With our national association changing its brand name from Editors’ Association of Canada to Editors Canada this summer, the time was right for the NCR branch to change its name as well. The impetus behind the change, from the branch executive’s point of view, was to make our seminars—far and away our biggest source of revenue—easier to find online since attendance had been dropping due to increased competition. This search engine optimization (SEO) is the same reason that the history magazine The Beaver changed its name to Canada’s History (well, they had other issues as well…). The point is, the Internet doesn’t do subtle, it doesn’t do abstruse, it doesn’t do equivocal. It does precise. And no one searches for “National Capital Region” when they want to find an editing seminar in Ottawa or Gatineau.
In May the branch executive consulted in person with members and found general support for a name change. Then we launched an online discussion to include people who had not been at the May meeting. In September we polled the membership, Survey Monkey fashion, and got a great voter turnout. From our 177 members, we received 80 responses—a 45% response rate that would be the envy of any survey company. The choices for a new name were Ottawa, Ottawa–Gatineau, and Eastern Ontario–Western Quebec. Of those who responded, 77% agreed that the branch name should be changed and 76% agreed that the new name should be Ottawa–Gatineau. Paired with the national rebranding, the new name of our branch is now Editors Ottawa–Gatineau.
A couple of members who did not support the name change were concerned that the rebranding would cost money, but since we are only rebranding once—both national and branch at the same time—it will not cost us any extra.
We also asked members why they supported the name change. The response was evenly split (40%/40%) between two main reasons:
- Because “National Capital Region” is understood only by some people
- To improve search engine results when we advertise seminars
Some respondents who supported the name change also sent comments:
- It’s shorter. As an editor (and a marketer), brevity and punchiness are always my main concerns. Also, not everyone understands “NCR.”
- To be specific and clear.
- To be more inclusive but also to be realistic about where most of the branch’s activities occur. It gives an idea of the central “broadcast” point of the branch.
- Because it lends itself to an unhelpful acronym.
Over the next few weeks, you will see the new brand roll out. Our branch’s Executive Director, Maureen Moyes, is all ready to go with the new branding materials sent by the national association, into which we will plug our new shorter, punchier name.