Archive for April, 2010

by (RSS) Uncategorized | April 30th, 2010 12:30am CDT | 1 Comment

Smithsonian Travel has written a peaen to Memphis that pays tribute not just to the city but to some of our extraordinary landmarks like Henry Turley.  That follows by only a few months a lovefest in the New York Times about the real Memphis. In the interest of complete accuracy, we can only sum it […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | April 29th, 2010 12:21am CDT | 2 Comments

This is the second part of our post about our case study in city branding: Milestone 7: Preliminary Strategies As a result of the insights by the Smart City Consulting/Stone Mantel team and the input of the public, a recommended approach and two alternatives were developed. They focused on brand truth, brand character, brand story, […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | April 29th, 2010 12:19am CDT | 2 Comments

The other day a friend asked me how many children in Memphis are ready for kindergarten. What a great question! But what a difficult question to answer! In one sense, all 5 year olds in Memphis are “ready for kindergarten” in the sense that they are all (or at least are supposed to be) enrolled […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | April 28th, 2010 12:42am CDT | 1 Comment

Following the last two posts about city branding, we were asked about any work that we’ve done in this area.  To respond, we begin today a two-part post about our work in Pensacola/Escambia County, Florida: Pensacola, a region of 450,000 people in a spectacular setting on the Gulf Coast, lags behind its regional rivals in […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | April 27th, 2010 12:15pm CDT | 4 Comments

For the second year in a row we dodged a big bullet fired by our suburban friends in Shelby county. In the words of a famous Republican… “Well, there you go again”. The bullet is none other than the Special School District authorization for the Shelby County School System, which had been introduced last year […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | April 27th, 2010 12:56am CDT | 5 Comments

While we’re on the subject of city branding, we want to revisit a speech by Paul O’Connor, former  executive director of World Business Chicago and someone who led the process to shape his city’s brand. In a speech sponsored by the Memphis Tourism Foundation, he explained what a brand really is, how Memphis could develop […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | April 26th, 2010 12:13am CDT | 1 Comment

Branding a city is hard, and although so many cities do it poorly, that does little to discourage cities like ours from continuing to try to do it right. Since we can remember, Memphis has flirted with branding, but unfortunately, the emphasis has been  catchy slogans rather than a real brand.  We can think of […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | April 23rd, 2010 10:04pm CDT | 3 Comments

White supremacist Richard Barrett was murdered in his home in Mississippi April 22, allegedly by a young black man. He was stabbed and then his body set on fire. I had expected that karma would have brought him a miserable departure from this earth, but I’m upset that his story ends with the kind of […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | April 21st, 2010 12:59am CDT | 5 Comments

Last year, we wrote a series of posts about great mayors because Memphis has never had one.  It seems like an apt time to revisit it to see how things are going in City Hall. Here’s the post: With A C Wharton now in the mayor’s office with a mandate for action, he – like […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | April 19th, 2010 10:25am CDT | 2 Comments

  Every Memphian should be excited about our two recent education wins – The Gates Foundation/Memphis City School’s Teacher Effectiveness Initiative and Tennessee’s national victory in President Obama’s “Race to the Top (R2T).”  These twin victories offer Memphians and Tennesseans the opportunity to lead on the issue of education reform. Unfortunately, leading often requires a […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Economic Development | April 19th, 2010 12:06am CDT | 8 Comments

If Memphis was an actor, it would be looking to be cast against type. We’re like the actor who has only played light comedy roles that takes on a casting call as a serial killer just to shake up his image and how the public sees him. Memphis needs to do the same thing.  We […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | April 16th, 2010 12:58am CDT | 2 Comments

We all know of those lists which name Memphis as one of the worst:  In Forbes’ mind, we are one of the most miserable cities.  Other more objective surveys name us as one of the most obese, one of the poorest, one of the most violent, and most recently, the hunger capital of our country. […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | April 16th, 2010 12:05am CDT | 5 Comments

Ken Hoover is powerful witness to the central message of his campaign for Shelby County Schools Board member.  An involved parent on the board really would make a difference, and Mr. Hoover has children in county elementary, middle, and high schools. What was blazingly obvious in his first debate with 12-year incumbent David Pickler, now […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | April 15th, 2010 12:31am CDT | 10 Comments

Where are the statesmen and stateswomen? At what point does personal political ambition become so overpowering that a person is willing to sacrifice the facts and put the community on the back burner? There are plenty of comments on local media websites from people decrying Memphis politicians for playing to the crowd, for their willingness […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | April 14th, 2010 4:33pm CDT | 1 Comment

About a month or so ago, I began writing an article in response to the Forbes’ article. Around then, there was a relative flood of responses coming out – all uplifting accounts of how stupid Forbes was for not seeing how great Memphis really is. Not that I disagree that Memphis is a great city. […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | April 14th, 2010 12:10am CDT | 3 Comments

Union rhetoric to the contrary, outsourcing is as American as apple pie. About 80% of all U.S. cities outsource services, and while politicos were surprised that Memphis Mayor A C Wharton’s entrée into this area targeted trash pick-up in a city where sanitation workers are national icons for civil rights, where their union is one […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | April 12th, 2010 3:05pm CDT | Comments Off

One of the dangers of there being a “bandwagon” to jump on is when people use the terms, but don’t actually do the work. With regard to local food, I find it frustrating when I see words in advertising or on menus that I know are false—words like local and house-made. Whomever is crafting the […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | April 12th, 2010 12:15am CDT | 2 Comments

City Hall has been off the grid for 25 years and our city has paid the price. It appears things are finally turning around. It’s been a long time since Memphis has been in national discussions about policy, government reform and public innovation.  It’s been a rare thing back to the 1970s for a Memphis […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | April 10th, 2010 12:26am CDT | 4 Comments

Continued from yesterday. In the past, economic development programs like Memphis 2005 – the much heralded answer to solve our structural economic problems and to revive our economy at the close of the 20th century – have received widespread support from the private and public sectors, but in the end, their real impact was limited. […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | April 9th, 2010 12:22am CDT | 1 Comment

The Memphis economy has reached the moment of truth. Languishing in the lower rungs of the economic indicators that matter, we have reached the point where we either snap out of it or we sink into the abyss with Detroit and Cleveland. It’s that serious, and the choices are that stark. In the family of […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | April 8th, 2010 5:55pm CDT | Comments Off

I recently became aware that Site Selection, the magazine of corporate real estate strategy and economic development, is doing a feature in May about North American Life Science Centers.  As a recent addition to the Greater Memphis Chamber board, I have also become more sensitive to the importance of this kind of publication to the […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | April 8th, 2010 12:46am CDT | 6 Comments

This is not easy to say but I need to clear my conscience by apologizing. To Steve’s Tire and Auto on Poplar Avenue:  I am sorry.  Your crew has replaced tires, repaired breaks and been a terrific example of customer service.  I can’t believe I considered someone else. To my neighbors:  I am sorry.  We […]

Read More →