Thursday, December 15, 2016

Loyalist PR: preparing students to be professionals

Matthew Harding (far left)
One thing we don't always talk about on this blog is the fact that many of our PR graduates go on to have highly successful careers in various non-marketing industries. What's interesting is to hear them talk about how their year in Post-Graduate Public Relations at Loyalist College helped prepare them for those roles.

Here's a note we received from Loyalist PR graduate Matthew Harding (2014/15) who is now an Aviation System Technician with the Royal Canadian Air Force:

"The PR program assisted me with furthering my career goals by helping me develop my public speaking abilities. This directly increased my self-confidence which in turn enables me to perform my job better. 

Loyalist PR also exposed me to new challenges I had never faced before. By learning to handle these challenges through education and practice, I developed the ability to think outside the box. This is a critical skill needed for my military career, so I have the PR program to thank for that.

Furthermore, the PR program really drove home the philosophy of brand representation. Having the mindset that I represent my organization and the values of that organization is essential to maintaining a professional career. Everyone needs professional composure, whether they are in the military, a social worker or brand ambassador. Professionalism is essential to doing your job well and with pride, which should be the goal of anyone seeking a career."

Thanks, Matt! We wish you all the best in your military career - we're so proud of you.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Loyalist PR gets festive at business etiquette luncheon

Loyalist PR students enjoyed a delicious business etiquette luncheon today at Resto 213 (on campus). What a wonderful meal -- and the company was stellar, as always! 

Thanks for hosting us, Resto 213! 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Loyalist PR alumni panel connects with current students

Loyalist PR students are grateful to the alumni who came out this week as part of our annual Loyalist PR Alumni Panel. An opening Q&A session was followed by small group discussions where students were able to get to know alumni, and ask them more specific questions about their careers. 

Special thanks to: 

- Kasey Rogerson, Destination Development Coordinator - Hastings County
- Luisa Sorrentino, Community Fundraising Assistant - Canadian Cancer Society
- Bryna Jones, Senior Advisor, Knowledge Management Communications Systems - World Vision - International (Washington, DC)
- Colleen Vickers, Special Events Coordinator - City of Quinte West
- Tiffany Lobb, Communications & Specialist - AECOM International (Toronto, ON) 
- Ryan Dickison, Operations Manager - Basketball Nova Scotia (Halifax, NS)
- Stacey Wickens, Senior Event Coordinator - The Lavin Agency (Toronto, ON)
- Troy Stewart, Product Content Associate Manager - Walmart e-Commerce (Toronto, ON)

We look forward to seeing where your career paths lead you, and wish you every success for the future. 

Friday, November 11, 2016

Loyalist PR raises $2,600+ at Smash & Dash event

Loyalist PR Class of 2017
Congratulations to this year's Loyalist PR students who raised more than $2,600 (with the help of Loyalist College Student Government) for United Way of Hastings and Prince Edward.
Loyalist PR grad Nicole Corcoran of the United Way faces off at Smash & Dash with City of Belleville Mayor Taso Christopher.
The Smash & Dash event held on November 10th attracted plenty of excitement, along with VIP guests MP Neil Ellis, MPP Todd Smith, City of Belleville Mayor Taso Christopher and new Loyalist College President Ann-Marie Vaughan.
Loyalist PR students show off some of the $4,000+ in Smash & Dash prizes to be won.
Thank you to everyone helped support this worthy cause! 

Monday, October 31, 2016

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Bay of Quinte Regional Marketing Board hosts Loyalist PR

This week, the Post-Graduate Public Relations students at Loyalist College enjoyed an informative (and entertaining) visit to the Bay of Quinte (BOQ) Regional Marketing Board offices in Belleville. 

Led by Executive Director Dug Stevenson, Loyalist PR graduate and Communications Manager Laura Voskamp and Business and Program Development Manager Trevor Norris, Bay of Quinte Regional Marketing is an excellent example of effective destination branding in the local area.

The trip to Bay of Quinte provided applied learning following an in-class session on the importance of destination and community branding. 

Our thanks to this dynamic trio for the insights, fun and learning that were jam-packed into one memorable afternoon.

Keep up the awesome work BOQ! 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Loyalist PR to hold SMASH & DASH for United Way

Mark your calendars! Loyalist PR students will be holding their 12th annual fall fundraiser for the United Way of Quinte on Thursday, November 10th from 7:30 am to 1:30 pm at Loyalist College.

Help us smash hunger, povery and homelessness by purchasing a $2 ticket (or three for $5) to take a swing at our first-ever Auto Smash event! That's right: take a swing at an old car with a sledgehammer and relieve all that mid-semester stress!

Besides relieving your stress, taking part in this FUNdraiser will also get your name in the draw for a ton of awesome prizes.

There will also be Smash & Dash events taking place in the Loyalist College dining hall and the student centre, so be sure to stop by and take part in the fun!

PLEASE NOTE: this is a CASH ONLY event.

Smash & Dash is open to students, staff, faculty and community members -- so be sure to join us!

P.S. Did you know that Post-Graduate Public Relations students have raised more than $78,600 for the United Way of Quinte over the years? Let's add a huge chunk of change to that total this year!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Loyalist PR Grad Profile: Steph Nguyen (2015/16)

Today's Loyalist PR Grad Profile features Steph Nguyen (2015/16), Account Coordinator for JAM Direct Inc., a marketing and advertising agency in Toronto, Ontario.

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College, Steph completed a double major in Communications and Criminology at the University of Ottawa.

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

Steph Nguyen: A high employment rate, close mentorship and guidance, as well as length were all factors that played a large role in my decision to choose Loyalist PR. I also remember contacting a couple of Loyalist PR graduates who I knew personally, to ask about their experiences. Hearing their positive take on the program and seeing their current success really solidified everything for me.

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

Steph: Loyalist PR helped prepare me for my current role in a lot of different ways. A few specific takeaways I can note: grammar and writing skills (so, so, SO important), the ability to efficiently manage numerous projects simultaneously and on tight timelines, as well as valuable insights from guest speakers in the workforce. 

Loyalist PR: Could you describe for us some of your duties at JAM?

Steph: To say it as concisely as possible, I would say that I'm the middle-man between the client and our agency. Each week, I take project briefs from the client and then I brief a team of my own that typically consists of an Art Director and Copywriter. We then go through a very detail-oriented process to develop campaigns that meet the needs of the client. Depending on the size of the campaign, this process can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months or more. 

Overall, it's really cool and gratifying to see digital, print and social projects from start to finish because you get to see things you've worked so hard on come to life.

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

Steph: The Toronto trip was definitely a highlight of my year at Loyalist. It not only opened our eyes to the possibilities available within our career, but also provided a great opportunity to network. I made a couple of meaningful connections that lasted long after the trip ended.

Loyalist PR: Do you have any words of advice for this year's students?

Steph: As important as networking is, don't be afraid to cold call or cold email. Speaking from experience, the result may definitely surprise you - in a good way! Also, don't underestimate the importance of writing, or your resume. They are crucial. 

Loyalist PR: Thanks for your time, Steph, and good luck in your future endeavours! 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Loyalist PR spends a perfect fall day in Toronto

Loyalist PR's annual fall trip to Toronto took place on a perfect fall day with beautiful, sunny skies and plenty of fun and learning.

Our first stop was the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) where Loyalist PR students made pitches to three senior museum communications staff on the Friday Night Live ROM series taking place on site this season.
Following a great visit at the ROM, it was time for lunch (and dino cookies!) in the ROM restaurant. Since it was only a couple days before Thanksgiving, we all gathered "family-style" to share a meal and talk about the morning we'd just experienced.
Next, it was time for a quick walk down the street to the offices of Fleishman Hillard where a number of PR agency folks led us through an informative and delicious presentation (thanks to client M&Ms).
Before we knew it, the time had come to head home -- and fortunately, our Loyalist PR crew is always full of fun and entertainment, so we enjoyed not only some funny stories, but also a medieval wedding video to pass the time.
Thanks to our partners for hosting us in Toronto, and to our Loyalist PR students for being professional and AWESOME throughout the trip.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Rhonda Cunningham, CFRE visits Loyalist PR

Executive Director Rhonda Cunningham, CFRE of the Northumberland Hills Hospital Foundation stopped by today to share her experiences and insights with Loyalist PR students.

From the donor pyramid to how to ask for a major gift, Rhonda held our attention for more than an hour as she told stories, answered questions and shared with us her incredible passion for health care fundraising.

Her commitment to her community and to enhancing the learning of future fundraisers and communicators is truly a credit to her.

Thank you for stopping by, Rhonda -- you are a real inspiration!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

CPRS past president (Toronto) stops by

Our thanks to Sarah Jones, APR, FCPRS of CPRS Toronto for stopping by our class this week to discuss the Canadian Public Relations Society.

Sarah is a PR consultant from the Toronto area who has more than 25 years of experience in marketing and strategic communications. She has worked with a variety of Ontario government organizations over the years, and is considered one of the premier experts on issues and crisis management in Canada.

Thanks for the presentation, Sarah - we appreciate your time!

Friday, September 09, 2016

Academic year is off to a yarn-tastic start!

A big WELCOME to our new Loyalist PR students who began classes this week here at Loyalist College. Of course, no Orientation Week would be completed without a few getting-to-know you games... 

... a great opportunity to create new ties (though we did come unravelled at times). 

We look forward to a great, fun-filled year ahead with plenty of learning and new opportunities -- and no, we're not "stringing" you along. 

Bad puns aside, stay tuned -- it's going to be a great year!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Loyalist PR Grad Profile: Lauren Graham (2015/16)

Today's Loyalist PR grad profile features Lauren Graham (2015/16) who is now employed as the Specialist, Media & Public Relations for Tourism Jasper in Alberta.

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations program at Loyalist College, Lauren completed an Honours English degree from Carleton University in Ottawa.

Loyalist PR: Tell us a bit about your duties as the Specialist, Media & Public Relations for Tourism Jasper.

Lauren Graham: My primary duties are creating content calendars for press releases and our blog (and then following it up with writing or delegating the required releases or blog posts) and working with media interested in Jasper. I also organize media visits and create/maintain relationships with stakeholders, media and other DMOs (destination marketing organizations).

Loyalist PR: What do you like best about your job?

Lauren: This is a tough one, there are just so many amazing aspects of my job. I'll have to go with working with the media though. It's really exciting to write a press release and have someone like it enough to run with it. I also enjoy helping people have their best Jasper experience, and reading about it later.

Loyalist PR: What made you decide to enrol in the Post-Grad PR program at Loyalist?

Lauren: The high employment rate for graduates caught my interest, and then learning that it's a one-year post-graduate program really sold it for me.

Loyalist PR: How did the Post-Grad PR program help prepare you for your current role at Tourism Jasper?

Lauren: The biggest thing would be press releases and proper etiquette for conversing with media. My writing had been very formal and academic before joining the program. I was encouraged to have fun with my writing and build excitement, rather than just state facts. Also, going over what it's like to deal with the media on a general basis for huge. Some things I never would have thought of as a faux-pas can really rub some reporters the wrong way. I'm sure it's saved me from a few "egg on the face" moments.

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

Lauren: The highlight was definitely the Toronto trip. Not only was it exciting to see the different places PR can take you and start building connections, but it was the first time we really got to spend time together outside the classroom. It was an eye-opening experience, and an amazing bonding time.

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

Lauren: Keep your options open and NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK! I went through 3/4 of the year absolutely certain I wanted to work in a PR agency, and had no interest in not-for-profit. My internship was at a not-for-profit as it turned out, and now I'm working in (and for) one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen with another Loyalist PR graduate from a few years before me. It's a small world than you think!

Loyalist PR: Thanks for sharing your insights with us, Lauren. And good luck in Jasper!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Orientation Day 2016!

The faculty of the Post-Grad Public Relations program look forward to welcoming our new crew of Loyalist PR students in just two weeks!

Please join us in Room 1N1 at 9 am on Tuesday, September 6th at Loyalist College.

We look forward to seeing you then!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Grad Profile: Luisa Sorrentino (2015/16)

Today's Loyalist PR Grad Profile features Luisa Sorrentino (2015/16) who is now employed in the Economic Development department of Hastings County.

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College, Luisa completed a degree in Political Science and Masters in International Politics in Rome, Italy.

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

Luisa Sorrentino: I was laid off at work and I had heard so many excellent reviews about this program that I took my opportunity with two hands

Loyalist PR: Tell us about your duties with Hastings County. 

Luisa Sorrentino: I assist with the ongoing implementation of the Hastings County Economic Development Action Plan, help with research and the update of our community profile and support investment marketing over various social media channels. I'm also involved in tourism and business developments projects and assist in implementing the communication plan for Cultural Portal.

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

Luisa: Loyalist PR helped me learn how to use social media in a well-integrated communication strategy, taught me about all the current technology trends (Hootsuite especially) gave me experience with communication plans and taught me design principles. Most of all, PR writing class gave me a great advantage and the confidence to be successful in this position.

Loyalist PR: What do you enjoy most about your job? 

Luisa: I love being in charge of social media, as well as brainstorming and writing for the Hastings County blog. I also enjoy implementing the existing communications plan and participating in all Tourism and Economic Development meetings. 

Loyalist PR: Any words of advice for students entering the PR program this fall? 

Luisa: Make the most of it all! Volunteer in the community when the opportunities arise and create relationships. When you are in class, be there 100%, participate with energy and see your life change in the direction that you dreamed of!
Loyalist PR: Thanks for sharing, Luisa -- have a wonderful summer!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Happy Convocation Day!

Congratulations to all of our Loyalist PR graduates this year (a few are shown above with Professor Kerry Ramsay)!

We're excited by the progress you've already made in the workforce, and look forward to keeping in touch with you as your careers take off.

It was a pleasure teaching you!

~ Kerry, Peggy and Andrew

Friday, June 03, 2016

Grad Profile: Brandon Black (2015/16)

Today's Loyalist PR Grad Profile features Brandon Black (2015/16) who is now employed as the Marketing Associate at the Sawdust City Brewing Company in Gravenhurst, Ontario.

Before entering the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College, Brandon completed an Advanced Diploma in New Media Production and Animation at Loyalist.

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

Brandon Black: I chose to enroll in the Loyalist PR program for a couple reasons. The first was that I was no longer interested in the animation industry. I was finding the lifestyle associated with the job was not compatible with mine. The second reason for enrolling was because my grandfather was a PR person for a company that he eventually owned, and I've been hearing a lot of people say lately, "you're so much like your grandfather." I believe that's true, so it seemed like a right fit.

Loyalist PR: Can you briefly describe for us some of your duties as Marketing Associate at Sawdust City Brewing Company? 

Brandon: My list of duties is endless, but I'll try to keep it short. I assist with the planning, running, and promotion of Sawdust City events. As well I handle part of the social media and help with distribution for TAPS Magazine. Any media relations tasks also get directed my way, such as news coverage of an event or acquiring ad space.

Loyalist PR: How would you say Loyalist PR helped prepare you for your current role?

Brandon: Loyalist PR prepared me for this position by giving me a lot of useful knowledge. I'm now aware of the strategies and techniques that are being implemented, and I am able to offer input about the brand's direction. Also the hands-on event management that is taught in the PR program instilled confidence in me, allowing me to actively volunteer to run or help out with different events.

Loyalist PR: What's your favourite part of your job?

Brandon: Well, free beer is always a great perk! One of the biggest perks is the people I work with. Everyone is friendly and they want to see me succeed. 

Loyalist PR: Any words of wisdom for the new grads entering the program this fall?

Brandon: Always say yes. If you're writing a press release and your boss asks you if you can drive to Toronto in the next 15 minutes to help with the clean-up of an event, say yes. It may be unrelated to what you're "supposed" to be doing or may be completely new to you, but being an asset to your place of work in whatever way possible can open doors you didn't even know were there to open.

Loyalist PR: Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, Brandon -- cheers! 

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Loyalist PR grads working with government officials

Loyalist PR grad Melissa Gruber at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.
Two separate photos popped up in our social media feed yesterday, both of Loyalist PR grads working with government officials -- so we thought we'd share! 

The photo above is of Melissa Gruber, Senior Consultant, Cultural Industries at Global Public Affairs. Melissa is pictured here at Rideau Hall, the official residence of the Governor General of Canada, where she attended the Killam Prize presentation.

The second (below) is a photo of one of our grads from last year, Clara Quinn, who is now employed by Neil Ellis, the Member of Parliament for Bay of Quinte. Clara and Mr. Ellis were attending the opening ceremonies of the Under 19 World Floorball Championships which take place in Belleville this week.
Loyalist PR grad Clara Quinn with Neil Ellis, MP for Bay of Quinte. 
Post-Graduate Public Relations offers training for jobs in a wide range of areas -- and government is just one of them.

If you're interested in becoming a part of the Loyalist PR program, applications are still being accepted at Apply quickly as spots are filling up!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Loyalist PR students on field placement this month

Since the beginning of April, our Post-Grad PR students have been busy working at their field placements located everywhere from Victoria, BC to Toronto, ON.
Employers range from craft breweries and hockey teams to downtown PR agencies and rural health agencies (and everything in between). The experiences are as diverse as their locations, as our students continue their hands-on learning -- the last step before graduation.

Keep up the great work, everyone! 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

University degree + college post-grad certificate = success

Loyalist Public Relations Student Derek Holota
The following article was written by Loyalist PR student Derek Holota and published in the Intelligencer newspaper on Thursday, March 24th: 

In the summer of 2015 I found myself sitting in the kitchen of my apartment in Calgary, coffee in hand, staring at my résumé. 

I had lost my job a few weeks earlier after the price of oil plummeted. I had been working as an agency recruiter for the better part of two years, so I knew what it would take to find a new job, even in Calgary’s slowing job market. I thought this could be an opportunity to make the career change I had been thinking about.

Before I started updating and reformatting my résumé, I analyzed my skills. I asked myself, what do I know how to do? The answer to that question was sobering. Although I have a degree, I didn’t feel prepared to apply for the jobs that piqued my interest. I lacked the hands-on experience so many employers require.

I reached out to my network of family and friends to help me decide what to do next. Many of them had pursued a degree-to-diploma pathway when they faced a similar dilemma and found great success. So I decided to do the same and enrolled in the post-graduate Public Relations program at Loyalist College.

Once at Loyalist, I quickly saw that I was just one small part of an ever-growing trend of university graduates pursuing a college education.

“We’re seeing a lot more university students coming to the college to get that hands-on experience,” said Lyndsay Kerik, senior alumni and career services officer at Loyalist.

Staying competitive in the job market is the main reason so many university grads follow through with a degree-to-diploma pathway.

“There is a demand for workers who have a combination of technical training, formal education and ‘soft’ skills,” Kerik added.

After experiencing life at Loyalist, it’s easy to see why. The style of teaching at the college simply does not allow you to be anonymous. The faculty members were highly engaged in my learning and I had the opportunity to gain real-world experience by completing projects for local clients. There wasn’t a single day when I could (or wanted to) sit back and be a spectator. Coming from a university of 80,000 students, it was an adjustment to get used to that style of learning, but it’s better in every way. I now have a portfolio of highly employable skills, my network of industry contacts has increased exponentially and I’ve made dozens of new friends.

The degree-to-diploma pathway is a great option for university graduates to get their foot in the door. The combination of both a degree and diploma can really set one apart in the job market.

Loyalist has given me the opportunity to get out of my comfort zone and gain a whole new set of skills in an engaging environment. As I return to the workforce after completing the post-grad PR program at Loyalist, I feel confident and prepared to make an immediate impact in my next job.

For more information about Loyalist College’s post-graduate Public Relations program, click here. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

2016 PRISM Awards celebrate student success

On Thursday, March 24th the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program held its 11th annual PRISM Awards event at Occasions by the Bay to celebrate the achievements of our students. 

We are pleased to announce the winners of this year's PRISM Awards: 

2016 PRISM Service Award (sponsored by Quinte Conservation
Winner - Luisa Sorrentino
Honourable Mention - Jessica Klein

2016 PRISM Leadership Award (sponsored by Fifth Story
Winner - Rob Alexander                                                
Honourable Mention - Derek Holota 

2016 PRISM Innovation Award (sponsored by Marketwired)
Winner - Angie Best
Honourable Mention - Andrew Miller  

2016 PRISM Teamwork Award (sponsored by SK Bailey Marketing & Design
Winner - Steph Nguyen
Honourable Mention - Amy Seymour

2016 PRISM Spirit Award (sponsored by Quinte Mall
Winner - Luisa Sorrentino 
Honourable Mention - Brandon Black

2016 PRISM New Media Award (sponsored by Marketwired
Winner - John Moodie
Honourable Mention - Mitch Hounslow

2016 PRISM Professionalism Award (sponsored by the PR Advisory Committee) 
Winner - Derek Holota 
Honourable Mention - Rob Alexander 

Individual Campaign of the Year (sponsored by Fifth Story
Winner - Steph Nguyen 
Honourable Mention - Sara Hart 

Team Campaign of the Year (sponsored by CPRS National
Winners - Kristen Cockburn, Angie Best, John Moodie 
Honourable Mentions - Steph Nguyen and Mitch Hounslow 
Fundraising Campaign of the Year (sponsored by Belleville Chamber of Commerce)
Winners - Rob Alexander, Steph Nguyen, Angie Best, Jessica Klein 
Honourable Mentions - Lauren Graham, Sara Hart, Harper Bauer, Cody Lefort, Mitchell Moore 
Class Valedictorian Rob Alexander

2016 PRISM Mentorship Award (sponsored by CISION)
Laura Voskamp


Class Valedictorian – Rob Alexander

Thank you to our hard-working PRISM event planning team (Heather Norlock, Ashley Robinson, Rebeka Hall and Mitchell Moore) for helping to make this year's event so amazing! 

Special appreciation also to this year's PRISM Award sponsors:

Marketwired (signature sponsor)

Thank you to all of our supporters for your generosity! 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Event sustainability tips from Toronto speaker

The Post-Graduate Public Relations students at Loyalist College recently enjoyed a visit from Dionne Bishop of the International Special Events Society (Toronto chapter). 

A seasoned event planner and owner of Verite Marketing & Events in Toronto, Dionne shared insights from the front lines of event management, along with tips for producing environmentally sustainable events. 

She also expanded on the benefits of becoming a member of the International Special Events Society, and the importance of making connections in the industry.

Thanks for an inspiring visit, Dionne! We wish you all the best in the future. 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Loyalist PR students break fundraising record

This past weekend, our final team of Loyalist PR students held their Win for Kids fundraiser at Starbucks and Chapters in Belleville. The result was more than $1,800 raised in support of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Hastings and Prince Edward Counties. Way to go, guys!

This weekend's total brings the Loyalist PR fundraising total to more than $13,000 this semester (a record!) and more than $23,000 for the 2015/16 school year.

What an accomplishment - you should all be extremely proud of yourselves!  

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Grad Profile: Melanie Lyman (2014/15)

Today's Loyalist PR Grad Profile features Melanie Lyman (2014/15), now employed as the full-time Communications Associate with the South East Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) in Belleville, Ontario.

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College, Melanie completed a diploma in Radio Broadcasting from Loyalist. 

Loyalist PR: What made you decide to enroll in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College?

Melanie Lyman: After taking a break from radio advertising sales to start a family, I realized I needed a career change. I thoroughly enjoyed planning and coordinating events from birthday parties to fundraisers, so I decided to capitalize on my hobby. However, I knew I needed the credentials and formal education required to be taken seriously in the industry. The Loyalist PR program came very highly recommended. 

Loyalist PR: Tell us about what your job entails.

Melanie: In my role, I get to organize and facilitate engagement events for public stakeholders and the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. As part of the organizing committee, I just started planning communications for the 2016 Primary Health Care Forum that will take place this October. Beyond that (and more on a day-to-day basis), I manage the South East LHIN web site and social media accounts. I monitor and track media coverage and develop a monthly media report that is presented to the Board. I also work with many of the other departments to edit reports, newsletters, etc. and also ensure our corporate brand is displayed and promoted consistently as per the Ministry guidelines.

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

Melanie: The Loyalist PR program helped me further develop the soft skills I came to the course with, and offered me a wide range of hard skills like writing comprehensive communication plans and web writing. I valued the introduction to digital design and other essential applications commonly used in the PR field and find I now use them daily. Most importantly, the professors and professionals in the Loyalist College Career Centre gave me the tools I needed to pursue my current position with a high level of confidence.

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

Melanie: What comes to mind is the sense of "team" I encountered while I was there. Everyone I graduated with brought something different and unique to the class from very diverse backgrounds. No one had an attitude of being better than anyone else, and the atmosphere was one of creativity and collaboration. Even Sheldon (from Big Bang Theory) quietly participated! I credit Kerry for creating a classroom that enables students to work together successfully and teaching us how to overcome real-world work challenges, the sorts of challenges I've already experienced in the field. 

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

Melanie: I would advise new students to ask questions -- many, many questions! The fact is you're probably not the only one who doesn't know, and it also avoids you having to ask those simple questions on the job. 

Keep in touch with your networks on a regular basis and don't underestimate a chance to expand your network, even if it seems insignificant at the time. Opportunities come in all shapes and sizes, but they don't often fall into your lap. By continuously developing your connections and skills, you'll keep yourself up-to-date on emerging trends after graduation and during that crucial job search period.

Loyalist PR: Thanks, Melanie! We wish you all the best in your future endeavours! 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Digital marketing maven visits Loyalist PR

Post-Graduate Public Relations students at Loyalist College were privileged to learn this week from from Leona Hobbs, a Toronto-based marketing and communications professional with expertise in social media and digital marketing.

Leona currently leads the digital marketing team at MMK Marketing, and is the chair of the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program Advisory Committee at Loyalist.

Leona covered a wide range of subjects from permission marketing and real-time bidding to digital marketing trends and technologies.

Thanks for spending time with us this week, Leona! You are truly an inspiration. 

"In the digital space, attention is a currency. We earn it. We spend it." ~ Brian Solis

Friday, March 11, 2016

Award-winning Loyalist PR grad stops by

Our thanks to Loyalist PR grad Amanda Attard, Event Coordinator at e=mc2 events (Toronto) who stopped by our Event Management class via Skype today.

Amanda provided a great overview of the life of an event planner, including the highs and lows of the job. 

Working with e=mc2 events, Amanda helps organize more than 100 events across North America, including such major occasions as Love Her (see photo below), the Children's Aid Teddy Bear Affair (the longest-running fundraising gala in Toronto), the annual "Limitless" fundraiser for Special Olympics, and the annual Toronto International Film Festival fundraising gala.
"In event management, you're always looking to create memorable, on-site moments and experiences," explains Amanda. "It's all about being creative and paying attention to the details."
Thanks for stopping by, Amanda - you're a real inspiration and we're proud of all that you've accomplished! 

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Loyalist PR hosts speed mentoring event

A great group of local communications professionals took part in this year's annual Speed Mentoring Event at Loyalist College.

Our thanks to the following professionals who took part in this year's event:

* Julie White, Director, Marketing & Communications, University of Hospitals Kingston Foundation

* Erica Holgate, Executive Director, Belleville Downtown Improvement Association 

* Hannah Brown, Communications Coordinator, Batawa Ski Hill & Development

* Luc Fournier, Membership Development Coordinator, Belleville Chamber of Commerce

* Brad Warner, Fundraising Coordinator, Canadian Cancer Society (Hastings-Prince Edward & Brighton)

* Bojanna Lough, Community Relations & Development Coordinator, Habitat for Humanity (Prince Edward Hastings)

* Amelia Huffman, PR/Fund Development Coordinator, Alzheimer Society 

* Sandy Hibbard-Ramsay, Source Protection Web & Communications Specialist, Lower Trent Conservation

* Tracey Bourdon, Head Marketing Coach, Susan K. Bailey Marketing & Design

* Tracey Newton, Marketing & Customer Relations Coordinator, City of Belleville 

Thanks to everyone who participated, and to the organizers for putting together such an enjoyable and informative event. 

Monday, March 07, 2016

Loyalist PR students visit Quinte Broadcasting

This week, Loyalist PR students had the opportunity to visit Quinte Broadcasting to learn more about intrusive and passive media, and to tour the Quinte Broadcasting facilities.

Our thanks to Station Sales Manager Jody Brooker and Martha Farrell, Account Executive, who hosted our visit.
Students were able to meet a number of radio broadcasting professionals, and to learn about the role of radio in the integrated marketing mix. 

Thanks for a great afternoon, Quinte Broadcasting!

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Loyalist PR raises $10,000+ in one weekend!

Mayor Christopher Taso (centre on bike) was among the riders who helped raise funds for Heart & Stroke Foundation this weekend with Loyalist PR students. 
It's been a whirlwind of activity for Loyalist PR students this past week. Just this weekend, students raised more than $10,000 for local charities.
Photo source: Snapd Quinte
The first event, A Day 4 Play, was held at Rhino's Sports & Play Centre on Friday night, raising more than $600 for the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
On Saturday, more than 40 brave residents made the icy plunge into the Bay of Quinte at the first-ever Freezin' for a Reason event. More than $8,400 was raised for YMCA Strong Kids
Photo Source: Snapd Quinte
On Sunday, the energetic Keeping the Pace event raised more than $500 for the Heart & Stroke Foundation. 
Photo source: Snapd Quinte
At the same time (on the other side of town), Loyalist PR's Pic Your Pet raised $675 in funds and donations in support of the Quinte Humane Society. 

WOW! We are so proud of our students for all their hard work and dedication to these creative and successful events.

Congratulations, everyone! We look forward to more even more events taking place in the weeks ahead!

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Join Loyalist PR today for Colour Me Loyalist!

Join Loyalist PR students today as they host the college's first-ever Colour Me Loyalist event! 

The fun starts at noon in the Shark Tank Pub - plenty of prizes to be won, so bring a change of clothes (recommended) and be sure to stop by. 

We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Don't miss Student Film Night this Thursday!

Loyalist PR students are assisting with this Thursday night's Student Film Night, a showcase of local student films at Loyalist College.

Films will be judged by a panel of local, professional filmmakers. 

The evening is sure to create a buzz - don't miss it!