A Grassroots Movement is Born in the Biggest Little City

Have you ever sat and watched a runny facet? The slow stream of water gathers at the mouth of the facet as a drop begins to form…then, the drop falls. The drop lands into a small puddle of water and causes small ripples that are sent throughout the whole puddle.

In February, a couple dozen Renoites gathered into the conference room of the Reno Gazette Journal for reasons unknown. Everyone was invited to hear some news, but no one really knew what was going on. The people in this room consisted of entrepreneurs, students, professionals, small business owners, City of Reno employees and more. Everyone in that room was from the same industry, they were all marketing professionals. Many people in that room compete with one another on a daily basis for clients, many people in that room had never met one another. But, as soon as everyone realized the purpose of the meeting- they left their egos, job titles and companies at the door. Immediately, they were all just citizens of a town that they all loved and that needed some help. They were all listening.

Tired of watching other campaigns fail, tired of watching ad agencies in New York trying to brand them, tired of another tagline, tired of letting other people tell them who they are, and tired of continuously getting kicked on the shins- it was time for the citizens to come together. They wanted to come together to create something that would work, something that would stick, and something that would change the conversation about Reno, Nevada.

That meeting lasted hours as everyone went around and discussed why they love and live in this town. The passion in that room radiated, that room was on fire. Everyone realized the potential of the group, this was the group that could create a groundswell and have a lasting impact on this town.

How the hell are they going to do this? Combining the thoughts, ideas and opinions of dozens of leaders to create an organic, grassroots movement was going to be a monumental task. But, if any one could do it- it was this group.

They met once a week as whole, and frequently in smaller teams from February to June. Finally, a creative movement was organized and the group did a call out to anyone who would listen, and invited a couple hundred people from the community to show what they have done. On June 5th in an empty unfinished building Downtown, these volunteers presented their gift to the city in hopes of people liking their idea.

On June 5th, that drop fell into the puddle… and the ripple began.



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