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Judy Lewis is Co-founder and Partner of Strategic Objectives, Canada’s most award-winning public relations and marketing communications agency. She is an accomplished public relations and marketing strategist driven by insights, experience, and endless imagination. Judy provides senior counsel to numerous prominent brands worldwide while contributing to various social causes. Her work has helped to prevent violence against women, enact protective legislation to combat sex trafficking, mobilize communities to reduce childhood hunger, and promote social justice and positive change.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • [03:09] Judy Lewis discusses the services offered by Strategic Objectives
  • [05:02] The innovative campaigns Strategic Objectives did to win a United Nations award
  • [09:09] Strategic Objectives’s process for tackling PR campaigns for social impact
  • [13:50] Judy discusses peoples’ opinions, misinformation, and facts
  • [16:37] Brand identity issues companies often face
  • [17:40] Strategic Objectives’ customer success stories
  • [22:18] Common mistakes companies make with sustainability campaigns and influencer outreach
  • [27:25] Judy explains the reasons for starting Strategic Objectives
  • [32:16] The experience of working with a sibling
  • [34:18] Strategic Objectives’ initial key hires

In this episode…

In recent years, many customers have come to crave more than just a product or service. They want a story, a connection, and a reason to believe — this is where the power of storytelling comes in. Brands that effectively tell their story can build a loyal following, increase brand awareness, and drive sales.

According to PR expert Judy Lewis, crafting a compelling brand story is easier said than done. It requires a deep understanding of your target audience, a clear message, and a comprehensive strategy encompassing all facets of modern marketing. She recommends partnering with public relations and marketing communications agencies. From crafting a message that resonates with your customers to executing campaigns that drive results, a PR agency can help brands navigate the complex world of modern marketing.

In this episode of the Inspired Insider Podcast, Dr. Jeremy Weisz chats with Judy Lewis, Co-founder and Partner of Strategic Objectives, to discuss the power of public relations. Judy talks about Strategic Objectives and what it does, its process for tackling PR campaigns for social impact, brand identity issues companies face, and mistakes companies often make with sustainability campaigns and influencer outreach.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Special Mention(s):

Related episode(s):

Quotable Moments: 

  • “Consumers want to know about the brands, but they also want to know about the company as well.”
  • “It is very important to engage people and have them understand the story that brought the product forward, and why it is relevant to them.”
  • “Everybody has a right to an opinion.”
  • “In working together with the business partner, you have to be incredibly honest.”
  • “Two heads are better than one.”

Sponsor for this episode

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We’ll distribute each episode across more than 11 unique channels, including iTunes, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. We’ll also create copy for each episode and promote your show across social media.

Cofounders Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran credit podcasting as being the best thing they have ever done for their businesses. Podcasting connected them with the founders/CEOs of P90xAtariEinstein BagelsMattelRx BarsYPOEOLending TreeFreshdesk, and many more.

The relationships you form through podcasting run deep. Jeremy and John became business partners through podcasting. They have even gone on family vacations and attended weddings of guests who have been on the podcast.

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Episode Transcript

Intro  0:15

You are listening to Inspired Insider with your host, Dr. Jeremy Weisz.

Jeremy Weisz  0:22

Dr. Jeremy Weisz here founder of where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders today is no different. I’ve Judy Lewis of And, Judy, before I formally introduce you, I like to point out other episodes people should check out of the podcast. And I’ve had some interesting this is part of the top agency series I had Adi Klevit. Adi Klevit has interesting business. I love hearing these niche businesses, Judy, which is she specializes in creating SOPs for companies. So she’s a done-for-you SOP going like, I’m totally disorganized, she’ll come in and clean it up like create SOPs to help onboard teams, and we geeked out on that episode about productivity tools, what tech we use software, SaaS. So that was a really interesting episode, another one with my friend and colleague Ian Garlic, who runs And what he does is he captures customer stories for companies so they can use them in their marketing, and he’s brilliant at that check those out and many more on And this episode is brought to buy Rise25. At Rise25 we help businesses give to and connect their dream 100 relationships. And how do we do that we actually help you run your podcast, we’re an easy button for a company to launch and run a podcast we do the accountability, the strategy and the full execution. Judy, we call ourselves kind of magic elves that run in the background and make it look easy for the host and the company. So they could just run their company create great relationships, a great content all at the same time. So for me, the number one thing in my life is relationships. And I’m always looking at ways to give to my best relationships. And I found no better way over the past decade to profile the people and companies I most admire on this planet and share what they’re working on, including what Judy is doing. So if you thought about podcasting, you should if you have questions go to and Judy and her company are doing amazing work in many arenas. Judy Lewis is a co-founder and partner of Strategic Objectives. And they’re Canada’s award-winning public relations agency. And their leading independent PR agency specializes in brand-building strategies. And they do campaigns for major international and national brands, Body Shop, Maple, Leaf Foods, Pringles and so many more. It they’re also a purpose-driven agency, which we’ll talk about, they’ve done a lot of work of issues ranging from human trafficking, and violence against women to environmental advocacy, sustainability, and even child poverty. Judy, thanks for joining me.

Judy Lewis  3:01

My pleasure. Thank you. And thank you for taking the time.

Jeremy Weisz  3:05

Talk about Strategic Objectives a little bit and what you do.

Judy Lewis  3:10

Okay, well, Strategic Objectives, as you mentioned before, is Canada’s most award-winning public relations agency. And we are the only agency in Canada to ever win a United Nations award. And we did that for our work in violence against women. So since our founding, which was back in the early 80s, we really decided as former journalists, my sister and I who started the organization together, we’re going to create an agency where we really did good things and good work. And that’s really what we wanted to do on an ongoing basis. So we believe that the idea is, is that brands need to get their message out that people want to know so much more than just the product. They want to understand what the company is, and also how the company operates within communities. So we really took that message to companies, which was very novel at the time when we first started. And since we have proven over and over again, that consumers want to know about the brands, but they also want to know about the company as well. So we set up our company we started this two we are now over 40. We represent many of Canada’s best-known brands, most respected brands, many of our brands are in the top 10. Three of them are in the top five most respected brands in Canada. And we do work for international brands as well and launch them into the Canadian market and then look after them.

Jeremy Weisz  4:54

Talk about the United Nations award. What was the campaign and what was the work that you did to win that.

Judy Lewis  5:03

The Canadian government came out with a study that identified that one in two women had experienced violence against women. And we found that absolutely shocking. And we had a meeting with our clients at the time, who we represented for 25 years, actually, The Body Shop Canada. And we said, this is completely unacceptable. They said it was completely unacceptable. And we developed a campaign called In The Name of Love Stop Violence Against Women, together with the Body Shop Canada. And that ran for several years. And it was such an incredibly successful campaign, that it was actually picked up by the global company, and then rolled out around the world. This was very innovative at the time. And then from that we continued to work in the area of sex trafficking. And that in itself was a campaign very much focused on an issue that no one knew existed, and yet it was alive and well in Canada and in the United States. And we rallied Canadians and more than 500,000 Canadians signed an online petition to help stop sex trafficking. And the Canadian government acted and developed legislation that would make the punishment for such crimes much stronger. And since then, that has really grown into work that we have done. A new organization was founded the Canadian Center to End Human Trafficking. And they actually came to us and said, Would you help us name the organization? Will you help us develop the strategic plan? Will you help us launch the hotline, and Canada now does have a national hotline for human trafficking. And we’ve done very innovative campaigns on behalf of that nonprofit association, the Canadian Center to End Human Trafficking. And we most recently did a campaign in the area of labor trafficking, because labor trafficking is a very big issue with migrant workers coming into the country, and not necessarily knowing all their rights. And of course, Canadians pride themselves on being kind, generous, open human beings. But like in any country, not everybody plays by the rules, and therefore there is an issue here with labor trafficking. And this has been very impactful. And as part of that campaign, we’ve also done communication in many languages, but also particularly within to Mexico and Latin America, placing ads, hoping that we will actually advance the education on human rights before the migrant workers even come into our country. So that again, very important work, where we are building the profile of the center and building the brand. But we are also building awareness of a very important issue. An example of our purpose-driven.

Jeremy Weisz  8:34

If someone’s listening to the audio only, there is a video piece of this and you can see we’re looking at and the webpage and you’re looking at actually did the background image is the body shop and stop sex trafficking of children, young people. I mean, this is a big issue and big problem. How do you go about tackling this from like a campaign perspective I got when I figured out like, I don’t even know where to start with doing this. So you work with Body Shop, walk me through how you tackle this type of project?

Judy Lewis  9:09

Well, I think what’s really important as communicators is as public relations professionals, we have incredible power to shape the media agenda and educate publics on important issues. And we at Strategic Objectives take that very seriously. Whether that might be for an issue, or whether it is for a corporation who wants to make consumers aware of a product, a topic, a commitment that they have made. So fundamentally, the approach is the same. And fundamentally, I would say that we’ve used our curiosity as former journalist to bring this to life in a very innovative way. But it all starts with research. It all starts with educating ourselves so that we understand something very well, identifying the stakeholders, speaking with the stakeholders, and then bringing about a campaign that will engage the media, engage influencers, and engage them on both a factual and an emotional level, so that they can be involved and become actual advocates for the cause. So in many cases, we combine very traditional techniques like the news release, and how important that news release is to getting out the important information, real information, factual information rather than misinformation. So honest, ethical information. And then also making and providing spokespeople who can bring the story to life in very innovative and honest ways that engage the public. And then we also believe, and we do a lot of what in our business is called experiential marketing. But that is basically event getting out interacting with the public, so that we are able to engage them. And in the cases of one campaign, we held candle-lighting ceremonies across the country, to recognize the women, the were involved in sex trafficking, or prisoners of sex trafficking, if you will. So there are ways to actually engage people have people sign petitions, and giving the public a voice. And I think that that is very important, not only for issues, as I said, for brands, so whether we are marketing a new car, or whether we are marketing a new color of the year, for Benjamin Moore, it is very important to engage people and have them understand the story that brought the product forward, and why it is relevant to them.

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