Utah is a pretty great state.
But before Utahns can attract business to help their state's economy, they must have a positive attitude so they can pass on that attitude to others.That's why the 8-month-old Utah Economic Development Corp. has devised a new, gently stated slogan "Utah: A pretty, great state" as the rallying cry in a new statewide promotional campaign designed to emphasize positive attitudes and perceptions about Utah.
"I am tired of people with the doom-gloom attitude," Gov. Norm Bangerter said Tuesday. "Let's pick ourselves up by the bootstraps and get in for the long haul."
In the next few weeks the development corporation will launch newspaper, television and billboard advertising using the new theme.
Nick Rose, chairman of the organization's board and president and chief executive officer of Mountain Fuel Supply Co., said economic development is a high-stakes game that requires a concerted effort. "Our own positive attitudes about our state can give us the competitive edge in going after economic development."
Representatives of state, city and county government agencies, along with leaders from education and private industry, gathering Tuesday in the Capitol Theatre to preview the advertisements produced by Fotheringham and Associates, a Salt Lake advertising company.
The Utah Economic Development Corp. was formed last August as a non-profit corporation to consolidate all economic development activities in the Salt Lake Valley, compete with other states for new businesses and jobs and create a more positive business climate in the state.
Rose said officials of the group believe that successful economic development depends on getting all Utah residents involved. Last week, Rose announced that Richard D. Thrasher Jr., 40, Lakeland, Fla., has been appointed the organization's president and chief executive officer and will begin work June 1.
To get its message across to Utahns, corporation officials formed a 17-member "Great State Committee" to run the advertising campaign. In addition to the paid advertisements, Robert Fotheringham, chairman of the advertising company, said they will ask television stations and newspapers to run public service announcements.
The governor signed a proclamation naming 1988 as the year of the pretty, great state and encouraged all Utahns to get a positive attitude about their state and promote Utah. The governor said economic development shouldn't be politicized and "optimism creates opportunity."
Bangerter said it is true that Utah has had a downturn in the economy, but he is convinced that Utahns can solve their problems with vigor. He cited the state's great scenery, the education system, a productive work force, cultural events and the low crime rate as positive aspects in attracting business into the state and they should be emphasized.
In formulating the advertising campaign, Fotheringham said he and his staff decided they would return to the basics of what Utah is famous for and not make statements like "greatest" but "tell it like it is."
For example, the proposed newspaper advertisement about higher education admits there are problems, but stresses the fact that Utah has one of the highest percentage of residents attending college.
Other newspaper advertisements deal with education, tourism, skiing, scientific research, cultural arts, lifestyle and Utahns who were pioneers in the electronics industry.