Specht: Shining a positive spotlight on Webster

Specht

Our fair city has had a good run as of late. We kicked off 2017 with a visit from Governor John Bel Edwards as the keynote speaker for the Minden-South Webster Chamber of Commerce Banquet. Kudos to Stephanie Barnette and company for putting together that event.

Just a few weeks after that, Minden put its best foot forward by raising more than $1.3 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.

Tomorrow the Minden Fasching/Mardi Gras parade will roll through Minden and bring hundreds to the city to enjoy the festivities.

Events like these shine a positive spotlight on Minden. People take notice, and perhaps even consider Minden, and by extension, Webster Parish, as a place they would like to locate.

We are not naive. We know our city faces some very real, very complicated challenges. However, we should not lose sight of the fact that we do many things very well. With that thought in mind, we intend to tell those positive stories and keep the ball rolling in a couple of weeks.

At the end of February, we will publish Profile 2017. This year’s edition is shaping up to be one of the best ever, which can be attributed to the many good things going on in our community.

All too often, we see our community with only a critical eye. However, visitors often see the wonderful things we have to offer.

Profile 2017 puts those wonderful things into a tangible, valuable tool for economic development and community marketing. That was the original intent when we started these editions more than 40 years ago.

The participation of local businesses in this publication isn’t just marketing for them, but for the community as a whole. We need to tell others about our great businesses and industries. We need to tell them about our award-winning hospital, and our strong and friendly banks and other financial institutions.

I have traveled throughout the region looking at similar-sized communities, and Minden continues to be the most impressive by far. We have a good thing going here, and we need to tell that story to others.

As we continue to tackle the many challenges that we face as a community, we need to also highlight our “win” and tell the world about them. Profile 2017 does that for us.

Many may read today’s column and think it is just a sales pitch for the newspaper’s special project. Perhaps it is in a lot of ways. After all, a strong daily newspaper is a feather in Minden’s cap. Many of the other cities I visited did not have their own daily newspaper — or they were part of a chain with very little individual identity.

That being said, it does not take away from the fact that Profile 2017 is good for Minden and Webster Parish. It is an all-in-one marketing tool for our community, and its businesses and industries.

Our Chamber of Commerce started the ball rolling in January, and the Minden St. Jude Auction gave things a boost. Now we can continue to momentum with a strong Profile 2017, and share it with others.

Of course we must continue to work together to start and/or continue to process of solving our very real problems. But it is not a “chicken or the egg” scenario. We can highlight our positives while addressing our negatives. In the end Minden and Webster Parish will benefit from both.

David Specht is President of Specht Newspapers, Inc. He may be reached via email at dspecht@press-herald.com.

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