Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Katie Dudley (08/09) visits Loyalist PR

Loyalist PR enjoyed a great visit today from alumna Katie Dudley (Loyalist PR 08/09), now a Junior Account Manager with Harvey McKinnon Associates in Toronto.

Katie delivered a thorough presentation on Direct Mail Fundraising as a part of our Public Relations for Non-Profits morning class.

Covering topics such as what's important for successful fundraising, how to create a compelling direct mail piece and how to write a persuasive direct mail letter, Katie had us laughing (and crying) and most of all, learning about a vital part of the fundraising field.

Thanks for the visit, Katie -- you're welcome back anytime!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ethics workshop challenges Loyalist PR students

Eric Bergman of Bergman & Associates delivered a thought-provoking, interactive workshop on ethics and values to Loyalist PR students this afternoon.

"We have two roles in public relations," explains Eric, who has been a part of the international accreditation council for the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) for more than a decade. "We are both values managers and conscience counsellors."

Referring to the field of ethics as "drawing a black line through a gray area," he explored a number of relevant case studies to the public relations field, including opportunities for students to test their own ethical boundary lines.

The litmus test for ethical decision making, says Eric, should return to the five basic questions asked by Patricia Parsons in her book, Ethics in Public Relations: A Guide to Best Practice:

- Does it do harm?

- Does it do good?

- Is it the truth?

- Does it respect privacy?

- Is it fair and socially responsible?

Thanks for a great seminar, Eric! You've given us a lot to think about.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Freeze Frame with Sara Hamil (Loyalist PR 08/09)

Today’s Freeze Frame features Sara Hamil (Loyalist PR 08/09) who is now employed as the Media Relations and Publicity Co-ordinator for Free the Children, the world’s largest network of children helping children through education.

She is based in Toronto, Ontario.

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College, Sara completed a degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Toronto. She also minored in Writing, Rhetoric and Critical Analysis and English.

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

Sara Hamil: There were actually a number of reasons I wound up enrolling in Loyalist PR. Probably the most influential (and relevant) was the fact that I recognized the potential to apply this career to a number of exciting fields.

Being in PR allows me to do something I enjoy (communicating!) and be able to apply those skills to areas I am passionate about (social change!). Gift + Passion = Better world!

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

SH: Honestly, I couldn’t do this job without Loyalist PR. I feel like I’ve used just about every tool we were taught (including things I NEVER thought I’d actually need! Honestly, pay attention during the class about addressing royalty and public figures. Trust me).

Probably the most useful part about the program is the fact that you’re not just learning how to work in PR, you actually get real hands on experience in the industry as you go.

FF: Tell us about a couple of highlights of your work so far with Free the Children.

SH: One of the very first projects I worked on when I got here was a royal visit. To say that writing that press release was a tad intimidating would be an understatement, but the whole thing was a once in a lifetime opportunity to be sure!

I’ve also been able to interact with a lot of the youth who are involved with our programming through various projects. These young leaders are so excited about the organization and so passionate about making a positive difference in the world. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as getting to see the impact that your work is having, especially when it’s so overwhelmingly positive.

FF: Any exciting projects you’re working on currently that you can share with us?

SH: WE DAY 2009! We Day is our signature youth empowerment event that will see 32 000 student leaders and educators coming together in Vancouver (Sept. 29th) and Toronto (Oct. 5th) to celebrate the power of young people to change the world.

Some of the world’s top social issues speakers will hit the stage, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Jason Mraz, Mia Farrow, Dr. Jane Goodall, Hedley, Elie Wiesel and of course, Craig and Marc Kielburger plus SO many more!

These events are going to be incredible and I’m so excited to be a part of the amazing team that’s making it happen!

FF: Any last words of advice for our new crew of Loyalist PR students?

SH: You are going to be presented with countless amazing opportunities this year – TAKE THEM. Honestly, I cannot stress enough how important it is to get yourself out there and try new things.

Jump at the chance to volunteer, join clubs or teams around the school and don’t shy away from the chance to network and meet new people. Obviously these things are good for your portfolio but more importantly, these are things that you’ll always remember and they will help you make the most out of your time in Loyalist PR!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Loyalist PR students get involved!

Krispy Kreme hats off to the Loyalist PR students (and Rotaractors) Jess, Alanna and Ashley who helped sell donuts for the Alzheimer Society of Canada today.

Clearly this was a delicious (and apparently highly fashionable) fundraiser. Great work, ladies!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Loyalist PR Alumni Return to the Classroom

Loyalist PR students enjoyed a visit today from alumna Bryna Jones (08/09), now a Communications Specialist with Engine Communications and alumnus Jeff Lauritsen (08/09), now the Communications Co-ordinator at Quinte Waste Solutions.

Both shared their insights on the program, the local labour market and how Loyalist PR helped get them to where they are today.

Special thanks to Bryna for blogging about her visit on the Engine Communications blog.

Thanks to both Jeff and Bryna for their inspiration and motivation today. We wish them all the best with their careers.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sun, sand & school: Loyalist PR kicks it off!

Loyalist PR students jumpstarted a brand new year this week with three full days of orientation, food and fun.

The final event was a beach volleyball challenge (winning team to go nameless, sigh).

Besides letting loose and enjoying the feel of the sand between our toes, here are just a few things we learned from the experience:

1. When the ball's in your court, go for it!

2. Communicate with your team at all times.

3. Cheer on your team mates -- they'll appreciate it.

4. Stay alert - you never know when someone may decide to spike the ball in your direction.

5. Never be afraid to have a little fun -- it'll make the day so much brighter.

It's going to be a great year, everyone. Glad to have you all along for the ride!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Fire it up, Loyalist PR!

It's the first day of Loyalist PR for the class of 2010 -- let's fire it up, people!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Freeze Frame with Sarah Tummon (Loyalist PR 08/09)

Today’s Freeze Frame features Sarah Tummon (Loyalist PR 08/09) who is now employed as the Special Events Co-ordinator for the City of Quinte West.

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College, Sarah studied at the University of Toronto and Athabasca University with a focus on History and Political Science.

Freeze Frame: What motivated you to take the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College?

Sarah Tummon: I recently lived in Los Angeles for a year and a half where I was exposed to public relations and event co-ordination on a very large scale – this sparked my interest in public relations.

After moving home, I researched all the schools I could take PR at. To my surprise, the school in my hometown (Loyalist College) offered it and had a great reputation. It was great to be able to study public relations in my hometown while building valuable relationships in the area.

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

ST: The Public Relations program at Loyalist College helped prepare me for my current job in more ways than one. The public relations program is entirely project-based, which meant throughout the year we focused on projects that we would encounter in the working world. Everything we worked on was practical.

This program provided us with the knowledge that is necessary for a career in public relations but on top of that the skills that are necessary. This program was very hands on, so when it came time to interview for jobs I was able to say YES I have done that, thanks to the PR program.

FF: What’s the best part of your job?

ST: The best thing about my job is the fact that I am planning and coordinating events. I came into the PR program with a desire to find a career in event coordination! To have found a career where this is the main focus has been so exciting. Another great thing about my job is the fact that I am working for the City of Quinte West-which is an awesome corporation.

FF: What can you tell us about the importance of volunteering when looking for a job in the field of public relations?

ST: I cannot say enough about how important it is to volunteer when it comes to landing a job in the PR field. I volunteered the entire time I was at Loyalist College and was able to plan and oversee events through my volunteer work.

This, in turn, helped me so much by providing me with invaluable experience. Volunteer work is looked at just as highly as if you were to have worked somewhere. Experience is experience and as a student, you can never have enough experience.

FF: Any words of advice for students entering the Post-Graduate Public Relations program this year?

ST: 1) Volunteer as much as you can 2) Believe in yourself and what you can accomplish and 3) Have fun -- this program is a blast!

FF: Any final quotes you’d like to leave with us?

ST: My favorite quote to pass along is “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail”.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Reputation crisis? It's never too late...

Meet Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite.

In 1888, Alfred woke up one morning to read his own obituary which had been mistakenly published by a French newspaper. The article began, “Le marchand de la mort est mort” (“The merchant of death is dead”).

The obituary went on to say, “Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday.”

Imagine being alive to read your own obituary – and then realizing you had left such a terrible legacy.

What makes this story amazing, though, is what happened next.

As it turns out, Alfred used that defining moment in his life to make a monumental decision.

Shortly after reading his “obituary”, he changed his will to establish a peace prize to be awarded "to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”

To this day -– more than a century later -- the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded each year on the anniversary of Nobel’s (actual) death: December 10th. Among the awards past winners have been Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter and Elie Wiesel.

The lasting legacy we remember Alfred Nobel for today? Peace.

What reputation have you earned over the years? Is it one you want to shake?

If so, consider the Nobel Peace Prize and remember: it’s never too late for a new beginning…