Wednesday, November 23, 2005

If this group had three goals to achieve within its first three years, what would those be in your opinion.

If this group had three goals to achieve within its first three years, what would those be in your opinion.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

What would its primary purpose for being, be?

What would its primary purpose for being, be?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Questions that need to be asked - 3 Wishes

If you were given three wishes for a group to represent the needs, people, and issues of the high technology sector in Alberta what would that group look like.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Questions that need to be asked

If you were given three wishes for a group to represent the needs, people, and issues of the high technology sector in Alberta what would that group look like.

What would its primary purpose for being, be?

If this group had three goals to achieve within its first three years, what would those be in your opinion.

What three issues in government policy would the group need to help address for the industry?

What three issues does this group need to address amongst the stakeholders in the high technology sector in Alberta?

Who should this group be for, and how do we attract them to the group?

When those people get to the group how do we assure we engage them to help the group make the wishes of yours come true?

What should the name of the group be?

Of those who you think should be a part of the group, where are they?

How would a group like this reach them with information on the group?

If we wanted you to be a member of this group what do we need say to you that would make you join?

Alberta Technology Chamber - Commiunications Plan Position Paper

Alberta Technology Chamber - Communications Plan Position Paper

My communications plan would be focused along a direct, niche marketing, relying heavily on trackable permission marketing through electronic means. After you have answered many questions.

There are far too many questions yet to be answered before you decide on how to communicate a message, as I don’t think you have figured out what it should say, let alone to whom.

Having talked to either in person or by telephone, or via e-mail, I cannot honestly tell you if many others in the group what they want the in the Alberta Technology Chamber of Commerce and Network 2020 to be, or what they wanted it to be when they first got involved.

I know from the e-mail messages that have passed through my little computer since meeting Stephen, I can’t see any common thread, except that the status quo of the technology sector of Alberta is not right.

I would suggest we set up the WIKI first.

Have the access to the WIKI limited to a select group that does not include anyone from the media.

We have got to stop being mesmerized by the glaring lights of a salivating media, and chart our course based on good solid marketing and business principles.

Set out five or six questions, with deadlines for comments staggered across a four or five month period. At the end of each period the messages, comments, and suggestions will be boiled down to a concise message that represents the majority of the comments and commenters.

Then at the end of the process we will have an idea of what we want to be when we grow up.

The thread of the WIKI will be set out to answer the 4-P’s of Marketing as well as ‘Norm’s 5 W’s,’ of communications.

Until you have determined your 4-P’s, you have no product and no ‘brand.’

The four P’s then determine how you communicate your message to who, where, and what, what and how. Norm’s “5 W’s.”

First we must determine what we want to be when we grow up.

I really don’t think the reason for being has been set forth yet clearly, without that you have no product.

The reason for someone to join the Alberta Technology Chamber of Commerce and Network 2020 is not evident.

You must have a reason for someone to join you in the Alberta Technology Chamber of Commerce and Network 2020, which is different and unique from all of the other S.I.G.’s they can and do belong to.

You can go to the media, and talk about something like a group to represent the technology sector in Alberta. Who is in the sector, you are appealing to? Is it the SME’s, the IBM’s, or who?

The IBM’s do not need you.

You can execute a media relations campaign directed towards the mass media, but I feel that is misdirected. The typical printed mass media is not being read, listened to, or viewed by the vast majority of people, and especially by people involved in the technology sector.

It strokes egos, but that is about it, and the effect quickly dissipates and the results will be several limited.

My experience and education leads to giving the advise, that you decide what you want to be, who would be interested in that, and then form the message around that, and use the information from those decisions, to decide the how of delivering the message.

The false starts over the years that many have participated in might be due to the fact that they had no plan for where they wanted to go, what they would do when they got there, or whom they wanted to come along on the trip.

The current S.I.G.’s already think they are doing a good job in representing the industry, but then one has to wonder why your group has so many supporters.

Do we want to be a group that represents the Technology sector like the regular Chambers of Commerce?

If so, why would someone join the Alberta Technology Chamber of Commerce and Network 2020?

What benefits are there to someone becoming a member of the Alberta Technology Chamber of Commerce and Network 2020?

Using a name with the word, ‘Chamber,’ in it, sends a message, with a preconceived set of assumptions as to what the group is. Not using that word means you have a larger and some might say harder job of selling the group to your intended customers or members.

Is it to be just a web site with a WIKI/Blog to talk about the issues that are specific to the technology sector in Alberta?

Is it to be proactive? How is to be differentiated from every other group the members we are trying to attract, will come from? (That would be the competition.)

Can we build interest in another group that just talks about the problems and issues?

I am looking for a group that will embark on route to affect change.

That is what is needed.

The question about the ‘why,’ keeps coming up in my mind.

Until we discover the who and why they would join the Alberta Chamber of Commerce and Network 2020, you cannot really decide how or where to communicate the message to bring them to the Alberta Technology Chamber of Commerce and Network 2020.

You need to decide what the Principles and objectives will be and what the potential members want in a group’s Principles and objectives to attract them to join yet another industry association.

Below is what I have been given as to some marketing information. It is not any where near what is needed before starting the process of communicating our message:

The Products:
o an opportunity for people to join together to create the conditions for success for the technology intensive industries. an organized constituencyThe Product is NOT a Technology Chamber of Commerce, although that might be an outcome. it was merely the starting point of our collective learning process, the trigger.

The Communications Strategy:
o create a free virtual space where this can happen and the preconditions for a successful real event that says and celebrates that we have achieved a constituency for all the world to see and hear.

The Brand:
o grass roots collegiality mediated by the Internet and faciliated by state of the art community building "software" leading to concrete actions locally and provincially:
o walk the talk - you want to promote TII then use its technologies and its organizational paradigm (the self-organizing network).

Until you have a better picture of what the Alberta Technology Chamber of Commerce and Network 2020 is to be, there is no message to communicate, as you have no audience or market to communicate to.

If I heard right at the first meeting I attended through the facilities of CTI, there was discontent with the way the technology sector is dealt with by the Provincial and Federal governments.

What I heard was the lack of help in finding both traditional and non-traditional sources of financing for technology iniatives.

There was also consensus on the belief that Alberta has no technology strategy for the province, and hence the spotty efforts and attention paid to it.

I also heard that the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce had little interest or ability in representing the technology sector, especially that in the SME area of the economy.

If in fact you ‘deliver a series of presentations to technology sector rich organizations and conferences, starting with CIPS and continuing with THECIS, KEI, Calgary Technologies, an EDE event etc,’ you must also deliver a reason for these same people to come together united behind the idea of the Alberta Technology Chamber of Commerce and Network 2020.

Why would they, when I don’t think the purpose of setting up the group has yet been defined?

If the only purpose of the Alberta Technology Chamber of Commerce and Network 2020 is to generate traffic to the WIKI and the BLOG, then we can all do that on our own through our own networks. This can be done without a web site, and without any concerted media relations or communications effort.

We must decide what the constituency is going to be, and what they want.

When you do that, figure out the product, and place it will be for the constituency to come to, then you can start, ‘branding.’

Thank you
Norm Greenfield
Media and Government Relations
Myth Confectioner
Published Writer
Corporate, Marketing and Political Communications
New and Old Media
E-Learning/E-Government/E-Democracy Business Development
Registered Federal Government Lobbyist
Registered B.C. and N.B Government Lobbyist



There has been a small group of Albertans who have been working to create a “Chamber of Technology” – a self-managing network of people, businesses and organizations, which will use powerful open source methods to build a technology industry constituency here in Alberta. It aims to: influence the quality and flow of highly qualified people into the marketplace; influence angel investors (both conventional and non-conventional), credit unions, banks and venture capitalists to invest in small and medium enterprises here in Alberta working in this sector; influence Government to look at incentives for small and medium enterprises to secure work and gain tax advantages; encourage business to adopt and adapt emerging technologies; steer immigration policy to support these industries; connect aboriginal people and communities to these developing business opportunities and harness their indigenous knowledge; rethink the municipal taxation of small and medium enterprises, especially home based business; promote environmentally sound strategies for technology development; connect businesses from one end of the Province to the other, so that anyone, anywhere in Alberta can help to make the convergence of various technologies being developed or used into something bigger or increase the value added nature of the products and services being sold to the world. happen.

Anyone will be able to participate, since the membership fee will be small and all will be expected to contribute to online development of ideas, policies, proposals and resources. A small “kick off” group has purchased a web site ( where those who wish to do so can co-create policy and resources and share in the development of strategy for the growing of technology intensive small and medium sized locally based all across Alberta (same comment as above) industry sector as a whole. Local groups will form of their own accord and online Town Hall meetings will be held from time to time. This may all lead to a Province wide meeting at some point in the future, but that will be up to the grass roots network.

If this sounds different, it is. This emerging organization wishes to use the relevant technologies and the principles of open source development to create, sustain and grow the organization. While there are passionate champions who want to make this happen, these same people also do not want to “control” the agenda.

This is a grass roots chamber.

Behind this intiative is the coming in to its own. “Convergence.”

It speaks to the connections been made between nanotechnology, information and digital technologies, biotechnology, and cognitive technologies – the technology intensive industries.

Understanding convergence is important for Alberta.

As we look to a future of high gas and oil prices, leading to changes in energy use and the eventual decline of gas supplies, we need to look to new industries to generate economic growth and sustain the Province. The technology intensive industries provide the focus for the new knowledge economy of Alberta.

Despite this future need, this industry sector is fragmented, disorganized and unfocused. While each area of technology within the sector may have some structure and some leadership, there is very little cross-sectoral dialogue and inneffective lobbying by these combined sectors. The result is that angel investors (both conventional and non-conventional), venture capital providers, government policy makers, Federal and Provincial funding agencies and others are failing to harness the power of convergence to build a vibrant new industry sector in Alberta.

Other jurisdictions are leading and Alberta is lagging behind not only the rest of Canada, but more importantly the world.

Just as the Alberta Chamber of Resources, founded in 1935, has a significant role in shaping our thinking about the natural resource sector, so we think a Chamber of Technology – or Network 2020 – should develop the same capacity for the technology intensive industries. We need these new industries to be the bedrock of Alberta’s economy by 2025, and we had better start now to develop the sector. (It is not a forgone conclusion as the original could be taken to imply).

The Chamber of Technology – or Network 2020 can be more effective for the technology industry in Alberta as it will be grass roots led, and more responsive to the unique needs of an industry that is made up of small and medium sized businesses.

The above is letter written through the cooperation in part by Stephen Murgatroyd is a freelance writer and management consultant based in Edmonton, and Norm Greenfield corporate, marketing, and political communications consultant with Provoco Status Quo with clients around the world, including e-learning, e-government, and digital media producers and creators.