Marketing Pittsburgh, a blast from the past


'Marketing the region': a theory not practiced

Efforts to give the Pittsburgh region a spiffy national image, says Mark DeSantis, remain incoherent and ineffectual.

Root problem for Pittsburgh's marketing efforts include a lack of direction. No one has clearly articulated or understood just what this region is marketing, to whom it is marketing and what it hopes to achieve.


  1. A region is a place. laces are not things.
  2. Marketing is a careful, long-term process to inform and persuade a well-understood customer processing a well-defined need.
  3. Marketing should be a clearly articulated offering.
  4. Marketing is part of a larger strategy.
  5. Some in Pittsburgh have tried to market the region in the past. 

For marketing of Pittsburgh to work in the future, it is important to be ourselves.

  • Don't address what we do no have.
  • Lasting success isn't a resemblance to elsewhere.
  • Countering reality hurts.
  • Find our attributes that others don't have and can't easily duplicate.

Pittsburgh has:

  • A quirky culture,
  • an emerging heterogeneous tech sector,
  • affordable living.

About the author 

Mark Rauterkus

Swim, SKWIM and Water Polo coach and publisher in Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Executive Director of SKWIM USA, a nonprofit advocate organization and webmaster to the International Swim Coaches Association. Head varsity and middle-school swim coach for The Ellis School. Former candidate for public office on multiple occasions.

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