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News archive for February 25, 2014

Marketing strategy touts ‘unbeatable infrastructure’

A nearly 40-page marketing strategy adopted by city council Monday evening will focus on Whitehorse residents.

By Stephanie Waddell on February 25, 2014 at 3:52 pm


Photo by Whitehorse Star

Coun. John Streicker

A nearly 40-page marketing strategy adopted by city council Monday evening will focus on Whitehorse residents.

The blueprint will deliver core messages on the “unbeatable infrastructure”, “smart, problem-solving citizens”, “the wild doorstep” and “an opportunity frontier” in the city.

Council was unanimous in its decision to adopt the document last night.

Coun. John Streicker said he was excited to learn that as part of implementing the strategy, a citizens-first work team of city employees will be formed to work on message delivery.

As it’s stated in a summary report to council: “Employee communication is central to the development of the proposed strategy, and the citizens-first work team will assist in developing consistent messaging.”

The group will be made up of employees from a variety of departments who will focus on messaging and social media, Jackie Hynes, the city’s manager of strategic communications and customer service, said last week.

While there are opportunities for more social media use, she said, staff capacity issues are limiting its use.

Hynes brought forward the strategy to council last week.

She noted the document – drafted by Aasmen Brand Communications late last year – set out to identify goals, target audiences and tools to promote the city within its available resources.

“It is expected that the strategy will establish a framework to guide investments, co-ordinate current efforts and identify new opportunities for co-operation with the city’s partners,” she said in her report to council.

The strategy features five key steps for implementing the plan to promote the city:

• making sure city staff understand the core messages;

• using “audience” profiles to better connect its audience with city departments;

• engaging Mayor Dan Curtis and council as “champions” of the city’s brand;

• taking better advantage of city-owned venues for marketing; and

• co-ordinating communications and marketing efforts.

“These steps will drive a collaborative approach to implement the strategy,” Hynes said. “We need to engage employees as much as possible.”

As it was noted among council members last week, employees are a central point of contact for local residents who come into places like city hall, the Municipal Services Building and the Canada Games Centre, among others, and it’s important that residents get a consistent message from all of those.

With the strategy now adopted, implementation can get underway.

“This initial work to implement the strategy can proceed using existing advertising budgets in strategic communications and customer service and other departments,” Hynes noted.

“If additional funding is needed, administration will request a budget amendment or submit a future budget request.”

Work will also continuing in partnership with the territory’s Tourism department and groups like the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce to promote tourism and economic development.

Coun. Dave Stockdale wondered about evaluating how well the strategy is working.

Interim city manager Brian Crist noted the city conducts its citizens’ survey every two years. That will give the city a chance to see how well the marketing is working.

Coun. Kirk Cameron also pointed to the final pages of the strategy.

They feature a measurement tool focusing on continual improvements in looking at how the strategy is working.

CommentsAdd a comment


Feb 25, 2014 at 4:55 pm

“the wild doorstep”?????

Aren’t people concerned about the city thinking of motorized vehicles using the Millenium Trail?

The wild doorstep will be gone within a couple of years, the city in their wisdom have let it go.


Feb 25, 2014 at 6:21 pm

More money wasted on self-serving propaganda to convince voters they’re doing a good job.  I have enough fire starter without CoW sending more junk mail.

Nobody but CoW pays any attention to this ‘marketing’ crap.
Just do your job and don’t waste our money patting yourself on the back.

June Jackson

Feb 25, 2014 at 6:36 pm

How much did we pay Aasmen Brand Communications for this garbage?  We’re going to foot the bill for an entire new unit to tell City employee’s to all say the same thing to taxpayers? (Renters pay taxes too, every time the Council jacks the taxes, rent goes up $100. a month.)

“Work will also continuing in partnership with the territory’s Tourism department and groups like the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce to promote tourism and economic development.”  The City was already doing this, now we need a media unit to tell us to do this?

My rent went up so the CoW could, in effect, wear fancy pants?


Feb 25, 2014 at 7:16 pm

YTG Tourism department and groups like the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce already promote tourism and economic development, it’s their job. Don’t waste our tax dollars with silly redundant efforts.  Instead use the money budgeted to marketing the CoW to reduce fees, improve operating efficiency, and fix the potholes and plow the snow in that “unbeatable infrastructure”.

This fluff piece article is a perfect example of the marketing scam.  It’s mostly marketing jargon and phrases parroted off the marketing study.  The only substantial comment is from Councilor Stockdale, questioning how we will know if it’s effective. 

Of course that’s the beauty of the whole scam, you can’t accurately evaluate it’s effectiveness with more junk mail questionnaires. If you ask for evaluations the only people who will respond will be those who like it. Marketing mavens love that. Everyone else will throw it in the trash with all the other junk mail they get from the City. 

If you want a fair and honest evaluation then you send it out with the property tax notices and you give us ten bucks off our taxes if we return it completed.  You’ve got one good opportunity to get taxpayers attention, and get an unbiased sample, use it.

Mandeep Sidhu

Feb 26, 2014 at 3:44 pm

Dan Curtis as champion of the cities brand?  He’s less than transparent (Still refuses to release his costs or contributors for his election campaign). He started off his Mayorality as demanding him as the head of a ship, and complained about Christmas lights.

Taxes have gone up, infrastructure is poor, and there has been a dramatic increase in the number of pylons working for the City. I hope the federal government cuts funding to this area.

Then we can see what is sustainable and what survives.
Bureaucracy and administration set the course of the city. Council is catering to it.


Feb 26, 2014 at 5:50 pm

When someone works for the city as a manager of “strategic communications and customer service”,
it is plain that the city has too many employees.

Just Say'in

Feb 27, 2014 at 9:37 pm

More City navel gazing. Just a year or so ago the city went through an entire re branding. The paddle wheel was gone (To old and boring) renamed our city to whatever.  What a waste of money, new stationary, signage, uniform badging, website, advertising you name it, even the signs on the vehicles. Please stop it!!!! You are not a business, you do not need a brand, and you certainly do not need to advertise anything. Why is it that bureaucrats start to think they are entrepreneurs. Just provide the services and maintenance you are mandated to do. That is it.

bobby bitman

Feb 28, 2014 at 1:40 am

Just do your jobs well and let your performance speak for itself.  Wasting my tax money on expensive marketing consultants to tell us what a great job you are doing is pathetic.


Feb 28, 2014 at 5:33 pm

Its official, and I’m calling it now…... another tax hike in 2015. “The initial work will be covered through existing budgets”, great what happens when the real work begins?

You know, you’ll get your pat on the back, when you actually deserve one! Do your job….. save us some money on our taxes…... do something relevant and something that really matters!!!!

We must be the laughing stock of municipalities by now! Bravo council (yet another brilliant idea)!!

While we’re at it, how about another 25.5% raise for all employees sitting on this new committee, they will need to be properly compensated for the extra layer of work!

Remember follow through is more important than your ideas, this is going to cost us a fortune!!!

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