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 Today I found this post on the Ambassador London web site: What do you think of it?    
 Author:  admin
 Dated:  Sunday, February 17 2008 @ 04:59 PM EST
 Viewed:  915 times  
  • Total lunar eclipse on Wednesday, Science~NASA, Feb. 13, 2008


    Ambassador London: top down or grassroots group?

    ALT-LONDON was initially supportive of the Ambassador London concept and signed on approximately four-five months ago, while also attending the launch at the London Convention Centre last November, 2007.

    Then Londoners learned that this "grassroots group" was seeking more public money over and above its initial $25,000 grant from the City of London. To date, Ambassador London has received another $30,000 from the City of London and is tentatively set to receive another $100,000 from the City when the City's 2008 budget is finalized on Feb. 21, 2008.

    Last Friday (Feb. 15), Perry Ferguson, the head of Ambassador London, called me and left a message as he wanted to talk about Ambassador London and what the group was seeking to accomplish (he'd read of my concerns about the group being "top down" not a "bottom-up, grassroots-driven group"). I responded to him with the following e-mail:

    Hi Perry, received your phone message last Friday.

    For the sake of clarity, I signed up with Ambassador London a few months ago and attended the gathering at the Convention Centre.

    Then we all learned about the funding requests to the City for this "grassroots group," which turned out to be a bit of a PR disaster for Ambassador London.

    In my view, if Ambassador London wants to receive public funding and call itself a grassroots group it needs to hold at least one widely advertised public participation meeting in order to hear ideas from ordinary citizens on how to best promote London.

    No doubt the local media would publicize such a meeting for free.

    There's plenty of viable ideas out there. I hear them all the time. In fact, I have several of my own.

    If you want ordinary people to buy into this Ambassador London concept, you'll need to engage them in an open public forum, where they feel that their ideas are being heard by the Ambassador London Steering Committee (who are these people on the Steering Committee?).

    A website only doesn't quite cut it.

    Best regards,
    Barry Wells


    Posted [to Ambassador London on] January 21st, 2008 by Anonymous
    Ambassador London's Business Plan: A Road Map to Success

    Since the success of our launch ~ which attracted nearly 3,000 Londoners ~ our team of dedicated volunteers has been preparing for the future of Ambassador London. Our goal is to encourage Londoners to boast about this great city while inviting the world to discover our spirit.

    This business plan outlines our mission, goals, objectives, strategies and initiatives. We at Ambassador London feel that this plan provides us with the roadmap necessary spread the news that London is indeed a place to flourish.

    1.0 What is Ambassador London?

    “Ambassador London is a community-led campaign dedicated to shaping the image of London to a place of global importance and influence where all can flourish ~ economically, socially and culturally”.

    This mission will be achieved by:

    • Elevating community pride and passion; let’s brag about London!

    • Building a distribution network of proud Londoners who will promote London through their business, organization and personal networks and generate leads and referrals for London’s economic development agencies.

    • Engaging Londoners to assist, encourage and welcome businesses, investments, visitors and new residents to London and provide the tools to aid in this effort.

    • Supporting united efforts to promote and market London by the private, public and institutional sectors to attract new business, residences and visitors.

    We want to establish London as Canada's favourite City, but we need to start with Londoners!

    2.0 Why was Ambassador London created?

    • Out of concern that London is portrayed as not keeping up economically, socially or culturally compared to other cities in Ontario and Canada.

    • London, and all it has to offer, is a well kept secret. London is often not mentioned and is often poorly represented when statistics or information on Canadian cities is presented.

    • Londoners need to start selling their City as a great place to live, work and visit. This mandate is beyond any one organization. Word of mouth is the best form of advertising and holds the greatest potential for referrals.

    • London's brand is not well established and not well coordinated.

    • Government cannot be responsible for everything ~ need to get the community behind promoting our City and working with agencies. The private sector is also required to truly promote the City.

    • Many Londoners travel the world with opportunities to share the London Story and need the tools to effectively promote our City.

    Discussions with community and business leaders and Londoners from all walks of life supported the development of Ambassador London and the need to increase collaboration among organizations and various stakeholders.

    3.0 Who is Ambassador London?

    Ambassador London started with a group of strong London supporters who saw great potential for this City and who wanted to engage other proud Londoners to promote the City. This group quickly formed a Steering Committee including representation from key London organizations and the private sector. Appendix I provides an overview of the 2007 Steering Committee and Sub-Committees.

    Following the formation of the Steering Committee, Ambassador London quickly grew as a grassroots organization to embrace many sectors and individuals in London.

    4.0 Campaign Strategy

    1. Phase 1: January 2007 - December 2007: Concept development and engagement of key stakeholders and industry representation to build initial base and establish the steering committee. Ambassador London concept launched as an internal London sell, establishing a stakeholders steering committee and a communication network for all Londoners to become engaged and supplied with tools to sell “their” London. Included in this phase was the development of the Ambassador London website, a promotional London video and commitment from 1,200 Londoners. This phase concluded with the official launch of the campaign on November 6, 2007.

    2. Phase 2: January 2008 - March 2008: Expansion of the Ambassador London community with engagement from more industry sectors and community partners to increase the exposure of the Ambassador London campaign and increase the total number of London Ambassadors. This phase includes the development of additional tools for ambassadors to use to “sell” London. The development of a business plan for Ambassador London.

    3. Phase 3: April 2008 - December 2008: Strategy to develop the London brand and establish common marketing messages based on research for all organizations to assist in the external sell has been deferred. The phase 3 strategy has been adjusted to reflect enhancement to the current internal sell campaign, developing enhanced tools available through the Ambassador London website and raising the profile and awareness of Ambassador London.

    5.0 2008 Ambassador London Initiatives

    1. Raise profile and awareness of Ambassador London to engage Londoners with direct solicitation for the campaign and an effective marketing and public relations campaign. Tactics include:

    Retain a consultant/contracted person to promote the campaign who will:

    a) Increase the number of engaged community leaders specifically from under-represented sectors including labour, non-profit and ethnic organizations. Leaders will be invited to an information event.

    b) Establish “corporate” or “organizational” membership to assist with spreading the campaign by inviting communication specialists from the various large businesses and organizations to an information event.

    c) Continue efforts to raise awareness of Ambassador London through established membership networks including Chamber of Commerce, Tech Alliance to communicate the Ambassador London message and tools available.

    Communications and Administration: Enhance and manage the communication strategy by securing a professional, contracted service (approx. 20 hours per week) that will provide: Website coordination and content generation, data base management, story generation, organization of sub groups and committees, generate content for monthly eNewsletters, E-blasts, respond to website messages, work with web hosts to manage site, generate “news” stories, and maintain active media relationships working with local media partners.

    Website Enhancements ~ Further develop the site to improve social networking, usability, security, search engine and introduce new on line tools including a new photo gallery.

    2. Design and implement event(s) in consultation with key organizations to share the Ambassador London message, gather feedback and celebrate London achievements.

    3. Continue development and enhancement of Ambassador London tools ~ templates currently in generic information ~ need to develop sector specific tools:

    • On line presentation kits
    • Develop industry specific fact sheets
    • Print Materials
    • Promotional memory stick with the video and power point

    6.0 2008 Deliverables

    To ensure objectives are being achieved specific performance measurements will be monitored and reported on a quarterly basis to the steering committee. Key measurements identified include:

    • Data collected on specific referrals will be tracked and the economic impact of these referrals measured and reported by Tourism London, Convention Centre and London Economic Development Corporation.

    • Increase in the Ambassador London database. Target is to increase by 100 individuals and 20 companies or organizations - per month.

    • The number of web site hits will be measured with a goal to increase monthly. (Nov. launched with 3,421 visits; Dec. 1,455 visits).

    • The distribution of the video and fact sheets will be tracked and monitored.

    • Media exposure has an approximate value of $371,500 for 2008.

    • In-kind donations.

    7.0 How are Stakeholders Supporting the Ambassador London Campaign?

    The Ambassador London campaign to date has created a number of opportunities or the platform for new initiatives which various stakeholders are pursuing in support including:

    • In 2008, Tourism London in partnership with the London Convention Centre will develop a customized video focused specifically on the tourism and convention industry. Prior to the Ambassador London stock video bank this initiative would have been cost prohibitive.

    • London Downtown Business Association is establishing a downtown ambassador program to be launched in the spring of 2008.

    • Through the efforts of the London Chamber of Commerce WQLN, (Erie, PN) starting in February 2008 will be featuring the Ambassador London video in 85 announcements per month for the remainder of the year. WQLN reaches New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio, in addition to London, Woodstock, Windsor and surrounding communities. (Value $93,500). The Lake Erie Lifestyles magazine with a circulation of 15,000 has agreed to feature a monthly London story.

    • London Economic Development Corporation, Tourism London, Convention Centre, Tech Alliance, Stiller Centre and the London Arts Council are meeting quarterly to discuss shared agendas and collaboration on projects.

    • London Arts Council coordinating funding for a roundtable discussion from Trillium Foundation. (Appendix III)

    8.0 Governance

    The Steering Committee or round table will be comprised of representatives of the various stakeholders with committees established based on the needs and initiatives of the stakeholders. The Finance Committee will monitor progress and key measurements.

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  • Today I found this post on the Ambassador London web site: What do you think of it? | 2 comments | Create New Account
    The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
    Today I found this post on the Ambassador London web site: What do you think of it?
    Authored by: Dagwood on Sunday, February 17 2008 @ 06:42 PM EST
    "Following the formation of the Steering Committee, Ambassador London quickly grew as a grassroots organization to embrace many sectors and individuals in London."

    Does this sentence not seem a tad contradictory? A grassroots organization by definition begins out of necessity without a great deal of organization and may or may not evolve into a group with the hallmarks of a more formal organization.

    Ambassador London seems to have begun with the the standard steering committee model, terms of reference etc. and worked its way down to the hoi poloi (love that expression) who can populate its ranks and provide the rah rah to the ranks

    . How many of the 3000 at the convention centre are involved in the steering committee or sub-committees? Is there a mailing list, email list? Are the 3000 receiving regular updates on the status on each phase of Ambassador London?

    Why would a flegling group shoot the wad on a promotional video and then beg for more from City Council? Is that wise planning? It that grassroots decision making? Ambassador London's cause is noble, but there are many unanswered questions here for a group which claims to be rooted in the community. Has this group even been incorporated as a charity or an entity? What will it do with the extra cash from the City?

    Here's an idea, take this half-baked idea and put it back in the oven. Sit down with Tourism London and LEDC and see what you can come up with given their budgets. Keep the name. Keep the concept. Make it truly grassroots. Ditch the behind closed doors stuff. London's prime newshound Barry Wells sniffed this one out a long time ago.

    And to the suits who dreamt up this whole thing, including the Mayor. Don't forget that their are a lot of men and women acting as Ambassadors for London inside and outside London everyday who are never recognized as such nor do they seed recognition. Some people can't see the Ambassadors in the Forest City for the Trees.hint hint, one of them brought a national television show to a historic London site last year for a taping thanks in large part to an article he helped write in Wikipedia and some good old fashion fast action when it was needed.

    Money can't by me love
    Authored by: Protestant on Monday, February 18 2008 @ 06:40 AM EST
    I am a Londoner. I was born, nurtured, educated in London, as have my children. I see some major flaws behind the brains behind of this project.

    1.Retain a consultant/contracted person to promote the campaign
    Why not have the T.V.D.S.B. add this to the civics curriculum and tap into our children's brainpower...give them something to do with their life and their time that shows results, something to be proud of and tell their parents or caregivers about when they get home from school? COST? FREE!

    2.Engaging Londoners to assist, encourage and welcome businesses, investments, visitors and new residents to London and provide the tools to aid in this effort.

    Any person who gets paid from this program is an extortionist. I do not feel compelled to promote a city that's full of extortionists in positions of power and authority that live the good life at the expense of struggling artists, small businesses and children. I feel more inclined to be honest and warn people to keep their hand on their wallet.

    Why was Ambassador London created?
    • Out of concern that London is portrayed as not keeping up economically, socially or culturally compared to other cities in Ontario and Canada.

    That is an accurate portrayal. Money should be spent to remedy the sorry situation, not hide it.

    For example, sadly due to a series of unfortunate events beyond my choice or control I require SOCIAL assistance which lots of people get paid to deliver and assess the needs and analysis the statistics. The laws say I'm entitled to dental care...but that's been denied me because The City Ontario Works department says they are triaging the money and giving dental care only to people who are employed...people who don't even know they can apply to discretionary benefits to cover the cost of dental the money sits in a surplus account.

    What you see is what you get. I will not crawl into my hovel and hide in fact I'll come out with my crooked decaying teeth and shake my money maker at The London Music Club on Thursdays, and I'll sing my heart out at The Richmond on Sundays...teeth or no I said, what you see is what you get.
    I used to be beautiful, a real head turner, and still would be if I had money for the dental care I require due to the fact that I've ingested LEAD most of my life, and borne four children for the futures sake, two of whom are now taxpayers.
    ...speaking of LEAD...the Province gave the city money, using social assistance benefit units vital statistics to remedy this problem.
    The city says they'll lend the money with interest and put a lien on our properties!
    I had very serious health issues necessitating a costly appointment with a neurologists. I got my old lead water pipes replaced with copper and the crippling nerve damage abated. I know I'm not the only one that needs their pipes replaced. It cost me less then $2,000.00. The amount of money this project wants is enough to replace all the lead water delivery service pipes in the targeted zone. That would something to brag about.