The Greater Philadelphia Tourism and Marketing Corp hired a firm to conduct six focus groups in November to assess Philadelphia's image. Focus groups bring carefully selected people together into a fluorescent-lit room to sit around a table studded with bowls of candy and free sodas. There, a facilitator in a blazer with oversized shoulder pads gives them a task.
In this case, affluent folks in Arlington, VA; Teaneck, NJ; and Bala Cynwyd, PA, between the ages of 25 to 65 were asked to imagine Philadelphia "as a person they met at a party." The same question was asked in 2006, and for the most part, the image has improved.
Philly has gotten younger, gotten a better job and is better educated, but as for personality and likability:
Personality in 2006: "Friendly, rough, no aspirations"
Personality in 2012: "In your face, opinionated, loud, down to earth, tough and proud" Likability in 2006: "Approachable, comfortable with himself"
Likability in 2012: "Self-absorbed, straight forward"
Hmm. Sounds like Mr. 2006 might have been easier to talk to, even if he was just waiting to go home to watch America's Funniest Home Videos.