Writing & Research for the PR Practitioner

Biographies and presentation descriptions for the event on Thursday, November 7:

Peter Jackson
Peter is the commentary editor at The Telegram in St. John’s. He has been in the journalism business for almost 25 years and has served in a variety of roles at The Telegram, including reporter, features editor and assignment editor. He contributes to the writing of editorials and also has a weekly column that often focuses on matters of health and politics. He has bachelor degrees in music and arts from Memorial University and an honours degree from the school of journalism at King’s College in Halifax.

Don’t bury the lead
How to think like a journalist

The art of writing for the media is a matter of rising (or sinking, perhaps) to their level. News releases that are long or full of jargon will not capture the attention of an editor. Journalists are rarely interested in a subject unless they see a human angle: what does this mean for the average reader? How can we put a face on this story? The important thing is to avoid the more obvious pitfalls. Don’t beat around the bush. Don’t leave out important co-ordinates such as what, where and when. Don’t forget to follow up. Nothing guarantees success, but the wrong approach will usually guarantee failure.

Karen Ryan
Karen Ryan, President of Ryan Research & Communications, holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing, a Bachelor of Arts in French and an MBA. She has over 25 years of experience in helping clients answer the who, what, when, where, why and how of consumer behavior for their business or organization.

Before establishing Ryan Research & Communications, she was Vice President and General Manager of ad agency CCL Milestone. Prior to that she was Manager of Marketing & Communications for Telepix Imaging. Karen began her marketing career as a Media Planner/Buyer with Target Marketing & Communications but switched gears into market research and headed up Target’s sister company, Market Insights for 12 years where she provided strategic counsel on marketing, market research and communications as well as qualitative and quantitative research services to clients in Canada and the US. She currently runs her own company that has survived the trenches for over 12 years.

During her extensive research and communications career, Karen has gained a reputation for providing quality work coupled with strategic insight.

Karen will be speaking on market research and how it can be leveraged for PR purposes.

Cathy Dornan
For 18 years, Cathy has worked in the public relations and public affairs business. She has honed her skills in issues management, strategic communications planning, media relations, media training, crisis communications and emergency response.

In addition to traditional public affairs expertise, Cathy is a sought after advisor on issues related to the local political, economic and social environment in Atlantic Canada and is also a well known media trainer.

In addition to 16 years at Bristol, Cathy worked as Director of Communications for the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador from 1996-1998.

Cathy received her Bachelor of Arts in French and Political Science from Memorial University and a Bachelor of Public Relations from Mount Saint Vincent University.

She is an accredited member of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). In 2009, Cathy was given the distinction of being named Communications Professional of the Year by IABC.

Cathy’s presentation will be about crisis response. She will discuss why planning in advance is critical and will discuss the importance of ensuring your team knows their role. She will show you how to get through the first three hours, first 24 hours and then a longer term response, while showing you how to keep up with the demand of writing material and still manage to get something approved for release.


About CPRS Newfoundland and Labrador

We're the Newfoundland and Labrador chapter of the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS), an organization of men and women who practice public relations in Canada and abroad. Members work to maintain the highest standards and to share a uniquely Canadian experience in public relations.
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