Politics

Capital Source

Wu hires PR firm to spread word about council

Boston City Council President Michelle Wu presided over a meeting at City Hall in Boston in January.

Elise Amendola/Associated Press

Boston City Council President Michelle Wu presided over a meeting at City Hall in Boston in January.

Following recent tradition, City Council President Michelle Wu has hired a Boston public relations firm to help put a spotlight on the work of the legislative body.

Wu hired Colette Phillips Communications, which lists among its specialties diversity marketing and communications.

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The councilor said the firm will be paid from her campaign fund.

The company will highlight the council “through as many channels as possible,’’ said Wu, heaping praise on the owner, Colette Phillips.

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“I feel the media is critical to highlighting what we do. But in my conversations with Colette, we’ve made it very clear that it’s much more than just outreach to the media,’’ Wu said. “It’s about engaging communities and making sure we’re being as inclusive as possible in our communications.”

Wu is following the footsteps of Councilor Bill Linehan, who hired Regan Communications Group during his tenure as president.

Former councilor Stephen J. Murphy, who also served as council president, hired an outside public relations firm as well.

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Linehan said he hired Regan in 2013 after he came under intense media scrutiny — in the middle of an election — over who should host an annual St. Patrick’s Day breakfast.

Linehan said that at the time he needed professionals to handle the avalanche of press.

“I was finding I was making more news,’’ he said with a chuckle. “I always did the press myself, but I found that it was too distracting.”

He kept Regan Communications while serving as council president, saying the job added much more work and he needed professional guidance when dealing with the press. He used funds from his campaign to pay the company.

“I think it is wise for Michelle to do that,’’ he said. “You don’t want to be in a rush giving an offhand remark to the press that could sting the next day.”

Meghan E. Irons can be reached at meghan.irons@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @meghanirons.
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