Archive for the ‘Calgary’ Category

Coast to Coast with Mark’s

Thursday, January 25th, 2018

Christine Thompson, Public Relations Assistant 

Brookline supports Mark’s with cross-Canada media initiatives

If you live in Canada, it’s safe to say you’ve experienced all the joys winter has to offer, including ice, snow and sleet. We’re nicknamed the Great White North for a reason, and whether you live in Vancouver or Halifax, chances are you’ve come face-to-face with some slippery situations when winter strikes. This holiday season, Mark’s set out to educate Canadians on their slip-resistant footwear line to encourage Canadians to brave the elements and get outdoors, without the risk of injury from a slip and fall accident.

Brookline supported Mark’s with a national media tour that included celebrity spokesperson – HGTV’s Damon Bennett – to discuss the wide-range of slip-resistant winter footwear the retailer carries. Damon spoke about what makes the footwear line slip-resistant, the technology that goes into creating the boots and how Canadians can find the perfect pair for themselves.

Of course, we all know when it comes to lengthy claims it’s always better to show, not tell, so we did just that. Brookline commissioned a local craftsman to create a portable ice block holder that Damon took on his tour so he and the media could demonstrate first-hand the effectiveness of the boots on a slippery surface.


Brookline secured coverage from prominent TV, radio and print news outlets in tandem with influential bloggers across the country. Coverage included stories from the likes of Global News Winnipeg, CTV Edmonton and Talk Radio 680, for a total of 34 pieces of broadcast and online coverage with over 5.8 million impressions and over 50 pieces of social coverage.

To further elevate the slip-resistant footwear campaign, Brookline assisted Mark’s in organizing a slip-resistant footwear activation at the Eaton Centre in Toronto in the midst of the holiday shopping season. Local influencers were invited to confidently strut their stuff down an ice runway, wearing a pair of Mark’s slip-resistant boots to demonstrate the technology in action. The activation generated significant online coverage with 10 stories and 224,858 media impressions and ample social coverage from prominent Toronto influencers such as Mommy Gearest, This Beautiful Day and Extra Sparkles Please.



In addition to leading the slip-resistant national media relations outreach campaign, Brookline worked with Mark’s on two separate Pop-Up shop events in Calgary and Halifax to introduce their new brand, Mark’s Well Worn, into those markets. Well Worn is about being authentic and real, celebrating hardworking Canadians who, like Mark’s, persevere with grit and determination. Well Worn enforces the idea of clothing that will not only take wearers from their 9 to 5, but beyond with stylish, comfortable and durable pieces.




The two Pop-up shop events, in Calgary’s Market Mall and Halifax’s Spring Garden Place, showcased Well Worn and invited local media and influencers in each city to exclusively experience the new brand. The evenings featured a special offer for guests to trade-up one ‘well worn’ item of clothing for a new Mark’s clothing item, an on-site barber, local entertainment, specially crafted mocktails and drinks, small bites and personalized gifts for guests to take home.

At the events, three Well Worn outfits from real hardworking Canadians—Logger, Ryan Simmonds; Rancher, Anne Cassar and Barber, Nick Abate—were on display along with each individual’s story to reinforce the message behind the new brand. Overall, the events saw great media and influencer turnout and garnered notable coverage on social media.


From slip-resistant footwear to helping bring Well Worn to life, Brookline was thrilled to work with Mark’s on a national level and a variety of campaigns, helping to highlight their amazing products and to introduce Mark’s Well Worn to Canadians.


Christine Thompson is a Public Relations Assistant at Brookline Public Relations. Christine’s expertise lie in event planning, social & digital media, marketing strategy and media relations. Christine thrives on constantly keeping busy and is always looking for new and exciting projects to sink her teeth into.

Brookline Employees are Family

Friday, January 19th, 2018

Shama Walji, Administrative Coordinator

We hear it all the time, “healthy employees are more productive employees”. But what attributes to employee health and how can an employee’s health be measured in terms of productivity?

You can measure productivity with the labour productivity equation:

I’m sure I’ve got you yawning.  People are not equations. The truth is, tracking the rate of efficiency or billable hours becomes obsolete when organizations foster a culture that promotes happy and healthy employees because employees simply want to be the best that they can be. At Brookline, the entire team is committed to fostering a supportive, inclusive culture where both personal and professional growth are rewarded equally.

Brookline’s culture brings a holistic approach to productivity where health and wellness initiatives are a high priority and employees are treated more than just a human resource or human capital: at Brookline, employees are family.

Here’s how:


Brookline’s Culture Club: Every year, Brookliners are assigned to internal teams. One of Brookline’s internal teams is our Culture Club. Brookline’s Culture Club’s core purpose is to acknowledge hard work and celebrate wins in fun, spontaneous ways by inclusively surprising and delighting team members to inspire a cohesive, supportive team. This allows Brookliners to set the tone for Culture Club’s goals each year. Wins are celebrated always and Brookliners are surprised and delighted throughout the year. Some previous team surprise and delights include in-office chair massages, healthy snacks during busy times, coffee runs, team lunches, and even casual early office closures.



“Me Days”: at Brookline, all Brookliners are given one “Me Day”. This flex day can be used for whatever the Brookliner wishes – it’s theirs!



Birthdays Off: Brookliners are encouraged to take their birthday off to celebrate what wonderful people they are and trust me, they are really are.



Fun Days: At the beginning of the year, Brookliner’s are assigned a team to plan a quarterly Fun day. Fun days are typically open to any activity that is inclusive to the entire team including being pampered with manicures and pedicures, bowling, or having a good laugh session at the theatre.



Quarterly Team Workouts: A team that sweats together, stays together. Each quarter, Brookliners are treated to a private, team building workout.

Health and Wellness: Full-time Brookliners enjoy the benefit of Health and Dental Benefits and yearly health spending accounts.

Lieu Time: For almost 13 years, Brookline has been fully non-billable. That means no timesheets, no tracking hours, just doing great work! Brookliner’s are encouraged to take time off in lieu of additional hours worked because work-life fuels creativity and productivity.



Professional Development and Education Reimbursement: Health doesn’t stop at just your physical well-being. Brookline believes that health is all encompassing where professional development is crucial to an organization’s health. All employees are encouraged to attend seminars, luncheons and webinars to further their public relations knowledge and leadership skills.

Brookline Family Day: Typically, the Friday before the Canada Day long weekend, the office will be closed, providing Brookliners with an extra-long weekend to spend with their families.

Brookline’s choice to invest in the team with health and wellness initiatives not only produces solid results but also allows Brookline to have an all-star team to offer only the best to our clients, partners and each other.


Shama Walji is the Administrative Coordinator at Brookline Public Relations. With over nine years of customer relations and administrative management experience, Shama brings a creative and enthusiastic ability to be Brookline’s main point of contact for all things administrative.

What to expect when your client is expecting…

Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

Leanna Kruk, Account Director

Ask any PR agency professional about their last consumer-facing client campaign…and I bet it included working with bloggers or influencers. As many in our industry can relate, the media landscape has officially changed. The rise of the blogger and influencer is here – they are smart and savvy and know their worth. What qualifies someone as a blogger or influencer? For bloggers, they have their own blog site, or contribute to a blog site, along with other writers to review and highlight products, brands, experiences, events, etc. An influencer may not have a blog site per se, but they conduct the same reviews via social media and have followers that engage with them on those platforms. At Brookline, we work across many industry sectors and often clients are looking to align their brands with communication channels that can speak more directly to their customers or audience. Enter the blogger/influencer.

So, what makes this group so effective? Well, they have followers, followers that listen and react. They also have a special connection to their followers and they take extraordinary pride to ensure they are always considering what their audience is looking for. Most bloggers and influencers that we work with are keen to engage with us because we have cultivated great relationships and we understand what is important to them when representing a brand or client. Of course, there have been some fundamental learnings we’ve picked up along the way. Here are the top four items to expect in your next blogger/influencer campaign:

  1. Manage client expectations – This is key. Yes, working with bloggers and influencers is fun and exciting and you get to see your brand or product come to life through their words and images, but not all may want to work with your brand. Some may have pre-existing conflicts with other brands that will automatically diminish your chance of working with that blogger. From an agency standpoint, it’s always a good idea to vet bloggers and influencers before mentioning them to your client so you get a sense if the partnership will work.


2. Manage budgets – The blogger/influencer group is here to stay, and they know that they are an effective messenger to consumers. They spend the time and money to maintain their site and to blog or post via their social networks and a fee needs to be associated with that time commitment. For many that we speak with, they also take immense pride in maintaining a certain visual look to posts and images and that can cost money as well. Not all bloggers/influencers will look for an outright payment; some value experience based opportunities or products in lieu of payment. This is a tactic that we have successfully used when working with this group.

3. Set parameters – When starting the engagement process, we find it helpful to set clear parameters on what is expected both with our client and with the blogger/influencer. Sometimes a contract is even put in place to ensure that both parties are clear on what the payment or experience will include and when the expected blog should be posted.



4. Prepare for your campaign – Similar to working with traditional media, bloggers and influencers appreciate access to information and images to enhance their posts. Providing them with key messages or high-resolution images will ensure that their posts reflect the brand and the targeted campaign messages.


If you haven’t worked with bloggers or influencers in the past, it really is an exciting time to involve them in your intended outreach strategy. They bring an unmistakable grassroots approach that can’t be mimicked through other strategies. Make sure to incorporate the above suggested tips the next time you work with bloggers and influencers and you’ll be on the receiving end of a successful, multi-faceted client outreach campaign.



Leanna Kruk is an Account Director at Brookline Public Relations and brings a vast amount of experience in planning and executing successful integrated communications plans, including work with bloggers and influencers. Leanna brings value to her clients by always providing out-of-the-box, dynamic, thoughtful, strategic campaign ideas. Her ability to motivate her team comes from her passion for communications and the clients she represents.