Today I am proud to be a born and raised Metro-Detroiter, but for a long time I was embarrassed about it. Most people I met in college “Couldn’t wait to graduate so I can get the heck out of this state.” For a long time I thought that way too.
I was fortunate enough to intern in Walt Disney World (Yes I thought I would never leave) While I was there, everyone always asks where I was from, to which I said Detroit. The reactions were all negative, such as, “is 8 Mile real?” “Do you own a gun?” and my favorite, “You must be a badass.”
I hate the bad rap that is often associated with Detroit and I hated that I was perceived in that manner simply because I said I lived here.
Now that I have graduated, I was fortunate enough to find a job at a local growing, (yes growing) eCommerce marketing company, and I love it! While job hunting and the negative news stories were discouraging, in the back of my mind I thought to myself, “you know, things may be bad right now, but the people who stay here, and stick it out, and work hard will be the successful ones in the future.” I’m learning that my thoughts were right on.
Since I began my work in marketing, I have been constantly seeking advice from other pros and learning through observing. What I am most impressed by is the uses of our creative talents to revitalize the very place we live. I think it’s great that not only do we help clients market their business, but we can use our skills to help our city, to help others see what we see, and not what they hear about in the news. Recently several large agencies each created a campaign to attract young, creative people to the state, which is pretty darn cool! It probably motivated the heck out of the employees and has the potential to change the city and the state.
Another great example is the Pure Michigan Campaign, which is one of my all time favs. These ads highlight what is amazing and unique about not only Detroit, but the entire state! Even though the campaign is running low on funding, they are now allowing anyone to submit an ad, so now the people of Michigan can tell others what is so great about this city and you can be sure I’ll be submitting an entry!
Other local marketing and PR folks are using social media to bring awareness and create a positive energy, hosting tweetups and other events for all the creative minds in the D. With these positive energies coming out of Detroit, we are sure to make it great again. I’ve enjoyed connecting with other hard working people in the city at the few events I’ve been able to attend (due to a ill parent) and I can’t wait to attend more as my schedule allows great one coming up is Ignite Detroit.
Road Signs on the Detroit border say “Detroit: The Renaissance City” and it is still true today. Detroit has seen lots of bad times and always managed to reinvent itself. We can do it again, we are doing it again, right now! Think about it, amazing things have come from Detroit and Michigan, Cars, Motown Music, Faygo,, Kid Rock, Sanders Hot Fudge, and so many more great things will come from Detroit!
Detroit is the Renaissance city, and we are the revolution! As my Florida friend said, “You must be a badass.” She was right because I am proud to be from the D, and I’m proud to be part of the Detroit Renaissance! That’s pretty badass if you ask me.
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