The Town of Didsbury recognizes that an impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and associated social and business restrictions, led to a disconnected – sometimes divided community. To re-establish connections within the community; build bridges; attract and retain business, the Town developed Project 52—People & Places.
Project 52—People & Places is a website and social media campaign that highlights Didsbury-based businesses and individual residents, with a goal of bringing the community closer together, and providing insights into what makes Didsbury a great place to live and do business.
The Town’s Communication department interviews residents who are making an impact in the community through their work or volunteer efforts, as well as business owners, new and established, who are proving needed goods and services to Didsbury and surrounding areas. The stories of these people and places are then shared on the Town website and linked to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. The highlight of each piece is the Why Didsbury? What do you like best about living/doing business in Didsbury? question.
To launch the project, teaser posts began in December of 2021, inviting people to stay tuned for an exciting project. At the start of January, 2022 the project was introduced with this wording:
Stories are vital to our local culture, from life-long Didsburians to those who are brand new to town. Through this project, we seek to rediscover what makes our community special while highlighting the people that contribute to it. Local businesses not only impact our local economy, but also the small-town charm that we, as Didsburians, enjoy so much.
Businesses were identified, as were people who contributed to the community life; Didsburians were invited to send in nominations as well. Each week, the highlighted person/business is a surprise for everyone.
The People & Places stories were a hit right from the start, and their popularity has grown over the past seven months, with one people story and one places story posted each week. By the end of the year, there will be 52 stories in each category. One of our July business feature reached 3499 people, 1415 post engagements, 16 shares on Facebook, and over 3500 visits to the website link. An associated Economic Development LinkedIn account noted in June a business feature generated 592 impressions; in July a post generated 744 impressions. The project continues to be popular, and comments indicate that it is having its desired effect, making community connections and breaking down barriers. Comments:
The goal of Project 52, was to bring the community back together in support of one another. It increased business and involvement in community activities.