I’m fortunate to work for a company whose clients keep reminding me that I love working in the public relations field. I recently led a project with a new Merkato client, the Unclaimed Property Professionals Organization which was a great success. The campaign delivered outstanding results for UPPO as a story by Ross Marowits of the Canadian Press was picked-up by news organizations across Canada including: Chronicle Herald, National Post,The Globe and Mail, The Huffington Post, Times Colonist, and Toronto Star. Broadcast programs also covered the story including CHCH Evening News, Square Off and News 680.
What made the experience really exciting however, was the opportunity to learn something new and have a positive impact by sharing an important story with Canadians across the country.
The importance of learning something new
One of the best things about working at an agency is that you can become a little bit of an expert on so many things. Want to know about the health benefits of barley? How about natural ways to care for your pet? What are the best cheeses in Canada? Let’s chat! I’ve learned about all of them since starting at Merkato.
Working on this campaign was energizing because I was able to learn a lot about unclaimed property, a really interesting and important topic. Did you know that in Canada there is an estimated a $920 million of unclaimed property waiting for a rightful owner? That’s the equivalent of about $270 per Canadian. Many Canadians have money that belongs to them sitting in unclaimed bank accounts, uncashed payroll checks, mineral royalties, securities and safety deposit boxes. When companies hold on to property that is legally abandoned or unclaimed, they are in possession of property that is not rightfully theirs, and can face fines, violations and audits if the property is not reported appropriately. This $920 million of unclaimed property is actually costing Canadians a lot of money, especially in Ontario where there is no clear process for recovering it or returning it to its rightful owner.
The impact of sharing an important story
Telling a story that can greatly impact lives is the driving factor behind what we do as communications professionals. During the segment taping for CHCH’s Square Off at Queen’s Park I was suddenly struck by the positive impact finding unclaimed property could have on someone’s life. It was a pleasant reminder of why I’ve pursued a career in communications. The issue of unclaimed property in Canada affects so many people, yet Canadians are largely unaware of the issue. While laws exist in Alberta, British Columbia, Quebec and with the Bank of Canada, requirements aren’t present in all Canadian jurisdictions. Ontario lacks a comprehensive unclaimed property program. It affects companies in all industries, in turn affecting the general public. Better management of the issue could benefit so many Canadians. It’s an important message and one I was proud to help UPPO and media communicate to Canadians.
Want to learn more about Unclaimed Property? Visit the Unclaimed Property Professionals Organization and watch these clips:
(posted by Sacha)