Monday, February 8, 2016

How's a city boost its reputation? A case study from Des Moines

This weekend, the Des Moines Register published a long read exploring how the city's boosters succeeded in changing the national media narrative on their once-boring, now-cooler city, which my piece for Politico played a role in. It's likely of interest to anyone charged with urban "branding".

Reporter Matthew Morian talked to Matt Lauer, Al Roker, and myself. The takeaway -- aside from my contribution that Iowa, unlike say, Maine, hasn't had to wage an unproductive post-colonial cultural struggle with its a former hegemon -- is that a place wins the PR battle when its people actually believe and have internalized the message the official boosters are trying to get out there.

The caucuses have passed, but if you're curious to know more about Iowa and how its cultural history and geography effect its political behavior, try this piece as well.

Meanwhile, on to New Hampshire.

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