Bulkley Valley Research Centre - Science in the Public Interest

Communications and Implementation Strategy

Project Reference Number: 2004-01

Project Status: Complete

Led by: Anne Harfenist, Smithers

Institute for Media, Policy and Civil Society

Funder: Community Futures Development Corporation, Nadina

The Bulkley Valley Centre for Natural Resources Research and Management is a new not-for-profit research organization, focused on sustainable resources in temperate, montane and boreal ecosystems. The Centre is based in the community of Smithers, B.C., in the heart of a region encompassing all three ecosystems (both terrestrial and aquatic). Once a thriving regional government centre, Smithers is home to a unique range of skilled professional consultants, policy-makers, researchers and scientists. The Centre was formed by a talented group of such men and women in the resource management sector.

Recent government budget cuts were an impetus for the creation of the centre. Despite government downsizing, scientific research and policy skills are still needed (and some continue to be contracted out by government agencies) in the region's resource-based economy. Other opportunities for such ecosystem-based research are opening up outside of the region as well. The Centre's founders therefore seized the opportunity to pool and coordinate the unique, multi-disciplinary skills housed in the region. By working together proactively, while maintaining and building upon existing long-term data and knowledge of the local ecosystems, they realized that they could offer a collaborative research centre whose whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts.

As a registered charity, the Centre is able to seek foundation funding, government grants (both federal and provincial), and fee-for-service contracts. Members, who pay an annual fee and have voting privileges in terms of the Board of Directors, are given preference over other consultants when responding to the Centre's own requests for proposals.

Having just hired its first Executive Director (at one day a week) and an Administrative Assistant, the Centre now needs to grow, and to become established with a range of audiences, or "markets". It faces competition, either directly or indirectly, for profile and positioning, and for limited resources. In order to strengthen the Centre' positioning, it needs to clarify its niche, core services, unique qualities and assets. The Centre also needs to simply raise its profile, so that potential markets (funders, partners) and new research associates are aware of its existence, on regional, national and international scales. Meanwhile, the Centre needs to strengthen its own ties to the local community and clarify its role and aspirations.

This marketing plan is aimed at achieving these broad goals. 

Related Reports

Publication Date Report Title Authors
October 2004 Marketing and Communications Plan:  2004-2005 IMPACS Communication Centre