In the wee hours of Thursday, October 5, 2016, my LoyalistPR class ventured to Toronto for a few fantastic learning opportunities, for what was affectionately named #BaconRun16. (Perfectly titled, given the 6:30 am departure!) Our first stop was the Royal Ontario Museum, where our class met with ROM representatives that were interested in hearing some fresh ideas to showcase and increase interest in their FNL (Friday Night Live events.) Every Friday night, from 7:00 pm until 11:00 pm, they provide a unique, cultural experience for the younger crowd of art and history enthusiasts. We heard from their team about the PR needs, and their current efforts, which I have to admit, were already pretty impressive. They listened to representatives from our various teams pitch new ideas, and were wonderfully receptive and forthcoming about the suggestions that meshed well with their agendas.
As the Toronto rush hour traffic proved a worthy adversary, we ended up short on time which unfortunately took away from our guided tour, however we were left to our own devices to take a quick look around the ROM exhibits. I’m slightly embarrassed to admit, being born and raised in Toronto, I had never actually attended the venue before, so it was an exciting chance for me to take in the sights. I particularly loved the Chinese artifacts exhibit and the Bat Cave. A quick lunch and a literal race over to the next meeting left us anxious to continue our day.
Our last stop was at the prestigious FleishmanHillard Canada. The Toronto division of a global collective dedicated to companies, brands and organizations that deliver messages to the right audiences. Their prime directive is to facilitate optimal means for their clients to establish and maintain positive views of their brands and messages while keeping up with today’s fast-paced technology. It wasn’t until their team delivered a highly informative presentation, that I became aware of the layers of public relations they provide globally for their clients. They not only help deliver positive messages and create brand names, but utilize exceptionally skilled employees to research social media analytics and define business insights to alter and change perceptions and outcomes for their brands. The various staff highlighted the level of crisis-response strategies the counsel preparation for, and identified cultural and social implications that impact message delivery. I was exceptionally impressed with the vast skill sets in the room, as well as their devotion to providing sound advice to our group as to how to prepare for potential internships and present as the most desirable professionals we could possibly be. It was a fantastic day, which also brought our group closer together, by way of travel time and getting better acquainted outside of the classroom.
Awesome trip with an awesome group!