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Internet, Marketing, tourism bc, Travel & Tourism

Thoughts about Montreal’s ‘army of bloggers to promote the city’

By William Bakker | 02.10.09 | 6 Comments

Great to see all the attention Montreal gets from their initiative to hire an ‘army of bloggers‘ to promote the city.
Roberto Rocha writes on Canada.com

You also have to wonder just how honest these bloggers will be. Will they relate bad experiences as well as the good? Will they just omit the bad stuff? Being a government agency, Tourisme Montréal will be under a lot more scrutiny than any private body. Since so many restaurants, stores and hotels are stakeholders, it will be interesting to see how they balance authenticity with marketing.

Todd Lucier doesn’t agree.
I think Roberto has a point. Of course the bloggers won’t be critical. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be authentic. We’ve been doing something similar for a few months now with our Field Reporters. I’ve explained our strategy to create authenticity in a previous post. Our Field Reporters don’t do anything staged. It’s an experience any tourist could have. That’s why we’ve made it clear we’re behind them and we’ve build a random element into the execution (a recommendation). We have 37 videos to date and they’re wildly successful. Maybe I’ll give them a cellphone next đŸ˜‰
I think the problem is with the word blogger and the solution is simple. Montreal should call these people something different because the word blogger creates a false expectation. My suggestion is to call them “Montreal Ambassadors” or something, like we did with ‘Field Reporters’. Then you can define the job any way you like.
The idea is great and I hope Montreal is smart enough to allow some room to let the program shape itself. Who knows what will happen when people start phoning; it can go to unexpected (yet wildly successful) places. Like Todd said “it’s all about the stories”.
Update:
Field Reporter Chris says in the comments: The more I do these Field Reporting videos the more I realize the value of being completely spontaneous during a shoot in order to make it authentic. No preparation of what to say… just a start location, talk with people (residents, tourists, event organizers, or even Raccoons!) and see what happens, have fun and cover the moment.

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