A Rally Saint Louis Anniversary of Sorts: Giving Credit Where It Is Due


December 7 is an important day in American history. It is of course Pearl Harbor Day, marking the day in 1941 when Japanese war ships bombed Pearl Harbor killing 2,400 Americans and wounding some 1,100.

Not to diminish from that in any way, but today also marks an anniversary of sorts for the Rally Saint Louis movement.

As we’ve rolled out the Rally platform over the past few weeks, I’ve received an inordinate amount of undue credit for it. Indeed, I think we’ve all heard enough about my Forbes piece “St. Louis Doesn’t Suck”for the foreseeable future.

Brian Cross, seen here in slow motion while inhaling a White Castle slider in a restaurant that is not a White Castle

But as Rally is about bringing great ideas to light — thus far ranging from swings around St. Louis to beer museums to dog parks in Forest Park — it’s time we do this with the actual concept that is the Rally Saint Louis platform.

I wrote my published the Forbes piece December 6, 2011. It struck a chord and people go excited…..yadda, yadda, yadda. But the next day, about two hours after I emailed the story to colleagues and friends, my partner Brian Cross sent an email to our team at Elasticity.

“Everyone complains about how we don’t properly message St. Louis. They wait for the RCGA or CVC or whoever to foot the bill to create the campaign. What if we turned it around? What if we crowdsourced the ideas for the campaigns to St. Louis and St. Louis ex-pats? Then we use crowdfunding techniques to raise the money for some of the costs (media buys, etc.). Then Elasticity foots the rest of the costs in labor as a service to the region. Whatdayathink?”

And thus Rally Saint Louis was born. We spent about a month fine tuning the details and then in January 2012 began socializing the concepts with business, political, and community leaders throughout the greater metro-area.

But like what we are trying to achieve with the Rally movement — take great idea, build a consensus around them from a broad swatch of the region’s residents, attach funding to them, and execute the idea professionally in an effort that represents St. Louis as a creative place, and a great city in which to live, work, and play. So far, the New York Times seems to agree.

Be sure to submit your great idea to better represent St. Louis here on the Rally site.

Rally on.



2 Responses to A Rally Saint Louis Anniversary of Sorts: Giving Credit Where It Is Due

  1. I’m embarrasingly appreciative of the attention and flattered by the visual of inhaling a slider from a waist-high perspective. thank you.

    Culinary weakness moments aside, I think there is actually a bigger point here: that the Rally STL movement is itself a perfect representation of what we’re looking for and looking to do. From the spark of an idea can come something brilliant. But it’s the execution and the team that makes it a reality and makes it a success.

    Case in point, that “whadayathink” comment created something that needed resources that aren’t available to just anyone. A creative team developed a name and strategy. A designer branded it and designed everything from Tee Shirts to the Web Site. A strong development team was able to make a web site that can handle idea submission, voting and funding mechanisms. Lawyers wrote privacy policies and terms and conditions. CPAs helped us with our 501c3 application. Business plans and operating plans were written. Grant applications were submitted. Board members gave of their time to help spread the word and get the organization connected with the right people. Corporate sponsors stood up and donated money.

    Oh, and the publicity. You don’t just build it and wait for people to come. For crowdfunding and crowdsourcing to work, there needs to be a crowd. PR, Social Media, Media Relations, Networking, Launch parties, countless lunches (and 20 lbs.), and a “mouthpiece” like Aaron get you that attention to help build that crowd.

    But most importantly, it’s the crowd itself. Without ideas, votes and donations starting in January, this whole thing fizzles out. So, if one email a year ago can get us to this point with this team, we hope that by opening the resources up to everyone now, that in a year from today we will have 15 or 20 more things to point to here in Saint Louis and be proud of.


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