Posts Tagged ‘Judy Lewis’

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


The world belongs to those who understand it. In the social media ecosphere, we at Strategic Objectives believe those who understand their audiences best have the highest likelihood of generating the best results. PRs need to understand how to tell a brand’s story and make it speak to audiences so effectively that the message can transcend all platforms and inspire sharing. PRs are natural communicators, but even here, you really need to understand your audience to maximize results.

Everyone is trying to figure out user behaviors online. Once we understand behaviors, we can better understand how to reach our target markets and build the best and highly-engaged online communities for our clients. What if we were to say most gamers have never been to college? What if we were to tell you there’s a strong use of social networking in the workplace?

Social Media Today recently released some statistics on social media usage and its demographic landscape. The statistics are deduced from 900 websites that average 9 million visits/month per site and offer some very valuable, not-so-surprising and nonetheless interesting results on user data. That data can be found in the chart below, where we have also created a quick summary of the research findings.



Demographic Findings:

  • Social networking is dominated by younger generations with no children, and online networking activity picks up in college
  • Social networks are most popular among the youngest generation (18-34) and are used less frequently for each successive age group over 35
  • Youth ages 18-24 tend to use social networks to supplement social life, learning, and having fun.
  • The most diverse use of social networks comes from the 25-34 year old age group.
    • Continue to use the services they used in college, but less often
    • As they start to have new interests (business, family), they are most likely to use online social engagement to benefit their business/career, discuss or plan travels, and share family-related experiences online
  • The 35+ demographic show technological bias against social networking.
    • High likeliness of these age groups to use business, family, and dating networks
    • Stats also suggest that social networking’s popularity among youth may be not just be due to technological differences, but to a better fit of interests
  • People with college-level education tend to have a higher rate of social for participation with networks across the board.
    • This suggest the expanding network once in college
    • Also demonstrates there is a tremendous amount of information shared between students


Outlier Findings: Two categories break this trend

  • Gaming has an unusually high participation rate among people without college experience
    • Likely that a high percentage of gamers are young
  • Places has a very high participation rate among people with graduate-level schooling
    • Likely positive correlation between graduate school and income, and between income and travel.


Male VS Female Findings:

  • Gaming is strongly dominated by males
  • Lifestyle and family is strongly dominated by females
  • Dating, Places, and Business are used more often by females
  • Education networks are used most by males


Location Findings:

  • Strong use of social networks in the workplace
    • Distraction or sign of increasing application of social websites for practical purposes?

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 (  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: (; Much Music (; and Northern Life (


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!”



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 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.

@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.