How It All Began
Communicators Connection was originally founded as the West End Freelancers and soon after as the Halton-Peel Communications Association (HPCA), in the days before “network” became a verb. While this group of professional communicators is still networking today, it has evolved into a professional association that delivers outstanding value to both members and clients.
The group originally worked with businesses in the Halton and Peel regions of Ontario, Canada, but has grown to serve clients around the globe.
The association was born of the notion that sharing ideas, skills and resources among freelance communications professionals made good business sense. Back in 1988, two forward-thinking freelancers, Gretchen Bingham and Maureen Pogue, were working together at the City of Mississauga. They talked about the idea of establishing a professional group for a long time, but it wasn’t until 1989, when MPP Margaret Marland graciously offered her boardroom as a meeting place, that the concept took shape.
Maureen and Gretchen sent a news release to local media and called everyone they could think of who might be interested. Thirteen people from “west of Toronto” showed up for the first meeting: writers, PR people, marketers, graphic designers and a photographer. They began to meet regularly, discussing freelancing opportunities and issues and sharing information and resources. Their goal was to support each other and explore the possibilities of collaborating on work.
Continuing to follow this philosophy of collaboration and mutual support, the association has grown and now offers more to members, including a website with a searchable database, an e-newsletter, monthly meetings and professional development workshops. Market demand has finally caught up with the Communicators Connection vision, as the outsourcing of communications services has become an increasingly popular way to do business.
Collaboration with other communicators
Members of Communicators Connection regularly refer business to each other, pitch proposals together or form virtual teams to meet the needs of clients. Some members occasionally or even regularly work together, and form strategic alliances to handle complex communications projects. The caliber of members’ work is evidenced by impressive client lists that are international in scope. Members’ businesses may be located primarily in the Halton and Peel regions, but these communicators serve clients and audiences around the world. The synergy of this well-established, diverse group of professionals has created a powerful momentum that directly benefits both members and their clients.