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How the Trump Presidency Could Impact Canada



By now, most of us are familiar with Donald Trump’s bold, in-your-face campaign to “Make America Great Again.” While Trump seems to have toned down his approach since winning the Presidential election, it’s a certainty that Canadian relations with our southern neighbour are about to change. After all, the President-elect was accurately predicted by an episode of “The Simpsons” 16 years ago.

One of the most shocking moments for me (of which there were many during Trump’s campaign), was when a 2012 tweet from Trump’s twitter account came to the surface, where he stated that “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” The incoming president has openly denied climate change, and his policies could not be more different than that of his predecessor, President Obama. They could also not be more different than that of Justin Trudeau.

Trump has promised to scrap Obama’s Clean Power Plan, a policy implemented last summer to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. He’s even mentioned cancelling the Paris Accord, a global climate change agreement signed last year. Meanwhile, in Canada, Trudeau is pushing forward with a controversial carbon tax to be implemented by 2018, as well as the phasing out of coal power by 2030.

Another environmental policy that will likely be on Trump’s chopping block is the North American Climate, Clean Energy, and Environment Partnership, an agreement made by Obama, Trudeau, and Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto in 2016. A key goal of this partnership is to generate at least 50% of power from clean sources by 2025, which is again, the opposite of Trump’s environmental agenda. Given that Trump threatened to build a wall across America’s border with Mexico, he won’t be staying in the partnership just for friendship.

If Trump does pull the U.S. out of the environmental partnership with Canada and Mexico, the policy won’t crumble apart though. Canada and Mexico still have a strong relationship, evidenced by the recent lift on Visas for Mexicans entering Canada, and the Mexican government ending a ban on the import of Canadian beef. The two countries will remain aligned, but without participation of the United States, the ambitious clean energy goal of the partnership will not be reached by 2025.

While reaching the goals made at the North American summit are dependent on the participation of the USA, Trudeau’s aggressive climate change policies within Canada may help combat some of the setbacks Trump implements. Despite widespread criticism of the carbon tax, Trudeau is moving forward with it. Alberta’s premier Notley initially vowed to reject the tax, unless Trudeau approved more pipelines. Hard hit by a slumping oil industry, Alberta was right to demand something in return for their support.

Earlier this week, Trudeau approved two pipeline projects, gaining support for his carbon tax from Notley. This was a smart move for the Prime Minister, because being the oil producing province, Alberta is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the country. While it remains to be seen what the effects are from the carbon tax, without Alberta’s support, it’s unlikely the tax would have a positive impact on the Canadian environment.

Meanwhile, in the United States, Trump is a coal supporter, and his promises to bring jobs back to the industry helped him gain the support of those in the declining coal industry. According to a 2015 study, over 50,000 jobs in the coal industry were lost between 2008-2012, providing the President-elect with a strong base of voters to support his platform. The planned increase of U.S. coal production is concerning for the air quality of Canadian border towns, specifically those in Ontario and Alberta, as coal production in the U.S. is highest in bordering states with these provinces. It’s doubtful that Trump can rebuild the industry to what it once was. Demand for U.S. coal worldwide has declined significantly, with exports decreasing by 23% in 2015. With the decrease in demand, the coal industry will not be the savior of American jobs that Trump had promised.

While Trump may set Canada back on its emissions reductions goals, Canada will continue to move forward with its environmental agenda. Despite criticism of Trudeau’s policies, the timing could not be better for taking a strong stance on protecting the environment. In combination with a strong global alignment for climate change action, the environment in Canada should not be negatively impacted by the new president.

Amy Hayman

Amy is a Commerce graduate working in the insurance industry, and is currently studying Public Relations in Toronto.


Event Recap: Content Strategy with Fifth Story


On October 20th Fifth Story held14753654_1301984683169710_299966347841693953_o an open house for CPRS Toronto at Workhaus and through a dynamic presentation, shared insights for creating compelling video content, and the top tips brands need to know to create engagement.

By injecting humour and high end visuals, Fifth Story’s Shelley Middlebrook and Paul Abrams kept the room entertained as they counted down the rules of engagement that organizations must embrace if they are to cut through a cluttered marketplace, and engage their audiences.

Fifth Story tells us, with 110 trillion pieces of original content created every year, you’ve got 8 seconds to capture the attention of the consumer. Their solution? Add value through Emotional Storytelling.


With a multi-platform focus, brands need to reach consumers on all channels with consistency and repetition, on earned, paid and owned media. But there is an opportunity to cater messages to specific channels and target and amplify key messages with appropriate and proven tactics. Using an integrated approach and compelling written words, audio and video, you can drive brand awareness and start the conversation.

For more great ideas and tips, check out @5FifthStory

How to write better branded content


Written by Diane Begin, CPRS Toronto Co-president

“I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that he or she would be wise to develop a thick hide.” Harper Lee

Articles are a powerful tool in public relations for creating user-specific content, encouraging buzz and helping to manage the message.

That’s why author and journalist Jane Stokes offered tips at a recent Toronto Canadian Public Relations Society event, to make your branded editorial even stronger.

The approach seeks to match reporter tone through six characteristics:

  1. Cares that readers will trust the information
  2. Cares that readers receive solutions
  3. Remains neutral with the whole conversation; no persuading
  4. Interviews authorities to get opinions
  5. Does not care if audiences take any action
  6. Wants the audience to return

Ultimately, this is accomplished through the acronym Stokes refers to as “T.H.E.”

  • Build TRUST (Is every last word…Impartial? No selling, no cheerleading. Reliable? Sources given. Comfortable? Upbeat, welcoming, not preachy.)
  • Be HELPFUL (Does my wording…Promise solutions? Get straight to the point? Minimal small talk. Make the reader feel satisfied?)
  • Directly ENGAGE (Do all my words…Create a positive/helpful mood? Stimulate thought? Speak directly to the audience? Show empathy? Vary sentence structure, like posing a questions?)

Stokes offered the following headline with T.H.E. at work, to make it stronger.

Top things Canadians love about travel reward programs

How to multiply the rewards of travelling

She also offered the following tips for headlines, leads and branding.


  • Use the ‘reporter’ voice
  • No unnecessary words
  • Identify the topic exactly
  • Begin your headline with a present-tense verb


  • Don’t repeat the headline
  • Hook the audience
  • Use the ‘reporter’ voice
  • Ask a question
  • Use quick, short sentences
  • No small talk
  • Never begin with boring word “Whether…”


  • Less is more: 1 brand mention is powerful; 2 exact name mentions are risky; 3 repeats of the brand name are a waste of time (a branded URL is also a brand mention)
  • Quoting an authority allows opinion in the article – a natural path to branding. Quotes give articles a credible Two-Voice quality:
    1. The Reporter Voice: Delivers the topic; guides the article
    2. The Authority Voice: Gives tips (quoted, or tip-list) based on expertise; delivers the branded information

Where are they now?


Featuring Erika Manassis, Seneca College Student Representative, CPRS Toronto Student Steering Committee

What did you enjoy most about being on the SSC?

Being on the SSC gave me the opportunity to not only attend student events throughout the year, but to help plan them. I enjoyed acting as liaison between my peers at Seneca College, and my fellow committee members, because it meant I could help make sure that the interests of my classmates were reflected in our SSC events. This made occasions like Passport to PR, and PR 360 much more relatable and applicable to students. It felt great to have a hand in that experience!

As a member of the SSC I was also introduced to non-student members of CPRS Toronto, many of whom I keep in touch with today. The opportunity to mingle with and learn from professionals in the field was invaluable to me as a student trying to find my place in this industry.

And of course – I’ll always be grateful for having met my fellow SSC members through this committee! Though we came from different personal and professional backgrounds, and now work in various fields, it’s nice to know that I have a support system of 15 amazing individuals close by!

Where do you work now, and what do you do?

In April 2016 I joined the team at Cohn & Wolfe Toronto as an Intern. In mid-July I took on the position of an Account Coordinator.

As an Account Coordinator I have a wide variety of responsibilities. From media monitoring, to developing coverage reports, to communicating with bloggers, to pitching stories to media outlets across the country. Every day is different. Most of the portfolios I work on are consumer products, which allows our team to have a lot of fun with story angles, creative pitch notes and media events.

One aspect of my job that I most enjoy is developing relationships with Canadian journalists.  It can be difficult to get to know journalists over email, so I continue to attend CPRS Toronto events each month, where the focus is often on how to communicate with members of the media. At work, I develop these relationships by making phone calls instead of emails to journalists when possible, and doing my best to know what a journalist typically looks for in a story idea.

How do you think CPRS Toronto helped advance your career or get you ready for your current position?

Volunteering with CPRS gave me “real world” PR experience while I was still a student. Continuing to volunteer now that I work at a PR agency offers many opportunities to continue to learn from industry colleagues, and experts in the field. Since joining CPRS Toronto as a student member in September 2015, it has been nothing but a beneficial personal and professional experience!


Where are they now?


Featuring Terrence Freeman, Vice President, External, CPRS Toronto Student Steering Committee

What did you enjoy most about being on the SSC?

What I liked most about being on the SSC was having significant responsibility on the experiences and events we were creating for Toronto PR students.  As an executive member on the committee, I took part in making the decisions that would affect students’ CPRS Toronto experience, which also helped me grow professionally.

Where do you work now and what do you do?

During the summer, previous to my last year in Humber College’s bachelor of public relations program, I completed a public relations internship with Metro Ontario. Working client-side in a corporate marketing department allowed me to not only develop real-world industry experience, but also explore my interest in other aspects of marketing in addition to PR.

As I came closer to finishing my degree, I was offered a marketing coordinator job at Metro Ontario – and gladly accepted! While working on the more “traditional” marketing side of the industry I have continued to learn a vast amount of knowledge. I’ve also found that I have been able to transition much of my public relations skills to communicating to customers in other ways that the marketing aspect requires.

In my current position, I focus on everything “in-store” related. This includes communicating a variety of important messages to customers using multiple marketing elements including audio, signage and creative.

Although I originally had planned a career in public relations for myself, I am happy that my career path has steered into the broader world of marketing – a side of the industry that allows me to utilize the communications skills I learned in school and learn new skills I hope to apply throughout the rest of my career.

How do you think CPRS helped advance your career or get you ready for your current position?

Not only did my position on CPRS Toronto provide me with unique “real world” experience, but it also allowed me to meet and learn directly from top professionals in public relations industry.

Twitter: @itsterrence


How First-Year PR Students Can Stand Out: Lessons from Michelle McTeague, Publicity Manager at Shaw Media


As the first year of my public relations program comes to an end, I now understand the importance of securing an internship in the field. An internship in PR allows you to hit the ground running, get hands-on experience and really get a feel for the industry.

That’s why it’s important that, as first years, we bring our “A” game to interviews and always leave a great impression on potential employers. Though graduation is still three years away, it’s never too early to start preparing for internship opportunities.

Michelle McTeague, Publicity Manager at Shaw Media, offered us her advice at this stage in our professional careers, speaking from experience and her in-depth knowledge of the industry. After graduating from Durham College with an Advanced Diploma in Public Relations, Michelle accepted a publicity internship at Bell Media. She went on to hold positions at TIFF, Dancap Productions Inc., and FLIP Publicity & Promotions Inc. Today, as a publicity manager, her portfolio includes Food Network Canada, Showcase, Slice, and Lifetime.

Here is Michelle’s expert advice on how first-year PR students can prepare for their internships, and really stand out from the competition.

What can a student do to make their resume stand out?

It has to be attention grabbing, great format, unique and uses keywords. Your resume also has to be error-free, make sure to always spellcheck. It has to be as detailed as possible and very strategic.

What are the key documents/materials to have in your portfolio?

A cover letter that is tailored to the specific job position, key writing samples, mock releases, event flow, and mock event. A range of your writing shows the employer your thought process, how you were being strategic and how you leverage different social media platforms and other tools.

Many first-year PR students may not feel the need to think about their internships right now. Why is it important to start preparing for your internship in the beginning of your program?

Preparing now gives you a sense of where you want to start. Networking and keeping in contact with the employer is also very important since it could be where you first officially begin working in PR. Also, be passionate about what you want, it will show in your work.

Are there any specific extra-curricular activities that employers look for on a resume that first-year PR students should be involved in now?

Employers look at any extracurricular activities that enable you to showcase some of your skills. However, make sure you identify and draw out what is relevant to the job. Also, include what sets you apart from the competition. Personal development should never stop.

Can you outline the expectations vs. reality when it comes to internships?

Don’t have too many expectations. Go into any opportunity with the mindset that you are a sponge, you want to learn and absorb as much as possible. Instead of expectations have a set of objectives. For example, “By the time I finish my internship at Google, I want to know how to write an effective press release.”

Are there any skills you think we should focus on now to prepare for internships?

Time management, prioritization, organizational skills and communication skills are very important skills to hone and to have. When it comes to prioritizing, if you’re not sure what’s most important to complete, or how to prioritize a long list of tasks, never hesitate to ask your employer or professors for advice.

What precautions should first-years have online when entering this industry?

Think before you do anything!

How can first-year PR students build or improve their social media presence or personal brand?

Share your interests, and think of how you can be your own publicist. You could also showcase your favourite brands in positive ways (like in a blog post!).

What sector would be the most beneficial for a first-time intern? Agency, in-house, corporate…?

A great place for first-year PR students to start, especially when you’re young, is agency. Be prepared to give your all! Finding the right placement can be rewarding professionally. If you’re not sure where you want to work, base the decision on your heart-of-hearts and the products you want to promote. Try everything to find out what you want. Also, remember doors never close!

Written by: Tomiko Stanton is a first-year student at Humber College, in the Bachelor of Public Relations program.

2016 CPRS ACE Award PR Campaign of the Year: Edelman for Ontario Association of Optometrists


2016 CPRS ACE Award Creative Campaign of the Year: Narrative PR for Scotiabank


2016 CPRS ACE Award Best in Show Contender: APEX PR for Polysporin


2016 CPRS ACE Award Best in Show Contender: Narrative PR for Bacardi