Tag Archives: Public Relations

What I discovered last week…

So I’m introducing a new feature on my blog in an effort to post more often. It’ll be a (bi-)weekly round-up of links to interesting things I’ve seen and read across the web. Most items will be things I’ve shared already on Twitter, but I’ll try to include some unique links as well.

Of course, this idea is not new, but I’ve found that my favourite blog posts and newsletters are round-up ones. So hopefully these will become useful to someone else out there.

Here’s what I found interesting over the past week and a bit:

Books & Publishing:

PR, Communications & Marketing:

Random:

Travel photos: (from my Tumblr)

Grad’s work has global impact

As part of my PR Writing 1: Writing to Inform class last semester, I had the opportunity to meet and interview a graduate of the Corporate Communications and Public Relations program at Centennial College. I wrote the following feature article based on that interview and it is now also posted on the The Word: the CC+PR program’s blog.

by Uma Chandran, Class of 2009

sabita-singhWhen Sabita Singh starts work each morning at Sun Life Financial, she feels a great sense of pride.  As the director of digital communications, Singh leads the company’s global digital communications strategy – a rare role for a Toronto-based communicator.

“It’s exciting to have the ability to shape the digital footprint of an international company,” she says.  “I’m proud of my work because it has a global impact on our web presence in the US, the UK, Asia and other regions around the world.”

Singh, an Accredited Business Communicator (ABC), graduated from the Corporate Communications program at Centennial College in 1989.  She entered the PR field through her internship and, since then, has worked in many different sectors including real estate, pharmaceutical, high tech and financial services.

Singh spent more than 10 years doing internal communications in various roles, including three years as a manager at Sprint Canada.  It was there that she first had experience with digital communications, managing the company’s intranet site, and quickly realized that she had found her niche.

“Digital communications is great because it’s always changing; it’s easy to measure and it’s never boring, especially with the introduction of social media which is revolutionizing the way we communicate.”

With her new interest in digital communications, Singh took her expertise to AstraZeneca Canada, iStudio and to her current position at Sun Life Financial.

“I’m always thinking about what I want to do next,” Singh says.

Singh’s determination and initiative have been recognized by her peers numerous times through awards including an IABC Ovation Award, a CPRS Creative Excellence Award and an IABC Gold Quill Award. An award-winning project she is most proud of is the redesign sunlife.com in 2008.

Using the strategic planning tools that she learned years ago at Centennial College, Singh led the transformation of the company’s international website. The website is now user friendly, incorporates social media and, because of improved search engine optimization, now ranks higher in search engines like Google.

“In one year, we’ve come so far in the digital world. It’s exciting to be a part of a company that recognizes the importance of the web in communicating with its customers, employees and other diverse audiences. We’re moving from behind the times to leading the way in a short period of time.”

Singh attributes her impressive successes to her strong will and hard work. However, she also enthusiastically credits the Corporate Communications program for teaching her all the right skills.

“Everything I learned at Centennial, I’ve used in the workforce. It’s all practical – writing, editing, graphic design, strategy… I really do credit my success to Centennial,” she says. “I have a lot of respect for the program. It’s a great starting point for the field.”

First Semester Over

goodjob

It’s already been four months and my first semester at Centennial College is over. It’s hard to believe that it’s over considering how much we had to do.

Our courses were:

  • Project Management
  • Introduction to Corporate Communications
  • Public Relations Writing 1: Writing to Inform
  • Canadian Business Practices
  • Event Management
  • Media Relations
  • Copy Editing

These courses were interesting and engaging and gave us the chance to learn a lot of the basic skills that we need to go forward into second semester and then into the field of communications.

On top of writing, editing, planning and presenting, we also did a lot of strategic thinking, participated in intelligent and creative discussions, and took part in a few role-playing activities (including a mock news conference and making mock agency pitches to a fake client).

I learned a lot this semester but there are two things that really stand out:

We can do anything

I realized that as a group of students, we really do have the skills, drive and talent to succeed. I say this because for our Event Management course, we were split into groups and had to put on events in the community with a budget of $0. With a lot of hard work, initiative, creativity and support for each other, we put on three really successful events. Two of which raised more than $1,000 for charity (combined) and one that brought down the house at a retirement centre. It’s hard not to be proud of my peers and the work we’ve done.

This is for me

I love that communications is creative and involves writing, editing, designing and planning. However, before starting this program, I had no idea how much strategic thinking and problem solving communicators do. That aspect is something I love and it makes me realize, even more, that my decision to pursue the field of communications was a good one.

What’s next?

I have this week off between semesters and I plan to spend it exploring my goals for the next few months. I want to think about who I’d like to do a client project with and where I may want to do an internship.  Of course, I’ll also spent a lot of my time resting before the next set of courses start.

Photo Credit: BookMama – Creative Commons Licence (BY-NC-ND)