City’s identity being analyzed as survey ends
The sleuthing is done — Red Deer’s identity has been uncovered.
City staffers heard from about 1,400 people from April to the end of July in their quest to determine how the city will define itself. Nearly 500 people completed a 21-question survey and 930 responses were garnered in a “quick questions format” asked in-person out in public as part of the city’s Identity Project.
While the grand reveal of what the city’s identity will be won’t come until next year, Tracy Kennedy, communications consultant with the City of Red Deer, said common themes did emerge from the survey stage. A wide variety of opinions were sought, with city staffers taking to places such as the Golden Circle and the Glendale Skate Park to solicit thoughts from residents, and to Westerner Days events to hear from Red Deerians and visitors alike.
“I think it was a good process going out and talking to people in this way. Many of the questions really made people stop and think about what they appreciated about their community, but then it was nice to hear so many positive things about their quality of life and what they liked about Red Deer,” said Kennedy.
The initiative is being done to “set (Red Deer) apart from other communities, and promote our city identity in a consistent way.” It is proceeding in three stages — uncovering, validating and revealing.
The responses received will now be compiled and analyzed for common threads about Red Deer’s character, and a narrative will be written. After that, city staffers will progress to the ‘validating’ stage, where they will go back to speaking directly to citizens, asking if the prevailing opinions that came out of the first stage are indicative of the city.
Kennedy said that process will likely get underway in the fall, operating similarly to the first phase, with staffers asking one or two questions of people they come across at events or city facilities.
After the ‘validating’ stage, a final narrative will be compiled that will be a few sentences long. The hope is that the city and members of a community task force — Red Deer College, Tourism Red Deer, Westerner Park, the Downtown Business Association, and the Red Deer Chamber of Commerce — will then be able to use the identity to market themselves and better serve residents.
“It will say this is what the community values, so maybe we should offer this festival, or maybe we should encourage businesses to serve their customers in this way,” said Kennedy.
The city has committed $85,000 to the project.