Showing What Girls are Made Of

March 16, 2017

by Randi Tanguay

Sugar and spice and everything nice, that’s what girls are made of. REALLY? Strength, determination, and a skillful mix of fierceness and compassion – to me, that’s what girls are really made of.  As a mother of three – two girls and a boy –  I’m staunch in my opinion on this topic and diligent in my commitment to raise all three of my children with this in mind.

Three years ago, my personal point of view intersected with my professional voice when I pushed to define and spearhead FleishmanHillard’s pro-bono efforts in Boston.  With this new initiative came collaboration with peers, careful consideration of a diverse set of social good programs, and ultimately the selection of a local, non-profit organization that aligned with my values, as well as with Boston’s office culture, areas of expertise and passion points. In March of 2014, the partnership between our Boston office and The Big Sister Association of Greater Boston (Big Sister) was born.

Big Sister is part of a network of more than 300 Big Brothers Big Sisters of America agencies; however, it is the only affiliate nationwide solely serving girls.  They’re an organization dedicated to helping women and girls succeed through positive mentoring relationships and enrichment programs.  But, they’re oh so much more.

Some might say they are in the business of construction – they break down walls, raise glass ceilings, support the family structure, and build healthy and strong communities. Their mission is aggressive, but vital; the work is an evolving and never-ending process; and their leader is passionate, strikingly smart, and committed. For all these reasons, I wanted to dig in and be a part of it.

Over the years, the Boston team has done many things for Big Sister including: message development, annual strategic planning, social strategy and key platform identification, local and national media outreach, onsite event staffing and oversight, website redesign support, and the creation of consistent branding and guidelines. Each and every one of these initiatives has been met with great success and appreciation from the clients.  But, where our team really shines and consistently demonstrates a level of unmatched excellence is visual storytelling.  We’re agile and thoughtful in our approach and mix of video, photography and social graphics. Each big/little sister relationship has a unique story to be told, and when compassionately captured, we’re able to share this with the world, start conversations, illicit action from supporters, and ultimately improve lives. Now that’s IMPACT!

I once heard Big Sister CEO, Deb Re, say; “We value courageous communication so that there isn’t a girl or woman whose voice isn’t heard, whose voice is quieted, or silenced, or interrupted.” I like to think that our team’s work is pushing the pre-existing boundaries of Big Sister’s communications; giving Big Sister’s girls, mentors, and staff the chance to be loud, to speak their truth, to shatter stereotypes, and to be proud!

All girls – my daughters included – should never doubt that they are valuable, powerful and deserving of every change and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve their dreams. I count myself lucky to lean on my PR skill set and daily work with Big Sister as a clear reminder of this.  And while I know the Big Sister organization has come to need FleishmanHillard, it turns out I need them too! I’m forever grateful for the partnership that motivated me personally and professionally beyond any other.