My work at the City of Kitchener

static image of official plan flash

Having a young business, I expected the summer to be slow. Turned out not to be true but that’s another story!

As summer approached, I learned about a short contract opportunity with the City of Kitchener. I applied and was happy to be a Communications and Marketing Associate for a few months.

I enjoyed working as part of the city’s communications and marketing team. I believe I left my personal imprint on the projects that I was responsible for communicating. You might think that it must have been nice working with larger budgets but something I learned was that my internal clients at the city also required solutions that got them the most bang for their buck.

I would like to share a few examples of some of the work that I did because some of these ideas may work for you and they demonstrate how I think.

  • Kitchener Golf – I promoted Doon Valley Golf Course (including its new pitch and putt and Classic 9 course) and Rockway Golf Course. We launched an e-mail promotion of the weekly specials using Mad Mimi. We offered weekly prizes and end of summer prizes to encourage people to sign up. The list grew dramatically over the summer. I don’t think that I’d recommend Mad Mimi for an e-newsletter but it worked well to send e-promotions.
  • backyard pool safety – A print package had already been developed about a joint initiative between aquatics and bylaw enforcement to help people use backyards pools safely. My role was to help make sure people knew about it. Media relations was important so we launched the program at a pool so that there would be some good visuals. We got good coverage such as this article in the Waterloo Region Record. I also arranged an appearance on Rogers TV Daytime and later embedded that video on the page about this year’s Watersmart campaign.
  • Kitchener in Bloom – An innovation that made me proud was to post pictures of the nominated properties on the city’s Flickr page. We then embedded a slideshow on the program’s webpage and used other social media tools to get people to visit that page and raise awareness of the program. Showing pictures online for the first time also showed the diversity of front yards that were recognized for making Kitchener beautiful.
  • the first draft of the city’s new Official plan – I helped ensure that people knew about their first and best opportunity to give feedback on this critical document that shapes the city for the next twenty years. We showed its importance by making it a front cover story in Your Kitchener, developing a flash banner on the city’s home page and frequently promoting it on Facebook and Twitter.
  • stormwater credit and rebate consultations – I helped ensure that the information being shared at the public information session and online was in plain language that people could understand so that people can get their heads around the issues and give helpful input.
  • I also wrote several news releases such as this one for the Community Environmental Improvement Grants.

I hope this sampling of my work at the city gave you some ideas about how you too can get your message out cost-effectively.