To The New CCPRs On The Block

“Back to work on Monday. Don’t know where the summer went. But looking forward to an amazing new school year with 80 new future PR professionals.” – Barry Waite

GAWD, that’s a lot of new students coming into the corporate communications and public relations program at Centennial College this September! It will be one year since I enrolled in CCPR and it was the best decision I made in my life so far. I made new friends, went to a lot parties, made connections in the industry and learned the best way possible, HANDS ON! Since I’m now an alumni of Centennial’s awesome program, like a big brother, I want to give you new CCPRers some tips (maybe tricks?) on your post-grad experience to make it awesome!

1. Make friends with your fellow CCPRers: During the first few weeks you’ll be introducing yourself to your fellow colleagues. You’ll get to hear where everyone came from, their experience, their passion, and where they want to end up. Make sure you talk to everyone, even people in the other block! Not only are they your fellow students but they’re your first PR contacts. Sure you’ll be closer to a few people than others but never break relationships. Plan lunch outings, a happy hour after class, or even a secret santa at school. The friends you make at CCPR will be ones you have for the rest of your brand new career! Enjoy yourself and remember everyone is in the same boat.

2. Everyone is in the Same Boat: You’re in post-grad for a reason, you want to start your career. That goes the same for all your peers in the program. Try helping out your peers if they are stuck on an assignment or if they need help on Photoshop and InDesign. I had someone in the program who was charging people for a copy of the Adobe CS program and I didn’t think that was nice. So the next day I downloaded the whole program and gave it to everyone for free. If you have any knowledge in the PR or social media world share them with your friends. For example, during the internship search, if you see an agency that one of your friends would like then let them know. In the end everyone will have an internship so don’t worry.

3. Teachers = Mentors: Post-grad is nothing like your first year at University. Everyone is mature and the teachers are really there to help you get your career started. Teachers like Barry, Donna, Clowater, #Paolo and Vivienne are just some of the mentors who will guide you through the program. Feel free to talk with any of them about your PR goals or struggles with CCPR. The assignments and projects that you get won’t be useless because you’ll able to put the best ones in your PR portfolio. Remember, nobody knows the PR world more then your teachers.

4. Social Media is Your Voice: Twitter, LinkedIn, and blogging are going to play a big role in your path to becoming a PR pro. If you haven’t already, start a Twitter account right now! If your Twitter is locked, that’s a bad move. Follow all the PR agencies and PR pros around Toronto. If you find an agency that you really like engage with them to get noticed. When you tweet think how you want to be presented in the PR world. So tweet out PR news, social media trends, and fashion/entertainment (if you want to work in that industry). You will be using Twitter a lot during your time at CCPR. Like Twitter, blogging is very important in PR. Writing blog posts can help you develop and practise your writing skills. Blogging will also help you write short and sweet and keep your creative mind going. [Tip: you will be writing blog posts as assignments so start your blog now!]. Honestly, I could talk more about blogging and social media but I’m not going to drag this on….just click here.

5. Dress To Impress: Now I’m not saying to wear a suit and tie but please don’t wear sweatpants to school or really crazy revealing clothes. Your teachers and peers will notice your attitude, habits and the way you dress. You will get told that image is everything and you can make a great impression by the way you present yourself. Keep in mind that people at PR agencies are very fashionable so remember to dress for the career you want. [Tip: take a really professional photo for your LinkedIn/Twitter profile]. Check out the blog post, Dress For The Career You Want! for men and women fashion tips on how to look your best.

The first four months will be a little crazy with a lot of assignments overlapping each other but don’t worry you’ll do great! Barry will send you a lot of volunteer opportunities and I highly suggest you go to as many as possible. If you are looking to join CPRS or/and IABC do it because you will get a student discount, but it’s not necessary. CCPR was a lot of fun because of the awesome people I met in the program so don’t be shy and connect. I still hang out with people from CCPR and it’s always a blast!

Good luck CCPR Fall Semester 2013!

The Clowater Crisis Program

clowater-crisis-program

*WARNING!*
You are about to experience The Clowater Crisis Program.

Imagine you walk into your college, you’re sitting in your class, and all of a sudden you hear the fire alarm and everyone starts to panic. What do you do? Well by taking The Clowater Crisis Program you, yes you fellow PR friend, can learn how to handle and control a crisis situation! Whether it be your college burning down or a campaign that you’re working on spiral out of control on Twitter, The Clowater Crisis Program will prepare you for the worst case scenario and properly help you send out your messages.

Clowater is his name and crisis communications is his game. In The Clowater Crisis Program, you will be placed in a classroom setting where you have to create a communications team of five people. Your group’s task will be to create a communication plan during a live crisis simulation.

The crisis: Fire! Fire! Fire!
There is a huge fire at your school and it’s spreading fast throughout the area. People are in disarray as there is no communication between handled with students, media, and the community.

There will be live updates on the fire from Clowater throughout the hour.

Your task: Communicate Crisis
Your task is to create a crisis communication strategy to properly communicate with stakeholers, media, and the general public.

The first thing you will want to do is research who needs to be communicated – the audience.
1. Stakeholders
2. Media
3. Public (community)

After you find out your audience, then come up with key messages. As a communicator you have to remember how you want the situation to be perceived.

  • when writing key messages, target each of your messages towards the specific audience.

So for stateholders they need to know how much damage there is (all about the money and give details).

Media they need to know if everyone is safe and that the crisis is being handled quickly. I suggest writing to-the-point and keep it very brief. Everybody listens to the news, especially breaking news like a fire at a school. No lies, so know what you give them is real. Ensure that you will give up-to-dates information as it develops.

Lastly, the general public needs to know about safety and how much impact it will make in the community. Again, you want to tell them the truth and give details (but not too much). You want to give the surrounding community updates on the fire and trust that the crisis is being taken care of. After that, determine what platforms your team are going to use and who will be in charge of writing what; News releases, social media, emails, etc.

Now I could tell you everything about The Clowater Crisis Program, but where’s the fun in that! This is just one example of what you can expect from The Clowater Crisis Program. Don’t wait until your next campaign has a crisis, take control of the situation fast, smooth, and strategically TODAY!

Visit Centennial College to learn more.

I’m Different, Yea I’m Different

im-different-yea-im-different-ccpr

I may be wearing a white shirt with a tie in my picture above but don’t let that fool you, I am still Heroin Tracks! Seven months ago I made a life changing decision; go back to college. They say don’t ever look back, just look forward, but I think I made the best decision of my life so far (I hope). I thought I didn’t know much about corporate communications and public relations, but with all the blogging, attending events, interviews with artists, and social media promotion, I wasn’t totally out of the loop.

There are over 60 of my peers who are trying to land a job in public relations and I have to stand out from the rest. How am I different?

Well, I would have never thought that starting a blog in 2010 would land me back in college to a career in public relations. It’s hard finding what your passion is in life, but I’ve spent over four years working hard to know that I am ready to make the transition into a PR pro. Everything I’ve done has been a learning experience and in a way, it was tying into PR. Heroin Tracks was a platform me to practice my persuasive writing and introduce me to Twitter, which then led me to create a social media campaign for a not-for-profit organization with XTM Inc. That led me to manage the iconic clothing brand, Roots, where I engaged with thousands of customers through social media and create emails. Roots then led me to Centennial College, where I organized a charity launch event with no budget and I had to a write donation letter and save-the-date email to persuade the media and organizations.

I want to combine my new found public relations knowledge and digital marketing experience by working at a PR and/or digital marketing agency.

Oh, and even though I started a blog that covers PR and social media, I try and include a song in my posts. That’s how I’m different!

55th GRAMMY Awards #TheWorldIsListening Campaign

grammys the world is listening

This year, to help promote the 55th GRAMMY Awards, The Recording Academy teamed up with TBWA, which is a worldwide advertising agency (yes, they have a Toronto location).

#TheWorldIsListening is a social media campaign that helps feature up-and-coming artists. Musicians can upload their record on SoundCloud and share it on Grammy Amplifier. The musician’s track may be tweeted out by iconic artists such as RZA, Linkin Park, and Kelly Clarkson, who are the Amplifier Curators. Continue reading

I Do This 4 Jay-Z

4Jay-Z cover

If someone asked me who would I do PR for? I would pick my idol Jay-Z. Not even that, I would love to work at his label Roc Nation. Just the thought of representing the hip-hop legend is insane.

This 4Jay-Z mixtape created by the greatest DJ I know, Lissa Monét, is a collection of some of Jay-Z’s amazing records. This isn’t just piled up and mixed kind of mixtape, Lissa Monét carefully chose these tracks because when you listen to the mixtape you can hear how much Jay-Z evolved as an artist.

My dream job is to work at a music label, and after I finished my CCPR program at Centennial in 2013, I can finally go after that dream!

“This 4 Jay-Z mixtape isn’t really about the hits, because we can play Jay-Z hits all day, its essentially about the lyrical versatility and growth of an artist who wasn’t ashamed of where he came from and wasn’t afraid to push boundaries do the impossible and keep people thinking.” ~lissa monét

A Grand CCPR Four Months at Centennial

A Grand CCPR Four Months at Centennial

I can’t believe four months have already passed by during my time at Centennial College! It feels like just yesterday when I was sitting in the corporate communications and public relations (CCPR) orientation with Barry Waite and a room full of PR hopefuls.

Coming into CCPR, I had knowledge in digital marketing with Roots, XTM Inc., connecting with brands through blogging, and developing relationships with the media. I was looking for a career and applying to PR agencies with no real PR past was a struggle.

I had a vision on where I wanted to go after finishing the program, but after the hardworking four months and PR exposure, my vision is changing. I got exposed to media relations, learning the corporate language of PR, how to properly edit Canadian Press style (#PAOLO), and putting together a charity event with no budget. Yup, all this and much more in just four months! CRAZY!

Some of the highlights of my first four months were:

One Night Kickoff – Girls On The Run Ontario Charity Launch

CPRS Passport to PR

UNIFeist: Feist Album Launch & Tour (four month project)

Continue reading

[Event] Orange You Glad To Meet Me!

When someone is talking about gold, green, blue and orange, I think of jewellery, money, jeans and orange juice. But when Doug Bolger who is the founder & chief learning officer at iLearn2, talks about the colours gold, green, blue and orange, he is actually talking about people’s different personalities. Weird, I know! I admit at first I thought this was a gimmick; you know those “pyramids schemes” or “get rich quick” workshops, but thankfully it was the complete opposite.

iLearn2’s Communicate Naturally workshop at Centennial College was a great learning experience for me because Bolger helped me identify what my strengths are, where I need to improve and how to work with different personalities in order to be a great communicator.

So let me break down what the colours mean:

Continue reading

Cheers To PR & Social Media!

Let me roll up my sleeves for this intro. First off, my name is Tushar Bharadia (@tusharbharadia) and I’m a current post-grad Corporate Communications & Public Relations (#CCPR) student at Toronto’s Centennial College. Before I started this program, I started my own music blog called Heroin Tracks which focuses on the latest and hottest in hip-hop and R&B. The way I made my website stand out from the rest was with my Heroin Tracks: Get To Know features. Long story short, I gained respect with fellow DJs like Toronto’s #1 DJ Lissa Monét, who gave me the chance to write album reviews on her official site. As you can tell, I have a huge passion for music!

I have also worked with Roots Canada by being apart of their Digital Marketing team. I handled Roots’ official Facebook page, Twitter handle, and the blog Roots Buzz. Being there I learned about SEO, email marketing, how to put together a digital campaign, and online customer service. Oh, I also got 50% off everything Roots, so my closet is stocked up with sweaters!

On this blog, I want talk about my love for social media and soon to be career, public relations, and covering events that I will be attending. While I may have gone “corporate” the rebel in me will share occasional new music.

So far I’ve learned that PR a lifestyle. If you want to work in this industry you have to keep on top of the latest headlines and adapt or die!

I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man! – Jay-Z

– PRdrink PRvoker