Our little agency has competed against some of the biggest firms in the world—and won! We've been internationally recognized for superior achievement in branding, reputation, and engagement strategies. A few of our favourite projects so far:
Supporting Calgary hotels
Our work with the Calgary Hotel Association has led to better public understanding of the significance of the hotel industry on Calgary’s tourism sector, leading to membership growth and great public influence. One key advocacy issue involved the direction of the multi-million dollar Destination Marketing Fund. Administered by the Hotel Association for over a decade, the City of Calgary argued for control of the fund. In late 2018, the province confirmed its decision in favour of the Hotel Association—a big win for the industry.
Since 2014, Cause & Effect Marketing has been the strategic lead for Alberta’s #IBelieveYou campaign.
The campaign has led a dramatic shift in public attitudes toward believing survivors as a first step.
Public/private funding for the campaign grew from $100,000 to $1.5 million and annual funding for the agency has increased from $8 million to $16 million.
PBA Land & Development
PBA is a decades-old development company with deep roots in the community. Their newest project, The Dorian, is more than Calgary's newest luxe hotel. It promises to showcase - and define - the best the city has to offer. With a business plan that integrates local suppliers and arts development, The Dorian will be a true reflection of the city it calls home. Our launch event helped to capture the imagination of audiences near and far, and showcase the bigger idea behind the project called Calgary Rising.
Yellow Pages Canada
Chosen as the Calgary lead for Yellow Page’s Shop the Neighbourhood campaign, we helped engage small businesses, community leaders, and the public in shopping local. Combined with activity in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, and Ottawa, the project engaged 750,000 Canadians to shop local on Shop the Neighbourhood day in 2014, generating almost $90 million for local economies on a single day. In terms of business, community, and media engagement, Calgary far outpaced the other participating cities.
Data sharing in Canada's beef
As consumers demand more information about the history of their food, getting the cattle industry to re-think its approach to data sharing is critical for its growth and sustainability.
Cattle producers have great pride in their work, which was getting lost without proper tracking. By focusing on both the economic and personal benefits of tracking, we’ve helped create new collaborations within industry – including Canada’s first program for verifying humane, environmentally friendly beef production, which also pays a premium for verified products.
Connect is a collective of 16 community agencies offering a single access point for family and sexual abuse services. When it was first introduced, it lacked traction. Using a combination of research, digital, and traditional media, we helped reframe Connect as a “low-threshold” agency able to help people understand more about healthy relationships – and wasn't just for people experiencing escalating abuse. By re-framing the service, and using traditional PR and digital strategies, Connect doubled its call volumes year after year.
Changing corporate attitudes toward philanthropy. Over the past decade, we have worked closely with Canadian entrepreneur and philanthropist W. Brett Wilson to help engage the Saskatchewan and Alberta business communities in seeing corporate social responsibility not as an obligation, but an opportunity.
Through a mix of media relations, social media content, public events, and op-ed columns, we’ve successfully shifted corporate attitudes to philanthropy in those two provinces. When Alberta Venture Magazine named him Alberta’s Business Person of the Year in 2009, they said he was “single-handedly redefining the meaning of success in work-and wealth-obsessed Calgary.” In 2008, Saskatchewan Business declared: “Without question the one individual exerting the most influence on this province's corporate giving patterns is Brett Wilson.”
"Below the belt" health
Working with a team from the Calgary Health Trust, Calgary Health Region, and the University of Calgary, we helped promote the $28 million campaign for the Southern Alberta Institute for Urology (SAIU), funded exclusively with philanthropic dollars.
Using a mix of special events, media relations, a case for support, and stakeholder engagement, we focused on helping donors see their role in tackling all-too-common but often neglected “below the belt” health issues. The SAIU consolidates the private clinics of all the urology specialists serving adult patients in Calgary and Southern Alberta and is now the largest and most comprehensive urological centre in Canada. "This facility is an outstanding example of community leaders working tirelessly to enhance health care," said Ann McCaig, Chair, Calgary Health Trust.
Reimagining The Alex
The Alex provides health care to marginalized populations, but in 2008, was one of Calgary’s best kept secrets. Through qualitative research, we helped it tell a bolder and more relevant story about its role in creating “smart social solutions” and saving the system tens of millions.
Within four years, the organization went from $10M to $20M in annual revenues, and is now one of our city’s best-known and most influential community agencies.
Engaging survivors of bullying
We provided international PR support for To This Day, a globally-crowdsourced illustrated video of spoken word poet Shane Koyzcan aimed at survivors of bullying.
Within days, the video was generating more than 100,000 shares per hour, attracting international media attention (CNN just called!), and an invitation to the TED national conference for Shane.
Combined, the YouTube video and Ted talk have generated more than 25 million views and helped victims of bullying “get a better mirror”.
Changing attitudes toward charitable
When Charity Intelligence, a charity run a group of business analysts released their report on their “best bet” national charities, including six from our community, we made sure the donor audience took notice.
Following media outreach, over 40 per cent of the agency’s national web traffic was coming from Calgary, and an anonymous donor gave $1M to the six Calgary charities named in the report.
Taking a cue from our not-for-profit clients, we help for-profit businesses grow their organizations through a compelling mission mindset. This higher purpose provides a more meaningful value proposition for themselves and their employees, increases customer loyalty and staff retention, and inspires their networks to help create outcomes that benefit everyone.