NYC: Is It A Likeable City?

By Keith Murray How we frame anything affects our perception and outlook; whether it's a product, a business, or even a city.

Dave Kerpen, CEO of Likeable Media, recently published his second book, Likeable Business, in which he shares 11 principles for businesses to become more likeable.

But why stop there?  It got me thinking that if we can create more likeable businesses, people, brands, etc., then why not a more likeable city? So what makes NYC a likeable city? It’s all about perception.

It's safe to say that NYC gets a bad rap.

  • Rude
  • Obnoxious
  • Known for flipping the bird to anyone and everyone - even to our own mothers
  • Ranked as the #1 rudest city for 2011 by Travel and Leisure - they even say that its “a reputation it has had for much longer.”

This perception is held by many people and the crazy part - most of them have never set foot in the Big Apple. Word of mouth, as we social media gurus know, carries a lot of weight and the momentum behind it can kill a brand.

This negative conversation around NYC is strong. So shouldn’t we step up and change this negative perception to a likeable one? Dare I say, a lovable one?

Qualities that Make New York a Likeable Place

1. Passion - We are not these cold hearted SOBs that we are portrayed to be. We are passionate about what borough we grew up in. We are passionate about our sports teams. We are passionate about the energy the city provides. We are passionate about our relationship with the city.

2. Authenticity -  New Yorkers are as real as it gets. There is no beating around the bush, and not many people can handle that. I get it. Would you prefer we not be authentic?

3. Team Playing - When push comes to shove New Yorkers have each other’s backs. It may not be visible to outsiders on a daily basis but we are there for each other. It sucks that 9/11 made outsiders aware of this. I wish people could see this in us before such a tragedy.

4. Adaptability - It’s the “city that never sleeps,“ we always have to be on our toes. If not we can easily become lost and fall behind.

5. Surprise and Delight - Statue of Liberty. Empire State Building. We have more to offer than that. Check our local neighborhoods. Go to a local bar. Do something that is not a tourist attraction. Venture out to Queens or Brooklyn. That is how you really will experience NYC and get to know us. You will be really amazed how much the city can surprise you even without the bright lights. Big Apple manners expert Thomas Farley says “People in New York are constantly in a rush. Certainly, they don’t linger on corners smiling, waving, and waiting to help people. But once you’ve stopped a New Yorker and asked them for directions, they’re usually more than helpful.”

What’s your take on NYC? Has your perception changed? How can we make a city more likeable?