Case Studies

The Amethyst Women’s Addiction Centre

The Amethyst Women’s Addiction Centre was suffering from low attendance in its programs. Counsellors attributed this to a lack of knowledge of where the Centre was located, and the exact services which existed. A large-scale PR media effort was implemented by Impact Public Affairs in order to educate Ottawa’s citizens on the importance of women’s issues and addiction services in the city. The initiative focused on all media channels and also included an enhanced social media push to highlight all media appearances for Amethyst’s stakeholders.

A well established relationship with all of Ottawa’s major television networks enabled Amethyst’s messaging to be heard on a massive scale. This in addition to the print-media and radio push resulted in a huge increase in community awareness of the services Amethyst offers the Ottawa community. Due to this concentrated media effort, Amethyst saw a jump in women calling the Centre asking about program information, and a waiting list actually developed due to the increase in volume of women looking to access counseling services.

Total earned media statistics for 2010 were over 3.4 MILLION hits.

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.

Results

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).

Government Action

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!

Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS)

Five years ago, the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) hired Impact to raise the profile of their profession with a goal of seeking specific federal support for the recognition of foreign credentials. The challenge was that the society representing the third largest health profession in the country was almost unknown at the federal level and had never achieved advocacy results federally.

The strategy designed and implemented by Impact was to engage MPs and Ministers in their home ridings by organizing an ongoing series of laboratory tours. In addition, a national advocacy day was created and media messages regarding the importance of labs were produced.

Results

Budget 2009 provided $50 million over the next two years for a national foreign credential recognition framework. Then on November 30th, 2009, the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, endorsed a new framework in order to enhance and speed up foreign qualification recognition for internationally trained workers. Medical Laboratory Technologists were recognized by the Ministers as one of the first eight occupations in which the framework will initially be implemented. These were major wins for the Society.

Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH)

In 2012, Impact was chosen to represent the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) and to organize the tenth annual Champions of Mental Health Awards and Faces of Mental Illness Awards. Traditionally both of these events have been held during Mental Illness Awareness Week in October.

In late February, it was decided to split the two events and to hold Champions in May, during Mental Health Week and in advance of the release of the Mental Health Commission’s Strategy on Mental Health. On little more than two months’ notice, we delivered an event that exceeded the client’s expectations and set new records in the following categories:

  • Total number of Champions nominated for awards nationwide;
  • Social media impressions (several million) during the public call for nominees in the month of March;
  • Total attendance at the event in May;
  • Total Parliamentarian attendance at the May event;
  • Media impressions for the event, and;
  • Pre-event website traffic


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