Friday, February 24, 2017

"...fees may be modified or added by the manager at any time." UPDATED

I saw an ad on mtl Magazine's Facebook feed the other day. Sending a copy of the ad and what I thought was a simple question turned out to be too difficult for our manager to answer. My question was, "How much is Lanz Associates paying for this advertising?"

After the usual multiple emails exchange with our manager, Keith McGill wrote:
"As such I cannot provide you with a specific cost for this ad."
That is very disturbing news to me. On one hand, I'm told that fees may be modified or added by the manager at any time, but on the other hand, Keith has no idea what the cost was for the ad. Very disturbing.

Here is the email exchange.

February 23, 2017 email exchange with Keith McGill re mtl FB advertising

It is frustrating to constantly hear, "I don't know" or "I do not have that information" from the person who SHOULD know or have that information. If it is not available, how about taking that extra step to find the answer?

Update February 25, 2017 1:46 PM I heard back again from Keith McGill. Here is his reply:

From:Keith Mcgill <>
To:egillen476 <>
Cc:Commission <>
Subject:Re: Free advertising?
Date:Sat, Feb 25, 2017 10:01 am

Good morning Elaine,

As I indicated in my previous response, sponsored content is a new product being offered to advertisers. As such, we are still trying to determine appropriate pricing.

It is possible that the pricing may need to be adjusted for online and sponsored content based on advertiser interest and response. This will take some time to determine.  I anticipate that we will be able to include the prices in our media kit next year.

I think the important thing is that the magazine has identified another revenue opportunity that will potentially allow us to continue to deliver important information on municipal programs and services to our residents in a cost effective manner, with the added benefit of promoting what a truly exceptional community we live in.


On Fri, Feb 24, 2017 at 6:10 PM, <> wrote:
Hi Keith,

Will you please find out what the specific cost is for this type of advertising next week? It is disturbing how often we hear, "I don't know" or "I don't have that information" when we ask questions these days.

Commissioners, would you please follow up with Keith?

Thanks and have a wonderful weekend, everyone.



Anonymous said...

If I wanted my business to enjoy the same considerations that Lanz Associates is receiving which includes free Facebook advertising and a story written by Mt. lebanon staff which appears on the Mt. Lebanon website, again at no charge, how do I get all this? For that matter, how does any business in Mt. Lebanon receive these same benefits?

Nick M.

Anonymous said...

Mt. Lebanon municipality, which operates on residents taxes, should be expected to run on the principles of open government and transparency, and should be open to public scrutiny to ensure that there is accountability for how the system runs and how taxpayers dollars are being used. Unfortunately, over and over again, Mt. Lebanon demonstrates the antithesis to these principles. What we need are new commissioners who are ready and willing to identify the obstacles to transparency and clean house - the obstacles need to be removed. Cushy jobs in Mt. Lebanon should not be considered life time jobs, especially when they are obstacles to government transparency. Serious change is needed, and not just on the commission but within the administration.

E. T. Gillen said...

5:42 AM, thank you for your comment, but you got me. While your comment is about transparency, I have only one request. I ask for people to sign their real names when submitting a comment. I wish people would respect my wishes. There are some posts where I bend the rules, depending on the topic.

There is an opportunity to vote for new blood in the near future, but they would not take office until January 2018. Until then, we are stuck with what we have. I have been doing this blog for many years and have gone through that many election cycles. We have been hopeful that a new crop of elected officials will clean house, but the newly elected cave.

We have different commissioners. We have a new manager. I am still waiting to hear if the Supreme Court will hear my case. Nothing seems to change.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the updated post referencing Mr. McGill's reply to Elaine, Facebook has been allowing revenues to be generated from their site for over a decade now, and we're now just getting around to utilizing it? This is nothing new. One would think that with Susan Morgan's experience she would have picked this one up many, many years ago.

Nick M.