“When Your Team Cares”
As you can imagine, the environment at a digital marketing agency can be frenetic, to say the least. Client demands, deadlines, meetings, personal lives - basically the ingredients that often create chaos in our lives (of course I’m speaking of “controlled chaos”). Adding to the mix, are the personal causes that often run close to our hearts, which brings me to the essence of the story I am about to share.
I distinctly remember a few months ago, when on a dreary wet and still wintry day, teamDigital’s Managing Director, Chris Harris approached me with a request I never expected. “The team wants to do something to support your battle with Parkinson’s disease (“PD”) and support the cause.” To say I was deeply touched at the gesture would be a gross understatement.
My team was aware that I was highly involved with the American Parkinson’s Disease Association’s (“APDA”) rebranding update over the previous year and it was the APDA who supported and guided my wife Heather and I (along with wonderful couple we met at a Parkinson’s event in New York City a few years back) to start a support group in Fairfield County, CT. The APDA could not have been more kind and generous in their guidance on how to start the group and structure our meetings.
My team believed they could make a difference for the APDA in kick-starting its new branding rollout by creating an engaging social marketing campaign. The effort would support the APDA’s grassroots network that works tirelessly to assist the more than 1 million Americans with PD “live life to the fullest” in the face of this chronic, neurological disorder.
And so it began… A phone call was made to the APDA’s VP of Marketing, Stephanie Paul, along with its CEO, Leslie Chambers. teamDigital’s thought leadership and creativity was welcomed with open arms.
Through numerous brainstorms, impromptu meetings and focus group testing, a campaign was born and timed to launch April, 2017 in support of Parkinson’s awareness month. This social media campaign entitled unshakeable spirit was designed to bring much needed attention not only to the disease itself, but to showcase what life is like for those impacted by Parkinson’s disease and how you can live a full and optimistic life despite a PD diagnosis. User-generated content featuring photos and inspiring captions were created using a “frame generator” which depict people’s interpretation of unshakeable spirit . The campaign features stories and faces that are meant to inspire, educate and help people know they are not alone in their PD journey. Stories are featured on the APDA’s site, Facebook page and via Twitter.
The campaign has been embraced around the country but the crowning moment for me was receiving a call from Leslie, the APDA CEO, who was filled with an overwhelming sense of emotion and pride. I have, and will continue to believe that we are recognized by what we do for others and not for ourselves. If this campaign helps someone get diagnosed and treated sooner, we have done our job. As far as my team, I cannot express my heartfelt gratitude enough for helping make a difference in the Parkinson’s community by “shaking things up a bit.”
As agencies, sometimes we get so wrapped up in the day-to-day hustle that we lose sight of the impact that our work can have on a community. By rallying around a cause and mobilizing the talents and creative energies of our teams, together in this business we can all make a difference.