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Free job-searching webinar for IABC members!

Has your job-search reached a stalemate? Here’s something interesting for student members of the IABC (International Association of Business Communicators): a free IABC webinar on how to job-search effectively!

This virtual event will be hosted by IABC member Angee Linsey, Managing Director of executive search firm Linsey careers. Angee will definitely have some fresh insights for potential candidates from her perspective as a veteran staffing and recruitment manager.

“Creating a job search strategy with Angee Linsey, Linsey Careers” will be held on Thursday, 8 September, from 9-10 am Pacific Time (12 noon- 1pm Eastern time!).

For a webinar outline and registration information, please visit the official website.

Learn about entertainment publicity with Bon Jovi May 4! UPDATED

A great opportunity for students interested in entertainment publicity and promotion. Bon Jovi has invited a group of McGill PR students to join the crew on the day of the May 4 concert here in Montreal. You’ll spend the day helping to set up for the concert, shadowing and talking with the crew that makes it all happen, including the head of PR for the band. You’ll follow this up by watching the concert. All you have to do in return?  Submit a report to the Bon Jovi people that they will use in their own publicity. (It’s a community relations thing. One of their giving-back-to-the-community projects is contributing to education.) Click on this link for a sample of follow-up publicity at Penn State.

Sound interesting? Get hold of Elizabeth.hirst@mcgill.ca as soon as possible. If we have too many applicants, the winners will be selected by a short note they will write me on how this experience will fit into their career plans.

UPDATE: Yes, too many applicants. Everyone who contacted me by April 15 has been sent instructions for a one-pager to be written and submitted by midnight Tuesday, April 19. If you didn’t get it, contact me.  If you are reading this after midnight, April 19, sorry — next time.

SQPRP conference re-scheduled – September 24

For those awaiting news of Parle parle, jase jase, the annual conference put on by the SQPRP’s Jeunes professionnels, originally scheduled for March 19:  A note came in from Cynthia Woo of the Jeunes professionnels(incidentally, one of our own certificate students) announcing that it has been re-scheduled for September 24. Save the date, folks!

Free places for crisis communications webinars!

The third in the series of McGill PR webinars on crisis communications is taking place on Wednesday, March 30 from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.  Dr. Terry Flynn from McMaster University will be talking about the link between effective communications and the bottom line. e.g. Can good communications make a difference when the company has already messed up? What’s a reputation worth?

There are 20 free “seats” for students and 10 for instructors. So sign up quickly at this link. Deadline for registration is 4 p.m. March 29.

Webinar pilot project – ridiculously cheap for students

A new webinar series, on the theme Crisis Communications and Corporate Culture, starts off February 16 from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. —

Corporate cultural strategies for preventing and surviving crises

Speaker: Rhonda O’Gallagher, Executive Director, Corporate Communications, Pfizer Canada Inc.

While it’s priced at $69 for individual registrants from outside McGill, students can participate live for $10 and instructors for $49. To sign up, go to student link or staff/graduate link. Series discounts are also available for students and staff/instructors/graduates.

Some students were exposed to Rhonda’s clear, engaging manner in the Cases/Communication Planning course last term). For full details on this and future webinars, see the page called “webinar project winter 2011” at right.

 The project, now in its pilot stages, was put together by a small group including instructors Charles Pitts, Buzz Gibbs and Elizabeth Hirst. The idea is to make hour-long sessions on topics of interest available to students at a low price and to build up a bank of podcasts that will be available for instructors to use in courses. The series is also open to practising professionals at a single webinar or series price and to CPRS and IABC Montreal members at “partner” prices.

Crises and digital media

A great opportunity for all instructors and students to bone up on how digital media are changing the way we handle crises in organizations: IABC is hosting an international webinar on November 3 at the Café des Beaux-Arts. Special student rates as usual – and good networking.

Research in public relations – get updated free!

One of the advantages of being near the Université du Québec à Montréal is that they have a very active Chair in Public Relations and Marketing Communication that offers some leading-edge information. One of these takes place on the morning of October 28. Entitled, “L’évaluation des relations publiques à l’heure de la déclaration de Barcelone“, it will address the latest discussions on research in the public relations field held by the European Summit on Measurement (Barcelona) this summer. The organizers have issued a special invitation to McGill PR students and instructors. And admission is free for us! More info at  http://www.crp.uqam.ca/Pages/evaluation_des_rp.aspx

Aspiring freelance writers . . .

. . . may be interested in joining the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC).  The association has 700 members, 80 of whom are in the Quebec region.  PWAC student membership ($58 per year, which can be paid in two instalments) includes:

Free access to all PWAC workshops;

Volunteer opportunities at the forthcoming PWAC national conference – June 17-19, 2011 at Concordia University;

Access to national conference workshops and speakers;

Networking with professional writers;

Formal and informal mentoring;

Increased credibility.

PWAC Quebec starts its year off Wednesday September 29 with a pub night from 7-9 p.m. at the Irish Embassy Pub, 1234 Bishop Street (just south of St. Catherine). Door prize: a free student membership.

For those who can’t make it but would like to join, contact Olivia Kona, Chapter Ambassador, PWAC Quebec.

Adapting communications to include social media

The SQPRP starts its season of professional development events with a timely session on adapting communications to the Web 2.0 context. (In French). As always, there reduced rates for students. See you there!

Library launches e-reader loans service

The McGill Library announces the launch of an e-reader loans service. McGill students, faculty and staff can borrow e-books and e-journal content from the Library’s extensive collection of over 2 million e-books and 70,000 e-journals and transfer the material to the e-reader for ease of access. The e-readers also come preloaded with a selection of e-books and additional content can be purchased and downloaded.  One hundred and five Sony Reader Touch Edition PRS-600 devices are available for loan and can be borrowed from all McGill Library branches. For more information go to: http://www.mcgill.ca/library/library-using/computers/ereaders/.

McGill library has 315,605 books, etc. on Public Relations

It is well worthwhile for any student or instructor of public relations to peruse the vast McGill library holdings of books, DVDs, journals and articles related to public relations. A count this morning gives the total number of holdings at 315, 605!! Lots of material here that even your faithful blogger did not know about!

Highly recommended also is the subject guide on public relations that our amazingly helpful librarian Jessia Lange has prepared for members of the McGill PR programs. It provides access not only to books, journals and DVDs, but also to databases of media articles, journalists and organizations that are really useful for assignments and work in the field. Check it out at http://www.mcgill.ca/library/library-findinfo/subjects/management/publicrelations/


News on career March 20 workshop

McGill PR alumni will be in classrooms this week with information on how to sign up for the Career Workshop they are organizing in Saturday, March 20. Places are limited and there’s a draw for the 50 available places, so make sure you sign up soon to have a chance to attend.  Click on the page at right labelled, “Alumni Career Workshop”.

Career workshop March 20

Don’t forget to mark your agenda for the Career Workshop being held Saturday morning, March 20. Confirmed speakers include:

Marie-Josée Cardin, Recruiting Consultant, Lock Search Group, who will give a keynote address on what skills are hot in the communications field, as well as practical job seeking tips;

 Hubert Bolduc, Vice President Communications and Public Affairs, Cascades, who will hold a Q&A about working in and agency, a corporation and a non-profit setting; and

 Alison Silcoff, President, Alison Silcoff Events, who will hold a Q&A session about life in events management and fundraising.

The half-day workshop is open to current students and recent graduates of the McGill PR programs and tickets ($10 per person) will go on sale in February.  Tickets are limited to 50 spots, so be sure to watch this space for more updates. 

Social media – to teach it = to live it

I’ve been saving this blog post from Bill Sledzik for at time when I could read it with attention, because I knew it would have a lot of ideas relating to how we handle social media in our own PR program. It was brought to my attention by Judy Gombita, who has been an inspiration when it comes to effective use of Web 2.0 in public relations.

Judy is one of the contributors to PR Conversations — an international  blog well worth checking out on a regular basis for its very professional posts. Judy introduced me to  Bill a year or two ago and I have been very glad of it on more than one occasion. 

But back to Bill’s post: it’s worth reading all the comments, especially the last one by Bill about the approach to teaching social media by the Kent State PR program. Other points — many in the comments — include the need for critical voices (as opposed to the cheerleading we often get from new media fans) and the importance of practising what you preach in the classroom.

Any comments from instructors and students about our own program are welcome. Instructors, do you agree with Kent State’s approach? What more could we be doing? Students, are you getting well enough oriented with social media?

Loads of great internal communication ideas

Finally, a free report from IABC for its members!  It’s called “Preparing Messages for Information Overload Environments”.  It’s full of tested, effective visualization methods (memo formats, charts, graphs, posters, slides, etc.) that will help get attention, drive ideas home, and — the ultimate goal — get things done.  You’ll need to log in with your membership number. 

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