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Midwest is best

Tory Patrick

See also: Why I moved back to Chicago

I was born and raised in Northwest Indiana. I had the phone number to Empire Carpet memorized. (588-2300 Empiiiiire!)

And after eight long years away (Washington, DC by way of Orlando), I am happy to be home. According to the AMA’s 2013 Marketing Salary Survey, it’s a good place to be.

Chicago was ranked No. 9 on the 10 happiest cities to do PR, behind Indianapolis (No. 2) and St. Louis (No. 4). So we’re in good company!

Why am I telling you all this? Because if I’ve learned nothing in almost a decade of doing PR, it’s that it doesn’t matter where you’re located to do your job well. I’ve got reporter friends from Amarillo, Texas to Zanesville, Ohio.

What matters is how you do your job. Midwesterners aren’t flashy, and we aren’t in it for ourselves. Around here, people create things that stand the test of time.

Chicago is home to some of the largest brands in the world – Wrigley, Walgreens – and it’s a top 10 startup location in the U.S. While other coastal cities fail to foster the neighborly lend-a-hand mentality, Chicago promotes it.

Midwesterners are smart, savvy, techy and cultured without being trendy. We’re humble. That’s why we are so good at PR, and why Chicago businesses don’t fizzle in a matter of 12 months. We’re built to last. We build businesses with the same wholesome hardworking values that the Midwest prides itself on, ensuring they have a strong core foundation stable enough to weather the storm (or the wind). It not only shows in our community of Built in Chicago, 1871 and Excelerate Labs, but also in MacArthur, SVP and McCormick.

Rebecca Iliff recently visited Chicago, and she noted the Midwest charm in her Huffington Post article, “Chicago’s Exploding Tech Startup Scene.”

Why was everyone so nice and helpful? But then I remembered...right, this is the Midwest – this is how it works.

Chicago is a great PR city and a great tech city, and Walker Sands marries the two.

Maybe that’s why Walker Sands has increased revenue 131 percent over the past two years (and why I was so drawn to this company). We have grown alongside the local tech scene, finding a niche in the space, mirroring the entrepreneurial spirit of many of our clients.

We may be dubbed Second City, but I think we’re No. 1. It feels good to be back.

"You can put it on the board! Yes! Yes!"

(I will never be a Cubs fan. Sorry, can’t do it.)