Thursday, May 21, 2015

Loyalist PR grad Walks a Mile in Her Shoes

Congrats to Loyalist PR grad Alexander K Smith (2012/13), now an account coordinator at Environics Communications (Toronto) on his gleeful participation in today's Walk a Mile in Her Shoes Toronto

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is an annual event where
men, women and their families walk a mile in red, high heeled shoes to raise awareness in their communities about the serious causes, effects and remediations of men's sexualized violence against women.
Alexander is pictured with another Environics team member above right. Great job, Alexander -- we're proud of you!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

PR grad testimonial: Maggie Doucette (2013)

“The Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College gave me the interpersonal, technical, and strategic planning skills I needed to excel in a career in marketing and communications. The small class size and one-on-one teaching style gave me the confidence I needed to transition from a school environment into the workforce.” 

~ Maggie Doucette (PR 2013) 
Manager of Marketing & Communications, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada (Toronto, ON)

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Grad Profile: Brigitte Frances (2013/14)

Today's Loyalist PR grad profile features Brigitte Frances (2013/14), the new Development Coordinator for the National Air Force Museum of Canada Foundation.

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College, Brigitte completed a diploma in Addictions Worker and Counseling.

Loyalist PR: What made you decide to enrol in Post-Graduate Public Relations?

Brigitte Frances: It was my boyfriend who suggested I take public relations after he heard me critique a local event we had attended. I had no idea what public relations was, but I was compelled once I started doing research on PR professionals.

Loyalist PR: What are some of your duties as Development Coordinator at the National Air Force Museum of Canada Foundation?

Brigitte: My duties encompass a cross-section of everything in the program, from running day-to-day office duties and graphic design to maintaining and advancing current donor lists. Sourcing new streams of revenue is also a part of my job, along with helping to brand and market the Foundation as a stand-alone entity. I have the ability to start new fundraising projects from the ground up, and see them come to fruition.

Loyalist PR: How did Loyalist PR help prepare you for your current position?

Brigitte: It was the missing piece of my career, and gave me an understanding of the effect of communication. I was taught different perspectives of PR professional and that there is no cookie cutter version. 

Loyalist PR: Any highlights you'd like to share from your year in Loyalist PR?

Brigitte: Learning about fundraising and the not-for-profit sector really opened my eyes. I thought I knew what I wanted, but quickly realized that I had a lot to learn.

Loyalist PR: Any words of wisdom for this year's graduating students?

Brigitte: Listen twice as much as you speak -- and keep practicing your graphics skills. Learn as much as you can both inside and outside the classroom.

Loyalist PR: Thanks for your time, Brigitte -- all the best with your career! 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Grad Profile: Ashliegh Gehl (2013/14)

Today's Loyalist PR graduate profile features Ashliegh Gehl (2013/14) who is now employed as the Social Media Marketing Coordinator at Loyalist College.

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist, Ashliegh completed a degree from Lakehead University in Indigenous Studies and an advanced diploma in Journalism from Loyalist College. She continues to expand her learning with courses in creative, food and travel writing. 

Loyalist PR: What made you decide to enrol in Loyalist PR?

Ashliegh Gehl: When I was working as a journalist, I focused on arts and education. I found myself compelled by the public relations professionals I was interviewing. These people are lifelong learners who are perpetually curious about the world. I had spoken to a Loyalist PR grad (who also studied journalism) and the program seemed like a perfect fit.

Loyalist PR:  What are some of your duties as Social Media Marketing Coordinator? 

Ashliegh: My position is extremely well-rounded. I have a hand in every aspect of Marketing and Communications. I write profiles, edit magazine submissions, craft social media messages, monitor the media, send out press releases and attend events.

Loyalist PR: How did Loyalist PR help prepare you for your current role?

Ashliegh: When you’re developing a social media strategy, you’re tasked with making your content come alive. In small, meaningful social spaces (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram), you’re igniting a story. You’re building (and fostering) a community. Loyalist PR focuses on community building, strategy and creativity. Three essential skills I use every day.   

Loyalist PR: Are there any highlights of your year in Loyalist PR that you’d like to share?

Ashliegh: Discovering the depth and scope of Public Relations was a continual highlight. The field is like a bicycle wheel. Each spoke represents a different aspect of the field. From fundraising, to events, to agency, to education and the arts, the depth of the field seems endless.

Loyalist PR: I love that bicycle analogy (and plan to use it!). Any words of wisdom for this year’s graduating students?

Ashliegh: Take a cue from Canadian author and journalist Pierre Berton. In everything you create, be it in print or online, write about the people, write about the places. Berton died before Facebook, but I think he would’ve been an amazing digital storyteller (bowtie and all). 

As you venture into the exciting world of Public Relations and you’re writing your first social media strategy, take a step back and think of Berton. Every great story has people and every great story has place. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

What internship supervisors are saying...

Loyalist PR student Jenny Gilmer (second from left) interned with the Northumberland Hills Hospital. She teamed up with local businesses and residents to host the Northumberland Street Hockey Festival in support of the hospital.
What a great month it's been for Loyalist PR field placements! 

Our thanks to the 25 employers from Ottawa to Toronto and everywhere in between who provided awesome field placement experiences for our Post-Graduate Public Relations students here at Loyalist College.

Here are just a few of their observations about this year's interns: 

"The student exceeded every expectation I could have possibly had for her placement. In four short weeks, she became an indispensable asset to the team..."

"Extremely professional, a very fast learner, adaptable and doesn't hesitate to offer valuable input into the creative and implementation processes. I have never worked with a student so committed to a job well done."
Loyalist PR student Melanie Lyman (second from right) with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne at the recent launch of new Ontario Agri-Food Venture Centre.
"His focus on social media and suggestions for our web site have been invaluable."

"We were extremely impressed with the student's technical and interpersonal abilities in the office. Her dedication, focus and work output on the job should be a standard for all interns." 

"The student handled all assigned tasks with confidence and ability." 
Loyalist PR student Joanne Fralick expanded her vision during her internship with the National Air Force Museum of Canada in Trenton, Ontario. 
"The student was excellent: intelligent, informed, motivated and hard-working." 

"He eagerly tackled a variety of tasks with poise, asking for guidance only when necessary. He demonstrated his ability to work independently for the duration of his placement."

"The student was an excellent communicator. Her advanced skill set enabled her to do all tasks asked of her immediately. Highly professional. Very pleasant personality and strong work ethic..." 

"She showed initiative and was comfortable presenting her ideas to myself and our staff." 

"In addition to her fantastic interpersonal skills, the student's writing is clean and clear. She conducts interviews with confidence and poise. She worked very independently and with very little supervision. She not only gets the job done, but does an excellent job of it!"

"The student was an asset to our team, providing us with credible information on our event structure, and the data-minded information that was needed to assess our membership standings."

"She is very knowledgeable, respectful of others and was extremely helpful in creating support tools, as well as a social media schedule." 

"We are happy to have the student stay on with us..."

Way to go, everyone -- we're so proud of you all! 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Loyalist PR student wins Rotary scholarship

Congratulations to Loyalist PR student Clara Quinn (2014/15) on winning the 2015 Bob Michaud Memorial Scholarship for Leadership from the Rotary Club of Belleville. 

The Bob Michaud Bursary of $500 annually is awarded to a recipient 21 years of age or younger who has displayed the attributes of a student active in community service, who also displays entrepreneurial spirit and who is active in sports.

Dianne Spencer, on behalf of Loyalist College, presented Clara Quinn with this year's bursary. 

Clara, a student of the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program, was the communication media coordinator for the Women's Under-19 Floor Ball team, as well as team leader. She is an Enactus student member, and participated in the Build Belleville deputation.

She is the coach of the badminton varsity team, and is dedicated to keeping young professionals working in the region, and helping to attract new businesses to the area.

Way to go, Clara - we're proud of you! 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Grad Profile: Chris Robinson (2009/10)

Today's Loyalist PR Grad Profile features Chris Robinson (2009/10) who is now employed as the Western Canada Outreach Coordinator for Top Shot Hockey Inc. based in Richmond, BC.

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College, Chris completed a diploma in Radio Broadcasting.

Loyalist PR: What made you decide to enroll in the Post-Grad PR Program at Loyalist?

Chris Robinson: I wanted to enroll in the Loyalist PR program after speaking to students who took it in previous years. It seemed like a great opportunity to expand my skill set and provide me with a better opportunity to  land a job after college.

Loyalist PR: What are some of your current duties as Western Canada Outreach Coordinator?

Chris: I am responsible for expanding the Top Shot Hockey brand in western Canada. I work with organizers of hockey tournaments, public events and companies launching promotional campaigns to find ways our equipment can be used for their event. It can be anything from a fan zone for the World Juniors and Memorial Cup to launching a new product. I am also responsible for setting up and operating these events.

Loyalist PR: How did Loyalist PR help prepare you for your current role?

Chris: Loyalist PR prepared me in a variety of ways. It taught me how to make presentations with impact, how to manage client expectations, plan and execute public events, and to always have a contingency plan. It also taught me the importance of being prepared for any situation that may arise while holding an event.

Loyalist PR: Any highlights of your year in Loyalist PR that you'd like to share?

Chris: I enjoyed the entire year, and felt that the eight months just flew by. Two of the biggest highlights for me were the mock disaster and the fundraisers we organized. I plan and organize events on a regular basis, and the fundraiser for Loyalist PR was one of the first times I had the opportunity to create and execute an event for the general public.

Loyalist PR: Any words of advice for this year's graduating students?

Chris: Enjoy it, learn everything you can, hold onto your notes and buy the CP Style Guide. I still refer to hand-outs I received in the class as well as the style guide.

Also, if you're not great at graphic design, stick with it and practice, practice, practice! I did not like it in school, but have had to reteach myself how to use Illustrator and other Adobe programs in recent years for work. It was much nicer to have Peggy there guiding you!

Loyalist PR: It has been a pleasure to catch up with you, Chris -- enjoy that West Coast weather, and all the best with your thriving career!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Loyalist PR student in Kingston Whig Standard

Photo source: Kingston Whig Standard, April 17, 2015 (Michael Lea)
This past week, the Kingston Whig Standard published an article featuring Loyalist PR student Katie Stewart (2014/15).

Here is an excerpt from the article:

Katie Stewart has crammed an awful lot into her seven months at Loyalist College.

As well as taking a full-time post-graduate program in public relations, she spent her extracurricular hours working with a regional improvisation competition, an after-school drama program and almost a dozen fundraising activities that earned $18,000 for local charities. 

"And I also have a part-time job," she added.

The 23-year-old is currently doing a four-week internship program with the cultural services department at Kingston's City Hall.

To read the full article, click here. 

Way to go, Katie! 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Grad Profile: Jami Pollard (2012/13)

Today's Loyalist PR Grad Profile features Jami Pollard, Service & Event Coordinator at Isaiah Tubbs Resort in Picton, Ontario.

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College, Jami completed a two-year diploma in Business Administration at Loyalist.

Loyalist PR: What made you decide to enroll in Loyalist PR?

Jami Pollard: I have a passion for helping others, I've always been interested in event coordination, and I love to plan and organize. Public relations seemed like a perfect fit.

Loyalist PR: What are some of your duties as Service & Event Coordinator at Isaiah Tubbs Resort?

Jami: My position is constantly evolving and changing. I am the assistant to our Sales Manager. This means I communicate with clietns through email, by phone, as well as in person to attain details for their upcoming event. I set up and coordinate any weddings happening at the resort, and I input a lot of information and details to create event orders for any company conference, social event or wedding happening at Isaiah Tubbs. These are some of the requirements of this position, but every day is different, and that's what I love about it.

Loyalist PR: How did Loyalist PR help prepare you for your current position?

Jami: I learned a lot of valuable knowledge from this program. Loyalist PR taught me professional communication skills, improved my writing abilities and gave me the confidence to apply myself. I use these skills every day.

Loyalist PR: Any highlights you'd like to share from your year in Loyalist PR?

Jami: I met some great people and learned a lot. I always enjoyed our guest speakers. They were so full of energy and first-hand information based on their experience. But my favourite part of the program was always the execution of our events and fundraisers which we were so passionate about. I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for Loyalist PR.

Loyalist PR: Any words of wisdom for this year's graduating students?

Jami: It's an open road. Follow your heart. Do something you're passionate about. When things get tough, stay strong and you'll succeed.

Loyalist PR: Great advice, Jami! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, and all the best along your career path.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Grad Profile: Tonia Ebbers (2013/14)

Today's Loyalist PR Grad Profile features Tonia Ebbers (2013/14) who is now employed as the Marketing Assistant for Freedom 55 Financial/London Life in Belleville.

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College, Tonia completed a diploma in Business Sales and Marketing.

Following graduation, Tonia worked on contract as the Social Media and Special Events Coordinator for the Municipality of Napanee before moving into her new marketing role with Freedom 55/London Life.

Loyalist PR: What made you decide to enrol in Loyalist PR?

Tonia Ebbers: I really liked the idea of event planning and social media. I was always interested in planning events since I planned a few in high school. I also have an obsession for social media, and thought that it would be the coolest job in the world to do it for a living. I also enjoyed the marketing aspect of my Business Sales & Marketing diploma from Loyalist, and I thought Public Relations would go hand-in-hand with that.

Loyalist PR: How do you feel Loyalist PR helped prepare you for your current role?

Tonia: I think Loyalist PR helped prepare me for my current position, because I gained a lot of verbal and written communication skills. In my job now, I am constantly dealing with clients via email, as well as in person. 

The previous job I had was a Social Media and Special Events Coordinator, and PR definitely helped me land that role because of all the hands-on experience we gained throughout the school year planning events, social media plans,etc. My current position really liked the amount of experienced I gained from my previous position, and that's the main reason they hired me.

Loyalist PR: Can you share with us any highlights from your year in Loyalist PR?

Tonia: One of my favourite things in PR was Digital Media class. I loved that class, and have used a lot of the knowledge I gained when I was working as a Social Media and Special Events Coordinator in Napanee.

My employers were so impressed with the print and digital marketing I could create using InDesign and Photoshop. I also created an entire web site, and I wouldn't have known where to start if I hadn't taken Digital Media.

I also enjoyed creating the real social media plans and strategies for real-life clients. Another favourite was the internship portion of the program. My internship supervisor planned a perfect month for me where I could gain as much experience as possible. It was great!

Loyalist PR: Any words of advice for this year's graduating students?

Tonia: My advice would be to try and find an internship you're interested in, don't just settle for what's easiest. I worked really hard to land my internship with the Municipality of Prince Edward County, because I knew my dream job would be to do communications, social media and event planning for a municipality. I didn't land a job there, but it helped me secure my next position with the Town of Greater Napanee.

Don't get discouraged when you graduate and can't find a job in your field right away. Everything is very competitive, and lack of experience can be hard to overcome. Taking on internships, contract positions and volunteer work can help you gain some experience and hopefully help you land the perfect job.

Loyalist PR: Thanks for your insights, Tonia -- and good luck with the new position!

Loyalist PR students gain hands-on experience

Loyalist PR student Maclaine Chadwick participates in a donor tour while on field placement with University Hospitals Kingston Foundation. 
All is quiet on campus at the moment, as Loyalist PR students pursue their field placements from Ottawa to Toronto and everywhere in between.                                                          

Field placements help connect students with off-campus professionals who challenge them to hone their skills in such areas as PR writing, campaign creation, strategic analysis, communications planning, media measurement and more.
Loyalist PR student Maria Menjivar attends the filming of a local TV news segment with Loyalist PR grad Karen Parker of Downtown Belleville and MPP Todd Smith.
This year's students are interning with a variety of organizations, including (but not limited to): the Pan/Am Games Torch Run Relay, City of Kingston, United Way of Ottawa, University Hospitals of Kingston Foundation, Limestone District School Board, Hastings County, Bay of Quinte Tourism, Queens University, Todd Smith, Member of Provincial Parliament, Stirling Festival Theatre, National Air Force Museum of Canada and many more.

Have a great week on placement, everyone! 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Celebrating excellence at 2015 PRISM Awards

Photo courtesy of AMQ Photography
Loyalist PR students, faculty, staff and community partners gathered at Occasions by the Bay on Thursday, March 19th to celebrate student excellence at the 10th annual PRISM Awards.
Photo courtesy of AMQ Photography
What a great day it was to remember an amazing year, and look forward to new adventures!
Photo courtesy of AMQ Photography
We are pleased to announce the winners of this year's PRISM Awards in the following categories:

2015 PRISM Service Award 
Winner: Tina Storms
Runner-Up: Amelia Huffman

2015 PRISM Leadership Award 
Winner: Jenny Gilmer
Runner-Up: Clara Quinn

2015 PRISM Innovation Award 
Winner: Harrison Lenters 
Runner-Up: Richard Davis

2015 PRISM Teamwork Award 
Winner: Maclaine Chadwick 
Runner-Up: Kevin Ashbridge 

2015 PRISM Spirit Award 
Winner: Katie Stewart 
Runner-Up: Cynthia Millington-James 
2015 PRISM New Media Award
Winner: Kevin Ashbridge 
Runner-Up: Ben Cowie 

2015 PRISM Professionalism Award 
Winner: Ben Cowie 
Runner-Up: Melanie Lyman 

2015 PRISM Mentorship Award
Leona Hobbs

2015 PRISM Campaign of the Year:
Winners: Maclaine Chadwick, Cynthia Millington-James and Joanne Fralick

Runners Up: Katie Stewart, Chris Morris and Jenny Gilmer  

2015 Kay Staib Memorial Scholarship
Winners: Katie Stewart and Ben Cowie

Congratulations to everyone on a wonderful year!

Loyalist PR raises $4,000+ for local charities

Congratulations to our Loyalist PR students who achieved great results this month with their spring fundraisers (as part of Event Management class).
More than $4,000 was raised for local charities including the Alzheimer Society, Food for Learning, the Loyalist Humane Society, Quinte West Youth Centre, the Lung Association and the Quinte Children's Foundation.
So many amazing events, so many great learning experiences -- well done, everyone!

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Loyalist PR holds speed networking event

Thanks to all the local professionals who took part in yesterday's 2015 Loyalist PR Speed Networking event!

Specifically, we'd like to thank the following communications professionals who took part in the event:

Kyle Harms, Digital Marketing Specialist - Tourism Jasper (Alberta)

Marilyn Warren, Communications Coordinator - City of Belleville

Cst. Dave Ludington, Media Relations Officer - Quinte West OPP

Melissa Wakeling, Education and Marketing Coordinator - Glanmore National Historic Site

Natalie Walt - Sales and Marketing Coordinator - Sandbanks Winery

Marilyn Bucholtz, Communications & Outreach Coordinator - Lower Trent Conservation

Brad Warner, Fundraising Coordinator - Canadian Cancer Society

Laura Voskamp, Communications Coordinator - Bay of Quinte Tourism

Erica Holgate, Events Coordinator - Belleville Downtown Improvement Area

Kate Young, Owner and Operator - Affinity Strategic Communications

Great day, everyone!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Upcoming Loyalist PR event (March 7th):

Get in the game with Loyalist PR on March 8th

Basketball is the name of the game on Sunday, March 8th in the Loyalist College gymnasium. 

Gather four of your friends or family members and sign up for Hoops for Youth in support of the Quinte West Youth Centre. The entry fee of $50/team includes lunch and prizes for all participants. Games run from 9 am – 3 pm. 

You can visit the event's Facebook page by clicking here. To register your team or for more details, please email Eric Dowdall at  

Friday, February 20, 2015

Loyalist PR grad launches new film festival

Congratulations to Loyalist PR grad Jacob Cote (2013/14), co-founder of Northern Entertainment on the launch of Hollywood North Film Festival this past week.

The film festival takes place this July, and promises to be a great success with three sites (Belleville, Trenton and Picton) and plenty of amazing films to view.
Photo by Jerome Lessard of The Intelligencer
Follow Hollywood North Film Festival on Facebook and Twitter or visit their web site today.

Click here for related news article. 

See you all at Hollywood North Film Festival in July!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Join us at the "Dodge for a Cause" event!

Quinte area residents are invited to dip, duck, dive, dodge and donate at the first annual “Dodge for a Cause” dodgeball tournament coming to Loyalist College on March 7, 2015. 

Teams of 8-12 adults can register for $150 and are guaranteed three games of dodgeball. 

For some added fun there will be prizes for the best dressed team in attendance as well as an accuracy contest for individuals to enter. 

Lunch is provided, and all proceeds will be donated to the Quinte Children’s Foundation.

For more information, please email

We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Loyalist PR to support Food for Learning

In Hastings and Prince Edward County, it costs an average of $4 to provide a child with a balanced breakfast, healthy snack and nutritious lunch.
Through the Food for Learning program, more than 12,500 students in the Quinte area have had access to meals and snacks throughout their day at school.
Please help the Post-Grad Public Relations students as they support the Food for Learning program on Saturday, March 7th at Dewes Independent Grocer from 10 am - 4pm, located at 400 Dundas Street East.
Make a donation to Food for Learning when you check out, and we’ll bag your groceries for free!
Your donation will make a difference for a child in the Quinte community.
Help us take a bite out of hunger!
For more information, please contact Danielle Barnard at .
Thanks for your support!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Speakers visit from Ottawa and Toronto

Tara Tomulka, Media Relations Manager, Marketwired
A brisk, winter's day couldn't keep away two great guest speakers from Loyalist PR yesterday. 

Thanks to Natalie Bovair of SavoireFaire Public Relations (Ottawa) and Tara Tomulka, Media Relations Manager for Marketwired (Toronto) for sharing their experiences and insights with this year's Post-Graduate Public Relations students.

Natalie Bovair, SavoirFaire Public Relations
Natalie's discussion about PR agency life, billing practices and career progression was a great conversation starter. 

Tara covered a number of topics, including news release essentials, how to master digital story telling, content distribution and the importance of multimedia and social media in today's marketplace.

A huge thank you to both of these women for taking the time to visit and share their knowledge with us. 

Friday, February 06, 2015

PR students team up to assist Lung Association

Explore downtown Belleville in search of hidden gems on Saturday, March 14, 2015! 

Join us at Belleville's Market Square from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. for a scavenger hunt in support of the Lung Association (Hastings branch). 

Team-up or scavenge solo, receive your passport-style booklet and begin your hunt to support a worthy cause. 

The event has been organized by Post-Graduate Public Relations students at Loyalist College, and is being held with the support of downtown businesses, city hall and the Belleville Downtown Improvement Area (BDIA). 

Each team that submits a completed passport will have a chance to win a gift basket valued at approximately $250. Passports are $5 per adult, $2 per child and $10 for a family of five.

For more information, please email 

And remember -- if you can't breathe, nothing else matters!

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Loyalist PR students to host free film night

The second annual Loyalist TV/NM Film Festival returns to Loyalist College on Wednesday, February 25th from 6 pm - 8 pm in Alumni Hall.

Student teams from the Loyalist College Television & New Media program (TVNM) have been working diligently on four-minute productions as part of the Advanced Field Production course.

As part of the course, students have been challenged to research, pitch, write, film and edit their films to later be showcased in front of a panel of local documentary filmmakers.

The Post-Graduate Public Relations students of Loyalist College are pleased to be hosting the evening screening on February 25th. 

The event is free to all staff, students, faculty and the general public. 

A reception will follow in the Shark Tank Pub. We hope to see you there! 

For more information, please email

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

$18,659 raised for United Way of Quinte!

Students of the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program were on hand today for the presentation of a cheque for $18,659 to the United Way of Quinte.

Back in November, Loyalist PR students raised more than $12,600 with their fall Truckload Sale -- a great event with plenty of support and enthusiasm from the entire Loyalist College community! 

Congrats to our Loyalist PR students for all their hard work and community-minded service. 

We're proud of you! 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Grad Profile: Tara Bolger (2010/11)

Today's Loyalist PR Grad Profile features Tara Bolger (2010/11) who is now employed as an account manager for BlueSky Communications in Toronto.

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College, Tara completed a diploma in Advertising (also at Loyalist).

Loyalist PR: What made you decide to enroll in the Post-Grad PR Program at Loyalist?

Tara Bolger: I really wanted to take something extra to not only complement what I learned in advertising, but also to add a completely new skill set to my portfolio. Advertising and PR fit perfectly together. I also heard great things about the certificate from friends and peers in the advertising program.

Loyalist PR: What are some of your duties as an account manager at BlueSky Communications?

Tara: I work with different clients on day-to-day management and media outreach. I spend a lot of my time developing and pitching story angles, coordinating interviews and monitoring for media coverage. I get to do a lot of writing which is wonderful because that's what I love -- everything from story angles to briefing notes to social media posts.

Loyalist PR: How did the PR program help prepare you for your current role?

Tara: Loyalist PR helped prepare me in so many ways. One of the biggest would be the client projects we worked on. Being able to develop real PR plans was something I really benefited from. Loyalist PR also gave me confidence in myself and my abilities.

Loyalist PR: Any highlights from your year in the PR program that you'd like to share?

Tara: All of the hands-on projects we did, especially the fundraisers. It really didn't feel like work, because my peers became friends and everyone in the program was there for the same reason. Every day I learned something new, and not just from the professors, but from my peers as well.
Loyalist PR: Any words of advice for this year's PR students?
Tara: If you really want something, go for it -- don't let anything hold you back. I remember wanting an internship at Skate4Cancer so badly, but thought there was no way I was going to get one. After talking with peers and Kerry, I realized it was totally possible. I sent an email and resume and reached out via social media. I ended up getting a Skype interview with the Skate4Cancer team and on that call, I got the internship. As cheesy as it sounds, nothing is impossible if you're willing to put in the work and effort.
You leave the PR program with the skills you need to succeed, and a strong network of professionals who are always there to answer any questions you have.

Loyalist PR: Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, Tara! We're proud of you -- keep up the amazing work!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Toronto guest sheds light on MRPs

It was a busy week, capped off with a great visit today from Jenny Cruxton, Business Development Manager for Toronto's Fifth Story (formerly News Canada).

Jenny provided Loyalist PR students with a great presentation on Media Relations Ratings Points (MRPs), and their impact on the metrics of a PR campaign or event.

Always a pleasure, Jenny -- thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Qualitative training with Quadra Research

Our thanks today to Ellen Cooper, President of Quadra Research who visited Post-Grad Public Relations students recently to deliver training on qualitative analysis.

Ellen's 25+ years of experience in the market research industry provided students with excellent insight into focus groups and their impact on a company's brand.

Thanks for stopping by, Ellen -- we enjoyed the learning experience (and the bubble gum)!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Loyalist PR to host free media workshops

The Post-Graduate Public Relations students at Loyalist College will host a series of free media workshops for local non-profit organizations on Monday, March 9th and Thursday, March 12th.  

Designed to help local agencies build their brands, the hour-long sessions will educate participants on new and emerging digital marketing tools, including mobile fundraising, online surveys, crowdfunding, Storify, Pinterest, and Prezi.

“We’ve held this community workshop series several times in the past with excellent feedback from participants,” says Professor Kerry Ramsay, program coordinator. 

“For small communication teams, this event provides a valuable connection to peers in the field and an opportunity to explore the latest multimedia and multiplatform communications," adds Ramsay. "The networking aspect of the community workshop series is really appreciated by non-profit agencies.”

Any non-profit agency, Loyalist student, staff or faculty member interested in participating in the upcoming media workshop series can reserve a spot for one or more sessions. 

For a full schedule of sessions and to register, please email

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Guest speaker stops by to discuss PR metrics

This week the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program welcomed Stephen Harrington, Managing Director of Client Success for Meltwater Canada (Toronto) as a guest speaker.

Since this week's focus has been on monitoring, measurement and metrics, Stephen's presentation of Meltwater's multimedia public relations platform was both timely and relevant.

Students learned more about how a service like Meltwater can have a major impact on the evaluation of a media relations, social media or event strategy. 
Thanks for stopping by, Stephen -- we enjoyed the visit and learned a lot! 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Grad Profile: Ryan Dickison (2012/13)

Today's Loyalist PR Grad Profile features Ryan Dickison (12/13) who now works as the full-time Operations Manager with Basketball Nova Scotia (BNS). 

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College, Ryan completed a Bachelor of Arts (major in Psychology) at Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and a post-graduate Sports Journalism & Broadcasting diploma at Loyalist College. 

Loyalist PR: What made you decide to enroll in Loyalist PR?

Ryan Dickison: I wanted to further my education, and thought public relations was an excellent opportunity to hone my writing skills, as well as learn new techniques in building and maintaining positive working relationships. 

Loyalist PR: What are some of your duties in your position as Operations Manager?

Ryan: I am the first line of communication with our membership and for all general inquiries. I am also responsible for the communication of content for all official platforms for BNS, which includes writing and editing content for the organization's official web site. I also write for the BNS social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. 

I provide ongoing support and assistance for the Executive Director, Technical Director/Provincial Coach, Board of Directors and also coordinate and manage key BNS programs and events from an operational perspective. 

Loyalist PR: How did Loyalist PR help prepare you for your current position?

Ryan: Thanks to Loyalist PR, I was able to secure an internship in Nova Scotia (my home province), which ultimately led to a full-time position and dream job. I am extremely blessed to be doing something I love, all the while being close to my friends and family.

Loyalist PR: Could you share with us any highlights from your year in Loyalist PR?

Ryan: I took great pride in helping to plan and prepare the Loyalist College Lancers Athletic Banquet. I also thoroughly enjoyed the field trip to Toronto where (among other things) we attended the George Stroumboulopoulos Show at CBC.

Loyalist PR: Any words of advice for this year's Loyalist PR crew?

Ryan: Find your passion and pursue it with everything you have. As cliche as it may sound, "Sucess is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you truly love what you are doing, you will be successful." 

Loyalist PR: Thanks, Ryan! We're proud of you and all your accomplishments, and wish you all the best in the future. 

Friday, January 09, 2015

Loyalist PR grad wins industry award

Loyalist PR grad Amanda Attard and the E=MC2 Events team accept their award.
Congratulations to Loyalist PR grad, Amanda Attard, event coordinator at E=MC2 Events for her team's big win last night at the 2015 Gala Awards in Anaheim, California sponsored by Special Events magazine

The E=MC2 team won for “Best Event Produced for a Corporation or Association: Overall Budget Above $500,000” for their “BC/Vancouver Night.” 

We're proud of you, Amanda! 
Amanda and the E=MC2 Events team in Anaheim, California.

Interested in learning more about becoming an event planner? The Post-Graduate Public Relations program at Loyalist College is now accepting applications for the fall of 2015. 

Why not enroll today and see where YOUR career will take YOU!