New resident: Oklahoma City's 'Why not us?' mindset is attractive

BY RUSS FLORENCE Published: February 23, 2013
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Occasionally I scroll through old emails from our firm's late, great founder, Chuck Schnake, who was prone to pontificate. In one, he asked, “Who's responsible for managing the reputation of a city?” Its leaders and public relations experts, he surmises. But according to Chuck, the residents of that city have a larger stake in its reputation than anyone else.

If that's the case, Oklahoma City's public relations ambassadors are doing a stellar job. Others are noticing. Friends in our previous hometowns of Tulsa and Bartlesville — communities we will always love — have, somewhat surprisingly, given our new hometown a swift and hearty approval.

“Oklahoma City?” they say. “Good for you. They've got a lot of great things going on.”

Lauren and I are happy to be in a city whose mantra seems to be “Why not us?” Although we're still finding our place, the confidence and spirit here are infectious. The red carpet is out. We see it and appreciate it. The late civic leader Ray Ackerman dreamed of this city being known as “The Big Friendly.” It's that, and so much more.

Congratulations, Oklahoma City. Your self-esteem is showing.

Florence is a partner, president and chief operating officer of Schnake Turnbo Frank consulting firm.