PR Agency Boot Camp

The Canadian Council of Public Relations Firms is hosting the first ever agency boot camp on Friday, January 28, 2011 in Toronto at the Bram and Bluma Appel Salon, Toronto Reference Library.

This one-day conference is a must attend for mid- to senior-level PR professionals wanting to sharpen their management and selling skills. The curriculum has been developed with agency professionals in mind but is open to all PR practitioners. Sessions, led by the leaders of Canada’s top PR firms, will include topics such as:

  • Motivating and Managing Your Team
  • Pitching To Win
  • Social Media in the PR Mix
  • Creativity: Generating the Big Idea

To view the current agenda:

Space is limited so register today:

Questions:  contact me at

Lack of PR Coverage in Marketing Magazine

This is a letter that I sent to Marketing Magazine regarding their coverage of the PR industry.  Since they did not run it and I think it is of interest to everyone in the PR industry, I’m posting it here.

As an accredited PR professional, president of APEX Public Relations and Chair of the Canadian Council of Public Relations Firms I would like to state my dissatisfaction with your coverage of our industry.  PR is an essential and growing part of the marketing mix, yet Marketing Magazine has done little to recognize the increasing importance of this discipline. 
The redesign of your magazine provided a portent of hope for improvement.  With an expanded editorial format and a stated interest to “re-think everything,” what a perfect time to put more focus on PR.  While your increased attention on social media issues is encouraging, the continued lack of focus on our industry is disappointing.
What is even more discouraging is that your “special issue” Public Relations Resource Book provides absolutely no unbiased editorial content, and is ultimately a collection of advertorials funded by the mandatory purchase of an accompanying advertisement.  While many of us have protested this approach in the past, it seems to have fallen on deaf ears.
The nature of our business is to earn the trust of journalists and provide them with background information and spokespeople in the development of their stories.  In other words, we earn coverage, not pay for it. Your PR Resource guide’s departure from a journalistic approach and coverage of our industry is very disappointing. While advertorials are a legitimate method of promotion, and one often used by PR professionals, it should not be the sole vehicle for coverage of our industry in Marketing.
According to your marketing materials, your advertorial approach is actually “a unique opportunity to highlight what sets your business apart from the rest of the pack.”  In other words, it’s okay for PR professionals and groups to pay for and write our own articles (even though it compromises our professional ethics), while you’re busy providing free, journalistic coverage to the rest of the marketing industry.  
Like many marketing disciplines, PR is going through a transformation.  While it is a rising star amongst marketers around the world, there are best practices, challenges and key learnings accompanying any PR initiative.  Open dialogue, discussion and consultation with PR experts and reviews of user experiences are what should be incorporated into your PR guide and general coverage; not unedited, paid-for advertorial content.
While I know this will have little impact on your business, for the first time in our eight year history we have decided to withdraw our listing ad.  I hope others in our industry follow suit.

Pat McNamara, APR

President, APEX Public Relations