The Story Project
An Authentic Narrative Captures History, Assets of Our Region
Many attempts have been made to distill the assets and strengths of our region into a single phrase that would personify Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Despite our prowess in consumer marketing, we’ve been flummoxed by the complexity of reducing a region of more than 2 million people and 200-plus years of history into a handful of words.
So maybe we should stop trying and start talking. Specifically, to tell our story in all its richness. Let’s describe our vivid characters, honor our sense of place, and take appropriate detours down interesting threads of our history and present-day accomplishments. That’s what Agenda 360 and Vision 2015, working with scores of community partners, are doing with The Story Project.
Over the last year, teams have worked together to uncover our story—those singular themes that, when woven together, could be only one place: Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. True to our consumer know-how, we’ve tested those themes with groups around our region. Now, we’re building resources that our key “translators”—economic development leaders, communications and marketing professionals, elected officials, and so many others—can use as the platform for effective communications that will draw more people and businesses to our region and in the effort, grow our civic pride.
With the World Choir Games coming here in 2012, we have a great opportunity to test-drive our story for a global audience. But the real benefits will emerge afterward, as we tell a more consistent, compelling, and ultimately, differentiating story about our home. You can explore the themes and learn more at story-project.org.
Themes of The Story Project
You Can Make a Difference Here.
The opportunity to change our corner of the world is available to anyone with a passion and commitment to change. We are a “right-sized pond” where our corporate, civic, and young professional leaders are all accessible, and networking is easy—most everyone is connected within two degrees. We’re generous with our time, talent, and treasure and when there’s a call for help, we line up to contribute. That’s why we are becoming a hub for social innovation, crafting new and effective solutions to some of society’s toughest challenges. And whether you’re a long-time resident or a relative newcomer, willingness to invest in our community is received with gratitude.
Our Heroes are Life-Sized.
Our history is full of stories about average Joes who rose to the occasion and did something important, starting with our namesake, Cincinnatus, a noble Roman who left his farm to win a war and then returned to till his fields. The business of Greater Cincinnati has always been doing what needs to be done, doing it right, and doing it well, rather than doing it loud. We really embody that idea that you can get a lot more done if you don’t worry about who gets the credit. So our heroes aren’t up on any pedestals----they are on the ground with us accomplishing extraordinary things.
We Have Staying Power.
If the only constant is change, we are constant. The evidence is all around us, from our corporate giants that have successfully reinvented their industries in recent years (think Macy’s and the department store), to our growing list of medical breakthroughs, Greater Cincinnati is transforming. From a strong base of 10 Fortune 500 companies and hundreds more industry leaders, we are increasing our capacity to innovate and grow. Over our history, we have morphed from pork processor to machine tool powerhouse to capital of consumer know-how. But we don’t chase fads: With one eye on the future, we still honor our heritage and traditions. Greater Cincinnati is among a very few places in the U.S. that still make things, like soap and jet engines. And our people? Well, we’re hard-working, smart-thinking, values-driven folks. That’s why we’re tremendously loyal—to our families and friends, our schools and neighborhoods.
Everything You Need and Want, Within Reach.
Sure, other regions claim to have it all, but we really have the goods, all within about 20 minutes and at a cost that put the coasts to shame. Cultural and artistic treasures abound, surrounded by stunning countryside. Our compact size means you are never far from unique neighborhoods, abundant recreational opportunities, pristine natural areas, outstanding architecture, great food, big league sports and a wide variety of entertainment, including a lively music scene with roots that go deep into our history. Good schools; scores of churches, synagogues, and mosques; nationally recognized healthcare and top-ranked universities. We have the kind of assets that make for a great quality of life in any world-class city, but wrapped in an affordable, family-friendly package that makes for vibrant city centers and neighborhoods.
A Picture-Perfect Postcard.
Remnants of glaciers past, the region’s rivers and creeks and hillsides create a rich array of experiences and remind us of our uniqueness among Heartland cities—where others have flat plains, we have hills and valleys. Our topography offers one of our most consistent thrills: the emergence of our stunning skyline as we come north through the “cut in the hill.” But that’s not the only breath-taking vista; while our hills wreak havoc on the street grid, the reward is sweeping views more reminiscent of European cities than the American Midwest. The rivers and streams provide us with abundant water, a scarce commodity elsewhere. While ours once powered water wheels, today they offer infinite economic opportunities. For starters, just try to imagine Greater Cincinnati without the mighty Ohio.
The Story Project is a collaborative of Agenda 360 and Vision 2015, with scores of community partners throughout Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. The project is funded in part by Duke Energy and Procter & Gamble. For more information, go to story-project.org.