Friday, October 24, 2014

Loyalist PR Alumni Panel inspires students

The Loyalist PR faculty and students would like to thank the amazing graduates of our Post-Graduate Public Relations Program who came out yesterday for our 9th annual Loyalist PR Alumni Panel.

Participants included:

* Devon Taylor, Account Executive, Instigator Communications (Toronto)

* Luc Fournier, Membership Coordinator, Belleville & District Chamber of Commerce

* Alexander Smith, Account Coordinator, Environics Communications (Toronto) 

* Jeannie Maidens, Special Events Coordinator, Municipality of Port Hope

* Jerika Bradford, Communications Officer, Canadian Wildlife Federation (Ottawa)

* Lola McMurter, Special Events Coordinator, Lung Association (Belleville)

* Jessica Chartrand, Online & Social Media Coordinator, Revue Design (Belleville) 

* Bryna Jones, Community of Practice/Communications Coordinator, World Vision International (Washington DC) 

Thanks to all those who participated. We wish you the best of success in your careers! 

Photo courtesy of Hannah Eden, Loyalist College Marketing & Communications

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Grad Profile: Katrina White (2013/14)

Katrina White (far left) at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival 
Today's Loyalist PR Graduate Profile features Katrina White (2013/14) who is now employed as an Account Coordinator at Aerial Communications in Toronto.

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College, Katrina completed a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Guelph with a major in Political Science and a minor in History.

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

Katrina White: I enrolled in Loyalist PR after hearing about the program from a family friend. I thought the courses looked comprehensive and more applied than my previous education. The program seemed to be a great compliment to volunteer work that I did while at university.

Loyalist PR: Could you describe to us some of the responsibilities of your current role?

Katrina: In my current position I write news releases, manage social media accounts, create newsletters, add to media lists and monitor media. I communicate with clients and report back to them. I also plan events and carry out social media contests. One highlight was getting to prepare a client for television interviews. No two clients or days are the same.
Katrina at the Toronto International Film Festival 
Loyalist PR: What do you enjoy most about your job?

Katrina: We work with a lot of travel/ tourism clients, which is really interesting to me. I love travelling and am really passionate about the spectacular wine and culinary tourism options right here in Ontario.

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

Katrina: Loyalist PR gave me a well-rounded set of skills that benefit me on a daily basis. The program prepared me for writing for many different platforms and audiences. I also gained valuable skills in problem solving and event planning that have been very useful.

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

Katrina: The biggest highlight was the amazing friends that I met in Loyalist PR. Having that support group in school allowed us to achieve some really great events and creative projects. 

I was with a group of people who were engaged and excited to go to networking events and make the most out of the opportunities we had. We continue to bounce ideas off each other now that we are working in different areas.

Katrina with fellow grads at Convocation Day 2014
Loyalist PR: Any words of wisdom for this year’s Loyalist PR students?

Katrina: You get out of Loyalist PR what you put into it. There were aspects that really intimidated me. I almost didn’t take the program when I saw that there was a digital design class. However, it became one of my favourite classes thanks to an incredibly supportive teacher. I learned that it is never too late to learn a new skill and that you should never tell yourself that you can’t do something

I approached the program determined to take every opportunity that came my way. I encourage students to attend as many networking events as possible and read as much about the industry as you can. I found the professional association memberships particularly useful. The IABC and CPRS both hold really great events for students - go to them!

Loyalist PR: Thanks for your time, Katrina - and good luck in your new position! 

CPRS Toronto President visits Loyalist PR

The faculty and students of the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program of Loyalist College would like to sincerely thank CPRS Toronto President Maryjane Martin for visiting our class this week.

Maryjane provided an excellent overview of the Canadian Public Relations Society (of which all Loyalist PR students are members). 

She also highlighted the eight trends affecting the PR industry today, as well as seven issues facing business in general.

The session also introduced students to the benefits of being CPRS members, both now and after graduation.

Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to spend the morning with us, Maryjane! 

Loyalist PR takes a road trip to Toronto

One of the highlights of the fall semester is our annual trip to Toronto -- and this year did not disappoint!

We'd like to say as HUGE thanks to the great organizations that hosted us this year:

Rogers Centre and Blue Jays Care Foundation 

Ripleys Aquarium

Steam Whistle Brewery

It was great to meet with the public relations and marketing staff from these great organizations.

And of course -- thanks to all of our amazing students who made this a day to remember! 

CBC Studios

See you again soon, Toronto! 

Photos courtesy of Ben Quaiff, Loyalist College Marketing & Communications Department

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Guest speakers visits Loyalist PR students

Rhonda Cunningham
Thanks to Rhonda Cunningham, Executive Director of the Northumberland Hills Hospital and Stephen Paul, Economic Development Manager for the County of Lennox & Addington for spending the day with us today here in Loyalist PR.

Learning points ranged from major gifts to promoting tourist destinations and community events on a global scale.

Stephen Paul

The interaction of guest speakers in our Post-Graduate Public Relations program here at Loyalist College provides students with valuable networking opportunities, as well as a view of the public relations/communications world from the vantage point of various sectors.

We look forward to hearing about new and exciting ventures from both of these guest speakers and their organizations in the future!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Loyalist PR attends fall networking sessions

A BIG thanks to all the local PR and communications professionals who took part in this week's "Out of Classroom Experience" with our Loyalist PR students.
Thanks to the dedicated time and talent of the following individuals and organizations, we were able to spend a fulfilling morning of networking and learning about public relations in various micro-sessions around the Quinte area:

Destination Branding Micro-Session:

1    - Sarah Tummon, Assistant to the Mayor, City Hall 
-     - Karen Parker, Executive Director - Belleville Downtown Improvement Area (DBIA)  
-     - Lucas Wales, General Manager - Land O Lakes Tourist Association  
-     - Colleen Vickers, Special Events Coordinator – City of Quinte West
      - Kasey Pollard, Destination Development Coordinator – Hastings County
-     - Dug Stevenson, Director – Bay of Quinte Tourism
       - Mary Anne Walmsley, Projects Coordinator Build Belleville

Health Care Micro-Session:

1    - Jennifer Barrett, Director of Development – Belleville General Hospital Foundation  
-     - Rachel Pearsall, PR & Fund Development Director – Hospice Quinte
       - Hannah Brown, Fund Development Coordinator – The Alzheimer Society 
      - Matthew Del Grosso, Fundraising Coordinator – Canadian Cancer Society, Belleville Chapter
      - Sara Hamil, Social Media Manager – Quinte Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine  

Environmental Micro-Session: 

 Jennifer May-Anderson, Communications Manager - Quinte Conservation  
      - Jeff Lauritsen, Owner & Communications Consultant – Ripple Communications
      - Sarah Midlane Jones, Communications Coordinator - Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan
-     - Becky MacWhirter, Sustainability Coordinator - Loyalist College 

Non-Profit Micro-Session:

- Bonnie Perrigard, Communications Coordinator - Highand Shores Children’s Aid 
Sylvia Draaistra, Volunteer & Fundraising Coordinator – Habitat for Humanity
- Kirsten Geisler, Director’s Assistant – Gleaners Food Bank
- Marilyn Lawrie, Executive Director – Quinte School of Ballet   

Education Micro-Session: 

- Melanie Barrett, Advancement Office Coordinator – Albert College 
-    - Kerry Donnell, Communications Officer – Prince Edward Hastings School Board
-    - Kerry Lorimer, Marketing & Communications Director – Loyalist Colleg
-    - Maribeth deSnoo, Executive Director – Prince Edward Hastings School Board Learning Foundation 

Students enjoyed the experience (as well as the opportunity to meet many Loyalist PR alumni), and the ensuing in-class discussion as we all shared our insights from this informative morning.

Thanks again to ALL our participants!

Photo credit: Ben Quaiff, Marketing & Communications Department, Loyalist College 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Getting OUT of the classroom...

Part of our philosophy here in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program is that learning can take place both inside AND outside the classroom.

For this reason, we've enjoyed some fun times OUTSIDE our regular classroom over the past couple of days, including a mood walk and team building at Quinte Conservation...

... as well as slack lining at Loyalist College (see below).

The experiences have taught us lessons not just about PR, but about our colleagues and ourselves.

Thanks to everyone for embracing the new experiences we've thrown your way recently -- let's continue to move forward with an open mind as we learn more about this exciting field of public relations!

Friday, September 05, 2014

Welcome to our new Loyalist PR crew!

The new group of Loyalist PR students got off to a great start this week! Welcome to all the great individuals who have signed up for Post-Grad Public Relations -- you're well on their way to forming an outstanding team.
Thanks to everyone for bringing your energy and enthusiasm each day of Orientation Week, and for making a real effort to get to know your colleagues this week. You did the crazy things we asked without complaint, and embraced a new and unknown industry which we hope will inspire you and launch you in the direction of yours dreams.
Now in its tenth year, the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program is thrilled to have a great faculty team assembled for 2014/15 to deliver a year filled with real-world programming and memorable student experiences.
Hold on, everyone -- it's going to be a fun ride!

Friday, June 06, 2014

Where will YOUR career take you?

Loyalist PR grad Bryna Jones in Burundi this month.
Those who enjoy travel will no doubt find a career in public relations rewarding -- particularly those who are looking to make a difference around the world.

This month, Loyalist PR grad Bryna Jones (2008/09) is travelling through Africa on a mission with World Vision International as Communications Coordinator.

Throughout her career in communications and public relations with World Vision and Save the Children, Bryna has travelled around the globe, making a significant impact on the lives of those in need.
Loyalist PR grad Bryna Jones on a recent trip to Uganda.
A career in public relations can take you just about anywhere, as many of our graduates can attest.

Consider enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program for the fall of 2014 -- you just never know where it will take you!

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Spaces still available for fall 2014!

If you're interested in pursuing a career as a communications professional, we're happy to say that the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program is still accepting applications for September 2014!

If you'd like to speak with the program coordinator, please email Professor Kerry Ramsay at for more information.

Or apply online at

Remember, this is a post-graduate program, so all applicants must complete a university degree or college diploma before entering the program.

We hope to see you in September 2014!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Turning internship into employment!

Loyalist PR student Ashley Warner at The Beer Store head office in Mississauga
As a part of the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program here at Loyalist College, our students are currently out on their four-week (unpaid) internships.

During this time, students experience what it's like to work in a PR workplace, whether corporate, government, social profit or otherwise.

While on internship, they're able to apply skills in the areas of writing, social media, graphic design, event management, strategic planning and more.

We're proud of our students, and know internship is just one more important milestone along their career paths.

In many cases, students turn their internships into full-time employment, including Ashley Warner (Loyalist PR 2013/14) pictured above.

We're happy to report that Ashley is now the new Public Affairs Coordinator for The Beer Store's head office in Mississauga. Way to go, Ashley!

Monday, March 24, 2014

End-of-year 2014 PRISM Awards & Luncheon

Congratulations to our Post-Graduate Public Relations students who are now on their way to internship!

Last week, we held an end-of-the-year luncheon awards ceremony to recognize excellence in the program, and to enjoy everyone's company one last time.

Here are the results of the 2014 PRISM Awards:

2014 PRISM Leadership Award

Winner - Natalie Walt
Honourable Mention - Katrina White

2014 PRISM Professionalism Award

Winner - Katrina White
Honourable Mention - Ashliegh Gehl

2014 PRISM Spirit Award

Winner - Ashley Warner
Honourable Mention - Jessica Turner

2014 PRISM New Media Award

Winner - Laura Voskamp
Honourable Mention - Jacob Cote

2014 PRISM Innovation Award

Winner - Brian Chapman
Honourable Mention - Jessica Turner

2014 PRISM Service Award

Winner - Jessica Chartrand
Honourable Mention - Natalie Walt

2014 PRISM Teamwork Award

Winner - Amie Bronson
Honourable Mention - Kaytee Wood

2014 PRISM Mentorship Award

Dug Stevenson, Bay of Quinte Tourism

2014 Campaign of the Year Award

Winning Team - Tiffany Lobb, Ashiegh Gehl, Jessica Turner, Natalie Walt
Honourable Mention - Laura Voskamp, Jacob Cote, Katrina White

2014 Kay Staib Memorial Scholarship Winner - Katrina White

Finally, here's our group selfie (inspired by Ellen at this year's Oscars) - enjoy your internships, everyone!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Fundraising weekend for PR students

It was a whirlwind weekend, with Loyalist PR teams raising approximately $1,000 for local charities.

The first group held a mall raffle in support of the Quinte Humane Society, raising $454 (see team pictured below)

The second team hosted a movie showing of "Mr. Peabody and Sherman" at the Centre Theatre in Trenton, raising $550 in support of Big Brothers & Big Sisters.

Way to go, everyone! Great team work and great results. You should all be very proud of your efforts.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Loyalist PR team donates $600 to Girls Inc.

Congratulations to our Loyalist PR team of students that raised $600 earlier this week for Girls Inc., a community service agency dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart and bold.

In this photo, team member Ashley Warner (right) presents the fundraiser's proceeds to Lindsey Belch, Executive Director of Girl's Inc.

The team's "A Bazaar Affair" fundraiser was a huge hit among campus staff and students.

Way to go, ladies!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Loyalist PR grad holds leadership workshop

Thanks to Loyalist PR grad Jeff Lauritsen (2008/09) of Ripple Communications for stopping by last week to talk to this year's crew of students about leadership.

A former member of the Canadian Armed Forces, Jeff brought home some key leadership points, as well as fun, hands-on activities (we all enjoyed the laugh!).

Thanks for stopping by, Jeff! It's always a pleasure to see you. We wish you the best of luck with your new business!

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Loyalist PR students host Enactus event!

It's been a busy few days here in Loyalist PR, with a full roster of events being hosted by members of the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program.

Hats off (on?) to the team of Loyalist PR students headed up by Jessica Chartrand, who hosted an amazing networking event for Enactus on Tuesday evening of this week.

Great job, everyone!

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Grad Profile: Alexander Smith (2012/13)

Today's Loyalist PR graduate profile features Alexander Smith (2012/13) who is now employed as an Account Coordinator at Environics Communications in Toronto, Ontario.

Environics Communications is a full-service marketing communications and public affairs firm with offices in Canada and the United States.

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College, Alexander completed a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Musicology and Political Science at Queen's University.

Loyalist PR: What made you decide to take Loyalist PR?

Alexander: I have always been interested in the news, media and the tactics of communications. Public relations became a natural fit for me.

I chose to study at Loyalist after researching a few college programs. I found Loyalist PR to offer a broader focus than other schools, and the program seemed to be held in regard by its graduates.

Loyalist PR: Describe some of your current duties as an Account Coordinator at Environics.

Alexander: No two days are alike, and that keeps my work very exciting. As an Account Coordinator, I am responsible for media monitoring, event management, crafting media lists, research and many unexpected tasks on a frequent basis. I have gotten to work on several great client accounts, from major health care and pharmaceutical companies to household names like Nestle Canada, Shoppers Drug Mart and the Heart & Stroke Foundation.

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

Alexander: I always have several different projects on the go, each with a different team. Working several projects at once in Loyalist PR gave me a taste of the great multitasking challenge I now deal with on a daily basis.

The one-month internship [Alexander interned with the Canadian Film Institute in Ottawa] and other employment opportunities that I secured through Loyalist PR and Loyalist College were invaluable as well.

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

Alexander: Group projects were always an exciting and great learning experience. I got to collaborate with my talented and fun classmates to put together some great reports and terrific events. There was a lot of camaraderie in our class, and I take away several treasured friendships from my time in the program.

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

Alexander: Make yourself employable, which means your most important task is to network. Loyalist PR alumni, in particular, are a great networking resource, and I owe them for an internship, a job interview and other friendly offers of help. Many people are only too happy to respond to
requests for help and advice.

Loyalist PR: Thanks for your insights, Alexander -- we loved having you in the program. Good luck in your career!

Upcoming Loyalist PR event!

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Grad Profile: Hannah Brown (2012/13)

Today's Loyalist PR graduate profile features Hannah Brown (2012/13) who is now employed as the Fund Development Coordinator at the Alzheimer's Society in Belleville, Ontario.

Prior to enrolling the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College, Hannah completed a bachelor of design (BDes) from Nova Scotia College of Art & Design in Halifax.

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

Hannah: I worked various retail positions for a few years after I graduated university, and finally decided that I would need further education if I wanted to get a position in communications. The PR program at Loyalist seemed like it would be a good fit, and it was only a year-long commitment which I liked.

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

Hannah: The fundraising and event planning courses were the most relevant to the work I do now (which makes me wish I had paid closer attention in those classes)! The experience of having actually planned an event was definitely something my employer considered when I was hired. My internship [at Venture Communications in Toronto] was an incredibly valuable experience I never would have gotten otherwise.

Loyalist PR: What does your role at the Alzheimer Society entail?

Hannah: I am in charge of both Special Events and Development. At the moment, my day-to-day is a lot of event planning, since we have a big one coming up. I call local businesses for sponsorship and prize donations. I also write press releases and work with local news outlets to get coverage of our event.

On the development side of things, I have implemented a monthly giving program, and I am currently working on creating a legacy giving program.

Every day is different, and I use the whole range of skills I gained from the PR Program at Loyalist.

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

Hannah: Finally getting an internship! I was one of the last people in the class to confirm mine, and I was starting to worry. Another highlight was our guest speaker, Rhonda Cunningham, from the Northumberland Hills Hospital Foundation. That was the first time I thought I might like to work for a non-profit. 

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

Hannah: I know everyone tells you how important writing is, but I'm going to say it again. Learning to write well is the most important skill you will learn this year, so practice as much as you can!

Loyalist PR: Thanks, Hannah - it was a pleasure catching up with you! Good luck with your career.

News Canada visits Loyalist College

Many thanks to Jenny Cruxton, Manager, Business Development and Diane Williams, Executive VP of Digital Services/Print & Web Media Relations who came to speak with Loyalist PR students yesterday afternoon from News Canada in Toronto.

The News Canada presentation covered Media Ratings Points (MRPs) in Canada, as well changes taking place in the PR landscape and their impact on technology.

Thanks again, Jenny and Diane - we loved having you in our classroom, and learned a lot!

Thanks to Toronto guest speakers!

A huge shout-out to Chris Boutet, Senior Manager, Brand Insights and Katie McKinnon, Manager, Client Success from Infomart of Toronto who stopped by our classroom yesterday morning.

The dynamic duo provided great background on media monitoring for both traditional and social media outlets, as well as a wide range of valuable insights on marketing and crisis communications.

Thanks so much for shopping by, Chris and Katie! We thoroughly enjoyed your visit.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Leona Hobbs talks content marketing

We enjoyed a great learning session yesterday with Leona Hobbs of Toronto who stopped by our Loyalist PR classroom to discuss content marketing in today's digital marketplace.

Leona covered a wide range of fascinating topics (from social object theory to creating and distributing great web content).

Our particular favourite case studies involved Oreos and Paint Chips for Men (from CIL) -- both fascinating topics for discussion!

Great presentation, Leona - we learned a lot and got lots of inspiration for our next client projects!

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Loyalist PR hosts college Career Fair!

Many thanks to all the Loyalist PR students who did a great job of hosting today's Career Fair at Loyalist College!

Despite the freezing temperatures and hard work, you all showed up and did your best with a smile on your face.

We're proud of you all!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Loyalist PR student wins athletic award!

Congratulations to our very own Justin DeHaan (front row, far left) on receiving one of Loyalist College's coveted athletic scholarships this year!

We're proud of you, Justin -- keep up the great work!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Linking gum and qualitative analysis...

It may LOOK like Loyalist PR students are just sorting gum (which in fact they are), but actually they're also engaged in qualitative analysis... who knew?!

Thanks to Ellen Cooper, owner of Quadra Research who stopped by our classroom this week to teach us how to hold effective focus groups, and how qualitative research can enhance our public relations activities.

We enjoyed the experience, Ellen - thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Spoken word poet visits Loyalist PR!

A big shout-out to Greg Frankson (aka Ritallin), the spoken word poet who infused our classroom with energy and enthusiasm yesterday as he has done for the past six years.

We enjoyed a great writing session with Greg, following a rousing performance featuring several of the artist's original works.

Thanks, Greg, for opening our eyes to an entirely new genre of writing and for inspiring us to think outside the box (what box?) - you rock!

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Client projects are underway!

Dug Stevenson interviews Loyalist PR student Laura Voskamp in a class exercise entitled "Tips from the Red Carpet".
Welcome back to all our Loyalist PR students this week! Our second semester got off to a snowy start, but ended in spectacular fashion as we culminated a week of client presentations today with Dug Stevenson and Anne Moore of Bay of Quinte Tourism.

Special thanks to Dug who also delivered a memorable teaching session, including "Tips from the Red Carpet". As a seasoned interviewer, Dug delivered great advice to Post-Grad PR students on how to PMAN (stands for Prepare, Means, Appearance and Networking)!

Thanks to all our clients for stopping by this week -- we look forward to an action-packed semester ahead!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Monday, October 21, 2013

Grad Profile: Heather Desarmia (2012/13)

Today's Loyalist PR graduate profile features Heather Desarmia (2012/13) who is now employed as the Public Relations & Social Media Specialist for North Peace Savings and Credit Union in Fort St. John, British Columbia.
Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College, Heather completed a BA Arts degree with a specialization Communications from the University of Ottawa.
Loyalist PR: What made you decide to enroll in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College?
Heather: I realized that in order to get my foot in the door of the public relations world, I needed hands-on experience. Taking the public relations program at Loyalist helped me develop my skills and challenge myself in putting my classroom skills to work in real life.

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

Heather: Everything you learn in Loyalist PR you will use in your day-to-day job, from developing communications plans and media monitoring to writing press releases. These are all crucial PR skills that you will learn and apply immediately. Working in team settings prepared me for group work with various dynamics, teaching us time management and people management skills.

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

Heather: I absolutely loved the day trip to Toronto with the class. Getting to visit a PR firm and speaking with communications professionals was very valuable. The cherry on top of the day was the opportunity to see George Strombo live and in person!

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

Heather: Fully participate in all class assignments. I cannot stress enough how much of the hands-on content we practiced I actually use in day-to-day work life.

Also, start looking for internships early on. Balancing internship interviews and group work can be overwhelming [during second semester]. Looking early will also ensure you beat the rush and land a great spot! [Note: Heather interned with the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club.]

Loyalist PR: Thanks so much for your insights, Heather -- and the best of luck in BC!