August 10, 2007

The Positive New Orleans Brand

Mayor Nagin defined the brand he thinks we can use to market New Orleans’ murder rate to the world:
Responding to a TV reporter's question about whether New Orleans' murder rate hurts the city's tourism economy, Mayor Ray Nagin on Thursday called the phenomenon a "two-edged sword."

"Do I worry about it? Somewhat. It's not good for us, but it also keeps the New Orleans brand out there, and it keeps people thinking about our needs and what we need to bring this community back. So it is kind of a two-edged sword. Sure it hurts, but we have to keep working everyday to make the city better," Nagin said, according to a transcript of provided by FOX8.
So the headlines from this marketing campaign would look like this:
New Orleans’ Murder Rate Highest Per Capita; Mayor Says “Help Us.”
Here’s the headline I would like to see:
New Orleans’ Murder Rate Lowest Per Capita; Mayor Says “We Did It.”
What marketing campaign gets us those headlines? Let’s hire the ad agency that can make that the New Orleans brand.

Let’s make that our goal: Lowest Per Capita Murder Rate. Not “Lower.” With that as our goal, every time our leaders must make a decision related to murders and the criminal justice system, they can ask themselves, “If we do this, will it help us achieve the Lowest Per Capita Murder Rate?”

If Mayor Nagin had asked himself that question before he answered the reporter, he may not have responded that he was “somewhat” worried about the murder rate.

What is New Orleans’ current murder rate? According to the Times-Picayune, there have been 117 murders this year as of Wednesday, August 8, 2007. August 8 is 220 days into the year. If the murder rate remains the same, we would end the year with 194 murders. With a population of 274,000 people as of July, that gives us a murder rate of 70 murders per 100,000 residents.

According to 2006 FBI statistics, Plano, TX, had the lowest murder rate per capita of cities with between 250,000 and 300,000 residents. Its murder rate was two. There were four murders in Plano in 2006. That’s our goal: a murder rate of two. That would be only five murders in the City of New Orleans for an entire year (at the July population numbers).

I hear the doubters already. Yeah, I know. I hear you.

“Plano is this; Plano is that.”

“New Orleans is this; New Orleans is that.”

“A hurricane hit us!”

No excuses. It is just harder for us, but not impossible.

This is all part of my new positive outlook. I am not sure how long it can last. But I’m keeping positive about it.

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