Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Grad Profile: Clara Quinn (2014/15)

Today's Loyalist PR Graduate Profile features Clara Quinn (2014/15), who is now employed as the Event & Office Coordinator for the Small Business Centre in Belleville, Ontario.

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

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

Clara Quinn: Ever since my senior year of high school, I wanted to do a specific sports post-grad program I had my eye on for awhile, because I thought it was my only way of getting ahead in the sports industry. During my second year of Business, I ended up volunteering as the Media & Marketing Director for the 2016 Under-19 Women's World Floorball Championships to be held in Belleville in 2017. I wanted skills to complement that role.

I had heard about Loyalist PR through someone who was in the program at the time, and I realized PR had endless amounts of career possibilities in all types of industries. Loyalist PR grads have a stellar reputation - we're everywhere! I knew it was the program that would help me develop and improve the skills I was already using every day in sports.

Loyalist PR: How did Loyalist PR help prepare you for your current role with the Small Business Centre?

Clara: My internship was the "TSN Turning Point" so far in my career. My former co-workers at my internship had referred me to the Small Business Centre when they found out they were trying to fill a contract position, and the rest was history! 

I also loved having a complete portfolio by the end of the semester -- knowing you're prepared to back your skills and experience up is so comforting during an interview. The event management, writing and design classes taught me skills I use every day in my job and for my volunteering roles. 

Loyalist PR: Tell us a bit about what you do every day.

Clara: I organize a multitude of workshops that we host at the Small Business Centre every month. Also, when there is an event being hosted by one of our five municipal partners, I assist in those larger events. I'm also the main person helping to organize the larger annual events the Small Business Centre runs. The smaller (yet still important) tasks I also perform include various office admin duties, updating our social media accounts, designing marketing materials for all events, and providing marketing and media consulting for our new/existing business start-up clients as required.

Loyalist PR: What do you like about your job?

Clara: I meet a lot of people from all over the Bay of Quinte area and around the world in all types of businesses. I also get to reinforce relationships in my current job with people I've met through my role with the World Championships. I love having some creative freedom, and being the person running the show behind the scenes. Seeing the relief our clients have after you've coached them through something new makes it all worth it.

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

Clara: My three stand-out highlights include my internship, the class trip to Toronto and scrumptious potlucks. I got some incredible mentoring and experience from my internship with Bay of Quinte Tourism, and the job referral was the cherry on top. The Toronto trip was eye-opening for me, because I could bond with my classmates and learn about bigger companies that focus on PR. And as for the much-anticipated potlucks -- need I say more?

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

Clara: Learn Adobe design and keep your design skills fresh -- I've found it's what gives you the edge over other job hunters. Pay attention to new programs and software that you'll learn from your classmates. And as far as internship goes: 1) Be yourself 2) Select an internship where you'll be mentored and 3) Find an internship that has contacts in the industry you want to be in. 

Finally, never stop dreaming!

Loyalist PR: Thanks for your time, Clara - we're proud of all you've accomplished! Good luck in the future, we'll be following your career as it develops. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Grad Profile: Jenny Gilmer (2014/15)

Today's Loyalist PR graduate profile features Jennifer Gilmer (2014/15) who is now employed as the Communications Coordinator for Ontario's Highlands Tourism Organization.

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College, Jenny completed a degree is Sociology/Geography at the University of British Columbia's Okanagan Campus.

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

Jennifer Gilmer: A mentor of mine recommended that I took into PR at Loyalist. I was really interested in working in the non-profit industry, especially in the fundraising field. I conducted an informational interview, and my mentor recommended the program as a way to build on all I had learned at university with more practical, "real world" experience.

Loyalist PR: What are some of your duties as Communications Coordinator with Ontario Highlands Tourism Organization?

Jenny: My duties include the internal and external communications for the organization. Internally, I create and send out communications pieces to our members and operators, and am also a touch point for operators and members who have questions or who are looking to partner with different initiatives. 

Externally, I handle our media relations, schedule familiarization tours in the region, maintain our industry web site, respond to visitor inquiries and connect visitors with operators in the region.

Loyalist PR: What do you like most about your job?

Jenny: I really enjoy the creative aspects of my job. I love the writing opportunities and enjoy planning unique trips to showcase our region. It's not exactly where I saw myself when I first started the PR program, but it's an industry I really love being a part of now, with a lot of unique opportunities and awesome people.

Loyalist PR: How did the Post-Grad Public Relations Program at Loyalist help prepare you for your current role?

Jenny: Loyalist PR prepared me for the position by providing me with the practical skills and knowledge to tackle a wide variety of tasks. I think most importantly, it gave me the confidence in my ability to take on challenges and perform my job independently.

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

Jenny: All of the quirky moments and jokes. I enjoyed that the class really became a close-knit group, and offered a lot of support and encouragement to one another. Even now, alumni often share job opportunities and I reach out to my former classmates for advice or just to chat all the time.

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

Jenny: Take it all in, and try not to stress out! Don't brush off anything you're learning as not applicale to you, as you never know where your future will lead or what industry you'll end up in. You might just find yourself scrambling to find notes one day on how to properly address a letter to the Governor General!

Loyalist PR: Thank so much for your insights, Jenny - and good luck in your new position! 

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Fall classes begin today!

A warm welcome to the new Post-Grad Public Relations students here at Loyalist College. We're in for an exciting year! 

Thanks for joining us -- let's get started...

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Grad Profile: Katie Stewart (2014/15)

Today's Loyalist PR grad profile features Katie Stewart (2014/15) who is now employed as the Sales & Marketing Coordinator at Diamond Hotels Management Inc. in Kingston, Ontario. 

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College, Katie completed her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Stage and Screen Studies from Queen's University.

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

Katie Stewart: After going to university, I knew I either wanted to pursue a masters degree or go for a post-grad program that would give me hands-on experience. As you can see, I sent the post-grad route! The PR Program is versatile to any industry, including arts and entertainment, health care, private and public sectors. It opens a lot of doors (and windows). It was the right choice.

Loyalist PR: How did the Post-Grad PR Program help prepare you for your current role with Diamond Hotels Management?

Katie: First and foremost, my internship at Loyalist gave me the networking connections to get this role. My supervisor passed on my name to one of her colleagues, and the rest is history! Our in-class preparation was essential as well. I use our studies in social media management and digital design daily.

Loyalist PR: Could you describe some of your daily duties for us?

Katie: Each day I write posts for each of our 12 social media channels, update each of the digital display boards within the hotel, work on branding collateral for each property, as well as facilitate the billing and event orders in the sales department. I've also done crazy things like order new lounge furniture (I love shopping!) and working with brand new display technology from Samsung.

Loyalist PR: What do you enjoy the most about your job?

Katie: I love that each day brings another challenge. In my role, I assist with the marketing of four hotels, one restaurant and one banquet centre as well as assisting the sales team of one of these properties. There's always something to do! There's always more to learn, and I'm lucky that the people I surround myself with are some of the best in the business, so they're willing to mentor me (and learn new things from me too). I also have a pretty great view from my window...

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

Katie: I was one of the kooky ones in Loyalist PR. Some of my favourite moments were times that the class was just able to laugh together -- and that happened often! Whether we were laughing at a terrible presentation (don't worry, they happen!), dancing or pot lucking, Loyalist PR is full of those "good for the soul" moments of laughter.

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

Katie: My suggestion is to be confident in your abilities. Clean up your social media presence. Pay attention in digital design. Dance and bring in rewards for your classmates for sitting through your presentation. Chocolate money seems to work best.

Loyalist PR: Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, Katie! All the best with your new role. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Loyalist PR grad accompanies 2015 Torch Run

Congratulations to recent Loyalist PR grad Eric Dowdall on his successful communications/media role in this summer's PanAm games Torch Run Relay!

This year's Torch Run took place over 41 days and:

* 3,000 torchbearers
* covered 5,000+ km on the road 
* covered 15,000 km in the air 
* visited 130 communities
* and included 60+ alternative modes of transportation 

Check out the 2015 PanAm Games which run from July 10th - 26th. 

Go, Canada!

Local film festival stars Loyalist PR grad

Be sure to check out Loyalist PR grad Jacob Cote's brainchild, Hollywood North Film Festivalhappening THIS weekend in Belleville, Trenton and Picton. For Jacob's recent TV interview on CKWS, click on the image above (hooray for Loyalist PR media training!). Fifty films from around the world -- don't miss it this great event!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Grad Profile: Danielle Barnard (2014/15)

Today's Loyalist PR grad profile features Danielle Barnard (2014/15) who graduated two weeks ago here at Loyalist College. Since May, she has been employed as the Content Strategist at Crafted Stories Content Studio in Ottawa. 

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations program, Danielle completed a Business Sales & Marketing diploma at Loyalist College. 

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

Danielle Barnard: When I first decided to attend Loyalist College I had my heart set on Event Management. After completing the Sales and Marketing program, I was told that PR would be the perfect program for me.

Loyalist PR: What are some of your duties in your current role?

Danielle: As the Content Strategist I have a variety of jobs. A lot of my job consists of researching and creating writing pieces for our clients, whether it be press releases, Kickstarter campaigns, social media plans, content or creative briefs. Each client project is completely different, so I am always in charge of a different writing piece.

Loyalist PR: What do you like most about your job?

Danielle: I absolutely love my job. Each day is different; there are always new projects that are completely different in their own way. I work in an environment where everyone works as a team, and is always encouraging each other. My teammates each have their own unique skills, and it’s exciting to see how well everyone’s work comes together in the end for the final project. 

Crafted Stories is such a unique company that allows me to show my creative and professional side on every client project. Even though we are a small company, we are creating projects that showcase the strengths and uniqueness of all our clients in a big way.  This job has helped build my confidence further and to me, this is extremely important as a young person just out of school.

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

Danielle: Confidence: the most important step to success. You are constantly pushed out of your comfort zone in the program, and it’s amazing what the end result is. You spend your first semester learning a variety of skills and then second semester you really get to test it by doing client projects. It also helped me discover an entirely different set of jobs. I went into PR thinking I would become an Event Manager and here I am working as a Content Strategist. Thanks to the PR program, I found a new passion and excelled in a variety of skills such as writing, presenting and networking.

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

Danielle: Where do I even start? Last year was amazing. The people you meet will become lifetime friends. The class potlucks were definitely a favourite of everyone, but I would have to say the biggest highlight would be the Toronto trip. Visiting with a variety of PR professionals and seeing them in action was great. It helped bond with your classmates and see what some of the alumni were doing, while of course having an amazing day touring Toronto!

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

Danielle: Take it all in and put your all into everything; you’ll be surprised how much of this stuff you actually use and how much of an advantage it gives you when showing an employer your portfolio. Take advantage of the internship. You never know if it will land you a job or direct you in the right way; people have connections.

Make sure you go for the dream internship, no matter how impossible it may seem. Be picky when choosing an internship as well; you should be selling your skills to them, but they should also be selling themselves to you. An internship should teach you and grow your experience as a PR professional. 

If you work hard you will land the dream job eventually.  I am currently at a job I can go to every day excited and ready to prove my skills! 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Loyalist PR grad travels to UK for World Party

Loyalist PR grad Shorey Andrews (2006/07) spent the past week in London, England with the Just Eat World Conference. 

Based in Toronto, Shorey is now a copywriter for Just Eat Canada

Looks like a fun way to earn a living -- next time take us with you, Shorey!

Thursday, June 04, 2015

PR grad testimonial: Devon Taylor (2011/12)

“A year out of university without any leads for a career in communications led me to apply to the Loyalist PR program; it was the best decision of my life

Not only did I gain confidence and learn valuable skills that I use daily, I made strong professional connections and friendships. 

Loyalist opened many doors and has taken me to Toronto and back. Now I manage all the PR and communications for a local non-profit and I’m loving it!”

~ Devon Taylor, Communications & Development Coordinator, Trenton Military Family Resource Centre  

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Grad Profile: Stephanie Sant (2010/11)

Today's Loyalist PR Grad Profile features Stephanie Sant (2010/11) who is employed as a Digital Content Specialist with Dogs Naturally Magazine in Barrie, Ontario.

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College, Steph completed a diploma in Broadcast Journalism at Loyalist College. 

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

Stephanie Sant: I had my eye on the PR program at Loyalist College during my last year of Broadcast. Being the small, tight-knit community that the college is, I knew a few people who were in the program and highly recommended it. 

I knew the post-graduate program would open more doors in my career, plus there were many aspects of the program that were right up my alley including event planning, fundraising and presenting. I had no idea the program would open my eyes to graphic design and social media, which is where my path has taken me since then! 

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

Stephanie: Loyalist PR helped build my confidence and give me the structure I needed to be successful. Our professors were incredibly inspiring and put the time in to make sure everyone succeeded. We spent hours building campaigns from scratch, working with real charities and designing material for actual marketing purposes. The entire experience was hands-on and I was lucky to be apart of a class that was so dedicated and supportive; it made it easy and enjoyable to work as a team. 

Loyalist PR: What are some of your duties in your role?

Stephanie: I build online marketing campaigns and advertisements, post articles daily to social media, work with a team to put together large scale online webinars, help build out the magazine during production and finally, I work with writers to assign and collect content. 

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

Stephanie: Oh boy, I would have to say the United Way Truckload Sale. The entire class worked on this event and it was a long long long day. But so rewarding. We sold Procter & Gamble products for a fraction of the price and the collected funds went back to the United Way. The event was right before Christmas so it was a great time to catch shoppers! 

Loyalist PR: Any advice for this week’s graduating students?

Stephanie: Listen to Kerry, she's never wrong, LOL!  Seriously, my advice would be to work hard, be yourself and follow your heart. I know people hear that all the time, but it's true! There is such thing as working in a job you love, for real, it exists, it took me a long time to get there, but in the end it's worth it!  

Loyalist PR: Thanks for your time, Steph -- and good luck with your career in the years ahead! 

Monday, June 01, 2015

PR grad testimonial: Shonna Spicer (2012/13)

“The Loyalist CollegePublic Relations program definitely prepared and made me feel more confident when entering this popular industry. Everything we did was hands-on, from communications planning and graphic design to event management for actual clients. The small class size really made it feel like a real workplace environment.”

~ Shonna Spicer (PR 2013), Coordinator, Development & Fan Initiatives, Jays Care Foundation, Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club  

Friday, May 29, 2015

PR grad testimonial: Alex Sancton (2007/08)

"I knew that my undergrad degree alone would not get me far in the competitive field of international development. At Loyalist we applied that theory to hands-on, practical skills. 

Now I’m responsible for helping to provide compelling Canada-wide communications, so employees are more effectively informed and engaged to accomplish World Vision Canada’s goals, objectives and mission. 

I couldn’t be happier about where I am in my career and the opportunities I’ve been given to grow." 

~ Alex Sancton (PR 2008), Manager, Strategy and Internal Communications, World Vision (Toronto) 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Loyalist PR student wins national award

TORONTOMay 25, 2015 /CNW/ The Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) and CNW, a PR Newswire Company, are pleased to announce Katie Stewart as the 2015 CPRS/CNW Student Award of Excellence winner. Stewart will be acknowledged during the 2015 CPRS National Awards Gala on June 2 in Montreal, QC.
"I am beyond thrilled to accept this year's CPRS/CNW Student Award of Excellence. Public Relations is such a dynamic, exciting field that I am humbled to be recognized for my contributions to it thus far," said Stewart. "I can't wait to see what the future has in store for me!"
"On behalf of everyone at CNW, congratulations Katie!" said Nicole Guillot, President & CEO, CNW. "CNW is proud to support outstanding students like Katie as they transition into their communications and PR careers."
Stewart's nominator for the award, Kerry Ramsay, Professor and Coordinator, Post-Graduate Public Relations Program, Loyalist College, noted that Stewart is an active volunteer outside of the classroom and is well respected by her classmates.
"'Spirited' aptly describes Katie," said Ramsay. "With infectious energy and enthusiasm, Katie has the remarkable ability to make even the most daunting task seem manageable. Katie demonstrates the capacity to work cooperatively, maintaining a high degree of honesty and integrity."
Established jointly by CPRS and CNW, the award recognizes student excellence in the public relations and communications management field. Students must have been studying at an undergraduate, diploma or certificate level. Winners receive a certificate and $1,000 cash award from CNW. CPRS will provide Stewart with a complimentary CPRS Affiliate Membership. The Affiliate Membership is a new category designed specifically for new practitioners entering the profession following the completion of post-secondary public relations studies.
SOURCE Canadian Public Relations Society

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!