People and Places – April 9-10

This is going to be a diary/shout out to the people and places I saw last Wednesday and Thursday.

WEDNESDAY

Congratulations to Ian Miller

I met Ian Miller at my first CPRS networking event in Halifax, and then I saw him again at the last CPRS session with Bessy Nikolaou. (You may have seen the post) I am congratulating him on his new job for the summer! He is a Communications Assistant with Canoe ’09. Around ninety countries are going to be competing in Dartmouth’s Lake Banook and it is going to be a massive event!

Networking with Cindy Wheeler

I also invited Ian to my second Wednesday networking lunch at the Halifax Club. This one was hosted by Cindy Wheeler who is a personal shopper and wardrobe consultant. It was a great time and I met some great contacts with cool jobs.

Press Conference for Fusion’s “Wear the Button” campaign

This was an event near and dear to my heart. I am part of Fusion Halifax’s Urban Development Action Team, aka UDAT (group of members who are interested in Urban Development) We have been working on a campaign to support HRMbyDesign, an urban design plan being proposed to the city council for the downtown core, for the last few months. HRMbyDesign is a plan to make the downtown core and surrounding areas a more sustainable and beautiful place! Find out more about the plan here.

THURSDAY

Networking at Smitty’s Lacewood

Another great networking event that I could walk to.  Met some more great people and hope to find ways to help them all soon.

Fusion’s Second Thursday event at the Garrison Brewery

Second Thursday is networking event for Fusion members. This was a special one because it was all about HRMbyDesign. I also helped organize this event with the UDAT.

The key parts of our “Wear the button” campaign are the distribution of our cool green buttons (they go with everything!) posters and decals we are giving to local businesses and organizations, and  post cards that we created for Haligonians to sign. We will be collecting all the signed post cards and will be delivering them to city council before the vote. Message me if you want to be a part of the campaign!

Helen Fong and the Yoga Atlantic Conference

I did manage to do some networking. (surprise, surprise)  I went to a leadership course/event a few weeks back and Helen remembered me from a question I asked. Helen Fong is the distribution coordinator for the Yoga Conference and a certified yogi! The conference will be a great time, and I hope some of you guys can make it out to the Chocolate Lake Best Western this weekend. Yummy!

There will be stretching

There will be stretching

Earth Day in Halifax

I also met some members of the Sustainability Action Team. The action team will be a part of Halifax’s Earth day celebrations on Wednesday April 22 at Victoria Park. Hopefully the weather will be great and you can check it out!

Fashion Show at the Page Gallery

I would like to thank Gillian Wesley, the lady in charge of Carpe Omnis Media, for inviting me to the fashion show she put on. Katrina Tuttle was showing a sneak peek of her fall line up. It was my first fashion show and it was everything and more than I expected! The models were from a Halifax modeling agency called City Models. Great job ladies!

Wow, that was long. I hope I did everyone justice, and it was great to meet and participate with all these people and events!

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CPRS Session with Bessy Nikolaou

I recently attended a CPRS PD session on Social Media. It was really informative and it was presented in an elegant and easily understandable way.

Bessy did a great job of starting with the basics and organized the presentation into easily digestible points that her audience could understand.

It started off with some wicked stats and videos! Basically computers are getting VERY powerful and China will have more English speakers than the U.S. soon.

There was also a video explaining social media in the simplest terms possible. I also posted it on my consulting page, because it is so amazing!

Here are a key few points or observations I took away from the presentation:

  1. Social media is a communication tool, just like TV, newspapers or any other media. To be successful, you need the same research, strategy, and tactics used for any other PR campaign.
  2. Old media involved pushing your message where you think your audience is. New media is about pulling your audience to the message.
  3. Social media is an authentic and transparent medium. You must be prepared to monitor the discussion about your organization and be totally accountable for your actions.
  4. Social media releases are just guest blog posts!
  5. Social media is an amazing way to connect with people. A prodigal son or daughter coming back to their city needs only Twitter, Facebook, and some time to feel right at home again.

The session gave me some great fundamental knowledge of social media that will help me use it more effectively and efficiently. I feel a hundred times more ready to tackle any project!

The Importance of Building Relationships

Every time I meet someone who is looking to enter the job market or is making important decisions for their future, I have one piece of advice for them:

“It is not what you know. It is who you know.”

I learned this lessons in college, where they professed volunteering and networking as important parts of building your career. (Another thing I advise every young person I meet to start working on)

I like to further this point even more with this quote: “The more people who know you’re awesome, the better.”

I find these principals especially important in my new home of Halifax.

A lot of the job opportunities I have found here have come directly or indirectly from contacts.

I recently went to an unveiling of an employment survey done by a Fusion Halifax action team.

It talked about the struggles people have to find a job in this city.

One issue the survey brought forward was that around 80 per cent of jobs aren’t even posted!

The panelists at the event made the point that it is important to meet people in your field and build relationships that can connect you to job opportunities in the future. They even discussed meeting leaders in a company you would like to work for and asking questions about the industry. They said it makes you look really smart and motivated!

The event was great for me, because it reiterated the actions I’ve been using to find a job since my first visit last May. (And I also found a new contact who subsequently set me up with another person!)

In May, I went on a vacation to Halifax so I could network with PR professionals who knew some of my contacts in Ottawa. It was an amazing trip and it really gave me a head start when I moved here in September.

I also joined CPRS Nova Scotia and Fusion Halifax when I arrived. Both of these organizations have given me many opportunities to network and volunteer.

I cannot wait until I settle on a career I enjoy and start giving something back to the people who helped me along the way. Making sure your relationships are mutually beneficial is the best way to keep them strong.

Check out this blog post on “The Art of Schmoozing” for a step-by-step guide to networking/schmoozing.