Posts Tagged ‘CPRS’

Entry-level positions are among the hardest jobs to land. Competing against a roster of profiles that looks scarily similar to (gasp!) yours – How do you get YOUR stiletto in the office door on the first day?

  1. Be your own Brand Ambassador on and offline! Have a (positive!) footprint and be consistent throughout your platforms.
  2. If you landed an interview: You passed the first step. Now impress: Give examples, know your audience and show what you can do for them and smile.
  3. Don’t “talk” too much on your resume; it isn’t your book. Do highlight your strengths.
  4. Interview them as well and ask smart questions. They are choosing you as a candidate but you are also choosing them as an employer.
  5. Respond ASAP: to an interview request, a ‘Thank You’ post-interview or decline/offer.
  6. Remember Body Language! Have a firm handshake. Always look the interviewer in the eye, calmly, smile, be relaxed, comfortable. (No one wants to hire a nervous Nellie).
  7. Be yourself- No one wants to hire someone only to discover someone else in a month!


Christie Hill, Consultant at Strategic Objectives.


Matthew Ventura & Judy Lewis

Last week guest blogger and CPRS Student President Matthew Ventura, along with the rest of the CPRS Students embarked on their Passport to PR agency tour. We invited Matthew to share his thoughts and experiences as a guest blogger on ShowFangsPR. SO without further adieu, here is Matthews post:

Attention public relations students! There is a vicious rumour shrouding the PR agency world. It is said that agencies exhibit high turn-over levels and will ‘eat interns up and spit them out.’ This rumor alone is enough to strike fear in the hearts of most budding PR students who usually end up settling for more comfortable corporate intern positions.

Public Relations students who attended the fourth annual CPRS Toronto student event Passport to PR on Tuesday, November 16, 2010,  learned first hand from Strategic Objectives’ Deborah Weinstein and Judy Lewis that this notion is not only absurd – it isn’t true.

As the tour group zoomed around SO’s long corridors guided by the infectiously charismatic Deborah Weinstein one thing became perfectly clear: SO is a nurturing and supportive agency environment where individual thought and expression is not only recommended, it is required.

The office enforces a strict ‘open door policy’ making even the most senior members of the team accessible to anyone at any time, and meeting rooms are structured in round-table formats so that no one is left out when team members bounce ideas off of one another.

As Deborah and Judy spoke about the importance of teamwork it was clear in their voices that it is essential to the success of their business. This philosophy became even more apparent as students glanced at the countless awards that fill the walls of SO’s main reception area – a monument of the tireless and dedicated work put in by SO’s amazing team.

The ‘Hallway of Hits’ – a corridor lined with news clippings and media coverage for the numerous clients represented by SO – stands as a testament to the sheer breadth of the company’s clients (from Body Shop lipsticks and Dyson vacuums to KFC’s Double Down – SO covers it all!).

The tour concluded with a fascinating presentation from Judy Lewis – whose passion for her work is undeniable. Students learned about SO’s unique approach to current social issues through strategic awareness-building campaigns. Notable programs included the Canadian launch of Fair Trade Certified Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate and The Body Shop Canada campaign: In the Name of Love, STOP Violence Against Women.

By the end of the Passport to PR event students were left with very different impressions of PR agency life than they had going in. They learned that agencies can offer empowering and supportive environments where personal and professional growth is fostered, and they learned that the power teamwork can speak volumes to organizational success.

The most valuable lesson of the day? It all starts with a good handshake.

The CPRS Passport to PR event takes students on one of four specifically designed tours to public relations agencies or firms in the downtown Toronto core. Students gain first hand insight into the daily activities of a public relations practitioner and are given the opportunity to ask questions and further their learning in the Q&A portion of the event. The event is geared toward preparing students for the professional working environment.

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.

It’s been an exciting week at Strategic Objectives:  hosting Canada’s favourite bachelorette, welcoming smart new teammates and earning three CPRS 2010 Toronto ACE Awards. 

TGIF – Happy Friday!  A big toast to our team and in case you’re interested, you can find our PR award brag sheet below.  That makes more than 150… but who’s counting? (our clients… and us too.) 

– Gold, The Body Shop


– Gold, Leon’s 100th Anniversary

– Silver, Cadbury, The Bicycle Factory 

(Read our co-founder Judy Lewis’ blog about this award winning program here)

Special thanks to our innovative clients for always providing support, insight and imagination.  Stay tuned to our blog for future case studies and PR insights.