Air supply and demand

Last week, Community Living British Columbia rolled out a "multi-media campaign" to "raise general awareness" about the developmentally disabled, as well as "provide a positive message regarding community inclusion." This, according to an email distributed to authority employees by communications director Sally Greenwood. Ms. Greenwood goes onto write that Community Living's media buy for the television commercial component of that campaign "consists of airtime on most provincial television stations including the TV listings channel and will run for 11 weeks paid air time beginning June 18th." But, as laudable as those commercials are, some might wonder whether the campaign's $180,000 budget might have been better spent reducing the authority's waitlist, which includes "3,150 adults with varying degrees of need…requiring some form of new or enhanced CLBC services between April 1, 2006 and March 31, 2009."

In a separate email to Public Eye, Ms. Greenwood explained, "CLBC is committed to enhancing community development: assisting in the employment and volunteer opportunities for people with developmental disabilities, creating greater community access and enhancing personal networks." And that "can only be accomplished fully with the participation of all people in community. This campaign is one mechanism to start building greater community awareness and understanding - enhancing community development."

Ms. Greenwood then went onto add "one -time funding for this provincial initiative was made possible through a delay in the implementation of two community programs - community councils and the advisory committee. Because both of these initiatives were not implemented until part way through the year - one time only funding was made available for this initiative - also a community development focused piece of work." The following is a complete copy of the communications director's earlier email.

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From: Greenwood, Sally CLBC:EX
Sent: Tue, June 19, 2007 2:20 PM
To: CLBC All Exchange Users
Subject: Multi-media campaign launch

CLBC Multi-Media Campaign Launch:

As many of you know, CLBC's Communication Department has been working on the development and production of a multi-media campaign to run over the next several months promoting Community Living.

The intent of this campaign is to raise general awareness about Community Living itself - what it is and to provide a positive message regarding community inclusion. We are pleased to advise you that we have completed production on a 30 second TV spot, 2- 30 second radio spots, a series of print ads, posters and bookmarks. The images and creative concepts that resulted are very positive and powerful messages that we hope will increase public awareness of community living for many months and years to come.

Shortly, we will have the new material posted on our website under News and Events- Media Room - for people to view. While the official launch will take place within the next few weeks, phase one, which consists of the TV spot, has begun airing throughout BC. Our media buy consists of airtime on most provincial television stations including the TV listings channel and will run for 11 weeks paid air time beginning June 18th. The spot may run much longer through pubic service avails, but our paid air time is currently limited to this 11 week period. Stations airing our spot (with frequency and duration boosts through public service announcement placements) are: CBC, CTV, Global, Omni 10, CityTV, A Channel, KVOS and the cable listings.

Phase 2 of our roll out, expected to occur within the next two weeks, will consist of poster, bookmark and print ad distribution. Radio is scheduled for October, but is budget dependent at this time. We will keep you informed as each phase is implemented.

In addition, CLBC will also have an announcement during the Canada Day broadcast of VoicePrint. It is a radio station that broadcasts full-text readings of current articles from leading publications for all Canadians whose core audience is people with vision- and print-restrictions. It can be heard on cable as the secondary audio program of CBC Newsworld and Rogers Digital (ch. 196); on satellite at Star Choice (ch. 825), ExpressVu (ch. 49 & ch. 967), and Look TV (ch. 400); and online at www.voiceprintcanada.com .

As with any advertising and marketing campaign, frequency and duration of message are paramount to a campagin's success. We will be doing everything we can to further enhance the reach of all of this creative work to ensure as much exposure as possible.

For more information please see the article on the May edition of The Citizen on pages 8 and 9.

Sally Greenwood
Director, Communications
Community Living BC (CLBC)

6 Comments

If CLBC really wanted to make a difference, they could have spent the $180,000 on documenting their children's waitlists so that the public could be made aware of just how many thousands of kids with developmental disabilities are being denied necessary therapies, simply because there is no money available, either from MCFD or CLBC.

I just got off the phone with a Mom at the end of her rope who broke my heart again and there;s absolutely nothing I can do for her: Single mom with a teen plus a younger child with Down Syndrome squeezed into a 1-bedroom Vancouver apartment because every spare penny is going to pay for the speech therapy that CLBC/MCFD are supposed to, but won't fund, and without which the child will never learn to communicate and get by with any kind of life as an adult!

Why should incredibly decent, dedicated families be forced to endure such nightmares because a bunch of execs and Deputy Ministers and Cabinet honchos earning $100,000 - $250,000 simply don't have a clue about what goes on in the real world out there, and/or are concerned about little besides keeping up apprearances and generating positive media spin via gargantuan PR budgets!?

Many of us frontliners and supervisors are so depressed about what is going on with anything connected to mcfd that we've reached a place where daily knots in our stomachs have become a part of our lives. We have no power over how money is used and we see it sqandered on self interested projects over and over again. The Senior level at the ministry should hang their collective heads in shame. It will be election time in a year or two and seeing the backs of these people can't come soon enough.

increasingly clbc's credibility reminds me of bush and the pentagon. the focus and the message are entirely concerned with diverting attention away from their problems by projecting their imaginary, self-righteous image while the population goes to hell in a hand bag.

the twig has nothing on the mole.

i don't share social worker's optimism, it is very possible these problems will only result in severely authoritarian solutions benefitting the same corporate gluttons.

My son qualifies for CLBC support but I have been told that the waitlist for one of the programs is 4 years...at this rate he will be an adult before we get service...then we will have to wait in line for adult funding. $180,000 could go a long way to support people not advertising

I saw the recent commercial where an adult wanted to go into a restaurant to eat, but was refused service because of his "handicap". He then later filed a law suit and won...

I feel this was possibly a problem 25 years ago, but now the real problem is getting paid jobs for individual with special needs, not allowing them into the public...wow...I really feel CLBC took us back 30 year of our progress of integration and inclusion...too bad.

Didn't this incident happen over 15 years ago - before CLBC. Aren't you trying to take credit for and improve your image on the back of MCFD and the work that went on before. What exactly does this ahve to do with CLBC now.

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