The Think Method and Pittsburgh's Rebirth

Pittsburgh's creaky PR machine continues to sell the story of the region's rebirth - which, it turns out, depends heavily on Pittsburgh's creaky PR machine.

Read Shawn Bannon, local PR guy, on how PR helped rebuild Pittsburgh.

There is little harm in telling tales like these to the proverbial old lady in Dubuque, though if you have been to Dubuque lately, as I have, you know that it is a beautiful riverside Iowa town and home to a population that is, by Iowa standards, relatively youthful and energetic. Pittsburgh is more cosmopolitan than Dubuque by several orders of magnitude. Iowans, with their native distrust of "out East," don't much care. If you're out that way, take a drive through Dyersville and see the Field of Dreams. A film company built it. People still come.

Problems arise if Pittsburghers start to believe the PR. Has Pittsburgh changed and grown in many ways over the last 20 years? Sure, though the local Field of Dreams is home to football, not baseball, and Pittsburgh has a rink of dreams, too. But is the region out of the economic or cultural woods? Hardly. No amount of PR can cover the city's pension problems.

Bonus video: I can't find a clip of Robert Preston describing the "think method," from the Music Man, but I can find the next best and equally apt thing:


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Pittsblog 2.0 is written by Mike Madison, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Send email to michael.j.madison[at] Mike also blogs at, on law and technology. Chris Briem of Null Space drops by from time to time.

All opinions expressed at Pittsblog 2.0 are those of their respective authors and of no one (and no thing) else, least of all the University of Pittsburgh.

Pittsblog 2.0 has a motto: "It's steel good in Pittsburgh." Say it aloud, with a Pittsburgh accent.

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