To amplify city’s image, St. Louis PR pros embark on crowdsourced campaign

The nonprofit Rally St. Louis is a crowdsourced and crowdfunded effort to reshape outsiders’ opinions of city and region. Other cities should take note.

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Marketplace is a forum for marketers, not moms from St. Charles, Missouri. Yet the post hit a nerve in metro-St. Louis, and residents were broadly fired up, to say the least.

In the piece, I called for the city in which I’ve lived for the past six and a half years to improve its PR and marketing efforts. The story drew ten of thousands of shares and sparked a lively conversation around the topic.

The thing is, I wasn’t trying to suggest a new slogan for St. Louis or create some great strategic debate. More than anything I was venting, as not unlike other major metro areas I’d watched—from inside the region’s publicity efforts—we had stepped all over ourselves for the years I’d lived in St. Louis.

Indeed, there is little debate that in spite of a great quality of life, not unlike many other metro areas—St. Petersburg, Fla. and Richmond, Va. come to mind—St. Louis has struggled to define itself to those living outside of the region. Thus, the region has lost out on jobs, political conventions, bright minds, and potential business relocation.

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