Archive for May, 2014

Hemingway Inspires PR Lessons

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

I recently had the opportunity to travel to Key West, Florida for the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Counselors Academy Conference. The annual event is a gathering of talented PR agency owners and senior managers from across North America to learn, share and discuss topics that help make our agencies stronger and inspire us to deliver even better service to our valued clients.

This year, I also had the opportunity to speak at Counselors Academy, sharing some best practices to develop a unique corporate culture that encourages millennials to succeed.

I think the audience was intrigued to learn more about the millennial generation, and mystified to learn that, under the right circumstances, the Brookline team can go from looking like this:

To this:

Throughout the conference, I appreciated the opportunity to have meaningful conversations with talented PR professionals from across the U.S. and Canada.

The closing night of the conference included a keynote dinner at the Ernest Hemingway House in Key West, and included a tour of the iconic property.

As a writer, I enjoyed getting a glimpse inside Mr. Hemingway’s peaceful studio space, his sanctuary where he imagined and wrote the novels that continue to captivate readers today.

In tribute to “Papa” himself, I wanted to share three Hemingway quotes that relate well to the world of public relations:

“Courage is grace under pressure.”

The PR agency world is all about maintaining grace under pressure – juggling clients, to-do lists and coming up with that next big idea. Courage is the practice of dipping your toes into unknown territory and then committing to take the leap to jump right in. We all know how to swim, right? Right??

“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”

Some think that PR is about what we say, but I think it’s more about how we listen – to each other, to our clients and to what the public is saying. Staying tuned in (no matter what) to the present moment is one of life’s great gifts.

“My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.”

Simple is not always easy. Blaise Pascal once said “I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.” Putting our best on paper (in emails, voicemails, conversations, tweets) shows our dedication to our craft. Doing our best, simply, is a great way to thrive.

Thank you fellow counselors for your camaraderie and valuable advice. ‘Til next time!

– Paula Worthington is Vice President at Brookline Public Relations. She uses her fresh perspective and draws on her experience and skill set to deliver creative ideas and results-driven strategies for the agency and its clients.

Fraud Stoppers: Brookline and the CSA/ASC team up to fight fraud!

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Brookline recently had the opportunity to assist the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) and Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) with developing an integrated communications campaign to coincide with Fraud Prevention Month during the month of March 2014. The campaign also served to educate investors on how the CSA/ASC is able to assist prior to investing by offering tools and learning resources about fraud prevention. Brookline recognized that for this multi-faceted campaign a mix of traditional and non-traditional tactics would be needed to assist with generating interest and mindshare with the general public.

Check. Protect. Invest: A simplistic, yet catchy slogan was developed for the Alberta campaign for easy memory recall. Check. Protect. Invest. became an integral component of all Alberta-based advertising.

A microsite, www.checkfirst.ca was also developed so the public could go to the site and learn more about fraud prevention, how the ASC can support when considering investing and audiences were also encouraged to take a quiz about fraud prevention.

To garner public attention and to build a strong media relations angle, Brookline planned and executed a public activation in both downtown Calgary and Edmonton. To generate excitement and awareness for the activation, Brookline wrapped local food trucks in ASC branded creative. To support our campaign messaging of: There’s no such thing as a #Freelunch, we handed out complimentary sandwiches and information about fraud prevention and awareness.  As well, we developed branded napkins, magnets and toques with our campaign messaging. Street team members were deployed to distribute swag items and to generate excitement about the campaign.

The hashtag #Freelunch was created and utilized on all materials related to the public activation. By incorporating a social media tactic into the campaign we were able to gain increased awareness for our public activation.

– Leanna Kruk is a Senior Account Executive at Brookline Public Relations. A native born Torontonian, she started her public relations career in agency where she managed clients in various industries, offering them a wide-range of public relations services. She is passionate about public relations and uses her experience to deliver solid results for clients.

Students: How to bridge the gap

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

Students are the untapped resource of today’s workforce. They are the business leaders and world influencers of tomorrow, yet their potential often goes unnoticed until they’ve graduated. Connecting with students is an important part of how Brookline does business and it’s a practice that can be mutually beneficial to all parties involved when it’s done right. Kick start your student engagement with these 10 tips on how to effectively work with students.

  1. Get out of the house. If you want to influence students, network with them! They are hungry for advice and full of questions about what life in the real world is really like.
  2. Get your booth in gear. Career fairs are a great way to connect with students – the whole reason they show up is to talk to you! So be creative. Make your booth exciting and remember to bring some swag along because, as we all know, everyone loves free stuff.
  3. Don’t go stale. Retire the lackluster party line you throw out there when you’re asked about your job. Share workplace stories from your personal experience that demonstrate the kinds of tasks and activities you do day-to-day. Students are looking for inspiration, so paint them a vivid picture of why your job gets you out of bed every day.
  4. Invite them inside. If you hire interns or new grads, then you’re going to want to get to know the cream of the crop before hiring season begins. Host an open house at your office and invite students from local post-secondary institutions to network with your team and get a snapshot of what it’s like to work for your company. You’ll increase awareness for your organization while simultaneously scouting for the top talent that could be your next hire.
  5. The best ships are internships. One of the best ways to learn is by doing. Internships give students the opportunity to fine-tune the skills they’ve learned in class and also provide businesses with a chance to develop their management and mentorship skills.
  6. Boards, councils and associations. Industry associations, governing boards for student unions, guest judging councils – students look up to these organizations for guidance and advice and who better to give it to them than a talented professional like yourself?
  7. Speak their language. Social media is the new soap box. Students rely on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for their news updates, social connections, entertainment and even to job search.
  8. Take time for coffee. Students are driven, ambitious and proactive. When they ask if they can pick your brain over coffee, take it as a compliment and say yes. Students with the guts to cold call you for an info interview tend to be excellent candidates for future jobs you might be hiring for.
  9. Post-secondary partnerships. Make your company well known in the student community by partnering with local universities and colleges. By guest lecturing, posting internships on their job boards, attending speed-networking events or presenting at student lunch and learns you’ll stay top of mind as a potential employer.
  10. When all else fails, food. Let’s be honest, as much as everyone loves free stuff, they love it even more when it’s edible. Offering themed treats at your career fair table or tasty hors d’oeuvres at an open house is a great way to break the ice and start the conversation with interested students.

– Erica Morgan is an intern at Brookline Public Relations. She brings experience from the oil and gas industry where she developed specific knowledge in the areas of internal communications and business ethics.