Communicating Detroit to the World Starts at Home

To say that I and others in our industry found this week’s announcement in Crain’s Detroit Business that the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (DMCVB) has once again gone outside of Detroit for communications work interesting would be an understatement. Disheartening and disappointing is more like it.

There is, however, a precedent. Two years ago, the DMCVB went to Los Angeles for the creative work that begat the “D” brand/image positioning for Detroit. Creatives based here in the Metro area are still reeling from that slap in the face.

To complain too loudly is to to be accused of ‘sour grapes.’ Yet, isn’t the mission of the DMCVB to promote the Metropolitan area and its many companies, resources and services? Weren’t they, along with Chris Ilitch last year, promoting Detroit as a great place to hold corporate meetings and events? Didn’t the Governor, in her recent state of the state address, urge all of us to buy Michigan? Yet, at a time when Michigan is reeling from record unemployment and a failing Big 3, a group that is charged with being our front-line advocate instead goes to St. Louis and a large, national PR firm.

At the very least there could have been a partnering between a firm with particular relationships in target markets L.A. and New York and a local agency.

Instead, it appears once again that Detroit is ‘not good enough’—not even in the eyes of one of our own.