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What's the Point of Pledging?

by Lisa Diggs on Feb 17th 2012

Have you ever wondered why we ask people to add their names to our Pledge?  Today, I'd like to take a few moments and shed some light on that question, and hopefully convince you to help us engage more people in the quest.

First, studies have long proven, that goals are more likely to be reached and resolutions kept, when we commit to them in writing.  Thus, it is more probable that you will stop yourself from spreading negative news, after committing to speaking positively about the state.  It's more likely that you will read a label and find out where something you bought, or are considering buying, came from.  Most of you will make more of an effort to find Michigan-made products, to hire Michigan-based companies, to dine in independent restaurants, and to shop in local stores, once you've taken the pledge.  That is the essence of what this campaign is all about, so the pledge was created to raise people's levels of commitment.  I know that it's true, because many of you who have taken the pledge have told me that has been your experience. 

Second, making these choices independently is one thing, but banding together to make them is far more powerful.  If you want to see more local products on the shelves where you shop, or on the menu where you dine, take our pledge and encourage others to do the same.  The counter on our site of how many people have done so, visibly demonstrates to businesses that we are serious about supporting them with our dollars if they are serious about keeping and growing jobs here.  It shows them the value of increasing their lines of local products and labeling them so we can tell what's local.

Third, the growing number of pledge-takers also exemplifies to all organizations that a large number of potential customers care about how they are spending their own dollars.  We like it when they tell us what local printer or web hosting company they are using.  It endears them to us.  By spending locally, they are demonstrating a commitment to their community, that we will reward.

Finally, the pledge is a great way of introducing kids to the idea of thinking about where products come from and where money goes.  If you talk about the pledge together as a family or scout troop, or in a classroom, you begin to cultivate a group of conscientious consumers.  If the upcoming generation fully grasps the concept, they can play an active role in making jobs for themselves when they are ready to join the workforce.  If they are old enough to buy something with their own money, then they are old enough to take our pledge. 

Interestingly, the most common rejection we get when people are asked to, but don't add their names is "I already do that."  It tends to puzzle me.  If it's something you already believe in, why not, demonstrate your support?  I suspect it's a fear of getting phone calls or being added to another mailing list.  However, those who have taken our pledge know that we do not ask for a phone number, nor even a complete mailing address.  We do ask for zip code, city, and state, but not a street address.  The sole purpose of that request is so that we can identify how far the message is spreading, or what areas of the state are possibly unaware of the campaign.  Even adding an email address is purely optional, and only if you want to subscribe to the newsletter or get information about sponsorship opportunities. 

If you haven't done so yet, please add your name to the pledge.  Then share it in person, via email, through newsletters and social media.  Engage with other people and invite them to join you in this quest.  Notice, the pledge doesn't require us to do anything, it merely asks us to make a concerted effort, and so today, I am asking you to do just that.  Be an active part of Michigan's solution with us.  You can even click HERE to learn how to host a pledge drive in your community.

Thank you for all you do to help us revitalize Michigan's economy, one product, one purchase, one person at a time.  Together we are making an impact!

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