Archive for June, 2016

How to Blog Without an Idea

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

Lisa Libin, Group Director

Blogging is hard. Personally, it’s not the writing that’s hard – it’s the ideas. I once started a personal blog that lasted about a month, as the concept of finding fresh content on a daily or weekly basis became just too difficult. Sadly, my blog died with so many others who have faced a similar fate. I’m pretty sure there is a blog graveyard somewhere for all of us with great intentions but the inability to follow-through.

So why is coming up with something to write about so difficult? We can easily engage in conversations with family, friends and even strangers, yet the notion of putting a conversation down on paper is extremely trying. Ironically, I’ve been mulling this question over while attempting to think of an idea for this blog and decided to focus this article on tips for content creation for blogs.

  1. Leverage “newsjacking” – one of the easiest ways to come up with ideas is to speak to a current news story and provide a perspective. This is especially relevant for those of us in PR who can speak to their own take on a crisis or current headline. That said, the challenge with this is that it needs to be timely – news changes daily and unless you are prepared to comment during that particular news cycle, your blog will likely be too late and irrelevant if you wait.
  2. Sharing is Caring – don’t be afraid to use someone else’s blog or thought leadership piece as an anchor to your own blog. They might have a perspective you can add to, or if you disagree with their blog, don’t be scared to provide a different point of view as well. Just make sure to reference and credit the original blogger – who knows, you may even make a new friend out of it!
  3. Take advantage of your inner circle – think about a recent conversation you may have had with a friend or family member. Perhaps this could make for a good topic as well. Did you have an argument with someone that you can now put out there to the online world? Or did someone come to you with a problem you needed to mull over and can now pose this same question to your readers? Of course, make sure you aren’t disclosing someone’s personal information or embarrassing anyone online, but if you really take the time to listen to your daily conversations, you can likely come up with some good tidbits for your blog.
  4. Create a bit of controversy– depending on the audience you are writing for and the platform you are using (i.e. work vs. personal), a great option is to think about something no one else is willing to talk about. For us PR pros, it could be as simple as “with the rise of citizen journalism and online channels, are PR professionals even relevant anymore?” Obviously we are (which I note is my own biased opinion), but some may disagree. A bit of debate can actually make for an engaging blog.
  5. Think about the future – what do you believe will happen in the future that other people may consider unlikely? This is a great way to show your industry knowledge by not only speaking to the present but also positioning yourself as a thought-leader by making bold, but ideally astute, predictions about the future. It’s not about flying cars or living on the moon, it’s about how do you think your job or your industry will change in the next 10, 20, 30 years and putting some of these thoughts on paper.

Hopefully many of you have found information helpful for keeping blog content fresh and thought-provoking. Ultimately, you want people to read and engage in your blog – otherwise you are really just writing to yourself. Now, hopefully for my next blog, I will take my own advice!
Lisa Headshot

-Lisa Libin is Group Director at Brookline Public Relations. She is a seasoned communications practitioner who specializes in delivering smart, creative and results-driven programs for her clients. She has planned and executed winning campaigns for some of the world’s top consumer and corporate brands. Lisa’s strengths lie in issues management and brand reputation issues, working with local and global communications teams to handle ongoing and current industry issues.

Brookline Public Relations Rolls with Fountain Tire on 60th Anniversary National Celebration

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

Open Road Cinema Tour to stop in 13 major markets across Canada

CALGARY (June 22, 2016) – This summer, Fountain Tire is marking its 60th Anniversary with a Canada-wide celebration. The campaign is designed to thank customers for their support and will feature 60 days of promotions, contesting and a unique Open Road Cinema Tour in 13 major markets across Canada. The Open Road Cinema Tour is an outdoor movie event, where family members of all ages can enjoy a free blockbuster family-friendly film.

Brookline Public Relations Inc. (Brookline) is thrilled to support Fountain Tire’s 60th Anniversary campaign by providing national media relations services to Fountain Tire’s 160 locations across Canada. Brookline was awarded the contract after Fountain Tire completed a competitive national RFP process with work beginning in May and running through August 2016.

“Helping to celebrate the longevity of such a unique Canadian brand is a privilege for Brookline,” said Shauna MacDonald, Principal, Brookline Public Relations. “Supporting Fountain Tire’s 60th anniversary campaign and Open Road Cinema Tour through both national and localized media relations in markets across Canada is a testament to the reach Brookline is able to provide our clients.”

Brookline has developed a comprehensive media relations strategy targeting traditional and online media for all 13 stops of the Open Road Cinema Tour. Brookline is also tasked with organizing VIP and blogger giveaway promotions, delivering media drops to area outlets and developing a PR toolkit to be used by all Fountain Tire stores during their own celebrations.

“Brookline was the ideal public relations partner for Fountain Tire’s 60th anniversary campaign. They are an agile team that brings a strong national presence, perfect for the Open Road Cinema Tour,” said Jamie Bliss, Director of Marketing, Fountain Tire. “From strategic planning to on-the-ground media relations, Brookline delivers a wide breadth of services with an unmatched attention to detail and we’re happy to have them on board.”

For more information about Fountain Tire’s 60th anniversary and its Open Road Cinema Tour, visit www.fountaintire.com.

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About Brookline Public Relations, Inc.

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, Corporate Communications, Crisis Communications and Issues Management, Integrated Marketing, Event Management and Social Media. For more information please visit www.brooklinepr.com.

 

For media inquiries, please contact:
Shauna MacDonald
Principal & Founder
Brookline Public Relations, Inc.
403-538-5645
smacdonald@brooklinepr.com

Where Does Strength Come From?

Friday, June 17th, 2016

Shauna MacDonald, Principal and Founder

I need to write more blogs. I am not the greatest when it comes to delivery, but when I do write them, I want to ensure I have something to say. Not just write a blog for the sake of checking it off a fairly substantial to-do list.

For this particular blog, my first thought was to write about trends in the public relations industry. Our industry is in a constant state of flux and is ever-evolving. However, I could write about that at any given time. Instead, I wanted to write about strength. Quite fitting given it is Brookline’s theme for 2016.

Two nights ago I attended the premier screening of Sheldon Kennedy’s documentary – Swift Current. I had seen the film before. In fact, many times, given Brookline has had the privilege of working with Sheldon and the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre over the past two years. However that night, while sitting in the audience with hundreds of people, the word strength kept coming into my consciousness.

For those of you who don’t know Sheldon’s story, it’s a tough one. Sheldon is a former NHL hockey player, but is better known for his courageous decision to charge his Major Junior Hockey league coach with sexual assault for the abuse he suffered over a five year period while a teenager under his care. Not only does the film highlight Sheldon’s turbulent struggles, but also two innocent teenagers’ stories of abuse at the hands of their family members/care givers.

All three stories are gut-wrenching. All very different, but also the same. These three courageous people had the strength to speak up and have the strength to keep going when insurmountable obstacles are at their feet every single day.

So while sitting in that theatre and listening to their stories, it reminded me that strength cannot be taken for granted. Not when these three individuals have to use it every single day of their lives simply to make it through the day. So as Brookline forges ahead with our 2016 theme, I will continue to remind myself that we as a team must wear strength as a badge of honour and strive to fulfill it every day.

 

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– Shauna is Principal and Founder of Brookline Public Relations. When she is not doing her PR “thang”, she loves slaying dragons and bad guys with her two beautiful sons.