Governor Snyder To Michigan: Let's Market Ourselves

The following is inspired by my article in the September 2011 issue of “Chaldean Commerce,” the official newsletter of the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce:

As Governor Rick Snyder works to turn Michigan around, a common theme and call for action can be heard in many of his speeches: Market yourself, Michigan, he says. What does he mean exactly? Despite the fact that we live in a state with a history of pioneering technology, innovation and commerce, in more recent years challenging times have forced us to change, evolve and reinvent. We are often, the Governor reminds us, our own worst enemy.  We are also, he concedes, too Midwestern humble. As such, he is calling on us to communicate our respective successes in business; tell positive stories and let those within and outside our great state know what a wonderful place Michigan is to live and work.

Why don’t we do more of this?  The reality of it is we simply may not have the time, acumen or interest. We’re too busy running businesses and keeping our heads above water, or, maybe we prefer to stay under the radar of our competition.  Perhaps we don’t feel the need to toot our own horns, preferring instead to let our work product and customers do the talking.

While Governor Snyder would no doubt understand those mindsets he would take exception. We should all be serving as ambassadors for our state he would say.  Be proud of our accomplishments. Take those horns and toot away! And the best way to do that? By all of us speaking loudly and often about our successes. How we are helping others through our non-profit work; how we anticipated demand for a particular new product and are creating and supplying it; how we are innovating in biotech, nanotech, IT and countless other industries and business sectors.

And the means by which to communicate all of this? In conversations at industry conferences and networking events; in company websites and marketing materials; in stories related to media or those told via e-newsletter, social media and video. Celebrate success here, there and everywhere on what is going on right here.