While driving from meeting to meeting yesterday, I just happened to tune in on my radio to testimony from the Trayvon Martin murder trial. Dr. Vincent Di Maio, a forensic pathologist, was on the witness stand and one of the defense attorneys was questioning Dr. Di Maio to establish his credentials as an expert witness. The doctor was relating his time as medical examiner of Bexar County, Texas, in which San Antonio is the county seat. When he mentioned San Antonio, he stated he would “give (San Antonio) a plug – it’s the seventh largest city in the United States and a beautiful place to live.”
As an economic development professional, you’ve got to love that sort of organic community promotion. Unsolicited, unadulterated, I-love-it-so-much-I-got-to-exclaim-it testimony of your community’s quality of place! How does that happen? First, you can’t fake it – you have to have quality of place, whether a large city like San Antonio or an exurban area like Cheatham County, Tennessee. However, we can do a better job of how we tell the stories of our community and encourage our local folk to tell them – even brag a little bit – and with the power of social media (or a highly publicized trial), a little bit can go a long way.