Taber’s communications coordinator has won three international awards for a foodbank donation initiative inspired by escaped ostriches.
Meghan Brennan started the “flightless birds for foodbanks” response after nearly 30 ostriches escaped a farm near Taber and roamed the town in Nov. 2022. The response got the attention of Association of Marketing and Communications Professionals. Brennan was awarded a Gold Hermes Creative Award in the media response category, a Communitas Award for Excellence in Community Service: Making a Difference, and the Platinum MarCom Award.
“After the ostrich episode, we decided to mix things up in how we communicate with our community, seeing how the public responded so well to the humour of our response. Since November 2022, we’ve made a conscious effort to make our communications more fun and relatable, using humor and straightforward language when it fits the situation. This way, our residents can connect with us on a friendlier level while still getting the information they need. Our citizens’ response to our funnier information posts has been overwhelmingly positive and we’re thrilled to be continuing that trend in the future, where appropriate of course,” Brennan said.
She adds the awards to her collection of 22 she has earned since starting in her role in 2017.
“On behalf of council, I would like to congratulate Ms. Brennan on being the recipient of three prestigious awards. The response to such a strange incident in our community was inspired and shows that Taber is willing to laugh at ourselves, regardless of the absurdity of the situation. This very bizarre ostrich western rodeo round up was very unique, challenging, entertaining, and involved many individuals trying to help recapture the escaped birds. Happy to also be able to participate, and donate 20 turkeys to our Taber Food Bank, turning this incident into a very positive and proactive end result.” -Andrew Prokop, Mayor.
“It was important to me that the town didn’t bury its head in the sand and seized this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to showcase Taber as both caring and willing to roll with the punches, no matter how strange the circumstances,” said Brennan. “Humour is inherently risky in government, but there is no reward without risk, so I am thrilled and thankful for the public’s reaction. I don’t believe I’ll ever see an event like this again in my career, but I’m thankful for the opportunity my team granted me to let my bird-brained idea take flight to offer a little levity to the situation.”