When COVID-19 disrupted life on a global scale, Quest Diagnostics (the leading provider of health diagnostics in the U.S.) was one of the first to market with a safe, reliable COVID-19 test.
Soon after launching testing on a national scale, Quest's data revealed the staggering extent to which the pandemic was disproportionately impacting minority communities. Quest already had plans in place to launch an initiative to address and reduce health inequities, and COVID-19 prompted them to step up their efforts with an immediate focus on helping minority communities gain access to testing. Quest approached Carol Cone (the "godmother" of purpose-driven communications) and Carol and her team brought Tin Can Strategies' Josh Chaitin on board to help create and implement a communications strategy to support and grow "Quest for Health Equity" (Q4HE) - the company's $130M initiative to create greater healthcare equity, beginning with diverse communities impacted by COVID-19.
In partnership with Q4HE, Carol and Josh worked with Choose Healthy Life (CHL), a New York-based nonprofit originally formed to help address and reduce the impacts of HIV/AIDS on Black communities. They worked with CHL to reach Black communities in New York, Newark, DC, Atlanta and Detroit, by partnering with one of the most trusted institutions in those communities, the Church. Leading clergy like Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. Calvin O. Butts, and Rev. and Sen. Raphael Warnock. These and other clergy opened their churches to host testing (and eventually vaccine) events. To build trust among their communities, many of church leaders would participate, getting tested at these events and on camera, while advocating for Black Americans to protect themselves from COVID-19.
By building this partnership, we were able to create hundreds of events in these cities, and eventually ensure over 60,000 community members received COVID vaccinations. Today, our work continues as we help Q4HE build partnerships with the American Heart Association, Sesame Workshop, HBCUs and other trusted institutions to increase access to health care resources for historically underserved populations and to increase the number of future health care leaders from communities of color.
A leading provider of financial products for individuals and employers, Seattle-based Symetra is also committed to creating positive social and environmental impacts across its operations, through its philanthropic work and through partnerships with its employees.
Chaitin worked with Symtera's leadership to create a comprehensive corporate social responsibility strategy with a focus on evolving the company's commitments to create positive social change through its foundation, employee giving and volunteerism; positive environmental impacts by reducing its environmental and carbon footprint across its operations; and by developing social and environmental criteria to inform all of the company's investment products.
Chaitin helped Symetra design and implement their first ever comprehensive CSR strategy. Work here included identifying, quantifying and sharing existing efforts already under way that contributed to the company's CSR goals (for example, reducing carbon emissions across the company's operations, providing support for critical social impact work in the communities Symetra serves, and engaging employees in the company's CSR efforts.) Chaitin also helped Symetra measure its carbon footprint and identify opportunities to reach carbon neutrality, grow social impact efforts by creating a partnership with the National Park Trust, and creating a Community Financial Literacy program to empower underserved populations - all while aligning (and measuring) their collective CSR efforts against the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.
For over 50 years, Subaru of America has led the sales of Subaru’s vehicles in the US, along with development of the company’s marketing campaigns, brand reputation, and philanthropic leadership.
Chaitin provided communications counsel to Subaru’s leadership for several years, helping to advance the company’s numerous Corporate Responsibility efforts. He helped Subaru elevate its reputation through outreach regarding the company’s leadership in zero-waste manufacturing, its support for and engagement with numerous NGOs across the country, and the company’s efforts to help advance social and economic justice in its new hometown of Camden, New Jersey (Subaru relocated to Camden in 2018.)
Chaitin’s efforts helped Subaru grow its reputation as a purpose-driven brand, creating content for the company’s owned channels (such as Subaru’s first ever Corporate Impact report, which the company uses to inform outreach regarding its purpose-driven efforts) and secured high-profile media attention in outlets like the NY Times. Chaitin worked in partnership with Subaru’s public relations firm in charge of consumer outreach, and the company’s advertising firm to integrate these efforts into outreach campaigns, contributing to Subaru’s unprecedented growth in the US auto market.
Recreational Equipment, Incorporated (REI) is one of the country’s largest outdoor retailers. Founded in the 1938 in Seattle, by a group of mountain climbers seeking better equipment to explore the Northwest’s rugged terrain, REI has grown to become the largest consumer cooperative in the US, with a focus on helping its members explore and protect the outdoors.
Chaitin has provided Recreational REI with critical communications counsel over several years. He started by authoring REI’s annual Stewardship Report, designed and implemented outreach campaigns to promote REI’s efforts to create a more sustainable supply chain and to engage more diverse populations in the outdoors, and developed and launched the media campaign surrounding REI’s landmark #OptOutsidecampaign, which help REI establish itself as an innovative and leading outdoor retailer when the company committed to close its doors on Black Friday (the busiest shopping day of the year in the US) and pay all of its employees to spend the day outdoors with family and friends.
The #OptOutsidecampaign helped REI expand its audience immensely, driving a significant increase in both sales (REI reported a record high $2.4 billion in sales – a 9.1% increase from the previous year – following the campaign’s launch) while securing extensive coverage in nearly every major media outlet in the US (with 2.7 billion media impressions within the first 24 hours of the campaign’s launch.)
FSG is a mission-driven consulting firm for leaders in search of large-scale, lasting social change.
Chaitin provided counsel to FSG’s “Talent Rewire” Initiative,which engages numerous companies to create career development opportunities for young people from underserved communities. He helped FSG recruit leading brands (such as Nordstrom, Caterpillar, Entergy, Patagonia, McDonald’s and several others), helped representatives from each brand gain support from internal leadership, and worked to secure media coverage and speaking opportunities at key conferences and events, where participating companies could share the value of the programs they created and encourage other companies to join.
Chaitin’s efforts helped the initiative gain media coverage in leading business outlets like Forbes, along with relevant industry publications such as HR Morning, and he helped FSG and participating brands secure speaking opportunities at key events, including SxSW, SHRM, Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship Conference, and many others.
With Chaitin’s support, FSG was able to expand this program into a well-known resource that is changing how brands approach talent acquisition while creating opportunities for underserved communities.
Vulcan was founded by Microsoft co-founder, Paul Allen, who passed away in 2018. His company is a leader in several industries, including technology, life sciences, aerospace, real estate, conservation and philanthropy.
Chaitin designed and implemented a strategic communications campaign surrounding Vulcan’s redevelopment of Seattle’s South Lake Union community. Vulcan transformed the area from an underutilized light-industrial neighborhood into an economic engine for the region, attracting tech companies like Amazon, as well as numerous biotech and life science firms. Chaitin worked with Vulcan and tenants like Amazon to gain high-profile media coverage while also helping the company engage elected officials and community groups to build support for its work.
Chaitin’s efforts helped Vulcan secure coverage in numerous top-tier, industry and regional outlets, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Puget Sound Business Journal, and Geekwire. This outreach helped to attract new tenants, elevate the company’s reputation as a dominant force in Seattle real estate, and coincided with Vulcan’s sale of the corporate campus it developed for Amazon to Amazon, making it the most valuable commercial real estate transaction that year in the US.
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