rain
Known for our

Collaboration

WE’RE SIMPLY ALL ABOUT GREAT IDEAS
What we do

Since 1997

We've been doing a lot of things right

Known for our collaboration, strategic thinking and creative intelligence, we’re simply all about great ideas (and great client projects). We bring people and communities together. We help start meaningful conversations and change people’s awareness and understanding of issues. Sometimes we think out of the box, other times, out of this world. And we like to use both sides of our brain, creative and business.

539

Cups of Darjeeling Tea

1251

Great Ideas

64

Clients Worked With

37

Awards of Excellence

What drives us

Quorum is very much a different sort of communications firm.

We’re not about building an agency empire, but rather all about creating and maintaining strong, trusting relationships. Working with likeminded professionals and other agencies that also believe in communications excellence. Our strength is not in numbers (well that is unless you’re talking research). Our strength is our collective experience, our much-valued approach to building solid client relationships, and the energy, care and passion we put into everything we do.

Established in 1997, Quorum Communications has developed and managed communications, marketing and research initiatives for a ton of amazing clients from private, municipal and public, and not-for-profit sectors. (Well not literally a ton but a lot.) We excel at research. We build exciting and engaging communications strategies, and turn client projects into successful campaigns – measurable, audience-focused, results-driven campaigns. We strive to delight our clients and most often, surpass their expectations. Because that’s just what we do.

Services

Quorum brings together a solid team of professionals to meet project needs and client expectations. Sometimes it’s just a small group of us, Sometimes we bring our extended creative family. And they’re really creative. But most important, it’s always great work.

Research is Everything

 Well, at least we think so. It’s the foundation of all of our work and drives all our strategic communications. We investigate, query, observe, establish facts, and broaden our perspectives. Quality research means benchmarking and measuring outcomes. It can fuel great ideas and turn up unforeseen opportunities for clients. It’s simply the right way to begin any project. Without research, all you’ve got is gut feeling. And that, is not very scientific.

Strategy goes beyond the art of planning.

 Intelligent, innovative strategy helps us actually achieve goals. For us, an effective communications strategy starts with credible research. We analyze, discuss, brainstorm, collaborate, and generate ideas. Then we develop and shape our best creative ideas into exciting and engaging marketing, public relations, branding, and social media campaigns. Results-driven campaigns: on the message, no spin, no filler, no noise. It’s exactly what our clients want. It’s exactly what we give them

Creative is all about seeing “great” and not settling for simply “good.”

  Our creative inspiration comes from the world around us – people, places, things and yes, ideas. We believe great ideas can generate great creative solutions. Our inspiration also comes from great client stories. Everyone has a story. We use words, photos, moving pictures, sounds, graphics, numbers – and a lot of energy and passion to bring our clients’ stories to life. Great stories and great creative stimulate the senses, engage the audience, and encourage a call to action. Now that’s great.

Research


Communications audits and reviews (big picture snapshot)

Qualitative research including stakeholder focus groups, one-on-one interviews, community engagement sessions, town halls (lots of listening and engaging with people)

Quantitative research including telephone, mail and online issues and public opinion surveys, online and person-to-person telephone polling (we ask a lot of people a lot of questions here)

Strategy


Communications counsel and issues management (and crisis management should the need arise)

Communications and social marketing planning (great plans bring great results)

Social media, community and media relations (it’s all about relationships and conversations)

Freedom of Information and privacy protection (serious but important stuff)

Policy development and training (deep-thought thinking here)

Development and recruitment support

Creative


Professional writing including annual reports, features, Op Eds, speechwriting, reports and white papers (and some very creative copywriting)

Plain language editing and writing (we help make communicating, reading and understanding much easier for everyone)

Communication design from brand development to marketing communications, advertising, print and digital media (and cool promo merchandise)

Digital media including web design, apps development and online communications and animation (our creative collaborators like to “wow” our clients)

Event posters (yes we still love posters so much we gave them their own bullet)

Our Team

We’re a small team with lots of experienced, talented associates. Researchers and writers, strategists and storytellers, designers and digital pros. Creative people who work hard and smart. We’re an ambitious, energetic bunch. And a lot of fun too. We love life. We love the work we do. And we love to make our clients happy with great work and great results. (And win awards!)

Jeffrey C. Martin, BA, APR, FCPRS

Jeffrey C. Martin, BA, APR, FCPRS

President + Senior Communications Counsel View Details
Dr. Paul Seccaspina

Dr. Paul Seccaspina

Senior Research Associate View Details
Jeffrey C. Martin, BA, APR, FCPRS

Jeffrey C. Martin, BA, APR, FCPRS

President + Senior Communications Counsel

Jeff has worked for 30 years as a professional writer and public relations practitioner. As Quorum president and senior communications counsel, his exceptional skills in stakeholder research, project management, writing, communication planning and client relations contribute to the success of every project. A talented writer, strategist and communicator, Jeff has an exceptional ability to observe, construct and analyze the “big picture.” He has a natural talent for engaging stakeholders in conversations that reveal attitudes and opinions and generate ideas and insight – and will play a lead role in pulling together stakeholder input.

Jeff has a BA in Labour Studies (McMaster University 1991); a Diploma in Media Arts Writing (Sheridan College 1983). He is accredited in public relations by the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) and is a Fellow of the Society. His work in public relations and communications has been recognized with more than 30 awards of communications excellence. Jeff is a recipient of the CPRS Hamilton Mentorship Award (2007); CPRS Hamilton Distinguished Service Award (1999); and the CPRS Hamilton William Cockman Memorial Award of Excellence (1997).

Jeff is a member of the Canadian Public Relations Society, Professional Writers Association of Canada, Songwriters Association of Canada and SOCAN. He was the program advisor and lead instructor of The University of Western Ontario’s post-graduate program in Public Relations from 2004 to 2008; lead instructor and advisor for Sheridan’s post-graduate Corporate Communications program (1999-2002); and key member of the Royal Roads University MBA (Public Relations & Communication Management) curriculum advisory team.

Dr. Paul Seccaspina

Dr. Paul Seccaspina

Senior Research Associate

Our Senior Research Associate is Dr. Paul Seccaspina, principal and founder of Oraclepoll Research Ltd., a national research firm with offices in Toronto, Montreal and Sudbury. Paul has extensive experience in the areas of public opinion polling, program evaluation, customer satisfaction research, survey design, qualitative and quantitative research methodology, and project management.

Paul founded Oraclepoll in 1993 after a career in the banking industry and several years as a lecturer at various universities in Canada and abroad, including the Czech Republic, Romania and Moldova. His opinions and research have been cited in interviews in national newspapers, on national radio and television. Paul is a member of the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association (MRIA). He earned his BA from Laurentian University (1986), an MA from the University of Western Ontario (1988), and his PhD in 1997 from the University of Warwick.

Oraclepoll is a full service market and public opinion research organization with offices in Montreal, Toronto and Sudbury. Paul has worked with industry, all levels of government, not-for-profit and advocacy groups to deliver timely and relevant information. He has extensive experience with Canadian municipalities and tourism agencies, Canadian post-secondary institutions, and a range of major private and public sector institutions and businesses. Oraclepoll is research agency of record for Science North/Dynamic Earth.

Major clients include: Bell Canada, CTV Television (Research Department), Conservation Council of Ontario, Northwest Territories Power Corporation, Conservation Bureau of the Ontario Power Authority (OPA), Ontario Public Service Union (OPSEU), Toronto District School Board and the World Wildlife Fund.

Oraclepoll and Quorum Communications have collaborated on numerous client community research initiatives over the past 10 years.

Meet Us …

Jeffrey C. Martin

Our resident “big picture” guy. A news junkie, loves Darjeeling tea, NYC, his hometown Hamilton and all things music (recorded 2 albums with The Caretakers). Lots of passion and energy. An extravert extraordinaire, Jeff brings everyone together.

Dr. Paul Seccaspina

A real smart guy. Asks lots of questions and he’s all about numbers. Works out daily, loves spending time with his children, gardening, reading post-modernist philosophy, and cooking (including several attempts at fine cuisine – really). Hardworking and dedicated, Paul is the consummate professional.

Our Work

So what are some of the things we’ve accomplished for our clients and their stakeholders? We believe our work speaks for itself. Here's a few of the project outcomes that demonstrate our commitment to communications excellence and meaningful results for our clients.

Helped save lives by reducing Niagara Region’s motor vehicle collisions and fatalities

Developed a regional community action plan for people affected by HIV/AIDS across six counties of southwestern Ontario

Brought Hamilton Harbour pollution issues to the top of local, regional, provincial, federal government and public agendas

Developed a campaign to inform and educate Niagara residents about more environmentally-friendly gardening and property maintenance practices

Helped Ontario municipalities increase their waste recycling and reduce the volume of landfill-bound refuse

Created programs for parents and caregivers across Ontario on ways to child-safe proof their home, room-by-room

Conducted resident engagement sessions to identify key communications issues and service priorities for regional municipality strategic planning 

Helped not-for-profit organizations redefine themselves, strengthen their brand and connect with their communities

Think and Drive Niagara

Think and Drive Niagara

PIER 8 GROUP: Lead Agency, Branding, Strategy, Art Direction and Design, Ad Planning and Media Buys, Budget Management

QUORUM COMMUNICATIONS | Project Manager, Communications Planning and Strategy, Research and Evaluation, Media Relations, Final Report Writing

ORACLEPOLL RESEARCH LTD. | Research and Evaluation

2GEB.NET | Website Development and Interactive Development

THE CHALLENGE

  • Niagara Region – a community of 435,000 people spread across 12 municipalities – suffered from one of the highest rates of serious and fatal motor vehicle collisions (MVCs) in Ontario, according to statistics compiled by the Ministry of Transportation.
  • In response to this carnage on Niagara’s roads, the Regional Niagara Road Safety Committee (RNRSC) was formed in 2003. This committee includes representatives from CAA Niagara; Niagara Regional Police Service; and the Niagara Region Public Health and Public Works departments.
  • Pier 8 Group and its associate, Quorum Communications, were hired in 2007 to develop a 15-month-long marketing and communications campaign spanning the entire region.

 

THE IDEA | STRATEGY

With research gathered from motor vehicle collision data, road safety programs of other Ontario municipalities, road safety studies (UN, WHO), insurance industries and Traffic Injury Research Foundation, as well as three key methods of quantitative research, the campaign targeted Niagara region drivers and road users, focusing on male drivers between 16 and 40. Quantitative research included:

  • Pre- and post-campaign public opinion telephone survey polls of Niagara residents
  • Comprehensive interactive online driving behaviours survey throughout the entire campaign (based on the poll survey)
  • Monthly survey conducted by the Niagara Public Health department known as the Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System.

Our objectives were two-fold:

Informational

  1. Increase awareness among Niagara drivers about the Niagara crash problem
  2. Increase knowledge about road safety skills

Motivational

  1. Change driver attitudes to take personal responsibility for road safety
  2. Change driver behaviours in order to decrease collisions

Adopting an educational approach, the campaign aimed to focus driver attention on main risk factors underlying collisions in Niagara, and incorporated four key communication strategies:

  1. Media relations to develop positive stories and news coverage
  2. Advertising to extend the campaign message reach, build brand awareness
  3. Interactive media, including a website and social media
    • A key campaign tactic was a “road safety test” – branded as the Niagara Road Safety Challenge – that asked drivers to evaluate their personal driving habits in relation to a comprehensive list of high-risk behaviours.
  4. Outreach activities at community and sporting events, Brock University, Niagara College, secondary schools

Positioning Statement: Think and Drive – a second is all it takes

 

THE RESULTS

  1. Vehicle Collisions – In the period that the campaign was active (fall 2007 through 2008) the number of vehicle collisions on Niagara roads fell by 6% and the number of fatal collisions dropped by 20%.
  2. Media Relations – Media coverage was extensive throughout the campaign – 144 “tracked” road safety-related articles were published – almost 10 articles per month. Highlights included: a 2-page feature in Niagara This Week; a 2-page feature in the Catharines Standard, and 6 video PSAs produced by TVCOGECO which aired from May-Dec. 2008.
  3. Advertising & Publicity Strategy – 36,007 promotional key chains and 32,404 bookmarks were distributed throughout the Niagara community. Campaign flyers were distributed via utility/hydro/water bills to almost every Niagara household (214,000), as well as through CAA, Brock University, Niagara College, and to all “first-time” drivers through the Niagara Driver Test Centre.
  4. Interactive Media and Social Media (www.thinkanddrive.net) linked to more than 25 community organizations (7,362 total unique visitors; 16,050 site visitations) and a Facebook Fan page surpassed the goal by more than 50% to reach almost 600 community supporters
  5. Community Awareness – post-campaign survey was conducted in January 2009, using the same 30 pre-campaign poll questions (relating to changes in their awareness of road safety issues), plus six new questions focused on road safety awareness, knowledge, behaviour, and campaign recall.
    • 22% of respondents said that there has been a significant or very significant change in awareness of road safety driving issues over the past year, and 26% had somewhat of a change;
    • 20% of respondents stated that there has been a significant or very significant change in knowledge of road safety driving issues, and 26% had somewhat of a change;
    • 18% of respondents said that there has been a significant or very significant change in their driving behaviour, and 19% respondents said there has been somewhat of a change.

Awards

  • Traffic Safety Initiative of the Year Award (2009) from Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police
  • Road Safety Achievement Award in the category of Road Safety Partnerships from Ontario Ministry of Transportation
  • National Bronze Award of Excellence, Advocacy & Social Marketing, Canadian Public Relations Society (2009)
Southwestern Ontario HIV/AIDS Community Plan

Southwestern Ontario HIV/AIDS Community Plan

POZITIVE LIVING, POZITIVE LIVES

QUORUM COMMUNICATIONS | Lead Agency, Research and Community Engagement, Project Management, Analysis and Community Plan Writing/Recommendations, Conference Planning

PIER 8 GROUP | Brand Elements & Graphic Design Support

SANDOWN COMMUNICATIONS | Research and Conference Support

 

THE CHALLENGE

  • The London Regional HIV/AIDS Community Planning Committee identified a need to raise awareness of community resources and services for people living with HIV/AIDS, as well as communities at risk, across southwestern Ontario.
  • In 2005, Quorum Communications was retained by the London Regional HIV/AIDS Community Planning Committee to facilitate a multi-stakeholder, collaborative planning process.
  • The goal of the project was to develop a five-year community plan for organizing and delivering services to people living with HIV/AIDS and to communities-at-risk.
  • Project’s focus and reach included Middlesex, Elgin, Oxford, Perth, Huron and Lambton counties, and the city of London.

 

THE IDEA | STRATEGY

Using qualitative and quantitative research, a range of challenges and unacceptable circumstances was exposed. Our approach included:

  • In-depth, one-on-one personal interviews with Community Planning Coordinating Committee stakeholders, community leaders and healthcare professionals, key stakeholders and people living with HIV/AIDS (PHAs)
  • Online surveys targeting both HIV/AIDS community stakeholders and PHAs
  • Focus groups representing service delivery stakeholders, PHAs and medical professionals;
  • Group issues management sessions
  • Seven issues breakout sessions at the southwestern Ontario community planning Stakeholder Conference in London.

We found:

  • Insufficient funding
  • A shortage of social, medical and mental health professional resources
  • Widespread discrimination, and
  • A rise of depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders among youth and specific groups marginalized across the six counties.

Our objectives are aimed at enhancing awareness and recognition within the healthcare sector, community stakeholders and the general public:

  1. To engage hard-to-reach audiences
  2. To generate publicity for the project (one of 12 established by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care and Ontario AIDS Bureau)

Positioning Statement: POZITIVE LIVING, POZITIVE LIVES

We developed an encouraging stance to underlie existing stigma, provide support and community planning

 

THE RESULTS

The final Southwestern Ontario HIV/AIDS Community Plan, “Pozitive Living Pozitive Lives,” identified opportunities to integrate existing healthcare and related programs and services to provide more coordinated, comprehensive care.

  1. Recommendations from the Community Plan were adopted in 2006, and stakeholders identified the next steps to act on these recommendations
  2. Resulting in the HIV/AIDS Community Plan Steering Committee identifying 10 priority Working Groups.
  3. Among the key recommendations in the final Community Plan was the need for a collaborative approach to providing social and health services across the six counties.

The Community Plan reflected the province’s framework and strategic direction. Specifically, recommendations focused on opportunities for greater collaboration, integration of programs and services, strategic alliances and partnerships, and addressed the broader, “holistic” needs of people and communities affected by or living with HIV.

In particular, it focused on people marginalized from mainstream society or unable to participate fully in their own communities due to economic, social, cultural, geographical and/or personal/physical challenges. Overall, it provided southwestern Ontario with clear direction for the improvement of services for people with HIV and communities-at-risk.

Post-Community Plan

  • In 2010, AIDS Committee of London, one of the project’s lead organizations commemorated its 25-year anniversary doing HIV/AIDS work in London. To reflect the agency’s expanded service delivery mandate into the six counties of Perth, Huron, Oxford, Elgin, Lambton and Middlesex in Southwestern Ontario, ACOL went through a renaming and rebranding process.
  • On January 1, 2011, the agency became the Regional HIV/AIDS Connection.   www.hivaidsconnection.ca
Bay Area Restoration Council | Bringing Back the Bay

Bay Area Restoration Council | Bringing Back the Bay

QUORUM COMMUNICATIONS: Lead Agency | Project Management, Research, Communications Planning, Media Relations and Public Launch

SONIC BOOM: Website Development

ABOUT TOWN EVENT & MEETING PLANNERS: Launch Event

THE CHALLENGE

  • The Bay Area Restoration Council (BARC) was formed in 1991 as a not-for-profit community organization established to monitor, assess and promote the Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan.
  • A decade after its formation, awareness levels of BARC among residents in Hamilton and Burlington were low to non-existent. Media coverage of BARC’s activities and harbour restoration was minimal, and there was little communication with or participation from harbour-based organizations.
  • Quorum Communications was retained by BARC in September 2001 to develop a strategic communication plan and to assist in developing new communication programs to support its mandate, including a major public awareness program.

 

THE IDEA | STRATEGY

Using research gathered from industry interviews, resident focus groups and media analysis, we created a rallying campaign to address low interest in the harbour, despite significant investments by private and public sectors in restoring the Hamilton Harbour ($625 million).

Our objectives were to:

  1. Significantly raise the level of awareness of the restoration issues facing Hamilton Harbour and Burlington Bay
  2. Position BARC as a competent, authoritative, and well-balanced confederation of stakeholders dedicated to these issues;
  3. Invite participation by stakeholders and create avenues for their participation.

Our communications strategies were aimed at raising BARC’s profile:

  1. Clarifying BARC’s organizational identity
  2. Creating a dynamic new website
  3. Developing a State-of-the-Bay Report.

Using stakeholder consultation, communications planning, brand strategy, medial relations and website design, our campaign aimed to put the bay restoration back on the public agenda.

Positioning Statement: Bringing Back the Bay

We developed a rallying cry for the campaign and a stunning new website to support building knowledge about the bay

 

THE RESULTS

Due to the campaign, remediation of Hamilton Harbour was put back on the media radar and the public agenda.

  • Annual Community Workshop – At BARC’s 2002 annual community workshop, attendance topped 200 for the first time in its 10-year history, and first-time attendees increased by 22 percent. More than 20 community organizations contributed to the content and participated in the development of the new BARC-Hamilton Harbour website.
  • Media Partnership – Bringing Back the Bay Series The Hamilton Spectator published a 8-day special series, Bringing Back the Bay, from November 23 to November 30, 2002. A total of 36 pages, including front page headline stories on each day featured articles exploring the harbour’s history, ecology and value to local/regional economy.
  • Bringing the Bay to the Classroom – In 2003, the Hamilton Spectator’s entire Bringing Back the Bay series was repackaged as a classroom resource for elementary and secondary students in Hamilton/Halton school systems. Five different grade course curriculums were developed. To date, 300 classes from five southern Ontario district school board have used The Hamilton Spectator harbour series in their curriculum.
  • Funding received from the City of Hamilton and the federal government to continue BARC’s work, including the harbour’s most troubling toxic hotspot, Randle Reef, was fully funded and tracked for remediation. Identified as a collaborative priority by all four levels of government, there is now a delay with final containment work.
  • www.thespec.com/news-story/4384494-capturing-the-blob-at-randle-reef/
  • www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/news/bay-cleanup-group-not-panicking-over-stalled-randle-reef-project-1.2678521
  • In 2003, BARC received a second grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to continue its implementation of the Baylinks Communications Strategy – approximately $197,000, the largest grant ever given out by the Trillium Foundation for an environmental program.

Awards

  • CPRS National Award of Excellence, Community Relations (2004)
  • Hamilton Advertising & Communications Exchange HAMMIES Silver Award, Websites Bay Area Restoration Council “HamiltonHarbour.ca” (2003)
  • IABC Toronto Ovation Award, Websites, Bay Area Restoration Council “HamiltonHarbour.ca” (2003)
  • CPRS Hamilton Awards of Excellence: External Communications; Corporate Identity; Websites, Bay Area Restoration Council “HamiltonHarbour.ca” (2003)
  • CPRS National Award of Merit, Electronic & Interactive Media, Bay Area Restoration Council “HamiltonHarbour.ca” (2003)
  • Ontario Trillium Foundation Great Grants Award, Bay Area Restoration Council, BayLinks Communication Strategy “Bringing Back the Bay” (2003) The awards pay tribute to organizations that “have made significant differences in their communities as a result of funding they receive from the Foundation.
  • The Hamilton Spectator received The Carl Morgan Award for Special Projects from the Western Ontario Newspaper Awards for its eight-day, state-of-the-bay special series, Bringing Back the Bay (2003)

COMMUNICATIONS EXCELLENCE SINCE 1997

Drop us an email or give us a call. We’ll have conversation about your communications and research needs. We’re friendly, we’re helpful and we’re confident you’ll like working with us.