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Corporate responsibility: Giving a voice to what matters

NATIONAL’s parent company, AVENIR GLOBAL, recently unveiled the 2018 edition of its Corporate Responsibility Report, which highlights how employees across our network get involved in various ways to make a positive difference in the communities we serve every day.

While our network may have international reach, we take pride in being local partners and active members of our communities. Here are a few snapshots of NATIONAL’s social engagement that illustrate how we are giving a voice to what matters.

Inspiring women’s leadership

One morning, an investigative reporter at The Globe and Mail and a professor at the University of Ottawa talked about misogyny and #MeToo. Another session featured a prominent lawyer sharing her thoughts on the impact of social media in our call-out culture. This is just a glimpse of NATIONAL’s Women Inspiring Leaders (WIL) series. Every two to three months, female clients, friends and colleagues are invited to a breakfast event featuring a female leader from politics, media, academia, law or the retail sector.

Giving a voice and taking action

Through the courageous efforts of former members of the Canadian Alpine Ski Team, the victims of former coach Bertrand Charest’s abuse have instigated real change in the Canadian sporting industry. NATIONAL’s role in this joint effort with the B2ten organization was to carefully orchestrate a powerful media campaign that would lead to concrete action. Within a few weeks, Quebec’s National Assembly and the federal government announced stern measures to eliminate all forms of abuse in sport.

Partnering and connecting

The Halifax Partnership Connector Program matches new immigrants and local and international graduates (Connectees) in Halifax with established business people and community leaders (Connectors). As a Connector Organization, NATIONAL employees regularly meet for coffee with Connectees, sharing industry knowledge and connecting them with others in our local network. In 2018, NATIONAL was recognized as the Best Connector Organization at the Halifax Partnership’s Game Changer Awards Gala and two NATIONAL team members were Best Super Connector nominees.

Taking pride

In 2018, NATIONAL Toronto continued its longstanding work with The 519, the City of Toronto agency dedicated to the LGBTQ2 community. Through advanced and onsite media relations efforts for the kick-off of its annual Green Space Festival, NATIONAL ensured the five-day fundraiser could successfully add to the over $2.5 million already donated to lifesaving programming through entrance and bar sales.

Celebrating and feeding thousands

In 2018, fruit and vegetable importer Courchesne Larose asked NATIONAL Montreal to develop and implement a communications plan for the company’s 100th anniversary. With the help of La Tablée des chefs, more than 600 volunteers came together to make the world’s largest fruit salad. Even more impressive was the 33,000 portions of fruit salad that were distributed to volunteers and delivered to food banks across the province.

Spreading the love

Phoenix, a non-profit organization in Halifax, is dedicated to supporting youth between the ages of 11 and 24, their families, and communities. To celebrate its 30th anniversary, NATIONAL supported Phoenix by developing the 30 for 30 fundraising and awareness campaign. Local organizations took part by playing a month-long game of digital “tag” in support of Phoenix. NATIONAL also volunteered to help Phoenix capture its annual youth-led “Spread the Love Day”—an initiative where youth spend an afternoon in downtown Halifax to raise awareness of their community and Phoenix programming.

Highlighting freedom of the press

Members of the NATIONAL Ottawa team have been involved with the Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom for more than 10 years. They provide pro bono support, including event planning and logistics and media relations support for the annual World Press Freedom Day luncheon. This year, our team will also be providing creative content and editing support for the luncheon program.

A day of giving back

In addition to larger, long-term initiatives, our teams frequently come together and dedicate a part of their day to a cause or an organization that matters to them. Here is just a glimpse of the activities we took part in throughout 2018:

Giving Tuesday

As part of its annual Centraide campaign, NATIONAL Montreal took part in Giving Tuesday, a global movement for giving and volunteering that takes place each year after Black Friday. Throughout the day, our experts generously led a series of communications and public relations coaching workshops for four community organizations located in the Greater Montreal area: La Relance Jeunes et Familles, Fondation de la Visite, 211 Grand Montréal and Centre d’implication libre de Laval.

Doors Open To Technology (DOT)

NATIONAL Vancouver provided strategic counsel and media relations to support DOT, a provincial government program that fosters an interest in the tech sector among high school students. The program gives students across the province unique access to a local tech company to inspire them to pursue an education and career in technology.

Fondation Les Amis de Samuel

A few days before Christmas, NATIONAL’s Quebec City team got up early to share a bit of Holiday magic with 145 families in need by supporting the food drive campaign of Les Amis de Samuel, a foundation created in 2009 by Julie-Anne Vien, partner at our Quebec City office.

ReThink Sustainability

ReThink Sustainability is an exchange for engaging and partnering with thought leaders, innovators and organizations to advance the sustainability and resiliency of businesses, institutions and communities to thrive into the future. In 2018, NATIONAL Toronto provided pro bono support to RSI at the organization’s first seminar on innovation and sustainability.

Code for Canada

Code for Canada is a national non-profit that connects government innovators with the tech and design community. NATIONAL Toronto provides ongoing strategic insight and creative services for the organization’s social media campaigns, videos and fellows coaching in narrative workshops, ensuring a high degree of awareness of for its programs among innovation-minded public servants across the country.

Click here to read AVENIR GLOBAL’s full 2018 Corporate Responsibility Report

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Written by Amanda Eid | Emily Seaman

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