September 13th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 37
RFP issued for marketing plan
Economic Development Committee and Community Services work together to put the Pass on the map
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Pass Herald Reporter
Building up the municipal brand, expanding the website and engaging with the public on all social media fronts is the Year 1 municipal marketing strategy for Crowsnest Pass.

The Economic Development Committee (EDC) and Community Services have worked together to create a request for proposal (RFP), which was launched for tender on September 5.

The municipality is looking for a company that would carry out the first-year marketing plan created by National Public Relations in January 2017.

In 2016, the EDC had put out an RFP for a municipal marketing plan, for which National Public Relations won the bid. Over the course of that year, the marketing firm conducted several surveys in the community to determine what locals would want to see happen on the website. The feedback that they received asserted that most Pass residents don’t want their home turned into a luxurious commercial destination. Instead, they want to keep it authentic and wild. National identified three pillars that distinguish the Pass and make it unique: the outdoors, culture and cuisine.

Based on their research, National produced a three-year marketing plan to draw tourism to the area and promote Crowsnest Pass and its assets. Council had approved the marketing plan at a meeting on August 22.
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The focus of the Year 1 strategies is to fire up social media. The company that wins the bid will be responsible for managing all tourism social media platforms for the municipality. The other part of the plan is attracting travel writers and bloggers to the community to promote and expose the Pass through their writing.

“The purpose is to enhance the existing GoCrowsnest website and to engage the public in using the website,” says Vice Chair of the EDC Oliver Strickland. “The idea right now is to get the stories and the photos out there.”

Currently, Jessica Atkins, owner of Stone’s Throw Café, manages the GoCrowsnest Twitter account, and Melanie Beals, EDC Chair and Strickland manage the Facebook page. The strategic hashtag of “find yourself in the Pass” filters the Instagram feed.

Year 1 strategies also include creating an eNewsletter about activities and events going on in the Pass, executing a media relations plan, exploring partnerships with institutions and corporations, and developing analytics to monitor the success of marketing efforts.

The RFP indicates, “The Municipality of Crowsnest Pass is seeking qualified consulting services to implement a Tourism & Relocation Marketing Strategy designed to drive an increase in tourism visits, encourage business growth and relocation to the Crowsnest Pass region.”
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According to Strickland, selection of which company win the bid process will be based on presentation and research.

“Money isn’t going to dictate who gets the bid. It’s going to be value-added,” he says.

The selection process for the company that gets the bid will be done on a point system by members of Administration and the EDC.

At this point, Strickland says the goal is to hire a company to enact the Year 1 strategies so that the committee can have time to strategically plan and develop the Year 2 and 3 strategies.

Year 2 and 3 strategies focus on furthering and building on all of the strategies of the first year.

The RFP closes at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, September 15, 2017. Administration will present the winning bid to Council on October 3.

The RFP is out for tender for a sum of $50,000. On September 1, the EDC applied to Travel Alberta’s The Cooperative Marketing Investment Program for a matching grant.

The public is encouraged to email with stories and photos of their adventures in Crowsnest Pass.
September 13th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 37
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