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Now is the time to find out what local business and commerce really think about Nottingham's links to the Robin Hood legend!

Although the Nottingham public have generally taken pride in the City's world famous Robin Hood connections, the business and commercial sector have, perhaps not unsurprisingly, had a somewhat more cautious, indifferent and at times cynical attitude to any potential economic benefits that associations with the iconic legendary outlaw might bring! Even though it's an established fact that every time Robin Hood gets a mention Nottingham gets a hefty publicity "plug", the City and County still frequently fail to get the most out of its globally popular brand "image" that comes "gift wrapped" to the authorities and the community - absolutely free!

So the World Wide Robin Hood Society feel that if Nottingham is to seriously combat the persistent criticism of the current lack-lustre approach to exploit the legacy of its traditional Robin Hood heritage, then now is the time to ask a diverse cross-section of the business and commercial sector for their honest views and opinions about the marketing potential of the Robin Hood "brand". Is it really a gilt-edged goose that can "lay the golden eggs" to beneficially help promote the City and County? What do they truly think?

The Society is NOT on a mission to brand everything "Robin Hood"! Far from it! Visitor expectations need to be satisfactorily met but NOT to the extent of Nottingham becoming an urban version of a tacky seaside resort! We only wish to improve the subtle balance of the iconic folk hero's current profile to help counter the frequent criticisms of under-exploitation. It is equally important to stress that the Robin Hood "brand" is NOT just about tourism – as it also has the power to have an impact on business and economic development, inward investment, environmental issues, community activities, education and cultural promotion.

There has never been a serious and comprehensive business survey of this nature conducted before, so we hope Nottingham's business and commercial sector will give a considered and frank response and to encourage them to appreciate "the wider picture", a 16 page Robin Hood Brand Awareness Guide will accompany the survey to help stimulate debate and formulate opinion. Details of the launch date and availability of the survey will be announced shortly.

The Walt Disney Organisation's successful marketing strategy is based on the principle of always treating their fantasy characters as "real life" individuals and commercially promoting them to their full potential. Nottingham needs to borrow a little of that vision to help prevent its Robin Hood associations becoming its "nemesis" - that to the outside world seemingly undermines all the other good creative initiatives that the City is renowned for!

But we should not surmise or speculate! To consider and plan for what Nottingham really needs to do to successfully manage its global Robin Hood "brand" we need a genuine and objective response from the local business community - to let the authorities know their viewpoint, opinions and suggestions. So, before the next Robin Hood film, book or media story etc. comes along to throw a spotlight on the City that once again reveals its existing embarrassing weaknesses, let's all pull together to once and for all make the most of Nottingham's world famous Robin Hood connections!