There is no such thing as the typical glum Brummie, Marketing Birmingham chief executive Neil Rami insists.
Asked about Birmingham people's supposed lack of enthusiasm and passion for their city, he said the image was "nonsense".
It was simply a question of "unlocking" the latent energy in everybody.
He said that when he had arrived in previous jobs in Liverpool and Leeds in the 1990s "their heads were so far down they were dragging on the pavement".
"There is no such thing as a typical Brummie," said Mr Rami. "You cannot be at a peak all your time in terms of enthusiasm."
Speaking to Birmingham Business Breakfast Club at the Botanical Gardens, Mr Rami denied that the city's manufacturing heritage was being ignored.
He said Birmingham had always been "a city built on added value" and it was important it was promoted as "an added value investment propositon".
Mr Rami, who has been eight months in his post and is in the process of buying a house in Moseley, listed a series of initiatives Marketing Birmingham is beginning to generate.
These including pushing the food and restaurant offering, improved promotion of cultural events, highlighting Christmas shopping and engaging the national media.
Marketing Birmingham, which Mr Rami admitted had "a colourful if not chequered history", is going through a shakeup.
Staff numbers have been cut from 85 to 66 with resources being rebalanced between visitor information and marketing of the city.
Birmingham City Council has agreed to put in £1.7 million this financial year, up from £900,000, and an office in London has been established.
But Mr Rami said Marketing Birmingham could not operate alone and much work had been going into a partnership approach with the likes of Birmingham Chamber, Birmingham Forward and the Institute of Directors.
The organisation was regaining credibility with the private sector, had got the backing of city council leader Mike Whitby.
" We have to use our resources much more effectively and collaboratively if we are to be successful. That is beginning to happen."
Mr Rami said he did not expect the resignation of council chief executive Lin Homer would hamper Marketing Birmingham's plans.
Birmingham, he said, had tremendous assets such as an expected £8 billion of investment to 2008, the vibrancy and critical mass of the professional services sector, universities and research and development.
It was a meeting place with major conference facilities, the youngest city in Europe with 34 per cent aged 28 or younger, and highly cosmopolitan. But it wasn't the prettiest city.
It had to make more of economic, local, commercial and cultural events.