Small business: Working with charities - Qiujing Wong

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Qiujing Wong, co-founder of Borderless Productions, with her husband Dean Easterbrook

Qiujing Wong, co-founder of Borderless Productions. Photo / Supplied
Qiujing Wong, co-founder of Borderless Productions. Photo / Supplied

Borderless is a social change company with a mission to create thinking and actions to create positive change in society. More specifically, we create and drive campaigns, digital stories and take-action films with and for businesses, organisations and individuals throughout the world.

Q, you didn't just get involved with a charity, you helped set one up. How did that happen?

In 2007, I met Minnie Baragwanath, then disability advisor at Auckland City Council. Minnie had a dream and vision to create a social change movement that would shift both attitudes and behaviours towards people living with disability. We soon realised we had similar dreams to create social change and each had very complementary skill sets.
Together we created Be.Accessible, the campaign, which attracted local and national government support. It is now regarded as the leading social change movement for all New Zealanders to create a 100 per cent accessible society.

Minnie is the Chief Executive of the Be. Institute, the owner of the Be.Accessible campaign and leads teams based in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Be.Accessible takes the view that in order for true accessibility to happen, we must address the physical environment, personal empowerment and social attitudes towards our access citizens (disabled people, older people and parents with young children) simultaneously. Be. Accessible does this through a range of programmes targeting businesses, organisations, the disability community and New Zealanders.

How is Be. Accessible aligned to your brand?

Be. Accessible is perfectly aligned to our brand - we share the values of authenticity and the desire to create positive change in the world. Borderless is a social change agency and Be. Accessible a social movement - in my mind, it is a perfect fit.

What is your involvement these days?

Until this month, Borderless has been the social change agency managing the creation and delivery of the Be. Accessible campaigns. This included devising strategy, defining the brand and managing how it is brought to life, managing the marketing and communications activity and working with Minnie to further the social change agenda of Be. Accessible.

From next month, Be. Accessible will be taking the marketing and communications function in-house and our relationship will transition to a new and exciting phase. Borderless will be working with Be. and Minnie as a boutique social change agency, crafting specific social change initiatives to help further the vision and ensure long-term sustainability of the movement / organisation.

What do your clients think about your efforts with Be.Accessible?

I imagine our clients have a range of views about our relationship with Be.Accessible. Some have become clients as a result of the work we do with Be. (e.g. DiversityWorks and The Big Event 2013). Others have come about through the reputation we have built through the Be. Campaign, for example the Telecom Foundation. And then there are those where there is constant cross-pollination of relationships, for example Manawanui incharge and the New Zealand Down Syndrome Association.

I'm very proud of Be. Accessible so I talk about it A LOT and the anecdotal feedback is that it's an inspired and relevant campaign that has a very good chance of affecting the positive social change it hopes to achieve.

How is The Big Event aligned with your business as well as with Be.Accessible?

We met Chris Ross, the founder of The Big Event, when Be. was invited to exhibit at the 2012 expo. In the planning phase of the 2013 event, Chris approached Borderless to work on its visual identity (logo / collateral), public relations, radio promotion and digital storytelling.

This year's event will be held at the ASB Showgrounds on April 5 Friday and Saturday 6 April and Be. Accessible will be exhibiting again. There is something for everyone (disabled or not) so it is worth going along to learn about how accessibility shapes all our lives at some point. Plus it's FREE!

- NZ Herald

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