GREENWICH, Conn. — As Connecticut struggles with a budget stalemate and the departure of major companies, one of its wealthiest communities wants to make it known to the wider world that all is well in Greenwich.
A team from a public relations firm visited the town last week to begin work on a campaign to promote Greenwich, the town of 60,000 people on the New York state line known in the public’s imagination as home of the polo and country club set.
The town narrowly approved $30,000 in taxpayer money for the campaign by New York City-based Lou Hammond Group. Organizers also have raised $90,000 in private donations.
“Once we get this PR campaign going, the stories that come out will show a very diverse, very engaged, more current and modern community than perhaps has been thought of in the past,” said Robin Kencel, co-leader of the Experience Greenwich public-private partnership.
Organizers also see value in burnishing Greenwich’s own brand at a time when headlines out of Hartford have been telling of struggles to close a budget shortfall and woe over the departure of companies like Aetna and General Electric.
“We are proud to be part of Connecticut obviously,” Kencel said, “but taking this point in time, our response could be to just sort of fall under what’s going on statewide or we could make sure people know we are extraordinarily business friendly.”
Skeptics have pushed back against the idea of using town money for the campaign.
“Our town can’t correct the problems created by Hartford,” Karen Fassuliotis, a member of the Representative Town Meeting, said at a public hearing in the spring.
Kencel, who is also a real estate broker in Greenwich, said the campaign will encourage people to work, shop and play in town.