The Auckland Council is buying advertorial space in community newspapers to get more publicity for local boards.
The chairs of the 21 local boards have endorsed the proposal from the communications department, which features their photographs in half-page advertorials.
The plugs - written by nine local board communications staff - include a message from the chair, local news and how to learn about the local boards' plans for the community.
They are being piloted this month before a six-month trial next year to buy advertising space in community newspapers.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
Communications and public affairs manager Shelley Watson refused to say how much the pilot and trial were costing ratepayers, saying the information was commercially sensitive while the council was seeking bids to buy advertising space.
She said some local boards were better than others at generating news in their local media, but the council wanted to give them more assistance for communities to understand who they were and what they did.
She and local boards communications manager Oliver Roberts ruled out using Our Auckland, a Super City booklet delivered to about 500,000 households, as the primary means of promoting the boards.
Even though there were 13 versions of the booklet to reflect the goings-on in different parts of Auckland, Mr Roberts said that the local boards wanted more than that to raise their profile.
Local board chairs have mixed views on the use of advertorial.
Orakei Local Board chairwoman Desley Simpson said it was helpful for a positive message that might not make the news, but questioned if it was a good use of ratepayers' money.
"It is really difficult when local boards are struggling to get funding from the governing body for tangible projects in the community."