*workshops subject to revision by presenter

Sink or swim: Charting a course for change

Jason Aebig, Senior Strategist, Creative Fire
Chris Shauf, ABC, APR, Senior Strategist, Creative Fire

Big change and a major challenge is on the horizon. You're still wrapping your head around what this means for you, your team, your organization or your client, yet you're the one left to steer the ship.

This interactive session will help you get it together. From the right frequency and tone to the preferred channels of delivery, you will gather the skills to develop and implement a strategic communication plan for major change initiatives.

We'll consider the individual, operational and cultural dimensions of change and offer tips to overcome rough waters, get stakeholders on board and open sail.

We'll walk through how stakeholders understand and adopt change, share case studies and equip you with a framework to help you chart your course.

Effective Issues Management in this Digital Age

Melissa Agnes, President and co-founder, Agnes + Day inc.

In this age of social media, where individuals are fast learning the power of their individual and collective voices, organizations have been faced with a growing number of issues. Many still haven't mastered the art of issues management as it pertains to social media, which is the focus of this workshop.

Through interactive discussions and interesting case studies, this session will explore how to:

  • Identify issues in their early stages, so as to prevent them from escalating into crises
  • Use the new rules of crisis communications to take a negative issue and quickly transform it into a positive PR opportunity for the organization
  • Determine when to let an issue evolve on its own, and when to jump in
  • Identify trigger points that reveal that an issue needs to be escalated to the crisis management team

Attendees will leave this workshop feeling confident that they can effectively use social media to detect, respond to and resolve online issues that threatens their organization's (or client's) reputation.

Tell Me a Story

Todd Babiak, Director, Story Engine

The most successful brands in the world, whether they're companies or individuals or cities, have one thing in common: a good story. The media have changed many times, over the last few thousand years, but the way we react to narrative is universal. Our brains are wired for it. What is a 'master story' and how can you use it to build your marketing and branding efforts, power your communications, design your strategies, and breathe life into your products?

The Alberta Energy Regulator - building a new brand from a 75-year regulatory tradition

Kim Blanchette, APR, VP Public Affairs, Alberta Energy Regulator

Rebranding a 75-year old organization as something entirely new, maintaining public confidence, merging three distinct employee cultures, and establishing a new vision over more than a year of intense change was the challenge. How did the public affairs team at the Alberta Energy Regulator respond to the ultimate PR opportunity?

Building Alberta's new, full life-cycle energy regulator required tremendous communications efforts. The AER's Office of Public Affairs will share how they managed brand execution, external communications, internal communications, change management, and emergency response over a full year of implementation, launching the new organization in the midst of managing the impacts of the southern Alberta floods. OPA will share the communications strategies, approaches, and tactics, as well as how they have evaluated results when planning the AER's next transformational phase.

Career Management: I am...more!

Roxanne Cramer, Partner, Cramer Company International

Have you always felt that there are greater career possibilities out there for you? Are you stuck in a job, trying to find your "career path"? You've taken workshops, bought the self-help books, gone on retreats and listened to TED Talks. But all it did was stress you out and make you fear the words "you're fired" even more.

Roxanne Cramer understands where you're coming from because every day she helps people like you move forward. Her professional guidance and strategies will help you examine where you want to go and how you are going to get there.

In this workshop, you'll learn:

  • How to put your career strategy in place once and for all
  • To stretch and get out of your comfort zone
  • To leverage what you have
  • To reward yourself and build happiness and value in your world

Spend your time during Roxanne's workshop to stretch your thinking about career possibilities and learn about tried and true strategies that will put you on the path to your dream career.

The Changing Face of Canada: Post-Multiculturalism

Kenneth Evans, Senior Vice-President, APEX Public Relations

Multiculturalism was fine for my parents' generation…but I have no use for it,” said a Bangladeshi Canadian.

Few countries have adopted and implemented immigration policies as progressively and effectively as Canada in the last 30 to 40 years. With over 250,000 educated and technologically-savvy immigrants settling in Canada each year, not only will our conventional thinking on demographics shift, but so too will our whole notion of "ethnic marketing." Immigration, age, technology and research are inextricably linked to marketing in the 21st century with technology as the ultimate equalizer.

The lines between "ethnic marketing" and "consumer marketing" have now become so blurred to become almost meaningless, pushing Canada increasingly into a post-multicultural dynamic.

More 2 the Story: How (and why) Cenovus is standing up for oil

Liz Hannah, VP Communications & Reputation Management, Cenovus Energy

There's rarely a day that goes by when at least one celebrity, from Neil Young to Robert Redford, isn't trending on Twitter or in the headlines for taking another critical shot at Canada's oil sands. These attacks have helped create a perception that most Canadians loathe oil sands development. In fact, polling suggests this couldn't be further from the truth. Cenovus Energy, a Canadian oil sands company, is tackling this negativity head on. Cenovus's Story of Oil campaign is aimed at reminding Canadians of the value oil has in our lives and sparking a reasonable discussion around the future of energy. Learn from Liz Hannah, Cenovus' Vice-President, Communications, how the company is using unique and engaging ways to communicate to the public, key stakeholders and influencer in a bid to have people learn the facts and speak up for an industry that a vocal minority just loves to demonize.

Herding Cats, Finding Kids, and Rallying Dispersed Teams in a Crisis

Steve Hardy, Marketing and Sales Director, RallyEngine
Amanda Pick, Executive Director, Missing Children's Society of Canada (MCSC)

Whether reacting to a natural disaster or the disappearance of a child, time and coordination are two critical elements of effective crisis communications.

Learn about how Corporate Calgary communicated internally during the June 2013 Flood. According to an Ipsos Reid study, it was more ad hoc and manual than one might think.

Find out about CodeSearch, a rapid response program that engages Corporate Canada in the search for missing children, and RallyEngine, the mobile technology powering it.

This co-presentation features Amanda Pick, the passionate Executive Director of the Missing Children Society of Canada, and Steve Hardy, a partner at RallyEngine. Together they'll share two insightful case studies showing how large and dispersed organizations can harness the power, ubiquity, and geo-locational context of today's smartphones for mobile internal and crisis communications.

BREAKING EVEN: Leading PR teams in a time of fiscal restraint

Dan Hurley, BA, MJ, APR, Executive Director, University Relations, Vancouver Island University

How are PR leaders inspiring their teams to go above and beyond in an era of government cutbacks and fiscal restraint? How are they able to hire, retain and inspire the best talent under these conditions? In this interactive session, learn from fellow practitioners on how they are making the best use of limited resources, encouraging collaboration and creativity, while delivering on successful PR campaigns.

This workshop will provide PR leaders with an opportunity to hear from others and to share their experiences in managing people and resources in a time of fiscal restraint. Whether they are from the private or public sectors, participants will be able to take away strategies and best practices that they can use with their own teams.

It's not just how you say it…it's also how they hear it!

Bill Koch, APR, Fellow PRSA, Director, Public & Government Affairs, Cameco Corporation

Four generations of employees are now rubbing elbows in the workplace, from fading Baby Boomers who continue to hang on longer to budding Millennials who want to change the world – overnight! How they and the generations between them interact with one another has a lot to say about how we communicate: internally – up, down and sideways – and externally with customers, clients and communities. This session will not only explore how our communications are affected by our generational classification, but also how we've been influenced by things like birth order and the personalities we've developed over time. Learn how we can use these traits to our benefit, rather than allowing them to become obstacles. Audience participation will be encouraged.

Leadership Communications During Crises

John Larsen, Senior Vice-President, Global Public Affairs

In today's era of crisis response it is increasingly important for leaders to be definitive in understanding and exercising their communications accountabilities. This session will explore the imperatives of crisis communications from the executive suite, and how we can help prepare our leaders for the ‘eye of the storm.' It will outline the unique aspects of crisis communications and clearly define the executive's value proposition during crisis. It will also address some of the decision making bias CEOs often bring to the table when making decisions around communications. When and how should the CEO get involved? What should they speak to? How should they present emotion, facts and apologies? The session will help you provide to provide respectful, clear guidance to your CEO or designate to help navigate through periods requiring timely high-stakes communications.

Stakeholder Relations: Success Through Trust

Natalie Doyle Oldfield, Natalie Doyle Oldfield

Studies show that trust is the number one predictor of consumer satisfaction. Trust drives loyalty; it determines reputation and success. Trust can take years to build and seconds to destroy.

Drawing on qualitative and scholarly research, Natalie will share with you how some of the world's top brands earn the trust of their stakeholders. Natalie has interviewed executives from some of the world's top brands on how they earn the trust of their stakeholders. The session will offer participants strategies and practical tools to improve relationships and customer experiences. Participants will leave with Monday morning strategies to build trust in their organizations.

A Higher Purpose for Public Relations: Creating Value for Business and Society

Ana Raman, Director, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications, Nordion

Panel members:
  • John Paluszek APR, Fellow PRSA, Senior Counsel, Ketchum
  • Jean Valin APR, FCPRS LM, Valin Strategic Communications

Corporate reputations have taken a hit over the past decade as short-term thinking has destroyed billions of dollars in value, impacting lives globally. Companies are recognizing that the way they approach and operate their businesses needs to change if they want to build sustainable businesses.

The current evolutionary stage of global business — captured through practices such as Shared Value, corporate social responsibility and sustainable development — is approaching a "tipping point". Many hard-nosed companies, such as GE, and Johnson & Johnson, are now committed to creating value for both business and society. These commitments, often implemented in partnership with industry-sector, regional or even international organizations, have significant reputational outcomes achieved largely through application of public relations principles.

Join this panel of experts as they discuss, debate, and dissect Shared Value. Learn about what Shared Value means, how it is reinventing the way companies are thinking about business, and how public relations plays an integral role in its success. This session will leave you inspired and brimming with new ideas on how to approach your job.

Test the Fan Before It Gets Hit: Rehearsing your Social Media Crisis Messaging Real-Time & Offline

Nikki Van Dusen, President, NikComm Inc.

You know that participating in social media is not just about your organization posting warm fuzzies for engaged fans and adoration; things will go wrong. Do you know if you're ready for when they do? While you can certainly learn from online experience, wouldn't it be nice to test out your messaging and posting strategy before a crisis actually happens? This fully interactive workshop demonstrates how you can incorporate techniques from emergency preparedness best practices, improvisation, and issues management strategies to prepare messages and test strategy in a risk-free, offline environment that mimics what might happen in real-time social media. You'll also gain a greater appreciation for what it's like to be on the receiving end of an organization's tweets. Be ready to give the method a try in a hands-on activity, so you can bring it back to your organization and try it with your own messaging.

MRP: Canada's PR Measurement Standard

Rachel M Douglas, Manager, Communications, The Weather Network

MRP is the Canadian public relations industry standard for measuring editorial coverage. Developed for the PR industry by the PR industry, it's a consistent, customizable and affordable reporting standard for Canadian PR practitioners. In this session, we will give an overview of MRP and demonstrate how the system allows users to analyze and score media coverage, attach clips and produce comprehensive and professional reports to show the value of a media relations campaign.

Let's Help APR Candidates ASCEND

Kathy Malley, APR, FCPRS, Vice-President, Malley Industries Inc.

Accredited PR professionals are invited to attend a session to talk about best practices to help our PR colleagues prepare for the accreditation process. Chief Examiner Kathy Malley, APR, FCPRS will lead an open forum and kick off the session with the CPRS Accreditation Self-Assessment Tool to clarify expectations, then brainstorm “best practices” for candidate preparedness.

Who Should Attend?
Accreditation Chairs, APRs actively involved in mentoring candidates and other accredited practitioners who would like to mentor colleagues. This session welcomes graders, regional examiners and other accreditation stakeholders.

Communication with Conscience: A global perspective on how PR can lead in today's organizations

Daniel Tisch APR, FCPRS, President & CEO, Argyle Communications

In both public relations and marketing, the idea of using content to engage audiences is everywhere, marking a shift from transaction-driven communication to brand storytelling that provides information, education or entertainment. As this trend accelerates, PR professionals around the world are considering what makes our profession distinct in this new environment.

In this thought-provoking session that will draw on a range of case studies, Daniel Tisch, APR, FCPRS, the 2011-2013 chair of the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management, argues that because PR's core function is rooted not in the sale of products and services but rather in the building of relationships for mutual benefit, we can lead by becoming the consciences of today's organizations. The keys include letting stakeholders influence change, aligning an the organization's social investment and business strategy, and diversifying the development of public relations professionals to understand the DNA of the organization's character and brand.

Ascend in your career with an APR

Sheridan McVean, APR, president, McVean Communications Inc
associate faculty, Royal Road University

Have you really considered obtaining an APR through the CPRS accreditation process? Now is the time to get answers to your questions about the process and what it means to add this distinction to your resume. Join Accreditation Council member, Sheridan McVean, APR, and other APRs for an interactive information session on the CPRS accreditation process leading to the APR.

Sheridan will outline the process and discuss what accreditation can mean in terms of personal achievement and your professional and career development. Attaining the APR demonstrates professionalism and allows you to “ascend” in your career path. The workshop will be offered Sunday, May 25 from 10-11 a.m.

The Strategic Value of Public Relations

Ange Frymire Fleming FCPRS APR, President|Vocal Point Communications & Professor|Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU)

The focus of this session is to educate junior practitioners on the significance of public relations in the 21st century. Whether agency, non-profit, corporate or government related, public relations plays a crucial role in an organizations ability to effectively communicate internally and externally. This session will explore useful public relations strategies currently used by professionals throughout the world which can be utilized to help meet organizational objectives. A conversational discussion will be encouraged in this session to achieve a unified understanding of the importance of public relations.

Educator Roundtable

Amy Thurlow PhD, APR, Chair, Department of Communication Studies, Mount Saint Vincent University

Join us for a discussion of Canadian Content in Public Relations education. Educators from across the country will share ideas and experiences on how to integrate and celebrate the Canadian PR story within the Public Relations curriculum.

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