Comms Crisis Part 1

It’s sunny outside, your phone isn’t ringing off the hook and life is good. Time to cruise, right PR friends? No, it isn’t! At any moment, your life can flip upside down in the maelstrom of a sudden crisis! The good news is that you can get much of the work done in advance during calm seas with a little upfront planning. And, if you do this ground work early, you’ll have a...

Comms Habits

We all have our routines. I can’t function without turning on the radio and getting the coffee brewing. Others need “a blueberry, strawberry, cashew butter and coconut water smoothie. Everything organic.” Come of think of it, I need to add reading more of The New York Times’ Sunday Routine column to my routine. Then there are those who celebrate each new day by leaning into...

Three Things Every Good Wire Service Does for You1

You’ve made the right call: you’re planning on using a wire service to get your message out. But with a wide range of offerings out there, how do you know you’re getting good returns on your investment? You could just jump in blindly, but before you do, here are three important things a good service will do for you—so make sure wherever you turn, your provider is doing these...

Quality Content Cook-Off

Sometimes you’re just starved for ideas. Whenever we are, we just have to look to our Bestie-from-Baltimore, Jamie Heckler. She’s a three-star Michelin chef when it comes to dishing out visually satiating content. Over the summer she put out a series of comprehensive blog posts examining content creation as if it were being cooked up in an actual kitchen.

Enegizer Can CWL

We got charged up over Energizer Canada’s “Join Our Journey” campaign. The battery maker’s push to highlight its own advances in recycling parts of spend batteries—a first in an industry faced with challenges around finding value in those drained batteries—sought to encourage and highlight the creative journey of young Canadians. Their news release struck a good...

7 Parts to News Release EN

You have news and you need to tell people about it. Wonderful! That’s why companies send out news releases. It’s easy right? You just dump a bucket of words on an empty page and email everyone you know. No. Do not do this. It won’t go well. First you need to find a way to get you message to the right people—through a wire service.

Cover_Back to School

Looking back, the first week of September was always a terror-filled experience for me. Just how much had fallen out of my head over the warm months? Did I even know how to write essays anymore? Did everyone jump ahead with summer courses while I ate candy? Was this going to be the year I finally came to terms with the fact I’d never be able to speak French? In time, all but the last one would...

What PR Needs to know about search

If you’ve ever watched very young kids play soccer, you’ve seen them swarm after the ball, moving blob-like from point to point, occasionally tapping the ball in one direction or the other. Sometimes it feels like SEO works the same way: we travel together hoping to score, looking at where everyone else is going, occasionally giving up, lying on the grass, staring at the sky and asking,...


What you thought was the perfect news releases failed to deliver a media frenzy. Head on desk, you ball up the release and take aim at the recycling bin. Stop. You’re only partly right. You should recycle the release – but, in other ways.


When we hear about “earned media” it’s hard not to feel like it’s going to be a tough nut to crack. After all, you can’t simply buy (paid media), type (owned), or tweet (shared) your way to success. You have to build relationships with trusted media outlets to see results. If it doesn’t seem worth the effort, think again. Earned media matters.


Recently a post on PR Newswire’s Beyond PR blog caught my eye. It promises to guide us to successful content promotion through news releases—in only six-steps. Six steps? I’ve been here before. This is like those no-sweat workout DVDs. What’s the catch?


It used to be so warm and fuzzy back in the day—before analytics swallowed us up and demanded everything be counted. Does it strike you as odd, that it’s not odd for us to instantly access details on personal tweets about, say, new potato chip flavours or latest Netflix binges?

Six questions_news_release_writer

“How hard can it be?” asked the person who threw together a news release without some basic planning or thought. That release could very well receive some attention, but it could also do so much more. Asking yourself the following simple questions—nothing incredibly daunting or tedious, but definitely elements that could be overlooked—and ensuring you follow best practices...


There’s a new VP joining your company, so it’s time to dust off an old template, right? Sure, or you could think about how to reach new heights with an exciting new announcement.


You’ve got news you need to share. So you share it. You share it with journalists, influencers, peers, strangers, dogs, cats, people who don’t care, and people who don’t read. If you’re doing this, you’re sharing with people you shouldn’t. You can see why it might not be the best use of resources—just because you send releases to everyone doesn’t mean...


Engagement may be the buzzword du jour in the PR realm and we’re eager to nail it on social media, but doing public consultation well in face-to-face, live interaction requires a different, but equally thoughtful approach.


Whether you’re a dentist or a deep-sea drilling operation, crises can come your way. And, with social media in the mix, it’s increasingly important to know how to approach the unknown when it comes to crisis communications.


Humans are back! It’s a shift we’ve been seeing more of online lately: human curation of content. Apple Music actually hopes to differentiate itself in a crowded space with a special focus on curation and even Twitter has gone down this very path with the creation of Twitter Lightning.

Max Return_CO_Banner

You’re building strategies, assembling personas, charting an editorial course, and pumping out solid content, but are you just launching it into a void and crossing your fingers? If so, you’re letting all the hard work (and money) on white papers, eBooks, videos, and blogs go to waste, not to mention leaving creative teams feeling more deflated than month-old birthday balloons.


As we zero-in on our next big, hot summer long-weekend, we wanted to share what Weber served up last month. The grill-masters showed they also knew how to offer up a perfect publicity campaign around Canada Day. Here are some of the things Weber nailed with their #CelebrateCanada Dock Party:


It’s hot outside. The only ice around is crushed and in your daiquiri. Santa’s elves are doing whatever it is they do in their downtime. You’re thinking about December if you’re in marketing or communications, though. At least you should be if you’re responsible for planning a year end or holiday campaign.


Buzzwords appear seemingly out of nowhere and once they’ve settled in they can be hard to avoid.


Huffington Post Canada’s Social Media Editor lives and breathes web content. After transitioning from print, where content would have to be shoehorned to fit the web, he’s finally in his native habitat at Huffpo. Read on to hear some of Ron’s observations on the shifting social media landscape and why we should be looking north for the next great story.


As a society we’re in love with emojis. The little symbols that lend a little emotion to our increasingly text-based lives are one of the fastest growing forms of communication. You can watch in awe at their real-time use to underscore the fact.


The only thing easier than cracking open a cool beer is turning on your tap and pouring a glass of water (and anyone who’s had a hangover will tell you to do both), but residents of wildfire stricken provinces this summer don’t have it so easy—at least when it comes to the water part. Enter, Labatt.


Back in the day, brands would measure their earned media success by pick-up in trade publications and tier one newspapers. But those were the days before bloggers, social media and the 24/7 news cycle. The very definition of earned media has changed, and in many cases, catching the eye of a valuable influencer can take your message further than traditional media alone.

PR Stunts_Done_Right_EN (2)

Late last month Apple had a full-blown PR crisis on its hands: Taylor Swift was mad. Worse, Taylor Swift was mad and armed with an open letter. Apple was in the thick of rolling out its Apple Music streaming service but was not paying royalties to artists during its free trial period. Swift’s reaction was swift, but then, so was the neat resolution. Apple decided to start paying, and so Taylor...


We’re in the thick of a brand monitoring evolution. Yes, it’s still about audience feedback, and we’re not tossing old tools out the window, but more acute ways of delivering business intel are out there and ripe for the picking.


We’ve all splashed around in it—the Twitter stream—watching the same old roll over in 140 characters. It’s like a modern twist on flipping through hundreds of TV stations. So many stations and nothing’s on.


Consumers have dramatically changed the way they buy products and services in the past seven years. Today they are much more informed than ever before, turning to Internet sources before consulting salespeople. And when they are tapping reps for more information, studies show that the average customer has already completed more than half of their purchase decision-making process.

BWTM 2015

This week we hosted yet another installment of our Breakfast with the Media series focusing, this time, on top online business reporters and the unique circumstances of that beat. The panel, moderated by Freelance Business Writer & Editor Bryan Borzykowski, included Sunny Freeman, National Business Reporter, The Huffington Post Canada and Claire Neary, Senior Editor, at The Globe and Mail’s...


According to Slate, the first presidential press conference, held by Woodrow Wilson in 1913, was actually a scheduling mix-up. He wanted to give each reporter a few face-to-face minutes but they were all scheduled for the same time. And so he rolled with it—speaking to all 125 reporters at the same time. It worked and the long-standing tradition of presidential press events was born. But that...


When PR and communications professionals gathered at the Canadian Public Relations Society’s (CPRS) National Conference in Montreal May 31st, the were treated to an eye-opening conference-opening keynote from Jaime Watt. Watt, as Executive Chairman of Navigator, steered the crowd right with his insights on the state of crisis communications today.


If your PR agency is just doing media relations and announcing products, you’d better get in that time machine and go back to 1985. The modern agency just can’t use the pre-web business-as-usual model—instead, it needs to be agile, always-on, and ready to take on more. It also needs to be on the forefront of embracing new platforms, formats, and channels as well as using emerging...


The Canadian Journalism Foundation Awards Gala is a who’s who of newsmakers and this year, among an immensely talented crop of winners, the CJF offered a much-deserved tribute to bestselling author and New Yorker columnist Malcolm Gladwell.


Open up a wind-up watch and you’ll see just how many delicate and perfectly placed gears must align to get the timing right. The same kind of careful planning behind the scenes is needed to get the timing of a news release perfectly aligned with your target audience, particularly when you’re sending your release globally across multiple markets and timezones.


One of the things we hear time and time again is that while IRO’s know that multimedia such as photos and videos can have a positive impact on their investor communications, they struggle with how to get started creating assets and packaging them together for distribution. In addition to concerns about resources, simply having access to creative teams during a high-pressure earnings period leads...

Cover_Picturing a Better Profile Photo

Communicators already know the value of a strong visual in the content they produce and distribute: a good photo increases attention. Applying that approach to one’s own personal brand simply makes sense. Letting your social platforms project a grey LinkedIn outline avatar, or a Twitter egg is like asking to be ignored. That said, any old photo isn’t always ideal when you’re trying...


Today social sharing is currency. The effectiveness of social media really comes down to how much interaction you can drive, otherwise you’re just another drop in the stream. While even the savviest communicators can’t determine what the next hot social trend will be, there are a few things you can do to increase the chances your content will get shared. Implement these four overarching...


Gone are the days of a la carte blog visits. Instead of bookmarking blogs to visit every day, social media sharing is the new driver of successful blogs and bloggers need to know how to engage new audiences on those terms.


You have all your news release ducks in order: a killer headline, solid sub-headline, an engaging story to share, and now you’re ready to get it out on the wire.


Blogs do a lot of heavy lifting in content marketing, but starting and maintaining one is just half the battle. The “build it and they will come” model of corporate blogging just doesn’t work. The world’s best efforts reach well beyond their respective firms and become legitimate information hubs for the general public. But, to make a top-tier corporate blog look as good and...