Daniel Scarpinato, gubernatorial press aide for Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, announced that Ducey and the Arizona Commerce Authority have hired Heasley & Partners, a branding firm based in Scottsdale, to “polish the state’s image”. The administration hopes this move will increase economic development.
President of Heasley & Partners, Kathy Heasley, said that Arizona’s (questionable) reputation is largely based off of being the butt of many jokes on late night talk shows. These jokes range from our abominably low testing scores, being named the most corrupt state in the country by a Harvard study, and our immigration/discrimination laws.
Apparently just simply doing a better job of running our state and then publicizing that is not going to polish our image – no, we’re going to spend money to hire someone to come up with a brand and “catchphrase”, like “I (heart) NY” and “Don’t Mess With Texas”.
I’m not sure if by “economic development” they’re specifically looking for just tourism or for permanent residents to move, but if they’re looking for more residents they need to up their performance first. And if they’re looking for just tourism…they might want to actually build some attractions.
We’re already “The Grand Canyon” state, and that is a pretty good selling point – it’s a breathtaking view in a relatively cool part of Arizona. But if people are boycotting the state because they disagree with laws that are in place, it’s kind of a moot point.
What do you think? And if you’ve got some great ideas for rebranding our great state, Heasley & Partners in Scottsdale would probably love to hear it!