Blog: Jeanette Pierce

Get wind of what's happening on Woodward with Jeanette Pierce, co-founder of Inside Detroit. This non-profit walking convention and visitor's bureau has the ground-level view of Detroit's cultural, historical, entertainment, and retail venues. Jeanette will explain how Inside Detroit is attracting talent and promoting economic growth in the region.

Jeanette Pierce - Post 4: Say Something Nice

This past March, we helped train almost 500 hospitality employees in Metro Detroit in preparation for the NCAA Final Four. There was a portion about how to be hospitable -  smile, use the person's name, etc. The other portion of the training was around being an ambassador for the city and region. Ambassadors represen the region to outsiders by sharing information about things to do, places to go, and how to get there.

Ambassadors help people enjoy their experience in Detroit, because if they enjoy their time here maybe they'll come back another time. Or maybe they'll tell others that they should come here. Or maybe they'll simply say something nice about Detroit next time it comes up in conversation. Each of those scenarios is good for Detroit and the region. Not just in a fluffy-good-feeling kind of way, but in a more-money-coming-to-the-state kind of way.

The national perception of Detroit has improved considerably in recent years, due in large part to people coming here for national events like the All Star Game, Super Bowl, Ryders Cup and the Final Four. Once people actually come here and experience the city, they can't help but like it. With that improved perception comes more conferences, more businesses, more special events…more money and more jobs.

The Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau has been working hard to capitalize on these improving perceptions, even winning an award for an ad in a meeting planners magazine in which they ask: Who’s the genius that picked Detroit? The answer: MENSA for their 2010 International Convention…if the smartest people in the world are picking Detroit, then why aren’t you?

With all the doom and gloom that has been permeating the news lately, it can sometimes be difficult to come up with positive things to say about Detroit. That's when it's even more important. If we want others to be excited about coming here, we have to be excited about being here. If we want others to say nice things about us, then we have to be able to say nice things about ourselves.

Sometimes outsiders are more excited about what we have here than we are. People from New York and Chicago are big Detroit lovers, and we work with people coming from all over the world (think France, Germany, Japan, Belgium, Russia...), both to visit and to live, that are ecstatic to be here. They want to see the Guardian Building and Mies van der Rohe homes in Lafayette Park. They fall in love with Belle Isle and Eastern Market. They can't believe that there are places like Cliff Bell's and The Magic Stick, where they can hear world-renowned musicians up close and personal.  They have a myriad of nice things to say about Detroit.

We must remember that we are all Detroit ambassadors. It is not a choice; it is a fact. We all represent our region, and we all want it to succeed. So find something that you get excited about and be ready to share it with someone next time you're on a plane or get stopped for directions or asked for a restaurant recommendation. If you need some help…just let us know. We have plenty of things we're excited about, and we'd love to share them with you.