One of the great things about moving to Seattle is that it has pushed me to meet new people and see what’s really going on in the advertising and marketing world here. So it was a great privilege for me to have a drink with Alison Byrne Fields, who recently left DDB Issues & Advocacy to form Aggregate, a creative strategy group for clients who seek to affect social and policy change.
Fields has quite a lot of experience in promoting real change through advocacy marketing, including serving as Creative Director for Rock The Vote, and later creating a strategic plan for the Global Media AIDS Initiative. Now with Aggregate, she’s running her own firm her way. Part of the agency’s purpose is stated on their site:
We help funders find ideas and organizations find funders. We help organizations identify ambassadors, mobilize them and give them the content to be effective. We know who needs to be reached to bring about the change our clients wish to achieve and we know how to define the paths to reach them.
Naturally, I asked her about the name (in a town that features “Wexley School for Girls,” pretty much anything goes as far as agency names.) She said that Aggregate not only represents a grouping of different elements, it’s a term with scientific roots. So expect Aggregate to not just advocate change, but be very methodical in the way it helps its clients achieve their goals.
Advocacy marketing involves much more than simply embracing a cause and getting people to “Like” it on Facebook. With a core team already in place, Aggregate is currently working with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, with more clients on the way. It’s awesome to think that you don’t need to be in Washington DC or New York City to make an impact on global policy. With Aggregate on the case, 3,000 miles to the West, Seattle can play a role, too.