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OTS: 10x Growth in Applications for Environmental Grant Program

Ontario Tire Stewardship

Corporate & Financial

Ontario Tire Stewardship

From Road to Re-Use. Ontario Tire Stewardship (OTS) manages the full life cycle of tires.

Having achieved a 99% diversion rate, the client team now needed to focus its efforts on encouraging trial of recycled tire products. To do this the team reinvigorated a grant program that has resulted in community engagement around the province.

Where did we start?

Ontario Tire Stewardship (OTS) is a non-profit organization that has the mandate to properly manage the end of life of tires in Ontario.  Since its launch, Proof has worked side by side with the client, increasing tire diversion in the province to 99% and support key elements of education and market development for recycled tire products.

Recycled tire products are relatively new and many stakeholders are unaware of the benefits they can bring to community spaces.

Proof was tasked with reinvigorating a grant giving program which would support the investment of installing recycled tire products into community spaces. Creating an opportunity for the community to not only receive financial support, but also experience the benefits of recycled tire products in a real life situation.

What opportunities did we identify?

Ontarians understand that recycling is necessary – but they are driven by an emotional story that resonates with them and hits closer to home.

The team worked with the client to clearly identify which audiences were critical to the success of the program.  The first was the ‘community hero’ – a person who would rally a community to restore a space; the other was the “local decision maker”, often the government audience, and a critical group that oversees and has insight into what community spaces are going to be revitalized.

By identifying the right audiences and developing an understanding the needs of both audiences we could better create an emotional storyline, and ultimately an integrated program, that would resonate.

What was the solution?

Our team was tasked to bring the OTS Grant Program into the 21st century. A new name, a new application platform and a new communications approach that educated about and shares the community grant story.

We started at the beginning. Hosting a workshop the team started with rebranding the program into the “Community Renewal Fund” and a new tag line – Rethink. Rebuild. Renew.

Our team then worked to revamp the application process, making it streamlined and easier to complete.

To launch the program our team created an integrated awareness and activation campaign including paid, earned and owned content.  Activities included revamping the web site, direct mail to municipal stakeholders, media relations, influencer outreach, activations at tradeshows, paid video support and more.

A suite of materials including messages, video, infographics and new website content was created to support the execution.

How did we do?

In two years over 28 applications have been approved. The number of applications went from six in the previous program to over 60.

The majority of installations receive local media coverage and engagement with local decision makers.

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