Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

The Year of Influence

Thursday, April 19th, 2018

Angela Cabucos, Account Executive 

Every year Brookline Public Relations selects a theme to help guide our strategic direction for the agency and for 2018 the theme is INFLUENCE. What I like the most about this year’s theme, is the versatility. Influence can be construed in so many ways that the possibilities are endless for applying it towards our goals and other agency priorities.

In the PR industry, being an influencer is not always determined by the number of followers someone has on social media. We like to think of influence as the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself.

The definition is broad and as Brookline is known to do, we want to approach this theme from all angles. Here are some of the ways that I think Brookline + Influence go hand-in-hand:

 

Brookline PR Influencing the Industry

The PR industry is constantly evolving and Brookline makes it our mission to be on (or ahead) of trends. We do this by influencing the industry through the exceptional work we do with our clients, the media and our involvement with the next generation of professional communicators. Brookline has a client base in diverse industries – retail, food & beverage, energy, real estate, finance, etc. – and by having multiple touchpoints on some of the biggest brands in Alberta and beyond, we are able to apply our influence on different industries.

Everyday Brookliners are in conversation with media contacts, pitching a story idea, coordinating an interview request, onsite at a press conference and more. We all recognize the societal sphere of influence that the media carries, and through our interactions with media, Brookline is continuously influencing the industry.

The next generation of communicators and PR professionals is going to influence the industry immensely. Through our internship program and relationships at post-secondary schools, Brookline is able to share our circle of influence with this group of up-and-coming professionals.

Working with Influencers

Working with bloggers and influencers is a growing segment of Brookline’s business. We’ve had the opportunity to work with outstanding influencers in markets across Canada and believe in the value they can offer clients. It’s amazing to see how much influence this group now has on pop culture and their impact on brands and how they engage with their audiences.

In this sense, Brookline + Influencers are a team. We share a common goal of reaching new audiences and engaging with them in meaningful ways.

 

 

Brookliners as Influencers

Outside of the walls of the Brookline office, many of us are involved with organizations that make an impact in Calgary beyond PR and communications. Dominica is a spin instructor at Stax Cycle Club in Inglewood where she leads classes of fitness enthusiasts through intense yet fun workouts. We’ve even combined these two worlds in client spin classes where we invited some of our clients to sweat it out with us as a team.

As well, Jerrica is involved with Gen Next, a United Way program of Calgarians in their 20s and 30s taking action to educate and inspire the next generation of leaders in community and philanthropic activities. Check out their next event to see how you can get involved, or drop a line to Jerrica. And Leanna is the Editor-in-Chief for the Tuxedo Park Gazette, the monthly newsletter for the community she belongs to. Leanna keeps her pulse on this NE community by attending neighbourhood events and sharing important news to its residents.

Look out for how Brookline integrates the 2018 theme into our agency this year by following #BPRinfluence.

 

– Angela Cabucos is an Account Executive at Brookline. Her expertise lies in media relations, personal and corporate profile-building, writing and strategic communication planning.

Five tips for communicating technical subject matter

Friday, January 6th, 2017

Elyse Nabata, Assistant Account Specialist

Working in IT, Government of Alberta’s ministry of Environment and Parks and dating an engineer have faced me with the task of deciphering and communicating complex technical information. Whether you are looking to improve your next presentation or find yourself needing to communicate technical subject matter to a non-technical audience – here are a few tips to keep in mind to ensure your message is understood.

  1. Know the facts/product/technology inside out – if you are the subject matter expert, you’ll likely have this down pat, but if you’re not, it’s important to try and become one. If it’s a technical solution that you can test or pilot first hand – do it. Seek out the subject matter expert and have them walk you through what they know and don’t forget to ask plenty of questions! Read information online and do your own personal research.
  2. Know your audience – this may seem like a no-brainer, but the way you communicate a topic can change significantly depending on who the audience is. It can also affect your choice in who is delivering the message. For example, at an engineering conference, you would likely want to choose the technical subject matter expert and not the CEO to speak about a new technology. It’s a good idea to tailor your language and examples to best fit the audience you’re working with.
  3. PLAIN LANGUAGE – I’ve used all caps to emphasize the importance of this point. It’s something I’ve found that technical subject matter experts often struggle with. To be fair, at times there aren’t plain language alternatives for specific processes, technologies, etc., but try as much as you possibly can. Mark Twain once said, “Don’t use a five-dollar word when a fifty-cent word will do.” Preach, Mark – preach.
  4. Examples and visual aids – the use of real life examples and visual aids (photos, diagrams, charts etc.) can help drive your point across and reinforce your message. Once, my partner tried to explain how a steam turbine worked to me. It wasn’t until he showed me a diagram that I began to understand. There are many types of visual aids – don’t immediately jump to a PowerPoint presentation. There are many new and creative visuals you can use. I love this TED Talk by David McCandless about data visualizations – if you have 20 minutes to spare; it’s worth a watch.
  5. Keep it clear, concise and to the point – this is a tip that we all can keep in mind to improve our writing. Strive to cut out unnecessary words and use the most direct way to phrase sentences. If in doubt, pass a piece of writing by someone who’s not familiar with the subject matter to see if it makes sense to them.

 

Keep these tips in mind and you’ll improve your communication skills and avoid people looking at you like this:

confused

 

 

 

 

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-Elyse Nabata is an Assistant Account Specialist at Brookline with a passion for writing and organized project planning.

Your Brand’s Audience is Purple

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

doug

 

Caption:

2012 Presidential Election, Purple America. http://www.princeton.edu/~rvdb/JAVA/election2012/

 

As an American citizen who has lived in Canada for just over three years at the time of this posting, the last couple of weeks of election-related frenzy has been pretty consuming. Rightly so, I don’t think anyone would debate how divisive the last 18 months was in the US.

Don’t stop reading! This is not an op-ed, but merely a reminder that while you, your colleagues, maybe even the values of your entire company may swing to one political persuasion over another, laying a claim to one side is a sure-fire way to alienate at least a portion of those who support your brand.

Without putting specific companies in the corner with a dunce hat firmly affixed to their heads, there were many reminders in the days following the US election that when a brand takes a political side, it has a PR crisis on its hands. Try this exercise: take politics out of the equation and pretend we’re talking about Coke and Pepsi. If you knew around half your customers were Coke diehards and the other half were Pepsi devotees – would you tweet your full support for Coke, even putting down Pepsi as inferior? Of course you wouldn’t!

Yes, I realize politics have an actual affect over peoples’ lives and they should not be reduced to pop metaphors. Individuals should always be free to express their views, opinions and have the right to endorse and vote for whomever they’d like, it is the very basis of democracy.

It isn’t just customers that brands stand to lose, either. Companies are made of individuals of all persuasions, opinions and values, endorsing one way or another alienates not just a portion of your customers, but a portion of your employees. The PR lesson here is simple: never lose sight of the fact that your brand represents a group of individuals that rally behind your company, through working for the company or buying your products and services. The communications you put out in the world affect them, too.

Remember, the world is not only blue or red, no matter what the Electoral College map tells you. My favourite day-after-election map is the purple map, which shows in gradient how America voted. Without a doubt, after every election, it is a blend of blue and red. It is purple, and your brand should be, too.

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– Doug Self is a Senior Account Executive at Brookline with a background rooted in the technology industry. His expertise lies in media relations, content creation, and communication and marketing strategy.