WARRNAMBOOL mayor Tony Herbert has urged residents to promote the city rather than denigrate it.
"We can all be ambassadors for our city and my advice is, if you can't find something positive to say either remain quiet or simply move somewhere else," Cr Herbert said.
He said talking positively about the city was a great way to promote it and attract new residents and extra visitors.
"We love living here, so 'talk it up'. No one likes listening to people constantly running our city down and sometimes with social media it's easy to jump on board the negative talk," he said.
"Negative talk destroys the great product we have."
His comments come as ABS figures reveal the city's population has increased by 0.8 per cent and Warrnambool was named as one of 12 affordable regional area in Australia.
Cr Herbert said despite this, regional areas were experiencing significant challenges.
"Our entire country has for too long been focused on the three eastern capitals of Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane," he said.
"But I feel the shift and focus and movement to the regions is beginning."
Cr Herbert said Warrnambool consistently outranked other places when it came to studies on popular places to live.
He said it was important the city capitalise on this and market the region as a great place to live, work and invest.
"Our Warrnambool product is not perfect, which city is? But it's very good so our product is something worth marketing," Cr Herbert said.
He said there were many effective ways to market the city.
"Warrnambool City Council is conducting a marketing campaign called Local Stories at the moment," Cr Herbert said.
"Social media is the key here. We are capturing many stories of real people who have moved to Warrnambool. They are becoming our ambassadors for the move. It's all about unfiltered honesty, so keep watching for further real life stories of people moving to Warrnambool. They all talk about how happy they are, now that they have moved."