Archive for August, 2020

Unprecedented Employment: How to Survive (and thrive!) During Your Quarantine Internship

Thursday, August 27th, 2020

Olivia Goemans, Intern

We’re all tired of hearing about it, but we’re living through unprecedented times. Almost every aspect of life has been impacted by COVID-19: social lives, jobs, school, and even grocery shopping. One aspect many students – including myself – were not prepared for was the impact on internships. 

Flashback to the fall of 2019. I thought I had it all figured out. I had secured an internship and was enjoying the last half of my degree, feeling prepared and excited for the future. What I would give to feel that same self-assuredness about my future now! COVID-19 hit in an unrelenting way, knocking myself and many of my classmates off our feet. Like many others, I lost my work placement due to hiring freezes and I know that many other Mount Royal University public relations (PR) students were struck with overwhelming anxiety about what this would mean for our futures.  What was going to happen with school? How would we complete our internships? If we didn’t complete one, how would we fulfill the requirements for our degree?

Bring forth the light amidst overwhelming darkness and my glimmer of hope: an internship posting at Brookline Public Relations. As a Mount Royal University PR student, you hear about Brookline early on. Shauna and her team participate in guest lectures starting in the first year of the program, establishing themselves as a company that sees the opportunity in our program. I knew I had to apply.

Lucky for me, I made the cut! I dove right into client work with guidance from my mentors and the rest of the amazing team at Brookline. Though an internship entirely online is unconventional, and I was the first to navigate this role for Brookline, everyone worked hard to ensure that I learned a lot and made the best use of my time.

As a now self-professed expert on all things “virtual-intern”, I’ve compiled a list of my tips and tricks for making the most of your COVID-19 work experience.

Set your space up for success

There is nothing worse than a cluttered workspace that just doesn’t work. Ensure that you have a functional space for all your WFH needs, like good lighting, a comfortable seat, an ergonomic setup for your computer, and a quiet room where you won’t be disturbed.

Get dressed like it’s the real deal

Getting ready for your workday can have a positive impact on your productivity and preparedness. Research shows that the clothes you wear can have an impact on your emotions, and how you look and feel on the outside can change how you feel on the inside. While sweats might be tempting, I encourage you to dress as if your coworkers will see you on more than just a small Zoom screen. Being put together can make you feel good – and feeling good makes work better!

Communicate, communicate, communicate

Working remotely can be difficult even for teams who know each other well. Being the new person has its challenges even when you are in an office setting. I was lucky enough to receive scheduled one-on-ones with everyone at Brookline in the first week of my internship, where I took that opportunity to ask about preferred communication styles and how best to contact my new colleagues. This helped me to figure out how to navigate each of my client accounts and helped me discover that my mentors were always only a text away.Communication is key for remote working. If you need clarification, ask. If you’re confused, ask. If you want to strengthen your relationship with your coworkers and know about their life, ask!

I’m sure everyone is holding out for the day when we can return to ‘normal’. Who knows how long digital internships will last, but this is our normal for now and it’s best to buckle down and make the most of it. I am incredibly grateful for my time at Brookline and will be forever indebted to Shauna and the team for opening their door to a student who had frankly lost hope during a time of crisis. Thank you and good luck to future interns!


Olivia Goemans is an Intern at Brookline Public Relations. Olivia is passionate about all things creative and loves the opportunity to think outside the box and get ‘weird’.

Brookline Brings Beyond PR Guests Back Together To Celebrate an Impactful First Season

Thursday, August 20th, 2020

Ottilie Coldbeck, Public Relations Assistant

As the Brookline team plans for an exciting Season 2 of Beyond PR, a podcast that aims to go beyond the typical to showcase inspiring stories from business and community leaders every month, we took time to reflect on the incredible moments that Season 1 brought us.

Engaging in candid conversations about motherhood to discussions about the struggles our community faces today, Beyond PR has heard it all. If you would like to catch up on Season 1 ahead of Season 2, then here are some of our favourite moments:

The inaugural season featured the amazing female leaders who starred in Brookline’s International Women’s Day video, ‘Girls Like You,’  who we are proud to know, work with and laugh with every day. Each episode brings different conversations with these game-changing women—from Stampede Royalty and world-class chefs to inspiring Olympians and renowned reporters.

Episode 1 with Calgary’s Stampede Royalty: Carly Heath, Keily Stewart and Courtney Dingreville share a few of their highlights in their year as Stampede representatives, including following in family footsteps participating in the Homeshow Rodeo and hopping on WestJet’s inaugural flight to Paris.

Episode 2 with Jocelyn Laidlaw: Shauna and Jocelyn reflect on how and why motherhood changed them, sharing that it took becoming a mother to become a better boss, leader and ally to other women.

Episode 3 with Connie DeSousa: Shauna admits to one of Calgary’s most notable chefs that she rarely cooks and isn’t the best in the kitchen (though she’s getting a lot more practice these days!).

BPR’s 15-Year Anniversary Special with Lisa Libin and Leanna Kruk: Have you ever wondered how Calgary’s leading communications professionals and working moms keep their children (and sometimes colleagues!) quiet while on a conference call? Think Slurpees and $5 bills!

Episode 5 with Sara Austin: In a truly eye-opening episode, Sara Austin discusses her lifelong passion for child advocacy, and shares her insight into what it means to support others in our community.

Episode 6 with Geneviève Simard: Having been instrumental in bringing to light the abuse she and other Canadian alpine skiers faced, Geneviève describes what it was like to join the other women who spoke out against their abuser, and how it felt to feel supported and proud and to stand together to advocate for abuse-free sport.

Episode 7 with Katrina Olson: As one of Canada’s most notable content creators, Katrina recounts a time she went viral… but not in the best way. After posting a re-touched photo of herself and being called out by followers, Katrina posted the original, un-touched photo with an apology, owning her mistake and reflecting on why women feel the need to revise their true selves.

Episode 8 with Tara Weber: Tara’s role as BNN Bloomberg’s western correspondent has brought her many unique experiences in the media, from the era of fake news to tackling tough and sensitive stories, Tara shares how she navigates these tough discussions to ensure her stories are authentic, factual and considerate.

Episode 9 with Pat Kaiser: As a long-time tech sector executive and often the only woman at the table, Patricia gets candid with Shauna about her experience as a female business leader and working mother, answering the question: can you really have it all?

Episode 10 with Deborah Yedlin: With a long-standing working relationship as PR pro and leading journalist respectively, Shauna and Deborah share their unique working-mom moments – think in-labour media interviews and 5-year-old press conference attendees!

If you haven’t seen it yet, we’ve rounded up our leading ladies once more to mark the completion of Beyond PR Podcast Season 1 in our brand new video, here. To our Season 1 guests: thank you again for partaking in so many episodes of great conversation and interesting topics. Stay tuned for Season 2!

Catch up on Season 1, streaming now on AnchorSpotifyApple Podcasts or Google Podcasts. Subscribe to catch Season 2 (coming soon!) featuring special guests who are breaking boundaries and going ‘beyond’ the typical to inspire and make a lasting impact.

Ottilie Coldbeck is a Public Relations Assistant at Brookline Public Relations. As a self-proclaimed adventure seeker, Ottilie challenges herself to remain outside her comfort zone in all aspects of her life. Ottilie has a passion for story-telling – helping brands communicate their messages in an authentic and engaging way.

Brookline Teams Up With Big Brothers Big Sisters For The All-Stars In Our Community

Wednesday, August 12th, 2020

Ottilie Coldbeck, Public Relations Assistant

On August 1, 2020 Big Brothers Big Sisters of Calgary and Area (BBBS) launched its fifth annual All-Stars For Kids fundraising campaign and looked to Brookline to support in a fresh, creative new way. In advance of the official campaign launch, Brookline supported the organization by coordinating a socially-distanced press conference to unveil the official All-Star roster of supporters including notable Canadian sports stars and Olympic athletes, local celebrities, valuable community partners, social and media influencers, and everyday champions. The press conference welcomed media to hear from BBBS representatives, key campaign supporters and a Big and Little from the mentorship program.

Gurpreet Lail, President and CEO of BBBS, welcomed guests with opening remarks about the annual campaign, and its impact in our community, supporting local children and youth who are dealing with significant challenges, such as grief and loss, mental health issues, family violence, addiction, and poverty

Representing the impressive All-Star lineup was Cheryl Bernard, Olympic medal curler and CEO of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, to discuss her long-standing relationship with BBBS and how important All-Stars For Kids is in assisting youth in our community develop long-term relationships with mentors.

Giving life to the work BBBS does, Little Brother Edwin and Big Brother Nicholas Cambridge were in attendance to share their own mentorship story, explaining just how this type of relationship shapes a youth’s life. Their story can be watched here.

Representing the campaign community partners, Patricia Phillips, CEO, PBA Group joined the attendees to discuss PBA’s role as an All-Stars For Kids matching partner, alongside Gary Nissen and Qualico. The matching partners will be matching every dollar donated to ASFK for the duration of the campaign, doubling the impact for children and youth in Calgary and Area.

The campaign, which runs through August until September 10, 2020 raises vital funds needed to create and empower life-changing one-to-one mentoring relationships for children and youth facing adversity.

This year the All-Stars For Kids campaign is hoping to raise over $230,000 in support of BBBS.

Brookline managed all event planning and logistics, in addition to media relations outreach, to ensure the event was a success, while also adhering to government health and safety regulations. Brookline was excited to support BBBS with the launch of this exciting campaign and looks forward to continuing to work alongside the organization to drive awareness and ultimately raise funds for the fifth annual All-Star For Kids campaign.  

Ottilie Coldbeck is a Public Relations Assistant at Brookline Public Relations. As a self-proclaimed adventure seeker, Ottilie challenges herself to remain outside her comfort zone in all aspects of her life. Ottilie has a passion for story-telling – helping brands communicate their messages in an authentic and engaging way.