Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

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




Last Friday I had the distinct opportunity to attend, present and mingle with some of the “who’s who” of social media at UnGeeked Toronto, a three day social media retreat. The speaker list was extensive and reflective of the professionally social atmosphere. Guest speakers included:

Mark Bowden @truthplane

Marsha Collier @MarshaCollier

Amanda Hite @sexythinker

Jason Falls @jasonfalls

Jason Weaver @mixdown04

Jeffrey Willinger @jwillie

Erin Bury @erin_bury

Bruce Powell @IQPartners

Tom Tentoglou @tentoglou

Katie Felten @KatieFelten

Karima-Catherine @karimacatherine

Heather Taylor @heatherAtaylor

Stéphane Poirier @exopoirier

Alan Lepofsky @alanlepo

Michele Price @prosperitygal

And me! @DebWeinstein

Not only were these speakers a treat to listen to, but we were greatly impressed by their humility. It was refreshing to see industry leaders take such a grass roots approach to teaching and learning from other professionals; and to hear the clear cut admission that social media is still a dynamic, every changing,  incrementally growing and expanding universe with no clear cut goals, guidelines, or processes. It is reassuring to know that even these industry leaders, who possess deep knowledge and experience in the field, are still discovering, reinventing, re examining and frankly just trying to understand social media as a whole!

As the conversation evolved throughout the event we started to talk more about how social media can be used for corporate brand building and customer service. Some of the key points from this discussion were:

  • Corporations and clients alike need to work on a stable social media strategy in conjunction with their other marketing initiatives;
  • Results driven strategy + making and meetings goals = bottom line results (every marketer’s dream!). The best way to get there is to follow the 4H’s
  • Be human, be humble, be honest, and be helpful;
  • There is heavy importance for a brand to have two way dialogue and provide feedback to the client and customer. It is the responsibility of the brand to communicate to the customer, in the customer’s chosen forum, time and space;
  • The customer now has the authority to define their relationship by befriending or defriending the brand. The ball is in their court.  
  • A brand must be engaging, credible and relevant. To achieve these proof points you must use research to make sure you are reaching out to the right people in the right way for ultimate effectiveness.

And above all!

  •  It is crucial for a company to understand that a brand must be authentic online.

Another great point brought up by our dear friend Marsha Collier was: Some Brands may have hundreds of people working in their customer service call centers, but only one community manager to deal with online customer service.  This understaffing really rankled and resonated with the group.  It is a scary lesson brand managers must learn, it is the brand’s responsibility to be where your customers are talking about you; and your job to mediate the conversation with the correct tone and manners. This leads me to another important point that was discussed at the conference — manners! As we are all aware, cyber bullying is becoming a huge problem. Some say it’s an epidemic among online communities. It is crucial that we maintain our composure, dignity and professional tone when engaging others online. You win no one over to your side of an argument by shouting obscenities, making accusations and putting down others. Social media has become the wild wild west, where there are NO rules.  As @AndrewFStewart, our community manager always says, “There is no such thing as a social media expert, only those who follow best practices and are constantly trying to refine their online engagement approach.”

Here’s a smart response from Michele Price, @prosperitygal to someone bullying you on Twitter: “Please explain to me the intention of your last tweet” #ungeeked”

As always at social media tweetups there were two conversations going on simultaneously.  One on the panel, and one on Twitter with the hashtag #UnGeeked.

Our favorite Tweeple at the conference were:

@JasonFalls, @MarshaCollier, @Prosperitygal,

@jwillie, @tentoglou, @samfiorella. @AngelOakley

All in all the conference was a joy to attend. We highly recommend you participate in a future UnGeeked. Thanks to the amazing Cd Vann (AKA: @Thatwoman_is) for putting it all together.

Strategic Objectives turned World Cup fever into a fun team fundraiser to End Malaria on Friday, July 8, prior to Sunday’s Final Match between Netherlands and Spain.  One hundred and eighty children die in Africa in the time it takes to play one World Cup game; and the need for protective mosquito nets is acute.

To raise funds for this important cause, Strategic Objectives challenged our team to manoeuvre a soccer ball through a highly technical obstacle course of client products to score on our @SO_pr goalie.  The cost of entry was a Toonie ($2 CDN)  per person, with the company matching all donations.

A great time was had by all and after the last vuvuzela was blown, the team celebrated the beautiful game and a noble cause with ice cold drinks and snacks.

Meaghan Waller, winner of Canada’s Next Top Model 2009 (the new face of the seventh annual White Cashmere Collection 2010: Fashion with Compassion) with 2010 collection curator and photo stylist, Serge Kerbel.  



Sneak Preview of the White Cashmere Collection 2010 photo shoot with @ETCanada, @AimeLuxury and Meaghan Waller. 





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 on June 8, 2010.

 Speakers included Shelley Simmons, Director Brand Communications & Values, The Body Shop, US, Mexico and Canada; Peter Morrissey, Associate Professor at Boston University and President and CEO, Morrissey & Company; Jacqueline Ryan, Royal Bank of Canada Director of Olympic Marketing. 

Jacqueline and her team created the phenomenally successful RBC Olympic Program.  The program far exceeded their expectations based on all measurements.  Best of all, the RBC program engaged the hearts of Canadians from coast-to-coast and our entire nation.  Although the 2010 Olympic Games were held in one city—Vancouver—the RBC program built brand equity across the country through its unique grassroots approach.  


The RBC Olympic Program was successful for several reasons:

1. RBC was first out of the gate and stole the spotlight.

Jacqueline and her team planned activities two years in advance of the actual Olympic Games and created a brand strategy to “win before the games even began”.

2. They engaged stakeholders, employees and communities simultaneously.

They were able to achieve this through their Olympic Torch Relay program which allowed them to reach out to more than 80% of the Canadian population in more than 1,000 communities.

3. PR effectively drove and built momentum at the grassroots level.

PR and its grassroots approach proved to be effective in making RBC the most visible Olympic sponsor in overall media coverage and profile.

Overall, the RBC Olympic program enhanced their brand image, drove revenue, engaged employees and gave them an opportunity to have genuine and authentic relationships with the communities.  It was definitely a moment for RBC and everyone was watching.

All speakers agreed that PR can generate powerful and direct results that can advance positive change and business success.

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!!