In order to publicize the community Advertising Agency Grosses Têtes (a unique concept in Quebec), we have interviewed the project director Melissa Faucher, Officer of awareness to youth entrepreneurship at the CJE of Cote-des-Neiges.
How was the Agency Grosses Têtes born?
I have always been sensitive to the community environment, to the plurality and indispensability of services offered to the population. An environment dedicated to a cause without too many means. I find it is a shame to discover such wonderful missions without them being known and recognized by people. I have worked with people with intellectual disabilities, in the realization of wishes for sick children, with the youth in insertion and each time the communication did not make any sense… Everywhere I worked, the challenge was always the same: developing projects without a budget. It is in these moments that the word mobilization took all of its meaning. When you have nothing, you need to be surrounded by a win-win atmosphere. It is actually in this mindset that I have created the community Advertising Agency. How would a student win in helping an organization with its marketing? What type of business model would insure a work quality, reasonable prices and delays, a feeling of belonging and devotion from the youth, all this without too many organizational pitfalls? Ideas poured for months – call for tenders on the Internet, large-scale competitions, and creation events – until it became obvious to create a stable, versatile and united team working together in reaching the objectives. Upon setting this model, I have asked Desjardins for financial support in order to cover the students’ salary, I obtained it and this is where it led us.
What are the services offered by Grosses Têtes and how are you different?
We offer everything in regards to promotion of services starting with an analysis of the situation, of the primary clientele and similar organizations, then, we make a positioning and communication strategies proposal, to finally create the related promotional tools. Our approach is supportive and integrates the intermediate services with external suppliers (printing companies, distributors, etc.). Our strength comes from the cohesion of the team and each member’s devotion with each contract. It is not one person but 4 people who give their consent prior to presenting a final product to a client and it shows in the work quality!
Why choose the format of a non-profit organization instead of a business with profits?
Since its inception, the project has been overseen by a well-known organization in the milieu and it is issued from the needs of the community. As the Agency is a central resource shared by the community, it had to be created in that image.
According to you, what are the issues and challenges in regards to communication for a non-profit organization and what is the Agency’s plan to contribute positively?
One of the main issues that non-profit organizations have to face is the stagnated budgets swallowed by inflation and of course the cuts from the government putting at risk the structure and management of the various departments. Not one organization, even the oldest ones, can take for granted the amount and number of grants. The tight budget does not allow for an internal resource solely dedicated to communications thus having a negative impact on the reputation of the organization. In fact, it is to ease the transition towards effective communications that we offer all-inclusive services requesting the minimum coordination on the part of the organizations.