New Poll: Seattle Residents See City Moving in New Direction, Optimistic About Future

-Weber Shandwick 'State of Seattle' Survey Finds 'Emerald City' Perceptions Changing-

Oct 28, 2010, 09:15 ET from Weber Shandwick

SEATTLE, Oct. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- According to a new survey by Weber Shandwick, Seattle residents view the city in the midst of a transformation. Seattleites see a shift taking place – from a strong software and aerospace heritage to breakthroughs in health sciences, non-profit and sustainability. Local residents are hopeful these newer industries will fuel the city's future, energize the local economy and help continue to change a few persistent stereotypes about the 'Emerald City.'  

The Weber Shandwick 'State of Seattle' survey polled local residents on how they feel about living in Seattle, their concerns, businesses they associate with the city and how they think their city is perceived. The survey also polled a national audience to find out how other Americans see Seattle. Below are some key findings:  

  • The majority of locals associate Starbucks (90 percent), Boeing (89 percent) and Microsoft (88 percent) with Seattle.
  • 47 percent of residents surveyed agreed that Seattle is most known for software, 36 percent said aerospace.
  • But, if given a choice, 49 percent would most like to work in the health sciences, non-profit or sustainability industries compared to only 18 percent opting for software or aerospace.  
  • Although 71 percent of Seattle residents associate the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with the city, only 4 percent think Seattle is best known for health sciences, non-profit or sustainability.

Seattle vs. U.S.

  • A majority of Seattleites believe the rest of the country immediately thinks of rain (81 percent) and coffee (79 percent) when it comes to their city.
  • Though the vast majority of locals (77 percent) call the town environmentally conscious, less than half (48 percent) of the rest of the country does.
  • More than half of Seattle residents (53 percent) describe the city as innovative, compared to less than a third of the nation as a whole (31 percent).  

"Our survey reflects how Seattle is going through yet another renaissance," said Tim Fry, general manager of Weber Shandwick Seattle and a native Washingtonian. "The industries that fueled this city's growth also gave it some sticky nicknames – from 'Gateway to Alaska' to 'Jet City.' Given the results of this poll, I'm wondering if 'City of Hope' is next."

More findings from the Weber Shandwick 'State of Seattle' Survey include:

What Worries Locals?

  • 30 percent admit they are most concerned about the state of the local economy.
  • 37 percent believe the city's economy will be in better shape a year from now, while 72 percent believe it will take five years for it to bounce back.    
  • 39 percent think the city is growing too quickly.

Don't Worry, Be Happy

  • Seattleites think their town is a great place to stay active (77 percent), raise a family (67 percent) or make friends (62 percent).
  • Residents feel that living in Seattle leaves them feeling happy (66 percent) and relaxed (50 percent). Far fewer say Seattle makes them stressed (17 percent) or exhausted (11 percent).
  • Over two in three (68 percent) who have yet to retire would like to do so in Seattle.

Methodology Note: The Weber Shandwick 'State of Seattle' Survey was conducted by Kelton Research during September of 2010 and polled 503 Seattle residents ages 18 and over and 1,001 nationally representative Americans ages 18 and over.

To view the Weber Shandwick 'State of Seattle' Survey results, visit

As a part of the world's largest public relations firm, Weber Shandwick Seattle's services are inspired by a local culture of invention and delivered through an international network of experts across 73 countries. The team collaborates to share stories, creatively engage audiences and harness the power of advocacy for clients focused on social innovation.

About Weber Shandwick

Weber Shandwick is a leading global public relations agency with offices in 73 countries around the world. The firm's success is built on its deep commitment to client service, our people, creativity, collaboration and harnessing the power of Advocates - engaging stakeholders in new and creative ways to build brands and reputation. Weber Shandwick provides strategy and execution across practices such as consumer marketing, healthcare, technology, public affairs, financial services, corporate and crisis management. Its specialized services include digital/social media, advocacy advertising, market research, and corporate responsibility. In 2010, Weber Shandwick was named Global Agency of the Year by The Holmes Report for the second year in a row; an 'Agency of the Decade' by Advertising Age, Large PR Agency of the Year by Bulldog Reporter, and Top Corporate Responsibility Advisory Firm by CR Magazine. The firm has also won numerous 'best place to work' awards around the world including "Best Multinational Firm to Work For in EMEA" by The Holmes Report and a "Top Place to Work in PR"  by PR News. Weber Shandwick is part of the Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG). For more information, visit

Dan Lee

Weber Shandwick


SOURCE Weber Shandwick