Goal: Broadcast a national convention across the country

When the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) asked Public Response to help them reach out to their national membership base during their annual convention, our team got right to work. With their first-ever combined constitutional and collective bargaining convention scheduled for August 2012, CAW wanted to ensure that the convention was as inclusive as possible, even though not every union member would be able to travel to Toronto to attend the event in-person.

Using innovative digitals tools, Public Response created CAW2012.ca and TCA2012.ca – two bilingual websites full of convention updates, daily photos, videos-on-demand and delegate resources. We launched the sites in August 2012, with enough time to help CAW publicize it among their members.

While over 600 delegates attended the convention in person, the online participation was even more incredible. For every person who was in the room, eight more watched online.

Members and the public logged in with laptops, smart phones and tablets to watch the key events of the convention live-streamed through the website. People across the country were able to follow along as delegates listened to speeches by Stephen Lewis, Co-Director of AIDS-Free World; Kevin Page, the Parliamentary Budget Officer; Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of Canada, and more.

Peter Kennedy, National Secretary-Treasurer of CAW, spoke on the opening day of the Convention regarding the new digital approach: “…a first for our union, we are live-streaming the proceedings of this convention, so that our members who are not delegates can log-on to view and listen to the key events of this convention. Obviously, it’s not restricted to our members – anyone who is interested, and we suspect there will be many – can tune in to the convention from their computer or…their mobile devices.”

He went on to state that CAW2012.ca meant that the union would be “. . . everywhere this week, getting [the] message out to the politicians, out to the CEOs, out to the business community, that we’re still here, we’re still standing, and we’re as strong as ever.”

Results: The convention received national attention from members and the public alike, with great reception to the online tools available.

Our innovative digital approach meant that CAW was able to reach out to over 5,000 people across the country.