What Others Say: Ditch the Glitz – As told by Robyn Connolly
What Others Say: Part 2 of 4
In part one of this series, What Others Say: The Art of Performance, we looked at a fundraising project Interkom was involved with for the new FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in St. Catharines. In part two, we check in with the Halton Children’s Aid Society, a century-old organization seeking sensitive branding and marketing support that, contrary to conventional wisdom, doesn’t foist it into the spotlight.
In her own words Robyn Connolly, the Halton Children’s Aid Society’s Board & Communications Specialist, reflects on her Interkom experiences. It all started, she begins, in 2011 when the Society put out a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a public engagement campaign. The selection committee didn’t know anything about the Interkom team prior to that initial RFP process, but found our formidable list of not-for-profit experience attractive enough to invite us in for a meet and greet.
The Power of Understated Simplicity
“I was once telling a friend I was the communications specialist for the Halton Children’s Aid Society and they said, ‘well you can’t be doing a good job, I don’t read or hear anything about you in the news.’ I explained keeping us out of the news means I am doing a good job.”
Child welfare is not the same as other not for profits. It’s vastly different, Robyn asserts.
“We can’t be the glitzy, in your face, posted everywhere kind of organization. We serve clients with mental health issues. When you’re branding and marketing, you typically want to be out there, but we don’t want to be front and centre. Interkom got it. They took the time to understand our sector, our differences.
“Nothing about Interkom is cookie cutter – there are no template websites or certain approaches to branding or marketing design, and they’re not afraid of stepping outside of RFP parameters and giving extra. They think out of the box. It was demonstrated that first project where we contracted for a public engagement campaign. From that work they went ahead and said, ‘we’ve looked at your website and we think we can make it better,’ then presented us with a look and feel using our corporate colours and branding links in a manner that was different from what we’d had. That website stuff had nothing to do with what we were doing at the time.”
After successfully completing the public engagement campaign, responding to and winning RFPs for the Halton Society’s website revamp, and later, 100th anniversary project which included creating a Facebook page to draw attention to “the good stuff we do” Interkom, Robyn reports, has consistently proven its worth.
According to the Society’s communications specialist, each of these projects incorporated everything from marketing and branding, consultation and design, to web and digital communications. Hits increased noticeably on both the Society’s website and Facebook page. What about meeting deadlines? No problem.
Robyn’s comments are humbling, enough to make us blush. But there’s still more.
“Interkom really listens to us and translates that into something. They know our business. They know what’s important to us. They know what matters to our clients. They have loads of ideas, help us determine what’s best and give us tools to help us get our message out. Our stand-up banners are a prime example. Simple, understated, impactful we use them in outreach events to help the community understand more about what it is we do.”
And that’s what we do in the eyes of Robyn Connolly and the Halton Children’s Aid Society.