Detroit: Pitching itself as the city of the future

After hitting rock bottom and filing bankruptcy last July, Detroit is now pitching itself as the city of the future. They have created this pitch and campaign due to the fact that they are desperately in need of financial support.

“Can Detroit make the case that it can be great again, even as it asks creditors to accept less than they are owed, struggles to save its world-class art collection from auction and pleads with its residents to stop moving away?”

From a pr perspective, the idea of wanting to create this pitch and campaign is understandable. They are in a time of hardship, and are trying to promote the city in a positive manner. I do however think that the “rebirth of Detroit” is going to be nothing less than a challenge.  Since July of last year Detroit has been struggling to overcome their city’s image and reputation. They were claimed to be the nation’s largest city to file and seek bankruptcy protection, the “news created a tidal wave of negative attention”.  From this negative blowout across the nation, they have declined in the number of visitors and tourists who once saw the city as an “iconic landmark”.  They have what was estimated to be at least 3,000 stray dogs roaming throughout the city, broken down buildings that have caught on fire and not yet demolished or fixed, even their own “city hero” firefighters are suffering to meet ends.  The New York Times stated that whenever the fire station would recieve extra donations of toilet paper- they would use the rolls to prop up their sagging mattresses, until a furniture store was kind enough to donate new beds for every station.

In the storm of all this bad publicity however, there is sunlight peeking through. Many non-profit organizations, volunteers and donations have slowly been rising. But this of course isn’t enough to rebuild Detroit into the city of the future.  I think that over time they will develop a new image for their town, and even sooner if something bigger happens elsewhere and makes a splash in the news; drowning over Detroit’s negative publicity.

To read more about Detroit’s challenge to make a comeback click this link: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/04/us/while-asking-for-help-detroit-sells-a-comeback.html

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