Sean Bowlin once again addressed the topic of Laredo's negative image and the need to change it. He says that if new public relations initiative is to work several things need to happen. He mentions that Laredo is going to need a "war chest", referring to the projected $1M price tag suggested by Chamber of commerce President Miguel Conchas. He also states that it will take time: about 4 months of research and perhaps as much as one year until the campaign is off and running. Bowlin adds :
Changing the mistaken idea that Laredo is a violent place in which to live, work and play is something that will take time and will require a well-thought out media campaign.This is encouraging. If the city's residents must first accept the messages to be part of the campaign, then we're already ahead. Often, residents hear what the message is only after it's already been decided on. Later on, he also writes:
As fellow columnist A.B. Barrera said in this week’s LMT Business Journal, it’s going to require that the city’s residents first accept the messages that the campaign will transmit to media outlets outside
We need to find a firm that understands the local culture and which is prepared to do a lot of research to determine why Laredoans should be proud of the Gateway City.Sounds like a reasonable enough plan to me. I hope others feel as convinced as Bowlin that citizens must play a major role in developing a more positive and favorable image of our city. Of course, it will have to be supported by any necessary actions to improve our city's reality, not just its image.
Once the internal messages are developed by the firm that is picked, the relationship needs to be long-term and Laredoans need to be patient for the process to unfold.