Archive for the ‘Solid’ Category

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.

Beyond PR Podcast – Episode 2 – Jocelyn Laidlaw

Thursday, August 8th, 2019

Why is watching the news now “more important than ever”? Calgary’s beloved Jocelyn Laidlaw, Senior News Anchor for CTV Calgary,  joins Beyond PR to discuss her time in reporting, how journalism has evolved and is constantly changing, how fake news has impacted the industry, and how becoming a mom has changed her approach to her work. Jocelyn shares the moments in her reporting career that were the toughest to overcome, and, after some convincing from Shauna, shares what it’s like being a micro-celebrity in Calgary. 

The Beyond PR podcast will bring open, honest and sometimes never-before-heard stories from notable leaders each month. Subscribe to Beyond PR on AnchorSpotifyApple Podcasts or Google Podcasts to catch episode three in September 2019. 

Alex Handley is an Account Executive at Brookline. She is a strategic thinker and team player who loves working collaboratively, fostering connections and delivering solid results. Her experience lies in government relations, internal communications, issues management and media relations.

An Evening to Remember at Chairman’s Steakhouse

Tuesday, July 30th, 2019

Ottilie Coldbeck, Public Relations Assistant

Last month, Chairman’s Steakhouse opened in Mahogany’s lake-side resort-style community, Westman Village by Jayman BUILT. Chairman’s is an exciting new culinary concept brought to life by one of Calgary’s most notable restauranteurs, Vintage Group in the south of Calgary.

This new restaurant embodies the glitz and glamour of Old Hollywood, inviting all to experience the iconic era of the Rat Pack and Marilyn Monroe. However, opening a restaurant of this calibre outside of Calgary’s downtown core meant that awareness and word-of-mouth were key drivers in inviting Calgarians from across the city to experience the steakhouse.

The Grand Opening in June included a VIP guest list of Calgarians, influencers and media to experience the unique concept restaurant. Guests were greeted by paparazzi along a red-carpet entrance. Once inside, the restaurant had been transformed into an Old Hollywood scene, with live music and a 3D photobooth inspired by a classic movie premier.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a party without a few special guests. Brookline coordinated Rat Pack Impersonators, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr, accompanied by Marilyn Monroe, to be flown in from Las Vegas to add a creative flare.

From an Old Hollywood inspired cocktail menu, to Vintage Car photo ops and live music entertainment, no detail was forgotten for this iconic grand opening event.

In addition to event coordination and management, Brookline facilitated all media relations efforts related to Chairman’s. This included a long-lead media strategy prior to the official opening and a post-launch media engagement strategy for continued momentum.

To generate buzz for the opening of Chairman’s Steakhouse in advance of the opening, Brookline coordinated with long lead publications, including Avenue Magazine, City Palate and Culinaire Magazine to secure coverage for the highly-anticipated opening. Media and influencers in attendance at the June 8th opening event generated coverage across both traditional and social media platforms, including long form articles in both Calgary Herald and Curiocity Calgary.

Following the grand opening, Brookline engaged with local media and influencers for an exclusive dinner at the restaurant with demonstrations from Executive Head Chef Cedric Truchon and resident mixologist Justin “JD” Darnes.

Brookline’s efforts resulted in coverage in a variety of print and online publications, and a Global News Morning segment featuring Executive Head Chef Truchon. With the city still buzzing about the new restaurant offering and guests raving about their experience, Chairman’s Steakhouse is set to be the talk of the town for many months to come.

Brookline was thrilled to work alongside Westman Village and Vintage Group for this event and to continue working with Jayman BUILT and Westman Village as their agency of record for all communications initiatives.

Ottilie Coldbeck is a Public Relations Assistant 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.