Pounds: 419 daysWritten by Tom Pounds | President / Publisher | email@example.com
It has been interesting to see two great community image efforts garner so much attention this past week. On the surface, 419 Day and the branding effort “It Matters Where You Make It” seem to be miles apart. 419 Day was a grassroots movement with no marketing budget that encompassed several locations and events. “It Matters” comes from the Toledo Region Branding Initiative, a nearly five-year, $800,000 project of the Northwest Ohio Brand Council — representatives from various public and private organizations who came together in 2009 with a common goal to promote the region.
Despite their varying resources and backing, both events show the movement of pride and enthusiasm that is crucial to a community’s identity and ability to sell itself.
As Toledo Region Brand Manager Jeff Schaaf told us recently, “When you go on a job interview, you don’t tell them your faults; you tell them your strengths. We’re trying to promote the good stuff and, as we’re finding the negative stuff, we’re trying to work on that as well. There are plenty of things we could talk about if you want to talk about problems. Those are not unique to Toledo. There are issues in every city. Our organization’s sole purpose is to promote the Toledo region and the positive assets and that’s what our focus is going to continue to be.”
John Amato, owner of JUPMODE, which offers specialty Toledo pride T-shirts, told us about his enthusiasm for 419 Day.
“It’s going to be a really important day because … it’s just a buildup of all the neat little things people have created in Toledo,” he said. “419 Day is another example of the momentum that Toledo has right now. Our city pride is growing and expanding through the region. So it is a really exciting and special time to be in Toledo.”
Toledo Free Press has been shouting that for nearly 10 years now, and it is exciting to see the momentum Amato references become daily reality. That such disparate efforts can join into one burst of civic pride is encouraging. The potential to make that excitement a national (and international) message is exhilarating.
Congrats and thanks to the people behind both efforts.
Thomas F. Pounds is president and publisher of Toledo Free Press. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.