Memphis Mayor Likes What PR Firm Arthesia Did for Phoenix's Image

The mayor of Memphis, Tennessee, AC Wharton, declared yesterday that he wants to spend $200,000 to improve his city's image -- the same way Phoenix did.

As part of an effort to boost the southern town's "brand," Wharton's been raising private funds to hire Arthesia, a California-based advertising company.

"He said he was impressed with work Arthesia had done for the city of Phoenix," says an article today in the Commercial Appeal.

So, just what did Arthesia do for Phoenix's image? More importantly, how did we miss such a marvelous thing?

Turns out that in 2008, the Maricopa Partnership for Arts and Culture had spent $125,000 on the firm, which "held workshops and conducted more than 50 interviews to find what the consulting firm calls the area's 'unifying DNA,'", according to an article in the Arizona Capitol Times.

The group's conclusion after all that work: The Phoenix metro area has "no image at all."

Yeah, we already knew that.

The group advised that Valley leaders should try to encourage people to move here by becoming an "Oasis of Opportunity."

Good luck, Memphis.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.