Weekly Obsession: The chamber, it's good for billboards

Tuesday, February 7, 2012 at 10:05pm

Y’all: Nashville is pretty great.

Don’t believe it? Just ask the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce.

Nashville is such a humdinger of a place to live and work, the chamber just can’t contain its excitement. It’s buying billboards to remind us all how great we have it here.

The billboards are part of a yearlong, $130,000 campaign with the innovative tagline “Business is good!” Somewhere, Don Draper smiles at the out-of-the-box thinking that came up with that wholly original bromide.

This signage, spread through a 10-county region, will remind folks around here that Forbes named Nashville it’s No. 3 Boomtown and that 168 businesses have relocated to the region in the past three years.

That is heady stuff sure to inflate our collective egos so much that Charlotte and Austin will no longer want to invite us to the Christmas party.

Now, of course, the overall sentiment is true. Nashville has a diverse economy, was slow into the recession and should be quick out of it.

Apparently, the chamber doesn’t think we know this about ourselves, though.

So up go the billboards and into production go the YouTube videos, reminding us all how great we’ve got it, what with the 8,607 new jobs in Middle Tennessee last year.

Nothing will soothe the rush-hour pains of being stuck in traffic with those 8,607 new workers like the
panacea of positive reinforcement.

Miss the billboards? Don’t have time to watch YouTube videos?

Chamber’s got you covered, so long as you can read The Tennessean. Coupled with the big roll-out of the campaign, local news columnist and undisputed champion of Nashville exceptionalism Gail Kerr penned a treacly piece of bonhomie that might as well have been a bulleted list of chamber chief Ralph Shultz’s talking points.

The survey of local biz types that prompted this six-figure reminder of our own awesomeness must have indicated that Nashvillians, as a whole, were a little bearish — or at least oblivious — about our collective future, as clearly the chamber felt the need to put on the full-court press.

2 Comments on this post:

By: govskeptic on 2/8/12 at 6:21

I always look to Gail Kerr for my moral compass! The fact it often seems
half her salary is paid by Metro and the other half from the Chamber with
the Tennessean just supplying a desk and title makes no difference to me.

By: spooky24 on 2/9/12 at 5:56

Yes, this city has advantages in the diversity of it's economy over all. However, it's senseless to bury other problems under the mantra of 'collective egos'. Already this year 306 DUI arrest have been made for an increase of 81% over the highest arrest record that was last year. I don't understand it. I do think that money could have been spent better trying to help this problem-no one fears the DUI laws anymore.
As I, and others have pointed out, except on a wide scale crime statics can be manipulated to say many different things. However, too me they say we need more patrol officers, field supervisors and we need to pay them more. That $130,000 would have hired 2 beat cops for downtown or flex officers for out here in the county. It's wasted on billboards.

sp