Archive for August, 2012

Four Things I Learned About PR From Driving a B-I-G FORD Truck

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Last week I was “voluntold” (definition: told I was volunteering) to drive a FORD F150 Harley Davidson truck for two days. Scary stuff for a little car owner, but also an exciting opportunity to drive such a gorgeous truck! While cruising around my downtown neighbourhood (trying to find a parking spot I could fit into with my very limited parallel parking skills) I got thinking about the similarities between driving a FORD truck and being in public relations. I’ve listed my top four below.

My vehicle for two days – the FORD F150 Harley Davidson truck. Note the “No Parking” sign: This truck makes you feel invincible.

1. Be bold. Driving a big truck when you’re used to a little car? Scary. Driving your boss to the HuffPost Alberta launch in downtown Calgary in a big truck? TERRIFYING! Everyone has reservations in public relations at some point – a particular media relations outreach program or an intricate client event may seem incredibly daunting. Often however, the scariest projects have the most exciting results! Be bold and push your creative limits once and a while – you might surprise yourself!

Shauna and Steph after navigating downtown Calgary’s one-way street maze.

2. Push all the buttons. Leather seat air conditioning? Touch screen GPS? Satellite radio with 1,000 channels? These fantastic features came in handy when my colleague Jen Bauer and I were recruiting Original Joe’s volunteers from around the city for our Calgary Corporate Challenge team. It can be tempting to stay comfortable and stick with areas of PR or particular projects you excel at, but the only way to grow as a professional is to experiment! Try new tasks, new industries, new approaches, and watch yourself flourish!

The Northland Original Joe’s was much easier to find than the tricky Avenida location...

3. Check your mirrors. Driving in residential areas, navigating downtown Calgary, admiring how good you look in a truck – checking your mirrors is key! This is just as true in PR. Whether scanning the competitive landscape of your clients’ industries, keeping up-to-date on social media platforms or learning about new and exciting PR initiatives, being aware of activities developing around you is instrumental in wowing your colleagues and clients.

4. Enjoy the view! I have never felt taller in my life than driving the FORD F150 Harley Davidson truck down Crowchild Trail. Saying that PR is a fast-paced industry is an understatement.  It can be easy to move from planning and executing one project, to planning the next. Remember to take the time and enjoy your accomplishments! Admire your well-attended event, relish that media mention you’ve worked hard for – be proud of what you’ve achieved and use that momentum jumping into your next project.

What do you think – any other similarities you can think of? ^sg

The PR Internship: Myth vs. Fact

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Internships are a great way to break into the world of public relations, so don’t let misguided advice keep you from getting the most out of your experience. Based on our time at Brookline Public Relations, we unravel popular misconceptions about “the” PR internship.

Myth: Fake it ‘til you make it

Fact: You may be assigned tasks that are totally new to you. Don’t be afraid to admit what you do not know. Asking for clarification will free up your time to work on your actual assignment instead of secretively Googling the lingo.

Myth: Always be a yes-person

Fact: Your work ethic is not necessarily reflected by your workload. Completing your projects with care and on time is more important than the number of projects you take on. Communicate your workload with your team members so you balance quality with quantity.

Myth: Every day is a fashion show

Fact: While it’s important to look professional, you are more likely to be remembered for your attitude and effort than the brand of your blazer. Agency life may have you in a dress and heels one day, and jeans the next. Dress for the occasion, but remember: appearance isn’t the only thing that matters.

Myth: Stick to your strengths

Fact: It may seem best to choose the assignments where you will thrive, but now is the best time to work on the skills you haven’t yet mastered. Becoming a well-rounded practitioner means taking on new challenges. And who knows, you may find a hidden talent!

Myth: Success and perfection are one and the same

Fact: Mistakes are a natural part of the learning process. While getting that first bit of constructive criticism can sting a little bit, it will ultimately make you a better practitioner. So take feedback in stride and learn from your mistakes.

Myth: By the end you will be a PR guru

Fact: While there is no doubt you’ll finish your internship with a wealth of knowledge, what you learn in those months is just the tip of the iceberg. As an industry, PR is ever-evolving; the best practitioners are life-long learners.

Internships are what you make them. Go in with an open mind, soak up everything you can and you’ll find yourself in a great position to take on your next career opportunity. ^jb and ac

Jen Bauer and Andria Campbell (pictured above respectively) are interns at Brookline Public Relations.

Jen Bauer is going into her third year in the Bachelor of Communications – Public Relations program at Mount Royal University and previously received her Bachelor of Arts in English at the University of Saskatchewan.

Andria Campbell recently received her Graduate Diploma in Public Relations Management from McGill University, where she previously completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and Political Science.

Brookline to begin work with Premier Grassroots Communications firm to execute communications efforts for an automotive client in the Calgary Region

Friday, August 17th, 2012

CALGARY ALBERTA – (August 17, 2012) Brookline Public Relations, Inc. (Brookline) is pleased to announce it has been selected to work with Direct Impact, an international grassroots communications firm, to implement key activities on behalf of an automotive sector client in the Calgary region.

“We were drawn to Brookline because of their exceptional track record of professionalism and results, not to mention their organizational goals and work ethic align with our own,” said Rhonda Belluso, Vice President, Direct Impact.

An award-winning boutique PR firm, Brookline has been chosen to execute a comprehensive public relations program designed to support automotive dealers and maintain and increase awareness of the client’s brand for the Calgary and southern Alberta marketplace.

“This is one of the most recognized brands in the world and we are thrilled to become a part of the Direct Impact team to support such a prominent, well-respected company,” said Shauna MacDonald, Principal and Founder of Brookline.


About Direct Impact
Founded in 1988, Direct Impact (, @directimpactgr) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Burson-Marsteller and a member of the WPP family. With offices in Washington, D.C.; Austin, Texas; Seattle, Washington; London, England and Toronto, Canada, DI is a premier grassroots public affairs, public education and corporate reputation firm, offering a complete range of services essential to conducting successful grassroots outreach and education, public relations, coalition development and community mobilization.

About Brookline Public Relations

Brookline Public Relations, Inc. is a strategic public relations and marketing communications firm dedicated to helping organizations build awareness, profile and credibility worldwide. Our core purpose is to support our clients’ goals with fresh and creative communications strategies by implementing a solid and professional approach while enthusiastically challenging the status quo. We want our clients to be recognized as industry leaders. Our services include: Media Relations, Industry Analyst Relations, Corporate Communications, Crisis Communications and Issues Management, Social Media, Marketing Communications and Event Management. For more information please visit

Media Contact:

Robyn MacLean

Brookline Public Relations, Inc.

P: 403-538-5641 ext. 111

C: 403-875-9514