New website aims to highlight the best of Weston
WESTON — The Board of Selectman are looking to put Weston on the map.
Peter Blau and Jon Acher from the Marketing and Communications Advisory Committee introduced a plan at the board’s March 21 meeting to better communicate the benefits of living in town. The board subsequently approved funding for a new municipal website to help that vision become a reality.
“Our committee is really much more about communications than marketing. We cannot ‘sell’ someone on moving into our town, only provide more information about the good things we have to offer,” said Blau, chair of the committee.
The committee, made up of marketing and media professionals, is tasked with building Weston’s brand and promoting the town’s positive attributes both to residents and prospective homebuyers.
Blau said four areas of focus should be community outreach, Realtor marketing, town signage and wayfinding, and branding.
While Weston offers a wide range of community events every week, the committee found weaknesses in shopping options, transportation, walkability, retail access, and limited access to city water and natural gas utilities.
Blau said there are opportunities to revitalize existing commercial sites (Weston Center and Cobbs Mill), and felt there should be more senior housing and services.
Efforts should also be made to consolidate services with adjoining towns for cost savings, the committee reported.
In its presentation, the committee suggested outreach through social media and a new town website would help improve communition between town departments and residents.
At the meeting, the Board of Selectmen voted to authorize an agreement with marketing company Granicus for a new municipal website.
The advisory committee will work with the selectmen to relaunch the website and also facilitate posts on social media platforms and other local websites. The audience will target current Weston residents, neighboring communities and prospective Weston buyers.
There were over a dozen applications sent in, but out of all of them, Minnesota-based Granicus offered the most appealing option for the town.
“It will be a nice addition to the town,” Town Administrator Johnathan Luiz said.
The cost for the website will be a one-time fee of $15,300, in addition to an annual maintenance of $4,500 per year for the first five years. After that, the cost will rise.
However, the company will offer the town unlimited customer service and training, according to the presentation.
“They understand our needs and are willing to listen,” First Selectman Chris Spaulding said.
People in Weston will be able to sign up for notices, agendas, emergency alerts and more.