Monday, June 20, 2022
8:00 – 8:30 a.m.
REGISTRATION AND BREAKFAST
WELCOME AND OPENING REMARKS FROM THE CHAIR
President, International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Calgary
8:45 – 9:45 a.m.
A Facebook Faux Pas – City of Red Deer
Julia Harvie Shemko, Founder/CEO, Red Thread Connections
Former Communications & Strategic Planning Director, City of Red Deer
Sometimes we learn more from our failures than our successes as was the case when one of our team members accidentally posted a passionate personal comment about the LGBTQ+ community on The City’s Facebook page instead of her own. We acted fast, owned the mistake and put ourselves in the press on our own terms resulting in media coverage that was 90 per cent consistent with our stated key messages, triggering online community support and minimal community backlash.
In this session, learn how we quickly managed this issue and processes we changed as a result. Attendees will:
- Understand how to manage mishaps, mistakes and muck ups in an online world
- Get comfortable with “I’m Sorry”
- Learn how to build trust, even when we mess up.
9:45 – 10:00 a.m.
NETWORKING REFRESHMENT BREAK
10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Communicating Cultural Change: Launching ATB ID
Calvin Seaman, Managing Director Internal Communications and Culture, People & Culture, ATB
Austin Havens, Senior Manager Internal Communications, People & Culture, ATB
In early 2020, we were challenged to lead the internal launch of a new cultural model, called ATB ID, to all ATB team members. Work of this scale is difficult at the best of times, let alone in the midst of a global pandemic and with an anxious audience.
Our presentation will detail the award-winning journey of planning, developing and executing on a fully-remote, multi-channel approach to an organization-altering announcement. We’ll share how internal communications can successfully engage, rally, and inspire an entire organization.
Part case-study, part celebration of the impact of internal communication teams, our session will inspire communicators to think big, explore new avenues, and redefine the value they can provide.
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Media Relations through Relationship Building
Carol Henke, Public Information Officer/spokesperson, Calgary Fire Department
As communications professionals many of us have not only acted as spokespeople but also provided media relations training to our subject matter experts. As a 20-year veteran with the Calgary Fire Department (CFD) Carol has not only been their lone fulltime spokesperson for over nine years but also trained other firefighters to support as well.
In this session, you will learn how to develop a positive relationship with journalists so that you both meet your needs in a collaborative manor. You will learn that mistakes can be your greatest teacher and gaining experience and comfort for media interviews is all about practice, practice and more practice.
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Building confidence from the inside, out
Jackie Flegel, Manager, Internal Communications, WestJet
Learn how WestJet’s communications team led a heavily scrutinized initiative where the outcome was imperative to building back trust with their people and the travelling public.
In this session, attendees will get insight into how:
- employee research formed the foundation of the communications strategy
- stakeholder consultation evolved as perceptions and timelines shifted
- to take control and lead with transparency, even when you don’t have full control
2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Are you ready for media requests? Really ready?
Kelly Johnston, Senior Communications Specialist, Media Relations
Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary
News media have been thirsty for trustworthy knowledge about COVID-19 since March of 2020. We had been cultivating and educating experts for interviews for years, and still we weren’t ready for the volume of requests. Journalists from across the country began emailing and calling our communications office and our experts around the clock. Questions ranged from the SARS-COV-2 virus to symptoms of COVID-19, to treatment, to forecasts of what to expect to health policy. We also weren’t expecting some of the backlash from trying to educate the public and health professionals.
In this session attendees will:
- learn about the strategies we put in place to help our experts,
- learn about the challenges of trying to educate the public and health care professionals
- learn how we did and didn’t manage the haters.
3:00 – 3:15 p.m.
3:15 – 4:15 p.m.
Leveraging crisis communications into long-term success
Melanie Nicholson, Principal/Owner, MLC & Co.
An organization can be rooted in the community for 30+ years, but that doesn’t automatically translate to brand recognition and understanding. So, when a fresh brand rolls out on the eve of a global health crisis and the organization has the skills and capacity to help, there is a moment to step up and build awareness.
The new brand for Some Other Solutions Society for Crisis Prevention (SOS) in Fort McMurray was launched on March 2, 2020 and two weeks later, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. In late April, there was a flood that devastated downtown and forced the evacuation of 13,000 people and triggered PTSD for many still recovering from the 2016 wildfire evacuation.
Through all of the challenges and obstacles, the message was clear: SOS was there to help the community.
Through this case study, attendees will:
- Learn how education and awareness campaigns can motivate action
- Understand the importance of foundational, long-term communication tactics for success in the non-profit space (i.e., low budget)
- Explore how storytelling with an ask has more impact than an ask alone
4:15 p.m. CONFERENCE CONCLUDES FOR THE DAY