What Would It Be Like to Use a Multi-Platform Access Centre?

Since multi-platform access production and distribution centres would offer training and access to all communications platforms of the day (which will continue to change over time), the goal will be to offer patrons a public service that is individualized to meet the needs of each person. Four possible scenarios:

- A community organization wants to advertise an upcoming fund-raising event. When the representative of the organization first meets with centre staff, a communications strategy would be designed that would include one, several, or all of the distribution platforms available. For example, it might be determined that the best way to disseminate information about the event is to record a short interview for radio and television broadcast, that might be included as part of a regular community magazine program. The interview might also be posted on an "Upcoming Events" segment on the centre's web site, with links to the web site of the organization. The community newspaper, which is also available on the centre's web site, might include a summary of the interview as well.

- A small business might want to find out how to design a web site for the business, and how to make sure the web site will be found by search engines. The business person might take a free course at the centre in the use of automated web site design tools, with optional follow-on courses in the use of audio, video, graphics and interactivity for further web site enhancement.

- A local performance artist (for example, a musician or dance troupe), might distribute a full-length performance live from the theatre that is part of the centre, with simultaneous broadcast over the air on radio and TV, and streaming on the Web. The centre would help the artist find volunteer technicians (camera operators, audio technicians, director, etc.)

- The municipality wants to hold a public consultation on the use of real estate that has recently become available at a downtown location, because of the demolition of an old factory. The municipality collaborates with the access centre to invite the public for townhall-style meetings that are covered in their entirely, and during which viewers at home can participate directly via phone, Internet, and wireless devices. 3D architects' "fly-through" virtual plans for competing proposals are included in the broadcast.

When each client approaches the centre, their first stop would be with a centre staff person who would help them design the communications strategy that would best fit their needs. A staff person is assigned to help the client navigate their way through the options, training, facilities, and equipment available to help them meet the objective that has been established together.

How Will These Centres Be Rolled Out Nation-Wide?