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City Responds to Video Outsourcing Controversy

City didn’t recruit New York company to produce videos.

According to an email from City Manager , the city did not recruit CGI Communications to produce videos for the City’s official website, its business recruitment website or its tourism website.

“The City's Business Development Action Plan identifies the creation of a City Economic Development web site as part of our overall business development program,” said Kilger in the email.  “Part of that program includes marketing Benicia to outside businesses to encourage them to locate their operations here.”

The email went on to say, “Staff was approached by CGI (the City did not seek them out) to develop a video that included testimonials by some of our local businesses, which as you know is one of the most valuable attraction tools for cities to use, next to having low lease rents and buildings that accommodate their operations.”

In a , local videographer and Patch complained that the city outsourced the video production work when there are local video production companies that could do the same work. 

According to Kilger, CGI Communications won’t charge the Benicia for the videos but will try to sell sponsorships to local business people.  If no business wants to buy a sponsorship, CGI will still produce the video.

A letter dated May 15, 2012 announcing the program says that “CGI will be contacting members of the local business community to offer participation in the program, as well as an opportunity to learn more about CGI’s innovative new digital media products for businesses.” 

Jack Wolf of Wolf Communications, the City’s tourism consultant wasn’t aware of the CGI agreement or that the city is planning to add videos to the VisitBenicia.org website.  Wolf Communications oversaw development of the City’s tourism website.

Economic Development Director Mario Giuliani who negotiated the deal with CGI Communications is out of town and unavailable for comment.

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If there’s something in this article you think should be corrected, or if something else is amiss, call editor JB Davis at 707-628-0051 or email him at benicia@patch.com.

"The Black Panther of Poetry" August 07, 2012 at 04:41 PM
You'd be wise to keep your eyes on the real enemy and take them off of me because I am keeping my eyes on the prize and not you people!!!
"The Black Panther of Poetry" August 07, 2012 at 06:27 PM
And thank you Insider for giving me the green light to have humanity for my fellow bretheren and sisteren and also validating how much I care for this community. Thank you, where would African-Americans' be if we didn't have people like you to let the world know that we care about America. A Country that we literally and figuratively slaved for over a hundred and fifty years to bring into existence and prosperity that it currently enjoys and has always enjoyed, since its' birth. Thank you Insider, "That's Mighty White of You"!!!
Scott Burford August 09, 2012 at 10:44 PM
Am I missing something here? I thought this was a story about how the City signed a lame deal with a NY-based video production company to sell over-priced promotional videos to the business of Benicia. Bobby, do you know if the city was diligent in it's evaluation of CGI's offer? If you know the answer, please share.
Robert Livesay August 10, 2012 at 03:30 AM
Scott Bobbie will not answer. He does not know. He just sends a lot of racist hot air out. This may not be racists but Bobbie will try to make it that way. Bobbie Richardson is a waste of everyones time. He has no clue. Sorry JB that is the way it is and you know it.
Scott Burford September 12, 2012 at 10:01 PM
Not sure if there is any interest left in this story, but I was curious, so I contacted CGI Communications, and once I was able to schedule a presentation by phone/web with one of their representatives, I was pleasantly surprised with what CGI had to offer. Sure, it's expensive, but they were very eager to discount the cost during the conversation, and for the right business in Benicia, this seems to be a reasonable value. The representative claimed that he has had 25 Benicia businesses sign up for one of their video packages.

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