In November 2022, Saskatchewan Polytechnic entered new territory—the educational ecotourism sphere. When asked to help promote the first trip, a joint initiative of the School of Natural Resources, the Office of Applied Research and Innovation, and the School of Continuing Education, communication strategist Medbh English jokingly suggested that she could fit in a suitcase to join the trip north to Churchill, Manitoba. The joke ended when her boss suggested that she 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 go.

Typically, communication professionals interview participants and write stories following an event or project. With the Polar Bear Eco Trip, Communications & Marketing literally jumped on board the train. Acting as a bridge between public participants and the institution to tell stories from the inside, Medbh was able to successfully share the why behind the venture by producing a top-performing three-part blog series for Sask Polytech’s website and social platforms that far exceeded digital engagement goals.

This presentation will demonstrate how engaging early and embedding communications right into a project allows institutions to tell a story in a more authentic and engaging way—especially when promoting new initiatives.