Sunday, January 25, 2015

Grad Profile: Tara Bolger (2010/11)

Today's Loyalist PR Grad Profile features Tara Bolger (2010/11) who is now employed as an account manager for BlueSky Communications in Toronto.

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College, Tara completed a diploma in Advertising (also at Loyalist).

Loyalist PR: What made you decide to enroll in the Post-Grad PR Program at Loyalist?

Tara Bolger: I really wanted to take something extra to not only complement what I learned in advertising, but also to add a completely new skill set to my portfolio. Advertising and PR fit perfectly together. I also heard great things about the certificate from friends and peers in the advertising program.

Loyalist PR: What are some of your duties as an account manager at BlueSky Communications?

Tara: I work with different clients on day-to-day management and media outreach. I spend a lot of my time developing and pitching story angles, coordinating interviews and monitoring for media coverage. I get to do a lot of writing which is wonderful because that's what I love -- everything from story angles to briefing notes to social media posts.

Loyalist PR: How did the PR program help prepare you for your current role?

Tara: Loyalist PR helped prepare me in so many ways. One of the biggest would be the client projects we worked on. Being able to develop real PR plans was something I really benefited from. Loyalist PR also gave me confidence in myself and my abilities.

Loyalist PR: Any highlights from your year in the PR program that you'd like to share?

Tara: All of the hands-on projects we did, especially the fundraisers. It really didn't feel like work, because my peers became friends and everyone in the program was there for the same reason. Every day I learned something new, and not just from the professors, but from my peers as well.
Loyalist PR: Any words of advice for this year's PR students?
Tara: If you really want something, go for it -- don't let anything hold you back. I remember wanting an internship at Skate4Cancer so badly, but thought there was no way I was going to get one. After talking with peers and Kerry, I realized it was totally possible. I sent an email and resume and reached out via social media. I ended up getting a Skype interview with the Skate4Cancer team and on that call, I got the internship. As cheesy as it sounds, nothing is impossible if you're willing to put in the work and effort.
You leave the PR program with the skills you need to succeed, and a strong network of professionals who are always there to answer any questions you have.

Loyalist PR: Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, Tara! We're proud of you -- keep up the amazing work!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Toronto guest sheds light on MRPs

It was a busy week, capped off with a great visit today from Jenny Cruxton, Business Development Manager for Toronto's Fifth Story (formerly News Canada).

Jenny provided Loyalist PR students with a great presentation on Media Relations Ratings Points (MRPs), and their impact on the metrics of a PR campaign or event.

Always a pleasure, Jenny -- thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Qualitative training with Quadra Research

Our thanks today to Ellen Cooper, President of Quadra Research who visited Post-Grad Public Relations students recently to deliver training on qualitative analysis.

Ellen's 25+ years of experience in the market research industry provided students with excellent insight into focus groups and their impact on a company's brand.

Thanks for stopping by, Ellen -- we enjoyed the learning experience (and the bubble gum)!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Loyalist PR to host free media workshops

The Post-Graduate Public Relations students at Loyalist College will host a series of free media workshops for local non-profit organizations on Monday, March 9th and Thursday, March 12th.  

Designed to help local agencies build their brands, the hour-long sessions will educate participants on new and emerging digital marketing tools, including mobile fundraising, online surveys, crowdfunding, Storify, Pinterest, and Prezi.

“We’ve held this community workshop series several times in the past with excellent feedback from participants,” says Professor Kerry Ramsay, program coordinator. 

“For small communication teams, this event provides a valuable connection to peers in the field and an opportunity to explore the latest multimedia and multiplatform communications," adds Ramsay. "The networking aspect of the community workshop series is really appreciated by non-profit agencies.”

Any non-profit agency, Loyalist student, staff or faculty member interested in participating in the upcoming media workshop series can reserve a spot for one or more sessions. 

For a full schedule of sessions and to register, please email

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Guest speaker stops by to discuss PR metrics

This week the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program welcomed Stephen Harrington, Managing Director of Client Success for Meltwater Canada (Toronto) as a guest speaker.

Since this week's focus has been on monitoring, measurement and metrics, Stephen's presentation of Meltwater's multimedia public relations platform was both timely and relevant.

Students learned more about how a service like Meltwater can have a major impact on the evaluation of a media relations, social media or event strategy. 
Thanks for stopping by, Stephen -- we enjoyed the visit and learned a lot! 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Grad Profile: Ryan Dickison (2012/13)

Today's Loyalist PR Grad Profile features Ryan Dickison (12/13) who now works as the full-time Operations Manager with Basketball Nova Scotia (BNS). 

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College, Ryan completed a Bachelor of Arts (major in Psychology) at Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and a post-graduate Sports Journalism & Broadcasting diploma at Loyalist College. 

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

Ryan Dickison: I wanted to further my education, and thought public relations was an excellent opportunity to hone my writing skills, as well as learn new techniques in building and maintaining positive working relationships. 

Loyalist PR: What are some of your duties in your position as Operations Manager?

Ryan: I am the first line of communication with our membership and for all general inquiries. I am also responsible for the communication of content for all official platforms for BNS, which includes writing and editing content for the organization's official web site. I also write for the BNS social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. 

I provide ongoing support and assistance for the Executive Director, Technical Director/Provincial Coach, Board of Directors and also coordinate and manage key BNS programs and events from an operational perspective. 

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

Ryan: Thanks to Loyalist PR, I was able to secure an internship in Nova Scotia (my home province), which ultimately led to a full-time position and dream job. I am extremely blessed to be doing something I love, all the while being close to my friends and family.

Loyalist PR: Could you share with us any highlights from your year in Loyalist PR?

Ryan: I took great pride in helping to plan and prepare the Loyalist College Lancers Athletic Banquet. I also thoroughly enjoyed the field trip to Toronto where (among other things) we attended the George Stroumboulopoulos Show at CBC.

Loyalist PR: Any words of advice for this year's Loyalist PR crew?

Ryan: Find your passion and pursue it with everything you have. As cliche as it may sound, "Sucess is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you truly love what you are doing, you will be successful." 

Loyalist PR: Thanks, Ryan! We're proud of you and all your accomplishments, and wish you all the best in the future. 

Friday, January 09, 2015

Loyalist PR grad wins industry award

Loyalist PR grad Amanda Attard and the E=MC2 Events team accept their award.
Congratulations to Loyalist PR grad, Amanda Attard, event coordinator at E=MC2 Events for her team's big win last night at the 2015 Gala Awards in Anaheim, California sponsored by Special Events magazine

The E=MC2 team won for “Best Event Produced for a Corporation or Association: Overall Budget Above $500,000” for their “BC/Vancouver Night.” 

We're proud of you, Amanda! 
Amanda and the E=MC2 Events team in Anaheim, California.

Interested in learning more about becoming an event planner? The Post-Graduate Public Relations program at Loyalist College is now accepting applications for the fall of 2015. 

Why not enroll today and see where YOUR career will take YOU! 

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Tips from the red carpet with Dug Stevenson

Dug Stevenson interviews Loyalist PR Professor Aaron Bell at Downtown DocFest. 
Pop quiz: which recent guest speaker to Loyalist PR has interviewed Scott Speedman, Joshua Jackson PLUS more than a dozen enthusiastic post-grad public relations students?

Answer: Canadian red carpet veteran Dug Stevenson, of course!

Our thanks to Dug, now the Director of Tourism for the Bay of Quinte Tourism who is also a skilled television interview host. 

This week he led Loyalist PR students through a series of exercises to prepare them for their own "red carpet" experiences in the workplace.

Dug, you inspired us and made us laugh at the same time -- we're grateful you took the time to stop by.  See you again soon!