicated team can do that work.



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