Finding Home: 31 Days, 31 Ways to End Homelessness
2019 Finalist

Finding Home: 31 Days, 31 Ways to End Homelessness

Calgary Herald/Calgary Sun

Calgary, Canada

Category Best Public Relations or Community Service Campaign

Overview of this campaign

The content associated with this campaign and project is also available to view without charge at calgaryherald.com/findinghome , but if a user sign-in prompt appears, the generic user name is vanweb@postmedia.com and password is newspaper.

 

Objectives – 330 words

  • To turn the spotlight on an often-ignored problem in our city — homelessness;
  • To create a community service campaign and project that make a difference in our city and benefit a vulnerable population, as well as the agencies who work to help them;
  • To provide promotional advertising space to these agencies to enhance awareness;
  • To explore the strategies that work or don’t work, when it comes to addressing the problem of homelessness;
  • To provide a forum for experts to debate and offer solutions;
  • To raise awareness of the problem and foster an increased understanding in our community about how homelessness affect all citizens;
  • To engage all our digital, print and social media channels and platforms to improve our community’s understanding of the problem;
  • To provide a place for citizens to ask questions about homelessness;
  • To bust some myths about homelessness;
  • To highlight the changes that a particular program in our city — a 10-year-plan to end homelessness — achieved;
  • To provide recognition to the dedicated agencies and their hard-working volunteers who address this problem every day of the year;
  • To publish words and photos of new voices and new faces in our print and digital products, from an under-represented and vulnerable population in our city;
  • To expand journalists’ skills when working with members of vulnerable populations;
  • To cultivate new sources for journalists;
  • To provide an environment in which our news organization’s advertising partners from the homebuilding industry could showcase their contributions in addressing the problem of homelessness.

Results for this campaign

 

  • The media spotlight was shone on the issue of homelessness brighter than ever before in our city, as the Calgary Herald/Calgary Sun published a community service campaign/project: Finding Home.
  • After an introductory video and story on the topic in February, we published a piece of content related to homelessness on each of the 31 days in March.
  • The weight of all our social media, digital and print platforms was employed via ads, stories, columns, photos, videos, Facebook posts, Twitter posts, Instagram stories and a podcast.
  • Our project hash — #findinghome — became a top trending hashtag locally.
  • Campaign content attracted new website traffic and enhanced engagement, especially via videos.
  • We received “thank-yous” from readers, for devoting resources to this issue.
  • We also received thanks from social agencies and the umbrella group Resolve, which oversaw fundraising for the 10-year plan to end homelessness. They said, “It has had such an impact on the number of donations that we have been receiving these past few weeks.”
  • New voices were heard on our platforms. Members of a vulnerable population, often ignored by society, were able to share stories with a mass-media audience.
  • Our journalists developed and enhanced skills/sensitivities when it comes to working with vulnerable individuals.
  • Journalists developed new sources within this population still used today.
  • The project highlighted accomplishments of many who work with the homeless and gave a nod to unsung heroes.
  • It provided an environment for five advertising partners to purchase ads, showcasing their support of solutions.
  • Our print and digital opinion pages featured guest columns and blog posts from experts offering solutions.
  • The Calgary Herald Opinion page devoted space each Saturday in March to the issue, including a full page on March 31 that featured a related editorial, reader letters and editorial cartoon.
  • We solicited questions from readers; experts in the field provided answers and busted myths.

 


Contact

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