Local leaders urged to 'start bragging' about ABQ - Albuquerque Journal

Local leaders urged to ‘start bragging’ about ABQ

Copyright © 2018 Albuquerque Journal

It’s a sentiment shared time and time again at Albuquerque Economic Forum: The city’s business community is often its own worst enemy when it comes to marketing the state.

In conversations with out-of-towners, the temptation is to highlight Albuquerque’s challenges instead of emphasizing its potential. As a result, people are less likely to bring new money into the state and address some of its systemic problems, so the narrative goes.

bright spotThree professionals shared their antidote to that mindset at the forum’s breakfast meeting Wednesday. The presenters – Annemarie Ciepiela Henton of Albuquerque Economic Development, Alexis Kerschner Tappan of AKT Communications, and Emily Howard of the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center – asked forum participants to “stop bagging” and “start bragging” about the metropolitan area they call home.

“This is not about saying, ‘Let’s pretend that there’s nothing wrong here,’ ” Henton said in an interview with the Journal. “It’s saying, ‘Let’s be excited about the good things that are happening here.’ Because that feeling of goodwill is going to lead to more donations to important causes, to taking care of the people who need it, and to ensuring that policymakers are making good decisions.”

The presentation received an enthusiastic reception, and several participants shared their own ideas for changing the city’s narrative. To help spread the message, buttons with the “Stop Bagging, Start Bragging” slogan were distributed to the 200-plus attendees.

The campaign is a project of ABQ&A, an organization supported by Albuquerque Economic Development and formed when Tappan approached Henton and AED about collecting data on why people choose to stay in Albuquerque. After a series of focus groups, ABQ&A created a survey and collected responses from 906 individuals this past summer. Among the survey’s findings:

• More than 30 percent of respondents said family is what keeps people living in Albuquerque once they are here.

• People are most likely to say that they love living here (43.3 percent), or that they have a love-hate relationship with the city (33 percent). Few said that they couldn’t wait to leave or that their feelings were lukewarm.

• Some of the most common words people used to describe why they live here were “family,” “community,” “quality of life” and “love.”

“We all knew that connections were important in this community, but it really seems to be the make or break on whether or not you stay in Albuquerque,” Tappan said. “Now we need to figure out if there are ways to connect people to the city more quickly and comprehensively.”

Both Tappan and Henton said the organization is still considering how to further leverage the survey data. But in their presentation to the forum alongside Howard of the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, their message was clear: Business professionals need to remember they are a “walking advertisement” for Albuquerque.

Tappan suggested that business leaders ask their employees to talk about something they like about Albuquerque in their meetings, and to include upbeat stories in their newsletters, among other recommendations.

Howard said Albuquerque is the perfect fit for both millennials – many publications have suggested that midsize cities are becoming more popular for that demographic because of their affordability – as well as those looking for locations for major conferences and events.

Albuquerque can easily market itself to these groups by playing up its mild weather, landscape, innovative organizations and culture of inclusivity, Howard said. The city can differentiate itself from other midsize metropolitan areas, Howard said, by highlighting its commitment to both preserving its history and investing in a high-tech future.

Tappan also suggested residents rethink the phrase “Land of Mañana,” which is often used to belittle inefficient or lazy business practices here.

“Why can’t it mean ‘the land of tomorrow, the land of the future’?” she asked.


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

Nativo Sponsored Content

taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
Rep. supports UNM graduate workers' organizing for collective bargaining ...
ABQnews Seeker
University is fighting a labor board ... University is fighting a labor board ruling that recognized the union
2
Charges lodged in shooting at apartment party around Halloween
ABQnews Seeker
Victim was shot in the face ... Victim was shot in the face but survived
3
Five charged in Albuquerque drug theft plot that left ...
ABQnews Seeker
'I'll never be the same,' says ... 'I'll never be the same,' says father of slain 19-year-old
4
BernCo's $4.7M HQ plan questioned
ABQnews Seeker
Commissioner asks if renovation needed Commissioner asks if renovation needed
5
Bernalillo County seeks help at the jail
ABQnews Seeker
Commission approves emergency resolution to deal ... Commission approves emergency resolution to deal with staffing shortage
6
The price of a pothole
ABQnews Seeker
Bad roads are costing us thousands ... Bad roads are costing us thousands in vehicle upkeep
7
NM's Great Resigners: Former tattoo artist bakes up a ...
ABQnews Seeker
Medlock started making pizzas out of ... Medlock started making pizzas out of his garage during the pandemic
8
ABQ named No. 1 for moviemakers for fourth year ...
Albuquerque News
Albuquerque is No. 1, again — ... Albuquerque is No. 1, again — for the fourth consecutive year. The city topped MovieMaker's 2022 'Best Places to Live and Work as a ...
9
18-year-old charged after robbery, shootout at massage parlor leaves ...
ABQnews Seeker
Detectives have arrested a young man ... Detectives have arrested a young man who they say robbed a massage parlor with an accomplice and killed the owner in a gunfight Monday ...