Em Media

Change is Essential for Community Growth

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Posted by Jim Emmerling

Aug 7, 2017 4:59:10 PM

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“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” - George Bernard Shaw

Change is scary. Change removes us from our comfort zone and places us in unfamiliar territory. It requires adaptability and perseverance.

EM-Media’s growth is an excellent example of this right now. We want to grow and evolve into one of the best full-service marketing agencies in the Pittsburgh region. The EM-Media Center in Pittsburgh on the North Side is a stepping stone to achieving that goal.

As we continue to service the Steubenville and Wheeling areas, we also can tap into a new market to advance and grow. We are constantly testing our boundaries and limits to become more dynamic. Leading with an open mind, understanding that change is a slow process, and not losing sight of our goals are what fuels our team and our growth.

In one of my past blog posts, I spoke about the Pittsburgh community, specifically the North Side, and how being a good neighbor is not always the most comfortable task. As we compromise to live in a state of kindness and respect, we all win because we make the choice to embrace change that makes a better future for all. Our goals are much more attainable when we work to give-and-take with one another.  

Each decision we make is one step closer to creating a culture. When you have a plan, more is accomplished because you have defined action items and goals, and you can hold one another accountable if you ever fall short. I’ve outlined some steps that I believe are steps to take for success and growth.

Step 1: Prepare an Action Plan

In marketing and advertising, when an issue comes up, it is vital to be prepared with a plan and call to action. Here at EM-Media, we work to recognize problems, brainstorm solutions, create action plans and ultimately observe growth as a collective unit. This is the type of organizational structure that is easily adaptable for communities.

If you take a few minutes out of your busy day to walk around the North Side, you’ll find that the community is taking steps to rebuild the beauty and reputation of this once proud and thriving neighborhood.

East Ohio Street, the main access point to the North Side has so much to offer in the way of community events and entertainment. I recently visited Old Town Winchester, Virginia and if we can replicate the atmosphere I experienced while there, Pittsburghers will flock to East Ohio in droves. The presence should be inviting. The businesses and restaurants should work together to keep their buildings in shape and renovated, and there should be an attitude of abundance rather than scarcity that drives our decision making.

Old Town Winchester offers a special charm. Imagine East Ohio renovated and inviting.

Old Town Winchester offers a special charm. Imagine East Ohio renovated and inviting.

We have architecture that will be usable with a little love and care. We’ve paved the majority of our underpasses, and now it’s time to brighten them up like the Andy Warhol Museum to create an inviting bridge between the North Shore and the North Side.

I believe when we start making these small changes to the North Side’s curb appeal, we will begin to combat the big issues and toxic habits that control our community like so many other communities around our country. 

  • We can’t accept litter.
  • We can’t accept open drug use and prostitution.
  • We need to start taking care of our community’s appearance to invite new business and growth to clean up our streets.

I feel optimistic and ready to lend a helping hand. I’m positive we can grow as a community with help from local council members and residents. As I preach to my team at EM, in order to create success, we must be willing to say “yes” to the things that scare us the most, leaving our comfort zone and stepping out in faith.

That’s all part of the action plan. We begin to take action when we connect with new people, problem solve with our peers, and ask questions and offer help to our neighbors.

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Step 2: Observe Signs of Change

Where there is effort, there is change. The North Side has shown signs of making the efforts over the past few months.

The Deutschtown Music Festival is a current example of our community taking action to create a more inclusive and safer place. Not only did the event bring life and unity back to the North Side, but the festival organizers did a wonderful job putting together great entertainment and making cleanliness a top priority. Events like this one are part of the solution to creating a better living environment.

During our tenure as a thriving business in Steubenville and Wheeling, we have never been more proud to be members of both communities. Representing both areas as a leading advertising agency has helped us become active participants in changing the dynamic of each city. For example, Wheeling just held its first-ever Pride event, which is a huge step in the right direction to creating a more inclusive place in a community that has historically been an increasingly aging community.

These are the signs of action that help teams grow. When leaders begin to push the boundaries of a community with planned action, a following is created that shows signs of unity.

This is the hope and desire we have for the North Side.

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Deutschtown Music Festival is a great example of the North Side taking action.

Step 3: Develop a Culture

North Side residents have a window during change to create their own culture—to define what this community is going to be about and who we want to draw to it. Every day is a new opportunity to develop a cleaner, safer community for all. We should be proud of where we come from.

We want to target problem areas with North Side residents and council members to create solutions and find ways to make them our future reality. We know we can create an environment that thrives all-year round. Each person is going to have to make a small contribution for a bigger, common goal. The end goal is to make the North Side a thriving place for Pittsburghers to join in on all of the fun.

So, I ask of you, what small change are you going to make today for the bigger picture of our community growth?

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