Changing Brands

So, his presentation is called "The Branding Highway".  He is a gifted motivational speaker by the name of Gair Maxwell.  Our mayor has seen him in action and wants locals to see and hear.  Maxwell will be in Moose Jaw next week.

I'm assuming we'll find out how we can expand on what we've already got.  I believe "The Friendly City" is a great nickname and "Surprisingly Unexpected" is a pretty good slogan. I don't think we need to change.

I'll point to Saskatchewan Polytechnic.  That's the relatively new brand for what was SIAST - The Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science & Technology and before that it was STI - Saskatchewan Technical Institute.  What was wrong with the original name?  Nothing.  The changes are made by people who want to leave their mark - egotistical people who think they're leaving a legacy.  In the end, the taxpayer foots the bill for the new signs, the new logos and the new letterhead.

I believe the City of Moose Jaw has a lot of good things going on and I love our nickname and our slogan.  Time will tell what what happens in the wake of "The Branding Highway" presentation but if someone proposes anything more than expanding and improving our brand, I'll predict backlash.

Social Media - Keep it Clean

I think, for most of us, it's entertaining and a great way to stay in touch with family and friends and the community.  However, for others, it's a detriment.  It...is social media.

A company called CareerBuilder.ca recently conducted a survey and found some interesting results.  More than half of employers have found content on social media that turned them away from applicants.  

70% of employers surveyed say they use social media sites to research potential employees during the hiring process.

Wait, there's more.  48% of business owners and managers say they make regular checks on current employees on social media and a third of them, 34%, have reprimanded or fired an employee for offensive or inappropriate conduct on social networking websites.

Now, on the other side of the coin, close to half of employers say "if they can't find a job candidate online, they are less likely to call that person for an interview".

The message here?  I think it's clear, isn't it? 

Second Hand Goods

They call it a "Second-Hand Economy Index".  Absorb that for a moment.

Now, let me tell you it's the 4th annual - from Kijiji.  They tell me "The second-hand economy includes any transactions of second-hand items, bought, sold, rented, traded or donated.  

The numbers surprise me.  They show the "average number of second-hand goods exchanged by Canadians," that's you and me, was 80 last year.  Did you exchange 80 second-hand goods last year?

How about this?  2.3 BILLION items were exchanged by Canadians last year at a value of $28.5 billion.  

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.  Locals are frequently buying and selling on a number of "buy and sell" pages on social media and DiscoverMooseJaw.com is full with hundreds of items and services for sale or trade in the classifieds.

Oh, and if you check "Garage Sale Junkie" on DiscoverMooseJaw, you'll find a number of local garage sales this weekend and next.

Jobs Open!

If you are between the ages of 45 and 55 or you know someone in that age bracket, you've had the conversation.  Those people, coming out of high school and, in some cases, university, had a lot of trouble finding a good job.  There weren't many out there.  My, how our world has changed.

You can find dozens of available local jobs on DiscoverMooseJaw.com right now.  Some are entry level positions but others are for trained professionals.

And, today, we're hearing about a shortage of professionals in two key areas.  The Royal Canadian Air Force needs people.  We need pilots, we need technicians and mechanics.  In fact, I see they need a full time lifeguard out at 15 Wing - Moose Jaw right now.

We are also learning about a shortage of French teachers in Saskatchewan and across the country.  Enrollment in French immersion programs is up by 26% in the past 4 years.  We can't deliver the programming to all enrolled because we don't have enough people to teach them.

So, mama, don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys.  Don't let 'em pick guitars and drive them old trucks - let 'em be French teachers and pilots and such.


Oh, I get the feedback.  That's why I write and recite the daily commentary.  It's here to spark conversation - get people talking.  

Opinion, my opinion, is often one of the features of the commentary.  I understand not everyone agrees with me.  I don't always understand those who respond but I certainly respect them and their opinions and, in some cases, their passion for their community.

We've tackled some controversial and divisive issues over the years from the building of our new arena and field house to Daylight Savings Time to provincial and federal politics.

Funny then that the more light-hearted commentaries are the ones that seem to generate the most feedback.  It was just a few days ago I shared some simple recipes for beets and Swiss chard.  Well, I've received e-mails, text messages on social media and phone calls from listeners who want to share their recipes and love of food.  

I've heard it said that "food is the ingredient that binds us together".  I think it might be true.

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