Archive for the ‘SOstyle!’ Category

Our Strategic Objectives team staged our 13th annual Poutine Day Lunch on June 24 to honour St-Jean Baptiste,  patron saint of the province of Québec. To celebrate Québec’s distinct culture, official language and delicious food, our awesome SO_cial committee served up a mouthwatering, authentic, French-Canadian meal: poutine.

 

Now widely recognized as one of Canada’s most noteworthy “gourmet” meals, poutine is made with piping hot French fries smothered in thick, beefy gravy and curd cheese. Bien sûr, our SO_pr team, led by VP and Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival champion, Catherine Heroux (seen far left), had more than enough carbs on hand.

 

Dessert for our jolies madames and messieurs was typically scrumptious butter tarts topped with maple ice cream. Délicieux!

 

Our SO_cial committee is always looking for ways to keep the workday entertaining and fun.  With barbecue season in full force and plenty of summer celebrations around the corner, who knows what they’ll get up to next. Stay tuned to find out..

Bon Appétit and happy Canada Day, July 1, from all your friends @SO_pr

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.

I’ve been swimming in the #usguys stream since it first appeared in the Twitterverse in the fall of 2010. A 24/7, non-stop twitter chat focused on marketing, social media and tech, #usguys has attracted a diverse and brilliant international community of tweeps who share info, opinion and virtual friendship around the clock.

With more than 1,000 participants, including many leading-edge social marketers around the globe and a constantly shifting conversation ranging from the hottest social media trends, tools and techniques to who’s doing, drinking, eating what — #usguys has become an incubator of fresh ideas and a popular hang-out for the socially obsessed.

The idea of creating #usguysEH, Canada’s first ever IRL meet-up in Toronto on April 8, 2011, started small, in the form of a tweet I received from @Josepf, an exuberant, hyper-active marketer and poet from Philly, who was planning a spring trip to Toronto to visit family.

“Great,” I replied, “let’s do a Meet Up! including @samfiorella, a mutual friend and #usguy I’d met IRL at #ungeeked Toronto last November and absolutely adore, in my tweet. Our convo was, of course, live in the stream and the die was cast from that night. #usguys around the world wanted in!

The who, what, when, where and how much it would cost to stage a meet-up were questions yet to be answered. But the why was very clear. We would create a unique, sleek and chic Toronto destination event starring some of the finest minds in the twitterverse to have fun, meet, greet and make connections that would optimize both our personal and professional lives.

Our original cadré instantly expanded to include @jackineccity from San Francisco, @mentormarketing from NYC, @rubymarcom from Buffalo, @KarimaCatherine, @Smartel and @exoporier from Montreal and @PeterfromOttawa. We had an international happening on our hands.

My co-host in #usguysEH @samfiorella created an awesome website to promote the event and sell tickets; my colleagues at Strategic Objectives, our Toronto-based PR agency, kicked in with sponsorship dollars and impeccable event organizing from logo development through nametags, programs and event-photography and videography.

#usguysEH was everything we’d hoped for. Starring 30 fabulous social media adventurers from the US and Canada, it was an exceptionally elegant and uber-social evening in Toronto’s celebrity hang-out, Bistro 990.

An evening of fine food, drink and a fire hose full of lively, trendy conversation, there’s little doubt that the round of tequila shots, interspersed amongst our one minute elevator-pitch #intros, helped loosen our tongues. A highlight of the evening included a prezo by Mike Yavonditte (@mikeyavo), CEO of #hashable who flew up from NYC with his senior VP Jane Kim, @Jinner13, to share his latest news. It didn’t take long before everyone was hashtag happy with #justmet and #nicetomeetyou.

An oasis of discovery, exploration and fine friendship set to flourish, #usguysEH was a unique opportunity to make it real in the social world and a stunning example of the power of Twitter to attract like-minded tweeps to form meaningful communities.

We are SO grateful to our @SO_pr PR pros @AndrewFStewart, @smichm, @mjovanoski, Stephenie Peters, @Sadiethefoodie and @judyslewis, Jim Colbourne and Tom Peterson in Production for their contribution to what was a truly memorable meet-up.

Deborah Weinstein.

One small step… In 2006, American traveler Blake Mycoskie befriended children in a village in Argentina and found they had no shoes to protect their feet. Wanting to help, he created TOMS Shoes, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need.  An entirely new approach to charitable giving, One for One, buy one, give one.  To date, TOMS has given over one million pairs of new shoes to children around the world, and on one day each year, TOMS urges the world to go without shoes so kids don’t have to.  It’s all about raising awareness of the positive impact a pair of shoes can have on a child’s life.

 

On April 5, 2011, Strategic Objectives put our best (bare)foot forward and joined our client in TOMS 4th Annual One Day Without Shoes (www.onedaywithoutshoes.com).  Our @SO_pr team bared our soles and braved 3°C (37°F) temperatures as we joined a dedicated group of supporters, including Joe Eppele of the Toronto Argonauts, in a walk without shoes down Toronto’s Queen Street.

 

We walked, took pictures, tweeted, shivered, and sidestepped puddles and gum, all without shoes!  We garnered many strange looks, and even a few supporters along the way.

 

The entire day was good for our hearts and souls, and we were proud to join people from more than 25 countries including Charlize Theron, Lacey Chabert, Chromeo, Jason Mraz, and Lenny Kravitz in backing this shoeless endeavour.

Groups across Canada rallied without shoes and the tweets were flying!  TOMS Shoes trended on Twitter throughout the day.  Check out just a few of the fab media reports: Canada.com (http://ow.ly/4wmJA); Much Music (http://ow.ly/4wmL1); and Northern Life (http://ow.ly/4wmMC).

 

Despite the frigid temperatures, it was easy and inspiring to be a part of a global movement.  And we’re psyched to go without shoes for TOMS again next year!  Get your tootsies ready and join us!

 

 

 

On a final note, we send a special greeting to CTV from our Toronto walkers, “A HUGE thank you for letting us warm our frozen feet in your lobby!”

 

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: www.socslam.com

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

 

 

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

We here at SO are a huge supporter of QR codes when used properly. Unfortunately, that’s rarely the case.  I constantly find QR code fails – like on ads in the subway where no one receives reception, therefore rendering the code completely useless.

Last night I was enjoying a wonderful dinner with some friends and found a QR code on the back of our bottle of wine. I see a lot of wineries embracing QR codes on their labels, yet  rarely, in my opinion, done properly.

But this one stood out – it was a lovely local VQA wine from a respected Ontario winery. We scanned the QR code and it took us to their event page – featuring events from 2009!! It was such a mobile marketing fail, I couldn’t quite believe my eyes.

The saving grace was that the winery had a mobile-optimized website, which showed there was hope yet for the brand. But too often I find QR codes on wine bottles doing nothing more than directing the consumer (or potential consumer) to the winery’s website. What’s the point of directing to your website beyond an utter lack of strategy and forward thinking? As a potential consumer, I want more info as to why I should buy your wine at the point-of-purchase. As a consumer, I want to scan to find out more about the tasting notes, and how I can enjoy this wine and others like it in the future.

What do I recommend as a mobile marketing strategy for QR codes on wine bottles? Easy: I want to see tasting notes, pairing tips, and storing/drinking tips. I’d also like to see recommendations for other wines I might like from your winery if I enjoyed this one. Additionally, for those enjoying it from outside of Canada, I’d like to see where I can find it/order it online, and for those enjoying within Canada, I’d like to know its cost at the LCBO.

My other recommendation? Hire Strategic Objectives next time. We’ll put together a proper digital and mobile marketing strategy for you.

What are some of the biggest QR code fails you’ve seen? Please share in the comment section below!

By: Melissa Smich Consultant at Strategic Objectives