In our work with cause partners we are often challenged to communicate a message and attract corporate partners in new ways.  This was the case in a recent project with Food Banks Canada where the TACK10 team was engaged to develop key messaging and a supporting print ad for a special section in the Globe and Mail that would demonstrate Food Banks Canada’s thought leadership in developing Corporate Partnerships. Our approach to developing content for traditional marketing channels closely mimics the rigor and processes required to prepare for a face to face meeting with a prospective partner. In doing so, we focus on a few key areas that help us to deliver a compelling narrative that will generate interest and the desired outcome. Here are a few considerations in crafting your messages:

Target Your Readers
The Globe and Mail readership provided an opportunity to speak to a well-defined audience of corporate decision makers and executives navigating changing environments influenced where the definition of corporate social responsibility is shifting. This article was featured in a section dedicated to defining this new environment and offering solutions from industry experts who have pioneered solutions in this space. Food Banks Canada’s participation in the editorial allowed us to support their corporate strategy with a message designed to highlight their innovative approach to eliminating food insecurity that goes far beyond a food drive.

Capture Your Readers’ Attention
The success of our interactions with potential partners relies on our ability to capture interest. In this case, the rational argument for innovative and integrated partnership was delivered in the editorial content built around interviews with Tania Little, Food Banks Canada’s Director of Development and Partnerships and Elliot Penner, former President of The French’s Food Company. Beyond this appeal to the left brain, it was important to address Globe readers as Canadians, appealing to their emotions by highlighting the issue in a way that stopped this busy professional for a moment. We know the facts; There are more than 4 million Canadians who do not know where their next meal will come from. The challenge Food Banks Canada tasked our team with delivering was to bring home the urgency of food insecurity in this country in a way that was relevant to the key audience.

Keep It Simple
On average, readers only spend 2 seconds looking at a print ad. The same is true for digital. While the landscape is shifting, we frequently see cause messaging with information overload. Food Banks Canada’s brief tasked our team with being bold and it was important that the Globe reader be able to digest the message and gain a clear understanding in the time it takes to turn the page, or glance at the headline. The message must be clear and succinct. Using a headline, and simple ad copy with strong use of colour to pull the eyes to the ad, ensured this piece would stand out.

Digital ads were developed in three-panel gif format to showcase the core message in a more animated and engaging way.

Connect with the Audience
Building off the brief, the core message of this ad had to be bold and it needed to have emotional resonance with the audience. To create emotional resonance, our teams collectively drew on the power of relatability to create surprise in the key message.

Relatability: Colloquially, “Hangry” is a term often used to describe an anger or irritation brought on by intense hunger. We’ve heard it, we’ve used it.

Surprise: In drafting the copy “The Real Hangry,” the intention was to stop the reader and shake their understanding of this term. While we may have heard it and used it frequently, do we have a deep understanding of what intense hunger actually is?

The Final Bell
We know that over 4.5 million Canadians are food insecure. What is often missed, however, is the fact that our neighbours, colleagues and friends may count themselves among those 4.5 million. We are proud to support Food Banks Canada in the work they are doing to end hunger in Canada and look forward to supporting the powerful partnerships they continue to create to tackle this widespread issue in our country.

Tracy Culleton

Tracy Culleton

Vice President Strategy, Cause and Public Sector

Tracy is an accomplished business leader who has dedicated her career to launching businesses and invigorating struggling categories with new and innovative solutions. Tracy presently leads strategy and business development to support non-profit and public sector organizations in developing innovative funding strategies to generate new sources of revenue.