by Lily Kazanoff
To delve into the history of Archipelago Strategies Group is to delve into a map of concentric circles of meaning. At the core is the seed planted by CEO & Founder Josiane Martinez. Archipelago Strategies Group, shortened to ASG, grew out of a project at Simmons College. While serving as Executive Director of the Mass Executive Office of Refugees and Immigrants, Josiane took night classes to complete her MBA. One finance class let Josiane think more about a dream she’d always had – to start a mission-driven social marketing company that would equip diverse communities with the tools, education, and resources to thrive.
Around this core, seed idea was the decision to name the company “Archipelago Strategies Group.” An archipelago is first a geographic descriptor of the places Josiane calls home. Puerto Rico is an archipelago with Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and other islands; Boston, too, is an archipelago.
Yet the name goes beyond this geographical significance to add metaphorical meaning, adding another layer encircling ASG. To Josiane, an archipelago simply represents how people are – “we are all an island, we are different, with different shapes, different cultures, different languages yet we’re all part of one thing.” An archipelago is thus an assemblage of these islands, acting as a land bridge connecting distinct places. Similarly, ASG stays true to our mission to act as a bridge connecting various communities. Our campaigns intentionally remind each other that “this connection exists already, we’re part of something, we can connect with each other through care.”
Ironically, in introducing ASG to new ears Josiane is often met with confusion. Although Archipelago is an English word, many people assume it is Spanish. Their first reaction then is to assert that they do not speak Spanish. Embedded in this assumption was an opening to explain the work of ASG and the importance of multilingual communications – combatting assumptions with understanding is essential to ASG campaigns. To include diverse communities, ASG campaigns are intentionally accessible. Over 90% of past campaigns have been in English and Spanish, with the majority in up to 16 languages. Assets are also produced in large print and braille, communicated with ESL, adapted to online aides, and more. Intentional, accessible communications thus enables ASG to act as a land-bridge connecting seemingly disparate communities.
The final layer of meaning encompassing ASG is a love letter to our Chief of Staff and wife to Josiane, whose initials are A.S.G. By uncovering the layers of significance behind ASG we distill the full meaning behind ASG into a simple message – at the end of the day we are connectors. Our team is here to connect people with each other through targeted outreach, in-depth research, integrated marketing, and full communications campaigns.