This research is being conducted in six waves over the course of the next year. This is a community resource that is FREE to access and results from the fourth wave of research are now available.
Findings for Alberta organizations from Wave 4 results include:
- Public perceptions reflect the low point of the pandemic at this time.
- Albertans are adapting to and following the rules.
- Change in habits during the pandemic appears to be additive, not alternative
- Contexts frame marketing in this environment - messages will need to be shifted, media strategies evaluated, and some types of voices changed.
- Engagement is on hold.
- Travel within the province is an option.
What are the implications for Alberta organizations?
- When conditions permit, recognize you will be reconnecting with a weary population who are more anxious than before. Messages and offers will need to adjust to reflect this reality.
- As Albertans accept and get used to the restrictions, they expect others to follow them too. A large percentage of those surveyed indicate others not following protocols will dissuade them from attending events/participating in activities. The same applies for not seeing sufficient safeguards in place.
- As restrictions start to lift, Albertans are likely to start figuring out how to balance a new set of activities they enjoy with their usual activities they want to get back to. And for organizations, that means breaking through a larger competitive set to capture the attention of their audiences. For those that offer registered or directed experiences this may be an even bigger challenge now that people are also adding in more self-directed experiences.
- Organizations are likely going to need a multi-layered media strategy that can reach influencers who can help propel the message. To be clear, an influencer strategy doesn’t mean a pure social media strategy. It means a strategy of messages and media that are repeatable to others.
- Organizations have to be prepared to re-engage in stages. When current restrictions lift there will be some appetite to explore and potential opportunities to meet them online or outdoors. In a post-pandemic environment, audiences are very likely to get active again.
- Focusing on broad messages that reflect a drive to escape everyday stresses and deliver on social motivations will work well to help motivate intra-provincial travel. Reinforcing these main messages with reassurances about flexibility in booking and safety will also be helpful to finalize a decision.
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About the project
The Alberta Foundation for the Arts is pleased to be a funding partner in this collaboration with Stone-Olafson and other community leaders to develop a long-term research investigation and evaluate how current conditions will reshape Albertans’ attitudes and behaviours towards social and group activities, across a variety of sectors. The purpose of this work is to give leaders of community sports, recreation, arts and culture, professional sports, active living, heritage, tourism or hospitality sectors relevant facts about local audiences that they will need to bring life back to our communities.
The initiative is being funded by: