ECPA's Rush To PressGraf-Martin Communications Inc. Launches Canadian Faith-Market Digital Street Team, Blog and Influencer Programs

Media Contact: Paola Di Clemente: or 519-342-3703 x5

WATERLOO (ON) July 15, 2014– With research demonstrating a strong connection between online sharing and increased sales, in combination with the ever-evolving media landscape, Canadian integrated marketing and publicity agency, Graf-Martin Communications Inc. has launched Spark; their new digital street team platform and re-launched two of their consumer outreach programs; the Nuts about Books blogger program and signature influencer program, Resourcing Leaders. Graf-Martin Communications is pleased to now offer all three signature services to new and current clients to augment and support public relations and marketing campaigns.

“We’ve developed, refined and rebranded all of these programs because we know that as times change, we need to connect with consumers in new, strategic and creative ways. Our clients want to expand their reach across Canada, and we’ve created simple

ways to do just that” said Ellen Graf-Martin, Graf-Martin Communications’ Founder and President.

Graf-Martin Communications’ clients, including Baker Publishing Group, David C. Cook, Ten Thousand Villages, Sony Pictures, Pure Flix, World Vision Canada, Focus on the Family Canada among others, have enjoyed access to these signature programs over the last few years. With this summer’s official re-launch, they’re being made available to the broader industry.

Built on the grassroots-level interest of passionate online advocates, in May 2014 the agency quietly piloted their new Spark digital promotion strategy to help successfully launch films like God’s Not Dead across Canada. Unique to the Canadian faith marketplace, Spark Digital Street Teams give any celebration-worthy book, movie, product or organization the opportunity to create online fireworks by leveraging and fostering grassroots buzz and word of mouth.

Campaigns utilize:

  1. A customized Spark Digital Street Team web page
  2. A launch network of committed Spark fans
  3. Creative prizing
  4. Digital Team management
  5. Social media advertising and outreach
  6. Blogger outreach
  7. Influencer outreach
  8. Street level outreach

“We’ve implemented these digital outreaches in various ways over the past five years. We’ve learned what works and what doesn’t and refined them to be most strategic, said Ellen Graf-Martin. “Often, we hear comments that the great opportunities available south of the border don’t happen here. We’ve built and carefully tested Spark to make them a reality in Canada!”

Nuts about Books is a program made up of over 250 active bloggers, nationwide, who have excellent relationships with the Graf-Martin Communications team and rely on the agency to keep them up-to-date with new resources and new media. Graf-Martin Communications’ in turn, has built personal relationships with many of the bloggers, keeping in very regular contact with them. The Nuts about Books bloggers have been key to the agency’s successes in spreading the word on hundreds of product launch campaigns.

No one else was hosting a uniquely Canadian, faith- friendly blog program available to all publishers, so we happily set out to fill the gap” said Ellen. “Nuts about Books is a staff favourite. We know our bloggers by name, we know their blog statistics and engagement levels and we’re intentional about tracking them, regularly. We’ve also been able to connect with our bloggers on a deeply personal level, through critical illnesses, the loss of a spouse and family breakdown.”

Graf-Martin Communications’ signature key influencer network, now named Resourcing Leaders, connects with 250 select national leaders and influencers, monthly or bi-monthly. Members of this program are often para-church ministry directors, denominational leaders or pastors of large churches. Each of these Canadian leaders have chosen to opt-in to the Resourcing Leaders network. The heart of the program is to see key Canadian church and ministry leaders well-resourced, while giving profile to excellent Christian curriculum, books, films and other media. The Resourcing Leaders Program members have been vital to Graf-Martin Communications’ successes in numerous national outreach campaigns.

The development of the influencer network has been built largely on Graf-Martin Communications’ team members’ organic, authentic relationships with key leaders nationwide. Prior to releasing the formalized Resourcing Leaders Program, Ellen Graf-Martin and her colleagues built on their years of ministry experience to connect with leaders across Canada, personally, out of a strong passion for discipleship and caring for those on the front lines of ministry. In so doing they uncovered that leaders want to be resourced—strategically, authentically and with products that fit.

“I am so proud of what our team has quietly developed here in Canada over these past five years. It’s exciting to announce them to the broader industry and community,” said Ellen. “My prayer is that they’ll be a valuable resource to a changing industry, doing great things to launch worthwhile products and brands, and truly equipping the church nationwide.”


About Graf-Martin Communications Inc. 
Graf-Martin Communications Inc. is a leading provider of publicity, social media marketing and strategic integrated marketing communications services to non-profit organizations, publishers, small businesses, and authors working primarily within the Canadian marketplace. For more information, check out their video or visit their website at