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a place where you can get to know us + gather insights on topics we’re passionate about

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ZINC Celebrates International Podcast Day

By: Margot Fedoruk, writer

Looking ahead to September 30th, ZINC wants the world to join us along on our journey to celebrate International Podcast Day- a day to remind us to sit back, tune in and listen to some of the really good content that’s out there. But with close to 700,000 podcasts to choose from— how does one…
A forest of fold-out chairs on green astroturf to depict a world that is once again open for business

reopening community engagement: tips for planning

By: Margot Fedoruk

Now that the world is re-opening for business once again, the team here at ZINC Strategies is excited to ‘reopen doors’ to the public. The last 18 months have taught us a lot about working with people – and we look forward to engaging in person once again. With plans now underway for in-person events…
Books piled on a wooden bookshelf

Zinc’s 2020 Book Wrap Up

By: ZINC Staffers

The ZINCsters are at it again! This time last year, we shared our favourite reads from 2019 – and we’re back again to share this year’s top book picks. With 2020 bringing us lots of extra downtime, we spent these socially-distanced hours getting inspiration – and a little escape – from new books. Whether you’re…
A woman smiling on a zoom call with another woman representing online engagement

Taking it Online: Tips for Engagement Platforms

By: Colleen Dane, Director

Online engagement has come a long way in recent years. In fact, it came a long way in 2020 alone. Where it started with standard social media outreach – more and more local governments are turning to engagement-specific platforms like Engagement HQ, PlaceSpeak or Ethelo to create hubs of interactivity with their constituents. Participation in these is picking up pace…
two wooden puzzle pieces half fitted together to represent common language for civic projects

Finally a Common Language for civic projects! A Brief Introduction to IAP2

By: Marci Hotsenpiller, Founder and Principal

It’s been interesting here in Canada over the past year, as all levels of government struggle to determine what constitutes “enough” consultation and public engagement around civic projects. Many of our clients in local government are being proactive in these areas. Some have drafted and adopted Engagement Policies, guidelines or frameworks for consultation and they…

Measuring Trust in Uncertain Times

By: Colleen Dane, Director

UPDATE: On May 5, Edelman released an interim update on their trust barometer in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic – answering some of the questions raised in the blog below. In short? In the face of the pandemic, trust in institutions has taken a significant leap and are at an all-time high: in Canada,…

A Summary of Zinc’s 2019 Literary Adventures

By: ZINC Staffers

Looking for a good holiday read? OR, simply wondering which books the ZINC team couldn’t put down this year? We’re sharing a short list of some of our favourite reads from 2019, in both fiction and non-fiction. As a group of book-lovers and devoted readers, it was difficult to narrow the list – and to…

Media Training Milestone: Hitting the 200 Mark

By: Marci Hotsenpiller, Founder & Principal

It’s fun to mark a milestone at your company that actually makes a difference in other people’s lives. Here at ZINC, we recently completed a media training session for members of the federal government, specifically those involved in Coast Guard activities. This fact isn’t new—we’ve been working with federal government staff in BC and the…

Why We Went “All In” on Communications for Infrastructure Projects

By: Marci Hotsenpiller, Founder & Principal

For anyone not familiar with the history of ZINC, I started the firm wearing two very different hats. At the time, I had enjoyed success in two distinct areas – helping tech companies get amazing international media coverage, and guiding cities and local governments in telling better stories about the projects they were building. What…

Communicating in Colour: Insights on Three Colour Identities

By: Dana Mills, Communications Account Coordinator

At ZINC, we’re always thinking about colour and how best to use it in the materials we create. When communicating information, it’s key to choose colours that are appropriate to your message and goals. For example, using a colour that signals excitement or urgency might be right for a community event poster, but not for a…

Food for Thought: Three Inspiring Spots for Summer Learning

By: ZINC Staffers

Here at ZINC, we see the laid-back summer days ahead not only as a chance to get out and discover new places on Vancouver Island, but also as an opportunity to learn new things and challenge old ways of thinking. We’ve rounded up a few of our go-to spots for inspiration and insights. Check them…

Media Filters: What Might Influence a Story?

By: Colleen Dane, Director

Picture this: A news story is about to come out about your latest project. You prepare and are interviewed, ready with the important information and messages to share. You’ve done your part and so, you sit back and wait. And then the story comes out … and…. It is nothing like you pictured. So – how can…

Starting a Career in Communications: Reflections on My First Industry Position

By: Sid Boegman, ZINC Intern

Starting a career feels like walking for the first time. It’s a daunting process, but eventually those uncertain steps become familiar enough that the motion is muscle-memory. This past summer, I took my first steps at ZINC Strategies, where I had the pleasure of working as an intern. Before I started, I was incredibly excited….

Social Media for Local Gov: Six Tips for Success

By: ZINC Staffers

If we’ve learned anything through our work with local government clients over the years, it’s the importance of communicating with citizens clearly, transparently and in the right places. If you want to get the word out to the public, social media is a great tool for reaching out, spreading news and for taking the pulse…

Back to Basics: A Little Newsletter Goes A Long Way

By: Colleen Dane, Director

When I’m asked at dinner parties what I do for a living, my long-winded answer often boils down to something like this: we get information to people about work that is (or will be) happening, and will affect them. Why? To help work go forward smoothly by getting people on the same page. While it…

Launching Zinc Gives Back: how we’re Supporting Communities in 2019

By: Marci Hotsenpiller, Founder & Principal

Over the past decade here at ZINC, we’ve donated time and resources to different charitable causes across Vancouver Island. But this year – after passing the milestone 10-year mark of operations – we have decided to do more. And make it official! We want to formalize ZINC’s charitable giving and really make a difference in…

Want Fair Media Coverage? Here Are Six things to Avoid When A Reporter Calls

By: Leigh Carter, Senior Communications Advisor

Media coverage can be exactly what your organization, product, idea or point of view needs to reach a wide audience – but media coverage can also fill people with dread. Most people aren’t used to talking to reporters regularly, and for many, when a reporter calls it’s about an issue or situation that’s less than…

Why ‘ZINC’: The Story of Our Name

By: Dana Mills, Communications Account Coordinator

One question that many of us “ZINCsters” are often asked is, what’s ZINC? How did Marci, ZINC’s Founder & Principal, come up with the name, and what does it mean? When I first started at ZINC, I also wondered this. And through discussions over the past few months, I’ve gathered some details about the origins of…

Planning Your Next Public Event: Part 1, Pre-Event

By: Susan Auchterlonie, Senior Communications Consultant

There can be a lot of moving parts when it comes to public engagement – but the rubber really hits the road when you’re creating an event where you are asking the community to participate. The events we coordinate at ZINC range from “Inform” to “Involve” on the IAP2 Spectrum of Public Participation. From traditional open…