Communications Toolkit to Support Newcomers

Communities throughout Alberta share a need to grow. With low birth rates and baby boomers quickly retiring, many communities are struggling to sustain a base of workers.

Newcomers have been a vital part of Alberta’s history and will continue to play a significant role in the future of Alberta’s communities. Unfortunately, newcomers can often become targets of hate and may face challenges in building social connections in a new community because they are seen as different. This places significant mental and emotional strain on newcomers, but also stunts the growth of a community if newcomers choose not to stay and invest in the community.

This toolkit provides municipal governments with templates for posters and newspapers and suggested text and imagery for 15 different types of posts on social media. These tools can help municipal governments to educate and inform residents that welcoming new people through immigration is a key factor in how your community grew over the past century. The need is similar, and perhaps more urgent today.

In creating this toolkit, we have considered many factors, including using language that will engage and motivate, without preaching to residents or insulting newcomers. It can be a sensitive topic, and delivering the message in the right tone, using carefully chosen wording, can increase positive engagement.

We’ve built the content to be as easy as possible to use for any municipality that is using social media, with different options depending on the skill set of the person managing the social media account.

We have also provided templates that your municipality can use for newspaper ads, posters, or banners to promote the value of welcoming new people to your community.

This toolkit offers details instructions on how to use the poster, newspaper ads, and social media messaging and imagery using the most basic or advanced software tools.

This toolkit offers tools to communicate with 1 of 4 distinct purposes in mind, always with the goal of encouraging your audience to welcome newcomers and help them feel a sense of belonging in the community.

Educate (social media/poster/newspaper ad)

Educational posts share facts and ideas that counter common myths around immigration. Keep posts short and positive. Don’t state the myth, but instead focus on the reality that people need to know—and the action they should take to make your community more inclusive and welcoming.

Engage (social media/poster/newspaper ad)

Engagement is about getting people involved, creating conversations, and triggering actions. These posts focus on sharing ideas and encouraging positive responses. Use emoticons to keep the tone friendly and eye-catching. Don’t use the royal “we.” Keep it conversational and never preach to the audience about past behaviours or mistakes. 

Don’t: We all need to meet and welcome new people.

Do: Have you met someone new this week? 

Energize (social media)

Energy fuels action. These posts focus on creating enthusiasm and excitement for the community’s future by highlighting the benefits of welcoming new people. The goal is to create a buzz of energy as your audience visualizes what can be accomplished together, and how it relates to them as neighbours and residents.

Entertain through Storytelling

Storytelling entertains and creates conversations—and your community has infinite stories to share. Storytelling social media posts take a little more work because they are unique to your own community and you need to create the content, but they can have a powerful impact.