Bimbo Banter


Amazon’s HQ2: The Real Winners and Losers


  • Trends
  • December 5, 2018
  • by Spaeth Communications

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Amazon’s recent announcement of its HQ2 sites created quite the buzz and left other cities feeling like big losers.

However, some city officials still won with their post-announcement communication – others, not so much.

Winner – Dallas

How could we not pay homage to our home city? In all fairness, Mayor Mike Rawlings’ post-announcement interview with CNBC is a positive example. We commend the mayor for using video. It allowed him to better connect with his audience and humanized his message. When asked to comment on backlash from New York City residents, Rawlings acknowledged the question by saying, “I see that happening,” and then continued to emphasize how Dallas has grown throughout the process. We also can’t forget that Rawlings used a statistic relevant to his audience: 120 corporate headquarters have moved here in the last eight years.
 
Nobody’s perfect, though. Rawlings said, “We don’t like to lose. We don’t like hearing that word loser with us.” Naturally, the headline became “Dallas mayor comments on city losing out on Amazon HQ2,” thus associating Dallas with losing. Rawlings closed the interview by saying, “Our story is pretty good.”
 
Winner – Austin

Our neighbors to the south and fellow Texans also made it out with a communication win. Austin-based ad agency McGarrah Jessee created the hilarious Amazon Alexa apologies to cities that were not selected for HQ2. This is a great example of how humor can resonate with the masses.

Winner – Miami

Unlike other cities who kept most of their messages tied to the straightforward business outcomes, Miami emphasized future opportunity. Its bold claim, “Call Us When You Want To Set Up A Latin American Hub,” positioned the city as a global leader.

Loser – Chicago

In a press conference following the Amazon announcement, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel allowed his positive message to get buried by a few negative comments. Despite highlighting the positive features Chicago has for a booming business like Amazon, the mayor’s negative messages crowded out the positive. CBS summed up the mayor’s comments saying, “Chicago may have won by losing,” thereby tying Chicago to losing. The mayor also later said, “I’m not sorry,” referring to the incentives Chicago offered to Amazon.

Loser – Jersey City

Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop took to Twitter for a short rant saying, “I still feel this entire Amazon process was a big joke” along with other less-than-positive comments. When given the opportunity to promote his city, this mayor chose instead to whine.

Moral of the story: Amazon may have chosen the winners of HQ2, but they didn’t force these messages. Allow current events to be an opportunity for positive messaging, and don’t let your communication make you a loser.



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