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city guy

Pittsburgh Marketing Campaign

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I think that some agency in Pittsburgh has to start marketing the business benefits and quality of life issues that all you guys talk about from your city.

I read many of these posts and we are many times talking about negative stories that are printed about Pittsburgh or about rivalry with Cleveland etc.

Look, I live in a city that was declared "fatest", "worst American mayor", "most depressed", hasn't had a winning championship, I can go on and on... but you know what - I don't care, my friends who are paying $1,200 a month to live in a shoebox so they can say they live on the square don't care. Maybe Philly has grown a thicker skin over the years, but I think it comes down to a concentrated marketing initiative and ofcourse innovative business incentives etc.

But think of it for a minute..."Virginia is for Lovers", "I Love NY", Now, I was a kid when those campaigns were in full swing and I still remember them... What about..."What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas"... "Philly's More Fun when you Sleep Over" now I know that marketing is not

done in Pittsburgh, but ask someone from this area, NY, Washington or Boston where Philly spends $9 million dollars a year on this ad campaign for the 3rd year in a row. I guarantee you there is no one from Philly in a 50 mile radius who has not heard that tagline.

You say Pittsburgh to me and I don't have a tag line. Now, I know it isn't that easy, but a concentrated marketing initiative along with business recruitment and retention and housing and cultural initiatives all working together can make a difference.

The former Governor of PA Mark S. Schweiker just started a $15 million dollar campaign to promote greater philly, check out the site.

select philadelphia initiative

Also, this group Innovation Philadelphia promotes philly on the global stage

innovation philadelphia

Check out: Science Center Emerging Technology

Check out: Urban Blight Initiative

Improving Philadelphia

Do you guys in Pittsburgh have any of these initiatives to try to get the word out?

Our hotel taxes fund the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corp. to promote the city,

they are the ones who pay for the ad campaigns.

Philly offers a 10 year tax abatement if you buy a new home or condo in the city...does Pittsburgh have that? This can really help people to afford to move downtown.

What is Pittsburgh doing to get the word out that you have a great city?

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I don't know why, but every time some group tries to market Pittsburgh, they do a piss poor job of it. I for one am sick and tired of it.

This is a great city, where good things are happening. Amazing things that even most locals don't seem to know about. It frustrates me to no end that we aren't marketing ourselves better.

Old neighborhoods and brownfields are being reborn. We have all sorts of stuff going on with the arts. Tons of great grass-roots stuff happening. World class museums and cultural attractions. I am sure that by now the world should be seeing us as a great come-back story. But instead it all seems to happen under the radar. Sigh.

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I too am frustrated with the lack of focus on this branding campaign, I forget the articles but lots and lots of money and time and committee reports have been wasted basically on some really crappy slogans that were more about local PC appeasement bs then selling this region as a product like coke or pepsi or toyota sell theirselves.

In my mind we need to keep this thing simple and to the point, instead of all these well healed jetset types meeting high atop the tower of babel thinking about what would interest joe schmo why not just hold a contest to use all the talents of the area in coming up with a great slogan for the city?

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I like the contest idea. We would get all sorts of great suggestions from the many smart people of this city. Oh sure, there would also be a few snarky joke suggestions, but so what. Those can be duly ignored while the legit submissions are considered. I'll bet we'd get something great, and it would not cost nearly as much as some elaborate "commitee."

They could award the winning submission with some free tickets to a broadway show or some gift certificates for local restaurants. Perfect.

I think I will write to city council and suggest this. You never know.

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I really do feel strongly about that contest idea, I'm wondering if it worked for the Penguins in the 1960s why no one has attempted this for the branding campaign.

My personal favorite for the campaign is Pittsburgh, still the arsenal of freedom, I think it covers both sides of the equation, first its short and to the point and marketable second it covers EVERYTHING from cultural events to technology to the historic steel industry to fun and games and the proposition that Pittsburgh is "still" meaning we unlike vegas and the others actually have history behind us.

Arsenal of Democracy or Arsenal of Freedom is a historic term used for the city back in WWI and WWII, maybe we could change the word arsenal since it is a tad outdated, but if you really expand the notion of the "arsenal" or "centerpiece" of freedom, freedom of culture, freedom in technology both in potential and resources already here, freedom in arts and sciences, freedom from disease with our great hospitals, freedom to rock out with our great tradition and venues, freedom to get a world class education at CMU or Pitt or Chatham etc. I think that is the best possible slogan to be both completely comprehensive of what Pittsburgh represents and at the same time short and sweet.

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I really do feel strongly about that contest idea, I'm wondering if it worked for the Penguins in the 1960s why no one has attempted this for the branding campaign.

My personal favorite for the campaign is Pittsburgh, still the arsenal of freedom, I think it covers both sides of the equation, first its short and to the point and marketable second it covers EVERYTHING from cultural events to technology to the historic steel industry to fun and games and the proposition that Pittsburgh is "still" meaning we unlike vegas and the others actually have history behind us. 

Arsenal of Democracy or Arsenal of Freedom is a historic term used for the city back in WWI and WWII, maybe we could change the word arsenal since it is a tad outdated, but if you really expand the notion of the "arsenal" or "centerpiece" of freedom, freedom of culture, freedom in technology both in potential and resources already here, freedom in arts and sciences, freedom from disease with our great hospitals, freedom to rock out with our great tradition and venues, freedom to get a world class education at CMU or Pitt or Chatham etc.  I think that is the best possible slogan to be both completely comprehensive of what Pittsburgh represents and at the same time short and sweet.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Though "Arsenal of Freedom" is cool... especially in a historic sense... I feel the word "arsenal" is a bit too militant. Perhaps "Pittsburgh: Furnace of Mystery".

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^^ hmm not too sure about "mystery" remember "mystery meat" in HS? :lol: mystery could be good or bad or really bad or anything.

I'm no big fan of "arsenal" because just of what you said its cultural meaning, however in the true sense of the word it basically just means a reserve or a stronghold of something, could be cultural or artistic or academic. "Freedom's arsenal" along with some collage of ballet, science, medicine, academia etc. could work. It does hit the historic tradition, but I agree we could find something that conveys the same as arsenal in the most general sense but not with the military connection.

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I think "Arsenal" and "furnace" both have negative connotations we may want to avoid. While clever ideas, I just think we should steer away from any word that brings to mind images of warehouses, factories, steel mills etc.

I like the phrase "Where it all comes together," but as far as I have seen it is not really being used.

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I agree the cultural meanings especially today are outdated, I do think the overall meaning is legit, could be an arsenal of culture, an arsenal of academia etc. but true to Pittsburgh being stereotyped, the word arsenal is as well.

Where everything comes together is good but to me its just too general, not really unique in a way that would capture someones attention. It is good as far as not being confused with possibly negative meanings though.

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You are right it's not very memorably and it doesn't really have spark.

I wrote to the head of the PRA with the contest idea. He wrote back to say that they too are concerned with how the city is being marketed, and that they plan on addressing the issue since the city's 250th anniversary is in 2008. He said I should expect to hear something soon, which I guess means they are working on something which will be in the news soon. Sounds hopeful.

He didn't really address the contest idea specifically, but I liked what he said.

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You know going over my thoughts on the upcoming football season, and our lesser legacies in Baseball (players in 81 World Series not to mention the 7 the Pirates have been in, and the Negro Leagues two best teams ever) and Basketball (first NCAA bball game ever, first world championship game with the dunk and 3 point shot, everyone from Maravich to Havilcek to Chuck Daly, John Calapari, Skip Prosser and George Karl) along with my post on football (I'm still waiting for the day when there is not one player with W. Pa. roots playing in a Super Bowl let alone the average of 4.6 players per SB). Why not rebrand this region the "Football Belt" or "Sports Belt" or "Gym Belt" or "Fitnessburg" on the recent news that within 4 hours of the golden triangle lies 3 of the top ten most fit universities, PennState, OSU and Pittsburgh! Since every family is very interested in teaching their kids teamwork and the value of hard work vs. winning wouldn't that be a great way to reach them. Come to Pittsburgh where teamwork and hard work pays off, be the next Jim Kelly or Curtis Martin or Dan Marino or Joe Montana or even Terry Francona or Matt Clement or Curt Schilling or even George Karl or John Calapari, Swin Cash or Suzie Serio for the WNBA. Kurt Angle or Mary Lou Retton (just a few hours south). The list goes on and on but if parents quit thinking of this region as once grimy steel towns that cleaned up some and took it for what it truly is the crucible for making young adults into responsible and respected CHAMPIONS in almost every field, then they would realize that we aren't just another Hoboken or East St. Louis that rebounded from some tough years, we are more then that.

As far as the non-parents, non-family people out there we could go a step further the "Jock Belt" or "Stud Belt" lol.

I am sure every single male out there wouldn't mind stopping by here and giving us a chance if he knew Swin Cash, Suzie Serio, Mary Lou Retton, the "Survivor" chicks Jenna Morasca and the other one (name escapes me) as well as the breeding ground that produced Sharon Stone, Demi Moore, Christina Aguilera and that hottie on the old VIP show Natalie Raitalano (sp).

For the ladies out there, well if the list at the very top of everyone from Montana to Ken Griffey Jr. to Curt Schilling etc. doesn't let them discover Pittsburgh some more, hey we can always remind them that "Batman" calls Pittsburgh home (Michael Keaton), as well as MTV dude Dan Cortese and don't even get me started on the dozens of boxers this town has produced.

Ok so maybe we shouldn't be referring to ourselves as a "belt" ala sunbelt, cornbelt etc. It could use some tweaking but the overall idea I believe is what everybody is really after in a way. Think about it when Jenna Morasca or Joe Montana comes out with a book, the reason people buy them up in masse is because they think it can make them get closer to being like them, being successful for the dreams they want. Pittsburgh has a knack for being that gateway for hundreds of very successful rags to riches stories, why not capitalize on them for once. :)

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My only problem with that is, I am not sure I want to play up the whole sports thing. Pgh is already seen as "a football town." It already seems like the Steelers are the first thing out-of-towners think of when they hear Pittsburgh mentioned.

Some folks even believe that sports are the only thing we have going for us.

So anything that emphasizes sports more could turn out to be a bad thing. That's just my opinion of course.

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I guess what I'm saying it that it all depends on how u look at an apple for instance. Could be just agriculture, farms and hicks, or a place where the world's greatest nutrition is grown. In my view every parent wants a place where they can have their kids learn teamwork and sacrafice and good sportsmanship, and for singles meeting someone that comes from a gene pool of Swin Cash or Joe Montana wouldn't be a bad thing. I guess I'm looking at it from the whole Howard Cosell thing, sports is life because it teaches life lessons almost the first teacher for us as kids--long before kindergarten we are learning the "rules of the game" of life out on front lawns and playing fields etc. So the question is where is the best place in the world for that? If your looking at 20 year preformance you can't beat Pittsburgh ;).

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http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05233/557028.stm

excellent piece in the Post-Gazette on how Pittsburgh's "youth movement" is being advertised nationally through sports. Again I can understand that we are more then just sports and that we limit our image by constantly promoting the "sportstown/steeltown" image. However is it really all that bad, for young couples what is most desireable, a place that will provide a safe, properous community for children and teach them sportmanship, the meaning of hard work and teamwork etc. Singles what is more desireable then maybe meeting a Swin Cashesque or Joe Namathesque partner (the guys and gals Namath and Cash competed against--though maybe deskjockeys with tech or finance or medical today were by deduction better atheletes and fit then other kids not having to constantly compete in sports against the Marinos, Montanas, Curtis Martins, Swin Cashs and Suzi Serios etc.)

Really I think we are missing the opportunity here, I should stress that we communicate the tech/medical/finance/cultural/academic benefits as well but all through sports, sports medicine, sports-like drive in finance and tech, the "smarts" and innovation that a Montana had to come back and win a Superbowl with only two minutes left, etc. etc. ;)

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