My favourite projects of 2016

By Andrea Sanchez

Every year we work on incredible projects with extraordinary people. This year was no different.

From self-government communication strategies, to workplace safety campaigns, 2016 was a year that challenged us all to look at traditional means of communication and ask the question “How can we make this better?” Often the answer came through thinking outside of the box and finding innovative solutions to address larger communication goals.

I’ve compiled a list of projects that I was proud to be a part of but that also highlight how doing good work is important to us. Every project we work on certainly deserves to be highlighted. And although not all are on this list, I am incredibly honored to work on so many great projects every year.

Although this is a list of my favourite projects from 2016, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that I was just one part of a fantastic team. So, with that, let’s take a look at the projects.

Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission – Worth It campaign

The WSCC wanted its new workplace safety campaign to stand out from the crowd. Standard ads just wouldn’t cut it. So for a whole week, Tait teased Yellowknife residents with cryptic Facebook ads, as well as a guerrilla marketing display, sidewalk chalk signs and posters around the downtown area. These all referenced a mysterious upcoming event and included messages such as “Coming home safe at the end of each workday. Worth it.”

The next week, the WSCC revealed itself as the “face” behind the campaign. A lunch-hour event enticed hundreds of curious Yellowknifers with food trucks, promotional items, contests and Yellowknife’s first 3D chalk-drawing.

The WSCC also held a similar event at its Iqaluit office on the same day and followed up with social media posts, a time-lapse video of the Yellowknife event and a contest. As we move into the second phase of this campaign we look forward to implementing more innovative ideas that highlight the importance of workplace safety.


Deline Got’ine Government – Transition to self-government

Tait is proud to have been a part of Deline’s historic journey to usher in the NWT’s first community-based Indigenous self-government. Since 2013, we’ve helped the self-government team with its communications. We started by creating a campaign to encourage eligible voters to cast their ballots on whether to approve the Final Self-Government Agreement, then continued to support the team as it planned the transition to the new government. In 2016, we helped brand the new Deline Got’ine Government (DGG) and created tools for the DGG to communicate with Deline residents—and the world.

The DGG took effect on September 1, and the next few days saw a celebration unlike any the North—and Canada—had ever seen. Tait used the Deline self-government website and Facebook page to keep people informed of the effective date and the celebrations that followed. We also reached out to local, regional and national media, leading to positive coverage of the event from the CBC and other outlets. Tait coordinated the production of promotional materials, photos and video (through the great work of Artless Collective) to commemorate the historic day. 

Deline’s self-government was a journey more than two decades in the making. Tait is incredibly proud to have played a small part in closing one chapter and opening a new one—a chapter that reveals a bright path to the future for the people of Deline.

Inuvialuit Self-Government – Communication strategy

Like the community of Deline before them, the Inuvialuit are also on a path toward self-government. But unlike Deline, theirs will be on a regional level. Before self-government can become a reality, the Inuvialuit members across their region—and around the country—must vote on whether to approve the final agreement made between the Inuvialuit and the governments of Canada and the NWT. That agreement (and the vote) are still a few years away, but in an exceptionally proactive move, the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC) approached Tait to prepare for the process well in advance.

Tait began with a comprehensive communications strategy for renewing members’ interest in the self-government process, which has been ongoing for nearly two decades. From there, we developed a logo and other branding elements to create a visual identity for the Inuvialuit self-government process. We also helped refresh the Inuvialuit self-government web presence and created an accompanying Facebook page to reach those members who use Facebook as a primary source of information.

As the Inuvialuit final self-government agreement nears completion, we’re excited to see where the process goes.

Lheidli T’enneh First Nation – Communication strategy

It seems like 2016 was the year of self-government campaigns at Tait. Not unlike the Deline and Inuvialuit self-government communication projects, the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation (LTN) from British Columbia presented circumstances we were familiar with, but that also offered us unique challenges. For example, BC is a long way from the NWT, and this would be the LTN’s second attempt at ratifying its self-government agreement.

The LTN came to Tait because of our previous experience on self-government campaigns. Drawing on that experience, we presented the LTN with a unique strategy that addressed their specific needs and the audience they wanted to reach. We developed a brand, a series of plain-language fact sheets and a social media presence order to enable the LTN to reach out to and engage its members.

A particularly exciting part of the project was a series of videos that presented the Lheidli T’enneh Final Agreement in an engaging way that the audience could relate to. Our efforts also ensured members had an open and direct path to clarify their questions and voice their opinions in a transparent and respectful manner.

In the coming year, the Lheidli T’enneh will be in the process of preparing to vote on their agreement, and Tait is proud to be a part of this journey.

College nordique francophone – Communication strategy and marketing materials

The College nordique francophone (CNF) is the only Francophone college north of the 60th parallel. Filling such an exclusive niche, it’s clear that the CNF plays an important role in the community, and as such, its marketing should speak for itself. With an expanded program catalogue, the college wanted to increase its presence in the community, and so it came to Tait.

We developed a marketing strategy (in French, of course) with specific goals and key messages. From there, we developed a social media strategy and branded marketing materials, and are working on a website refresh (look for it soon!). Combined, these elements support the college’s strong identity in the North and connect the CNF and its audience on a more strategic level.

Working with community-based organizations always creates fun, meaningful projects and I’m glad we could be a part of it.

Looking ahead

As a new year begins, I am already excited about the work we are doing for our clients. I and my Tait colleagues have our thinking caps on and we are looking forward to providing interesting and innovative solutions to the communication challenges that 2017 will offer.