June 29, 2017 - Event Recap
“We do a lot with a little in our city. And I think we should celebrate the places those great things are happening.” – Annie Milli, Live Baltimore Executive Director
On Thursday, June 8, our incoming Executive Director Annie Milli joined a panel of Baltimore nonprofit and media leaders at the Public Relations Society of America Maryland Conference for a lively discussion about how to tell the many stories of great things happening in Baltimore.
Panelists engaged in candid conversation about Baltimore’s image, good and bad, and how it impacts the ability to share our city’s positive stories. Media leaders gave an inside look at how they choose what to cover and nonprofit leaders shared steps they take to get their stories told.
The overwhelming consensus was this: our nonprofit and media leaders love and believe in Baltimore. These positive stories are personal to them. They contribute to why they call this city their home. Panelists acknowledged the sometimes-negative image of the city and that, at times, that reputation is unfairly presented despite the inspiring things happening here.
Panelist Jayne Miller, I-Team reporter at WBAL-TV, put it this way, “I think about Baltimore every single day. I love this city and I live here.” Sam Davis, Managing Editor at the Baltimore Sun agreed, sharing that he grew up in the city and that while media’s job is to get readers the most crucial and important story of the day, it is also to dig deeper. Kelly Swoope, News Anchor at WMAR-TV, elaborated, explaining that talking directly with people to find unique angles often uncovers positive stories otherwise left untold.
The lesson was one we can’t hear enough: the people in Baltimore are wonderful, engaging, and full of stories worth telling. Our citizens make this city a great place to be.
Media panelists asked, and nonprofit leaders were more than happy to provide examples of good things happening. Annie mentioned our By The Numbers article series, explaining that many in Baltimore may not know that the city’s housing market is surging, up 62% since 2010 in sales. She touched on Baltimore City Public Schools and the often under-reported stories of children’s successes— like a recent awe-inspiring performance of Beauty and the Beast by Kindergarten through 5th graders at Federal Hill Prep. “The costumes! The singing! The acting!” Annie couldn’t get enough.
Johnette Richardson, Executive Director of Belair-Edison Neighborhoods, Inc., added some positive news of her own: “We hold a beer and wine festival bringing more than 800 people to Herring Run Park—great music, great food. It’s a blast! Let’s create our own narrative and push out the images we want our community to see.”
The panel ended on a hopeful note, with the media telling the audience to continue sharing their good news with them. They want to tell these stories and hope to have the community’s help in doing so. And so do we. Have something great happening in your neighborhood? Let us know. We’d love to help spread the word.