Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (CASLPA)
In September 2006, Impact Public Affairs was approached by the Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (CASLPA) to advise on government advocacy and public awareness for the dangers of noisy toys. CASLPA wanted to engage their national body of members to alert parents and caregivers to the potential dangers of noisy toys to their child’s hearing in anticipation of the upcoming holiday shopping season.
CASLPA also wanted regulatory change: the noise emissions standards allowed toys that could permanently harm a child’s hearing. With Impact’s help, CASLPA underwent an extensive PR and government relations campaign to bring the issue of the dangers associated with noisy toys to both the public and government decision makers.
Impact developed the following strategy for CASLPA which served to raise the profile of the Association and its concerns:
- Engage MPs with direct advocacy meetings coordinated by Impact.
- Engage politicians and political media. Two national press conferences were held at the National Press Gallery in Ottawa to obtain maximum impact and media exposure in October of 2006 and 2007 respectively, just when parents are beginning to think about toys for the upcoming gift-giving season.
- Demonstrated media and public support to politicians and senior Health Canada officials by repackaging media results for one on one lobbying.
The resulting media coverage was the most comprehensive in CASLPA’s history. TV and radio news stations reported the event throughout the day and the message was featured on many networks’ 6 and 11 o’clock news. Major news stations, newspapers and all major media outlets were also interested by the message. CASLPA representatives were booked solid for interviews for days following the press conference.
Close to 5 million Canadians (over 14% of the population) saw the message in 2006 and the reach of the 2007 message was close to 8 million Canadians (over 27% of the population).
Then MP Judy Wasylycia-Leis invited CASLPA to attend a national press conference on Parliament Hill where she announced the tabling of her Private Member’s Bill in support of CASLPA’s initiatives. More recently, Health Canada introduced regulations regarding noise emissions for children’s toys, lowering the acceptable level of emissions as per CASLPA’s request. This shows the impact of successful PR tactics coupled with effective government advocacy!