The northern Alberta wildfires of May 2011 devastated the communities of Lesser Slave River. A common critique both during and after this monumental crisis was that regular channels of communication had collectively failed. Transmission towers fell, terrestrial servers burned, and real-time digital media channels hadn’t yet been adopted. In the absence of municipal messaging, displaced residents created narratives of their own, resulting in confusion, innuendo and considerable blowback on MD administrators. We began our engagement by reworking the legacy municipal website into a user-friendly

communications hub that made vital information readily available to regional communities. The site was developed with easy-to-use editing tools that can be used on the fly by client admins, and hosted on a dedicated cloud-based server. During critical events, the website’s home page displays a live Facebook feed, facilitating real-time two way communication between official spokespeople and affected residents. Members of our team also assist the MD remotely during emergencies (both mock and real), providing sit-rep updates, media management, speech writing and general support.

Wildfire Retrospective
Wildfire Retrospective
Wildfire Retrospective

“From managing our media and mentoring our in-house resources to providing hands-on assistance during critical events, Tangent Civic helps the MD of Lesser Slave River with all aspects of its communications program. Enhanced professionalism, efficiency and community engagement are all by-products of our outsourced communications partner’s ongoing involvement with the municipality.”

Allan Winarski
Chief Administrative Officer, Lac Ste. Anne County

The Result

In the aftermath of one of the largest natural disasters in Canadian history, we helped our client create a more robust and reliable crisis communications program. Our best-practices tools and workflows provide a fail-safe communications framework that keeps the MD’s channels open during the worst possible case scenarios.