By Carter Loeb
There has always been an odd stigma surrounding Mississippi. Before I visited Mississippi, I heard both good and bad things. As one could probably guess, I heard all about how it was a racist place and about past incidents involving slavery and Jim Crow, but I also heard many good things.
I remember hearing about how good sweet tea tasted on a sticky Dixie afternoon. I remember hearing about the gorgeous magnolia trees that could be found all over Mississippi, and how their waxy leaves glistened in the hot windy air. I also remember hearing about how hospitable the people were here. Even people you did not know were always smiling, waving, like a friend. These are what clouded the bad images of Mississippi for me, and I wish others could see the true beauty of this state, because it is not the state it used to be.
Although my family, friends, and myself believe Mississippi is a lovely place, the media tends to portray it differently. The media reflects the negative aspects of the state, such as its poverty rate, public schools, and, of course, racism still existing through monuments and the state flag.
Mississippi may get a bad rap, but that does not mean it is a bad state. My marketing campaign will focus on changing the perceptions of people with prejudices about the state and people who feel indifferently about it.
The campaign will be called The REAL Mississippi and will involve advertising on major social media outlets, flyers with facts about the state, and TV commercials.
The information shared is all positive aspects about people, facts, and ideas from the past and present that will create a new image for the state masking the bad with the good.
Many states have commercials that entice people to visit by showing tourist attractions, restaurants, etc., which I believe we should implement to increase tourism.
The advertisement will discuss everything from outdoor recreational activities to college campuses and what they have to offer (such as the Grove at the University of Mississippi and the high ranked accounting program), and even attractions like casinos and restaurants.
On social media, I will put Did You Know? advertisements that present a new and positive contemporary fact about the state. In order to target the most groups possible, I will implement many facts into my advertising, like the fact that the first women’s university was made in Mississippi, the highest enlistment per town during World War II was from Mississippi; and America’s favorite soda, Coca-Cola, was bottled here.
I will also include facts about what categories the state is leading in, such as hospitality, certain culinary categories, etc. These statements, along with many others, will help sway public opinion of Mississippi through my unique strategy of consistent application of the good Mississippi offers.
If I could change one thing about my campaign, I probably would have done seminars and lectures because they are more personal, and thus more effective in changing opinion, and people could ask questions they had concerning the state.
Although my campaign was focused on educating others, I learned a lot about Mississippi myself. While researching, I found many websites trying to implement the same positive ideas, and it was neat to see all of the different things people had to say about their home state.
However, I also found many negative things about the state. Many sites seemed to focus in on the race-fueled anger in Mississippi. It appears race is still being made into an issue decades after our nation took great steps to insure the equality of everyone.
In my eyes, I believe that the good this state has outweighs the outdated lingering pessimism, and that issue is exactly what my marketing campaign was aimed at solving.