You can’t make this stuff up.

Some headlines speak for themselves:

City’s image blurry to top execs
Forum speaker advises against ‘boring’ as asset

When you read something like that, you know that the consultants are at their Sisyphean task again — rolling Fort Wayne’s “image” up a hill, only to watch it…well, you know what happens.

But this story, by the irony-free Journal Gazette, is too, too amusing:

Suri Surinder, Verizon region president, drew applause when he suggested that Fort Wayne should embrace its image as a good place to raise a family. He compared the city’s marketing challenge to the ones faced by Listerine and Avis, which used their perceived disadvantages of being bitter tasting and being No. 2 in the market to their advantage.

Fort Wayne could do the same, said Surinder, who moved to northeast Indiana seven weeks ago from New York. He sees the community’s assets as its strong work ethic, its strong family values and its low cost of living.

The city, he said, could adopt the motto: We’re boring, so you can raise a family here.

Posted at 10:08 am in Uncategorized |

7 responses to “You can’t make this stuff up.”

  1. danno said on October 29, 2003 at 10:40 am

    If the shoe fits, wear it!!! If boring is what it takes to boost the fort’s economy, I say go for it!! It is a boring place and will probably never be as exciting as, let’s say, South Bend??!!

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  2. alex said on October 29, 2003 at 10:47 am

    Why do these numbskulls think they need to put a spin on Fort Wayne’s image? Businesses don’t locate there because of the fabulous climate, the rich treasure trove of arts and culture, the professional sports teams or the first-rate newspapers. They locate there because it’s cheap and they can always count on a beaten-down, beleaguered labor force to fill whatever crappy jobs they’re bringing to town.

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  3. Lex said on October 29, 2003 at 10:49 am

    Greensboro’s a great place to raise a family, too, but that hasn’t helped our economic-development efforts much. Now, everyone pretty much expects “incentives” (read: taxpayer-funded bribes) from state/local government. How does Fort Wayne hold up in that regard?

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  4. Nance said on October 29, 2003 at 12:48 pm

    They’ve been quite adept at corporate welfare in the past, but too many toes-up or stillborn economic development efforts have left the public unamused and non-supportive. Although lately, with the city hemorrhaging jobs, they might go over better.

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  5. Bob said on October 29, 2003 at 1:16 pm

    It’s time to resurrect one of my earlier suggestions. Some years ago, the city placed decorative concrete pylons beside the major highway entrances to the city. We could promote our strongest attribute by replacing those pylons with big (but not too big), tall (but not too tall) white billboards with black sans-serif lettering, all lower case, proclaiming our new slogan:

    “fort wayne. an unwavering commitment to mediocrity.”

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  6. Nance said on October 29, 2003 at 1:29 pm

    Several years ago, when Larry Hayes retired, he wrote the best column of his career: “Fort Wayne, where ‘good enough’ is good enough.” I think it’s telling that he waited until his last week to write it — I think he’d felt that way for years, but didn’t want to offend his readers by essentially calling them people who would rather settle than try for something better. Upon such politeness are great mediocrities built.

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  7. Jim said on October 29, 2003 at 2:17 pm

    Which reminds me of what some of the more cynical employees of the legal publishing firm I worked at said the company should’ve used as its slogan: “We have no objection to quality!”

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