Success Stories

The Rideau Institute supports the campaigns and programs of Canada’s leading non-profit organizations and trade unions. Below are some of our success stories. Learn more about our recent clients.

The goal: Renew the organization’s brand and enhance its influence

A disarmament organization composed of scientists and experts wants to increase its media profile on its 50th anniversary and make an impact on Canada’s nuclear weapons policy. First, the Rideau Institute updates the organization’s logo and generates a new policy brief, and works with the group’s roster of experts to organize a press conference on Parliament Hill and a high-level networking luncheon in Ottawa.

The results: The House of Commons passes a unanimous motion marking the anniversary. An organization representative appears in a 7-minute national television interview and the group is quoted in many newspapers, including the Globe and Mail and the Ottawa Citizen, and featured in a Toronto Star editorial. Press coverage reaches an audience of over 6 million people, with an ad value of $158,000.

The goal: Expand an organization’s policy reach

A well-known research organization with expertise in domestic social policy issues wants to expand into international defence and foreign policy. The Rideau Institute, working with the organization, identifies research topics and produces a series of research papers that mix a high degree of intellectual rigour with policy and communications savvy. The Rideau Institute also develops a communications plan for release of the reports, formulating the message, liaising with journalists and organizing press conferences.

The results: The first four reports released in the new series generate four front-page stories in the Ottawa Citizen and some in other daily newspapers as well as national radio and television coverage. The Prime Minister and his ministers are repeatedly forced to respond to the reports’ findings, and the research influences the public debate thereafter.

The goal: Find supporters in Parliament

A coalition of consumer groups wants to develop policy positions and communicate them to Members of Parliament and government departments. The Rideau Institute facilitates policy development and produces professional briefing notes written especially for decision makers. After identifying key decision makers, the Rideau Institute organizes a “lobby day” in Ottawa, where coalition members meet with 17 MPs from all four parties.

The results: During the personal meetings with government MPs, the groups find there is a great deal of interest and support, much more than expected, for one of their main proposals. The groups are now working with the Rideau Institute to build on their new contacts to push the issue forward.

The goal: Put an issue on Ottawa’s agenda from 5,000 kilometres away

Two environmental groups see years of work on their issue drifting away with the change in government. Federal funding for a multi-year environmental plan championed by the groups has all but disappeared in the federal budget. The groups ask the Rideau Institute to provide ongoing strategic advice to support their Ottawa lobbying work. The Rideau Institute organizes face-to-face meetings, a Parliament Hill briefing, appearances before the Commons Finance Committee, several op-eds and a full-page advertisement.

The results: The government shows signs of becoming re-sensitized to the issue, and the discourse is shifted to include more frequent remarks about the groups’ concerns. In subsequent budget announcements, funding for the environmental issue increases from $19 million to $61 million.

The goal: Engage members during a union’s biannual convention

One of Canada’s largest private sector unions wants to expand its communications reach beyond the convention centre walls during its most important political event – the biannual national convention. The union works with the Rideau Institute to consolidate its existing communications products – a daily video, printed newsletter, and press releases – into a new online website.

The results: At very low additional expense, existing communications tools are consolidated, reaching a much larger audience. The new website features live webcasting of major speakers, video-on-demand, a daily photo gallery, news and announcements. The daily content is promoted to its thousands of members and allies through email marketing. Members from across the country participate in a special interactive workshop to help plan the union’s major campaign to protect pensions.

The goal: Stop a foreign takeover and save union jobs as well as a national icon

A U.S. arms manufacturer proposes to purchase a Canadian firm’s space division, including the well-known Canadarm and other satellite technology. The union representing workers who may lose their jobs teams up with the Rideau Institute and allies to stop the government from approving the takeover. The Rideau Institute generates a legal opinion, expert opinion and media attention to galvanize opposition parties to oppose the sale, and to encourage the government to do the same.

The results: In a historic first, the Industry Minister disallows the sale, to the dismay of the corporate community. Later, lobbying efforts by the union generate increased federal support for the space firm, securing its members’ jobs.