Category Archives: Uncategorized

Public Relations Career! Here I Come!

Spending the past year studying PR and following the interesting news stories has taught me how to think differently when observing the PR issues in the media. I have discovered that no matter the PR issue, corporation, business or non-for-profit; every PR issue can be tackled using careful strategic planning and evaluation of each unique situation.

My interests however have been mostly in terms of creating an effective communications strategy and dealing with case issues and crisis management. Crisis management seems to be the most exciting when you are forced to think and act promptly in terms of addressing an issue, big and small. I’ve learned throughout my studies that determining the right course of action is a tricky thing to do, but with the necessary skills and tools set you can handle the most controversial topic with confidence and respect to your client. The evolution of effective PR planning and marketing is constant and fast paced, the online social trends have brought both benefits and hurdles for PR and Marketing professionals.

The most interesting part of my education had to be our digital and social media class that taught us the essentials when marketing to an online audience. The tips and tools surrounding complex SEO software has equipped me with a new skill that is becoming very valuable in the Marketing/Public Relations job market today. I’m going to be honest and say that Marketing is not my strongest suit, but with the basic understanding of Search Engine Optimization I feel confident that I will bring value to any company in terms of understanding how to target an online audience and measure its success.

I’ve been through an amazing learning journey in PR and have created a valuable network of professionals in the field that have acted as mentors for me throughout the way. My main focus will be in the non-for-profit sector where I plan on helping organizations raise awareness in the community, gain sponsorships and campaign products or services. I am confident that these area’s are where I will be successful, but also understand now the additional PR skills I can bring to the table. 

PR

Old Spice viral content steals the show!

The Old Spice “Smell like a man” video created quite the social media storm with Twitter, Facebook and YouTube shares. Old Spice previously faced some fierce competition from its competitors such as Dove’s plan to advertise during the Super Bowl. So what did old spice decide to do? Launch an online campaign that included reaching out to top influencers, bloggers and people that they were confident would like and share the video with their networks.

How would they create a video that would appeal to their target audience and be interesting enough to become viral? Well first, Old Spice has done their research and chose to target men and women. They discovered that women are the top purchasers of body wash over men, so they came up with the best idea that appealed to both men and women. The unique and somewhat comedic approach was direct when communicating their message, “Ladies, look at your man. now back to me” this line cleverly included women and their perspective of what every man should be or smell like. The ridiculousness and creativity of the changing set made it comedic and somewhat resembled “the most interesting man in the world” commercial.

In terms of PR and Marketing Old Spice had successfully created a viral commercial that did not have a huge advertising budget, this type of online viral marketing is becoming quite successful for some companies who get it right. The ROI is valuable but targeting the right people to share the content is tricky. The PR tactics were clever in terms of pitching the campaign to top influencers for minimal costs, the launch was strategically timed a few weeks before the Super Bowl which created buzz in the online sharing trends on Twitter and Facebook.

What I learned from the campaign is that even when faced with a huge competitor with much larger budget and customer base, being prepared and engaging your audience will allow you to create a strong enough campaign that could possibly trump the success of the big budget competition. Online social media sharing has proven to be a strong point for marketers and PR professionals in this case. By understanding your audience as well how that audience engages online and the potential reach of other audiences, you can become either be successful based on what is #trending.

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Joe Fresh and Bangladesh

When it comes to purchasing clothing from any giant retailer in Canada, consumer’s barely question where the clothing they are purchasing is coming from or if the clothing is being manufactured in an ethical and humane manner. Since the tragic collapse of a factory where Loblaws Inc. manufactures a small amount of their clothing in Bangladesh, Canadians have expressed a concern about ethical standards of working conditions and responsibilities of companies to oversee the safety of individuals producing their products. The media have covered the story extensively and created enough momentum surrounding the issue to suede Loblaws Inc. to take action where possible when outsourcing manufacturing to other countries where regulated safety standards that ensure the safety of workers in the industry is not strictly followed. This incident has since changed my opinion surrounding Joe Fresh line and Loblaws inc. in terms of purchasing the clothing and accessories from their line. I am a stickler for purchasing clothing ans products that are ethically produced and I usually do my research before making a final buying decision, but the fact is that with much of the retail (clothing) industry is outsourced to countries where labor is cheap and often working conditions are not acceptable by north american standards. The media surrounding the issue has forced Loblaws Inc. to release a public apology and strategy to address the issue. I have since made the decision to follow Loblaws Inc. since the incident to see if they have followed up on ensuring that they not only compensated the individuals but are demanding changes from vendors. After researching and following the story in Bangladesh, I have discovered that Loblaws Inc. is not responsible for the building code standards of a different country and have discovered that they chose the correct course of action in terms of immediate response and taking responsibility. The story weighed heavy and have a lot of people demanding answers as to why the building had been deemed safe. Galen Weston Jr. has chosen to be the face of responsibility and concern for working conditions, ethical production of their products. Although a tragic accident, it has raised enough concern on a global scale and the exceptional handling by Loblaws Inc. is setting an example that all North American corporate businesses should follow. 

 

COMMENTS

http://spinsucks.com/communication/weird-al-teaches-pr-pros-a-thing-or-twoweird-al/

 

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http://spinsucks.com/communication/gender-roles/

 

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http://spinsucks.com/communication/archetypes-pr-crisis/

 

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Social Media Privacy: Should Bosses Be Allowed to Friend Employees?

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Ammonia treated beef is NOT beef!

The controversy surrounding Beef Products Inc. and the ammonia treated lean finely textured beef labeled as “Pink Slime” has consumer’s concerned and demanding transparency as to what “Pink Slime” actually is and if it is safe to eat. The topic has sparked an ongoing and heated debate among journalists and food advocates. There is still much more information to be taken into consideration regarding lean finely textured beef as a truly all beef product. Many advocates have argued that LFTB is in fact 100% beef, while journalists have been more focused on exposing the chemical exposed beef product and labeled it pink slime. The amount of coverage on the story has hit the beef industry hard including AFA Foods causing them to file for bankruptcy. BPI has been forced to make some tough decisions regarding the price of beef in the market. The scientific truth is that LFTB is nothing more than fat trimmings and is used as a filler that reduces the price and overall fat content in the beef products they produce. This can be understood from an overall corporate level simply as a means to an end, but to the public the concern remains that consuming beef that is chemically treated in fact not acceptable or appetizing. The negative controversy does not help Beef Products Inc. educate or suede the public to their side either, although the beef industry has the right to defend their process and decisions surrounding LFTB and assure the public that it is in fact beef. They have chosen to remain transparent in the issue and have taken the necessary steps in order to gain support from food advocates and scientific studies to back up their claims. On the other hand the consumers have to the right to oppose the use of ammonia treated beef products in regards to their health concerns in America as well, the American public have been subject to food industry concerns from day one and are right to question and research/expose the truth about corporates who do not have their best interests at heart. In the end the consumer has the last say here because regardless of the amount of education or campaigning a company can do, once the relationship with the consumer has been affected you will almost always have to make the heavy weighted reconstruction of trust between you and your end user. Beef Products Inc. needs to focus on rebuilding that trust, through investing in a healthier alternative. 

A Living Mystery Untold

The Last structure I want to share is the Government Building we all know as The Legislative Building on Broadway ave.

We all know the story about the Golden Boy, but if you read Dr. Frank Ablo’s book “The Hermetic Code” or take Albo’s Tour of the building you would look at the building in a whole new light and realize that it is a living mystery untold.

I won’t go into much detail about Albos’ explanation of how he perceives the building’s true purpose. But rather I would like to tell you of my experience and connection with The Book and my journey. Well as it turns out I was bored during the last few months of summer before school was to start, I had spent the last few weeks of the summer exploring the open-doors Winnipeg. I had not felt that these experiences had given me what I was searching for, something with meaning and spiritual substance. So I stumbled upon an Ad in the Winnipeg Free Press on my day off, I seen “Dr. Frank Albo Tour – The Hermetic Code” and I immidiately called for tickets and made a drive all the way down portage to pick up my tickets for Frank’s next tour. I was so determined to get my book signed by Albo and this was my chance.

The Tour day was upon me and I was excited to meet Albo and compliment him on his elaborate research into the history of the building. I shook his hand, complimented him on his success and mentioned that I was from Sagkeeng First Nation, he quickly looked at me and asked me if I knew Dave Couchene Jr.? I nodded to agree and Frank Personalized my book for me, something he says he rarely does. But it wasn’t the personalization of the book that had fufilled my spiritual longing.

It was later that month when I was visiting the lodge in Sagkeeng, I received the sweetest compliment from a sweet woman who was helping me clean after serving a large dinner to 50+ people. I spoke with her for a bit about my experiences at the lodge, and as we got further into our conversation we were interrupted from a man who she introduced as her husband.

It was Dr. Frank Albo! =O

So you see now, how this journey came full circle beginning at The Turtle Lodge and making its way throughout Winnipeg and back to the lodge. Meeting and learning about wonderful spiritual places, and people along the way.

Panorama 5

Lori Abraham

A Spiritual Artist – Etienne Gaboury

Now when I said that I discovered a physical place to have it’s own spiritual entity, I think I felt it for the first time stepping foot into one of Gaboury’s designs. I immediately understood the emotion, the connection, the living entity of the space. Call me crazy but the first time I walked across the Riel Espande I was immediately enthralled. I could not escape the experience and spirituality of the simple walk across this bridge, I was looking up at the height of the structure and wondering how the architect’s were able to influence and evoke my experience just by observing the wonder of the side-spar-cable-stayed walk. Another one of Etienne’s great designs that intrigued my senses was the reconstructed St.Boniface Cathedral. I was amazed at the open space he was able to achieve inside using buttressed structure to allow for minimal pillars. It was another wonder why I had a good sense of this space’s spiritual characteristics, I experienced so much faith in that room. Etienne had a real powerful sense of bringing a physical structure to life! I never once doubted the connection I felt between the bridge and the cathedral. I could feel the presence of a spiritual artist.

Gaboury has designed buildings in Winnipeg such as the Riel Esplande, Precious Blood Parish, St. Boniface Cathedral (1972 reconstruction) and the revered Royal Canadian Mint in Winnipeg, MB.

“If you don’t have emotion in architecture,” says Gaboury, “then it is not architecture. And not just emotion of the heart, but intellectual emotion as well. When a design is infused with these qualities, only then does it enter the realm of architecture; only then does it enter the realm of art.” 

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RIch History

I grew up in Selkirk just north of Winnipeg, MB Canada. Being a rather small town I was not exposed to much of the city life here in Winnipeg, my parents seemed to fear the city and quickly instilled their fear into me. They have done a good job of keeping me sheltered most of my life and the most we would ever visit the city if Winnipeg was to do some shopping for clothing or new shoes, I remember driving with them into town and being able to see the skyline. I was always excited to see the hustle and bustle of the people walking downtown, traveling on the transit buses or driving in a hurry. It was always an exciting trip and we loved getting our new clothing and shoes, but I was most excited to see my favorite churches down main street, the downtown skyline from afar and the fun and maze like skywalks that were so neat and accessible to the public.

I had an early appreciation for architecture!

I later majored in drafting classes offered throughout High School, and loved it!

I did not however pursue it as a career choice YET! But can still appreciate the familiar designs and influences from different era’s seen in our very own city here in Winnipeg.

I moved to Winnipeg when I was 16 and completed my studies and graduated from High School in the city, I discovered the unique old Chicago styles of the District and the new contemporary design of the Millennium Library. (I was not afraid of little old Winnipeg)

Little did I know I would embark on a continuous journey filled with discovery and learning about Winnipeg’s Rich History of architecture, and my following blogs will be about that journey and share the experiences I had along the way. I would like to share my passion and interest of what Winnipeg really has to offer, because I think Winnipeg has quite a rich story to tell.

Lori Abraham

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A Place for Healing and Gathering

The Turtle Lodge in Sagkeeng First Nation is a place I try to visit regularly, my family is from Sagkeeng and I spent most of my summer’s there growing up. It is a place I like to call home, but The Turtle Lodge is the place I feel most at home. I first discovered the lodge in 2011 and had the opportunity to attend the 8th fire ceremonies last year in 2013, it was an experience that I will hold dear to my heart as a integral part of my spiritual journey.

I will begin first by telling you the story of how the Turtle Lodge was built. Elder Dave Courchene shares the story about how he built the lodge with volunteers and donated materials, he made a point that the lodge need to independent of government funding. Dave shares a vision he had about a place of healing and gathering for all people, for the world and brought that dream to life by sharing his message. Dave to me is a man that made his dream come true literally! The vision of The Turtle Lodge came to him in a dream and he dedicated his life to making it a reality. He understood the importance of the lodge and the role it would play in may different people’s lives.

I know it made a difference in mine, I rediscovered my culture here. I turned it away for some time after my grandmother had died and managed to reconnect through Dave and his 7 sacred laws. I was given the opportunity to embrace my cultural background through ceremony and teaching at The Turtle Lodge. I feel as if I am coming home every time I step foot through those doors, and there are always loving smiles there to greet me.

The Turtle Lodge is not in Winnipeg as I said in my earlier blog, but it is a place of spiritual architecture and it is where my journey begins.

It is the beginning of my path, and my journey away from home into the city. It is the beginning of my story because it is at The Turtle Lodge that had opened my eyes to another side of architecture that I could not understand through reading books and taking classes. I was taught that any physical space can have it’s very own living energies, and based on my own perspective I would like to share what I interpreted those energies to be in the city.

Lori Abraham

Turtle Lodge  

Can One Measure Spirituality?

I think the beauty in the answer to this question and perhaps my entire blog is best to be left undefined.

I grew up with many influences such as The Anglican Church and Aboriginal Spirituality, some people may find this religious gap shocking and undecided, but there was so many different things that I was exposed to growing up that today I think I found a very good balance between the two. I never really decided with one over the other being more true which helped me to open my eyes to the entire history of religion and the many different but beautiful ways each religion captures this ideal of a “higher power”. I have researched as much as possible other cultures and their religions with a unbiased view of what others believe, this may sound like a searching for a religion that I agreed with but that is not what this journey has been for me, I found great purpose in studying and practicing as many different aspects of other religions as possible. To me every country, culture, and person is really looking to answer the same question, and to me none of them are the absolute right way among others. After all the searching and practicing I’ve done I came to the conclusion that Religion is a living entity in itself, and what we choose is the freedom in that, of course some may not be as lucky to believe that they have a choice in the matter, but it is just that a belief!

If we start to change the way we perceive every Religion then maybe there may be more understanding of each other, I am not blogging about religion to change your point of view but simply acting on my beautiful freedom to choose to do so, speaking from everything I was taught in aboriginal spirituality is that in every corner of the earth, there is many different “higher powers” and being able to respect, understand and welcome these differences is the only truth we all have in common.

Spiritual

Spiritual

I have conducted this research based only on the users of facebook, and conclude that spirituality cannot be measured because there is so much left to be discovered.