I Love Regina: Creating a Visionary Public Organization

i_love_regina_logoI disagree with anyone who says Pat Fiacco wasn’t anything short of an outstanding mayor of Regina. On Twitter I heard a lot of grumbling about him not being around and traveling all over the place. As with any opinion from illogical people (people I don’t agree with), I’m sure a lot of that is fabricated.

The reason I think Mayor Pat did one hell of a job is because he simplified the brand of a city for us. How does the saying go? The devil’s in the details? How many people actually looked into what Mayor Pat did on a day to day? 5% of the population?  I think even that’s generous. We don’t have time to check everything his office does, that’s why you have elected officials, you should be able to trust them to do their job. Most of us won’t admit it, but we don’t care about the details.

Pat gave Regina a vision, something to hold on to, a core message that you may disagree with at first, but after a while it gets you. The I love Regina campaign is a great case study on a brand. Before Pat came into office I don’t really remember what the mayor did. It was Archer I believe and for the life of me I can’t blame him for anything good or bad. A brand isn’t what you tell people to believe, it’s what your actions lead people to believe.

For Mayor Pat he gave us a line, a slogan, three words that sunk in. The reason it worked I think are three fold.

1.  It was simple. Three words, that it, the less you can use to get your point across the better.

2.  It was polarizing. You either loved it or hated it. The people who loved it though had more to talk about, it became the cool thing to wear the t-shirts and stickers. At the time he came up with it we were still that have-not city in a have-not province. What in the hell was there to love? The minus 50 winters? The potholed roads? The lackluster football team? This is exactly why we fell in love with Regina, because it doesn’t matter what happens to Regina, the people will always be the best.

3.  There was a story behind it (or multiple ones). Once you had the I love Regina shirt you couldn’t help but tell people about why you love Regina. Was it the people? The parks? Businesses? All around it made us all appreciate the stories we’re creating here.

I Love Regina logo

To all the pundits out there accusing him for only focusing on the stadium and on boxing trips, try, for a moment to realize what he did for our city, there is no such thing as a perfect leader, all we ask is that they’re visionary in what they do. He instilled pride which is a precious gift we should all be thanking him for.

I couldn’t have asked for a better Mayor over the years and I just found out that he will be the new CEO of Tourism Saskatchewan, an organization long over due for an overhaul. Mayor Pat, you are a visionary who I look up to and I look forward to what you can do for our province.