Archive for the ‘Day in the Life’ Category

Behind-the-Mic with Beyond PR

Tuesday, November 26th, 2019

Jenna Hamilton, Account Coordinator

Podcasts are a powerful tool to increase an organization’s brand awareness, and they continue to gain popularity. They have the ability to capture your audience’s attention for an extended period of time, create a personalized experience for your listeners, share impactful stories, and position an organization as an industry leader. With these objectives in mind, Brookline decided to embark on the exciting adventure of launching its very own podcast, Beyond PR, this year. Here’s how we did it.

Research Phase

The Brookline team dedicated ample time to researching best practices, ensuring we had all the information we needed to successfully launch the podcast. As there are many elements to consider when recording, editing and launching an episode, Brookline tapped into the expertise of a Calgary-based podcast specialist. This was the best course of action for Brookline, as the studio provided the necessary recording equipment needed to achieve top sound quality.

Planning Phase

The most important question to ask when launching a podcast is “why?”. What are you hoping to achieve? Who is your audience? What stories do you want to tell? This was by far the most exciting phase of our podcast launch because the Brookline team was able to tap into their creative side and brainstorm a brand-new concept.

Here are some steps we followed when planning our podcast:

  1. Choose your topic: For Brookline, we wanted to connect with audiences beyond those in the public relations world (see where we got the name?). As one of Canada’s leading boutique public relations agencies, the Brookline team is fortunate to work with incredible individuals across the country and in diverse industries—each with a unique story to tell. With this in mind, the podcast goes beyond the typical to showcase inspiring stories from business and community leaders every month.

  2. Define your show and branding: The Brookline team unanimously voted to name the podcast Beyond PR, as it seamlessly communicated what we were trying to achieve (and played well off our agency acronym, BPR). Of course, it only made sense that our fearless leader Shauna MacDonald would be the podcast host, interviewing trailblazers in the Calgary community and beyond. From there, our in-house graphic designer developed a podcast logo that tied in perfectly with Brookline’s brand.

  3. Create a plan: In order to successfully launch a podcast, it is imperative to have a solid plan for how to roll out the first season. In March, Brookline celebrated International Women’s Day (IWD) and created a video featuring some of the amazing female leaders that we are proud to know, work with and laugh with every day. To honour this major project and its stars, the team decided that season one of Beyond PR would feature different conversations with these game-changing women.

Launch Phase

With the Calgary Stampede around the corner, Brookline selected the 2019 Calgary Stampede Royalty to be Beyond PR’s first guests. We had the incredible opportunity to work with these women for the IWD video and it was exciting to tell their story.

Of course, to make a podcast launch successful you need a solid digital strategy. Brookline is fortunate to have an impressive in-house digital team that executes brilliant social media strategies and has great ideas to generate awareness of Beyond PR.

With all of these pieces in place, Beyond PR had a successful launch and created a solid foundation for future episodes.

Season One & Beyond

Now six episodes in, Beyond PR’s first season features several women who have shared their inspiring stories and journeys. Episode guests have included Jocelyn Laidlaw, CTV Calgary Senior News Anchor; Sara Austin, Founder & CEO of Children First Canada; Geneviève Simard, former Olympic Canadian alpine skier and current bad-ass helicopter pilot; and even Shauna MacDonald, Principal and Founder of Brookline, in our 15th anniversary special. If you want to check them out for yourself, you can listen on AnchorSpotifyApple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.  

Brookline is thrilled to be on this podcast journey and to provide a platform for these inspiring guests who make such an impact in Calgary and across Canada. Stay tuned for what the team has up their sleeve for season two of Beyond PR in 2020!

Jenna Hamilton is an Account Coordinator at Brookline Public Relations. Jenna has become well-versed in developing communications programs for a variety of clients and enjoys the versatility of the agency’s clientele, including real estate, consumer, sports and tourism. 

Brookline XV in the Making

Friday, November 22nd, 2019

Kirstin Lindquist, Graphic Design Intern

Brookline recently turned 15 and as an important milestone, this occasion was cause for celebration. With a dash of glam, we completely transformed Bridgette Bar and in Brookline fashion, no detail was spared!

Our #BrooklineXV party was not only a way to celebrate 15 years of incredible achievements, but truly a way to say thank you to our past and current clients, partners, media, influencers and friends! From a surprise performance by country super star Paul Brandt to laughs shared over cocktails, it was a night to remember.

Without taking the magic away, we want to give you a behind the scenes look at how it all came together and how we “brought our sparkle” to the special evening.

Here’s to the next 15 years!

Kirstin strives to ensure that companies are not only being noticed but also remembered. As a graphic designer she values the fusion of form and function to communicate brand values, establish growth and differentiate clients from their competition.

The creativity conundrum: how to keep your campaigns fresh and current

Monday, August 19th, 2019

Ashley Tymko, Account Manager

“I have an endless supply of award-winning campaign ideas! What is writer’s block? Inspiration just hits me at all times.”

In an idyllic world, the statement above is what myself, and I am sure every public relations practitioner wishes they would experience. In stark reality, creativity is relentlessly capricious. It ebbs and flows in waves and even the most seasoned of us can at times struggle to find inspiration.

Creativity can be defined in countless ways, but for the purpose of my blog, I am defining creativity as: “unique ways for organizations to evoke emotion and brand recognition among its target audience.”

I am often asked by my peers and those outside of the PR world how I continually stay creative for new and returning clients.

I thought I would share some key learnings that I’ve applied throughout the years to ensure I always put my most creative self forward.

Be authentic. This one is less of a ‘be true to yourself,’ but rather, more ‘be authentic to your client’.

Our clients work with us not only because we are good at what we do, but because we take the time to understand their needs and goals to authentically communicate their message. Strategy sessions are essential to building an excellent working foundation, but also imperative to getting those creative juices flowing with your client. We often bounce preliminary ideas off of one another to get a true sense of what they want vs. what they aren’t crazy about.

There is no such thing as a ‘one-size-fits-all media strategy.’ Learn your client, their language, their goals and desired outcomes. The more information you have on your client, the better you can determine what approach is best and find creative ways to solve their problems and add value.

Know your strengths. Know when you operate at your optimal creative level i.e. when you produce your best work. For me, it is first thing when I wake up. I quickly brush my teeth, make a coffee and hunker down at the computer and write. My optimal time is between 5 and 8 a.m. (as I edit this blog I peeked at the clock and its 6:05 a.m.) I often get (lightly) chastised from my concerned colleagues for sending emails and documents at 5 a.m. but that’s what works for me to get in my optimal writing headspace. This is the time I can pump out a killer press release or a thought-provoking pitch.

Be aware and make time or space to allow yourself to operate most creatively. It truly helps.

Our Senior Account Manager, Angela, needs to blast soca music to slay an amazing press release. Our Senior Intern, Nicole, likes to declutter and work in a clean space and our PR Assistant, Ottilie, loves to listen to Podcasts.

Get inspired! When creative juices are running low, don’t shy away from getting inspiration from different campaigns.

Whenever I am in a rut, I think back to my favourite PR campaign, the Dove Real Beauty campaign and its evolution. It is simple, evokes emotion, connects with the target demographic and is extremely creative in the delivery of its messaging. It’s a tremendously well-rounded campaign. So much so that it was pivotal in not only promoting their brand, but having their target audiences question their competitors’ marketing tactics. Its influence is seen heavily in public relations and marketing today. Just look at their competitor, Olay’s, new campaign.

So, when you find yourself spinning your wheels running through the same three ideas over and over again, step back and gain some clarity and inspiration from other places.

I asked around the office and here are a couple of our favourite campaigns:

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” — Albert Einstein

The key word here is FUN. At the end of the day, being creative, brainstorming ideas and stretching the limits of what we thought possible is always invigorating. My favourite days are when my colleagues and I get together in the boardroom and tackle an issue together. It usually ends in a pile of giggles and us shouting out the most obscure ideas we can think of – but at the end of the session, we come out with solid ideas to present to our clients.

So even when you are exhausted, out of ideas or feel like you’re hitting a wall, turn to your colleagues for support and have fun with it.

Ashley Tymko is an Account Manager at Brookline Public Relations. Ashley has expertise in event planning, media relations, client relations and strategic planning. Ashley thrives in a fast-paced workplace where there are constant opportunities to learn new things and explore bold ideas.