In the summer of 2014, the Calgary Regional Partnership embarked on a quest to better understand challenges and opportunities related to the marketing of region internationally. After winning its part of the original RFP, Wolfe & Associates was asked to refine their approach by first tackling a key "health of the region" question, viz. to what extent do the region's municipalities outside of Calgary identify with the CRP itself?
W&A assembled a team of five experienced research associates, including a psychologist, a senior business management consultant, and three social and communication scientists. The aim? To fan out across the region, embed in local cultural, political and community engagement activities to take extensive notes and identify representative spokespeople for in-depth interviews.
The approach was conceived early on as needing to identify and engage with "natural leaders" – local live wires who were driving forces in their communities, regardless of their official roles. Only a couple of natural leaders interviewed were also elected officials. Natural leaders turned out to be soccor moms, volunteers, local professionals, a newspaper publisher, business people, average citizens and former administrators.
A region is a region when it knows it's a region – Study and analysis of extensive interview transcripts, field notes and documentary scans (published histories, local media and websites, etc.) produced important insights around regional identity and led to key recommendations, including . . .
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