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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Thursday 14 November 2013

Let's show the world what #TorontoIs:

For some reason, Toronto seems to be making headlines these days.  While this new infamy isn't all it's cracked up to be, we do have people's attention - the question is, what are we going to do with it?

Within every challenge lies an opportunity.  Toronto the Good has a brand challenge right now, but that's only because the rest of the world doesn't know what else we have to offer.

I say we change that.

Starting today, I will be periodically tweeting messages to the international media outlets, comedy shows and everyone else using the hashtag #TorontoIs:

Some examples:

Dear @thedailyshow - #TorontoIs: entrepreneurship. Check out @marsinnovation + @csiTO, where the magic happens #topoli

Dear @CNN - #TorontoIs: The Arts. Come for the show, stay for @agotoronto, @ROMToronto, @gardinermuseum #topoli

Dear @WSJ - #TorontoIs: Community. See engagement done right with @WellbeingTO, @HealthyTO2013, @ongov #topoli #cdnpoli

Dear @ColbertReport - #TorontoIs Hollywood North - we double for anywhere @TIFF_NET #topoli

You're welcome to do the same, or come up with other fun, clever ways to highlight for the world what Toronto really is - one of the most diverse, vibrant and cool places to visit, do business in and to live.  There's Twitter, there's Facebook, there's your blog or Instagram page.  Be creative, be sincere and above all, be vocal.

Remember, this is our city - nobody can sell it better than all of us.  While the world's paying attention, let's show 'em what we're really about.

UPDATE:  So it looks like I was beaten to the punch by a couple of Toronto Art Directors who came up with a #MoreThanFord campaign, complete with a terrific video

I have a couple concerns about their approach, though

1) It immediately ties whatever positive messages conveyed with our troubled Mayor, keeping at least some focus on the cloud along with the silver lining.

2) Rob Ford is a sick man with some serious problems who have inflicted a lot of harm on others in his self-destructive descent.  At the same time, he is as much a symptom as the illness; how many other people suffering from addiction, mental illness and wilting in conditions that are not conducive to their health are out there?

If we dehumanize Rob Ford, turning him into the demon in our social bottle, what message does it send to those who desperately need social outreach - and who we risk much by not reaching out to?

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