Archive for the ‘Calgary’ Category

Keeping Your Head in the Game: Why athletes make excellent PR professionals

Thursday, October 5th, 2017

Dominica Nemec, Assistant Account Specialist

Up until the day I walked across the stage at my university to receive my degree, I had been a competitive athlete – tennis player, if you’re curious. During my early years I dreamt of nothing other than being the best. It wasn’t until university that I began to realize my priorities and interests were shifting. I knew I wanted to pursue a career in public relations and was doing well academically in the field, but what I didn’t realize (until much later) that I had an advantage many of my classmates didn’t – I was an athlete! Being an athlete provides you with specific tools that can set you up for success in your chosen career, particularly a fast-paced one like PR. Here’s why being an experienced competitor gives you that competitive edge.

Growing up as a high performance athlete comes with its ups and downs. The ups: peak physical fitness, the ability to eat whatever you want in large quantities, not needing an excuse to wear workout gear all day every day and the feeling of invincibility that comes with being a champion. The downs: permanent exhaustion and constant state of hunger, not being able to pull jeans up past your knees, the complete lack of any sort of social life and the constant pressure of needing to consistently improve.

For teenage athletes with big dreams of rising to the top, these are common concerns. However, while transitioning from an athletic career to a professional one can seem extremely daunting, these idealists quickly learn they are already equipped with certain tools and skills that can help them excel in the boardroom the same way they did on the court. Being able to apply these skills makes them ideal for fast-paced work environments such as PR agencies. Here are the top five reasons athletes make excellent PR professionals:

Time management –

When your day consists of waking at the crack of dawn for workouts, a full day of classes, three hours of afternoon practice, physical rehabilitation for injuries and an evening spent completing homework, you learn to utilize every waking moment. You condense eight hours of studying to two and write term papers in the blink of an eye. Creating a list of priorities and what needs to be achieved is a daily practice. All sports require some level of strategic thinking – this, coupled with the limited number of hours in a day, allows athletes to recognize what needs to be executed, when, how long it will take and what level of effort and attention it needs. Replace workouts with meetings, classes with calls and practice with deliverables and you’re moving straight from the court to the office.

Knowing when to say when –

As PR professionals, we’re all perfectionists on some level. Being your own harshest critic means a press release is never as polished as you’d like it to be and the presentation could always use a few more details. Same goes for athletes – the serve could use some perfecting and maybe if you put in a few more practice sprints your time will improve slightly. However, when game day rolls around it’s go time and you better be confident in what you have to bring to the playing field. As an athlete, being so limited on time allows you to excel at creating your best work and paying attention to detail in a timely manner, but also knowing when to wrap it up and yell “DONE!”

Working under pressure –

This one should come as no surprise. Pressure is a commonly used word in any athlete’s vocabulary – the expectation to perform at a certain level while excelling in the classroom and all of the other responsibilities that come with the role can be overwhelming. However, there are two important skills all peak athletes must learn to master if they want to maintain their sanity: stress management and perspective. Being able to deal with pressure does not equate to a lack of stress, in fact quite the opposite – stress is a major factor in athletics. However, the near constant pressure athletes feel allows them to channel that stress into productive energy, a skill they learn to apply in multiple scenarios. They’re also able to put things into perspective – a single loss does not break a career and a stressful week at work will eventually pass. That’s why instead of crumbling under the pressure of imminent deadlines and copious amounts of work, athletes are able to stay collected and deliver.

Always a team player –

It doesn’t matter if you played singles in tennis or defense in football, all athletes know the importance of a cohesive team. While it’s not always easy (try grouping ten girls in their late teens/early twenties together and force them to work as a unit on a collegiate tennis team), you learn to step up to the plate to lead when you’re needed and lean on your teammates for support when there is too much being asked of you. This is particularly important in a work environment such as a PR agency, where teamwork is essential to the workload. As important as it is to be indispensable to a team that needs you, you must trust others to do the same.














5. Goal Oriented –

Winning isn’t everything, but it sure is an excellent motivator. Crossing the finish line first may be the end game, but every athlete knows the planning, goal setting and work is what is going to get them there. This desire to not only be the best but consistently improve doesn’t dwindle once the equipment is stored away for good. Athletes are and always will be driven by results in every aspect of their life, so you can rely on them to not only get the job done, but get it done right. Also, that age-old saying “you learn more from your losses than wins,” is not wrong – we can’t win all the time, but what we can do is lose gracefully and continually grow from those losses. Athletes know how to learn from mistakes, both on and off the court.

There you have it! Now, this is not to say that only athletes make excellent employees and PR professionals – not by a long shot – but they certainly have a leg up when it comes to being integrated into a fast-paced work environment for the first time. Why? Because they’ve already experienced it in one way or another!

Dominica Nemec is an Assistant Account Specialist at Brookline Public Relations. She is at her best when coming up with creative ways to tell a story and is a self-professed grammar geek. She has helped multiple brands tell their stories and build their reputations through media relations, digital communication and event planning.  When not doing her PR thing, she can be found staying active and teaching spin classes – you can take the girl out of athletics but you can’t take the athlete out of the girl!

Brookline Takes a Stand Against Human Trafficking with #NotinMyCity Campaign

Monday, September 25th, 2017

Lisa Libin, Vice President

Brookline has had the honour of working with country music superstar, Paul Brandt, for more than six years and when he approached us to support him on his anti-trafficking campaign, #NotInMyCity, we couldn’t wait to be a part of this important initiative.

#NotInMyCity is a campaign geared towards raising awareness of Human Trafficking in Calgary, with a focus on sexual exploitation. Trafficking activity has been documented by police at large entertainment and sporting events like The Juno Awards and the F1 Race showing that these events including the Calgary Stampede, are targeted specifically by traffickers.  The campaign aims to raise community awareness, shine a spotlight on existing resources , and provide strategies to the community to stand up against human trafficking.

Brookline provided pro-bono media relations for this initiative, with the goal of using press as a conduit to engage the Calgary community as they stand together and say “no more” to human trafficking. Working with Paul Brandt as well as Canadian designer Paul Hardy, Sheldon Kennedy, local celebrity Dave Kelly, as well as former MP Joy Smith, the Calgary Police chief and the City of Calgary, Brookline managed a press conference to officially launch the campaign in Calgary.

The event was held the day before the Calgary Stampede started and had a strong cowboy-theme, given the timing as well as Paul Brandt’s roots. Media were invited to hear Paul’s personal story around witnessing child trafficking when travelling abroad, and also learn of local stories and statistics that demonstrate the importance of taking a stand against human trafficking, ultimately saying #NotInMyCity.

Every media outlet was in attendance for this event including Post Media, CBC, CTV, Global and the Calgary Sun. Not only did awareness span the city, but representatitves from other major cities across North Amercia heard about the campaign and began phoning to inquire how they can launch a similar initiative in their cities.

Media and influencers were asked to tweet using the hashtag #NotInMyCity which was trending on Twitter, and bandanas and scarves designed by Paul Hardy were sold with proceeds going towards awareness initiatives. The design was also displayed on a chuckwagon driven by driver, Chad Harden, during the races at the Stampede.




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.

Event planning: Details, Details Details!

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

Amanda Kemsley, Account Specialist 

It’s an age old saying for many aspects in life, particularly one that could be said about event planning; hope for the best and prepare for the worst. As PR professionals, we prepare and think about every possible scenario, trying to avoid the unavoidable. But, we don’t hope for the best, we plan for it. Below are a few considerations to think of when planning an event and ensuring everything goes off with a bang:

  1. Purpose

Having a clear objective from the beginning will guide all aspects of planning, help to measure results and ensure success of the event. Is the event to launch a product or service? Is it to introduce a new brand/company? Why are you (or the client) holding the event, and what do you want to achieve?


  1. Budget

Once you’ve established the focus of your event, do your research and estimates costs to create a budget you can reasonably work within. If you are given a budget from the client, break it down into line items to give yourself an idea of what can fit into the budget. There are often unforeseen costs so don’t forget to account for contingency.


  1. Know your audience

This goes for both guest and media invites. Invite guests that share an interest in your event, product, service, etc. Reach out to media appropriately and ensure you’re pitching a reporter with a beat that coincides with your event’s purpose. Making sure to research and select the right people will help create a longstanding relationship with event attendees and media contacts.


  1. Timeliness

Conduct an environmental scan for the time, and area of your event. Take a look at other events happening in the city and pick a suitable day and time that will not conflict with your event. You don’t want to compete with other events that have a similar targeted guest list.


  1. Make a list and check it twice

In PR we love lists, but creating a work back schedule will help ensure you don’t miss important elements for your event. Organizing all details into once place will give you the chance to see how your plan is progressing. A run of show is also a great way to envision your event from start to finish and will give you the opportunity to recognize any missing elements.

  1. Venue Selection

Align your event theme with your venue selection. Having consistency in your theme and venue will add to the event and leave a lasting impression. Look at the big picture and choose a venue that can accommodate your guest list, food and beverage options, fits your budget and encompass the atmosphere you’re aiming for. It’s also important to consider accessibility of the venue, convenience for guests and if necessary, contingency plan for weather. If you are on a limited budget, look for a venue that can check off multiple services including catering, entertainment and AV – bundling vendors can help save costs.


  1. Takeaways

Leave a lasting impression on your guests with a simple and thoughtful takeaway gift. Practical or unique gifts are usually a hit, keeping in mind it should always tie back to your event theme.



Once your event is over, record key learnings and regroup with your client to look back, review and measure against your objective(s). Key learnings and takeaways are great to have on hand the next time you plan an event. Events require a lot of foresight, but if planned and executed well, they can be the perfect opportunity to engage with your audience, share a message, secure earned media and more!

Amanda is an Account Specialist at Brookline Public Relations. She has an insatiable appetite for exploring – ironically since she doesn’t like getting lost. She flourishes on bringing broad-minded, creative ideas to the table and trying things outside of the norm.