Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

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.

Jumping on the Brandwagon – should brands take advantage of the latest event or trend?

Thursday, August 29th, 2019

Lisa Libin, Vice President

Last month was the #10year challenge, prior to that was the Raptor’s playoff run, and we can’t forget the Ice Bucket Challenge, blue and gold dress debate and so many other trends that seemed to take over the world at one time and then disappear in the blink of an eye. But at that particular moment in time, these trends can often be a marketing win for brands. By piggybacking on some of the most searched topics of the moment, many brands are able to drive awareness and reach new audiences through creative content that ties to a trend, event or news story.

But should brands always jump on the “brandwagon”?

Companies like McDonalds took advantage of the Toronto Raptor’s recent play-off run but offering free medium fries anytime the Raptors scored two or more three-pointers in a game. From a public relations perspective, the awareness was huge. Most of the country was already watching the playoffs, giving McDonalds a captive audience to tie additional excitement to the games. But McDonalds also released its financial damage as response to the offer nearly quadrupled McDonald’s forecast, totalling more than 2.5 million fries in the regular season and playoffs combined. They may have had to put their money where their mouth is but from a PR point of view, it was worth the investment.

However, this golden moment for the golden arches isn’t always the positive outcome that brands achieve when jumping on the brandwagon. And even though a trend may be making a lot of noise in the moment, brands need to really evaluate if they should align themselves accordingly.

Gilette is an example of a brandwagon crash. In an era of #MeToo, Gilette made a bold move to create a short movie playing on their 30-year old tagline “The Best A Man Can Get”, replacing it with “The Best Men Can Be”. The company quickly came under fire with accusations from the public that the brand was trying to monetize on the #MeToo movement, with many vowing never to buy a Gilette product again. Gilette defended its position stating it took a public position to help “drive a positive change in the perception of masculinity” and many speculate Gilette released the ad expecting backlash but still wanting to create controversy to ultimately build awareness for their brand, not only among men, but among women as well.

From #10yearchallenges, the upcoming 2020 Olympic Games or World Series, big events, movements and trends perk up communicator and marketers’ ears and often make them think “should I be a part of this?” There is no yes or no answer. However, if a brand is looking to jump on a trend, it is important they do their research and be authentic. Consumers can easily see through a marketing ploy vs. a formal position, and time and time again the public will call a brand out for trying to take advantage of something they shouldn’t be a part of.

And while brands may be looking for a quick win by doing the latest #birdbox challenge, it can often have the opposite affect when overdone.

As a public relations practitioner, I am often asked by clients if they should be part of a big event or jump into a trendy social media stunt. My advice to them is generally consistent – if it makes sense, brands should authentically contribute to the conversation rather than adding to the clutter. If a brand does opt to jump on the “brandwagon”, put your own unique and creative spin on how you execute as opposed to mirroring everyone else.

Ultimately, there is always a gamble when trying to piggyback off something a brand didn’t organically create. And if a brand is OK with the risk, there is definitely potential wins to be gained.

Lisa Libin is Vice President at Brookline Public Relations. Lisa loves a good crisis (as long as it’s not a personal one!) and has vast experience in issues management and brand reputation issues, working with local and global communications teams to handle ongoing and current industry issues.

Ready, set, match! Comrie’s Sports Equipment Bank hosts inaugural celebrity tennis tournament

Monday, July 15th, 2019

Jenna Hamilton, Public Relations Assistant

In June, Brookline had the pleasure of working with Comrie’s Sports Equipment Bank (Comrie’s) to launch the organization’s inaugural celebrity tennis tournament at the state-of-the-art OSTEN & VICTOR Alberta Tennis Centre. Comrie’s is one of the Calgary’s leading not-for-profit organizations dedicated to providing equipment at no cost to children who would otherwise be denied the opportunity to play sports and one of Brookline’s not-for-profit clients.

The tournament, which was held on June 15th, welcomed 16 influential Canadians, including tennis star Daniel Nestor, hockey icons Lanny McDonald and Theo Fleury, and Canadian Olympians Jesse Lumsden and Alysia Rissling. Lucky Calgarians had the opportunity to bid to play with their favourite celebrity athlete. Brookline’s very own Shauna MacDonald played alongside Helen Upperton, a retired bobsledder who competed in the 2006 and 2010 Olympic Winter Games. In true Brookline fashion, the team came to support their very own tennis star!

In June, Brookline had the pleasure of working with Comrie’s Sports Equipment Bank (Comrie’s) to launch the organization’s inaugural celebrity tennis tournament at the state-of-the-art OSTEN & VICTOR Alberta Tennis Centre. Comrie’s is one of the Calgary’s leading not-for-profit organizations dedicated to providing equipment at no cost to children who would otherwise be denied the opportunity to play sports and one of Brookline’s not-for-profit clients.

Once tournament day arrived, celebrities, sponsors and their invited guests, as well as the general public, were entertained by an exciting day of tennis. Guests also enjoyed catering provided by Concorde Group and had the opportunity to bid on a silent auction prizes, including an authentic Calgary Flames jersey autographed by the legendary Jarome Iginla.  

The final match, to no one’s surprise, had tennis icon Daniel Nestor and Sportsnet analyst Eric Francis battling over the trophy alongside their partners. The match went on for 35 minutes until Daniel Nestor and his partner from ATB Financial ended up taking home the trophy—giving Daniel his 92nd title win (unofficially).

Brookline was thrilled to manage media relations for the tennis tournament, providing outlets such as Global Calgary the exclusive opportunity to interview icons like Lanny McDonald, 1989 Stanley Cup Champion. The team also supported with celebrity and sponsor coordination and event planning logistics.

Overall, the event was a huge success and the Brookline team is looking forward to planning the second annual Comrie’s Sports Equipment Bank Celebrity Tennis Tournament in 2020.

Jenna Hamilton is a Public Relations Assistant at Brookline Public Relations. Her passion lies within the realms of event planning, strategic communications and media relations.