The Orange County Business Council, which has played a key role in the county's bankruptcy recovery effort, announced Thursday that it will initiate a marketing campaign to help improve the county's tarnished image.
The campaign will be tied to the Dec. 6 anniversary of the county's bankruptcy and will be directed toward the national and international business and financial communities, officials said.
"We need to let people know that, as unfortunate as the bankruptcy was, the private sector has been largely unaffected," said Ken Moore, president of the Orange County Economic Development Consortium--a division of the business council. "The short- and long-range prospects for this county continue to be very bright."
Four Orange County public relations firms have agreed to work with the council to improve the county's image. Since the bankruptcy declaration, the business council has collected $8 million from the business community to "support longer-range economic development objectives" in the county, Moore said.
Moore added that there was much to be positive about in Orange County since the bankruptcy, including the creation of 10,000 jobs and a drop in unemployment.
"Orange County is a great place to conduct business and the county's bankruptcy hasn't changed that," said David Paine, president of Paine & Associates--one of the public relations firms that has joined the marketing effort. "That's a story we can help tell."
In addition to Paine & Associates, Gladstone International, Laer Pearce & Associates and Nelson Communication Group will be involved in the marketing campaign. /
Officials said earlier this week that they have also hired Nelson Communication to polish the county's image during the bankruptcy anniversary.
"There will be no redundancy whatsoever between our activities and theirs," Moore said. "The county's focus is primarily to provide information upon request about its recovery plan, not promote itself. . . . Our effort will be focused on the significant strength of the private sector, and delivering the message to companies and the financial community that Orange County is alive and well and open for business."