From Aye Memphis: My Thoughts on Memphis Blog by Larry Jensen:

Last weekend more than 400 Teach for America Memphis area teachers gathered at the Memphis Academy in Frayser for an in-service training day. This was an impressive gathering of young people serving our city.  I spoke to a breakout group of about 35 TFA members on the subject of good things in Memphis. Afterwards, two twenty-something young men came to me to express a concern: how do we get the message out about the good things in Memphis?  In particular, they were sharing their frustrations trying to present the good story to their middle and high school students whose parents are apparently telling them to leave Memphis.

Suppose you are a 25-year old thinking about relocating to another city. Your first step? Go to the internet search engine and type in: ‘moving to Memphis’, or ‘moving to Nashville’, or ‘moving to Detroit.’ Or suppose you are a site selector researching for information about a good city to locate a business.  So you search: ‘business relocation to Memphis, Nashville or Detroit’. Check out the results from both online searches!  Please tell me who owns the Memphis online messages and, more importantly, who is driving the content of the first-stop communications to the creative class and businesses?

If you look at the economic development responses for Memphis, you will find four different organizations: Greater Memphis Chamber, EDGE, Shelby County Economic Development, and Fast Forward. If I am searching for the first time: I am confused!  Who do I call? Who is in charge? Detroit’s first Google listing: ‘Young people flocking to Detroit’.  If I am a site locator or a young person, what gets my attention?

Stay tuned soon:  Memphis message to the creative class!

(Note from Smart City Memphis: Also, Google “moving to New Orleans” for a stark contrast to Memphis results.  While it calls out for more attention to the message, it also calls out for a course in search optimization here.)