Gold Hunt

I was working in a coffee shop on Good Friday and my laptop was dying. This is the plight of many a coffee shop entrepreneur. I asked the guy who was seated closest to the plug if I could sit at his table and we got to talking. He runs a marketing business, and I run a PR business. He told me that he had a great project that he needed help with. I was intrigued. He told me that some friends of his had buried $100,000 in gold and silver coins somewhere in Edmonton. At first I didn’t believe him, but he showed me a video. Ok. This was real.

I met with his client the next week, and the next thing I knew, I was doing the largest media campaign of my career. It started off with a simple news release, and while it didn’t take off right away, it sure lit on fire as time went on.

During the pre-campaign period, the spokesperson, Chris Cromwell, appeared on CTV morning live in both Calgary and Edmonton, Global Edmonton, CBC Calgary and The Calgary Star.

Once we announced that the maps were live, that’s when things took off. I got to fly to Vancouver with Chris to do a live segment on CTV Morning Live! After the launch on June 1st, we thought it would take a few days for the treasures to be found. We were wrong. The Edmonton Treasure was found in 21 hours. Chris and I were on a plane first thing in the morning. I organized my first media scrum! It was amazing!! The best part? Seeing my news release printed almost word for word in the Edmonton Journal.

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There was a lull of one day before the Calgary treasure was found. I got the call, wrote the release within the hour and was in the car on my way to Calgary for another media scrum. Every major outlet in Calgary was there. It was great! The winner was a man from Edmonton who had just been denied AISH. He was such a deserving winner. It was a pleasure to meet him.

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Two days later, the Vancouver treasure was found. Thank goodness that it was found so quickly, because by that point, I was burnt out. Travelling, writing and working on adrenaline reminded me of my poli sci days, and it brought back memories of intense burn out. The only problem with burnout when you’re a mom is that you don’t get to sleep in the next day. You still have to get up to parent and be present for your family!

That’s the funny thing about burnout, you feel it then you forget it. I’ll be taking on another hunt with the team. It will be exciting! Wish us luck!

Better Blog Writing

Blogs. Almost every organization has (or should have) them. A blog is a fantastic platform to teach your audience all about what you do and why you do it. But how do you write a thought-provoking and well-written blog post? Is there a science to it? Why yes there is! Here’s some tips on writing a great blog post!

Know your audience

I know, this sounds simple, right? Well, it isn’t really. You really have to dig deep and write for the perfect customer. Is he/she male or female? Do they work? Do they have kids? What do they like to do for fun? Do they like to shop in a store or are they strapped for time and like to buy online? Are they young or older? A business owner or employee? It really helps to sit down and write out who your ideal customer is. That way, when you’re writing your blog post, you can confidently write your post specifically to the customer you are trying to attract.

Write compelling headlines

With information constantly being thrown at us throughout the day, it’s hard to zero in on what we should be paying attention to. This is why, when writing a blog post, you need to write a headline that will catch the eye and draw the reader in. Short, snappy headlines fare much better over long, drawn out phrases. Here’s an example:

“Better Blogs”

vs.

“How to write successful blogs to move your business forward”

Now which headline would you want to read?

Write subheadings to break up text

As you can see here, I’ve divided this article into chunks using subheadings. This makes it really easy for the ready to skim the text and select which paragraphs are most relevant to them. We are a society that is constantly pressed for time, so leisurely perusing a long article usually isn’t an option for many.

Use Bullet Points

If you’re writing lists, bullet points are a great way to draw the reader’s attention to this section of the post. Bullet points are great for highlighting statistics, facts, figures and anything that you want to have stand out from the rest of your text.

Add Images

Images help draw the readers eye and make the blog post much more inviting and interesting.

Leave a clear call to action

At the end of your blog post, it is imperative that you leave your readers with something to do, whether that’s to comment, share or like your social media profiles. A great call to action is easily distinguishable and is easy for the reader to follow-through. (For example: “If you like this post, please share it on Facebook or Twitter.”)

I now hope you have a clearer idea on how to write a great blog post. If you’re still feeling a little lost and need some help with topics, ideas or the writing itself, you can reach me at Jacquie@platedpr.com or at 780-994-1553. Writing is a huge passion of mine, and I’d love to help you reach or business’s goals through exceptional blog writing! Drop me a line!

Vimy 100 Yeg

Last year, when I decided to make Plated PR my permanent gig, I joined the Vimy 100 Yeg committee. The centennial of the Battle of Vimy Ridge was coming up fast, and the committee has incredible plans to commemorate the occasion. My role in the committee was to coordinate all of the communications that would be happening around the event. Mainly the social media and the media relations. 

It wasn't hard to communicate the story behind the event. A group of hard-working historians and military officials came together to create a full day's worth of remembrance activities at Churchill Square. I started a Facebook page, Instagram account and Twitter profile. I also wrote key messages and sent out news releases. 

One of the main events that day was the vigil, where civilians and military officials had the opportunity to start on guard at the Edmonton Cenotaph together in remembrance of the men who fought at Vimy. Global News featured a story on the event, and all pre-registrations for the civilian spots filled overnight. 

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Committee members also appeared on Our Edmonton, Edmonton AM and Alberta Primetime in order to promote the event. 

On event day, I coordinated all social media and media throughout the day. It was an incredible day, with over 1000 citizens coming out to commemorate the centennial, to witness the parade, participate in the vigil, and to check out the historical interpretation of soldiers in World War uniform. 

All local media outlets covered the story on the day of. The story made the front page of the Edmonton Journal and Sun, and was featured on Global Edmonton, CTV Edmonton and CBC News

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In the end, the event won an IABC Edmonton Capital Award and the organizing committee was recognized at City Hall for their hard work. 

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Media Campaign with Mini Kitchen

Last spring, I worked closely with Damini Mohan of Mini Kitchen on a Public Relations campaign to boost public awareness of their brand. The goal of the campaign was to raise the overall public profile of Mini Kitchen through traditional media. With a great story behind their product, I set out with a news release and was pleasantly surprised at the uptake.

Mini Kitchen provides grab-and-go meals, using fresh, local ingredients. They also only employ immigrant women in order to give them an opportunity to have gainful employment.

The first news show that Damini and her mom Renu appeared on was Edmonton AM with Mark Connolly. Damini and Renu recounted the story of Mini Kitchen for Edmonton AM audiences on their morning commutes.

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Next, Twyla Campbell, CBC Edmonton's food critic, met with Damini and toured her processing facility. She also sampled her samosas and wrote a great blog post on it. Liane Faulder from the Edmonton Journal also posted on social media about how great Damini's new samosa recipe was.

 

 

 

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We created a great video to be shared on social media. You can view it here. We worked with a local videographer, who has a fantastic eye for portraying Damini's story in a great light. 

Next, we wanted to aim for something big. The best way to reach as many people as possible is to get a segment on the local news. Lucky for us, the story was picked up by Global Edmonton News. Damini and her mom showcased their products on the weekend news, getting to cook live using their spice blends and butter chicken sauce. It was incredibly well received by the hosts and by the online audience. 

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Finally, to round it all off, The Tomato magazine and Culinaire wrote great articles on Damini and her food. 

The media campaign as a huge success! We managed to appear in all forms of media - Print, radio and television. 

If you have a great story to tell, contact me and I can help you reach the your audience through the media!

Sunworks Farms Food Blogging Tour

I had been so busy working during the past year that I had not had any time to celebrate the many successes that Plated Public Relations acheived. I will be writing about a few of the projects I've worked on over the past year here!

My vision for  my business was to work with clients in the agriculture and food industries in Edmonton. There are so many local producers, farmers, vendors, food makers, restaurant owners and chefs who work tirelessly every day to put food on our plates. The diversity of the food scene here in Edmonton is amazing! You don't have to go far to find a new restaurant opening around the corner, or to find a homemade food vendor hawking their goods at a market. I love working with these hard-working folk because they have such a passion for what they create.

Ron and Sheila Hamilton are no exception. Owners and operators of Sunworks Farms, they truly put their heart and soul into their delicious meat products. I interviewed Ron way back for a blog post on Parkallen Home Kitchen, and it was nice to re-connect with him at the Strathcona Farmers Market one Saturday afternoon. I told Ron about the business, and he told me about his vision for a food blogging tour and dinner. Over the next month, we planned the menu and day of events.

On a beautiful June day, 30 food bloggers met at the farm to learn all about Sunworks operations. The group was very active on social media, and we were trending number 2 on twitter in Edmonton for a while. (Yay!) Here is my summary of the day's events.

At the end of the tour, guests were treated to a gourmet meal prepared by Chef Kevin Zellweger from the Quarter Section Food Co. Each delectable course featured some of Sunworks Farm's products.

Guests were sent home with a full bag of Sunworks chicken sausages to enjoy at home, again courtesy of their generous hosts. It was a spectacular day, and I was so fortunate to get to work with Ron and Sheila.

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Finding my worklife balance

I've been working hard at Plated Public Relations as my only gig for a year now. There was an interesting journey that brought me here, and I'd love to tell you the tale...

On August 17, 2015 this little nugget was born.

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I knew that she would change my life, but I didn't know quite how much at the time. My maternity leave was amazing. Just Anna and I going on adventures to the park, to different playgroups, to the library... That year will be one I will cherish as one that helped me grow as a person and as a mother.

As the year came to a close, I knew I wanted more of a balance. No, I needed a balance between spending time with my girl and working. I knew that I couldn't be a full-time Stay At Home Mom because I loved my career too much, but working full-time was out of the question for me. I request PT hours at my current job, but was denied several times. Thus began my hunt for the part-time job. I didn't find one before the end of my maternity leave, so I returned to the airport in my full-time position in August 2016. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. Leaving my child full-time in the care of another nearly killed me, and I cried at my desk daily. I was a pretty melancholy co-worker, and I felt bad for my team. I kept searching for that part-time position...

Come January I finally found a part-time position that would work out to only having to work three days a week. Unfortunately, it was short-lived, and I was quickly unemployed in one of the worst economies that Alberta has been in quite some time. At this point, I had applied for hundreds of jobs, and I was so sick and tired of it. I decided to approach this job hunt differently by calling around to my contacts to see if anyone knew of a part-time position. Speaking to one of my contacts, she suggested I run with Plated, which I had started up the previous April. When I started to call around to see if there was any interest in hiring a freelance PR agency for some contract work, I was pleasantly surprised. I quickly began working on the Vimy 100 Yeg commemoration and the rest, as they say, is history!

I take Mondays and Fridays off to spend with my girl. With her sister on the way in October, I can't tell you how much I appreciate the slower pace to life. I have the opportunity to take her to the playground on a sunny spring morning, or to meet up with her cousins. The laundry and the dishes get done, and my husband and I don't feel like we are on a hamster wheel anymore. Thank you to my clients for making this possible for me. Without my hubby's hard-work ethic and great job, it wouldn't be possible either. I am so so grateful to them both! I have found that work-life balance I had been looking for, and I couldn't be happier!

 

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