In recent years, the Telecommunications Workers Union (TWU) has seen their union members lose jobs at an alarming rate. As economic times become tougher, many corporations refuse to sacrifice profits; instead, they sacrifice workers by sending jobs offshore. These companies generate their profits in Canada, and the TWU believes that they should continue to support the communities where those profits are made. TWU approached Hot Tomali to create a public awareness campaign to inform people about the number of Canadian jobs being sent offshore.
Instead of simply engaging in a traditional approach where the union would advertise a negative message using print, radio, and television ads, we focused on developing an integrated campaign that leveraged a combination of PR, non-traditional media, street teams, collateral materials, and online and social media. In order to increase the likelihood that the union’s key message would resonate and engage all Canadians, Hot Tomali recommended a broader, more topical, and highly correlated message—addressing the drastic unemployment situation in Canada with a website titled KeepJobsInCanada.ca. From this insight came the birth of the National Unemployment Clock— the focal point of the campaign—which displayed, in real-time, the amount of unemployed people in Canada.
The clock was mounted to a truck that started at Parliament Hill in Ottawa and drove across Canada to Vancouver, making stops along the way in big cities, small towns—and everywhere in between. Within each city the truck was supported by street teams that engaged the public to sign a petition. This was designed to influence the Canadian Federal Government to implement legislation around keeping jobs in Canada. We supported the campaign with a strong public relations strategy, ensuring that local and national media were engaged at every stop.
To promote the campaign online, the website, KeepJobsInCanada.ca, contained innovative features, such as the real-time National Unemployment Clock (synched with the truck), an online petition form, and a GPS locator so people could follow the truck across Canada. Being a national campaign, all KeepJobsInCanada.ca content was available in both English & French. The website was also designed to be search engine friendly, and contained a custom implementation of Google Analytics to facilitate campaign measurement.
A massive social media effort helped to promote the union’s message throughout the campaign: Flickr photos, Twitter feeds, a Facebook group, YouTube videos featuring recent news coverage and user-generated content from across the country, and blog posts from the road. Each of these accounts was directly linked into the homepage of the website, where visitors could see the latest updates from each social media platform. This provided interactive and engaging footage that told the story of the truck’s journey across Canada through the voices of everyday Canadians. The campaign was capped off with the mounting of a permanent National Unemployment Clock on a billboard in Vancouver.