Letter to the Editor: Perspective On Sloganeering

By KEVIN HOLSAPPLE
Los Alamos

“Where discoveries are made” was not developed as part of any County branding work, but rather was the result of a Chamber of Commerce community contest. There was a period of time after the Cerro Grande fire when the community went through quite a funk. To inspire more positive thought and vibe, the Chamber ran a community contest asking people to express what they were most proud about when talking to others about our community.  

Several hundred entries were received and “discovery” was a recurring theme in many of them: discovery of an interesting hiking route; discovery of interesting people with interesting stories to tell; discovery of an interesting facet of our unique history; discovery of a beautiful scenic viewpoint; and oh yeah … discoveries in the realm of science and technology. A submission from a young family of four (sorry I can’t remember their name) came closest to wrapping this all together and they took home the prize of a bunch of Chamber Checks.

Using a small contribution from LANB, the Chamber installed the words on the big empty rock faces that had been erected by the County at the entry to the townsite.

The Chamber also designed and promoted the installation of banners carrying those words along Central Avenue. “Where discoveries are made,” was originally developed as a statement of community pride, but started being adopted and used by some as a community tagline. 

Although “Where discoveries are made” was not created as a community branding statement, it had a key attribute of what I believe such a statement needs … it says something that is authentic and true about our community that a substantial part of the community understands and can agree with and explain.

I don’t perceive those same attributes in the proposed “live exponentially” tagline. I have yet to encounter anyone — whether a local or from somewhere else — who has had a positive reaction to “live exponentially.” At best I’ve encountered apathy. At worst disbelief and annoyance. I know the County has already spent a bunch of money on this, but I’d hate to see good money follow bad.

In the meantime, until some better idea comes along I’ll keep using the shorthand I adopted some time ago to talk to others about what I particularly like about our community … we are a place of “high-tech, high trek” history and opportunities.

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