Archive for the ‘SOstuff!’ Category

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success.”
Henry Ford

This week, these words truly resonated with me as the Strategic Objectives team seemed to beat with one heart.  Belonging to a team, in the broadest sense, is a result of feeling part of something larger than yourself.

I have been part of the @SO_PR team for more than twelve years and never before have we done so many campaigns and programs within one week including two highly engaging launch campaigns: #MagnumHeir and #TBSDUO.

Ivanka Trump (above) hosted the Canadian red carpet launch for Magnum Ice Cream and Favourite Canadian Duo, Gold Medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir (below), helped The Body Shop celebrate the global launch of its new Body Butter Duo.

Together, we juggled such incredible, simultaneous media coverage, events, celebrity spokespeople, blogger engagement, trending on Twitter – all at the same time!  Inspired by an awesome team of PR pros, this is what I learned from our high power, hard working people:

  • Have a “never say no” attitude
  • Never give up.  Never surrender.
  • Approach the day with fortitude and positive energy
  • Always demonstrate kindness with a smile
  • When the going gets tough…stand shoulder to shoulder
  • And when the week is done…Reflect, Rejoice and Celebrate!

I am SO PRoud to be part of the Strategic Objectives team that is dedicated to generating the best for our clients.  And boy…did we ever have fun!

By: Jen B, Account Director at Strategic Objectives


On April 8, 2011 thirty of North America’s top social marketers converged in Toronto for #usguysEH. The sold-out, first-of-its-kind dinner sponsored by Strategic Objectives and Hashable, co-hosted by interactive guru Sam Fiorella and SO President Deborah Weinstein. Leading marketers from New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Buffalo, Montreal and Ottawa made the trek to Toronto to meet-up IRL with some of the brightest stars in the twitterverse. Check out our video and blog post for all the details.

Public Relations has awesome power to reach into the hearts, minds and wallets of targeted consumers.

Never has this been more true than now, in the social era, when everyone has the right to be their own publisher and to spread info they/we believe is important, relevant and engaging for our audiences.

My work in Marketing Public Relations began back in the 80’s when I co-founded our national, full-service PR firm, Strategic Objectives, with my sister and partner Judy Lewis. Both former TV and radio producers with CBC, CTV and Global TV networks, we’d been on the receiving end of copious off-target PR communications for many years. We knew there had to be a better way to share and spread brand information and to harness the value of credible third party endorsements from key influencers, the media, stakeholders and consumers.

Looking back now, more than 25 years hence, I am reminded of the French saying “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose,” – the more things change, the more they remain the same!

Yes the world has become much, much smaller with the advent of the fax machine, PC, cell phone, camcorder, digital camera, laptop, smart-phone, tablet and social networks – all devices and platforms that allow us to communicate instantly. But the basics of results-driven communication and the practice of PR remain the same as when we started Strategic Objectives back in 1983.

  • Craft a solid, reliable, relevant story
  • Tell it to the right audiences that need/want to hear it
  • Be honest and real; show integrity with everything you do
  • Be innovative, integrated, inspired and inspiring
  • Be proactive, reactive and follow-up meticulously
  • Be prepared for issues/crisis management
  • Be consistent and true to your brand –
  • Be cautious, the internet forms a permanent record –
  • Be nimble, seize the day and every opportunity –
  • And most importantly, love what you do!

At #SOSlam we’ll discuss the brave new world of social sharing and networking; and the profound impact it has on the way we see, do things and conduct business. But it’s important, at the same time, to remember that social media is a tactic, a tool and sometimes a weapon. What it is not, is a strategy, a foolproof path that will take us directly to the fulfillment of our personal and professional goals.

Social media is an awesome new avenue that, like most technology, allows us to do more for ourselves, faster, easier and more independently. It is also uncharted territory, an ever-evolving landscape that challenges, titillates and provokes us with the thrill of the unknown, not-yet-mastered and still unconquered.

I look forward to learning more about social media with you at #SOSlam and to meeting the awesome tweeps who will converge on Knoxville from 12 States and Canada (pick me), on Wednesday, April 13. See you there. Can’t wait!

For more info on SOSlam please check out:

Deborah Weinstein, @DebWeinstein, is president of Strategic Objectives,


Our Strategic Objectives PR team was proud to welcome Marshalls, one of the world’s leading off-price retailers, to Canada this Spring! Marshalls, with more than 820 stores across the U.S. launched its first three Canadian stores in the Greater Toronto Area on Thursday, March 17, with three more stores set to open in Ontario this fall.

To get the media on board with the story our SO team hosted a media sneak preview on March 16, the day before the official store opening, to share news of Marshalls’ arrival with Canada’s national and Toronto-based traditional and social media types.

Canada’s fashionistas were thrilled to tour the new store; discover its enormous and stylish offering; learn how to find Spring’s hottest looks and brands at unbelievable discounts; and interview Marshalls spokesperson, Hollywood’s stylist to the stars, Phillip Bloch. Mr. Bloch has worked with celebrities ranging from Jennifer Lopez to Jennifer Aniston, Halle Berry and Sandra Bullock and is the author of several books, including The Shopping Diet. Funny and friendly, he was happy to share tips on how to create Spring’s hottest looks on a shoestring budget at Marshalls.

More than 20 top Canadian media outlets made the pilgrimage to Marshalls’ sneak preview for the inside scoop on Canada’s hottest and newest fashion retailer.

“I made Canada’s first purchase at Marshalls!” says Rita Zekas of the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest distributed newspaper. “I bought a come-to-me-mama pair of shoes. They’re going to follow me home and get along with all the other shoes in my closet. I’m calling them my Gucci coup.”

The media was generous with its coverage. Please check out these great stories.

Toronto Star

Toronto Sun

Winnipeg Free Press Business

Winnipeg Free Press Lifestyle

Globe and Mail video


Strategic Objectives was delighted to partner with Marshalls  and celebrity stylist Phillip Bloch to build fame and fortune for the brand in Canada.

Last week I was interviewed by the awesome Michele Price (@prosperitygal) for the Women in Business Radio podcast. As some of you may know I’ve enjoyed an extraordinary adventure leading to where I am today, president of Strategic Objectives, Canada’s most award- winning PR agency (if not, please click here to see My Most Excellent Adventure video). Along the way I’ve learned many useful tips for the woman who wants it all. It was wonderful to chat with Michele and share my story of a true twenty-first century business woman who really does have it all (or SO I think).

Although we have been friends on Twitter for a quite some time, Michele and I met last summer IRL at the #Ungeeked conference here in Toronto.  We hit it off instantly and developed a strong virtual friendship.

I hope you enjoy our conversation. Please feel welcome to comment.

Deborah Weinstein (@DebWeinstein)


Cheers to you, beer aficionados of Canada! You now have a brand new, yet ancient, premium brew to whet your whistle! Our Strategic Objectivesteam was thrilled to herald the arrival of one of the worlds most legendary and unique abbey beers, Grimbergen Drubbel Draught to Canada on February 23, 2011; at a fabulous and exclusive Toronto VIP and media event.

Hosted by Abbott Erik De Sutter and Supprior Karel Stautemas—Fathers at the Belgium Abbey of Grimbergen, founded in 1128 who oversee the production of the premium beer and safeguard its secret recipe—more than 25 national and local traditional and social media types turned out to meet the Fathers, sample the beer and mix and mingle with more than 200 restaurateurs, bartenders and beer connoisseurs.

The delighted attendees lit up the twitterverse with high praise and warm welcomes for the Fathers of Grimbergen Abbey and its unique brew—caramel and toffee flavoured with a distinct brandy finish.

“Burned but never destroyed”

Built in 1128 as a Premonstratensian monastery, a Catholic religious order founded by Saint Norbert, Grimbergen Abbey was ravaged by fire in 1142; destroyed during the Religious wars in 1566; and demolished yet again in 1798.  The abbey was miraculously rebuilt after each wave of destruction. Fittingly, the Fathers of Grimbergen have adopted the phoenix as their emblem for Grimbergen Beer, symbolizing the perpetual rebirth of their abbey—a phoenix rising from the ashes.

It was a unique pleasure for our Strategic Objectives team to partner with the Fathers of Grimbergen and Carlsberg Canada to launch this historic and delicious beer into Canada — a rare opportunity to work with a brand with a complex and compelling 800 year history. It was a hugely successful launch that yielded truly awesome media coverage, a very happy client and a rewarding experience for our team.

The media and blogosphere was generous with their praise for the brand. Check out Sam Fiorella and Michael Nus’s blogs, and don’t miss this great article in the Toronto Star, Toronto Sun and other blogs.

SO here’s to you Grimbergen, welcome to Canada!  Gezondheid! — which is how you say Cheers in Flemish!

By: Andrew F Stewart

Movember was a hairy success of a month as men all over the world united to raise money and awareness for prostate cancer, wearing month-long grown mustaches as their ribbon for men’s health.

Canadians seem to love their Mos as Canada had 118,862 registrants and raised a cool $20,383,969, placing Canada in first place for country raising the highest amount of money. You can check out all the Mo’money raised here.

While I can’t grow a hairy upper lip, the Movember Digital Challenge network’s Toronto team, MovemberTO, asked me to come in as a MoSister and Co-captain. Having just started at Strategic Objectives (SO), taking on a month-long fundraising initiative was a daunting task – but I knew I had great support from my Co-captains Sean Moffitt, Jeremy Wright, and Michael Nus.

What I didn’t expect, however, was the Mo’Heroic support I received from my new SO family and clients on the multiple fundraising initiatives our MovemberTO team spearheaded. Here’s the recap of our initiatives and results.

On-Page Donations: One of the ways that movember participants raise money is by encouraging their network to donate to their “Mospace” or Movember-branded online profile. Of the seven of people who donate to my Mospace, five were coworkers! In total, the MovemberTO team raised a total of $6,739.

Guerrilla Fundraising: The highly creative Michael Nus decided we should spearhead a guerilla fundraising initiative where we would have a giant, fury mustache mounted on a skateboard and offer moustache rides to raise money and awareness in a unique way. Dubbed #MoRidesTO, we had a local artist create the moustache, a local skate-shop donate the skate board, and a bunch of bloggers (and even a photographer) donate their time the day of the event.

When the team at SO found out what we were planning, they reached out to their clients to see if they would be interested in supporting the campaign. They ended up securing donations of 100 units of full-sized product each from Cadbury Caramilk and Stride gum for our #MoRidesTO initiative.

As a result, Sunday November 21, 2010 our guerilla fundraising team and its supporters took to Yonge-Dundas Square, where we leveraged the Santa Clause Parade crowds to offer $1 moustache rides and a choice of a free Cadbury Caramilk or Stride gum to the first 200 supporters.

Twitter Auction: The team at Dyson wanted to know what they could do to help and donated a vacuum, the ultra-compact Dyson DC22 Motorhead, SRP $749.99, which was auctioned via twitter over two days. In the end, Jen Evans was the highest bidder and in a surprising twist, offered to donate the bid amount and, to help raise more money, re-auction it! At $543.21, Kaleem Khan won the vacuum and honoured his bid. Thanks to their joint efforts, the Dyson Twitter auction raised a total of $1,143.21

As the month wrapped and mustaches were shaved, the world sighed in united relief that our men could go back to their usual hairy selves. I would like to thank our clients Cadbury Caramilk, Stride gum, and Dyson for their support in our fundraising initiatives. Also, I would love to give a huge thanks to Strategic Objectives which were the catalyst to this success.

Read more about our Movember initiatives

Melissa’s Dyson Auction Post

Sean Ward’s MoRidesTO Vlog

Michael Nus’ MoRidesTO Post

MoRidesTO Pictures By Carmen Cheung Photography