This International Visitor Leadership Program around international environmental leadership is the kind of thing Alberta ought to be doing to create a better understanding of the efforts around oil sands environmental mitigation, reclamation and restoration. It is about making personal connection and providing authentic evidence-based impressions that are an awful lot better than any expensive slick advertising campaign - not that advertising should be abandoned.
I think Mayor Blake says it best in the release when she noted here visits were in the thick of the Rethink Alberta ad campaign by Corporate Ethics:
"It was the variety of people I met with that was most interesting," said Mayor Blake. "And the unexpected warm welcome I received."
"I was fully prepared to arrive at this conference as the most despised Mayor in Canada. Fortunately that wasn't the case at all," Blake said.
This approach is just so much more effective because it is about having real conversations with real people meeting face-to-face to form real relationship that focus on finding the real problems and figuring out the real solutions. This with some supportive advertising that is authentic and evidenced-based not counter-spin coupled with more online follow-up with Influentials and communities of interest is a more effective way to get the next Alberta oil sands narrative out. We need that oil sands narrative to be understood, accepted, acknowledge and respected...presuming of course the efforts we are making are in fact worthy of respect....and that is another kettle of bitumen.
If you want a progressive political culture in the Next Alberta register now for RebootAlberta 3.0 at www.rebootalberta.org