Reputation Retaliation from Grand Rapids

June 17, 2011

Reputation Retaliation from Grand Rapids

  I have to take a break from work and post something. I think my mind is going to explode. So I thought I would post about something fun and different that has to do with improving your city reputation. And also about reputation retaliation.  Apologies for being a few weeks behind.
Newsweek wrote a story profiling the top 10 dying American cities [I should add that Newsweek says it appeared pursuant to a content-sharing agreement with a site called Main Street, and that the magazine didn’t produce it]. Grand Rapids, Michigan was included in the list of slow deaths which certainly does not do anything good for its reputation, attracting new residents or new businesses to the area.  Hasn’t Michigan had enough grief? So instead of taking the criticism lying down, 1,000 residents of Grand Rapids raised about $40,000 and  fought back. And fought back they did.  Check out this video.  It is delicious to see how cities can redeem their reputation.  Nearly 4 million people have watched the music video, referred to as one big block party,  that lip dubs the classic song American Pie. It is a great diversion and a smart strategy. And falls into my advice about going rogue when it comes to reputation warfare.

This made me think about the article I read awhile back about Detroit needing a statue to repair its reputation and efforts to raise funds for a Robocop statue. I loved the idea but I think it was squashed. (See picture at the start of this blog)

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Leslie Gaines-Ross
Leslie Gaines-Ross
lesliegainesross@gmail.com

As Weber Shandwick’s Chief Reputation Strategist, I focus on the ever changing world of reputation. For the past 25 years, I have relentlessly observed, researched and commented on the rise and fall of reputations.

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