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For a period of 9 months, the Iles de la Madeleine Tourism Cluster, part of the Province of Québec, Canada, implemented a content creation strategy with different tourism companies. We are proud to say that this project was initially inspired by #DTTTCampus back in 2017, and the DMO has been developing this and helping tourism businesses with their digital and content strategies ever since. We recently caught up with Jason Bent, Development Director at Tourisme Îles de la Madeleine to find out more. 

Can you please tell us a bit more about this?

We knew tourism businesses needed help to promote themselves online. We organised social media conferences and provided training in the past but we felt that our members would benefit from a more personalised and in-depth approach.

Following my participation at the DTTT Content Campus in 2017, I gathered different professionals in the region and we designed a hands-on approach to help tourism businesses plan their content strategy and build confidence in creating and distributing content.

The group of professionals consisted of Nigel Quinn, a local photographer and teacher, Marinel Leblanc, Assistant Manager of L'Île Imagin'air («Imaginary Island»), a video production company located in the archipelago, Vanessa Loignon, a local communications consultant, Ariane Arsenault, a local soap maker and YouTube content creator and Édith Jolicoeur, web and social media trainer and speaker.

How was this structured and managed over the course of the project?

The project included three workshops as well as coaching services to support a group of tourism entrepreneurs during the course of the project. The workshops were given during the winter and spring (before the high season).

The first one focused on strategy. Before diving into the different elements that make up a good strategy, we took a step back and delivered the results of an online presence audit to participating businesses. This provided a good portrait of the situation and served as a reference point throughout the project.

Photo credit: Nigel Quinn

The two following workshops focused on content creation and distribution. The group was divided into smaller units and participants rotated from one workshop to another. Topics included practical skills in photography, video production and use of different applications like Canva and Snapseed.

The last workshop was such a blast! Participants were given an assignment and had a few hours to create, edit and publish their content on a Facebook page created specifically for this activity. The professionals and participants were given the opportunity to exchange about their content strategy and provide feedback to each other at the end of the activity.

During the course of the project, participating businesses could schedule appointments with the professionals and thereby implement some of the elements covered within the workshops in their operations.

How were the tourism companies able to get involved? Were they individually selected, or did they have to apply to the project?

The project was promoted through our DMO'S network of members. Because of the amount of resources deployed for this project, I wanted to have as many participants as possible. A total of fifteen companies representing different sectors of our tourism industry (accommodation, food and beverage services, adventure tourism, transportation, etc.) joined the initiative.

Photo Credit : Nigel Quinn

Were there any other stakeholders involved and if so, how did you get them on board?

Aside from the group of professionals accompanying the businesses, the SADC des Îles-de-la-Madeleine, a local organization that brings support directly to entrepreneurs was also a partner. Among its services, the SADC provides financing to increase internet presence of businesses, so it was a natural fit.

The DMO endorsed the project and provided technical and administrative support to the Tourism Cluster. All activities took place at Repère et cie, a local coworking hub.

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