Tuesday, January 11, 2011

LMT's Sean Bowlin on prospective marketing campaign for Laredo

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.
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
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:
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.
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.
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. 


  1. I think the Laredo as a "violent place" is a red herring that is being used by some to get the ball rolling on their various agendas.

    Whether it be former Sheriff Ricardo Flores who was trying to get more funding for his starched, oxford shirts; or folks angling for federal dollars, the notion that Laredo is replete with sicarios is not exactly the most accurate notion.

    Nevertheless, I do agree that something must be done to kind of get the image thing working. But at what cost?

    A media campaign can only varnish the truth for so long. What does Laredo truly offer?

    The Washington Birthday Celebration?
    Good weather?
    Lots of transportation hubs and warehouses?

    The culture that is found in Laredo--by my assessment--is the exact culture most people with big bucks do not want to associate with right now, and that is the Mexican culture. (For reasons shown above.)

    Making people care will take a lot more than an media campaign from a firm that is not from here.

    So, bring it on.

  2. I hear you, let's call a meeting with Sean Bowlin or something. He's the only one still writing over at LMT. Well, Barrera too but he said in his article today something like "Don't mock me" Not exactly- but that's that was pretty much the essence. Thanks for the comment and Thanks for the "awesome, cool" wite-up that you "rocked" on laredotejas.

  3. Ditto to BTB. I'm still trying to figure out how to make St. Peter's plaza an artsy center. We are going to start a figure drawing co-op soon but... little by little.

  4. Not that that would resolve the image issue. Just saying there is an arts community in the downtown area.

  5. Like the old saying goes "Every little bit helps". That includes the "artistification" (is that a word) of St. Peters. It'll be one more improvement, one more step in the right direction. "Community" is very important.

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