Archive for the ‘PR’ Tag

Drive your Car on the Times Square Big Screen

How’s this for a great idea: Hyundai is letting you use your iPhone to play a Veloster video game on the 80 inch big screen in Times Square, New York.

Things like this always make me wish I was in a bigger area than Belleville. It would be AWESOME to stand in Times Square and play a game on my iPhone for all to see.

Could be embarrassing if I sucked at it though….


I wonder if they will let people play it on New Year’s Eve?


Red Turns White, White Turns Red

A few weeks ago I was with my fiancé watching the newest Twilight movie (yes I’ll admit it!) One of the commercials that are now ever present at movie theaters was for Coke turning their cans white for the cute cuddly Polar bears.

PR and Brand Change

I said to Ashley “That’s a neat idea! And works great because everyone knows Coke and polar bears.”

Well, turns out that prima facie judgement was all wrong, people hated the new cans! Kudos to Coke’s branding department for creating such an emotional impact with the red can. Minus for not researching consumer reaction to new cans.

From Diet coke confusion to a different taste, the complaints were everywhere. Sadly, the polar bears are going , going… gone from shelves now.

Perhaps Coke should have stuck with a red can, and white polar bears on it. Perhaps they should have just donated the polar bear money and not changed the can. Whatever the case I thought it was a great, although flawed, execution  and at least Coke is willing to be daring! (New Coke anyone?)


One Year Anniversary!



One Year PR With Troy

Over one year ago, this blog was created, as a class project for Loyalist PR. However, I immediately realised that this blog was way more than a class project. I began showing up on Google, people started talking to me about blog articles I wrote, and I got in touch with local politicians about Downtown Belleville.

When I went for interviews, hiring managers had already heard about me because of my blogging and social media outreach. I’ve attended events and can start the conversation with “Hey, I saw you on Twitter!” and they can respond “I read this blog your wrote…”

It’s been a great adventure, and admittedly work has gotten in the way of my blog (as noted by my month long absence) but I am still here, and still blogging (and also blogging professionally). So stay tuned, and thanks for making this first year so great!










Harry Potter and the Communicator


Harry Potter has smashed box office records. It has made its author a billionaire.  And now he can teach us some communication lessons.

Leading up to the finale, I was struck by the end of movie 4, Goblet of Fire, and movie 5, Order of the Phoenix.  Between the two movies, there are some great lessons to be had.

Be Open: At the end of Goblet, Dumbledore (the headmaster) amasses all the students and lets them know that a student was killed by Voldemort. He doesn’t hide, he doesn’t say “a series of events occurred which led to the expiration of a Hogwarts Student.” He lets everyone know what has happened, and because of this a crisis is calmed and people begin to want to fight back against Voldemort.

Dumbledore showed great wisdom at the end of movie 4, but then in movie 5 Dumbledore has a change of heart.

Don’t Avoid Your Audience: Throughout all of Phoenix, Dumbledore avoids Harry Potter, avoids the students and avoids the national newspaper. What happens? People begin to lose trust and faith in the wise wizard, Harry Potter becomes outraged and the general public no longer wants to fight against Voldemort.

Meanwhile, Harry has done the opposite and his friends trust him, while people who didn’t trust him completely, come over to his side (I’m looking at you Seamus Finnigan)!

Harry Potter teaches us to be open, engage with our audience and true to our beliefs.  If we do that, perhaps we will smash our own personal and career records.

“Real World” Here I Come!

Today I got the email every student likes to hear: “You are graduating!”

Loyalist PR was the catalyst for the creation of this blog, and I have continued it well past the December due date mark.  Part of my program included an internship at Engine Communications where I updated their blog, Facebook and Twitter.  It was a great experience, and I hope I can continue to stay in contact with them.

Now, I have begun work at Loyalist Certification Services which will be another great learning opportunity.  The great thing about the real world is that I now have a vehicle (Mazda 3!) and am not nearly as concerned about receiving loans.  Though, the real world sure seems to take up a lot more time than schooling!

16hrs of class + homework is way less than 40hrs a week at a job.  But it is change, and change is always a good thing!

As long as I don’t create a Whisper-Gate Burson-Marstaller esque PR fiasco, I am pretty sure the real world will be fantastic!

University= High Scool Rd. 2

Recently the Globe and Mail (here and here) has published a few articles pertaining to the declining lustre of the Bachelor of Arts degree. As a holder of said degree and soon to be a graduate of the Loyalist College Post-Grad PR Program, I am the focus of their articles.

University (and to a lesser extent, College) is required for many job postings and positions. 20 years and even 10 years ago, any applicant with a Degree was a highly qualified applicant, who stood a good shot at getting a job.

Now, things are different. Most have an undergrad degree or college diploma. You don’t stand out if that’s all your resume has. University/college has become the new high school. Students are now flocking to masters, professional programs and colleges to acquire even more credentials and skills.

I think this is great (albeit there are a few worries: mainly $$$). The more education we receive the better. Although it is a shame that on the job education is not being offered to students (since companies won’t hire unless you have experience) having formal training is great to keep individuals motivated and learning.

 The cost of this training is my main worry. Each year of education is easily 10 grand, and much more if you go to a professional school. Learning is great, but being unemployed and 30 with $80k+ student debt to repay is terrifying. It limits who can go (the rich get richer?), and increases household debt to high levels.

 Education has now reached a point where one post-graduate diploma/degree isn’t sufficient. I hope we as a society can combat the overwhelming costs associated with this trend.

iOS vs. Android: Will Apple Ever Learn?

Apple has a great brand, a great selling product, and legions of loyal followers. I own an iPhone4, and if I was rich, I would own a shiny new iMac or Macbook. Yet, I cannot help but feel as though Apple has not learned from its past mistakes.

In the early 90s, Apple had pretty good success with its Macintosh. They could sell them at a high price, and had a large market share. But Microsoft and Windows overtook Apple in a very similar way that Google is taking over the iOS: Windows was available on many platforms (IBM, Toshiba, HP, Dell, custom builds etc.,), while Apple had its one line of Apple computers (and some knock offs).

Although Apple is an innovator extraordinaire, it could not keep up with the PC because each company could learn from the others mistakes. Eventually, the PC became more affordable and better than the Macintosh over the years. Apple limited the progress of its Macintosh by keeping the OS to one platform.

Now look at the iOS. It is only available for iPhones, an Apple made product. The Android OS started out much worse, but now has drawn even and arguably has pulled ahead.

While Apple can keep launching one kind of iPhone and improving it, its competitors will release multiple different Android phones. Eventually it seems like Apple will fail to keep up and many analysts are predicting a small share of the market for the iPhone.

Apple always keeps its software and hardware together (perhaps due to the knock off Macintoshes) but it needs to expand the reach of iOS. Otherwise, Android will leave Apple with a small and, likely unprofitable, slice of the pie.

Do you agree? Let me know by commenting!

Oh my Campbellford, what great big PR problems you have!

Last year, you may remember the Legion KKK Crisis, well here comes round 2 for the small town. Now, A local bridge dispute has escalated into a national news headache.

Obviously the local resident knows the significance of erecting a KKK symbol. The symbol draws immediate attention to his cause, even when the real issue of demolishing his house to build a bridge has no relation to the KKK whatsoever.

Furthering the media storm was the heated outbursts and quotes from the may and local residents.

The mayor said he wanted to send him back to Scarborough. Local residents tried to cut his display down with an axe. These just fuelled the fire and brought more, negative, attention to the issue.

Campbellford should have responded in a much more civilized manner by talking with the resident personally and in a civilized way. By confronting the issue in a sensationalistic way, the town escalated any media frenzy caused by the original cross and noose.

Sure, seeing the cross would get my blood boiling too, but when dealing with the media it is best to keep a cool head while stating your beliefs, opinions and updates on the situation. Presenting the truth and acting calmly will create calmness in the public rather than hysteria.

Up Next: The Text Fuelled Generation?

My last blog post concerned the rise of social media and this post will examine a possible shift due to the rise.  After reading “Is it time to ban voicemail” by Martin Waxman, I see a major communications shift occurring.  We are moving from a primarily spoken word society, into a primarily written word society.

Think about it. During the day, many of us communicate with colleagues, friends, family and loved ones through texts, email, Facebook, blogs, Twitter and IM.  It is so quick and easy to stay in touch through these written channels.  Only when something is urgent or serious do we resort to calling or meeting face-to-face.

If you disagree, I think the shift has just not made it your way.  But it is coming.  Businesses are decentralizing and the main form of contact is through text.  We have too many things to do and it is far easier to reply via email or Facebook than to take 5 minutes to call and give an answer.

While text based communications allow for many contacts and to have two way conversations, it lacks the human touch and is usually short, leading to miscommunications.  Many social media crises start because of a wrongly interpreted piece.  I think a balance is needed, between oral and written communication.

Many thought writing was dead with the advent of TV, Radio, cameras and camcorders.  Yet, now writing is making a come back.  Eventually, things will start shifting back to oral communication (they always do) but for now, get your keyboards, fingers, and touchscreens ready. Oh, and don’t forget your brain.

Communication Methods are a-Changin’



In the past I blogged about social media and its usefulness in our society (herehere and here) and a few events this past week have underscored its important role in our society.

At the News Canada Networking Breakfast our guest speaker, Martin Waxman of Energi PR gave a presentation to the audience about the “new PR” aka social media.  As president of the CPRS (Canadian Public Relations Society) he knows what he is talking about, and he realizes that communication has shifted towards social media.  Firms, organizations and individuals will have to engage in social media or risk losing their voice.

The following evening, the Spring Quinte Tweet Up was held, and it underscored the impact social media can have on the community.  Without any traditional media, posters or advertising the Tweet Up drew over 60 visitors in two hours.

Only Facebook, Twitter and word of mouth were used.  A grass roots event drew a large crowd to a local pub which created networking opportunities and helped the local economy.

Social media is here and they are only growing bigger.  These are only two local examples of their impact, and many companies and celebrities thrive due to their strategic use of social media.

Facebook and Twitter are the two main examples, but in five years they could easily be replaced.  However, this innovation and change is the great aspect of social media.

If you, or your company, is shy about using social media or think it is useless, think again.  Feel free to contact me or comment and I’ll gladly introduce you to the wonders of social media.

%d bloggers like this: