Last week Media & Marketing asked professionals outside of Birmingham what they thought of the city as a creative centre. Here Coun Ken Hardeman, city council cabinet member with responsibility for regeneration, including developing creative industries, comments on the feedback.
Yes! Birmingham is trying hard to boost its image, both at home and abroad. And this is working!
Only 12 months ago, Birmingham was identified by international developers as the "European City of the Future".
They recognised what has been done by the City Council and its partners to lay the foundations for economic growth and sustainable prosperity; for a "global city with a local heart", where people want to live, work and play.
However, how we are perceived often depends on who is asked. Your article surveyed marketing executives based in other UK cities, some of whom perhaps are in competition with more successful companies operating in Birmingham.
It is not therefore surprising if some chose to "damn us with faint praise".
The Birmingham Post article was correct in stating that ‘Brum has improved beyond recognition’ in recent years, with Gas Street Basin, Brindleyplace and the new Bullring, plus ongoing developments at Eastside and in the Jewellery Quarter.
Record inward investment shows that we are creating the opportunities for local people and businesses to earn more than a "Fistful of Dollars" (to follow your spaghetti western metaphor) in a global market.
Jokes of course proliferate about the problems experienced by users of ‘Spaghetti Junction’ and the M6.
However, these were good examples of effective public investment in transport infrastructure during the 1960s and 1970s.
The time has now come for government to provide the necessary investment for a 21st century transport system at the heart of the Midlands.
If we Brummies have a failing, it is that we do not adequately publicise our own achievements.
Through the work of the Marketing Birmingham organisation and others, I expect to see this change.
Other cities and their supporters may make great claims for themselves, but Birmingham has both an impressive record of achievement and ambitious plans for the future that will make this city second to none.