Government & Community

#KeepParklandGrowing

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On the doorstep of the City of Edmonton, Parkland County has exciting activities for individuals of all ages and families. Whether you are seeking outdoor activities like hunting, fishing or boating or golfing, or you prefer visiting farmers' markets, experiencing arts and culture or love shopping, Parkland County has unique experiences that you will keep you coming back.

1. The Challenge

To elevate its communication strategy, Parkland County, in partnership with Calder Bateman, was in need of a platform to educate and advocate on behalf of it’s community following the accelerated phase-out of coal mining. Under the province’s new Climate Leadership Plan, announced in 2015, all coal plants are required to be offline by the year 2030. This is 31 years sooner than the initially proposed federal timeline of 2061.

In the initial approach, Parkland County wanted to create a video that would prominently reflect the thoughts and feelings of its residents as they faced the potential loss of their livelihoods. We needed to create a powerful video that not only depicted the feelings of uncertainty and grief but the resiliency of Parkland County residents in the face of adversity- particularly those working in the plant. Our success on this project hindered on our ability to convey the gravity of the phase-out on the future of Parkland County.

In a follow-up to our first video, Parkland County then enlisted us to assist with creating a State of the Nation piece. This video would be used in various congregations on both provincial and federal scales to continue lobbying for the support of Parkland residents as coal plants began to shut down. For us, the challenge was to encapsulate a speech, given by the county’s Mayor, Rod Shaigec, in a fashion that would attract and maintain viewers’ attention (Bonus points if we got people talking after the video). It was vital that we create a visual landscape for the Mayor’s speech as he provided stats and facts that might not be absorbed the same way if simply given auditorily. This piece would be intended for future use in meetings to maintain key messaging points.

2. The Idea

With both videos, there was an overarching goal of creating awareness and educating the public on the impact of the coal phase-out on Parkland’s community. This brought on conversations between our team, Parkland County & Calder Bateman about how to best achieve it. Parkland County brought forth the idea of creating a “mini-doc” about the effects of coal, hearing directly from county residents. From here, Calder Bateman’s creative team developed the copy and key messaging points while Cineflair set forth to capture the visuals and build upon the story. Overall, the idea process for both videos was a collaborative effort between all parties involved.

 Albert Wagner, one of the three Parkland community residents we interviewed.

Albert Wagner, one of the three Parkland community residents we interviewed.

3. The Approach

Our approach to this project was heavily based on the need to ensure we had credible voices who could speak to the various levels that would be affected throughout Parkland. For example, Mayor Rod Shaigec would be instrumental in talking about the work his department was doing with the provincial government.

Local residents, providing a heartfelt look into how the phase-out would affect their businesses and families, would allow for intimate insight at the ground-level. The voices we would involve in this project needed to accurately reflect all areas that would be hit by this change.

With this approach, we hoped to give viewers a sense for the magnitude of the decision to phase out coal on all levels.

 The Parkland County communications team, celebrating their big win night at the IABC Capital Awards 2018. 

The Parkland County communications team, celebrating their big win night at the IABC Capital Awards 2018. 

4. The Results

Of special interest when it comes to these projects is the deadlines we have had to turn around content. To this day, and despite the tight deadlines, we have never let them down. Our work with Parkland County has also been the  receipient of two IABC Capital awards in 2018 for Communication Management and Communication Skills.

The feedback from viewers has been overwhelmingly positive and humbling with praise coming from regional partners such as the Enoch community, who expressed content over the message of goodwill. So not only have these videos received a combined +4000 views, but they evoked the emotional response from viewers that was ultimately our goal. 

Parkland County felt that both videos really elevated the quality of work that their governance has been doing and will continue to do in support of its community. It has generated conversations about how to support Parkland’s economic infrastructure as well as open doors to further discussions with the province.

Furthermore, this campaign also received coverage on a weekly basis from almost every Edmonton media outlet, including; Global EdmontonCTV Edmonton630 CHED, 660 News (Calgary), CBC EdmontonThe Danielle Smith show (News Talk 770), and Alberta PrimeTime.