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Community Image Summit

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Wood Buffalo is...
How a Community Image Summit helped encourage ambassadors & key messaging


WHEN COMMUNICATORS COME TOGETHER to discuss an important topic, you know things will happen. Such was the case with the Community Image Summit 3.0 which is held annually at Keyano College. The college brought together a group of community leaders and communicators who took to Twitter and other social media platforms and sent out compelling information about the region. Tweets ranging from “embrace the beauty of Wood Buffalo” to “a land of opportunity for all” were sent out during the summit as a means of moving from talk to action to influence.

This year’s installment focused on taking the Wood Buffalo message – why it is a great place to live, work and play – far and wide. And you can help too! Spread the word about how awesome Fort McMurray is. We are growing rapidly and need to work together to help change public perceptions of our community and region.

The summit was organized by Keyano in partnership with the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and the Oil Sands Developers Group (OSDG).

Attendees were prompted with the question: Wood Buffalo is…? Groups of delegates came up with many ideas, which led to four strong themes: family, diversity (multiculturalism), economy, and outdoors/environment.

“What is it that we believe about ourselves?” asked Ken Chapman, then Executive Director, OSDG, who facilitated the event.

“I’m of the strong belief we’ll eradicate the (negative) image by making it obsolete not in PR boardrooms but through Fort McMurray’s people,” said Chapman.

Guests appreciated the opportunity to come together, not only to discuss this timely topic of the region’s image, but to also propose solutions, and take the message further via social media.

“The summit keeps getting bigger and better. The oil sands are watching this. We are going from defensive to proactive and that is important,” Chapman added.

Stay tuned for details about the Community Image Summit 4.0 in 2014. You definitely want to be a part of it!