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/

Blues Bid Farewell to Social Media Mastermind Shannon Paul

Farewells are part of life. The warmest farewells leave the door open, and a light burning on the front porch.

So it is, as we at ahealthiermichigan.org and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan bid farewell to our friend, teacher, and the caretaker of our interactive online communities, Shannon Paul.

Shannon came home to Michigan two years ago from far-away Seattle. In that short time, she grew our online community at ahealthiermichigan.org into a forum for conversations about fitness and nutrition, and a celebration of all the great things about our Great Lakes State. She also helped Blue Cross emerge responsibly into the social Web — ensuring we were properly positioned to first listen and then engage, that we understood and adopted ethical standards for digital content, and that we developed interactive media channels that were relevant to the people who wanted to connect with our brand.

Shannon will be moving to Cincinnati to assume an exciting position that represents significant growth in her career and will be announced by her new organization in the coming weeks. She leaves a place she loves — Detroit — but I know her heart will always remain here. And so will her legacy, which endures with the growth of A Healthier Michigan and through every successful interaction Blue Cross has with our customers and stakeholders via the social Web.

Thank you, Shannon, for spending time with us. And thank you, reader, for being a valued citizen of our online community. We hope you’ll both come back soon.

Blues build social media leadership as Shannon Paul joins our team

Have you clicked your way to ahealthiermichigan.org lately?  Or Jodi Davis’ blog?  Or our Facebook page?  Or our Twitter profile?
Or this?

Or this

Or even this blog? In a short time, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has certainly established our belief that interactive online communications channels hold value in this new era of communication. But anyone who knows “social media” will tell you that having a lot of channels doesn’t necessarily make you a leader.  It’s how those channels support your overall business strategy and stakeholder needs.

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