In early April, Brydges Property Management came to McKim with some serious concerns. President Brenda Brydges told us there was a systemic lack of compliance to COVID-19 social distancing and self-isolation protocols by residents of the multi-family properties her company manages.

Brydges been inundated with calls from emotional residents and on-site staff reporting that neighbours were returning from travel and were failing to self-isolate.

However, she and her staff had been unable to successfully enforce the rules in the absence of any official directives from local authorities – all of whom Brydges has contacted looking for assistance and action.

She was overwhelmingly concerned about the safety of her people and the public at large and wanted us to reach out to media to get the word out, fast.

“This is not about business – it’s about saving people’s lives.”

Brenda Brydges

Because the story was in the best interests of public health, we knew we had to work as fast as possible. This meant writing a news release draft over a Saturday and getting our client’s approval and sign off quickly. By Sunday evening, we were issuing the release to all local media.

Immediately, media requests started pouring in. By lunchtime Monday, we had handled media requests from every news outlet in Winnipeg but one, with electronic newsrooms circulating the interviews for play on their national counterparts. By end of day, more than 3.5 million Canadians had heard, watched or seen our client tell her emotional story.

Numerous media outlets circled back with our PR team to say how personally impacted they had been by our client’s comments and efforts – some of them simply remarking, “Wow.” Several members of the public and contractors also reached out to Brenda to thank her for her efforts and to offer support.

During the premier’s daily press conference that same day, reporters asked questions about the issue. He not only inferred he was aware of the story, but said enforcement would be coming soon.

Update to 680 CJOB’s homepage reflects the breaking news

Most importantly, Brydges’ efforts were able to move the needle. Four days later, the Province of Manitoba and the City of Winnipeg issued a joint news release to announce ‘Operation Safe Apart,’ pandemic public health enforcement strategy.

“It really seems to have helped. I am hearing that people are listening. I have had more thank you calls than I can count. We made a difference and I believe saved lives!”

Brenda Brydges, Brydges Property Management

At more than 10,000 condo residents and apartment tenants, Brydges Property Management is one of the larger such companies in Manitoba.