City of Vancouver staff asked to talk to PR team before responding to citizens

By ThinkPol Staff

City of Vancouver staff are asked to talk to the city hall’s army of well-paid spin doctors before responding to citizens on social media, according to information released through a Freedom of Information request.

“A reminder: please contact me first if you want to respond to anything, or need clarification on any of the posts in this email,” Social Media Strategist Amanda Johnson from the Corporate Communications unit tells General manager of Development, Buildings, and Licensing Krishna Kaye in an email in reference to the daily social media scan.

The City’s communications team monitors Facebook, Reddit’s Vancouver subreddit /r/vancouver, Daily Hive, and a few other blogs, the FOI request reveals.

“Short-term rental regulations driving discussion,” Johnson points out to Kaye in the email from November 15, 2017.

Mayor Gregor Robertson’s Vision Vancouver has come under heavy criticism for expanding the communication team from just seven employees to 33 workers, including 12 managers and coordinators, and seven public engagement officers[1]

The 21 staff members whose salaries have been revealed costs the city $2.3 million last year, while the salaries of the remaining employees have not been released.

In contrast, the city will only hire three full-time staff to crackdown on illegal Airbnb operators once the new regulations come into force this year[2]

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