This week’s filing of Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection by Detroit Emergency Financial Manager Kevyn Orr is, arguably, the biggest story ever to come out of this region – with the city’s very future hanging in the balance. As news media from all over the world covered the news with images of dilapidated buildings and abandoned fields, there also existed a prime opportunity to tell another tale and show another side. And so we did.
Indeed, several of our clients capitalized on that opportunity with vim and vigor. Sandy Baruah, CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber was the voice of business in Detroit including heading a press conference of business leaders to reiterate a continued strong commitment to the city, tout the countless positives and communicate progress (past present and future).
Tim Bryan, CEO of downtown IT firm GalaxE.Solutions recounted for national media outlets the promise he saw in 2010 from his company’s headquarters in New Jersey and how it continues to be realized everyday as an information technology hub grows from Campus Martius. His comments were underscored by photos of the city skyline that accompanied many of the initial national news stories, each showing GalaxE’s “Outsource to Detroit” 10-story banner on the 1001 Woodward building. This imagery alluded, whether intended or not, to a transition and new beginning – with more IT jobs being repatriated onshore and to city’s like Detroit than ever before. (The widely distributed Associated Press story image is incorporated in this blog).
With these clients and others (including those in the financial and turnaround fields), Tanner Friedman was able to realize its strategic communications abilities to the fullest extent (morning, noon and night), helping media portray Detroit in as balanced a manner as possible. To be sure, to hear the words “I didn’t know that” from a reporter based in New York or China or elsewhere (someone on the outside looking in) was more rewarding than can be imagined. It’s what Detroit and our region deserves.