Archive for June, 2010

Strategic Objectives co-founder Judy Lewis hosted a dynamic expert panel in her session, It’s a Brand New Day at the IABC World Conference held on June 8, 2010.


Peter Morrissey, Associate Professor at Boston University and President and CEO of Morrissey & Company was one of three distinguished panelists.  Peter focused his presentation on reputation communications.  Here are a few highlights:

  • Reputation communication helps to create, advance and protect brands
  • The goal of reputation communication is to achieve trust with stakeholders

 Companies must appreciate the Triple Bottom Line:

  • People. Planet. Profit.

When it comes to corporate responsibility, companies need to consider their financial and business successes along with their social and environmental performances. 

Companies should always aim to honour the Triple Bottom Line, if they want to enhance their brand reputation.

Reputation is about our thinking, but more importantly it’s about our hearts.

  • PR Pros who are asked to build a positive reputation for their companies need to ask the following question first:
    • Does the Company have a Soul? Without a Soul it is very difficult to build a positive reputation.

G20 organizers spent $57,000 creating a Fake Lake at the Direct Energy Centre in downtown Toronto. 

Always a little ahead of the curve, @SO_pr created our very own fake lake last year!

Our smart team operated with a slightly thriftier budget…  we spent a cool $250 redesigning one of our meeting rooms into a scenic escape!!

To celebrate Quebec’s national holiday, St-Jean-Baptiste on June 24, the Strategic Objectives PR Team held its 12th Annual Poutine Lunch!

Au menu: fromage en grains, sauce à poutine St-Hubert et de bonnes frites graisseuses. Une fois l’an, c’est permis! Miam!

En 2010, la Fête nationale c’est plus plus de 6 500 activités, dont:

  • 363 activités de bricolage ou utilitaires
  • 113 défilés
  • 287 feux d’artifice
  • 342 feux de joie
  • 587 jeux, concours et sports
  • 486 repas communautaires
  • 1 347 spectacles
  • 700 sites de fête aux quatre coins du Québec
  • des événements nationaux, à Montréal, Québec et Gatineau

Did you know?  June 24th has been a stat holiday in Quebec since 1925… but has been celebrated as a patriotic event since 1834.

In fact, in 2010, Franco-Ontarian New Democratic MP Claude Gravelle introduced a private member’s bill in the House of Commons to recognize St John the Baptist Day as a federal holiday in Canada.

This fall Roger Waters will be in Toronto performing Pink Floyd’s classic album The Wall.  In the meantime, ‘the wall’ will refer to the fence barriers being erected for G20 Summit – as leaders from around the world descend on the city from June 26-27, 2010.  

Strategic Objectives offices are located outside the G20 wall… but if you’re like us and need a little help separating fact from fiction amidst the hype – we found these links to be informative, helpful, and entertaining.

Also, don’t forget to follow the #G20 hashtag on Twitter.

@SO_pr IABC World Conference Review, Part I

Judy Lewis’ session: It’s a Brand New Day at the IABC World Conference in Toronto was a huge success.  More than 150 PR Pros rallied for an 8:15 a.m. early bird session and it was standing room only!

If you didn’t make it to the dynamic panel presentation, it included Shelley Simmons, Director, Brand Communications & Values of The Body Shop (US, Canada and Mexico), Jacqueline Ryan, RBC Director of Olympic Marketing and Peter Morrisey, Associate Professor of Boston University College of Communications, and President and CEO of Morrissey & Company.  All shared insights about the power of PR in driving social change, building brand equity and developing brand reputation. 

Shelley Simmons kicked off the session with a presentation about The Body Shop Stop Sex Trafficking of Children and Young People campaign.  She shared a wonderful story about The Body Shop’s founder, Anita Roddick and the inspiration for this powerful public awareness campaign.  Before Anita’s death in 2007, she was passionate about raising public awareness of sex trafficking as she considered it the modern form of slavery.  To honour her memory, The Body Shop launched the Stop Sex Trafficking of Children and Young People campaign in August 2009. 

To date, together with customers, The Body Shop has raised more than $1 million.  Shelley explained that this campaign goes well beyond fundraising; it is about driving social change. PR plays a crucial role in supporting this change. 

Here are some highlights from Shelley’s presentation:

“It’s not just about fundraising, it’s about driving social change and PR is critical in supporting this change.”

“If enough people call for change, governments will listen.” 

“If you do things well, do them better. Be daring, be first, be different, be just.” –Anita Roddick

Stay tuned for part II & III for more highlights from our dynamic PR panel.

For more on It’s a Brand New Day, check out our interview with Judy as she prepared the panel here, and more panel highlights here.

The celebration of a company’s anniversary or birthday is becoming more and more common.  But how do you leverage such an important milestone to enhance reputation, consumer engagement and sales?  Recently Strategic Objectives was honoured with numerous PR Awards for its PR Program that celebrated Leon’s Furniture Ltd’s 100th Anniversary Year.  This multi-touch point public relations program resulted in increased reputation, customer engagement, and success.  Judy Lewis, co-founder of Strategic Objectives and the program lead, discussed the PR opportunities of leveraging corporate anniversaries.

Why would consumers care about a corporate anniversary?

Consumers care about trust, community, relationships and value.  An anniversary is an opportunity for an organization is highlight its achievements, commitment to its customers, communities, stakeholders and its future.  A good anniversary PR program can create excitement to drive engagement and sales.

The Leon’s program is a prime example of an innovative PR approach.  We leveraged its unique Canadian history to create an emotional connection with the brand.  And along the way, Leon’s celebrated its customers and communities by giving back more than $1 million to communities, organizations and local hospitals to support the positive development of youth and families – the next generation of customers.

We developed a partnership between Leon’s and Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada and partnered with 64 hospitals in communities in which Leon’s operates.  Activities made significant news in every Leon’s community.  There was tremendous support from community leaders and consumers. 

Why did you recommend the development of The Leon’s Living Room and what is it?

The Leon’s Living room is a 5 piece life-size bronze sculpture that sits in the rose garden of Chippiwa Park in Welland, Ontario.  It consists of 2 wing-back chairs, a coffee table and couch, where a life-sized sculpture of Ablan Leon, the founder of Leon’s Furniture and longtime Welland resident, sits.  The sculpture is a gift to the city of Welland and is a lifelong tribute to a man who changed the face of furniture retailing in Canada.

The Leon’s Living Room provides a place for people to relax and enjoy a public space.  Ablan Leon is a folk hero for the town.  Canadians love their local heroes and we don’t celebrate them enough.  With our quiet Canadian-nature we so rarely take the time and effort to recognize and honour of our greatest achievers.  Ablan and the Leon’s family have given so much to our country… and the country has given so much to them… that it seemed fitting to create  a lasting tribute for a man who was so loved and respected the city and its residents.  The rose garden is where most Welland brides choose to have their wedding pictures taken.  The Leon’s Living Room provides a new and beautiful backdrop to celebrate happiness, family and love.

What does Anniversary PR engagement look like?

If a company is looking to leverage its birthday or “years in business” there are 3 key elements they must ask themselves:

  • What’s in for the staff?
  • What’s in for the company?
  • What’ in it for the consumers?

Just to wave a flag and say please congratulate us on the great things we have done over the years is alienating.  An anniversary is a time to say thank-you, give something in recognition, create excitement and provide direction and confidence for the future.  The consumer piece of the puzzle was crucial.  At Leon’s, special in-store themed events and promotions celebrated the 100th Anniversary and highlighted the company’s core values.  Special events made news, and consumers visited the stores to be a part of the community’s celebration of Leon’s success.  Every community benefitted from Leon’s birthday and that encouraged customers to be part of the “party”.

Any tips?

Strategic Objectives has helped numerous companies develop comprehensive, consumer-engaging anniversary PR programs.  A company must be careful not to be blinded by its own corporate ego.  My advice is to always look at it from the consumers’ perspective: what is new, what is different and what’s in it for me.  While there is a responsibility and opportunity to develop programming that highlights the past, it should inspire consumer support in the future.

Strategic Objectives PR co-founder Judy Lewis is an award-winning strategist and celebrated international branding expert and speaker.  Judy also led a panel of marketing and PR experts at the IABC 2010 World Conference, June 6-9, 2010 in Toronto.  Learn more about her session — It’s A Brand New Dayhere.



IABC presenter and @SO_pr co-founder Judy Lewis gets inspired by Canada’s own Craig Kielburger at the IABC 2010 World Conference in Toronto.  Read more inspirational words from the conference here.