Darian Scott and I work for the Chattanooga Chamber, and we spend most of our days with business people. Today we heard three marketing presentations on why you should move to Chattanooga. Not from marketing consultants and not from Chamber members – from Howard School juniors.
The first group – a trio of young men – explained their assignment, then linked up various technology – think smart projection screen, smart phone and iPad – to share a pitch song they wrote for the Scenic City. Memorable. Catchy. On point. They had obviously done their research and put time and effort into the lyrics. Next up – three young women who researched key demographics and appealed directly to their target audience – people planning families and people retiring. Exactly the folks our Chamber would love to welcome to Chattanooga. They presented their ideas with clarity and great visuals. The final group used several software programs to engage us with appealing photos and concluded that if you’re in Chattanooga, “You’re in the Right Place.” A catchy slogan and a great marketing message.
The No. 1 question? How did you get your job? Then … Where did you start? And then … How did you know you wanted to be in marketing?
Several students shared music connections with Darian, who knew one of their fathers who used to play in Usher’s band. Darian explained how he sees his job as helping people grow their businesses, introducing people in the same community to one another and by doing so, making both businesses stronger. We told a few stories and I shared a couple of mistakes I made along the way – like turning the white laundry pink by accident when I worked overseas as a nanny. We laughed together.
Darian and I praised their creativity, their research and their teamwork. And we offered a few timeless hints about presentations – the importance of rehearsing, interacting and facing the audience. And, how to recover when technology fails. The teacher let us know it matters when they hear the advice from someone outside the classroom, ‘real’ business people.
Before we left, we all shook hands, but our lead musician turned that into a hug, which made my day, the best and brightest part of my Friday. As Darian told me in the car, “Not every student is a statistic.”
If you need an intern this summer, call Howard School. They know how to market Chattanooga.
Vice President, Communications
Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce