How has social media changed the conversation about Detroit?

When people talked about Michigan, the conversation use to be about the lifestyle advantages the state possesses.  From thousands of miles of shoreline to enjoy in the summer to an abundance of places to downhill ski within a few hours of the Michigan town you call home; outdoor enthusiasts have long enjoyed our state.

For too long, conversations about the advantages of our state stopped after touting these qualities. Recently, Michigan’s big cities have been making a case for inclusion in those conversations. Traverse City was recently named as one of the top ten places in America to retire. If you are looking for a great place to raise a family, Forbes Magazine says Grand Rapids needs to be on your short list. National media says that Ann Arbor is a great place to find a job and Kalamazoo is a great place to find a beer.

And Detroit is becoming a media darling too. Time magazine bought a house a few years ago and spent one year living in and reporting on the city. The New York Times has discovered plenty of reasons to stop flying over Detroit and start spending time here.  So has National Geographic. Popular blogs like Curbed and Huffington Post have set up shop in the city.

Local media has bought in too, as demonstrated by the focused coverage by WXYZ in their Detroit 2020 series, WJBK in their Redefining Detroit series and WDIV in their Heart of Detroit series.  Many would argue that the two daily newspapers in the city, the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News are finally presenting a more complete picture of Detroit. And radio shows like The Craig Fahle Show are shining light on the many good things happening in the Motor City.

Detroit has long been a polarizing conversation on every social media outlet as well.  On June 13, 2012, we are co-hosting a discussion with Social Media Club Detroit at our offices at 600 Lafayette Blvd. in Detroit about the role social media has played in the changing conversation about the city.  We will be exploring questions, like is social media creating a new understanding locally of the city of Detroit or has it just exposed what we already knew about the city?  And what role has social media played in the way people around the country perceive Detroit?    Our town-hall discussion will be hosted by WXYZ anchor Stephen Clark. Confirmed panelists include;

  • Sarah F. Cox, Editor at Curbed Detroit
  • Chris Kaufman, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer at UpTo
  • Maura Campbell, Outreach Strategist at Detroit Unspun

Tickets through Social Media Club Detroit are available for $10 here:  http://smcdetroittownhall.eventbrite.com/

Downtown Detroit Businesses Partner in Project Lighthouse to Help Ensure Safety to All Who Visit the City

Banners indicate Project Lighthouse locations that are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

As more of our employees begin working in downtown Detroit, the changes to the city’s skyline are readily apparent. The company logo at the top of Tower 500 and the new façade of the building is a symbol that approximately 6,000 BCBSM employees are now working in downtown Detroit. Our Jefferson Avenue building has been given a 21st-century facelift to help accommodate the influx of Blues employees.

For those city enthusiasts who want to work and live in downtown Detroit, the Live Downtown incentives provide the financial backing needed to make that move. And they will be greeted by improved public lighting in the Central Business District of Detroit.

Still, safety is a concern for many visitors to downtown, which is why we are proud to participate in an innovative new program called Project Lighthouse. The premise for the program is simple: If you’re lost, having a safety concern or vehicle trouble, look for one of the 30 downtown businesses that display the Project Lighthouse banner. Those businesses have volunteered to be safe havens for those in need. And, if you can’t find a banner, call 313-471-6490.

“This creates a neighborhood feel for downtown Detroit and shows what is possible for Detroit. It creates a different environment and feel. This is the kind of community we are building,” said Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee in Dig Downtown Detroit.

Tip: add Project Lighthouse to your mobile phone contacts: 313-471-6490

Project Lighthouse is not a replacement for 9-1-1 for emergency situations, but gives local businesses a way to help ensure that downtown Detroit is a safe place to work, live and play.

Photo by Dig Downtown Detroit

In May, Spotlight Falls on Workplace Wellness and Avoiding the 3 p.m. Slump

It is 3 p.m. and you can feel your energy level begin to drop. With a deadline looming, napping is out of the question and you do not want another cup of coffee.

So what do you do to get over the 3 p.m. slump? Grab a few co-workers and try taking a brisk walk around the office. Even in short increments, a walk can help give you more energy, sleep better at night and stave of high blood pressure.

During the month of May, we’ll be giving special attention to the topic of workplace wellness. From giving tips on how to incorporate a little exercise into your day to showing examples of our customers who are actively encouraging workplace wellness, we want to make sure you have the tools you need to create healthy habits while you are at work.

Why We Focus on Wellness

According to the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, health care costs for someone with a chronic disease are five times higher each year than for someone with no chronic disease. Obese men spend an additional $1,152 per person each year on health care than their peers. Obese women spend an additional $3,613. Conditions like obesity, heart disease, diabetes and asthma can either be prevented or easily managed by leading a healthy lifestyle.

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