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SDN member companies make a difference through ICAN campaign

Fishing For a Cure in Chamberlain
Fishing For A Cure was the recipient of a free TV campaign from ICAN.

The annual Women Fishing for a Cure Tournament in Chamberlain raised awareness as well as $45,000 at its 2022 event, thanks in part to the “I CAN Make a Difference” campaign.

ICAN, the Independent Cable Advertising Network, partners with SDN Communications member companies to promote their communities through an advertising opportunity called “I CAN Make A Difference.” Creating recognition for community events like Fishing for a Cure is exactly what the campaigns are designed to do, said ICAN Director of Sales Deb Nichols. The Make a Difference campaign launched about four years ago and was the brainchild of ICAN President Andy Pepper.

ICAN partners with SDN member companies like Midstate Communications to promote a charity that could use more recognition, Nichols said. ICAN takes care of all the commercial production and donates airtime for the spot to run. Member companies can choose a charity of their choice, from a local backpack program or a pet shelter or a fishing tournament, basically something that needs awareness brought to it, Nichols said. The client also owns the TV spot so they can use it however they want to use it; not all media companies may allow this, Nichols said.

“It’s so easy. We will do all the work for them. The member company doesn’t have to write the script. We lay it out for them,” said Nichols.

Midstate Communications used an application process to decide which campaign they would promote with I CAN Make a Difference. By using their monthly newsletter and social media, Midstate was able to get the word out about the program, said Lori Lafferty, marketing specialist for Midstate. Several applications came in and they chose Fishing For A Cure, she said.

“Midstate is very proud of working together for the benefit of our members. Fishing For a Cure did that for us. ICAN created the commercial and sent some proofs for us to look at and we tweaked very little,” Lafferty said. “It turned into a great piece to shine a light on what the event was all about.”

The Tri-County Community Cancer Care hosts the annual fishing tournament, which is for women only, the last weekend in June. In addition to fishing, there are live and silent auction items that raise funds. The committee provides financial support for residents of Brule, Lyman and Buffalo counties who are fighting cancer. The funds raised each year are then distributed via Visa gift cards to people in these counties to use for gas, hotel stays while undergoing treatment, groceries or to pay bills.

“It’s just a great event and all the money stays local. It’s hard to not want to wrap your arms around it,” she said. “The organizers were very excited to see that their event was going to go even further out to pull in additional teams for those not in our area.”

ICAN logo
ICAN logo

The Make a Difference program is available to ICAN partners and annual clients, Marketing Manager Heidi Griffin said. Member companies can use this program once a year.

“It has been our mission to make sure that we touch every single member company. We want to use these programs, which are good for communities as it brings awareness to them,” Griffin said. “It’s a great opportunity to shine the light on an event in their communities that other people outside exchange areas may not know. Your charity's commercial will run on several different channels, many times before the event to bring awareness and hopefully raise more funds for the organization.”

Lafferty said the experience was great and she would encourage other companies to use it.

“I definitely think we’ll look at doing this again in the future just because of the exposure. Anything we can do to help events get that exposure out there, why not? We’re helping those in our communities get another spotlight on them,” Lafferty said.