RAMAC President Roger Caron (left) and City Administrator Tom Friedel (right) speak in favor of Mark Eickhorst as the city's first public information officer.
Mr. Racine is ready to start selling Racine.
Mark Eickhorst, a radio host and former Racine alderman, is in line to become the city's new public information officer.
Eickhorst will work for the city through a $25,000 contract with Racine Area Manufacturers and Commerce. The contract would run from Feb. 1 to Dec. 31.
As PIO for the city, Eickhorst will write press releases and market Racine to media within 100 miles of the city. Here's a list of job duties included in Eickhorst's contract:
▪ Coordinate, conduct and oversee all press conferences with all media sources.
▪ Develop, implement and maintain an effective public information program for the city organization and its departments.
▪ Prepare, review and edit letters, speeches, memoranda, proclamations and resolutions, calendars and press releases; develop and prepare city newsletters and articles for general public information.
▪ Provide Mayor with support/information on issues of interest to the media; assist departments and the Mayor’s office in responding to media inquiries and in promoting city programs, services, events and policies.
▪ Develop communication plans for various city campaigns, both internally and externally, including marketing.
▪ Work with information specialists on the development and maintenance of city web sites.
▪ Develop, implement and maintain city presence on cable television access channel.
▪ Work with departments on media and protocol training/advice.
▪ Draft public service announcements.
▪ Design, develop, organize and control the communication of the City’s vision, values and central themes and messages to internal and external audiences.
▪ Act as the primary contact person for all media inquiries and to respond to questions that arise from media releases.
▪ Plan, lead, organize and control print, web and TV media so as to enhance the City’s image and communicate City issues, actions and services.
▪ Perform other duties as designed or required.
Eickhorst is a former Journal Times sports reporter, served on the City Council from 1997 to 1999, when he ran for mayor and lost to Jim Smith. Eickhorst hosts the "It's All About Racine" radio show on Saturday mornings on WRJN and works for RAMAC in a variety of roles. He's served in numerous charitable roles in the community, which helped earn him the nickname "Mr. Racine."
The $25,000 PIO contract was included in the mayor's 2010 budget and received little opposition from the City Council.
Alderman Jim Spangenberg, chairman of the Finance and Personnel Committee, said at Monday's meeting the position was long overdue.
City Administrator Tom Friedel and RAMAC President Roger Caron both spoke in favor of Eickhorst getting the job.