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How to Sell Illinois’s ‘Death Spiral’

Death is not the end. It’s a high-concept branding opportunity.

Photo: Charles Cherney/Chicago Tribune

New Illinois governor Bruce Rauner recently released his transition document. There are some good summaries out there if you want to catch up—there’s some good discussion at Capitol Fax about the subtle but important issue of the state’s IT backbone, which underlies the departments that need to be sharing data—but most of it won’t be terribly new to anyone who followed his campaign.

One part of the transition document is basically standard operating procedure these days:

A marketing agency should be retained to develop a branding campaign aimed at attracting businesses, talent, and tourism to Illinois.

My guess is that the agency’s first piece of advice will be “stop sending out press releases saying that Illinois is in a death spiral.”

But then again, one of Rauner’s biggest successes as a turnaround specialist is, well, this: “We studied [the funeral home industry], learned it has many good characteristics. It’s poorly run, but the margins are good.”

You know, like a certain state you may reside in. Maybe this whole “death spiral” business is a better business than I thought. “Illinoyed”, whatever; it takes real skill to sell what’s inevitable.

Photo: Wikipedia
Photo: Zoe Rudisill/Flickr CC by 2.0
Photo: Wikipedia
Photo: Brian Smithson/Flickr CC by 2.0
Photo: Wikipedia
Photo: k4dordy/Flickr CC by 2.0

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