This is part of a presentation of a strategic message that gathers Richmond, Virginia's history into an understandable collection of universal human ambitions. It is a grassroots effort, intentionally not a top-down one. It's also not the cliched idea of marketing but, rather, an effort to focus and align various efforts under one banner and rationale: categories such as Schools, Economic Development, Community Development and, yes, Tourism.
Prior strategic efforts have labored mightily yet yielded no compelling nor clear statement and guidance about why the Richmond Region is a worthwhile place to live, work, learn, play or invest.
We feel this lack of a clear identity causes confusion and failures or damages efforts like Shockoe Center, Echo Harbor and even CenterStage. We believe each of those kinds of projects happened under the guise of "community development" or "economic development," yet had no clear place of purpose and worth in the minds of average citizens. They get hobbled because they have no answer to the question: Why do these things and efforts matter to Richmond's collected ambition and identity? How do they support it and expand our definition of Community?
Obviously, if Richmond has no clear sense of itself it is difficult to claim that *any* effort supports a vague or non-existent vision and sense of place.
We are business-people and activists who come from the corporate world, so we understand why organizations, or collaboratives of them, fail at nuanced tasks like these. We know also that there's little faith in the business or political spheres suddenly coming to a credible solution alone or paired. But that does not eliminate the need for expansive strategy and bold message. The time is done for dithering over the lowest common denominator rather than the highest.
Through conversations with young and old, black and white, male and female, rich and poor, for-profit and non-profit, we are confident that this is what matters to Richmonders and their deep desire for pride of place, and for clear benchmarks guiding and building the future in a manner that resonates with 21st Century demographics, values and reality. This is what we found in those conversations, and what we also believe. In 4:57 we've tried to explain...
examples can be found @ therichmondregion.com