Canadian Parents for French (CPF) – National
My Raison d'Etre National Awareness Campaign
The first phase of this project consisted of a national campaign that raised awareness about the benefits of all French as a second language (FSL) education programs, from core French to French immersion. To ensure a strong reach and impact across Canada, CPF developed print advertising, community radio messaging, a website to access resources and support, social media communications, and in-school information presentations for both teachers and parents. In addition, by featuring messaging around individual testimonials and success stories that promoted the impact on Canada’s economy and the benefits on Canadian values and identity, this project emphasized the vision of the benefits of bilingualism, personally and professionally.
The aim was to create a new awareness that would strengthen Canadians’ understanding of the advantages and positive impacts of bilingualism and the opportunities available for a viable career in FSL teaching. The campaign also highlighted the benefits and positive influence of French on all Canadians whether they identify as Anglophone, Francophone or bilingual, as well as the desirability factors of a career in FSL teaching for all Canadians with satisfactory French language proficiency.
Main activities - Part 1:
- Key message and branding design of the campaign
- Product development, creative production
- Media campaign strategy and management
Main activities - Part 2:
- Continued dissemination of the “My Raison D’être” awareness campaign
The second phase of the awareness campaign, More Than Words, addresses long-term retention in the profession. CPF aims to shift public perception by:
- Increasing the visibility and the viability of the profession of FSL teachers among Canadians;
- Helping FSL teachers raise their self-esteem and attain a sense of pride in their career by understanding the importance of their contributions in their local communities and in Canadian society;
- Ensuring a strong reach and impact across Canada, by developing print advertising aimed at the educational decision and policy makers, along with community radio messaging, an updated website, social media communications, and in-school information presentations for both teachers and parents.
CPF is creating a series of six videos featuring “Promising Initiatives” to amplify the message among targeted key audiences (school district administrators, educational policy makers, principals, teacher colleagues and parents), share success stories, and feature regions where progress is being made. By featuring messaging around individual testimonials and success stories, Canadians are being encouraged to enroll their children in FSL learning or to pursue their studies in French. Furthermore, as in phase 1, the project continues to promote the positive aspects of learning French and its benefits on Canadian values and identity, as well as its impact on the economy.
This project underscores how Canadians (such as decision makers, administrators, teacher colleagues, parents, students) can value the teaching of French by going beyond mere words to address the challenges being faced by FSL teachers in their working environments. CPF Branches are providing liaison support with leaders of their respective provincial stakeholder groups to maximize the impact and reach of the project across Canada. With a strategy adapted to regional needs and priorities, the campaign is designed to educate target audiences, primarily internal decision and policy makers, and is aligning with existing communication strategies to create a broader national marketing campaign.
1. Launch the “More Than Words” campaign—six videos, print and electronic versions of digital campaign products, website updates with new content, and a consultation and feedback process;
2. Media campaign strategy and management (internally focused targeted to decision and policy makers) — including a media plan, a communications and advertising strategy, digital and social platforms, and targeted conference presentations.
- level of awareness among Canadians on the opportunities offered within post-secondary institutions to continue studies in French
- level of awareness among Canadians of the benefits of FSL learning and the opportunities available for careers in FSL teaching
- number of FSL teachers
- interest and public participation in the promotion of bilingualism in Canada.
- levels of awareness among Canadians of the varied opportunities for a satisfying career as a French teacher, and the flexibility of that career
- interest to address the challenges and issues around attracting and retaining FSL teachers
- interest and awareness of the role of educational stakeholders and the public in creating positive work environments to retain FSL teachers
- retention of FSL teachers
- interest in promoting the benefits of learning and teaching French in Canada.
Main takeaways (learnings)
- Social media has been impactful during the pandemic—more people online
- YouTube videos and Spotify ads were very successful
- Facebook had the furthest reach
- Momentum will need to be built up again once normal activities resume.
- Outdoor public advertising—bus shelters, bus exteriors, bulletin boards, digital displays—despite being very traditional type of advertising, was very successful.
- Traditional, non-digital marketing still works.
- Exhibitor photo booth with teachers at ACPI and CASLT conferences have been noticed and appreciated for recognition of the profession.
- Continuing the successful digital campaigns.
- Focusing more internally on decision and policy makers will require a different approach – bringing to light positive stories to not alienate those at the top
- Provinces and territories can provide extra funding to extend the reach of the campaign, and adapt materials with the faces of their own teachers, as has already been done in BC, Yukon, and the NWT.
- Phase 2 – these are the targeted decision makers. It's important for us to understand their constraints while also getting them onboard to make positive changes.
- To reach individuals within the target audience (completed).
- To reach the targeted decision makers that we need to influence.