Director & Producer Vanessa Gould and Reporter Bruce Weber
What do you consider a newsworthy death?
Well, the New York Times’ obituaries section is not limited to celebrities and politicians, as there are many ordinary people doing extraordinary things and their stories deserve to be told in print and online. By flipping to the obits section, you can access history from the perspective of a skilful reporter who wrote a retrospective about a person who led a meaningful life. That’s something worth reading.
After job shadowing a movie critic at The Globe and Mail during high school, I was intrigued by the movie Obit, as it promises to offer a behind the scenes look at The New York Times. Thankfully, Vanessa Gould’s movie is insightful and engaging and you don’t need to be a journalist to enjoy this documentary at Hot Docs. After all, the obits are written for everyone. One of the reporters communicated this effectively when he said that their challenge is to craft an entertaining piece about history for people who don’t know history.
On Tuesday night, professional women gathered at One King West to hear Mia Pearson, co-founder of communications agency North Strategic, speak at a Women of Influence event. From cocktails at the beginning to the keynote speech to the networking session, the two-hour-long event was run very efficiently. After working in leadership positions at a few of the country’s most reputable agencies, Mia had a lot of advice on entrepreneurship to dispense, which she eloquently shared with the group.
1) Find a niche where you can excel, ensure that you have something valuable to offer and then become the best in your field.
One of Mia’s first managers discouraged her from specializing in tech PR, but she disagreed with his advice because she recognized that specializing could lead to huge career opportunities. In the end, she co-founded High Road Communications, an agency that specializes in tech PR and Omnicom eventually acquired it. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or an intrapreneur, Mia said you should always look for growth opportunities. She emphasized that big ideas can come from any level, reminding the audience that you don’t need to be the co-founder to think big. If you work hard within your niche, then you can become famous for your work.
From early morning meetings to late night client dinners, Edelman Canada’s President Lisa Kimmel is a busy woman. Thankfully she took time out of her schedule to talk to young professionals for a Ten Thousand Coffees group chat.
Here are some takeaways from our conversation:
- No matter how hectic your job, it’s important to make time for yourself so you can stay healthy. Lisa exercises 3-4 times/week and appreciates the alone time.
- In an agency environment like Edelman, a good PR professional is highly adaptable, reflexive, flexible, solution-oriented, collaborative, curious and able to deal with overwhelming client responsibilities.
- A few of the most important skills for a PR professional are sales, public speaking and critical thinking.
- Effective internal communication, something I was particularly interested in learning about, involves honesty, transparency and frequent discussions. An account executive should understand the strategic plan for the entire agency and open communication makes this possible.
- Employment engagement is an essential priority. Lisa advises employers to recognize that employees are your best advocates, so equip them with the right tools to talk about your company at a party.
- An effective employee engagement program invites contributions from employees at junior and senior levels so management can gather insights for operations.
- Media companies like Facebook and Twitter sometimes eliminate clients’ agencies as the middleman and go straight to presenting solutions to clients. This is an obvious threat to agencies who want to be involved in all campaigns, so some agencies like Edelman are starting to partner with media companies like The Globe and Mail to present solutions to clients based on joint capabilities.
- Lisa understands the value of information interviews, but young people should realize that she’s inundated with requests. Tell a story in your email invitation to capture her attention because too many people say, “I’m passionate about public relations and want to meet with you over coffee.” If and when you are awarded an information interview, make sure you come prepared. Know your elevator pitch and research the senior employee’s company.
- For job interviews, ensure that you can articulate your point of view on the industry. Do enough research so that you can confidently predict future trends and think about your portfolio so you can describe the work you’re most proud of doing.
- Young professionals without a family should take advantage of opportunities to work abroad, such as landing a job within your agency’s international network.
December is a month of reflection. Publishers encourage readers to start making lists of resolutions. Employees carve out more time to spend with loved ones. There’s suddenly an increased pressure to not only shop but also think about our past and establish goals for the future.
As Jeanne Beker discusses in Globe Style Advisor, escaping concrete jungles for rustic destinations can do wonders. Evidently, the article inspired me more than I realized. It gave me the urge to relax in an unfamiliar Canadian city and eliminate other destinations that would allow me to kick back in a warmer climate. Shortly after reading her advice, I booked a flight to Edmonton, Alberta.
Photo Source: Canada.com
The swag bag from Spark Sessions was jam-packed with goodies to test. The Canadian bloggers who attended are still digging through it and sharing our experiences as we discover products we love. The reusable canvas tote bag was provided by The Globe and Mail and included the latest issue of Globe Style Advisor.
It’s been months since I read an issue of Globe Style Advisor. After listening to editor Andrew Sardone’s keynote, during which he discussed the evolution of street style and his vision for the publication’s future, I was psyched to sit down and read the Holiday 2014 issue. I spotted Andrew’s byline on a few pages, where he writes about hotels, drinks and books. Naturally, I am most inclined to read the coffee table book he suggests for the wordsmith: Understanding The World: The Atlas of Infographics by Sandra Rendgen and Julius Wiedemann.