June 2011

Burnaby, B.C. – Happy Planet, Canada’s pioneer in everything drinkable, is at it again. The hot weather-loving team has come up with delicious, organic and natural, 0% from concentrate Lemonade and Raspberry Lemonade. The two new thirst-quenchers are available in stores now (just in time for summer fun) until October 1, 2011.

Both the Lemonade and Raspberry Lemonade are 100% natural with no preservatives or artificial ingredients. They are also both 100% certified organic. The Seasonable Squeezables, as they are affectionately called around the Happy Planet office, come in 1.89 litre bottles and the suggested retail price is $4.49.

Just in time for the lively days of summer, Happy Planet’s Lemonade and Raspberry Lemonade are the perfect accompaniment for a picnic, a barbecue, a day at the beach or when the hot sun gives you a thirst that needs quenching. Remember to take full advantage of the good weather – and of Happy Planet’s refreshing Seasonal Squeezables – because like the summer sun, come October, they will just be a fond memory.

Happy Planet’s Lemonade and Raspberry Lemonade are now available in Vancouver, on Vancouver Island, in Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton in the refrigerated juice section of many community grocery stores (Whole Foods Market, Capers Community Market, Choices Market, Planet Organic Markets and more) and are coming soon to major grocery retailers such as Thirfty Foods, Fairways Market, Real Canadian Superstore, Highland Farms, T&T Supermarkets, etc.

Happy Planet Foods, Inc. (www.happyplanet.com) is Canada’s leading natural and organic food and beverage company. Since squeezing the first apples in 1994 in Vancouver, B.C., today the company sells premium organic and all natural juices, smoothies, soups and sauces, as well as health shots across Canada. All Happy Planet products come from 100% natural ingredients from the best sources on the planet and are made without preservatives, artificial ingredients or colourings.

-END-

For more information, please contact Paul Holman of AHA Creative Strategies at paul@ahacreative.com or 604-303-1052.

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As many readers of this blog may be Vancouver Canucks fans (or at least hockey fans), today – the AHA blog is going to provide some Canucks entertainment – Johnny Canuck entertainment, that is.



The video was by a fellow from Kamloops, BC for a very small budget. (There’s a communications lesson in that – a great video that resonates doesn’t need to take a huge budget!)



We hope you enjoy the video: MY NAME IS JOHNNY CANUCK!



The AHA office will close a little early today to get ready to cheer our Vancouver Canucks on to Stanley Cup victory!!!!

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Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media networking sites can be of value to your organization depending on your organization and your communication objectives. But your website is of value no matter how big or small your organization is or what your objectives are. And I can’t tell you how often a website is overlooked in an organization with focus often going to the hotter tools like Twitter or Facebook.



We, at AHA, provide communication audits for clients on a regular basis. The review of the organization’s website is a part of this process. We often have to go back to a client with a failing grade on their website. And it’s basic stuff – the information is out of date, there are spelling or grammatical errors, there is no specific contact information (this is especially important in the media section), there is no media section, there is not a consistent voice throughout the site, the site itself is just an online version of the organization’s (outdated) brochure, there is no interactivity, there is no link or connection to the messaging happening on Twitter, Facebook or other social media networking sites. It is surprising how many organizations have not given their website the attention it deserves.



Having a communications professional review your organization’s communications strategy, tools and tactics – including the results – is a valuable exercise. Having an unbiased, professional review of what your organization is doing well, what isn’t working and what could be done differently is important. For example, we recently provided a communications audit for a client that identified that their e-newsletter wasn’t resonating with the stakeholders it was intended to reach. Rather than take this information at face value, we went a little deeper to find out why those who received the e-newsletter weren’t reading it or clicking on the links to the website provided in the e-newsletter.



There were several key points of feedback that were incredibly valuable. People felt that the information in the newsletter was being provided in an information “push out” manner and it was information being presented in a way that readers felt was what the organization wanted them to know, not what they wanted to hear about. They also felt that providing links to the website was – in their words – “useless” because the website itself was “boring,” “out of date” and “not relevant” to what they wanted and needed to know about this organization. Harsh words, but crucial for the organization to know in order to improve their communication efforts.



Our client took the feedback about the website, the e-newsletter and several other communications vehicles seriously. Working with them, we formed a communications committee that will provide input and advice on what tools and technology will be of more value to their stakeholder group. AHA will develop a communications plan that reflects the information from the audit and the input of the communications committee. Over the next six months, a series of new outreach tools and campaigns will be launched that will connect with stakeholders in a more relevant and effective manner – that provide information in a way that stakeholders want to hear from the organization. It’s an exciting time for our client. Not only do stakeholders feel that they had input into how they want to be communicated with, the organization has the opportunity to be heard through authentic, relevant and interactive communication rather than by pushing out corporate messages (that were being ignored).



How is your website? Is it relevant? Is it informative? Is it up-to-date and interesting to your stakeholders?



Ragan.com has a great piece about what the media might think about your organization’s website – it’s worth a read.

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In today’s AHA Fast Take Friday, Ruth uses hot air (really) to explain how to manage a campaign if the wind (of public opinion) shifts.



There are two videos here. The first one shows Ruth and I hot air ballooning in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand. The balloon ride (and the sudden and quite hilarious landing) lead into Ruth’s Fast Take.



Balloon Ride (and Landing)



Up, Up and Away from AHA Creative on Vimeo.





AHA Fast Take Friday



Hot Air Balloon Fast Take from AHA Creative on Vimeo.

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Here at AHA, we’ve been taking a good, hard look at ourselves and identifying areas where we could improve. So often when you work in communications, you are so busy helping clients that a focus on your own public relations takes a back seat. I found an interesting article on Ragan.com that identifies the seven elements that the writer feels every professional should have in their email signature.



While I agree with many of the points, I also believe that email signatures provide an opportunity to highlight a newly launched initiative or campaign. We recently had a client ask us how they could let people know about a charity initiative that they were holding. This is a multinational organization with staff and stakeholders worldwide. One of the easiest ways was to add a call to action to their email signatures, driving people to a page on their website. It was a quick, no cost, straightforward way to let their community know what they were up to – and it worked. The website saw an increase in visitors once the call to action was added, which in turn helped to support the event and the charity.



I do agree that it is important to have your basic contact information on your email signature – and to use the signature. I can’t tell you how often I get emails with no signature on them at all!  And I do think that you can use your email signature to get the word out, when it’s appropriate. A quick call to action and a link can help spread the word about an event, campaign or initiative.

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