We’re a kind bunch here in Kansas City. As a people we are friendly, helpful, hardworking, and we treat everyone with a smile. It’s our Midwestern way. Especially when it comes to welcoming visitors to our town. When we see an out-of-towner, we go out of our way to make sure they know how to get to the Country Club Plaza, or to remind them they are actually in Missouri right now, and (of course) to assure them that the line that reaches outside the door at Oklahoma Joe’s won’t take too much longer … and, yes, it is worth it.
We roll out the welcome mats and greet them with open arms. Unless they are going too slow along Ward Parkway, or taking too long figuring out what to order at Gates Bar-B-Q. If that’s the case, all bets are off. They can go back to California. But that’s a whole other story.
When it comes to business, though, shouldn’t we show the same Midwestern hospitality? Imagine you are an established company – maybe from Austin or Houston, Boulder or Vancouver, Wash. – and you’ve picked Kansas City to expand your brand to the Midwest. Wouldn’t you want a friendly face waiting with open arms to show you the ins and outs of Kansas City? To describe the difference between folks from Parkville and Leawood? To explain the fact that parking really is a big deal to us?
At Trozzolo Communications Group, we’ve adopted this Midwestern hospitality as a charge for our “Community Team.” We are truly inspired when an out-of-town brand chooses Kansas City as its next place to do business.
We are constantly surprised when a new prospect or client comes to town and they haven’t heard of the Plaza Lights or the Plaza Art Fair, or they don’t quite know the difference between Missourians and Kansans. (Yes, we’re all the same. But not really. But sort of. But not really.) We’ve come to realize that these new-to-KC businesses need a local’s touch. A guide. A friend. A partner.
We believe it is our duty to welcome them with open arms, share our knowledge of Kansas City, and put that knowledge and our connections to work. To inform, engage and inspire Kansas Citians about new brands – from Chuy’s to Hotel Sorella to Papa Murphy’s to the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce – who choose Kansas City to share their message, their products and their new approaches to their craft.
The heartland is the melting pot of the United States. And Kansas City is at the center of it all. Please join us in welcoming not just visitors to our great city, but the permanent transplants, companies, and brands alike. So, what can we do to play our part in a way that could impact your business, while welcoming new companies and their people here? Here are three opportunities we can leverage:
- Be their community concierge. Show them the ropes of this city. Describe how consumers in Leawood may be different from consumers in the Northland. Heck, you may need to describe what the Northland is. Help them discover the unique areas of town – where business is done, who their neighbors are. Ask yourself, if I don’t share this information with them, who will?
- Connect them with a cause. Every company wants to do something good for the community. Help them navigate the waters of finding a charity to become involved with, a cause they can connect with and truly support. Kansas City has so many great organizations that need corporate sponsorship and involvement. When the right match is made, special things will happen.
- Help define their position in the community. Often times a business that is new to Kansas City may not fully realize the competitive landscape that awaits them here. We all know that competition can come from all angles, in all shapes and sizes. It doesn’t have to be from another company. It can be misperceptions, or the dreaded “they’re from out of town” tag. Help them define themselves here in Kansas City. Don’t let the market or the competition do it for them.
Let’s help those who are new to our great city add something great to our community. Let’s roll out that welcome mat. Shine up that smile and say it like you mean it with the words, “Welcome to Kansas City.”
– Josh Brewster, Account Group Vice President