Wood Buffalo Economic Development Corporation

WBEDC before Incite

Established in 2018, the Wood Buffalo Economic Development Corporation (WBEDC) is a wholly-owned entity of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, and is governed by an independent Board of Directors. WBEDC is tasked with increasing growth, innovation, prosperity, and resilience for Fort McMurray and the Wood Buffalo Region. With the CEO’s inauguration in January 2019, WBEDC began to build an overall marketing strategy, laying the foundation for all branding, marketing, and communications efforts.

Incite was engaged in spring 2019 to lead an economic development marketing strategy, and to provide advisory support to WBEDC.

WBEDC with Incite

Incite leveraged a mix of existing research and primary qualitative interviews to assess the region’s strengths and weaknesses, which would inform strategic decisions regarding areas of focus. Incite reached out to local businesses to discuss the needs of the region and the long-term economic opportunities. From there, Incite designed an engagement matrix that included representatives from across WBEDC’s core pillars, including tourism, economic development, business attraction, innovation, and Indigenous enterprise.

Incite also worked with WBEDC and their Board to establish 2020 marketing priorities around place brand, sport tourism, major retail and commercial business attraction, and entrepreneurship/innovation incubators. Incite’s marketing strategy recommendations will form the foundation for strategies in the coming years.

The strength in the partnership between Incite and the Wood Buffalo Economic Development team is a testament to the collaborative approach taken when creating the organization’s foundation and establishing strategic priorities. Taking the time to build a strong understanding of the community was the next step in developing an economic development marketing strategy that works for the community of Fort McMurray and the Wood Buffalo region.

- Jesse Meyer, Principal, Incite

Outcomes

  • Incite worked with WBEDC to create its first communications plan, which will guide all internally led communications activities for 2020, including social media, news releases, and media opportunities.
  • Incite worked with WBEDC to review and enhance its “business/investor package,” identifying priorities for investor interest and business attraction.
  • In two short months, Incite created and launched Momentum, an event platform, for WBEDC’s flagship State of the Community Luncheon that attracted media and investment partner attention from across Western Canada. This sold-out event created a platform for WBEDC to engage the community and develop partnerships moving forward.

Incite ...

- NAME, POSITION, Wood Buffalo Economic Development Corporation

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