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So Chicago has officially decided its mayor-elect.
Rahm Emanuel has certainly been the topic of headlines since back in November when it was announced that he may not qualify for the ballot since he allegedly failed to meet residency requirements. The headlines kept coming when the Illinois court in January threw Emanuel's name off the ballot, only to later rule that he could stay on the ballot. This back-and-forth in the media, however, apparently did little to sway voter confidence that he was right for the job; Emanuel won the race, with many media outlets defining it as a ‘large margin’ win and ‘easy victory’.
It’s a reality that Emanuel will have a daunting task ahead of him, with the city facing some of its largest budget deficits in history. Besides being on the brink of bankruptcy, the Sun Times did a nice roundup of other city problems Emanuel must face.
So this poses the question: Will Emanuel be successful in getting the city back on track? What will he do (and what can he do) to resurrect the city’s image and make it not only a city people want to visit, but want to live? After all, recent census data showed Chicago’s population dropped dramatically (by almost 200,000) within the past decade.
Ben Bowman of NBC’s Ward Room wrote in a post: “This isn't the time for moderation. Chicago needs some big ideas to survive.”
While there are certainly important fiscal decisions that need to be made, PR can and will play a large role in public perception of the city. So how has Chicago been perceived so far?
I thought it would be interesting to take a look at some successful PR Chicago has achieved to date:
In what other ways would you define Chicago, or how have you heard the city defined in the media? Feel free to share ideas for how Emanuel can help change or emphasize that perception moving forward. Would love to hear your thoughts!