What was the scope of their involvement?
Because we’re not a destination area we decided that the story of our BIA was our members. Each year, we do a sort of an annual campaign that involves new banners and changes to our website. We also have this unique idea that they came up with, which was to profile nine of our members every year. No one else in our city does this, but it’s made up of photographs and interviews and all this stuff that they do. We put it out on our website, pamphlets, and banners hanging on the street, and it's just been a tremendous success.
This approach that they came up with has really just worked wonderfully, and it’s gotten our members involved. It's gotten them excited about what we're doing. We went from having not much to show our members after years of work to them saying that we’re doing a wonderful job. In terms of process, I look at who they're proposing to profile and promote. And most of the time, I approve it. I've had to do very little to make it any better.
Initially, we had no social media presence, but now we certainly do have one thanks to them. It supports the rest of what we do, so everything is tied to it and drives back to our website. They’ve created a really unified, year-round campaign. We’re using Twitter and Facebook, and they tell me they want to expand into other platforms, but we have a budget, and they’re doing a pretty good job now of getting good value for the dollars we spend.
They did the initial design of the website and all of the background software. The design is quite nice, and it’s still quite innovative. The primary focus of our website is promoting our members and profiling them. We’re not one of these groups that is organizing speaker meetings and festivals on the street, and all that stuff, which some groups like to do. We are more just straight helping to build awareness of our members and directing people, if we can, to whatever it is they're looking for if it's in our BIA.
What is the team composition?
I deal with the two partners, Jennifer (Founder and CEO, Truth + Dare), and Norm (Creative Director, Truth + Dare. I deal with Jennifer most of the time, and Norm is more on the creative side. They're very good about keeping everybody informed, including their own people. I don’t often deal with any of their other colleagues.
What is the status of this engagement?
We’ve been working together since 2013. The way our city has set up the BIAs, we have to renew our arrangement with Truth + Dare every year.
How much have you invested with them?
We’ve spent around $100,000 CAD annually with them, and that’s been since 2013. If we were buying radio and television times then it'd be a lot higher, but it's money well spent.
Their quotes have been very reasonable and the service is good. And we always make time, at least twice a year, sometimes four times a year, to do a top-level look at what are we doing: how it’s going, what else we could possibly do to help the BI, and can we either expand the budget a little bit or spend the budget a little bit better.