Archive for the ‘Alberta’ Category

Behind-the-Mic with Beyond PR

Tuesday, November 26th, 2019

Jenna Hamilton, Account Coordinator

Podcasts are a powerful tool to increase an organization’s brand awareness, and they continue to gain popularity. They have the ability to capture your audience’s attention for an extended period of time, create a personalized experience for your listeners, share impactful stories, and position an organization as an industry leader. With these objectives in mind, Brookline decided to embark on the exciting adventure of launching its very own podcast, Beyond PR, this year. Here’s how we did it.

Research Phase

The Brookline team dedicated ample time to researching best practices, ensuring we had all the information we needed to successfully launch the podcast. As there are many elements to consider when recording, editing and launching an episode, Brookline tapped into the expertise of a Calgary-based podcast specialist. This was the best course of action for Brookline, as the studio provided the necessary recording equipment needed to achieve top sound quality.

Planning Phase

The most important question to ask when launching a podcast is “why?”. What are you hoping to achieve? Who is your audience? What stories do you want to tell? This was by far the most exciting phase of our podcast launch because the Brookline team was able to tap into their creative side and brainstorm a brand-new concept.

Here are some steps we followed when planning our podcast:

  1. Choose your topic: For Brookline, we wanted to connect with audiences beyond those in the public relations world (see where we got the name?). As one of Canada’s leading boutique public relations agencies, the Brookline team is fortunate to work with incredible individuals across the country and in diverse industries—each with a unique story to tell. With this in mind, the podcast goes beyond the typical to showcase inspiring stories from business and community leaders every month.

  2. Define your show and branding: The Brookline team unanimously voted to name the podcast Beyond PR, as it seamlessly communicated what we were trying to achieve (and played well off our agency acronym, BPR). Of course, it only made sense that our fearless leader Shauna MacDonald would be the podcast host, interviewing trailblazers in the Calgary community and beyond. From there, our in-house graphic designer developed a podcast logo that tied in perfectly with Brookline’s brand.

  3. Create a plan: In order to successfully launch a podcast, it is imperative to have a solid plan for how to roll out the first season. In March, Brookline celebrated International Women’s Day (IWD) and created a video featuring some of the amazing female leaders that we are proud to know, work with and laugh with every day. To honour this major project and its stars, the team decided that season one of Beyond PR would feature different conversations with these game-changing women.

Launch Phase

With the Calgary Stampede around the corner, Brookline selected the 2019 Calgary Stampede Royalty to be Beyond PR’s first guests. We had the incredible opportunity to work with these women for the IWD video and it was exciting to tell their story.

Of course, to make a podcast launch successful you need a solid digital strategy. Brookline is fortunate to have an impressive in-house digital team that executes brilliant social media strategies and has great ideas to generate awareness of Beyond PR.

With all of these pieces in place, Beyond PR had a successful launch and created a solid foundation for future episodes.

Season One & Beyond

Now six episodes in, Beyond PR’s first season features several women who have shared their inspiring stories and journeys. Episode guests have included Jocelyn Laidlaw, CTV Calgary Senior News Anchor; Sara Austin, Founder & CEO of Children First Canada; Geneviève Simard, former Olympic Canadian alpine skier and current bad-ass helicopter pilot; and even Shauna MacDonald, Principal and Founder of Brookline, in our 15th anniversary special. If you want to check them out for yourself, you can listen on AnchorSpotifyApple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.  

Brookline is thrilled to be on this podcast journey and to provide a platform for these inspiring guests who make such an impact in Calgary and across Canada. Stay tuned for what the team has up their sleeve for season two of Beyond PR in 2020!

Jenna Hamilton is an Account Coordinator at Brookline Public Relations. Jenna has become well-versed in developing communications programs for a variety of clients and enjoys the versatility of the agency’s clientele, including real estate, consumer, sports and tourism. 

Alberta Central debunks the traditional banking model in favour of credit unions as part of #MeetYouIRL campaign

Thursday, October 17th, 2019

Nicole Herback, Public Relations Assistant

Credit unions are not your average bank – and at Brookline we always develop and deliver above-average campaigns to generate results for our clients. As a testament to the benefits of the banking service, Credit Unions of Alberta wanted a presence where its customers could be found, whether at coffee shops, festivals or on social media during its #MeetYouIRL campaign this summer. The campaign concept, developed by Brookline, included a series of tactics that aimed to engage with existing and new credit union customers. 

Credit Unions of Alberta is the consumer-facing arm of Alberta Central, which is the central banking facility, service bureau and trade association for all credit unions in the province. Owned by 17 credit unions in Alberta, Alberta Central serves more than 628,000 members at roughly 190 branches. What’s the big difference between a bank and a credit union? Credit union customers are both members and owners.

In support of the organization’s #MeetYouIRL campaign, Brookline implemented the one tactic that is almost guaranteed to get face time with audiences, every time – business takeovers.

What are business takeovers, you ask?

Business takeovers are an effective public relations tactic used to build more awareness for a specific campaign or initiative while leveraging another business’s audience, network and space. This is a beneficial relationship for both business entities to increase their public profile, engage with untapped audiences and garner excitement in the media. Takeovers are especially effective when working with a limited budget or timeline because the host business provides the campaign with ready-made space, product and staff to support the initiative.

Throughout July, Brookline facilitated takeovers on behalf of Credit Unions of Alberta at two locations: Transcend Coffee in Edmonton and Analog Coffee in Calgary. This maximized the opportunity for the organization to get some real face time with its customers to explain the key benefits of banking with a credit union. Seen throughout these photos, Ian Burns, CEO of Alberta Central is quite literally meeting people in real life, taking their questions and educating them about why banking with a credit union is a compelling choice for Albertans in any stage in their life.

In support of the coffee shop takeovers, Brookline partnered with prominent influencers in the Calgary and Edmonton markets to share content about the organization and attend the takeover events. Together with traditional media pitching, Brookline helped Credit Unions of Alberta achieve more than 65 pieces of unique news content to promote the takeovers. This goes to show how public relations in an online setting can lead to greater awareness and attendance in a real life one!

Beyond business takeovers, Credit Unions of Alberta furthered its presence in Calgary this fall by sponsoring major festivals of both food and science varieties. In August, Brookline coordinated a sponsorship of Taste of Calgary, where masses of Albertans on the hunt for good eats also found solid financial advice through their interactions with Credit Unions of Alberta. And last month, the tech and innovation-focused organization also sponsored Beakerhead by funding a field trip for students to attend the festival.

For the remainder of 2019, stay tuned for what Alberta Central will be doing for International Credit Union Day this month and Financial Literacy Month in November. Have you considered banking with a credit union that meets you #IRL?

Nicole is a Public Relations Assistant at Brookline Public Relations. Nicole loves learning the ins and outs of each industry she works with. Since working with Alberta Central and financial influencers, she is a newfound advocate for financial literacy.

Beyond PR Podcast – Brookline’s 15-Year Anniversary Special – Shauna MacDonald

Friday, October 4th, 2019

Alex Handley, Account Executive

You’ve heard the name, but how about the story? On Brookline’s 15th anniversary (that’s right – we’re a Gen Z, born on October 4, 2004), listen as the microphone is turned and Shauna MacDonald, Principal & Founder of Brookline Public Relations takes questions from Brookline’s own Lisa Libin, Vice President and Leanna Kruk, Group Director. Shauna discusses Brookline’s inception, who her mentors have been throughout the years, the highs and lows of entrepreneurship and what being different means to one of Calgary’s most unique leaders. Cheers to 15 years!

The Beyond PR podcast brings open, honest and sometimes never-before-heard stories from notable leaders each month. Subscribe to Beyond PR on AnchorSpotifyApple Podcasts or Google Podcasts to catch the next episode later this month. 

Alex Handley is an Account Executive at Brookline. She is a strategic thinker and team player who loves working collaboratively, fostering connections and delivering solid results. Her experience lies in government relations, internal communications, issues management and media relations.