Cando Rail Services – Brand Journalism

The Challenge

Cando Rail Services is a leading company providing services for the industrial supply chain in North America. It works closely with major companies in a number of sectors helping them move their products to market as efficiently as possible. For nearly 40 years, Cando quietly grew into one of the best in the rail business, staffed with experts who had worked in the rail industry their entire careers. The company came to us to help them communicate that expertise (as well as their dedication to safety) to the public, potential customers and other key audiences.

The Solution

We developed a new website featuring brand journalism for Cando. Working with them, we wrote case studies and articles that featured some of the innovative solutions they developed for their customers. We also helped them enhance their social media presence and developed a media relations strategy to generate positive publicity.

The Results

The website we helped build quickly found a larger audience thanks to our content strategy that considered integrating marketing, social media, earned media and SEO. Our media relations efforts earned more than half a million positive impressions within four months in 2017.

Fort Rouge Yards Public Consultation

The Challenge

We were engaged by the developers behind a large proposed infill real estate development on the former Fort Rouge Rail Yards in Winnipeg. The proposal was to build a mix of low-rise, mid-rise and high-rise buildings to accommodate 2,500 new residential units immediately adjacent to a century old neighbourhood and the city’s new rapid transit corridor. The developers needed help winning city council’s approval to change the zoning of the site from industrial to residential. That meant also winning over the neighbourhood which was skeptical of the proposal.

The Solution

We arranged for a public consultation process that included inviting members of the community to take part in introductory design charettes. These were more brainstorming sessions than public meetings where architects, city staff and consultants involved in the project met to discuss the project with some influential area residents. The charettes informed the design team of some of the elements the neighbourhood wanted to see. We also coordinated two full public open houses where the plans were put forward for everyone to see and comments and feedback was collected. Additionally, we created a website, newsletters and other public communications tools to help communicate the advantages of the new transit-oriented development, and to answer the public’s questions. Finally, we took a lead role in presenting the benefits of the development at city hall. That meant clearly articulating that area roads could easily support the predicted extra traffic, while the neighbourhood schools, parks and community centres would all benefit from additional residents and additional city investment.

The Results

We worked on this project for more than half a year during which we helped oversee the entire public consultation process. In our view, our most important strategic goal was to try to keep the public as informed as possible about the project. Where information is lacking or hidden on projects like this, the public tends to speculate and guess about what is going on. That kind of atmosphere can breed mistrust and harden community opposition to a project prematurely. We were pleased that our efforts both drove widespread acceptance of the new development in the neighbourhood, but also helped our client win the approvals it needed at city hall.

Ford of Canada

Dooley Communications manages the Ford of Canada account in Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario, focusing on the areas of communications and public relations, events, promotion and grassroots marketing for the brand and the dealerships across the region. We help secure top-tier media coverage, arrange media interviews and connect storytelling essentials with the expertise that is essential to work with influencers, media and impact those who follow them.

Here are two examples of our success in the market for Ford of Canada:

Ford’s Hangover Suit Media Tour

Members of the media were invited to join an interactive demonstration of Ford of Canada’s innovative “Hangover Suit” to showcase the dangers of driving while hungover. We secured coverage with 12 media outlets, including the Winnipeg Free Press, CTV Morning Live, Wheeler in the Morning, Global Morning News and had multiple interviews on radio.

Ford’s Sustainability Feast

The Sustainability Feast was a large-scale event that showcased Ford’s green initiatives through a special menu designed by local chef, Rob Thomas, representing Ford’s use of biomaterials in vehicles.

The Sustainability Feast earned local Tier 1 media coverage, including the Winnipeg Free Press (both print and online), Breakfast Television and CJOB 680’s The Road Trip. There were also 25 key influencers and bloggers in attendance, allowing us to communicate Ford’s sustainability messaging to new target audiences.