Wes Rhea, head of Visit Stockton, responds to today’s column:
“I always feel it’s a good article when I finish reading and say, “that was not so bad.” Thanks for spreading the word about our efforts.”
Wes Rhea with Visit Stockton's drone
“I can appreciate poking at the Celebrate branding effort (many of us were never in love with it). That was a DSA led process funded primarily by the city, and it just never got legs in 2008, somewhat due to the fact that we had checklist of things we were recommended to do to make the brand happen – of which very little got done. One being a city events commission to become the “event city.” And we continue to talk about events today…”
Rhea’s money graph:
“I totally agree that image is not changed by branding and we do not expect to change any image with this process. Regardless of the city’s image we must still do what we need to do to attract visitors, groups and businesses to Stockton. If we can do that with a consistent and cohesive marketing brand, then that makes the dollars go farther.
“We do not expect the world to change with this new brand, but we do hope more of us will work together to market and promote or city with some semblance of togetherness. It should be much more than a tagline and logo. This process, like many, is very research driven, and for us in marketing, that will go along way.”
The failure to follow up on the “Celibrate!” campaign is understandable — Great Recession, foreclosure capital, bankruptcy, etc. — but still a failure of government.
Rhea’s hotelier constituents pay taxes and expect results. I understand that, and I respect the job he has to do. Just, please, no more exercises in wishful thinking and marketing ineptitude from City Hall. Rhea, at least, sounds like he knows what it takes.