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Lunar Loo-nacy: B.C. firm clinches award after NASA space toilet campaign

Founder adamant team spirit earned Pony Communications an Inc. business award
The Victoria-based Pony Communications team is passionate about what it does, even when working on a space toilet campaign. (Courtesy Pony Communications)

Alexandra Pony came to Victoria to be a self-proclaimed hippie.

Eight years later, the founder of Pony Communications leads a small award-winning team of women raking in the headlines, television clips and awards associated with various business ventures across North America – and space.

Among the notable projects at Pony Comms is the Lunar Loo campaign for NASA. While it was far from the Victoria-based company’s first foray with the U.S. space organization, it was a spectacular success.

“We worked on a lot of NASA crowd sourcing campaigns,” Pony said. “Lunar loo was super cool.”

The space agency is fun to work with and does a fair amount of crowd sourcing. Pony Communications previously did an “exploring hell” campaign with a rover on Venus.

The 2020 campaign was focused on how to keep things tidy during NASA’s Artemis 2 10-day moon mission, now set to launch no sooner than fall 2025.

NASA was looking for new toilet designs that would work both in microgravity and lunar gravity.

“To boldly go” is the standout headline for Pony. It’s the one she recalls off the top of her head, from among the 400-plus headlines.

“We expected it to go well but … It was one of the largest crowd-sourcing campaigns ever.”

There were more than 90,000 participants and the team stopped stopped counting after 400 articles as video clips, articles and headlines full of puns raced back-and-forth on their Slack channels.

Even the NASA comms team reached out stunned with the response, she recalled.

It’s the kind of work that brings a 95 per cent client retention rate, and accolades.

Pony grew up in L.A. and went to Berkley and built a name for herself working PR in San Francisco.

While embarking on a life of reiki and yoga retreats (including teaching) while living in Greater Victoria with her Canadian husband, she continued working with a group of women in San Fran who’d left agency life. They had a breadth of experience and she soaked it all in before landing her first official Pony Communications client in 2018 – The Foundation for Climate Restoration.

“That’s how Pony Communications started,” she told Black Press Media.

She’s slowly built to a team of five women, four living in Greater Victoria and one on the mainland, who maintain a client-centric focus.

“We take on clients we really enjoy working with and we’re passionate about in their respective industries who are doing amazing work. Then it’s easy for us to want to jump in with both feet and amplify their news, and be part of their journey.”

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In the last year alone, that’s led to securing 2,454 articles, features and mentions for its roster of clients across a broad range of industries including: disruptive tech, climate, sustainability, energy, cybersecurity, health tech, architecture and design, affordable housing, manufacturing, as well as executive thought leadership.

Amplifying the efforts of these companies to shape a better future led to a remarkable reach of 156 billion people, featuring placements in various top-tier media publications.

A recent winner of Inc.’s Power Partner Award, the team was honoured in five categories. That came on the heels of 11 other business awards for strategic relations campaigns resulting in high-impact reach and exposure.

“I have to bring it back to the team. Honestly we wouldn’t be where we are if it wasn’t for the team,” Pony said. “The fact clients have stayed with us for years is what I’m most proud of. It’s a testament to our work.”

Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

I'm dedicated to serving the community of Oak Bay as a senior journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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