Recent Work: Surrey Steps Up Looks to Better Block Project for Inspiration

Another of those gigs where you get paid to attend something informative and inspiring. This time in Surrey, for the launch of their Surrey Steps Up program. Attendees were treated to an overview of Surrey’s ambitious plans for directing future growth to the year 2050 in a presentation (pdf) from Don Luymes, City of Surrey Manager of Planning and an inspiring presentation by Jason Roberts from the Build a Better Block Project.

If you find my short item for the Metro Vancouver blog whets your appetite, you can see all of Jason’s presentation and more info on Surrey Steps Up at the City of Surrey’s website for the program

Recent Work – Metro Vancouver 2014 Homeless Count

What a privilege it was to get to listen to Judy Graves’s presentation as she brought her years of experience advocating for homeless people to an orientation session for the 2014 homeless count volunteers in Surrey. Continue reading

Recent Work – Coquitlam River Watershed Roundtable

Freelancing. Some days you sit at a computer. Other days you get to be outside by a river and watch salmon head upstream.

The Case for Stairs at China Creek North Park

Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 10.09.23 PMChina Creek North Park is a well-used park on Vancouver’s East Side, located roughly on the border between the neighbourhood of Mt Pleasant and the False Creek Flats. It’s frequented by soccer and softball teams, joggers, neighbourhood children, dogs, and their human companions. It is situated at the corner of East 6th Ave and St. Catharines St and has a running track, fitness apparatus, two baseball diamonds, a soccer pitch, and a playground. On the west side of the park a steep hill leads from the sidewalk down to the running track and playing fields. Many people choose to walk down the grassy slope, as indicated by the well-worn path that traces the most direct route from the street corner to the sidewalk running beside Great Northern Way.

Unfortunately, the existing slope is very slippery and dangerous in the rain as the narrow dirt path turns to mud. Building a safe, permanent stairway will create a safer route for park users and improve access from the Mt. Pleasant neighbourhood to a number of nearby destinations, including:

  • VCC Skytrain station and bus loop (#84 UBC Express bus)
  • QLT building at 887 Great Northern Way
  • the soon-to-be-completed Mountain Equipment Co-op head office building.

Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 10.15.22 PM Safety is an issue with this often wet and slippery direct route. For people who can’t risk a fall or injury, it’s necessary to detour three city blocks utilizing existing sidewalks, just to get down this short, but steep hill. With the recent cancellation of the Hadden Park bicycle path, this is the perfect opportunity for the Vancouver Park Board to re-allocate funds to benefit East Side residents — with a simple, but effective improvement to a well-used, but sub-standard pedestrian route. So, I’ve started a petition at asking the Park Board to consider this easy and relatively inexpensive way to make the park more pedestrian-friendly.

Link to Park Board web page for China Creek Park North

Don’t want to give your personal info, but still want to contact the Park Board to let them know you support or oppose this petition? Get in touch via their official web page or email the commissioners directly at:

‘The Rocket’ Brings Composting to Multi-Family Buildings

No, not the famous hockey player, but a device that turns kitchen scraps into food for plants.

My latest video produced for Metro Vancouver highlights the official launch of a pilot project for food composting in multi-family settings. ‘The Rocket’ composter turns kitchen food scraps into high quality compost in about six weeks. The technology has been in use for some time, in applications such as remote locations and for commercial use. Now the regional district is trying out the system at a Metro Vancouver housing complex. Residents have been eager to utilize the system and resulting compost is being used in the complex’s community gardens.

Email Newsletters Equal Results

This article originally appeared as part of Bright Ideas Event Coordinators’ Winter 2013 newsletter. If you want an easy way to build a recurring point of contact with your client base, an informative email newsletter should be one of  your priorities. Here’s some basics to get started.

Email Newsletters Equal Results

by Chris Keam
Archer Media Services

Email has been a feature of the Internet since its beginnings. Email newsletters have been around almost as long. Combining the ability to contact a person directly, without the big expense of traditional direct mail costs, email newsletters can be a durable solution to many companies’ PR/marketing requirements. But, what’s changed and what’s the same as email marketing evolves and SEO demands quality original content? Here are three essential first steps for getting started:

1) Pick the right program – There are a number of programs that let you create, send, and track your email newsletters. Some are powerful and flexible, but require a designer or writer within the team to know enough HTML to create and update layouts as required. Others offer existing templates and a ‘point and click’ way to create your newsletter, with some trade-offs regarding customization and features. Each one has its strengths and drawbacks. Talk to your team and find out what they recommend, before choosing solely on price or feature list. You may save yourself money and headaches!

2) Cross-purpose the content – Look for ways to recycle your newsletter in other areas of your online presence. Turn articles into blog posts (or vice versa). Will a featured new product or service end up needing its own web page? Re-use the copy or images. As well, make sure you are using your social media channels such as the company Twitter account and Facebook page to publicize the newsletter and attract potential subscribers. Don’t forget to include LinkedIn – it’s a rapidly growing channel and the easiest way to plug into your professional network with content that’s relevant to your industry.

Bright Ideas newsletter

3) Use the data – One of the best things about email newsletters is the useful data you can gather after each mail-out. Typically you can track big picture statistics such as open and click rates, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find out which links are the most popular, which recipients might have visited important links such as ‘request a quote’ or similar, and the most popular times that people are reading the newsletter. All those indicators can help you refine and fine-tune your email newsletter for maximum exposure to your existing clients and prospects.

The geography of the Internet is always shifting. Popular sites arrive, make a splash, and disappear. But email keeps chugging along. And despite claims social media and other channels will rule the web, email newsletters are still effective tools. In-boxes are valuable real estate in the business world. Connect with customers and clients. Offer content they can use. Make sure 2014 includes the reliable email newsletter.

Focusing on Food for BCAITC

This video (writing and field producing) showcases the programs offered by the British Columbia Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation.

by Chris Keam

BC SFVNP Documentary from BCAITC on Vimeo.

Blog Budget Builds Steady Content Stream

Over the course of a year, blog posts with good content are useful to your readers and a benefit to your website’s SEO rankings. These keyword-friendly articles for a laser eye surgeon highlight specific benefits to effectively market the latest vision care options to prospective patients. This year-end blog post compiles the information into a list with summaries and hyperlinks.

by Chris Keam

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Daily Promo Production for Television News

Producing compelling promos every day can be a challenge. These examples show how a basic format provides a framework for both the producer and the viewer in delivering an effective promo that suggests the bigger issue and provides a reason to watch.

Dorel Registers Rebound in Third Quarter

Article originally published on the Bike Europe website on Nov. 8, 2013.

Cannondale's Tramount e-MTB

Cannondale’s Tramount e-MTB was unveiled to positive reviews at the 2013 edition of Eurobike.

MONTREAL, Canada – Dorel had good news for shareholders on Nov. 7, after a disappointing second quarter. The company, whose cycling-related holdings include Cannondale, Schwinn, GT, and Sugoi, and now Brazilian bicycle company Caloi, announced that revenue for the quarter was US$607.3 million compared to US$613.3 million a year ago. Net income for the period was US$11.1 million or US$0.34 per diluted share compared to US$20.0 million or US$0.63 per diluted share in 2012. (read original article)