Letter from Jackie Switzer re: February 6 PR for Rotary

Letter from Jackie Switzer re: February 6 PR for Rotary
Fri, 02/22/2013 - 17:53

February 15, 2013 1:53 PM
To: Jackie Switzer
Subject: Newspaper Section
Now that we’ve all had a chance to hold it in our hands and click through on our browsers, it’s time to say thank you for the Community Initiatives Program’s support of the “Changing Lives Around the Globe” newspaper project. The special feature went out in last week’s Edmonton Journal, Calgary Herald, Medicine Hat News and Lethbridge Herald, and is still available online.
Thanks to your efforts, we’ve been able to substantially raise the profile of Albertans’ work in international development. You shared stories of courage in the midst of humanitarian crisis, microfinance’s empowering potential for women in Uganda, and creative approaches to hunger and food insecurity in Afghanistan. We’ve already heard from teachers, volunteers, and NGOs interested in knowing more about ACGC and its members’ work because of the special feature. One reader told the Calgary Herald:
Thank you for the excellent reporting and the interesting and encouraging information on many quality NGOs. I think this project may well have a very positive impact on many people who would generally put appeals and reports from charities straight into the recycle bin.

It’s great to see the needs described so knowledgeably, and what can and is being done reported on truthfully. For the most part, the needs are complex and long standing, and the solutions also take much wisdom and perseverance in partnership with the courageous and beautiful people on both sides. It’s nice to finally hear that articulated.
With 160 000 copies distributed, many eyes on each copy, and even more online, the public outreach impact of this project is huge. 81 000 Calgary Herald copies were sent out through Calgary, High River, Airdrie, Cochrane, Strathmore, Priddis and Okotoks. 63 000 copies went out to Edmonton Journal subscribers, 8 200 through the Medicine Hat News, and 10 200 through the Lethbridge Herald.
ACGC staff have distributed copies of the feature at the University of Alberta’s International Week, the Top 30 Under 30 Magazine Launch, and teachers’ conferences around Alberta. I also personally gave copies of the feature to MPs in Ottawa during the Feb 13 Reverse the Cuts panel on Parliament Hill, and Alberta’s Minister of Culture has distributed the section to members of the provincial government.
We would be remiss not to mention that there were some problems with distribution. The Calgary Herald made a mistake and delayed some single copy and bulk inserts until February 8th. This meant some readers were unable to find them in newspaper boxes on February 6th as intended. Due to the Herald’s error, they are offering ACGC a full page colour ad with content and publication date of the Council’s choosing sometime in 2013. We anticipate using this ad space – valued at $15 000 – in November/December 2013, in time for fundraising season, and will make a special point of recognizing sponsors like CIP. I will be in touch in the next month or so to determine the best way to utilize this new opportunity to the greatest extent.
Overall, the project has met our goals of reaching hundreds of thousands of Albertans through easy-to-understand stories of the successes and challenges faces by individuals and organizations working to fight poverty around the world. Making this project a success depended on the support of dozens of organizations that submitted pitches, helped steer ideas and funding proposals to fruition, gave interviews to Calgary Herald reporters, offered sponsorship, and promoted it to their public.
Heather McPherson
Executive Director
Alberta Council for Global Cooperation
205, 10816a Avenue
Edmonton, AB  T6E 2Y8
Telephone: 780.988.0200 
Fax: 780.988.0211
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