Public Relations: If You Don’t Know, Now You Know

January 29th, 2020

Shama Walji, Office Manager & Executive Assistant

Public Relations professionals are often like the Chandler Bing of your social circle (minus the weird dance moves) – you just don’t really know what exactly they do. I must admit (Shauna MacDonald, you didn’t hear this), that even I didn’t really get what the public relations industry was truly about until I began working at Brookline Public Relations.

After over three years of working at one of Canada’s leading boutique public relations agency as Office Manager, I must say, I’ve learned a thing or two from these well-dressed and overly polite professionals and can finally set the record straight on what were once even some of my very own misconceptions about the Public Relations industry.

Here’s my top five PR Industry misconceptions.

It’s a Glamorous Gig

If you follow a public relations agency on social media (you should be following us … I’m kidding but I’m not: @Brookline_pr) you will likely see these fresh-faced professionals smiling away and celebrating wins with a champagne clink boomerang or the team enjoying the latest culinary delight. What you may not often see is the hard work Brookliners put in (I mean like roll up your sleeves and get the job done type of hard work). Brookliners are troopers: midmorning they are at construction tours at one of Canada’s tallest office towers (hardhats and steel toe boots on), afternoon they are behind the scenes at a press conference, and the evening they are in cocktail attire managing a high profile event where quite possibly a label maker (that was supposed to print roughly 300 nametags) could give out. It’s not always a glamourous gig, but the Brookline way is to always deliver what our clients expect from us and more – we work hard and we love what we do.  

It’s Basically Marketing

So that’s a hard no. It’s like saying a zebra is merely a striped horse. All jokes aside, public relations is earned media and marketing is generally paid media. Brookline forges meaningful, long term relationships with media outlets and influencers. Brookline is fifteen years (and counting) strong in building these relationships that allow us to anchor our client’s stories in the ever-changing media landscape.

They’re Essentially Event Planners

Brookliners manage great events but that’s not all we do. Every day at Brookline is incredibly different, exciting and challenging (in a good way) because our team gets the opportunity to work with various clients across Canada and the US to execute many PR tactics like media relations, large-scale campaigns and events, digital marketing, corporate communications, influencer marketing, and more!

They Put Out Fires

Brookline offers reactive and proactive issues management and crisis communications and has not only put out fires but has also prevents them in many instances, but that’s not all we do. Our team also works with a roster of clientele on preventative strategies which include media training, monitoring news stories, anchoring corporate vision and mission into language that can easily be communicated internally and externally, among other things (of which I’ll clarify in another three years)! 

They are Journalists

Brookliners are communication pros and work with journalists to coordinate media stories, provide subject matter experts and ultimately create newsworthy narratives. Our goal at Brookline is to get the story out there in the most accurate and precise way possible for our clients. You may wonder why a news story isn’t attributed to a Brookliner – think of Brookliners as songwriters, leaving the vocalists to shine in the spotlight.  

Now that I have set the record straight on common PR industry misconceptions, onto the question of the hour:

Are zebras merely horses with stripes?

Shama Walji is the Office Manager and Executive Assistant at Brookline Public Relations. With over nine years of customer relations and administrative management experience, Shama brings a creative and enthusiastic ability to be Brookline’s main point of contact for all things administrative.

Beyond PR Podcast – Episode 8 – Tara Weber

January 24th, 2020

Canadians likely know Tara Weber as a steadfast, reliable news source and BNN Bloomberg’s western correspondent. But in the first episode of the new year, Beyond PR host Shauna MacDonald goes deeper to uncover the real story behind Tara and her journey from a small town in British Columbia to becoming a national reporter. Listen in as Tara shares her insights on the era of fake news, tackling tough and sensitive stories, the discussion around Canada’s energy sector, and how to ensure your news tip doesn’t get lost in her inbox.

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 nine in February 2020. 

Nicole is a Public Relations Assistant at Brookline Public Relations. She is a writer at heart and thrives drafting anything from a long-lead op-ed to a spunky Instagram caption.

What made us #BPRDIFFERENT in 2019

January 16th, 2020

Katie Temple, Account Manager

Brookline started 2019 by asking ourselves a couple of key questions –  how can we set ourselves apart, stand out from the crowd and come to the table with out-of-the-box ideas to excel our business and produce solid results for our clients? It is with those questions in mind that our 2019 theme #BPRDifferent came to life – and what a different year it was!

Brookline got up to some pretty exciting things last year that set the bar high for 2020. We charted new territory, pushed ourselves out of our comfort zone and challenged the status quo. As we kick off what I anticipate to be another busy year, I reflect on some of the highlights from 2019 that made us #BPRDifferent.

International Women’s Day Celebration

In honour of International Women’s Day, Brookline teamed up with some of Calgary’s most influential women and celebrated what it’s like to be a ‘Girl Like You’. As we paid tribute to the Maroon 5 music video and added our own twist, the ladies of Brookline stepped out of the office and in front of the camera in true style. We followed this video up with an epic launch party on International Women’s Day where we hosted friends, colleagues and clients to unveil the video and celebrate some of the amazing women in our lives.


Podcast

On the heels of our International Women’s Day celebration, Brookline launched our own podcast, Beyond PR. To start the first season off with a bang, we invited the stars from our music video back to take a deeper dive into their personal and professional lives. Each episode, hosted by Shauna MacDonald, features one of the ladies and explores some of their key differentiators that have made them so influential in our city.

Creative offering

Brookline started the year strong by adding a graphic design arm to our agency by bringing the service offering in-house. Nini Lee joined Brookline in 2019 as Lead Graphic Designer and Kirstin Lindquist as Graphic Design Intern. Their creative genius coupled with our communication strengths has made Brookline stand out and differentiate itself from other boutique PR agencies in Canada. We’re an all-service agency that promises solid results for our clients.

Culture

Organizational culture is crucial to attract and retain top talent – especially in today’s market.  Brookline’s culture club prides itself on a mandate to celebrate team wins – both big and small – and surprise and delight our team players in an out-of-the-box way. With the added goal of ensuring such initiatives fit into the #BPRDifferent theme, Brookliners attended and took part in unique professional development opportunities that inspired us to think differently about how we approach our work. We had the chance to gain a different perspective by attending shows such as Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey, as well as leadership and crisis communications workshops. 


Clients

It wouldn’t have been a #BPRdifferent year if we weren’t trying new things and shaking it up for our clients. From flying in Vegas impersonators for the launch of the Chairman’s Steakhouse in Westman Village to managing coffee shop takeovers to teach people about the benefits of using a credit union, Brookline delivered a number of creative campaigns in 2019. Something totally different for both our team and our clients was seeing our fearless leader Shauna MacDonald step out of the office and on to the tennis court to participate in a celebrity tennis tournament in support of Comrie’s Sport Equipment Bank, a long-time client of Brookline. 

It was a jam-packed year filled with new experiences, new learnings and a whole lot of fun and I, for one, am thrilled to see what 2020 has in store for us.



Katie is an Account Manager at Brookline Public Relations. She brings national and international communications experience to the team with a background in corporate communications, community investment and strategic communication planning.