Showing posts from February, 2017

The Top Three Things to Consider Before You Start Advertising

Congratulations! You’ve launched your business or non-profit and you’re excited. Or maybe you have the task of marketing something to others. Whatever your scenario, you have a product, service or cause to share and you can’t wait for people to hear about it and get just as excited as you.  Who can blame you? You’ve got your website ready; your business cards are printed; you’re pretty sure you’ve figured out social media. Now what? In a world where information is fast, furious and often conflicting, and where making decisions about traditional versus digital marketing spaces can be confusing, it can be nearly impossible to figure out where to put your efforts and money. Download the top 3 advertising tips now!

PR behind closed doors

When public relations is discussed – in newspapers, on Twitter, in coffee shops – conversation most commonly  focusses on the latest public disaster, ethical practices, or how someone needs the magic wand of PR (if only there was one) to promote something for them. What is less-often talked about is what goes on behind closed doors and the role that PR practitioners play in an organization’s decision-making process. One of the key tenets that I hold to be true of the job of PR is that we must always provide our best possible advice. But what does that mean exactly and how does that play out in the boardroom? In my experience, providing my best advice means first that I have to understand the business of my client or employer, know what the bottom line is and how the organization plans to achieve it. I have to know whether staff is engaged in the business and what clients/audiences think about the organization. Next, I must be able to articulate this knowledge in contex

When humour goes wrong

Humour can be an effective way to get a message across. Most of us use this technique unconsciously everyday. But sometimes humour can be inappropriate or tone deaf to the sensitivities of society. Some years ago, Motrin created the commercial above, targetting new moms and trying to blend (I assume) empathy with humour. They likely thought: "what mom can't relate to back pain?" The commercial is, on the surface, fun. It's irreverent, has good animation and a female narrator. Where it went horribly wrong was linking baby-carrying with fad and fashion. New moms were portrayed as using their babies as a fashion statement -- baby-sling fashion, if you will -- rather than as a way to bond or to help them get things done with a newborn in tow. I don't imagine they were prepared for the backlash, but it was stupendous once it came to the attention of social media users. Motrin issued a half-hearted apology, which wasn't enough and they were forced to i

What do you REALLY want?

I watched a home design show not too long ago — a woman redecorating a cottage. As she selected and installed a white couch all I could picture was how it would look after sandy feet, damp bathing suits and  dripping ice cream had had their way with it. The result of her decorating was gorgeous, but I thought it was an example of poor planning. This in turn got me thinking about goal setting and about the things that we do that are contrary to what we want to achieve. In business as in life you have to set goals or you’re going to find that you run out of time and money before you get to do those things that must be done. I've seen many organizations, particularly small businesses without internal PR or marketing staff, bombarded with opportunities for promotion from broadcast to print to digital. Without knowing what their business goals are or how they are going to measure the success of their promotional efforts, it’s impossible to decide which, if any, of these o


As a small company, we understand the challenges of trying to conduct business while having to handle your own communication. There are never enough hours in a day. Let us help by telling us #1PRthing Have you ever thought, if only I had someone who could do _________; it would really help?  We’re offering to do that #1PRthing. In the coming weeks, we’d like to help a few businesses or nonprofits with one communication-type activity. Because this is offered at no cost, there are a few rules. It has to be PR/communication related and can include graphic design. It has to be something that we can finish quickly (i.e. within a few days or weeks.) We cannot guarantee that we can take on every request but will complete every request we accept at a deadline agreed to by both parties. Offer will end at a time of our choosing. Email us a short outline of the work you need (a paragraph or two is sufficient) and the deadline you have in mind. Be sure to include your p

What is public relations?

On my first day in my public relations program, the prof said something along the lines of: “If you’re taking this program because you like people, you’re here for the wrong reason.”  I was shocked. After all, I like(d) people. What he meant, I’ve come to understand, is that real PR isn’t the PR of Samantha Jones. It isn’t about drinks and parties and reclining with your feet on your desk. It is about people and relationships and continuous learning. There is likely no term more fraught than public relations. You’ve probably heard something along the lines of: “That was just smoke and mirrors; it was just PR.” Historically, there is a lot of truth in that statement. PR is an ancient practice. From the Caesar planning his grand return to Rome to Freud’s nephew using psychology to encourage women to smoke (Yikes to those “torches of freedom!), public relations hasn’t always been used with the purest of intentions. As PR practitioners worked to create a professio