Turning Empathy into Empowerment
In the summer of 2017, Kwittken helped transform empathy into empowerment for Canada’s military community through our work with the Invictus Games –- the international multi-day, adaptive multi-sport event created by Prince Harry, in which wounded, injured or sick military personnel and their associated veterans compete against their military peers from around the world.
The Invictus Games National Flag Tour was created with the Team Canada Competitors, and their stories of perseverance, at the heart of the campaign. As ‘human interest’ stories are always the most compelling news items, Kwittken needed an approach that would build a connection between our target audience of all Canadians to the Invictus Games brand.
In order to ensure that Canadians from coast to coast were engaged in the Invictus Games, Kwittken developed the concept of a Flag Tour and managed media relations for the Invictus Games Toronto 2017 National Flag Tour, a 37-day cross-country event that saw 150 Canadians move the ceremonial Invictus Games flag from coast-to-coast.
Kwittken knew that leveraging local spokespeople and local monuments related to the military was crucial for maximizing media coverage in all markets across the country. Once Team Canada members were selected, Kwittken reached out to each of them to personally hear their story, determine their skillset and comfort level for speaking with media. Kwittken then drafted hyper local media pitches that were anchored in the Flag Tour coming to town, but bolstered with the personal story and availability of the Invictus Games Team Canada Competitors for media interviews.
Beyond using Team Canada Competitors as subject matter experts, Kwittken also identified their spouses, and other family members to serve as compelling media spokespeople. At times when Competitors were not available for media, their family members were invaluable at providing media commentary. To speak at the national level, Kwittken identified Invictus Games Toronto 2017 CEO Michael Burns. Michael was able to provide media with a narrative around the Games that encompassed: the journey to bring the Invictus Games to Toronto.
The Invictus Games Toronto 2017 Flag Tour was a widely successful campaign that exceeded all program objectives, generating 58 million media impressions. All coverage was systematically entered and analyzed by MRP. Beyond the traditional media coverage that was secured, the program’s success was also measured by market research firm Maru/Matchbox. Maru/Matchbox measured Canadians’ feelings about the military, service members and the Invictus Games and found that post Games, strong support for the Canadian Armed Forces increased to 64 per cent, up from 51 per cent in April 2016.
media impressions25% Increase
in Canadians’ support of Armed Forces