Monday, April 14, 2008

Loyalist College in Belleville, Ontario: centre of the PR universe?

One of the questions I’m often asked by students considering the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College is, “Where exactly is Belleville?”

Once I explain we’re located on the shore of Lake Ontario, an equal distance between Ottawa and Toronto, I point out that our classroom is filled with a variety of university and college graduates from right across the country (and, in some cases, around the world).

This year, for instance, our class of 30 outstanding Loyalist PR students hail from the University of Toronto, the University of Manitoba, the University of Ottawa, Dalhousie University, the University of Prince Edward Island, Queens University, the University of Western Ontario, Memorial University (Newfoundland), Loyalist College and Fanshawe College.

What’s more, our students find internships all across Canada with some of the nation’s leading PR firms, corporations, non-profit agencies and media outlets. We compete against the country’s very best, and are highly successful in our placement process.

As I write this blog, this year’s Loyalist PR students are completing internships with a variety of employers in cities like Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Winnipeg, London, St. John’s (Newfoundland), Mississauga, Ajax, as well as Belleville and the surrounding area.

Throughout the year, our students also enjoy guest visits from some of the brightest and the best PR professionals in Canada. During the past two semesters, for instance, we welcomed PR and communications professionals into our classroom from a broad range of organizations, including:

• Hill & Knowlton (Toronto)
• Argyle Communications (Toronto)
• World Wildlife Fund (Toronto)
• World Vision (Mississauga)
• Ontario Hockey League
• Hala Events & Communications (Toronto)
• Canada News Wire (Toronto)
• News Canada (Toronto)
• MarketWire (Toronto)
• Cake Beauty (Toronto)
• Mitsubishi Canada (Mississauga)
• Marshall Fenn (Toronto)
• MacDonald & Company (Toronto)
• Diana Robinson & Associations (Guelph)
• Office of Premier Gordon Campbell (Victoria, BC)

and many more.

Finally, Loyalist PR students enjoy field trips to cities such as Ottawa and Toronto, and regularly participate in CPRS Toronto chapter events.

In short, studying PR in Belleville offers the best of both worlds: all the advantages of a high-quality, one-year, post-graduate education while living in an affordable and safe community on one of the most beautiful college campuses in Ontario.

What’s not to love?

For more information about Loyalist College or enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations, contact Professor Kerry Ramsay, Post-Graduate Public Relations Program Co-ordinator at kramsay@loyalistc.on.ca or call 1-888-LOYALIST, ext. 2127.

You can also enroll directly at the Ontario Colleges web site.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

PR students raise $11,000+ for charity

Students of the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College raised more than $11,000 for charity this spring as part of their final semester (pictured here: the Gourmet Marche Gala team).

The fundraising projects were planned during the first semester in the students’ Fundraising Fundamentals class, and implemented second semester through their Event Management course.

Among the beneficiaries of this year’s student team fundraising projects were:

Fixed Fur Life - $1,983.76 raised by Pet Glamour Day

Bridging the Gap - $501 raised by Local Luxuries Raffle

Big Brothers and Big Sisters - $200 raised by students through Wild & Wonderful Workshops; American Eagle matched the students’ fundraising efforts with an additional $250 contribution through its Salute Program, since one of its employees was on the team.

World Vision Canada - $700 raised through a twoonie drive to supply underfunded, overseas classrooms

Salvation Army - $175 raised through a student yard sale

Loyalist College Foundation - $7,500 raised through the Gourmet Marche Gala fundraiser in celebration of the college’s 40th anniversary; the Ontario Trust for Student Support (OTSS) also matched the students’ fundraising efforts, bringing the grand total of funds raised to $15,000. Funds will be added to the student endowment fund for financial assistance.

"The fundraising project was a great learning experience for me. I was able to exercise the skills and techniques that I have learned from the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist, as well as have a great time raising money and awareness for a local charity,” says Loyalist PR student Katie Dudley.

Fellow Loyalist PR student Kate Shaughnessy adds, “Our fundraising event allowed me to hone the skills I have been developing throughout the year. From the planning stages to the execution of the event, I gained a great deal of experience, and it opened my eyes to the amount of work that goes into event management. The entire process was both stressful and exhilarating. Months of research, organization and preparation resulted in hundreds of dollars that will help to better the lives of those who are less fortunate. It was an amazing feeling to be a part of that."

In a note of thanks, Fixed Fur Life President Darlene Quinsey remarks, “I want to take the opportunity to commend your PR students for their wonderful efforts in planning and implementing the Pet Glamour Day fundraiser."

"The idea was brilliant and attracted an overwhelming number of people and their pets," she adds. "The concept was unique and appealed to many. The event was carefully planned and to my knowledge took place with zero complications which I would attribute to the carefully thought out details. This was a very mature dedicated group and I would not hesitate to recommend their planning and PR skills."

Congratulations to all our student fundraising teams!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Students and employers grade Loyalist PR

Recent results from an independent study of Key Performance Indicators (2007) for the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College reveal that students and employers alike are highly impressed with the program -- and the results it’s getting in the workplace.

Here are a few of the survey’s findings:

Students speak:

Ability to provide skills and abilities specific to your chosen career – 100% satisfaction

Includes topics relevant to your future success – 100% satisfaction

Teachers' knowledge of subjects – 90% satisfaction

Teachers’ presentation of the subject material – 100% satisfaction

Quality of classroom learning – 95% satisfaction

Helpfulness of teachers outside class – 90% satisfaction

Teachers are up-to-date/current in their fields – 90% satisfaction

Your overall college experience
– 90% satisfaction

Overall your program is giving you knowledge and skills that will be useful in your future career – 95% satisfaction

Overall quality of the learning experiences in this program – 95% satisfaction

Employers speak:

Based on the same independent survey results, here's what employers have to say about the Loyalist PR students they are currently employing:

Quality of work – 96% satisfaction

Teamwork – 100% satisfaction

Problem solving – 92% satisfaction

Computer skills – 96% satisfaction

Productivity – 92% satisfaction

Adaptable – 96% satisfaction

Responsible – 96% satisfaction

How would you rate your satisfaction with this employee’s overall college preparation for the type of work he/she was doing? – 96%

In the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program we are committed to the pursuit of excellence, and will continue to put forward our best efforts in preparing our students for a dynamic and ever-changing workforce.