1Please give us a brief bio of yourself, your company, job profile, etc.
ChangeMakers is a member of The Argyle Group, a national firm that combines research-based communications and public engagement with breakthrough creativity to build enduring relationships, reputations and brands.
I started ChangeMakers in 1998 and we have worked with many of our long-standing clients for almost that long, which is an impressive feat in our industry. Since our recent merger with Argyle Public Relationships in Toronto and Context Research in Vancouver, I am proud to continue to lead our Winnipeg team as Executive Vice President, Marketing.
Our team of communications professionals has experience and expertise spanning the full communications spectrum. They’re honest. Reasonable. Wildly creative. Dependable. Committed. We were very intentional at building a brand based on results, fair play and a commitment to creative rooted in tangible results – and we love what we do.
2Tell us a bit about your business and what you do.
ChangeMakers has worked hard, and quietly, at becoming a formidable force in the communications landscape. Our area of focus has been social or mission-based marketing with specialization in injury prevention, moderation, education and health promotion. We boast a client list that makes me smile proudly, and we work with some of the biggest brands in our province. Our team has a talent depth and work ethic that has amassed over 40 international awards and has held on to some of our clients for two decades, helping them to influence their audiences’ attitudes and behaviours to create healthier lives and a healthier world.
We are based in Winnipeg and, as a member of The Argyle Group, have team members across the country in Victoria, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto and Ottawa. As the Argyle Group, we have experience designing and executing communication and marketing campaigns, tackling complex topics and engaging diverse communities. We specialize in equipping people with the information they need to consider and participate in important conversations and decisions about their lives.
3Congratulations! As the winner of the 2019 Muse Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?
Winning an award is always an exciting moment. We are proud to say that over the past two decades we have won more than 40 awards for creative excellence, strategic effectiveness, public education and social marketing. This is our first time winning in the Muse awards competition, and it has been an honour to be recognized by other creative professionals, and to join a cohort of other exceptionally talented people across the globe celebrating all our outstanding work.
4Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2019 Muse Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?
We entered four projects in the 2019 Muse Awards competition and were extremely honoured to win for all four: a Gold for Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries’ “Little Talks” radio ad, and three silvers for SAFE Work Manitoba’s “Level Up” virtual reality game and the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority of Manitoba’s cannabis education campaign (for poster series, and for advertising campaign). All four projects are examples of our social marketing work – work that is based on an understanding that a target audience needs to move through awareness, engagement and sustained change to fully understand, accept and embrace a desired attitude or behaviour shift.
We use social marketing to address the stages of change to help clients reach their audience, whether they are just becoming aware of an issue or they have made a change and we want them to maintain it. Effective social marketing is designed with the recognition that individuals move forward and back in the stages of change and, therefore, requires a consistent and persistent approach to maintain awareness and encourage and support the desired change.
5What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?
I’m unable to narrow it down to three things. As I’ve said before, we love what we do. We have worked to bring important issues to Manitoba dinner tables – and beyond. Issues from health and equality to safety and many more.
We’ve worked with clients to help change behaviours, create healthful exchanges and establish new habits.
We have taken on some tough, controversial issues over the years from sexual health and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder to transgender rights. In both our work and our community giving, we’ve played a small role in making our world better. We have a team of professionals who earn a good living doing great work for amazing clients in a city, province and country we love!
6Where do you see the evolution of creative industry going over the next 5-10 years?
Clients are becoming savvier, audiences more cynical and procurement processes tougher. Management consultants, lawyers and accountants are zippering into our lane. It’s a turbulent time, to say the least. But I see a silver lining for companies, skills and industries intersecting to offer clients more. More breadth, more skill and more insight. I see a pathway for growing talent in a shrinking world. A world where young professionals see opportunity to thrive, grow and improve our collective industry in tough times.