Author: Jordan Alvillar, Brand Manager

Thank a Hunter with a Hug

The Colorado Wildlife Council wanted to extend its existing statewide education campaign, “Hug a Hunter/Hug an Angler,” which focuses on informing the general public where the money goes from hunting and fishing license fees: benefiting wildlife management, conservation of public lands and Colorado’s economy. R&R Partners would step in to take the campaign to the next level, while introducing the client to new ways of reaching the target audience with dynamic creative, social media, and traditional and nontraditional paid media tactics.

But first, a little background. In the early 1990s, a misinformed Colorado public would vote to outlaw spring bear hunting. And a few years later, it would include trapping on public lands. Colorado Parks and Wildlife (then known as the Colorado Division of Wildlife) was powerless to intercede. Special interest groups were taking away local sportsmen’s rights and disrupting the hunting and fishing heritage that was an essential attraction of Colorado’s great outdoors.

Colorado’s sportsmen would organize as the Colorado Wildlife Council and work to protect the state’s hunting and fishing legacy by creating a pilot program with a comprehensive, media-based approach to educate the public (especially the non-hunting and non-fishing public) about the importance of wildlife and wildlife management. Hunters and anglers showed their support by agreeing to a voluntary check-off donation program to demonstrate that a statewide public education campaign had value. The program was such a success, it resulted in the bill HB1266 (Public Education License Surcharge) being passed in 2005 by the state legislature. This new law allowed permanent funding to be secured from a surcharge on hunting and fishing license fees to finance an annual statewide public education campaign.

The campaign focuses on increasing awareness of the benefits of wildlife, wildlife management and wildlife-related recreational opportunities in Colorado (specifically hunting and fishing) – targeting non-hunters and non-anglers, and identifying the value of conservation, protecting wildlife and the benefits to Colorado’s economy. But after several years, the effectiveness of the campaign was waning. Confusion among Coloradans was building in regards to where funding for wildlife and wildlife management comes from, posing a threat to the campaign’s success.

The council turned to R&R Partners to give the campaign a new lease on life. But, our vision for their new campaign would be anything but cookie cutter.

Launched in March 2017, we gained valuable insights and consumer truths derived from our own research and discovery through a combination of non-hunters and non-anglers and supportive hunter and angler focus groups. From there we would develop messaging for a full-fledged, fully integrated campaign that included traditional, digital and social, and with a strategic media buy designed to reach voters that are more difficult to connect with.

Our creative execution tells the story of where the money goes when someone buys a hunting or fishing license, while illustrating the positive impact of license fees and how they preserve and benefit Colorado’s wildlife, public lands and economy. The closing message, “even if you don’t hunt/fish, chances are you still love hunting/fishing” identifies that every one benefits.

We also created content for the Wildlife Council’s social media channels (Facebook and Instagram), implementing GIFs and Facebook photos and video carousels. And we’ve developed attention-grabbing rich media assets that include educational online games for desktop and mobile.

As for the effectiveness of the new campaign – we’re happy to say we’re getting our share of hugs from the Colorado Wildlife Council. So far, just four months into the campaign, we’ve achieved some impressive metrics. We’ve garnered over 150,000 website visits to The campaign has earned more than 13,500 “Likes” on the Colorado Wildlife Council’s Facebook page. And the total number of impressions achieved so far have reached over 30 million, through display, video, social media, digital radio and rich media.

Action to Impact: thoughts from an inspired activist

“People are in love with the IDEA of activism, but not the WORK required.”

DeRay McKesson, Civil Rights Activist

“You’re a bleeding heart”, my dad always says to me. It’s true. Throughout my life, I’ve been plagued with this burning desire to change the world for the better. It’s something that I can never fully explain to others – but I have always felt that my greater purpose is to be the voice for those who need it most.

Lincoln and I hanging in Washington, DC for the ADL National Leadership Summit

Earlier this year, I had an epiphany. Though strong, my voice isn’t enough. I realized that I wanted to do more than say “I support” – I want to be a part of something greater that inspires ACTUAL change. But, as we know, change also takes physical work and it isn’t something that presents itself, wrapped up in a bow. While a march may set the tone, only the devoted can keep the pace to ensure change actually happens.

For this reason, I found myself enrolling in the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) Sturm Fellows Leadership Program. ADL’s Robert B. Sturm Mountain States Leadership Fellows Program was created to involve people who are committed to ADL’s mission “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.” The Sturm Fellows Program, which runs from September-June, exposes participants to educational programming about the substantive issues of ADL’s agenda and gives them the opportunity to become ADL leaders in the community.

The highlight of the program was the opportunity to attend the ADL National Leadership Summit in Washington, DC, which I attended earlier this month. I cannot explain the gratitude I felt to be in the presence of so many people who want to do good – and not only with words, but with action. The program included presentations from ADL leadership, community leaders and activists, and legislators including Sen. John McCain (AZ), Sen. Marco Rubio (FL), Sen. Ben Cardin (MD) and Sen. Al Franken (MN); representing that civil rights will never be a partisan issue, but a human issue.

One of the speakers, former FBI Director James B. Comey, had powerful words for our group that revolved around unity. One story he referenced was his visit to Orlando immediately following the shooting that occurred at Pulse Night Club in 2016, leaving 49 dead and 53 wounded. He reminisced speaking to an individual who helped those at the scene after the shooting had occurred. He relayed to our group the words of this individual, who said to Mr. Comey:

“I heard the gun shots, and I started running toward where I heard them. I didn’t care what religion the victims practiced. I didn’t care who the victims loved. I didn’t care about the race of the victims. I knew they needed help and that was the bottom line.”


It seems that today, more than ever, I have friends/family/colleagues say to me, “I want to do something to help, but I don’t know what. I feel paralyzed. I don’t know where to start.” With so much at stake, I too at times feel overwhelmed. However, I recognize that as one person, I cannot do everything at once. Though still fresh in my activism career, I have learned some helpful tips from those around me:

1. Follow your passion(s): what particular issues are you passionate about? Start there. Have many, like myself? Start         with one to get your feet wet to determine what kind of time you have to commit.

2. Reach out: what organizations align with your passion? Reach out to them and ask what type of help they need most.

3. Determine your commitment: can’t afford to give financially? Volunteering is just as impactful. The organization you reach out to should have a list of opportunities that are available and ways you can help.

4. Local politics ARE important: reach out to your local representatives and talk to them about the matters which concern you most. Participate in City Council meetings. Stay engaged in the local elections and local issues that directly impact your community.

As for how I’ll change the world and the legacy I may leave behind, I’m not quite sure of that yet. Fortunately, I’m surrounded by many other like-minded individuals who also wish to change the world, and trailblazers who provide inspiration for us daily in how to accomplish that.

To all the other bleeding hearts that I’m fortunate to know, work with, or be in the presence of – don’t stop and keep the dream alive for a better tomorrow. I am with you.


Recently, I attended the TEDxMileHighWomen, “It’s About Time,” speaker series in Denver, Colorado. Describing it as a “speaker series” would be incredibly dishonest. For me, and I think for all 2,800 female/male attendees, it was so much more; a spiritual awakening.

TED, created in 1984, came to be by Richard Saul Wurman. Three fields of study drove his inspiration for what would become TED: technology, entertainment and design. What was once a simple conference, TED rose to success in 1990 and quickly became a viral video phenomenon. Suddenly, a community of people with passion to change the world had a common forum to coalesce around. Presenters include scientists, philosophers, musicians, business and religious leaders, philanthropists and others.

I knew immediately I was in for something huge as I entered the TEDxMileHighWomen event. Something that would light a fire deep in my belly; I could feel the match falling fast down my throat as the venue’s lights dimmed and the event began. The energy was high and the room was full of individuals who attended this event for something we all crave in career and life: to be inspired. This particular event included solely women speakers from the Mile High City, and it was promised that all individuals would leave with another woman’s dream at the forefront of their minds.

As the evening’s emcee and host, Lauren Casteel, CEO of The Women’s Foundation (a woman whose career and leadership I have admired for years), approached the stage, she said this, “We’re here because women didn’t always have the platform they have today.”

She’s right. Though our country has come a long way as it pertains to women’s rights, there is still work to be done to ensure that all girls’ and women’s voices are heard, and not just because we are begging people to listen. TED empowers women to question the status quo while nurturing their passions, and it acknowledging their fears, without judgment. It also provides a community that gives a voice to the “thinkers” and “doers” – who often feel undervalued and unnoticed.

Out of all the phenomenal speakers (there were 12 total), the moment that hit me the hardest was the applause that followed Christen Reighter, who delivered a powerful presentation that recapped her journey to become surgically sterilized. With this decision, she relived with the audience her personal discovery that society desperately clings to a woman fulfilling the assumed role of mother, without a woman’s consent; that her identity and worthiness is not a choice she makes herself but is rather associated with titles that are forced upon her. She shared the judgment she faced from her friends, family and even her doctors—some whom even refused to perform the (highly legal) procedure for her. She felt dismissed, silenced and vilified – for doing nothing more than making an informed decision regarding her own body.

When her presentation ended, all attendees stood from their seats and gave an extended applause, causing Christen to bring her hand to her mouth as her eyes welled up with tears. When our emcee Lauren came back to greet her, she placed her hand on Christen’s shoulder and said, “If before you felt invisible, please look around this room and remember, you are not.” It was a beautiful moment I felt so honored to be part of.

As a gay woman, I certainly find myself feeling invisible in society’s eyes. In discouraging times, I remind myself how fortunate I am to work for a firm that celebrates and champions who I am. After the November election, our CEO Billy Vassiliadis assured our staff that R&R would always fight on behalf of its employees to protect their rights and well being. These were words I needed to hear. To hear them from my firm’s leadership was poetic and gave me hope for the future.

Ultimately, all people deserve to be seen. Whether it be attending a speaker series, or reassuring words from my CEO – these are the moments that show me that I am not invisible.