Not afraid to use the F-Word

Not too long ago, we held a networking event for young women in PR. Thirty years after marching for equal pay and equal rights, I would have thought a networking event for women would have been unnecessary. But turns out, the glass ceiling is still firmly in place — made even more insidious because like glass itself, you can see through to the other side, but can’t get there without shattering it. Women’s wages — 30 years after marching — are still only three-quarters of what men earn. Women are still relegated largely to service type jobs, and even in a profession like PR, which is dominated by women, it is men who lead the largest PR agencies.

I’m currently enrolled in the Institute for Corporate Directors’ course for executives interested in serving on corporate boards, and it’s no different here. There’s 36 students in the class, and we meet for three days over a weekend, four times a year. Of the 36 students, six are women — about the same composition of women that currently make up directors on corporate boards. Turns out, there’s a glass ceiling here too, and becoming a corporate director has just as much to do with who you know as what. Since men tend to know other men in business, primarily because women are largely absent in senior leadership roles, the system perpetuates itself — leaving women largely absent around the board table.

While referring to oneself as a feminist has gone out of both style and favour, I think it’s time for it to make a comeback; for young and old women alike to embrace the F-word, and acknowledge that it’s a fitting attribution, because it means we are viewing the world through a female lens — and when we do, what were seeing, just isn’t good enough. Not for ourselves, not for our daughters, not for each other.

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Without Fear

My business partner left yesterday for a well-deserved six-month sabbatical, marking the end of a partnership that has spanned almost two decades. June 30th marks the official day we sell the remainder of the shares we hold in our former company, Karyo Communications, to the company that acquired us five years ago, Edelman. Continue reading

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A PR Woman’s Place is not in the CEO’s Chair

The May 2011 issue of PR Week, which I subscribe to, reports on the top PR agencies of 2011, and ranks the top 150 agencies by US revenue. Very happy to say that the firm we joined four years ago, Edelman, ranked #1 in the US and globally, increasing its 2010 revenues over those of 2009 by 21%. Continue reading

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Can we be authentic and in PR

I admit to being a woman of strong opinions, and not knowing much about a subject has never been reason to hold me back from having one. But when it comes to the topic of authenticity in social media, I don’t have a strong opinion because I see two valid sides of the argument. I would really like to hear your thoughts to help me shape my own. Continue reading

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Weighing in on Twitter and the Earthquake in Japan

Earlier today, I received a request from a Twitter follower to write my next blog on the following: “Tweeps hotly debating over whether scheduled tweets, tweets outside of the topic of Japan and/or tweets say about the Canucks are inappropriate.” Continue reading

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Where the eyeballs are: advertising online

We recently launched a new campaign for a health client of ours. Following their rebranding and the creation of a new website driven by video content, establishing a presence in social media, production of a range of print collateral materials for in-office use, and an earned media campaign, we turned our attention to paid advertising. In keeping with the mantra that you build your brand with PR and support it with advertising, we looked around to determine the best way to spend six figures. Continue reading

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Treatment as Prevention

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to introduce our CEO, Richard Edelman, to one of Vancouver office’s longest standing clients — the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. We met with Dr. Julio Montaner, the current Director of the Centre and the Past President of the International Aids Society, a group with more than 16,000 members. Continue reading

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Who Do You Trust?

In the coming weeks, Richard Edelman will release the latest results of Edelman’s Trust Barometer Study – an annual survey of informed publics from around the globe on key questions related to trust. It has been said that to be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved. For businesses, governments and NGOs – they know this only too well. Because it is trust that facilitates a businesses’ license to operate, keeps a political party in power, and an NGO with supporters – not love. Continue reading

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Building a Social Media Presence – One Follower at a Time

The Vancouver Sun’s Digital Life offers an article by Gillian Shaw in which she compares the various Liberal leadership candidates according to their popularity in social media. While I blogged about this before Shaw started writing her columns, I adhere to the belief that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and will let it go at that. But if I were keeping score, I’d say 1 for me 0 for Shaw. Continue reading

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An Intern’s nightmare…or a dream come true

Two weeks ago, we hired our first interns after 28 years in the biz — to be precise, our first three interns. From a field of 50 applicants, staff shortlisted to nine candidates. But instead of interviewing each candidate one-at-a-time, they changed it up and asked the candidates to take part in a hybrid version of The Apprentice meets Survivor. The Survivor part was mostly going without food for the better part of the day, because although we catered a great lunch, the majority of candidates were too nervous or wired to eat much. Continue reading

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