Penn Hills School District officials to hire Oakmont councilwoman as PR consultant |
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Michael DiVittorio

Carrie DelRosso, Oakmont councilwoman and Riverview School District public relations consultant, could add Penn Hills School District as her next client.

Penn Hills officials met at a finance committee meeting Sept. 23 and discussed hiring her company to launch a public relations campaign.

Superintendent Nancy Hines said the district received proposals from three firms, with one offering to do commercials but being too expensive.

Hines said DelRosso’s fees were comparable, if not a bit less, than former Penn Hills spokeswoman Teresita Kolenchak.

The district cut the public relations position last school year for budgetary reasons.

“What we’re looking for is a stronger presence on social media,” Hines said. “We’ve not really had that. … Feeding information to the press, visiting the classrooms and coming up with authentic descriptions of positive activities (in our schools).”

Kolenchak disputed Hines’ contract claims via email to the Tribune-Review. She said her fees were less than DelRosso’s proposal.

DelRosso’s proposal documents list a $75 per hour service fee for six to eight hours of work per week — about $2,200 per month for one year.

The fee includes travel expenses within a five-mile radius and grant identification. Grant writing services would be in addition to public relations.

Kolenchak’s last contract with Penn Hills, for the 2017-18 school year, stipulated work would not exceed 60 hours per month for a monthly charge of $2,800. Any work beyond 60 hours would be billed at $50 per hour.

DelRosso declined to comment on the proposal until Penn Hills school directors voted on it. She also works as a consultant for Plum Borough.

Board President Erin Vecchio said she met with DelRosso and was very impressed with her qualifications.

“I think she does a great job for the other people she represents,” Vecchio said.

“We need to show that there are good things going on in this school district instead of all the negative stuff people say out there.”

A public relations consultant was among the recommendations made by the district’s state-appointed financial recovery officer, Daniel Matsook.

Matsook said he and Hines reviewed DelRosso’s proposal, and she would be a welcomed addition to the district should the board approve her contract.

“In comparing the documents, the fees, the hours and scope of work, we felt, hands-down, that this meets our needs,” Matsook said.

“We’re not looking for just special projects. We’re looking for someone to be a constant presence in our schools to report the good stuff that’s going on. We believe it’s critical we up our game on social media.”

The next Penn Hills school board voting meeting is 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 30 at Linton Middle School.

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