Alix Alberta village council pondered their options after reviewing a botched promotional article that was printed in a Lacombe tourism guidebook. The discussion was held at the April 5 regular meeting of council.

Village Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Michelle White provided councillors with copies of the 2023 Lacombe Regional Tourism Travel Guide, a promotional tourism book that the village purchased advertising space within. 

The Village of Alix is also a member of Lacombe Regional Tourism (LRT).

White stated there was a serious problem with the Village of Alix’ entry in the 2023 Lacombe guide, noting even editorial instructions, usually intended only for staff assembling the book, were included as body text in the promotional article. 

“One main marketing tool for 2023 was for LRT to design, print and distribute a travel guide for our region,” stated the CAO in her report to council. 

“A proof was sent out Feb. 21 to the partners and asked to email back any changes that were needed for your page.

“I emailed back in detail what needed to be taken out, added or moved for the village’s page. I asked for an update approximately a week later. 

I hadn’t heard back or seen an amended proof of my changes. I was told the changes were made and the guides had already been printed. The guides were delivered on March 20.

“I saw the guide for the first time on March 21 and our page was printed word for word what I wrote in the email for changes, i.e. ‘take out the word municipal.’ I contacted (Austin Weaver) executive director for LRT immediately asking for these guides to be pulled until the guides could be re-printed. 

“(He) drove out to Alix to have a meeting with me and discuss options on how this mistake could be fixed. Five thousand guides were printed and approximately 150 of these guides were handed out at a Calgary home show and cannot be retrieved.”

The CAO and councillors read the mistake-ridden article out loud during the meeting, some of it not making sense and some of it sounding like gibberish, eliciting more than a few laughs from council.

White noted the mistake has no financial implications for Alix as LRT is responsible for fixing the problem, but the fact some of the botched guides were given to the public will reflect poorly on the Village of Alix.

As councillors discussed the article White explained it seems no final proof was sent to the village and the guide was printed with an unapproved article.

As far as solutions go, the CAO noted it’s too expensive to re-print the book. The only viable option is a sticker. 

“The only option that we were given to have the problem fixed was to have LRT print a sticker with the proper amendments; we could have a sticker printed for the size of the paragraph that was misprinted, a half page or a full page,” added White. The CAO requested a sticker the same size as the offending article which will affect about 4,800 copies of the guide and which LRT will have placed by hand.

Coun. Ed Cole observed people who notice there is a sticker on the page are likely to pull it off, suspecting it’s there to cover something up.

It was noted the Village of Alix’ article was the only one in the LRT guide to suffer this fate.

Councillors unanimously accepted the CAO’s report as information.

By Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Apr 13, 2023

This item reprinted with permission from   East Central Alberta Review   Coronation, Alberta

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