Friday, September 26, 2008

Tickets now on sale for Media Mash-Up!

The Post-Grad Public Relations students are now selling tickets for the 2008 Media Mash-Up (presented by Apple) to be held Wednesday, October 15th from 6 – 9 p.m. in the Shark Tank Pub at Loyalist College.

Key sponsors for the evening include Apple (lead sponsor), Sony, Future Shop, Japan Camera and Huff Estates Wines.

This year’s Media Mash-Up event will feature a great night of professional fun complete live music, plenty of door prizes, cash bar and light buffet.

The evening will also spotlight special guest Scott Moore, Executive Director of CBC Television Sports. Scott will be talking about the CBC’s recent live coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Tickets are only $5. Get yours today!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Freeze Frame with Sylvia Draaistra (Loyalist PR 07/08)

Today’s Freeze Frame features Sylvia Draaistra (Loyalist PR 07/08) who is now working as Marketing Director for Teach Your Children Well in Belleville, Ontario.

Freeze Frame: Tell us a little bit about what you’re up to these days.

Sylvia Draaistra: My job consists of several tasks including writing a newsletter for QLC Educational Services to help inform the parents of the students and to promote the materials we use to the greater community. I also spend time teaching students who struggle in school how to read and write (one of my favourite things).

FF: Tell us about your recent trip to Los Angeles.

SD: As a volunteer for the Belleville Rotary Club, I have been involved in organizing a reading program for kids this summer at the Belleville Public Library. Literacy is one of Rotary International’s main focuses which is why we were invited to hold a booth promoting literacy at the Rotary International conference in Los Angeles.

We spoke with people from all over the world offering solutions for their education problems. It was amazing to see how people everywhere are challenged with the same issues, and it felt good to be able to offer a solution.

FF: How would you say the Loyalist PR program helped prepare you for your current job?

SD: One of the guest speakers at the Rotary International convention in LA was Premier Dalton McGuinty. He spoke on the topic of literacy and happened to be on my flight home -- the one that flew in circles for three hours and landed in Las Vegas because of an air compression problem.

Our trip back to Canada was very late but very interesting for me since I was seated next to Ben Chin, Premier McGunity's Media Relations Specialist. We discussed education in Canada at length and he introduced me to the Honourable McGuinty after we landed safely in Toronto. As Professor Ramsay said (a million times or so) you just never know who you will meet so be at your best and be careful what you say and to whom you say it. Good advice!

FF: What are the three most important lessons you learned in Loyalist PR?

SD: Be organized, be flexible and be honest. I learned that these three things are crucial in public relations.

The course involved many hands-on activities and real-life situations where I learned how to juggle many things at once, while having a crisis thrown at me, and remain positive even when others are not.

I appreciate the way that we were encouraged to be truthful and honest at all times since this coincides with my own personal values. It makes relating to the public a pleasure.

FF: Finally, we know you love literacy – so what's your all-time favourite children's book?

SD: Something From Nothing by Phoebe Gilman is my favourite children's book. It has beautiful illustrations and a heart warming story with a positive message for all ages.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Loyalist PR takes part in AERO webinar

Post-Grad Public Relations students at Loyalist College enjoyed a CPRS webinar hosted this afternoon by Daniel Tisch, President of Argyle Communications and Alison George, the firm's VP.

The webinar (the first in a CPRS series) deconstructed the recent "Guys Just Don't Get It" PR campaign for Nestle AERO.

Learning points ranged from brand positioning to the use of Ombnibus surveys and effective media relations.

The campaign also highlighted the usefulness of Media Ratings Points (MRPs) in the PR evaluation process.

Thanks to Dan, Alison and the CPRS for a great presentation!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Freeze Frame with Ashley MacCormack (Loyalist PR 07/08)

Today’s Freeze Frame features Ashley MacCormack (Loyalist PR 07/08) who is now working in Events and Special Projects with the Ottawa Humane Society.

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Grad Public Relations Program at Loyalist College, Ashley earned a B.A. (Honours) in Political Studies from Queen’s University.

Freeze Frame: So, what are you up to these days?

Ashley MacCormack: I have several major projects that I am responsible for. Half of my time is spent making our monthly PAW (pre-authorized withdrawal) donors happy. I take care of everything and anything from sending welcome packages, to dealing with expired credit card information, to making thank you calls to each of our 3,000 donors.

The second half of my jobs involves all of our events. I am currently attending United Way events across the city encouraging employees to direct their contributions to the OHS, as well as, promoting all of the services that we offer to the community.

I am also in charge of third party events, which could mean anything from accepting money from Timmy’s birthday, to being the OHS contact for a charity country jamboree, to helping with the details of our largest event of the year, the FurBall.

Finally, I actually get the opportunity to take ownership of two events - Santa Pet Pics and Bunny Snaps. Held in conjunction with Christmas and Easter, we organize photo ops with Santa or the Easter Bunny and your little furry friend. I have already started planning for SPP 08 and am super excited to have the opportunity to plan such a creative event!

FF: What’s the best thing about your job?

AM: Feeling like I am making a difference! I was lucky enough to intern with Disney Canada in Toronto last May, and loved every minute of it, but came out realizing that the corporate environment might not be for me.

After applying with multiple non-profit agencies in Ottawa, the OHS came along and just seemed like the perfect fit. With thousands of non-profit agencies in Canada promoting multiple causes, I think animals sometimes get forgotten. They have no voice and are unable to justify their cause, so it is great to be able to be that voice for them and really help people understand why donating to such a worthwhile cause is important.

Being around cute and cuddly animals everyday, is a pretty cool perk too!

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

AM: The one thing that I loved about the Loyalist PR course is the multiple areas that you get to cover. I really feel like I am getting the opportunity to use them all (even digital media).

This course really gives you a hands-on learning experience. I felt like I had a great background coming from university, but really had no marketable skills.

I was able to come into my current job with a very diverse background and the confidence to attempt any task that was given to me. Kerry really gives you a great foundation, making anything else a piece of cake to tackle!

FF: Any words of advice for our current Loyalist PR students?

AM: Learn, learn, learn, and when you think you’ve got it all, learn more! You never know the direction your life might take you, and after this year you really will want to have as many marketable skills as possible. I really thought I would be moving to Toronto at the end of the year to attempt getting into Sports Entertainment. Oh how our dreams change! So, take in as much as you possibly can.

Second, don’t box yourself in. I think one of the coolest things that I learned from Kerry last year is that an adult will think of maybe 3-5 ways to tackle a problem, pick one and go for it; a child will think of 60 or more. Be creative. Think of wacky solutions and different ways to approach problems. The one thing I am hearing a lot at work right now is, “this is a new position, make it Ashley”. I am getting the opportunity to flex my creative muscles and find ways to reach as many people as I can with our messages.

Lastly, get to know your fellow students! You really will be like a family in no time. Enjoy this experience, because you will long for it when it’s over.

FF: Finally, you work for the Humane Society now – so, do you have any pets of your own?

AM: Mac “Mackie” MacCormack was born on a cold day in March 2007. On May 9, 2007 he officially became a part of my family, and has brightened up my life every day since then. He enjoys long walks in the park, organic peanut butter treats, and visiting his “glamma” (my mother).

I’m not sure who was more excited about me working for the OHS. The 20th annual Wiggle Waggle Walk-a-thon was on September 7th and Mackie is still investigating all of his free “swag”. Once he is able to sit still for more than three seconds, he will actually be able to come with me to work.

For someone like me, who is an avid animal lover, this really is the perfect place to start my PR career!

Friday, September 12, 2008

What We Learned from Ultimate Frisbee

Yesterday's Loyalist PR students took it outside for some ultimate frisbee (see right) -- and together we learned 10 things that will help us out in the year to come:

1. Sometimes you've gotta dive for what you want.

2. Get in the game.

3. Teamwork matters.

4. Look before you lunge.

5. Everyone has a part to play.

6. Winning is sweet.

7. Losing sucks; but at least we can learn from it.

8. Pay attention to your teammates' strengths -- and play them up.

9. Play nice.

10. Have fun!

Thanks, guys (and to the weather for such a spectacular day) -- see you Monday.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Something's fishy...

What a great first week we've had together! Here's to a fishy year ahead!
-- Kerry, Rob and JoAnne