Sunday, November 06, 2005

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


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