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Post Conference Workshops:
Thursday, September 18, 2008
These workshops are designed to take your conference experience to the next level. Workshops allow you to take the information you gained from the general sessions, and identify and focus on your individual needs and applications. Make the most out of this conference by attending these highly interactive, hands-on sessions. Space is limited to ensure interactivity!

Choose C or D or BOTH for maximum value and learning

8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Continental breakfast will be provided at 8:00 a.m. for the morning workshop attendees.

How To Use And Integrate Social Media Releases Into Your Government Communications Campaigns, Including Blogs, Websites & Social Networks

In this workshop, you will learn about one of the hottest topics in Public Relations (PR) today, the Social Media Release (SMR).

The Social Media Release is similar to the traditional news release in that its goal is to provide journalists with information with which they can craft their story. However, rather than being limited to text, the SMR incorporates multimedia elements. Photos, video and audio can all be included, as well as links to additional resources.

The "social" aspect of the release is the addition of a system allowing users to comment on it, as well as the ability to easily share the release and use or embed its multimedia components on blogs, websites and social networks. From being a static medium designed for one-to-many communications (from one point of origin to many possible readers), the SMR turns news releases into a kind of many-to-many communications tool – allowing people to interact with, comment on, share, and redistribute the content of the release. It can be an ideal way for government agencies to communicate with both professional and traditional journalists and new, citizen journalists like bloggers.

This workshop will consist of a brief overview where you will learn about the origins of the SMR and how it was originally used. We will walk through examples of the social media release that are available today, including examples of successful and unsuccessful uses of the SMR in communications campaigns.

In the second portion of the workshop, we will discuss the ideal types of media to include in an SMR. At this point, we will also discuss when it is or is not appropriate to use an SMR to communicate a message, or whether a traditional release or other methods will suffice.

By the end of the session, you will take away an understanding of:
  • How to use SMR's to maximize your communications – including examples of successful and unsuccessful uses of the SMR in communications campaigns
  • When it is appropriate to use a SMR
  • What you should include in a SMR to leverage the power of this communications tool
  • The Future of the SMR and how to begin using this new communications tool right away

Attend this session to learn why you need to integrate the use of SMR's into your government organisation now, and gain insight into the future of one of the most widespread topics in PR today.

As this will be an interactive workshop, participants are strongly encouraged to bring a laptop computer so that we can more easily explore and experiment with these online tools.

WORKSHOP LEADER: Parker Mason, Web Content Specialist at CNW Group, has been actively involved in social media and blogging since 2005, and currently manages the BlogCampaigning.com, a blog devoted to exploring the intersection of PR, Politics, and Technology.


11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Afternoon break/lunch on your own.

1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Using Social Media To Engage More Canadians - - Planting Seeds Online

Having a website as your online hub is no doubt important, but establishing a web presence to reach more Canadians on their terms is becoming just as significant too. Today, it’s no longer sufficient to wait for key interest groups to find your website, you have to connect with them on their terms and give them a reason to visit. By "planting seeds" online, you can help people discover you, get to know you and find common interests – all so they can form a solid relationship with your department.

In this workshop, you'll learn about some of the tactics, tools and websites you can use to accomplish this, including:
  • The importance of monitoring online conversations and introducing you to the basic tools that can help you accomplish this
  • Looking at the different ways to respond to the ongoing conversations as you start to dip your toes into the "social media" waters
  • How to initiate your own conversations to help you engage Canadians
  • A look at some key social networking sites and how you can start "Planting Seeds" by participating in these existing communities

The workshop will also include examples of how government agencies are participating in social media by planting their own seeds online.

WORKSHOP LEADER: After 10 years working in marketing as a copy writer at several traditional advertising agencies, Mark Goren, New Media Coach with Transmission Content + Creative, turned his attention and creative thinking to the field of social network marketing, all so he can help businesses reach people on their terms. Non-profit work includes an award-winning campaign for The Youville Centre (Ottawa), Home Hospice (Toronto), The Old Brewery Mission (Montreal) and The Gazette Christmas Fund (Montreal).

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