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VOL. 126 | NO. 119 | Monday, June 20, 2011

Jeremy Park

The Power of Positive News


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Last week, we explored Knowledge Quest, which is working as a community change agent for youth and families in the 38126 and 38106 ZIP codes. This week, let us discuss a broad topic that could have powerful implications for our businesses, nonprofits and community pride: the Power of Positive News.

One of the most important shifts in marketing is the heightened value of storytelling. We hear it often now that job applicants, sales professionals, corporations and nonprofits, even cities, have to be able to tell their story in a succinct manner that invokes curiosity. One executive from Nike recently noted that no props or presentation materials are now allowed in their Quarterly Business Reviews. They must articulately tell the story of how their team is performing and their vision moving forward. The cliché is true that if you are not telling your story, someone else is.

Although we are gaining momentum, our community still suffers from a lack of pride. Part of the solution lies in our ability to take control of our own story. I am excited to note there are many leaders lending support to help Memphis create a marketing plan and campaign. We should be proud of our rich legacy in entrepreneurialism, music and food, coupled with our low cost and high quality of living, tremendous cultural and community assets, and newfound focus on retaining and growing young leaders and a bustling creative class.

Outside of crafting our city’s story and becoming one voice to sing it from the rooftops, though, we need to hone in on our day-to-day stories – focusing more on positives – the stories of good people doing good things, because there are many of them. Once we realize, like Los Angeles, Dallas and New York, that tourism is a large part of our business and that community pride derives from what we absorb from the media, we have a chance to regain control. Traveling to those cities, which have similar core problems, one will notice the negatives are buried between positives. There is balance.

So, here are easy ways to give back. As an advertiser, consider taking the approach of companies like Duncan-Williams Inc., which only sponsors good news. Advertisers have a rare opportunity to let dollars lead by stating they want to only support positive news. As a different approach, consider using your advertising to spotlight nonprofits you support. Set aside a certain amount of commercial inventory to highlight nonprofits or upcoming events. What a great win-win to celebrate positives and raise awareness, yet show community support and increase customer loyalty in the process.

If nothing else, simply become a positive voice for the great things being done in our city. Memphis is on the move, and it will be exciting to see where this journey takes us!

Jeremy Park, director of communications at Lipscomb Pitts Insurance and director of the Lipscomb Pitts Breakfast Club, can be reached at jeremyp@lpinsurance.com.

PROPERTY SALES 83 405 4,276
MORTGAGES 104 424 4,814
BUILDING PERMITS 148 883 10,151
BANKRUPTCIES 53 264 3,149