Thursday, December 13, 2007

Time for a well-deserved vacation...

Today marks the last day of our first semester together in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program here at Loyalist College.

This year's group of 30 bright and talented individuals haa been a thrill to teach. As they discover their passions and new ways to live out their dreams, I count it an honour to be along for the journey.

In today's teaching environment, the role of the professor truly has become one of the "guide on the side" as opposed to the "sage on the stage".

Each day, I continue to learn new and fascinating things from my students, particularly in this new age of social media. It's what makes me love this career so much, and makes me excited to get up for work each morning.

Thanks for a great first semester, everyone. Enjoy your vacation!


Friday, December 07, 2007

Out of Africa...

Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up.
It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed.
Every morning a lion wakes up.
It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle.
When the sun comes up, you better start running.

-- African Proverb

"Rock Your Career" Doubleheader (Part II)

What better way to cap off "Rock Your Career" week than with a visit from an enthusiastic Loyalist alumnus who has built a successful career in the field of public relations?

Leona Hobbs has spent time on both the agency and the client side of PR, which gives her a broad vision of the PR industry.

Currently the Director of Communications at Tucows, Leona also spent time at and served as a Vice-President at Fleishman Hillard in Toronto.

Leona's engaging presentation led us through the highs and lows of working in the PR industry, including those uncontrollable X factors that can make or break a campaign.

Besides offering a profile of her own career, Leona offered excellent advice to PR students for establishing themselves in the new marketplace, and pitching their unique range of skills to future employers.

Leona, you were worth the wait -- thanks for beaming down to provide a fitting finale to a wonderful week.

"Rock Your Career" Doubleheader (Part I)

This has been an amazing week for the Post-Grad Public Relations program here at Loyalist College.

Our final day together culminated with two great speakers: Karen Passmore, Senior Consultant with Argyle Communications in Toronto in the morning, and Loyalist alumnus Leona Hobbs, Communications Director at Tucows (see Part II of this "doubleheader" blog entry) in the afternoon.

In the AM, Karen walked us through the opportunities and challenges of life in a PR agency. She also presented some of the great work that Argyle has done in recent months, from the Smarties campaign to the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies.

Karen's insights and experience provided a great glimpse into the agency world, and her advice helped many better focus their career goals.

Thanks for a great visit, Karen!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Alumni kick off "Rock Your Career!" Week

A great Alumni Panel provided an excellent jump start to "Rock Your Career!" Week here at Loyalist PR on Monday.

An outstanding line-up of Loyalist PR grads joined us (despite the snow and icy road conditions) to reflect on their successes to date, and to inspire current students as they prepare for their own careers in public relations.

Special thanks to Jess Douglas (Cake Beauty, Toronto), Mike Shoreman (Sir James Whitney School for the Deaf, Belleville), Sharon Partridge (Kingston General Hospital) and Melanie Jordan (Albert College, Belleville) who joined us on-site for the alumni panel.

Thanks also to Loyalist PR alumni Lisa Kirbie (Office of Senator Grant Mitchell, Ottawa), Amanda Attard (Hala Events & Communications Inc., Toronto) and MJ Shields (Prfect Communications, Hastings) who joined us via Facebook.

What's truly amazing is that these grads have already seen such great success after being in the field only a few short months since their June 2007 graduation.

We’re proud of you all – thank you for taking the time to give back to Loyalist PR and to help mentor a new group of future alumni rock stars!

PR hockey fans enjoy visit with Aaron Bell

This past week, Post-Grad Public Relations students at Loyalist College scored a visit with Aaron Bell, Director of Media and Information with the Ontario Hockey League/ and the Canadian Hockey League.

Aaron's down-to-earth style and great personal stories kept us engaged and left us motivated to achieve our dreams.

His steps for success (yes, there were four, Aaron!) provided insight into what the working world is all about, and how we can best leave our mark as we strive for excellence.

The quote we're left with: "If you do more than you're paid to do, one day you'll be paid to do more than you do" (Jack Canfield).

Thanks for stopping by, Aaron!