Posts Tagged ‘BCTF’

Four of our clients’ projects are Reed Award finalists!

Monday, January 12th, 2015

There aren’t many stories more compelling than dedicated public-sector workers under attack from governments bent on cutting services and staff. We’ve been helping unions tell—and change—that story in provinces across the country. And this week, four of those stories were honoured by being named as finalists for the Reed Awards, where Campaigns & Elections salutes the best of political communications from the past year.

The finalists include:

Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario: Direct mail

ETFO election postcard

For Ontario teachers, recovery from the Mike Harris era was a slow, painstaking process marked by setbacks and political attacks from the governing Liberals. But even by those standards, PC Leader Tim Hudak‘s agenda of cutting teachers and other school workers was extreme. This piece went into 1.7 million households in swing ridings, exposing the threat posed by Hudak’s plan.

Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario: Web video

This video let us expand on the teachers’ story, explaining how larger class sizes meant less individual attention for students, and making the case for smaller classes. We posted it to YouTube as well as embedding it on the ETFO election website, BuildingBetterSchools.ca.

Ontario Nurses’ Association: Direct mail

ONA election postcard, side 1

ONA election postcard, side 2

Teachers weren’t the only ones targeted by Tim Hudak’s plan. Nurses—already under strain from ongoing shortages—faced the prospect of even heavier workloads, layoffs and wage and pension cuts. This postcard, delivered to 1.4 million households in swing ridings, helped convince voters that Hudak’s plan would erode patient care and put their families’ health at risk.

BC Teachers’ Federation: Campaign website

AFairDeal.ca screen capture

For years, Premier Christy Clark and the BC Liberals repeatedly provoked the BCTF, hoping to trigger a conflict that would swing public sentiment away from teachers. Last year, still riding high on an election victory, the Liberals demanded a 10-year collective agreement locking in the cutbacks and overcrowded classrooms of the past decade. This website, at AFairDeal.ca, helped teachers take the government on, making the most of third-party validation that established both the Liberals’ bad faith and the province’s dismal performance in funding education.

* * *

What really matters, of course, is whether these stories make a difference. And the good news is that they all did.

In Ontario, teachers and nurses helped to defeat Conservatives in all of their targetted ridings. Tim Hudak suffered a huge, leadership-ending defeat as voters rejected not just him, but the conservative public-service-cutting values he campaigned on. And parents throughout BC stood with teachers to a degree that confounded pundits and right-wing strategists alike. The province and the BCTF reached a contract that addresses class size and composition, leaves the teachers’ court victories restoring class-size contract provisions intact, and has a term of just six years, not ten.

We’ll learn who won the Reed Awards on January 23. But as happy as we’d be to see our clients carry home some lovely trophies, we’re satisfied to have helped them tell compelling stories that made a big difference for their members—and the public they serve.

Thank you, BC teachers (and everyone who supports them)

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Thank you, BC teachers

“It took a lot of courage and sacrifice from teachers to get us here. It took the support of working people throughout BC and their unions. It took the support of teachers’ unions from across the country.

“And it took the support of parents, who spoke out in the thousands because they know better classrooms are crucial for their children’s future.

“That support means the world to us, because it comes from our common commitment to improving public education for BC kids.”

AFairDeal.ca

Your members may be your most powerful messengers

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Still image from BCTF ad Teachers SpeakWhen you’re creating an ad, the sheer range of choices available to you can make you feel like a seven-year-old set loose in a giant toy store. Brainstorming sessions sometimes go something like this:

“We could have a talking CGI animal!”
“Wait, how about a movie trailer parody?”
“Oh! Oh! We could get Carly Rae Jepsen and Justin Bieber to sing a duet about wage parity!”
“Yeah, I like that! And we do it against a backdrop of kittens playing among ancient Greek ruins…”
“We could crowdsource the kittens in a nation-wide contest, and the winner would get a CGI version of their kitten…”
“…voiced by…three words: William. Freakin’. Shatner.”

High-concept ideas are sometimes perfect for the communications task at hand… but not always. Often, a simple, direct approach can deliver a message with far more impact. When people feel like you’re speaking to them honestly and authentically, they can be more open to your message. (more…)

Seven Pollie awards for our clients!

Friday, April 12th, 2013

Pollie Award booklet coverFriday evening was a pretty big night for our clients at the Pollies: the American Association of Political Consultants‘ annual awards ceremony, recognizing the year’s best achievements in political communications.

Our clients dominated the international categories, taking home awards in nearly all of them: direct mail, Internet, radio and television. And while we’re deeply proud of the work we did on those campaigns, but we also know that every one of them was a collaboration. Award-winning creative relies on imagination, strategic smarts and great execution, but it also depends on clients who have clarity, vision and a powerful sense of their mission — on behalf of their members, and for the kind of society we’re building together.

Each of these pieces speaks for workers under attack from their own governments. But each is also unique, speaking to a distinct audience, with its own tone and approach. There’s the uplifting message of CUPE’s “Big Thinking,” the cautionary note from the SGEU in “Erasing Rights,” the call to action the Ontario Federation of Labour sounds in “Gather Round,” and the compassion that comes through in the BC Fed’s “Tough Stuff.” And for a single client, the BC Teachers’ Federation, three distinctive tones calibrated to their message and audience: openness in “Quiet Now,” pointed humour in “Waiting,” and hope and possibility for the “Better Schools” website. (more…)

Five ways the BC Teachers’ Federation scored on Super Bowl Sunday

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

Image from BCTF ad SharingOn Sunday, the roughly one million British Columbians who watched Super Bowl ads pitching everything from pickup trucks to snack foods saw something else, too: a message promoting better schools for BC kids.

The ad, titled “Sharing,” came from the BC Teachers’ Federation, who worked with us on a very tight timeline to produce an ad intended to air just once. And the reaction was immediate: an outpouring on Twitter, and viewers flocking to YouTube to see it again or catch what they’d missed.

Events like the Super Bowl, where a huge audience focuses its attention on one thing, represent a huge opportunity. But getting a share of that attention (and making it work for you!) takes some smart, careful thinking… especially when your audience isn’t expecting to hear from you. (more…)

BC Teachers’ Federation back-to-school campaign

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

We were really excited to work with the BC Teachers’ Federation on this fall’s campaign. Strong public education is an issue we’re all passionate about. And the scope of the project provided an interesting creative opportunity and challenge.

This campaign spanned a substantial range of media formats, and launched over the short course of about a month. Each piece needed to stand alone and communicate the teachers’ message in a warm, friendly and fun way…but they also needed to connect across mediums to strengthen and support the overall positioning.

(more…)