New Brunswick

Business N.B. turns to social media for self-promotion on trade mission

The New Brunswick government will experiment with social media tools this week as Moncton and Fredericton compete for an international broadband industry award.

The New Brunswick government will experiment with social media tools this week as officials travel to New York for a trade mission and an international broadband industry award ceremony.

The province has created its own YouTube channel, on which people will be able to watch video updates from government officials in New York for the Intelligent Community Forum, along with other clips of selected government events.

As well, a Business New Brunswick communications staff member will be writing a blog about the conference and other departmental news.

Although blogs and YouTube are not new social media devices, this is the first time the provincial government has used either in an orchestrated fashion to communicate its message.

"In the spirit of the [Intelligent Community Forum], our government is embracing social media to inform New Brunswickers and people around the world about our progress in New York," Graham said in a news release.

"I encourage everyone to use these tools to for updates on our progress, and to find out which community will be named this year's most intelligent community."

Graham isn't the only New Brunswick politician using social media tools as a part of the trip to New York.

Moncton Mayor George LeBlanc has set up a Twitter account — @georgeleblanc — and has promised to keep his followers updated on the city's bid to be the world's most intelligent community.

Forum a marketing opportunity for cities, sponsors

Intelligent Community Forum, an international think-tank, has shortlisted the two New Brunswick cities among its seven finalists in a world ranking of intelligent communities. The award is partly based on connectivity and broadband usage.

Other cities in the event are in the United States, France, Sweden, Estonia and the Netherlands.

Louis Zacharilla, a co-founder of the forum, told CBC News this week that the broadband and satellite communications companies that sponsor the event also stand to gain, because the criteria for making the short list include access to broadband internet, the very service many of the companies sell.

New Brunswick is listed as a sponsor of the event.

Along with attending the think-tank's awards ceremony, Graham will lead a two-day trade mission to New York.

He is bringing along eight information technology companies looking for new markets.