CTV’s Mutsumi Takahashi visits McGill PR Students

Ms Takahashi speaks to students during an open forum Q&A.

Ms Takahashi speaks to students during an open forum Q&A.

 Welcome to the new semester at McGill! The Public Relations Student and Alumni Network is pleased to launch this year’s blog along with exciting content on our Facebook and Twitter feed.

This year, we have a remarkable line-up of acclaimed industry leaders, media innovators, and thought leaders in the PR and communications field to discuss key issues and industry-related topics with our undergraduate and graduate students.

On October 5, André Durocher welcomed renowned journalist and television personality Mutsumi Takahashi to speak to students in the Basics of PR class. Ms Takahashi is a familiar and celebrated fixture in the Montreal media landscape as the chief news anchor of CTV Montreal News, and throughout her 30 year tenure, has distinguished herself as a leader in journalism and broadcast news.

“It’s not about my opinion – that’s for the OpEds and columnists. My job is say the facts. I say the facts as best I can.” – Mutsumi Takahashi (Read our live Tweets from Ms Takahashi’s discussion on our Twitter feed @McGill_PR)

During the informal Q&A, students asked various questions on topics ranging from media relationship building to journalistic integrity, newsroom day-to-days to on-camera blunders! Ms. Takahashi shared many personal reflections and real-life examples from her career to demonstrate the powerful and delicate bond shared among PR practitioners, members of the press, and the public.

Students also addressed the often difficult task of landing air time coverage, and with sharp wit and camera-ready poise, Ms Takahashi gave us a few pointers.


Ms Takahashi

Ms Takahashi provided real-life examples and personal reflections from her distinguished career as a journalist

– Be aware of what else is going on in the news and have an idea of what will be in the news.
– Do your homework! Do lots of research!
– Create and cultivate relationships with reporters; sometimes it’s easier to contact them directly [instead of the assignment editor] with interesting stories.
– Remember, your hook must have a local angle. International news can easily be found on the internet. People look to their local news for stories that will affect them directly.
– Keep in mind that a reporter receives hundreds of emails a day, every day. If you want her to cover your story, GET HER ATTENTION. You’ll need to send something that really stands out!

“If a reporter is a good reporter, they will want a good story.” – Mutsumi Takahashi (Read our live Tweets from Ms Takahashi’s discussion on our Twitter feed @McGill_PR)

Thanks to André and Ms Takahashi for letting us share this informative and engaging session! To learn more about the calendar of upcoming events and appearances and to discover more exclusive content, please visit our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter @McGill_PR, or LinkedIn.

Volunteers needed at Grand Prix

I”m sharing an interesting note from one of our students:

My name is Laurie Schraenen and I am the National Press Officer for the Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada.

This year, we are recruiting studenst as volunteers for our media centre. This is a wonderful opportunity for them to meet national as well as international media and to be at the center of an international event. We have 7 positions available which in general require volunteers to:

–          welcome the media

–          answer their questions

–          ensure the proper functioning of the media centre

–          etc.

These students should be available to work from Wednesday June 5th until Sunday June 9th during extensive hours.

We need people who are motivated, serious, responsible, enthusiast and bilingual (at least French and English). It would be great if these students had a previous experience with client services as well as previous contact with media. People who wish to apply can send me a motivation letter as well as their CV via e-mail: laurie.schraenen@mail.mcgill.ca

If you have any additional question please feel free to contact me.

March Career Workshop taking shape

Our Public Relations Student & Alumni Network is booking speakers for the second annual career workshop in March.  From what I hear so far, the focus will be on media relations, social media and job hunting. (And yes, the SQPRP is making sure their annual conference is on another weekend so McGill students can go to both,) Stay tuned.

Job posting in McGill media relations

Students and alumni with some experience in science writing and media relations could find this one-year contract very interesting. McGill’s Media Relations Office is looking for “an energetic, talented writer who can take complicated material about science and research and turn it into compelling stories for a broad, general audience, both domestic and international.” Check it out.

New technology – old cranky habits

Those of us who have dealt with cranky journalists are finding that new technology may bring out the worst in some — see PRWeeks’ news item on http://www.prweekus.com/section/422 — scroll down to item on National Post.  Or take a chance on this long URL — http://www.prweekus.com/National-Post-apologizes-for-reporters-Twitter-outburst/article/127384/

Short, sharp advice on news release writing

Came across this on PROpenMic — a growing platform for students and instructors that I’ve told most of my students about. A quick course in writing news releases from a newspaper editor – one that could replace half a lecture by one of us: http://www.propenmic.org/profiles/blogs/if-newspaper-editors-taught

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