Archive for the ‘Calgary’ Category

Clearly, I’ve drank the Kool-Aid

Tuesday, June 12th, 2018

Sophie Pilon, Account Supervisor

This past week, I celebrated my 6-year anniversary at Brookline! Booyah! One of my colleagues asked me what my highlight was over the years. Maybe it was the overwhelming shower of love from my colleagues or maybe I was distracted by the cake adorning my giant face in front of me, but I couldn’t come up with a highlight. Seriously, how does one summarize six years in one highlight? Now that the fog has lifted, I’ve had some time to think about it. What is keeping me motivated and passionate about Brookline?

The reason is simple; the projects I have had the opportunity to work on are second to none. I have met so many interesting people; I have grown so much professionally and personally; I have learned so much and continue to learn; I get pushed out of my comfort zone daily and most importantly I work with a group of vivacious, fierce and badass women every day.

To illustrate why I’ve clearly drank the Brookline Kool-Aid, I’ve decided to put a list together of some of the projects that have made a great impact on my career:

 

  • One of Brookline’s largest projects is managing the public relations for Edmonton’s ICE District. Throughout the years, I’ve had the opportunity to work on so many interesting projects but one that sticks out is certainly helping with media relations for the opening of Roger’s Place.
  • I’ve lost count the number of times I have worn construction gear. I have an irrational fear of elevators and several of our projects with ICE District have been in buildings under construction where you have to take a hoist – translation: tuna can on the side of a building. If you are unaware of what a hoist is, it is essentially a cage used for lifting or lowering a load by means of a drum or lift-wheel around which rope or a chain wraps, which means they scare me. Yet facing my fears is something I take great pride in, so yes… having to use hoists are a highlight for me.
  • Have you ever ridden a golf cart on an airport runway? I have! Brookline worked with the Calgary Airport Authority to help open the longest runway in Canada. The two-day event included an 8 km run event, managing up to 7000 visitors and coordinating the landing of more than 40 planes.
  • The Calgary Stampede season is always busy for us with events. One year, my colleague and I had the pleasure of coordinating interviews and managing THE Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller, Jeff Arnett.
  • One time, Paul Brandt serenaded me and 70 of my closest friends at a Canada Beef rebrand event. NBD!
  • Since I’m speaking of Paul Brandt, I also witnessed a marriage proposal at one if his UFA Small Town Heroes Appreciation concert in Ponoka, Alberta. Paul Brandt was made aware of the declaration and called the couple to the stage to sing them his infamous song – “I Do”.
  • I’ve had the pleasure of leading one of Brookline’s biggest client, Ford and travelled across Southern Alberta to visit with dealers, launched different vehicles and supported important issues such as impaired driving.
  • I’ve had the chance to work with several celebrity chefs to launch different ventures, including Chef Roger Mooking for the opening of Social Eatery by Roger Mooking at TELUS Spark.
  • I’ve also met Yvan Cournoyer at a Gordie Howe PRO AM Hockey Tournament event and number 99, Wayne Gretzky, at an Edmonton ICE District event. Do I need to say more?
  • Last but not least, I’ve created great friendships and bonds with my colleagues, but I have also created amazing ties with clients, media and partners these past six years.

 

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, agency life is demanding and requires perseverance, adaptability and passion, and I’m proud to embody those qualities and inspire the team to live by those words as well.

 

As part of the senior team, Sophie’s strategic thinking and calculated public relations insight have helped effectively guide large brands to reach their goals and objectives. Sophie’s strengths lie in creating innovative and tailored strategic communications and media relations plans tailored for each client and their needs. Her creativity, coupled with a wealth of experience in sports, lifestyle, corporate, not-for-profit industries, has led to exceptional results and brand-elevating coverage.

When Your Employees Go Rogue – How employees can do more damage than your competition

Monday, May 28th, 2018

Lisa Libin, Vice President

An employee can be a company’s strongest asset.  However, when an employee goes “rogue” – going against company policies and values, a PR crisis can ensue, reflecting and ultimately damaging a company’s brand.

From Starbucks employees choosing to have some loitering customers arrested to Tim Horton’s franchisees publicly lashing out over cuts to their benefits – although these issues are caused by rogue employees – it is still the responsibility of the brand to respond and clean up the mess.

What can a brand or company do when its reputation is tarnished by others? Below are some response recommendations for brands to follow when handling a PR issue not of their doing:

 

  1. Move quickly

With the power of social media, an incident is likely to go public, and potentially viral, like rapid fire. Gone are the days of having the luxury of sitting around a boardroom table for days to discuss a response – companies need to respond now. And fast. However, before distributing a response, ensure you are also following recommendation #2:

 

  1. Don’t be generic

Too often, companies are quick to respond with a generic statement – which can often cause additional frustration among consumers and the public who are looking for a more specific response or a call to action. Create a response that speaks to the problem – something as simple as “this isn’t acceptable, we are looking into it” can at least show the public you are taking the issue seriously.

 

  1. Tailor your reaction to the incident

There is no formulaic approach to a PR incident. Each crisis requires its own tailored response and outside counsel can often assist with creating a crisis communications path specific to the incident at hand.

 

  1. Go above and beyond when you can

This lesson can go all the way back to the Tylenol incident of the 1980’s where Johnson & Johnson recalled all of its products from the shelves, not just Tylenol products. An expensive business decision? Absolutely. But what it showed consumers is that Johnson & Johnson was willing to put customer safety ahead of profit margins to ensure all products were safe. When a brand goes beyond the simple response to an issue, it shows its audience that it truly cares and values their business.

 

While a number of recent incidents in the media have involved only one or two employees who made questionable or downright wrong decisions, it is always important to remember that all employees are representatives of the brand and it is important for the organization to act swiftly but act smartly.

 

 

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.

The program for the next generation of PR pros

Monday, May 7th, 2018

Ottilie Coldbeck, Public Relations Intern

Throughout university, the terms ‘internship’ and ‘co-op’ are thrown around frequently, with advisors professing the importance of “real world” experience – it can be overwhelming. As a public relations student at Mount Royal University, internships are a key element of the program and are required for graduation. During a four-year course, PR students must complete two four-month internships to provide them with the skills they need to succeed in the workplace.

During the application and interview frenzy, students are often told to embrace any opportunity as there are not many times in a person’s life to ‘trial run’ a job. However, the usual hesitations around starting a new job set in – will it be fulfilling? Will I gain the experience I am seeking? Will agency life be the right fit for me? These are valid concerns and ones that I had felt personally before starting my position at Brookline Public Relations. I have now been with the Brookline team for just over four months and I can definitively answer yes to the above questions.

 

 

Public relations agencies, specifically boutiques, offer new grads entering the workforce an opportunity to hone skills required in the communications world. Agencies provide opportunities for its employees to continually develop their skills while working with a diverse set of clients who require unique communications strategies. In agencies, a teamwork atmosphere is crucial, and this could not be more true at Brookline.

Working alongside some fearless and fabulous women, Brookline PR has introduced me to the wonderful world of agency. At Brookline, no day is ever the same – I am constantly learning from the team and from clients, and the one-of-a-kind work atmosphere has set the standard for what I want to accomplish in coming years.

 

 

However, it’s true that at Brookline, not only do we work hard, we play hard! Brookline acknowledges hard work and celebrates the team in many ways. From Thank Tanks and coffee runs to quarterly team workouts and fun days – Brookline goes above and beyond to recognize the team’s dedication to delivering quality work for clients.

 

 

Public relations agencies offer budding PR pros opportunities to grow as communications professionals and develop a range of skills from the get-go. The agency is a unique and rewarding start to a career in public relations and I am excited to grow as a communicator and work with the Brookline team.

 

– Ottilie Coldbeck is an Intern 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 manner.