Bonjour de la part de Québec
I was invited up for Quebec’s 400th birthday celebration by longtime friend, Laurent Beaudoin. Laurent is the Chairman of Quebec based transportation giant, Bombardier. Laurent and I met many years ago at the Harvard Business Club in Toronto. I was invited to speak there at the same night that Laurent was being recognized with the Canadian Business Leadership award. He politely let me converse in my rusty but passable French and then responded in perfect English!
Being born in Quebec, Laurent was very involved in the 400th anniversary celebration. We went to many celebration dinners and heard a tremendous orchestra. They have a lot of pride and showed their city very well.
At one dinner party, Laurent introduced me to Quebec’s Minister of Energy, Claude Béchard. We started talking about the web and how hard it is to reach their constituents with messages. He wrote the URL http://www.aee.gouv.qc.ca/en/energuy/game/ on his card and asked to talk the next day about it.
Back at the hotel, I pulled up the site and was impressed! Using video and a great sense of humor, the site shows residents all the ways to save energy in their home. By (literally) dragging around Energuy, people try to have him find ways to save energy, from changing out light bulbs to replacing refrigerators.
All of this information could have been communicated in a simple brochure or PDF, but the organization decided to involve the user in the experience, and let them explore at their own pace.
As I always tell my Internet Marketing students, the web is a ‘lean forward’ activity. Create opportunities to engage your audience rather than ask them to ‘lean back’ and have the information wash over them.