Giving communities a voice, growing membership through storytelling

Federation of Canadian Municipalities

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities turns to bv02 to help them communicate effectively with their member groups, and provide information that is valuable to them.

When the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) first came to bv02 in 2011, the organization was looking for a digital agency that could deliver web and storytelling. Along with this breadth of experience, bv02 also brought to the table the ability to analyze and respond to their particular business requirements, understanding that their new website needed both to communicate with and grow their membership.

As the national voice for municipal government that represents over 2,000 communities, FCM focuses on support for municipalities across Canada, in communicating with the federal government and between its members. To spotlight their membership, bv02 wanted to to tell stories from the communities, instead of talking at the communities. We spoke with groups across the organization, and explored how we might communicate the idea of information sharing through creating a public relationship. What we found was that there were many stories to tell, because FCM knows intimately their communities across Canada. These stories were key to the website’s success, as the members needed to be able to see themselves in the design, in the overall structure of the site and aesthetic.

bv02 also needed to ensure that each of the areas of practice within FCM was well defined and yet was experienced seamlessly with the rest of their offerings. The organization is responsible for many different programs, addressing many different issues. We worked closely with marketing, communications and web on the site’s information architecture, CMS integration and platform to accomplish this.

One of the biggest challenges experienced during this project was the generational gap around how information was disseminated, in moving from print formats like traditional annual reports to a live web portal. This required a massive change in the way the organization approached content development, as the site needed to provide localized content relevant to the members. Storytelling was important on the site for this transition, via copy, but also via banners, info graphics, photography and video.

This storytelling approach dovetailed with another major focus of the project, social media integration. bv02 provided guidance on how to initiate and improve upon their social engagements at a time when the organization was just moving into that space. This proved an invaluable way to create extended relationships with their members, and prospect groups.

Since that initial website launch, bv02 has continued to work with FCM on many other initiatives, including an accessibility implementation strategy for AODA compliance, new microsites, as well as performance campaigns for disseminating products and email marketing. FCM returns to bv02 to help them figure out how to tell a story in a way that their member groups want to hear it, and continually provide information that is valuable to them.

bv02’s challenge has been to constantly help them push forward while at the same time maintaining that understanding of their members as they change and shift. Our goal is to keep providing services to FCM that show they are in a leadership position and support the municipalities.

Solutions Provided