Just hours ago the biggest gathering of Michigan’s business leaders finished up at Mackinac with a ‘to do‘ list for the coming year. Among the top five: Promote the “Outsource to Detroit” mantra to the world.
What is ‘Outsource to Detroit’? It’s a movement borne of a vision aimed at a mission of downtown Detroit as a national/international IT hub and viable alternative to taking such work offshore. And, total transparency here, it is also a campaign on behalf of Tanner Friedman client GalaxE.Solutions which is benefitting another firm client, Goodwill Industries, as both organizations look to put Metro Detroiters back to work.
In April 2010, New Jersey-based GalaxE, led by Chairman and CEO Tim Bryan, made a commitment to Campus Martius and a downtown office that would hire 500 IT professionals over the next 5 years to conduct the next generation of high-level, healthcare-focused work here rather than “over there.” Their message has resonated with clients; to date, over 120 individuals have been brought on board with immediate openings for another 200.
After February’s Super Bowl and the “Imported from Detroit” Eminem ad, Bryan indicated to me that GalaxE’s clients had been referring to their Detroit push internally as “Outsource to Detroit.” From there, what was initially going to be a phrase on a few giveways became much more. After enlisting “Made in Detroit” creator Robert Stanzler to create a logo and produce t-shirts sporting them, GalaxE donated the shirts to Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit, making them available to anyone free for a donation of $10 or more with 100% of the proceeds going to Goodwill.
Worn by Bryan at the Mackinac Conference’s opening session and beyond, the shirt’s message became one of the hits and ‘buzz phrases’ of the event and, in turn, inspired others (including the Chamber) to pledge to join in its communication. Brilliant guerilla PR? How about a vitally important message, put forth with sincerity and passion by the right individual to the right audience at the right time.