Quarterly Economic Indicators

Single Publication – less than 4 pages | Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission
Abstract:

Purpose
To directly increase public understanding of the region’s economic climate and enhance external messaging by providing visually appealing, concise, quotable Quarterly Economic Indicators, while indirectly increasing awareness of and community engagement with the COEDC.

Introduced in Q1 2017, the Quarterly Economic Indicators compile up-to-date statistics and brief “bite-sized” commentary in an easily understood format. They are distributed via the COEDC website, partner websites, press release, social media and a special-issue newsletter. Prior to the project’s commencement, there was no unified, up-todate and easy to digest source for current economic statistics and information.

As the Region’s Primary Business Resource, the COEDC strives to keep the Central Okanagan’s residents, business
community and elected officials well informed on the state of the local economy. In addition to enhancing local economic climate understanding, the Economic Indicator report supports the COEDC’s investment attraction and regional promotion objectives by providing unified “proof points” or speaking notes to community spokespeople.

The Economic Indicators are an important component of the COEDC’s Ambassador Packages – community informational/promotional packages provided by the COEDC to partners organizations, businesses and individuals that act as ambassadors for the region at various national/international events, trade shows and networks.

As a regional function, the COEDC serves 4 municipalities, 1 First Nation and 2 unincorporated areas, presenting challenges with consistency of economic climate information and messaging. The Economic Indicators reports helps unify messaging by ensuring the various stakeholders at the municipal, regional, provincial and federal levels have access to relevant regional economic statistics.

Effectiveness
The Economic Indicator Report, distributed via newsletter, press release and social media channels, is consistently
picked up by local news media, providing local businesses, residents and stakeholders with up to date economic  climate information to support strategic planning and business decision making. See attached Media Coverage Examples.

More importantly, the key messaging provided alongside the statistics are commonly cited and repeated by elected officials at the local, provincial and federal levels and partner organizations and spokespeople engaged in promoting the region. In 2017, the COEDC and partners began shifting messaging away from the region’s quality of life factors towards the business, career and entrepreneurial growth and opportunities in the region. These captions provide proof points that support collective messaging around the region’s growing economy, adding to a growing body of evidence of the region’s value proposition to investors, entrepreneurs, skilled workforce and families.

This supports the COEDC’s investment attraction efforts by leveraging community spokespeople to share our message by arming them with relevant, interesting and communicable information. For example, local tech accelerator, Accelerate Okanagan, uses the Economic Indicator commentary as proof points in external talent attraction messaging.

Challenges
The COEDC tracks 15 economic indicators on a monthly/quarterly or annual basis and publishes 10 in the quarterly
indicator report. With a small team of 4 full time staff, keeping up to date with data from a multitude of sources and
released at different times can require significant staff time. The COEDC manages this challenge by using a strong,
clearly defined internal process to source and record information.

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