Archive for the ‘Professional’ Category

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.

Brookline rings in the holiday season

Friday, December 15th, 2017

Angela Cabucos, Account Executive 

December is a favourite time of year at Brookline. The sights and sounds of the holidays can be found around the office in the months prior to Christmas as we begin to support our clients with planning their holiday campaigns. As always, the holidays are the perfect time of year to give back and to remember the real reason for the season. Here’s a look at of some of the fun and generous holiday initiatives our clients are involved in this year.



Ford of Canada

Brookline’s Ford team revved up its holiday planning with a safe winter driving event geared towards university students who may be hitting the road and heading home to their loved ones for the holidays. We spent the day quizzing students at the University of Calgary on their winter safety driving knowledge and provided them with tips from Ford on how to handle tricky winter conditions.

We planned this safety event because we recognize that students will soon be packing up and driving home or to the mountains for a getaway this winter break. In addition, many students may not have much winter driving experience if they are new drivers. To help equip the students and their vehicles, Ford provided emergency car safety kits, fleece blankets, ice scrapers and emergency lights to stow away in case of an emergency. Winter driving is rarely ideal, but Ford recognizes the importance of being prepared for the cold weather and slick roads and looks to help drivers get home safely for the holidays.


Good Earth Coffeehouse

The annual Gingerbread Family campaign at Good Earth Coffeehouse (Good Earth) has been a holiday tradition for over 20 years. With this community-giving initiative, Good Earth will donate $1 from every sale of delicious Gingerbread Family cookie packages in December to local food banks across Canada. Good Earth has set a goal to sell over 10,000 Gingerbread Family cookie packages, and hopes to sweeten the deal by donating up to an extra $2,500 when Canadians share a photo of their cookies on social media. Each photo of the Gingerbread Family cookies shared on Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #FeedAFamily will result in Good Earth donating an extra dollar to the campaign.

Brookline loves working on this sweet campaign, and this year is no exception. We conducted extensive media relations outreach in 15 media markets across Canada to help bring awareness to the community-giving tradition, as well as helped coordinate cookie deliveries to media. We are also working with bloggers and influencers to help spread the word on social media and in turn, increase donations for local food banks. The coverage secured so far includes CTV Edmonton, Global Calgary, Lethbridge Herald, Vancouver Courier, Toronto Sun and more. This is one campaign we can really sink our teeth into.



Banff Gondola

Brookline has been working with the Banff Gondola bringing holiday spirt to the top of Sulphur Mountain. The Banff Gondola was transformed this holiday season to bring Christmas to the Mountaintop. The Gondola’s lower and upper terminals were transformed into a winter wonderland, complete with Santa’s workshop! Mountaintop Christmas is the ultimate holiday experience with a festive atmosphere and plenty of Christmas activities for guests to enjoy including freshly baked cookie decorating, visits with Santa, letter writing to Santa and interactive activities including the 12 Animals of Christmas Treasure Hunt. The Above Banff Theatre in the upper terminal is also featuring a Disney Christmas film for the season and the Sky Bistro has a revamped seasonal menu and packaged experience for adults looking for a festive getaway. Brookline has been happy to support this amazing experience with media and influencer relations.



Edo Japan

One of our long-time clients, Edo Japan (Edo), is spreading the holiday cheer this year with its holiday giving campaign. In the spirit of giving, Edo is continuing its annual tradition of partnering with local Canadian food banks. Customers are encouraged to ‘Edo a little, help a lot’ by purchasing spring rolls from Edo, with 25 cents from each sale going to the local food bank in the market where the donation was made.

Brookline loves helping Edo help Canadians and is supporting the campaign with strategic outreach to social influencers across B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan. Influencer partnerships for the holiday giving campaign will include social media takeovers from some of Calgary and Edmonton’s most prominent Instagrammers, and social influencers throughout Western Canada will be sharing their Edo experiences with their followers, encouraging Canadians to give back with Edo this holiday season.



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

The value of mentorship

Monday, December 11th, 2017

Bridgette Slater, Senior Intern


Mentorship programs have many benefits that extend to the mentee, the mentor and the organization as a whole. Some of these benefits include increased engagement, improved goal setting and enhanced knowledge sharing. For mentees, these programs provide the opportunity to learn and seek advice from people who hold the very positions they one-day hope to attain. For mentors, these programs provide an opportunity to develop a personal and effective leadership style and to gain insight into new ways of working within the industry.

At Brookline, new employees at all levels are provided with a mentor who holds a more senior position and who has a fulsome understanding of the agency’s processes and culture. At the intern level, employees become part of the BPR Apprentices program, which is specifically designed to provide students or recent graduates with the industry experience they need to become knowledgeable and well-rounded practitioners. The relationship usually starts with the practitioners getting to know each other on a personal and professional level and, as time passes, a mutually-beneficial bond is formed.

One such benefit is increased engagement from the mentee, which stems from having the support of a fellow colleague and a resource they can rely on for help. Additionally, as communication becomes increasingly digital, there is something to be said about developing a relationship face-to-face through mentorship. This method tends to lead to increased trust, which in turn makes individuals feel more comfortable participating in team settings.

An important component of Brookline’s culture is the standard of continuous professional development. Whether an individual is just getting started or is considered the agency’s veteran, all team members are expected to set goals. Mentees are first introduced to Brookline’s goal setting initiatives by their mentors and the pair work collaboratively to develop specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely goals. Many of Brookline’s mentors use this relationship as an opportunity to become more effective leaders by providing their mentees with guidance and insight into the steps they can take to enhance their skills as public relations practitioners.

Finally, things can change in the blink of an eye in the world of public relations, which is why it is important for colleagues to keep each other informed of industry developments. Mentorship is one such way that individuals come together to share information about standard procedures and new approaches. For example, a mentor may teach their mentee about commonly recognized industry practices, such as pitching etiquette or time management strategies, to help their co-worker achieve success. Conversely, when new employees enter an organization, they bring with them knowledge gained from previous experience or through education. This information is often shared through the mentor-mentee relationship, which helps all employees stay fresh and current as they progress in their careers.

Mentorship is a powerful thing and to have the opportunity to be on either end of the relationship is something that should be valued.

Denzel Washington fully encapsulated the idea of mentorship when he said, “show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living—if you do it well I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.”


Bridgette Slater is the Senior Intern at Brookline Public Relations. Her experience lies within the realms of event planning, corporate and creative writing, and social media management.