Q&A with Marnie McGregor

We focused on identifying our target audience and what encourages people to vote.

Learn what goes into an award-winning, multi-faceted strategic campaign from Marnie McGregor, Director of Intergovernmental Relations and Strategic Partnerships for the City of Vancouver. The professional development event Secret to Creating Powerful Engagement Campaigns on Tuesday, October 6th is perfect for communications managers - especially those in municipal and government organizations.

Curious about the event and what you can expect? Read this Q&A with our speaker. 



1. As the Director of Intergovernmental Relations and Strategic Partnerships for the City of Vancouver, what does a typical day look like for you? Can you tell us a basic background on how you got to your position today? 

A typical day involves early meetings or conference calls with senior City of Vancouver staff, or meeting with external partner organizations to ensure that we are cooperating as much as possible. My current role focuses on government relations with all levels of government including First Nations, other municipalities across Metro Vancouver, the provincial government, the federal government and international governments. I have a Master’s of Science in Urban Planning, and experience in the communications and community organizing fields in both the US and Canada. I have always been interested in how cities work, and I was drawn to this work in order to make cities better places to live, work and play for all citizens.


2.  The Vancouver Votes 2014 Municipal Election program stated that "empowering people is key to enhancing their health, happiness and safety." What were some communication initiatives that the City of Vancouver used to empower individuals and ultimately increase voter turnout?

Our goal during the Municipal Election was to ensure that voters had the information they needed to participate in the electoral process, and to increase voter turn-out. We were fully non-partisan and focused on voter education about the voting process. The main initiatives we used to achieve this goal included engagement and outreach, advertising, social media, and developing new digital tools.


3. A carefully structured social media plan was implemented in September 2014 as part of the overarching campaign to create voter awareness. What are some great social media tips we can expect from your upcoming presentation?

The City of Vancouver has an award-winning social media team, and for the 2014 Municipal Election we leveraged our multiple platforms to keep the election top-of-mind for followers, and help voters influence their networks. I won't give away all of our secrets until the presentation, but I will say that the "I Voted" selfie sticker campaign was very popular!


4. In the Public Relations and Communications world, research is often a key component in providing social media and media relations content. Do you have a research checklist in place? On October 6th, can we look forward to hearing about some ways the City of Vancouver used statistics to help convey their message?

Yes, research was a critical part of our efforts and was used to help shape the communications and digital strategies and tactics. In particular, we focused on identifying our target audience and what encourages people to vote. I look forward to the discussion on October 6th and hearing more from our project team.


5. The City of Vancouver used a variety of communication tools Public Relations professionals use on a daily basis - such as design, advertising, and social media. How did you see the use of these tools work together to ultimately create the campaign that won the Canadian Marketing Communications Campaign of the Year?

I will answer this during the presentation- stay tuned! Sign up for the next CPRS Vancouver professional development event now.