Alec Bruce in Area Development

Our friend Alec Bruce as a nice puff piece in Area Development magazine this month. His writing there still has the wit but not the biting satire of the stuff he puts in the local paper. Maybe this is a good example of tailoring the message to the audience. If I was writing in Area Development magazine about Atlantic Canada, I would also keep the tone positive but if I am writing to an internal audience that needs to change things, I would be more challenging.

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0 Responses to Alec Bruce in Area Development

  1. Anonymous says:

    Get a dictionary and look up the word “shill”.

    This flaky stuff is a waste of trees. The commentary on PEI’s fledgling aviation aerospace industry, for example, obscures the fact that the total value of that industry on the island is less that the value of aviation AN fastener production in North America. And New Brunswick is fighting for the same crumbs in this region.


  2. Anonymous says:

    How naive do we think prospective investors are? Do we truly believe that this type of marketing spin would make prospective investors simply waive their due diligence process? For how long can we make them believe all this smoke and mirrors? Answer: until they get here and see the reality with their own eyes.

    I just think that this type of article has no value until we truly get our act together.

  3. David Campbell says:

    Alec was hired to write a puff piece. That is what Area Development magazine is. A promotional tool for communities.

  4. mikel says:

    A writers’ got to make a living, something I would have actually thought would be impossible in NB-even David Adams Richards packed it in and moved to Toronto.

    But I thought I was a critical cynic! The article is clearing ‘selling’ the area, if that makes him a shill at least its for a worthy cause. Even in cases where it doesn’t get investment, the people who read this stuff are also tourists.

    It’s not that they are ‘naive’, but this is the FIRST step in a due diligence process-notice an area. People think that every corporation out there is some massive monolith with a team of guys who sit around and do massive research on every single region of the world.

    That’s not remotely true, and the ones who CAN do that are usually the ones you don’t want. And again, its NOT smoke and mirrors, numerous independant research firms have SAID that cities within NB are the best place to do business. I’ve mentioned before that the Fraser institute says New Brunswick is the best place in the western hemisphere. Now, to me, thats a BAD thing, but for the mining industry thats of course what they are looking for. They don’t have to worry about locals taking up guns and bombs, they don’t worry about spending small fortunes on security. In fact, the miners can walk right onto private property and the homeowners can do nothing.

    And again, David’s point of view is not the BUSINESS point of view. THe government and business sector have been raving about how terrific everything is. The St.John Board of Trade was saying four years ago that they’ve never had it so good.

    But there is nothing there about ‘community developmennt’, its all about ‘regional development’ and provincial development.

    It’s not a puff piece, that’s like saying ‘the god delusion’ is a puff piece because the author didn’t get into the specific mechanics of various evolutionary theories. Some things are meant to be general, and most industries/businesses around the world know little about Canada, and less about the atlantic region.

    It’s also instructive. IF Moncton, Fredericton, and St. John have been recognized by research firms as the ‘best cities’ to do business in the entire atlantica region, then WHY don’t they get the bulk of new investment? Obviously the POLICIES that are being chosen as being ‘most important’ ARE NOT the most important to investors. So that brings us back to asking why Nova Scotia gets RIM and all the financial backoffices, why PEI has an aerospace park, etc.

    It’s not Mr. Bruce’s fault that there is nobody (except this blog) around to ask let alone answer those questions.

  5. richard says:

    “….then WHY don’t they get the bulk of new investment?..”

    Because it is not the tax environment or the regulatory environment that has the greatest impact on attracting investment. Rather its a mix of other things, from the pleassantness of the local environment to the cost of distribution.

    The articles and research firms that try to tell us where the best places to do business are located obviously don’t know how investment decisions are made. I wonder if anyone actually does. I suspect most of the time, the dice are tossed and someone hopes for the best. They try to reduce the odds of failure by locating where others have successfully located. If they’re right, they get a fat cheque and a feature article; if they’re wrong, they get outta Dodge.