Strategic Marketing & Communications plan and budget

Strategic Marketing & Communications plan and budget

2023-2026

Strategic Marketing & Communications (SMC) provides marketing and communications consulting, strategy and tactics that align with The City’s brand. It strengthens The City’s reputation and supports business objectives by providing communications, marketing, media planning, social media, corporate communications, creative services and media relations.

This service informs, influences and motivates Calgarians, customers and employees. It is focused on building public trust and confidence, achieving business outcomes, and demonstrating the value of City services in making life better every day in Calgary. 

Our customers

  • Calgarians
  • Businesses
  • Visitors to Calgary
  • Other orders of government
  • Council
  • Executive Leadership Team
  • City employees
  • City service directors

Our partners

  • We deliver strategic marketing and communications consulting, plans, and tactics. 
  • We administer City channels including web, social media, media relations and digital communications to deliver messages about City services, initiatives and programs. 
  • We manage The City's One Voice visual identity and brand, and provide measurement and analysis of plans, tactics and channels.

Value to Calgarians


  • ensures Calgarians, customers, and employees are informed about The City's strategic direction, its services, and the value received from The City
  • provides transparent, trustworthy, targeted and timely information to create awareness of City programs and services, increase revenue, and build advocacy
  • manages communications and marketing policies that protect The City’s brand and reputation

What we deliver


  • We deliver strategic marketing and communications consulting, plans, and tactics. We administer City channels including web, social media, media relations and digital communications to deliver messages about City services, initiatives and programs. 
  • We manage The City's One Voice visual identity and brand, and provide measurement and analysis of plans, tactics and channels.

Budget breakdown


2023-2026 budget ($millions)

  

Service performance


Expected 2026 performance.

Calgarians say The City has communicated well about its services, programs, policies, and plans

2021 was 74%

Calgarians who trust the information that The City provides on Calgary.ca

2021 was 93%

Paid investment from overall spend allocated to multicultural communication and marketing advertising

2021 was 7%

Customers satisfied with their overall experience working with external communication to achieve business objectives

2021 was 92%

Media tonality - positive and neutral media coverage

2021 was 99%

What we've heard

According to the 2021 Citizen Satisfaction Survey, 74 per cent of Calgarians feel The City communicates well about services, programs and policies. Satisfaction with communications remains consistently high across all demographics. Within the organization, satisfaction with marketing and communications is also high, with most components of the service achieving scores between 85 and 95 per cent.

Despite high satisfaction levels, research indicates a need for more inclusive and accessible communications. Participants from equity-deserving communities have identified opportunities for increased representation and access to information in their channels and language of choice.

Providing high quality information, timely service, flexibility, and acting as trusted partners to City departmental clients remain key factors in providing value to Calgarians and the Corporation.

Participate and view results of City research

What we're watching

  • Risks facing SMC include declining trust and confidence in government, misinformation, increased polarization, complexity, and growing demand. 
  • Staff managing corporate channels and providing corporate-level communications could face capacity issues should this demand continue to grow.
  • We are watching trends in the digital landscape and demographics to ensure we use the right channels and meet the needs of all Calgarians including equity-deserving groups. 
  • Interest in communications experienced through the pandemic could continue as the pandemic evolves, further impacting planned activities and service demand. 
  • We are also monitoring Calgary’s economic recovery and will need to provide marketing and communications support for revenue generating City services, the Downtown Strategy and other initiatives to support local business and attract investment.

Our initiatives


What we plan to do

We are focused on contributing to Calgary's economic, social and climate resilience through timely and effective storytelling and messaging that strengthens Calgary's reputation, builds trust and confidence in local government and allows all Calgarians to see themselves as part of the city's future.

How we're going to get there

  • Maintain The City’s relationship and reputation with the public and media by focusing on the effectiveness and responsiveness of The City’s social media and media relations efforts. This requires the service to manage of increased demand for timely, two-way communication within the existing budget, while also ensuring The City is able to adapt to the changing media and social media preferences of Calgarians.
  • Support economic recovery and resilience priorities such as the Downtown Strategy, investment in Calgary and revenue generation for City services through the development and implementation of marketing and communication strategies. This includes leveraging data and analytics to better target audiences and partnering with Citizen & Information Services to implement e-commerce solutions to make doing business with The City faster and easier.
  • Advance social equity through communications and marketing support to City services. This includes continuing to champion inclusive and accessible City communications through the Multicultural Communications & Engagement Strategy and Equitable Standards for Communications.
  • Improve the effectiveness and level of trust in City communications by addressing the growth of misinformation about The City. This includes providing staff with tools and training to identify, monitor, and correct misinformation when responding to Calgarian and media inquiries, and address increased demand within existing budget.
  • Protect and enhance The City’s visual identity and brand by educating staff on the related policy and conducting regular reviews of City communication and marketing materials for brand compliance.

More initiatives

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