Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Summer issue of college magazine features work of Loyalist PR students

The latest edition of Lasting Connections magazine is hot off the presses, and features a variety of articles written by Loyalist PR students.

If you're a Loyalist College alumnus, watch for the summer issue in your mailbox soon!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Freeze Frame with Sarah Koester (Loyalist PR 07/08)

Today’s Freeze Frame features Sarah Koester (Loyalist PR 07/08) who is now working as a Public Relations Assistant with the St. Boniface General Hospital & Research Foundation in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Grad Public Relations Program at Loyalist College, Sarah earned a B.A. in Politics and Criminal Justice Studies from the University of Manitoba.

Freeze Frame: What are your duties since you began working at the St. Boniface General Hospital & Research Foundation?

Sarah Koester: I have been primarily involved in event planning. This has involved setting up vendors, for special events, and soliciting donations for raffle prizes, takeaway gifts, and auctions. Other event planning aspects have included coordinating donation pickup schedules, and creating event information packages that are sent to potential event sponsors.

From the communications side I recently wrote a communications plan for an upcoming Foundation fundraising event. I’ve written a few stories for the spring edition of the Foundation newsletter, and I also recently had the opportunity to write the speaking notes for a Foundation news conference.

FF: How did your internship help prepare you for your current position?

SK: My internship actually turned into my current position, so it was a seamless transition. The staff at the Foundation has been nothing but encouraging. They aren’t afraid to let me try new things, which is essential when you’re looking to gain practical experience.

Additionally, my internship has provided me with great networking opportunities, and a chance to work in a fully bilingual environment which has given me the opportunity to exercise my French language skills.

FF: What were the top three lessons you learned from Loyalist PR?

SK: First, always tell the true, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth! Second, if something goes wrong at an event and no one notices, then nothing went wrong. And finally, write, write write, then repeat.

FF: What's the best-kept secret about living in Winnipeg?

SK: Winnipeg has brutal winters, but beautiful summers. When the snow melts the city comes to life. There are tons of great festivals, restaurants, and beautiful parks. We’re often overlooked, but it’s not a big deal, it’s what maintains our low cost of living!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Convocation Day 2008

"This time, like all times, is a very good one -- if we but know what to do with it." - Emerson

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The seas of change

The theme of the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) national conference in Halifax this past week was “Charting the Seas of Change”. Set against the backdrop of one of Canada’s most beautiful harbours, the three-day conference explored many facets of change as it relates to the field of public relations.

Here are just a few of my favourite conference highlights:

Max Valiquette (aka Conference Rock Star), President of Youthography in Toronto delivered an outstanding presentation on youth culture and the ways today’s brands can connect with the digital natives.

Keynote speaker Ret. General Rick Hillier proved that the Canadian Armed Forces brand has undergone a radical transformation in recent years, and that true leadership is based on a strong set of core ethics, personal values and humility of heart.

Joseph Thornley, Chairman and CEO of Thornely Fallis Communications (Ottawa) and Carman Pirie, Principal at Colour (Halifax) teamed up to bring us up-to-speed on the latest social media developments and what they mean for the field of public relations.

Leonard Brody, Co-founder and CEO of NowPublic challenged our beliefs about the role of citizen-generated news in our digital age.

Amanda Brewer, Director of Change and Internal Communications, Hill & Knowlton and Brendan Hodgson, Director, Hill & Knowlton outlined a great case study detailing the use of social media during the last CBC lock-out, and applied the philosophies of SM to employee communications

Dana Phillip Doiron, Managing Director of the Partners Strategy Group articulated the keys for success during crisis communications planning, using personal examples from the Swiss Air disaster.

And of course, who could forget the amazing lobster suppers at The Shore Club, the cobblestone streets of the city where democracy was born in Canada, and the many new colleagues (and old acquaintances) who made this conference such a great success.

Congratulations to all the conference organizers on a job well done!