By Caleb Brown
Having lived in Mississippi my entire life, I have experienced the state’s great qualities. Of course, Mississippi is not perfect, but it is far from how the media and the rest of the nation portrays it.
When I think of Mississippi, I think of the the hospitality and welcoming environment. These are two qualities much of the media fails to acknowledge.
Mississippi’s history also leads others to believe that natives have not changed our views. It is often said that “history repeats itself,” but I have yet to see or hear the repeating of Mississippi’s past in my lifetime.
Mississippi is not full of big city lights, famous night clubs, or things that attract tourists. Traveling around the state, you will mainly find “simple living.” In every town I have traveled to in Mississippi, the people have been more than welcoming and showed great hospitality that those of us living here have come to know.
There is also a lot of beautiful scenery in this state. One of my favorites is the flat Delta land. I have traveled to many other states, and the people there did not seem as welcoming.
Personally, I do not plan on establishing myself in Mississippi after college. This is not because I hate living here. I just know there is more opportunity beyond Mississippi, and that is what I want. Mississippi is a great place to move back to when you are retired and are looking to settle down in a nice, simple environment.
I have a few friends who are from different states who moved to Mississippi. When asked their initial opinions about the state, all said pretty much the same. They thought the people here were “uneducated hicks and racists.”
Once they moved here and got to experience it, their opinions quickly changed. They saw that the people here are welcoming and more educated than they thought. They enjoy living here and getting to experience the different and simple things Mississippi offers.
If I were to launch a marketing campaign to promote the state of Mississippi, I would do it through social media. I would create short mobile video ads on multiple social media sites that are linked to a more in-depth website about Mississippi once the video ends.
The ad would involve many visual aids to better catch one’s attention and display the title Mississippi: How Much Do You Really Know? The video would show short clips and pictures of Mississippi’s great aspects.
The website’s purpose would be to help change the way others view this great state. It would include many historical facts, and ways Mississippi has adapted to keep from repeating that history. The site would also include many photographs of beautiful scenery and historical landmarks.
This site would include different interviews with people who attend school in Mississippi who became successful. These interviews would involve in-state and out-of-state students and professors around Mississippi.
A big part of promoting something is to get different opinions. These opinions would be featured on the website as video interviews.
People interviewed would describe their personal opinions of Mississippi and their personal Mississippi experiences. These interviews would include people of different races, gender, and age who have lived in the state all their life, those who moved here from elsewhere, those who have temporarily visited the state, and those who have never been to Mississippi.
They would be asked in-depth questions. Those living here would be asked to explain why they chose Mississippi as their home.
While it is only a website, I believe it would help better inform others about the true nature of Mississippi. By reading and watching the way others view Mississippi, contrary to the rest of the nation, this could help people come out and experience this great state for themselves.
And, once these people visit, they could verbally spread their new formed opinions to others, encouraging them to also get firsthand experience.