Phoenix: A Love Letter to Local

For more than two months, we’ve sat in our homes dealing with the mental and physical struggles of a health and economic crisis like we’ve never seen. Though Arizona has begun a cautious reopening, we know it will be a hard-fought battle for our beloved local businesses to regain their footing and once again thrive in our communities.As physical distancing best practices continue, I find myself moving at a more disciplined pace, being mindful about life’s simple joys, and spending time on reflection. And during all of this, the word that comes to mind so often is “thankful.”

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I’m thankful for where we live: for the beautiful weather (most of the year), for the gorgeous vistas just a short drive from the city, for the spirit of entrepreneurship, for the feeling of community. As a business, OH sees Phoenix as our competitive advantage.

I look around at the ways our own clients have stepped up for Arizona in these unprecedented times. The Arizona Lottery has bolstered its Gives Back efforts, distributing $50,000 to Central Arizona Shelter Services and nearly $100,000 more to grocery store employees, healthcare workers, restaurant staff, and teachers. Gila River Hotels and Casinos donated 20 pallets of water and $60,000 worth of food to elders and families. Four Peaks Brewing, Co. provided meals to restaurant industry workers and opened a bodega to make sure families could safely access important staples. Bayless Integrated Healthcare employees stand on the front lines, providing mental and physical care in-person and online. The list goes on and on.

As local brands and communities continue to step up for others, we are seeing a dramatic shift in how business happens. We are a global economy with a Midwest neighborhood mindset, and our communities are banding together to support their own. The opportunity to win brand love as a local business is there, and I predict we are going to see a lot more celebration of all things local in the months to come. This time away has made me realize how important my favorite coffee shop, my longtime barber (and family friend), and my go-to happy hour spot are in my life, and I hope local businesses have come to understand and embrace the significance they play in the community.

This time has encouraged us to reflect about life, about career, about those we love. As we talk with agency colleagues in places like New York and Los Angeles, we come back to a deep place of gratitude for where we live and the community we are a part of. In times of chaos, there is great opportunity, and we see amazing things on the horizon for Phoenix.

Stay strong.

About the Author: Scott Harkey is co-founder and managing partner of OH Partners, one of the Scott Harkeynation’s fastest-growing independent advertising agencies. The agency is turning heads of brands and holding companies alike with its passionate, agile work, focused strategy, innovative analytics and an unmatched company culture made up of collaborators and creative thinkers.

Scott’s genuine passion to grow and elevate OH Partners and the industry is reflected in his forward-thinking work and successful leadership. His experience in media, analytics, and traditional and digital marketing help him spearhead integration initiatives for international brands across a variety of verticals including CPG, luxury hospitality, gaming, entertainment and technology. Scott’s velocity, passion and problem-solving have positioned him as an indispensable partner while delivering profitable business outcomes.

Scott’s understanding of CMO, brand, and marketing trends is rooted in his enthusiasm and deep knowledge of the industry. He is at the forefront of the advertising industry as a member of the 4A’s Business Council and speaking nationally for ANA, Media Post, Media Life Magazine, Digital Marketer and others. Scott’s work has landed him on the Arizona Republic’s ’35 under 35 Entrepreneurs’ and the Phoenix Business Journal’s ’40 under 40′ lists. He was also named the Ad Person of the Year by the American Advertising Federation of Phoenix in 2018.

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