About this Site
To view the 2011 Edmontonstories update click here.
The Story of Edmontonstories
1. What is Edmontonstories?
Edmontonstories is a marketing and outreach program developed to raise awareness about the exceptional quality of life in Edmonton and help local organizations attract new employees, families, students and tourists to Edmonton.
2. Why was it initiated?
In 2008 the economy was booming in Edmonton. Industry and businesses leaders were asking the City and Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC) for help in recruiting people to Edmonton. They were concerned that a negative perception of Edmonton was deterring people from considering moving here.
3. How did you determine the direction you took?
The direction was based on research in Edmonton and across Canada and North America conducted by Longwoods International. Longwoods asked people about the attributes they look for in an ideal place to live and visit, and asked them to rate their city and other cities on those attributes.
- There was a huge gap, one of the largest Longwoods had ever seen, between what Edmontonians perceived about the quality of life in Edmonton and the way other Canadians saw it.
- While awareness of Edmonton was low, our city ranked high in terms of the key attributes and motivators people look for when considering the ideal place to live or visit.
- Edmontonians had a very positive outlook on their city, their life here and the opportunities Edmonton offers in work, play and lifestyle.
In short, Edmonton offers the experience people look for and value in a city. Edmontonstories takes peoples’ stories of life in Edmonton and shares them with the world through the Internet and personal social networks. It is a solution that is cost-effective for a municipal budget.
4. How was Edmontonstories rolled out?
- Building the site, the content management system, populating the site with the stories.
- Contesting was initially used to encourage story submissions. Stories continue to come in, even when there are not contests.
- Upgrades and additional components were added – a comments component was included on all stories, theme pages were developed, geotagging was incorporated, Facebook and Twitter became instrumental in engaging target audiences,
Development of partnerships.
- After working with Edmonton Police Services to use Edmontonstories to assist them with recruitment (EPS Case study), we had the evidence to show it could influence peoples’ decisions.
The Recruitment Partnership Program launched in late 2011 – organizations involved in recruiting were contacted, provided with information on the program, and pages specific to their needs were developed (link to partner pages)
As we work with, and add, recruitment partners, we’ll continue to look for evidence of the power of Edmontonstories.
5. What are the partners saying?
All partners that have joined Edmontonstories Partner Recruitment Program were very interested and excited at the prospect of having this tool to use in helping with their recruitment efforts.
“The site is great. Easy to use, a one stop shop really. I would have used this if it were available when I was being recruited. It appears quite an invaluable tool.” Keith Blackie, Alberta Health Services (recently from Scotland)
"It’s great to see an innovative approach allowing the City and the business sector to partner for mutual benefit. Kudos to the City of Edmonton for Edmontonstories.” Mike Duff, CEO, Design Group Staffing Inc.
6. How do you know the outreach is successful?
We constantly analyze visits and page views to Edmontonstories. More than 400 people each day spend more than a minute and twenty seconds learning about Edmonton. We’ve reached into 192 countries and more than 9000 cities around the world. As well, we continue to get positive feedback through the partnerships we’ve developed. (see Question 5)
7. What do you do to make it successful?
- Online marketing – and optimizing the ads as we proceed
- Search Engine Optimization
- Engaging followers on Twitter and Facebook
8. Why does it cost so much?
Typical marketing campaign budgets are in the millions of dollars. Edmontonstories is designed to be sustainable over the long term for about $600,000 a year, because changing impressions of Edmonton will require a long-term, sustainable effort.
9. Why have I never heard of Edmontonstories before?
While we have a Facebook and Twitter presence with numerous Edmontonians following us, our online marketing is not directed at Edmontonians. We target people from outside of Edmonton, because the purpose of Edmontonstories is to increase awareness of Edmonton outside our city, and with the stories written by Edmontonians, help change the perceptions of what Edmonton is like to live, work and play in. As a result of our marketing efforts, seventy-one percent of the visitors to Edmontonstories are from outside Edmonton.
If you have a story that you’d like to share with potential Edmontonians, we’d love to hear from you. Share your story here.
If you have questions or want to comment about this site please send an email to [email protected].
For details about site use, please review the Terms and Conditions.
Please note:The City of Edmonton does not endorse any products or services referenced in or linked to this website.
This site has been made possible through the leadership and vision of the Mayor and Council of the City of Edmonton. Led by the City of Edmonton and supported by Edmonton Economic Development Corporation, this campaign is intended to increase awareness of Edmonton, enhance the potential of our city and support the attraction and retention efforts of our civic business partners and community leaders.