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Cosmetology Association of New Brunswick

We developed a digital campaign which contained a series of online shareables, and a petition which led to the government's creation of the the Self-Employed Lockdown Fund.

Porter O'Brien was retained by the Cosmetology Association of New Brunswick (CANB) to represent over 8,000 members in the province of New Brunswick in their efforts to amend provincial COVID-19 guidelines to be more consistent across industries with respect to public safety. During the COVID-19 pandemic, CANB members were forced to close their establishments during revolving lockdowns while most other businesses were permitted to open. This created a significant financial hardship for many cosmetologists in the province.

Porter O’Brien developed a digital public relations campaign entitled “Don’t Brush Us Off/Ne nous balayez pas” which called for the fair treatment of cosmetologists – either in the form of being allowed to open their businesses or financial support from the New Brunswick government. A series of online shareables, and an online petition with more than 11,500 signatures, along with widespread public support, eventually forced the New Brunswick Government to implement the Self-Employed Lockdown Fund as a direct reaction to CANB’s digital campaign.

According to J. Gaye Cail, Executive Director of Cosmetology Association of New Brunswick, “Within weeks of our engagement with Porter O’Brien, government amended its reopening protocols allowing our members to remain open during partial lockdowns, a change that took effect in advance of any future disruption to our members”.

This case study highlights that leveraging public support through appropriate digital mechanisms can be an effective mechanism in influencing government decisions.

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