Branding Canada’s National Capital

In my blog “The Lifeblood of Tourism is Marketing” , I discussed the importance of marketing as an important function for governments, particularly cities. I pointed out that in an era in which governments need to be more responsive and accountable to the needs of the public; marketing can help public sector organizations accomplish this goal. With public sector organizations spending significant dollars delivering programs and services, especially in the area of tourism promotion there is a need for increased efficiency, accountability and transparency. With the managerial shift of the public sector to mirror a business-like approach, the adoption of marketing and related managerial practices can serve as a key component in strengthening accountability in public sector operations

I also pointed out that in recent years many cities and regions have chosen to market themselves in one fashion or another.  Such marketing initiatives characteristically suffer from a lack of creativity and innovation and fail to benefit from the lessons that decades of marketing experience in the private sector have taught managers in business. Such difficulties can be minimized, however, with overall expert marketing oversight and approach.

So  here is the latest missive from the wonder folks from Canada’s National Capital Commission (NCC)

The National Capital Commission is working to develop a catchy yet dignified slogan, to be unveiled in June, that’s meant to brand the capital region as a source of pride for all Canadians. Based on public opinion research conducted for the NCC, it’s unlikely the capital will be branded as: “fun,” “dynamic,” “modern,” “cosmopolitan,” or “innovative.”More likely, the region will be portrayed as “historic,” “interesting,” “beautiful,” and “welcoming,” while the NCC also strives to make it “inspiring,” “environmentally friendly,” and to make sure it “reflects the entire country.” “It’s not just a phrase. It’s about: Why does (the capital) matter to you as a Canadian?” said NCC chief executive Marie Lemay. “There are a number of things that are important to Canadians that are not, in their mind, reflected in the capital. Those had to do with the environment, with making it more reflective of the country, and inspiring. Working on those is really important. … It’s about the value of the capital to Canadians.”

The slogan according to the article  is to be part of a five-year $2.5-million branding and marketing project that the NCC began last year. Yikes 2.5 million and this is what they come up with!!!

Here is a question? How does this overall initiative integrate with the City of Ottawa’s  4 pillars described in my previous blog “The Lifeblood of Tourism is Marketing” ?

  • Ottawa as a capital city (Parliament Hill and environs);
  • Ottawa as a cultural centre (our museums and galleries);
  • Ottawa as a place to enjoy nature (the Gatineau Hills and green space);
  • Ottawa as an urban experience (restaurants and shopping).

Do the people at the NCC talk to the people who run the Ottawa Tourism Board? Who Knows?

However, later on in the article you get the clue that the branding may not be for Canada’s Capital City Ottawa but the National Capital Region an outmoded concept that has never worked but the NCC keeps trying. Don’t they ever give up?

For example, “NCC chair Russell Mills and member Jacquelin Holzman, a former Ottawa mayor, questioned whether it would be possible to create a brand for the national capital region, rather than a specific city such as Ottawa. Holzman recalled that previous efforts to market a “Canada’s Capital Congress Centre” had failed, leading to the moniker “Ottawa Congress Centre” instead.”

Yes Ms. Holzman we who live here remember it well. But does the NCC have no corporate memory?  Guess not.

Also board member Frieda Martselos, from the Northwest Territories, said that representing First Nations in Ottawa will take actions, not just words.”When I come to the capital I find I don’t see a lot of First Nations portrayed here. A couple of hoop dances on July 1 and an ice sculpture at Winterlude isn’t going to do it. … Until I see something permanent, we haven’t fulfilled our mandate,” she said.

Also the survey points out that four out of five Canadians have a positive impression of the place. (Considering all of the negative media towards Ottawa politically every day of the year this is a very positive if not surprising result) Most people saw the capital as historic, interesting, beautiful, welcoming, and culturally rich. Fewer saw it as fun, dynamic, modern, cosmopolitan and innovative.

“It doesn’t matter that much — they don’t expect you to be those things,” said Ipsos-Reid vice-president Alexandra Evershed.”

(Yes but why don’t we surprise people when they come to Ottawa and work on being a little more dynamic with some pizazz as our Mayor keeps telling us. Also what is so special about being modern, don’t you want to visit a place that has a bit of history. If you want a modern city go to Calgary. We may not be cosmopolitan but innovative…  now that would be a challenge for Ottawa, let’s work on it. In other words maybe we need a little repositioning for our city so Ottawa does become a FUN place to come to. Why don’t we strive to become what sells a city rather than focus on what people’s perception is of our capital? Isn’t part of marketing to change or alter the product offering?  )

Alexandra Evershed. States that a large number of respondents want the capital to be inspiring, environmentally friendly, and reflective of the entire country, yet feel that it fails to achieve those characteristics.

Inspiring, not sure what that means and how do you make a destination inspiring? Environmentally friendly, what does that mean (Our claim to fame environmentally is  we dump our raw sewage in the Ottawa River?) and would love to know the underpinnings of why this will encourage people to come here ( not sure they come here to swim) .  Finally I always thought that Ottawa (at least the National Capital) was reflective of the country. If not, what is missing? As Kelly Egan states in his article in the CitizenThe capital covers two provinces, two cities, two main language groups and myriad dis-similar places: from the Peace Tower to the peaks of Gatineau Park, from the bicycle paths to the National Gallery, from Greenbelt to grunge. Not to mention the people: three founding cultures, our hyphenated latecomers, young, old, the handicapped, the notable dead, war heroes, scores of politicians, and Alanis”.

WARNING: Some marketing advice based on my experience , beware of marketing researchers trying to be marketing strategists . This happens all the time. The marketing researcher will look at the data and make recommendations on how to develop the marketing strategy. The problem is most of these folks  are researchers and not strategists . They look at the research results and suggest that their clients abide strictly by the findings.  But that is not what marketing is all about . Marketing is not only a science but an art. Marketing is taking what is there the customer’s present perception and trying to reposition the product to better provide a product that the customer will love and enjoy.

A marketer will come up with : Las Vegas – “What happens here, stays here.” Hip, sneaky, hints at the wild side — exactly what the gambling mecca is about.

“Virginia is for Lovers” is considered one of the best, most enduring campaigns, as is “I Love New York.  As opposed to  a horrible slogan  like  “Ottawa: Technically Beautiful,” Yuk.

Oh one more thing  branding gets thrown about as a synonym for “new logo,” or “slogan”  but if that were the case, then branding would be the domain of graphic designers and copy writers  alone. I thought this was supposed to be a marketing strategy and there is a heck of a lot more to marketing and branding than a slogan. To find out how branding works, and how to build a brand in government and non-profit sectors ; Check out our Guide to Branding in the Public and Non Profit Sectors which has been published by the Centre of Excellence for Public Sector Marketing.

Another reminder to  readers of my blog to register for MARCOM Professional Development, taking place June 10 & 11 at the Hilton Lac-Leamy.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out the program  or review the speaker roster , then I strongly encourage you and your colleagues to review the great line-up, make it part of the training plan and register before April 16.

Here are our key note speakers:

Mitch Joel: President, Twist Image

He is a marketing and communications visionary, interactive expert, community leader, Blogger and Podcaster. In 2008, Mitch Joel was named Canada’s Most Influential Male in Social Media. Mitch joins MARCOM to deliver the Opening Keynote on June 10th.

Terry O”Reilly: Age of Persuasion Host CBC Radio.

O’Reilly looks at what animates creativity and how the art of persuasion informs our culture. He delights both general audiences and advertising veterans, pointing to trends and dispatching timeless lessons. O’Reilly is an ad man in love with the promise of advertising but not blind to its shortcomings. Attendees of MARCOM 2010 will hear Terry deliver a keynote on June 11th.

I will be involved in the following sessions at MARCOM:

June 9, 2010 – Workshop

09:00 – 16:30 Social Marketing Planning – Implementing an Effective Campaign

Jim Mintz | Director, Centre of Excellence for Public Sector Marketing

One of the biggest challenges in Social Marketing Planning is the Implementation stage. Many organizations develop great plans, but poor execution leaves them wondering why they didn’t achieve the desired results. In previous editions of MARCOM, Jim Mintz has taken participants through a proven process for developing their social marketing strategy and plan. At MARCOM 2010, you will learn how to transform Strategies into Action! Jim will briefly review the social marketing plan process and then move into detailed discussions surrounding how to successfully implement your strategy. In this tough economy it’s important to ensure maximum impact for marketing dollars; especially when you are moving from planning into implementation where the majority of your budget will be allocated.

You will learn 7 key areas for social marketing plan implementation:

  1. What questions to ask when working with marketing and communications suppliers;
  2. How to develop a creative brief to ensure your communications agencies remain on strategy;
  3. The Do’s and Don’ts for smooth supplier relationships;
  4. Innovative ideas to fully leverage a limited budget;
  5. How to present and “sell” your social marketing strategy to management;
  6. How to approach and capitalize on strategic alliances;
  7. How to evaluate your campaign progress and success.

Take the next step: Join Jim Mintz and move your plan into action!

June 10, 2010

08:30 – 09:45 Session 1: “Leading the Charge” Panel: Learning from Marketing-Driven Organizations in Government

Facilitator: Jim Mintz | Director, Centre of Excellence for Public Sector Marketing
Karen Dufton | Senior Director General, Service Canada, Head, Marketing and Communications
Greg MacDougall | Director, Communications, CATSA
Lisa Allaire | Director General, Production and Advertising Services, Department of National Defence

What is a marketing-driven organization? What are some of the challenges faced in transforming a bureaucratic culture into a customer-centric organization? How do you get buy-in across the organization? These are some of the questions that will be answered by our panel of public sector marketing leaders who will share their experience and expertise on how they are creating a dynamic marketing culture in their organizations and what you can do to advance marketing as a powerful business transformation tool.

Hope to see you there.

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Top Federal Bureaucrat Embraces Web 2.0 Technology

Well the penny has finally dropped in the federal government…yesireee. The top bureaucrat in the federal government,  privy council clerk Wayne Wouters states that federal government departments have to embrace the web 2.0 tools and technology that the rest of the real world uses . The introduction according to Wouters would allow more collaboration among workers , levels of government and Canadians. Here is the link to the report.

He goes on say in his report to the Prime Minister, “adopting Web 2.0 technologies such as wikis can help us to improve the productivity of our workplaces and better harness the skills and knowledge of public servants across the country. Moreover, the reality is that newer public servants expect an enabling workplace. They will not stay long if we fail to provide one. Canadians also expect the public service to take advantage of new technologies to help meet their needs in new and better ways. Increased innovation will help us become more effective and efficient. We need new ideas, experimentation and better implementation. However, I recognize that it is difficult to innovate when hampered by unnecessary rules. That is why unraveling the web of rules at both the public service and departmental levels must continue.” (Amen)

Well Mr Wouters how about allowing public servants to have access to social media channels. Many of you who don’t work in the federal government, may be surprised to find out that the majority of public servants at all levels have no access to most of the popular social media channels . No this is not China I am talking about but Canada … a country that was once the world leader in E- Government and  is now years behind most industrialized countries especially the USA which is years ahead of us.

This is clearly a result of short sighted senior public service management who are concerned that left to their devices and allowed access to social media sites like Facebook public servants would be spending  a good portion of their  day on a social media site.  As a retired former senior public servant, I find this absolutely regressive old style bureaucratic thinking. I certainly remember in the 1990’s championing the ability for public servants  in my Department  to have access to the Internet. Some of you may find this hard to believe but government departments at the time were charging managers for every internet site accessible to  staff which resulted in only a small percentage of staff having access to the web.

Mr Wouters also discusses the stifling bureaucracy associated with briefing notes (which are rewritten 10 and 11 times due to the ridiculous approval process ).  He also mentions the levels of approvals required to complete simple tasks. In the field of communications and marketing the amount of approvals now required by departments, especially in the past few years is quite unbelievable. This has tremendous impact on productivity, it takes forever to get anything approved and clearly affects the  final product . If you want to see an example of what happens when you have a cumbersome  approval system in the marketing and communications field see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVb8EC1Y2xM.

Wouters points out “that government  systems are decades old and in  serious need of modernization to support their  operations. We must be more systematic about how we manage our knowledge and information. These are important government assets that should be captured and shared among individuals and across organizations.” Quite an understatement! Many departments are still working with old versions of Microsoft Office and some are still using Lotus Notes… an abomination .

Finally Wouters states “I encourage deputies, assistant deputy ministers, executives and managers to break down the barriers to effective collaboration,support innovation and the use of technology, and better manage information and knowledge. Enabling people and being more open to new ideas and approaches will be necessary if we are to truly unleash excellence.”

Yes Mr Wouters … Governments have to be open to new ideas, especially when it comes to technology.  You are recruiting thousands of young people in the public service (and there are thousands in the systems) and most are are up to speed on the new technologies and they find it totally regressive to work in an environment  where new technologies are not embraced but rather banned from the workplace.

I just wanted to remind readers of my blog to register for MARCOM Professional Development, taking place June 10 & 11 at the Hilton Lac-Leamy.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out the program  or review the speaker roster , then I strongly encourage you and your colleagues to review the great line-up, make it part of the training plan and register before April 16.

Here are our key note speakers:

Mitch Joel: President, Twist Image

He is a marketing and communications visionary, interactive expert, community leader, Blogger and Podcaster. In 2008, Mitch Joel was named Canada’s Most Influential Male in Social Media. Mitch joins MARCOM to deliver the Opening Keynote on June 10th.

Terry O”Reilly: Age of Persuasion Host CBC Radio.

O’Reilly looks at what animates creativity and how the art of persuasion informs our culture. He delights both general audiences and advertising veterans, pointing to trends and dispatching timeless lessons. O’Reilly is an ad man in love with the promise of advertising but not blind to its shortcomings. Attendees of MARCOM 2010 will hear Terry deliver a keynote on June 11th.

I will be involved in the following sessions at MARCOM:

June 9, 2010 – Workshop

09:00 – 16:30 Social Marketing Planning – Implementing an Effective Campaign

Jim Mintz | Director, Centre of Excellence for Public Sector Marketing

One of the biggest challenges in Social Marketing Planning is the Implementation stage. Many organizations develop great plans, but poor execution leaves them wondering why they didn’t achieve the desired results. In previous editions of MARCOM, Jim Mintz has taken participants through a proven process for developing their social marketing strategy and plan. At MARCOM 2010, you will learn how to transform Strategies into Action! Jim will briefly review the social marketing plan process and then move into detailed discussions surrounding how to successfully implement your strategy. In this tough economy it’s important to ensure maximum impact for marketing dollars; especially when you are moving from planning into implementation where the majority of your budget will be allocated.

You will learn 7 key areas for social marketing plan implementation:

  1. What questions to ask when working with marketing and communications suppliers;
  2. How to develop a creative brief to ensure your communications agencies remain on strategy;
  3. The Do’s and Don’ts for smooth supplier relationships;
  4. Innovative ideas to fully leverage a limited budget;
  5. How to present and “sell” your social marketing strategy to management;
  6. How to approach and capitalize on strategic alliances;
  7. How to evaluate your campaign progress and success.

Take the next step: Join Jim Mintz and move your plan into action!

June 10, 2010

08:30 – 09:45 Session 1: “Leading the Charge” Panel: Learning from Marketing-Driven Organizations in Government

Facilitator: Jim Mintz | Director, Centre of Excellence for Public Sector Marketing
Karen Dufton | Senior Director General, Service Canada, Head, Marketing and Communications
Greg MacDougall | Director, Communications, CATSA
Lisa Allaire | Director General, Production and Advertising Services, Department of National Defence

What is a marketing-driven organization? What are some of the challenges faced in transforming a bureaucratic culture into a customer-centric organization? How do you get buy-in across the organization? These are some of the questions that will be answered by our panel of public sector marketing leaders who will share their experience and expertise on how they are creating a dynamic marketing culture in their organizations and what you can do to advance marketing as a powerful business transformation tool.

Hope to see you there.

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Strategies before Tactics

If you check out our website you will note that our expertise is developing marketing strategies for public sector and non-profit marketers. Now when we started our organization many people told us we were crazy to set up an organization that only focuses on strategies as most public sector and non-profit organizations are looking for tacticians who do market research, advertising and other forms of communications including on-line products.

Well we are in business for close to 5 years and guess what , we found that a lot of public sector and non-profit organizations who need our services. Now it wasn’t always like that. Most of our clients were like most of you. You work in a government or non profit and your boss or internal client wants to see STUFF . Strategies are not STUFF. Websites. brochures, posters, ads, research studies are STUFF. Anyways why would you want to contract someone to help you with your strategy. Good question! But I would ask why hire an architect or engineer to help you design a building or bridge, why not just hire the construction crew and start building. You save a lot of money and you can get your building or bridge up quickly.

Now can you imagine anyone building a bridge or building with out a plan. Of course not, but in our world of marketing and communications we see organizations spending thousands or should I say millions of dollars producing STUFF and rolling it out with out a proper marketing strategy or plan. If you are one of those people shame on you … you should know better. Frankly the best investment a marketer or communicator can make is working with someone who understands the marketing and communications business and can craft a strategy so that your tactics fit into a plan with measurable objectives, segmentation plan, etc.

If I have learned one thing in my career is tactics with out a strategy is a recipe for disaster. More money is wasted on organizations developing marketing communications programs with out the FOUNDATION of a well thought marketing strategy

A good example is the recent phenomena of social media where now everyone is now trying to get involved in social media but as Mike Kujawski our social media expert points out in an article which will be published in a government newsletter next month:

“Clearly we are seeing major changes in the world of marketing and communications, however before government organizations start developing social media tactics it is important for them to ask some fundamental questions such as: What are the key issues that we are trying to address by engaging in social media? Which channels make the most sense based on our target audience? What are the relevant existing conversations already taking place? How are we going to measure performance? What is our employee social media engagement policy?

Too often we see government departments launch into social media without first having a strategy developed addressing the above (among other things). An effective social media strategy follows a very similar process to a well developed marketing strategy. The problem is most organizations within government departments don’t even have the latter.

Many people who work in the communications function of the public sector do not fully understand the marketing concept and how it can help them achieve their goals and objectives. They need to realize that marketing is first and foremost a process that helps organizations attain their objectives as effectively and efficiently as possible.  It follows a specific process and various frameworks (such as the 4P’s) that have been developed over many decades.

Marketing is one of the most misunderstood words in the public sector, often confused with “promotion”, “marketing communications” and in some cases “public relations”.

So this is resolution time being early in the year. This years resolution is you won’t develop any STUFF without a fully developed marketing strategy.

IABC Ottawa presents: Social Marketing Workshop for the Public and Not-for-Profit Sectors

IABC Ottawa presents: Social Marketing Workshop for the Public and Not-for-Profit Sectors

Wednesday, March 4, 2010
8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Hampton Inn and Conference Center – 200 Coventry Road

Messages from social marketing programs can affect audiences in unique and profound ways. Putting together a successful plan can feel haphazard, but it doesn’t have to be. IABC’s all-encompassing, interactive one-day workshop will teach participants the most up-to-date techniques and a proven step-by-step process to bring their plans to life.

Led by Jim Mintz, Director of the Centre for Excellence in Public Sector Marketing, this workshop provides the tools to develop a successful, end-to-end social marketing initiative on your own. Mr. Mintz holds diplomas in both Advanced Marketing Management and Advertising and has provided social marketing advice and consultation to a number of countries. As the retired Director of Marketing & Corporate Communications at Health Canada, Jim has held positions in the private sector, federal government and crown corporations. Jim has lectured at many universities across North America sharing his knowledge and experiences as director to numerous social marketing and communications campaigns in health and social issues.

In addition to being privy to Mr. Mintz’s wealth of experience, participants will also receive a comprehensive social marketing workbook to help guide them through the process for creating their own Customized Social Marketing Action Plan. Learn what makes social marketing different from other campaigns and how it can give you a single approach for mobilizing communities, influencing the media, lobbying/advocacy and building strategic alliances with businesses.

Don’t miss your chance to get ahead!

Register Now

MARCOM Professional Development Forum 2010

MARCOM 2010, June 10-11 at Hilton Lac-Leamy in Gatineau, Quebec. http://www.marcom.ca/

Atlantic Canada Marketing AND Communications Professional Development Program

Posted on December 16, 2009 by jimmintz | Edit

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Halifax, Nova Scotia, March 22-31, 2010

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Atlantic Canada Marketing AND Communications Professional Development Program

Atlantic Banner

Halifax, Nova Scotia, March 22-31, 2010

The Centre for Excellence in Communications (CEC) and The Centre for Excellence in Public Sector Marketing (CEPSM), Ottawa, in association with Catapult Media, Halifax, are offering a series of professional development workshops for the Atlantic Canada public and not-for-profit sectors in the context of the

Atlantic Canada Marketing and Communications Professional Development Program, Halifax, Nova Scotia, March 22-31, 2010.

WHY ATTEND?

The Atlantic Canada Marketing and Communications Professional Development Program is an opportunity for communications and marketing professionals, executives and managers to enjoy focused and tested professional development and training. The eight courses available have been successfully delivered to thousands of public, not-for-profit sector and other participants. They provide learning that is conceptually rigorous and practical, and that can be applied immediately. And course content is specifically relevant to the challenges faced by Atlantic Canada marketers, communicators and anyone working in related areas.

The Atlantic Canada Marketing and Communications Professional Development Program:

  • Provides learning for individual career development and for building organizations’ leadership capacity;
  • Offers tools, techniques and strategies to enable managers and their marketing and communications professionals to better serve the needs of their internal and external partners and effectively reach key audiences and markets;
  • Helps strengthen organizations’ communications and marketing capabilities;
  • Offers access to professional development opportunities while saving costs and time and maximizing training budgets;
  • Provides excellent networking opportunities and the chance to see what others in the same professional areas are doing.

WORKSHOP SCHEDULE (Click on each workshop for description)

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Strategic Communications
Workshop Date
Price
Strategic Communications Planning: Critical Steps and Techniques
March 22, 2010
$675
Measuring Communications Performance and Success through a Performance Measurement Framework and Strategy
March 23, 2010
$675
Fundamentals of Public Sector and Non-Profit Marketing
March 24, 2010
$675
Social Marketing Strategies for the Public and Non-Profit Sectors
March 25, 2010
$675
Partnership Marketing and Corporate Engagement Techniques
March 26, 2010
$675
Strategies for Social Media: Developing a Social Media Marketing Plan
March 29, 2010
$675
Effective Messaging: Strategies and Techniques
March 3, 2010
$675
Competencies for Communications Professionals
March 30, 2010
$675
Partnering with the Federal Government: The Communications Dimension
March 31, 2010
$675

FEES

1-Day Workshops $675*
20% Group Rate Discount for 3+ Individuals from the Same Unit*

For each workshop, groups of 3 or more will receive a 20% discount of the regular workshop fee for all but the first registrant. Registrations need to be coordinated centrally by the relevant unit, with one registration list for each workshop.

We will issue one invoice for each workshop, based on the number of participants registered. Subsequent additions to the registration list will be included in the group discount rate, with separate invoices issued.

*NOTE: Organizational unit is defined as a Branch, Bureau, Division or Sector.

Regular Workshop Fee $675.00*
Group Rates
1st registrant $675.00*
2nd, 3rd, 4th registrants $540.00* each
Saving for 3 registrants -$270.00*
Saving for 4 registrants -$405.00*

Past Participant Discount

Any workshop registrant who previously participated in a CEC open workshop or registers for more than one workshop will automatically receive a 10% discount for each workshop beyond their initial registration.

In-House Workshops for up to 20 Participants from One Organizational Unit

Well suited for organizations with potential groups of communications, policy or program staff working on the same issues and programs.

Workshop duration 1/2 day 1 day 2 days
In-House session (Off-the-shelf) $3,000.00* $5,500.00* $8,750.00*
Customization cost $1,250.00/day*

* Prices do not include HST

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