Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Harnessing Technology Improves Communication

Well, the title is pretty obvious and to anyone in marketing, the statement is like preaching to the converted. The tourism industry is made up of thousands of stakeholders in Thunder Bay and keeping the industry informed is a little like herding cats. Town hall meetings rarely get large turnouts because industry partners are either busy running their own business, are content with how things are working or are suspicious of the input processes.

The City's exciting new waterfront development program at Prince Arthur's Landing is an important step forward in moving our community's reputation as a great outdoor city and hence our tourism economy forward. Connecting people and the downtown to the water is essential to making our city more vibrant. Understandably, a project of this investment level and magnitude does not evolve without its detractors. We're not alone. Every city undergoing a fundamental shift in its economy goes through these discussions and debates.

Providing the community the opportunity to understand what's happening within the tourism industry is an imperative part of the transparency process. Recently an open house was hosted to inform the community of the design details and environmental assessment process. The unique part of the session was that it was broadcast live on streaming video. Morvision's Paul Morallee ( teamed up with James Murray of NetNewsLedger ( to broadcast the entire session on the web and post participant workbooks for interested individuals to fill in and email back to the City. Hats off to these two gents, who are huge supporters of the City and have been incredibly helpful to us in getting the tourism message out during my time here.

I had a chance to check out Paul's set up earlier that evening and its slick and compact. Camera, laptop, wireless transmitter and brackets and bracing (manufactured by Thunder Bay's own Cinevate no less) make for a set up that's relatively easy to set up, move and store.

Utilizing this technology is simple and has countless applications in reaching industry partners effectively, on their time and turf. This isn't new technology but recent local partnerships are making it more available to wider audiences and providing new opportunities to share and inform in real time. For more information, visit or

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