It’s a tradition of mine – as I’m sure it is for many – to really take some time at the end of each year and look back on how the year has gone. And when I look back at High Road’s last year, I can’t help but say that it’s been nothing short of incredible.
Here’s a quick snapshot of some of the most memorable moments of 2012:
Our work with American Express Canada focused on putting social engagement back into the hands of fans.
From Amex’s “Best of” Canada series where fans voted for their favourite hotspots across Canada, to Last Vacation Standing where fans could vote for their top destination on a weekly basis to pick the ultimate dream vacation, we looked for new and fun ways to keep our Facebook audiences engaged with the content we create.
In 2012 we also did some amazing work with Cadillac Fairview.
Our strategic focus on creating shareable content and driving dialogue helped grow the overall social media audience to more than 150,000 fans, an increase of 430 per cent over the previous year. This included everything from the Toronto Eaton Centre’s PhotoStar contest, which resulted in more than 16,000 photos being taken in just one week, hundreds of votes and a doubling of the shopping centre’s fan base.
Fans voted on their favourite before and after shots, and in just two weeks, Fairview gained almost 600 new fans and earned over 1.2 million impressions. Amazing!
To say 2012 was a big year for Microsoft Canada would be an understatement: With multiple big bets, PR efforts focused on supporting and amplifying pivotal consumer launches.
From flying top media to New York, to travelling cross country from Vancouver to Halifax, HRC helped show that Microsoft has revolutionized the desktop with Windows 8 and the highly anticipated Surface Tablet. We got our game on for the return of Master Chief in the much awaited launch of Halo 4 and broke a sweat with the release of the Nike+ Kinect Training game.
And of course, we rounded the year out with the launch of Windows Phone 8, enabling PR to share inspiring three-screen stories. This was an exhilarating, exciting and incredibly busy year that we couldn’t be happier to have been a part of.
CONTENT MARKETING IN ACTION
Together, High Road and Sun Life garnered top industry recognition for this innovative platform including a prestigious gold SABRE award, official honouree of the Annual Webby Awards, a gold Magnum Opus, and just last month a bronze from the CMAs.
Probably most rewarding for the team though, was witnessing the real business success BrighterLife.ca has delivered to the brand. This year, Strategy Magazine named Sun Life’s EVP and CMO Mary De Paoli Marketer of the Year, and she cited BrighterLife.ca as her biggest success of 2012. Awesome!
HIGH ROAD IN HEALTHCARE
The High Road team has also made some significant strides in our healthcare expertise: This year marked another rewarding journey with the digital development of The Ottawa Hospital’s online annual report for the second year, and being honoured with a silver Magnum Opus for our work on the 2011 platform.
TELUS Health also worked with us to take its online healthcare hub to new levels, offering a more audience-centric online experience to showcase the latest technologies in health.
We also worked to transition the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation to the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement, a change that is sure to help the organization reflect their dedication to healthcare improvement across Canada, told through a series of impactful stories affecting the healthcare system across the county.
And last, but not least, AstraZeneca too transitioned its online presence this year with a new external website, showcasing how their activities as a global organization touch so many people’s lives.
HIGH ROAD IN THE COMMUNITY
Though these highlights only scratch the surface of the work done this year for our diverse roster of clients, the thing that really amazes me the most is that despite the sometimes round-the-clock life of a public relations professional, our team continued to also time to use their skills to do good for our community.
In October we raised more than $6,500 for the CIBC Run for the Cure and we teamed up with Second Harvest to promote the 22nd Toronto Taste event, which raised enough money to deliver more than 670,000 meals to those in need.
Our design and writing team even created a small impromptu campaign to encourage Canadians to, upon word that the Canadian penny would soon be retired, donate their pennies to a good cause.
I’m so proud to work with such dynamic and dedicated people, everyday working with some of this country’s most celebrated brands.
Happy holidays, and cheers to a great 2013!
Sarah Spence is a Senior Vice President, Partner and General Manager of High Road Communications. She is based in Toronto.