Sometimes solutions are closer than you think. You just have to look next door to neighbors and friends.
Take, for example, the public-relations campaign by Austin-based marketing and advertising firm Door No. 3, which created a slogan designed to lure travelers to Marble Falls to spend their hard-earned bucks.
The slogan? “Marble Falls, Texas, in the middle of everywhere.”
Yes, those eight words are supposed to create a buzz and excitement about visiting Marble Falls. They are designed to tickle the fancies of people living in Tyler, Fort Davis, San Antonio, Orange, Austin, Houston, McAllen and all points in-between, and then draw them like filings to a magnet to Marble Falls.
Shaking your head in puzzlement? So are a lot of other people.
Still, the City Council, the Marble Falls/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Corp. have all agreed that Door No. 3 — which, by the way, is being paid thousands and thousands of dollars — is making great strides with this kind of thinking.
Here’s a better idea. What’s more, it’s free: Let the people of Marble Falls come up with an advertising slogan.
Draw upon the talents of homegrown folks who work and live here to tell visitors what’s so special about Marble Falls.
After all, the natives should know. They choose to live here, work here, raise their kids here and create a vibrant community on the banks of the Colorado River.
Even better, make it into a contest. Ask the students of the Marble Falls Independent School District to come up with a slogan.
Such an effort would not only help create a feeling of pride in the students for their community, it also would foster a sense of good-natured competition among the different campuses.
The school that won could receive a small cash prize from City Hall in recognition of their creativity. Certainly that’s a lot cheaper than paying a fancy PR firm thousands of dollars for a slogan that makes you scratch your head and go, “Huh?”
Needless to say, the winner or winners would also get their pictures in the newspaper and receive a small write-up for their effort.
Full disclosure: We can’t take credit for this idea of citizen-participation. That belongs to the readers.
Not long after this newspaper covered a workshop in which the council, some EDC members and the Chamber met with Door No. 3 for a progress report, readers began to chime in at www.DailyTrib.com with suggestions of their own for a marketing slogan to draw visitors to this jewel of the Highland Lakes.
Reader Ken Dreger suggested, “How about ‘All roads lead to Marble Falls’? Or how about asking the public to partake in this? Make (it) a simple contest, let the school kids help also … No need to pay an outside company to get a slogan. Make it something that the community comes up with. Then there is more pride in it.”
We couldn’t have said it better, Mr. Dreger.
Or what about, “Come for a weekend, stay for a lifetime”?
Nah, that would never work.