The 2013 IABC Ottawa Excel Awards: CAA’s drive for excellence

By Rebecca Ford

The Canadian Automobile Association is a brand you probably recognize.

After all—says Alayne Crawford, former Manager of Public Affairs—CAA is as Canadian as maple syrup and the Mountie.

CAA is Canada’s largest membership-based organization, and—you guessed it—previous Excel Award winner for their 2011 video campaign, Practise Safe Txt, a video contest that had Canadian teens submit short entries that highlighted the dangers of texting while driving.

“This was our first online video contest as a national office, and it received significant media attention and a high level of responses,” said Crawford. “It partnered a corporate goal of engaging a younger demographic with an opportunity to do a bit of corporate responsibility, having teens talk to teens about an increasingly prevalent issue.”

The award winning Practise Safe Txt campaign wasn’t CAA’s only groundbreaking venture as of late, however.

“A number of the projects that were rolled out during my time at CAA saw us engage and pursue initiatives with non-traditional partners, such as cycling advocacy organizations and electric-vehicle activists,” Crawford said.

She also added that the implementation of social media to these projects really came into play—something that hadn’t been done before.

“Much of the work we did involved social media and online platforms, a concept that had been relatively underutilized up until that point.”

Though their national team was small, Crawford stated that this allowed them the opportunity to work on a number of files, in various capacities. This fostered a collaborative work environment—one that seemed to pay off in 2012.

When asked why CAA decided to apply for an Excel Award, Crawford’s response was two-fold.

“Applying for an Excel Award allowed us an opportunity to receive validation from our peers for our team’s hard work, an endorsement that also had the side benefit of encouraging confidence in our Public Affairs team among the CAA senior management ranks.”

According to Crawford, the benefits of IABC are ‘endless’. Speaking from personal experience, she noted how IABC offers invaluable opportunities to network with fellow communicators, as well as provides affordable opportunities for professional development.

Crawford didn’t forget about IABC’s award winning CW Magazine, either.

“It’s a great read, and helps me to keep on top of ongoing trends in my field.”

Join CAA in the winner’s circle this year—submit your entry for a 2013 IABC Ottawa Excel Award today! Deadline for submissions for Members is March 11th / Non-Members is March 10th. Get your submission in today!

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