As our CEO Chas Withers wrote recently, Dix & Eaton has always been a champion of Cleveland and eager to help tell the city’s story to the world. And as a media relations professional, I’ve noticed lately that media far beyond the county line are becoming eager to listen – and not just because our beloved Cavaliers have become world champs.
I’ve been a Clevelander for half my life now. Even though I was born and raised in black-and-gold territory, this city is my second hometown and I am thrilled that it is enjoying so much positive attention and interest from across the nation and around the world.
For almost two years, Cleveland’s political, business and civic leaders have been planning for the Republican National Convention, which is now less than a month away. Communications professionals have been planning, too, laying the foundation for telling the world just what it’s like to live, work and do business here.
It hasn’t always been easy, as many people – and the media – outside our region have bought into the negative stereotypes and been skeptical of our progress. As LeBron James says about Northeast Ohio, “Nothing is given. Everything is earned.”
Gladly, that is all changing now, and we are seeing growing interest in what is happening here. A city with an economy transforming from rust belt manufacturing to health care, biotech and advanced manufacturing. A city with blossoming and affordable neighborhoods, solid housing stock and outstanding quality of life, including world-class cultural institutions. And fun tie-ins with the RNC, such as special editions of local craft brews and even duct tape.
All of that is resonating with the national and international media – some 15,000 strong – as they turn their focus to Cleveland. I have been traveling to major media centers for nearly two decades to talk about Cleveland and the many good stories here, but I have never seen interest like I am noticing now.
Over the past couple of months, I’ve traveled to New York with a communications professional representing our partner, Destination Cleveland, and the RNC Host Committee to discuss coverage planning with all the major networks. Multiple network representatives have been in the room for virtually every meeting, all very receptive to and hungry for information about Cleveland. In fact, with one major network last week, we presented a dozen people with information about our region.
It is an exciting time in Cleveland, and we know that the time we are investing now to capitalize on this unique moment in time and interest in our city will pay benefits down the road. I’m proud to be telling the world, #thisisCle!