By Kimberly Nishikaze
It's a bit of a departure from the advertising you might be used to seeing from the Association. However, with its unique illustrations and thoughtful slogans this year's campaign is already drawing some attention.
For the past four years, APEGGA has utilized daily and community newspapers, business and consumer magazines, and trade publications to get its message out. What's the message? Why advertise? These are the two questions posed most often.
The message is simple. Engineers and geoscientists provide value to our lives. Yet these professionals, because they often work behind the scenes and don't work directly with the general public, are not perceived to have a direct impact on our society. Advertising is about changing perceptions . . . breaking stereotypes . . . shedding new light on familiar - or in APEGGA's case, unfamiliar - territory. Research undertaken over the last several years indicates the public is genuinely interested in what the professions are all about. They hold geophysicists, geologists and engineers in high regard compared to other professions. They're just not sure about what it is that they do.
Previous campaigns have focused on placing a more accessible and human face on the professions. They've hinted at the possibilities for young people interested in pursuing engineering or geoscience careers. Still others have explained in real terms just how the professions impact the average person.
Members of the Public and Member Relations Committee (now amalgamated in the Communications Planning Committee) looked at previous research and determined it was time for a new approach. The membership was facing new challenges and the organization was re-engineering itself. Clearly it was time for the campaign to reflect these changes. APEGGA needed to communicate the value of professional services to key business and opinion leaders, as well as government.
The series of ads now running in newspapers and magazines reflects a positive image of the professions. They carry messages about setting high standards and attaining goals, the value of continued professional development, protecting the public's safety, and also how APEGGA members take all aspects of their work - economic, technical, environmental and social implications - into consideration. In more ways than previous campaigns, the current series shows the true nature of the professions and their value to society.