Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show
Press releases, distribution, media planning & media relations
We had to move quickly and tactfully to inform the exhibitors, associates, sponsors and attendees of Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show of the death of Ginty Jocius in January 2008, following his two-year battle with cancer. Our task was to put together a communications plan that retained corporate goodwill and assured the COFS audience that the Show would draw on the considerable skills and experience of the Show’s management staff, and go forward.
Press releases were delivered within hours of Ginty’s death to over 80 major media outlets. Stories, ads and obituaries were printed internationally in over 40 media sources.
The Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show homepage was temporarily replaced with information about the death, memorial information, and direct links to online donation opportunities. Corporate stationery was changed to reflect Ginty’s clear and confident vision for the future of COFS.
GJA then organized a memorial, which took place in Guelph’s River Run Centre. We delivered invitations to a wide audience, designed a program for the afternoon, and created a multimedia presentation of Ginty’s life and work. With the co-operation of the University of Guelph, we created a Ginty Jocius “Journey of Growth Fund” to provide travel opportunities for Guelph students. A DVD of the memorial was created for friends unable to attend. A permanent memorial, in the form of a waterfall and statue, was also organized at the COFS site in Woodstock.
The memorial service attracted over 800 people, and standing room was used for additional entrants. The Ginty Jocius Journey of Growth Fund raised nearly $100,000 in support of undergraduate and diploma student educational travel at the Ontario Agricultural College, University of Guelph. Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show enjoyed its most successful year to date, attracting more than 150 new exhibitors and featuring four new “expo” highlights: the Monsanto Technology Expo, Horse Power Expo, Ag Construction Expo, and Local Foods Expo.