Being part of a Convention & Visitors Bureau (or, as they are called now, Destination Marketing Organizations) can be thrilling when national publications release the lists.
The “Best Of” this. The “Most Of” that.
These hallowed dispatches are the Holy Grail for many cities. And then, there are the bemoaned mentions in travel publications or websites that suggest your city — for lack of a more appropriate term — sucks.
Crisis communications can’t help an entire city, can it? Look at Detroit and tell me how that’s working out. Unfortunately, the one we know as Newark, New Jersey now finds itself at the bottom of just such a list.
While you were sleeping, Conde Nast Traveler released its 2014 Friendliest and Unfriendliest U.S. Cities. And if you have spent an inkling of time in the state’s largest city, you already know why Newark is the two-time defending champion.
Just look at the noted “shore” for a clue. There’s not enough PR wipes that can remove that unsightly stain from the media service counter of America. Another clue is the nickname “Brick City,” probably because that is what gets hurled through your vehicle in a second earning Newark the moniker of the “car theft capital of the country.”
Perhaps, there is something to this whole Southern Hospitality thing. It’s a way of life that gives a PR glow to these CVBs (my home of Fort Worth, Texas earning the No. 6 nod in the most friendly category…just sayin’). Maybe, there needs to be a class in the Carolinas, Texas, Georgia, and even Colorado (gee, wonder why they are friendly) to help its more northern curmudgeons?
This “Get off my lawn” grimace may work in movies, but these lists are killing your municipality marketing leaders. Do you live in any of these crotchety places? Considering moving? Here’s the list of #PRFail: City Version.
10. Miami — There’s a reason why Lebron left, right? Those beaches only impress for so long.
9. Wilmington, Delaware — Apparently, one of the big things in this town is bread bowls. I don’t know. It was not an extensive online search. Maybe, it should be “Wil-meh-ington?”
8. The Hamptons, New York — It’s where the rich and famous have summer homes (and all-year-long attitude). Also, reason No. 3,489 why they hate us.
7. Los Angeles — Remember that crack about the rich and famous? Here, some folks are just rich and purchase enough plastic to be famous.
6. Detroit — If there is a city that just can’t catch a break, it’s Motor City.
5. New Haven, Connecticut — Yale University, anyone? Enough said.
4. Atlantic City, New Jersey — What’s worse than living near douchey people? Living near broke, douchey people.
3. Hartford, Connecticut — If you know two preppy kids that listen to Phish or follow Widespread Panic, odds are daddy has a home here. And he thinks New Haven is the ghetto (true story).
2. Oakland, California — Raider Nation aside. This is a city that once lifted an 80-year ban on pinball machines. It was this year. Like, this past June.
1. Newark — For the second year in a row, Newark earns this distinction. However, if anyone can do anything for this city, it’s Mayor Cory Booker. We’ll be waiting.