In 2004, Dominick Blais, co-owner of Digital Relay, learned first-hand it sometimes takes only two guys with big hearts to help non-profit organizations raise money by leveraging the web.
"In those days, almost no one was talking about social media and we were one of the first companies discussing it and its future potential with our clients," he recalled.
"Roger Miranda [Digital Relay’s co-owner] and I are both business mentors and volunteer our time with the Manitoba Marketing Network (a non-profit organization which helps business owners with a wide range of challenges, from marketing to sales, internal processes, and more.)"
Blais and Miranda created event fundraising software, which they dubbed DR*Pledge, which allows participants to register online, upload a photo, and ask for sponsors.
The Alzheimer Society first tried out the software in 2004, resulting in the Memory Walk raising $136,000 that year ($52,000 more than the previous year).
In 2011, when DR*Pledge required major security that Blais and Miranda didn’t have the capital for, the business partners began seeing alternatives.
"We decided it was time to open our doors to small and medium-sized businesses and put our talent to good use by developing enterprise websites, professional videos, and social media at a very competitive price," Blais said.
"We have the in-house expertise to developed very successful social media strategies and action plans for our clients. We know a lot about SEO (search engine optimization), e-commerce, and mobile websites."
Some clients using Digital Relay’s services have happily found their web traffic to have increased by up to 25%.
"For clients whose mobile devices and websites don’t look good on a phone, we make it look like a phone app," Blais said. "Their website looks one way when looking at it from a computer and completely different when browsing it on a phone."
Digital Relay is located at 1130 Wall St. and offers training on a variety of subjects including social media, video marketing, QR codes and mobile websites.
What Blais likes about the area his business is located in is its "easy access, centrality, and the presence of a ton of companies that can use our help."
"We’re open to change and progress, and realize that each individual client and industry represents its own unique characteristics and challenges," he said. "One person can’t be the best at everything, but a team with individual talents creates a beautiful culture of growth and self-improvement."
According to Miranda, Digital Relay "aims for our clients to be successful online by helping them create a solid fan and customer base and use the web effectively to nurture those relationships...We’re committed to slow and steady growth."
For more information about Digital Relay, call 204-480-1234 or visit www.digitalrelay.ca.
Rebeca Kuropatwa is a community correspondent for the West End. You can contact her at beca72ca.yahoo.ca.