9th Annual Alberta Communications Forum
Online & In Person in Edmonton, AB
Presented by Swansea Communications + SummersDirect!
The Alberta Communications Forum is the province’s premier event that brings together communication professionals from across the province to learn from experts in the communication field, as well as learning from each other and having the opportunity to network with your peers.
We aim to bring you professional development that is high quality, usable, scalable and relatable. Spend your time wisely and have A LOT to show for it.
Join our email list for information about this event.
Online & In Person – Delta Hotel Edmonton Suites, 10222 102 St, Edmonton
Need a hotel room? please book directly with the hotel.
Monday, March 6, 2023
8:00 – 8:30 a.m.
REGISTRATION AND BREAKFAST
WELCOME AND OPENING REMARKS FROM THE CHAIR
8:45 – 9:45 a.m.
The Crisis Communications Crisis: Canadian Case Studies and What They Mean for Your Organization
Benjamin Proulx, President, Catalyst Communications
Crisis communications efforts have had to change drastically in response to organizations’ numerous evolving internal and external pressures, including ever-changing societal expectations and demands. As such, companies and organizations are finding it harder and harder to survive a crisis unscathed, with reputational damage — real or perceived — having major impacts with immediate repercussions. This session will explore a minimum of three Canadian instances of crisis communications and management gone awry, as well as some successful initiatives that can teach us skills to use in our own crisis communications efforts. We will walk through real scenarios to determine what could have been done better, and what lessons can be taken from each case study to inform participants’ future crisis communications efforts.
9:45 – 10:00 a.m.
NETWORKING REFRESHMENT BREAK
10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Yes, There is a Better Way to Talk about Sexual Harassment
Joni Avram, Founder & President, Cause & Effect Marketing
Corinne Ofstie, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services
Workplace sexual harassment remains a problem in Alberta, with 1 in 5 workers having directly experienced it. Part of the problem is the way organizations talk about sexual harassment. Most focus on forbidden behaviour training, which can do more harm than good. Alberta is taking a better approach focused on culture-building. Find out how to keep your people and organization protected through Alberta’s #momentsmatter campaign which is producing dramatically better outcomes and is free to all Alberta organizations.
In this session, you’ll learn:
– Why traditional sexual harassment communication has produced negative outcomes.
– How to frame messages to encourage engagement and promote better work cultures.
– Outcomes – which show dramatically better results in terms of sexual harassment response and leaders who intentionally model respectful behaviour.
– A better approach to anti-sexual harassment training.
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Reinventing the Water Cooler: How COVID-19 elevated the importance of employee communications
Lauren Ladner, Communications Lead, Stantec
Stephanie Smith, Communications Lead, Content Management, Stantec
COVID-19 was a (hopefully) once-in-a-lifetime event that challenged Stantec’s Employee Communications team to rally to create and deploy communication strategies and narratives that kept teams around the globe safe, working, informed, connected, and engaged—for what seemed like an eternity.
In this session, Lauren and Stephanie will dig into how Stantec’s COVID-19 employee communications strategy transformed the value of internal communications, increased employee engagement, and forever changed the way content is developed and delivered. They will explore how the team leveraged the credibility earned over the past two years to elevate the importance of employee communications and earn a permanent seat at the table.
Session attendees will learn about:
- The importance of genuineness and vulnerability in executive messaging
- Why communications professionals shouldn’t be afraid to ask the hard questions
- How to keep the momentum after a major communication win
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Elevating Communications to the CSuite
Candace Denison, Manager, Communications & Engagement, Rocky View County
Tired of feeling like your work is under-valued, under-resourced and under-appreciated? The irony is that as communications professionals, we do a poor job of telling our story to senior leadership teams. It’s time to prioritize and change that!
Candace will draw from her personal experience and award-winning success to outline the path to executive support and strategic placement of communications within the organization.
Elevate your position from order taker to strategic partner and become a valued and supported member of your organization’s senior leadership team. In this session you will enhance and expand your skillset by learning:
- What the CSuite wants. (Spoiler alert: it’s measurable results they can understand)
- Why it’s necessary to include research, analysis, and evaluation in your communication plans.
- How to practically implement effective communication evaluation through the Output, Outtake, and Outcome measurement model.
- When to showcase your work and the meaningful difference you’ve made towards organizational goals and successes.
2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Engaging A Community in Fundraising Without A Budget
Tammy Vineberg, Associate Director, Communication and Marketing, Jewish Federation of Edmonton
Tammy with a team of volunteers has raised over $20,000 in two years for a Jewish teen group without spending a dime on advertising costs. Find out how her Montreal bagel fundraiser is so successful by using email marketing and social media.
Delegates will learn:
- how to generate excitement about a cause,
- how volunteers can play a role,
- how to find a fundraising idea to match your audience’s needs
3:00 – 3:15 p.m.
3:15 – 4:15 p.m.
A Facebook Faux Pas
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
4:15 – 5:15 p.m.
Shani Gwin, Founder, pipikwan pêhtâkwan
Decolonizing language helps to raise the bar for inclusive conversations and spaces for Indigenous Peoples. In this presentation Shani will provide an introduction for professional communicators who want to learn more about how to write and speak with and about Indigenous Peoples without resorting to the use of harmful stereotypes and racialized caricatures.
Education on how language can cause harm leads to understanding, and understanding leads to respect. When we decolonize language we are pushing communications forward, opening up the power of language to help in ending oppression and racism.
- Learn how to begin conversations with communities using appropriate language and references.
- Be aware of key language and protocol considerations when developing and implementing communications strategies that include Indigenous audiences.
- Gain an understanding of how you can be more effective in engaging Indigenous audiences and sharing their stories.
- Leave with tools and resources to continue learning how to decolonize their language and communication practices.
5:15 p.m. CONFERENCE CONCLUDES FOR THE DAY
Tuesday, March 7, 2023
OPTIONAL POST-CONFERENCE WORKSHOPS
Workshops are in person attendance only.
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Workshop A: Crafting crispy goals and objectives that bring real results
Julia Harvie-Shemko, APR, CEC, Founder and CEO, Red Thread Connections
Developing ‘crispy’ or strong goals and objectives ensures you are delivering a communications strategy that helps the organization or project manager meet their objectives. It helps focus your work, ensures that your energy during implementation is directed to the right tactics and allows you the flexibility to shift as needed. In this workshop, you will develop goals and objectives for real life communications projects and issues (make sure to come prepared with your own communications issues). At the end of this workshop, you will feel more confident in developing goals and objectives, the toughest part of a communications plan for many.
- Create goals that connect to business goals, address issues from research and are future focused.
- Create measureable objectives by starting with what you want your audiences to think, do, believe or understand.
- Learn how goals and objectives drive the rest of your communications plan development.
Julia is on a mission to help communicators do better and be better. With her company Red Thread Connections, she focuses on moving the communications function towards strategic partnership with clients. With her more than 20 years in communication and 30 in leadership, she knows how to bring clarity, focus and strategy to the communications function.
1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Workshop B: The Crisis Communications Crisis: Canadian Case Studies and What They Mean for Your Organization
Benjamin Proulx, President, Catalyst Communications
This workshop delves into the topic that was touched on during the Forum in much more depth. Crisis communications efforts have had to change drastically in response to organizations’ numerous evolving internal and external pressures, including ever-changing societal expectations and demands. As such, companies and organizations are finding it harder and harder to survive a crisis unscathed, with reputational damage — real or perceived — having major impacts with immediate repercussions. This session will explore a minimum of three Canadian instances of crisis communications and management gone awry, as well as some successful initiatives that can teach us skills to use in our own crisis communications efforts. We will walk through real scenarios to determine what could have been done better, and what lessons can be taken from each case study to inform participants’ future crisis communications efforts.
Focusing on real case studies provides us with the benefit of reviewing and evaluating actual scenarios, and their very public fallouts or praise. Participants will walk away with actionable strategies to improve their own crisis communications approaches proactively, and some that will prove beneficial specifically while dealing with a potential crisis. Additionally, attendees will be provided with a high-level planning outline to create their own crisis communications plans, or to review them if one already exists.
Following an award-winning career in media, Benjamin shifted his focus towards the field of communications, working as an external advisor to many large public, private, and non-profit organizations, including Canada’s largest Indigenous-owned crisis communications corporation.
Benjamin’s skills include in-depth investigatory and research acumen, as well as report writing, organizational media relations, communications and public relations, and crisis communications. He has had the privilege of advising on university programs and curriculums, and of acting as a mentor to communications and journalism students. His approaches are highly collaborative and results oriented. Benjamin further has training in Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI), completed in 2021 through Cornell University.
As a member of the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS), Benjamin is bound by a Code of Professional Standards.
Until Jan. 24, 2023
Until Jan. 24, 2023
|BEST VALUE! Forum + Two Workshops (March 6 & 7)||n/a||$1,049||n/a||$1,199|
|Forum + 1 Workshop (March 6 & half day on 7th)||n/a||$899||n/a||$1,099|
|Forum Only (March 6)||$425||$659||$570||$799|
|One Workshop only (March 7)||n/a||$479||n/a||$599|
|Two Workshops only (March 7)||n/a||$649||n/a||$749|
|IABC Member Registration Types||Online
Until Jan. 24, 2023
Until Jan. 24, 2023
|BEST VALUE! Forum + Two Workshops (March 6 & 7)||n/a||$999||n/a||$1,099|
|Forum + 1 Workshop (March 6 & half day on 7th)||n/a||$849||n/a||$899|
|Forum Only (March 6)||$385||$599||$475||699|
|One Workshop only (March 7)||n/a||$429||n/a||$499|
|Two Workshops only (March 7)||n/a||$609||n/a||$699|
Cancellation & Refund Policy
Substitution of delegates is permissible without prior notification. Refunds will be given for cancellations received in writing no later than 10 days prior to the conference date subject to an administration fee of $200 plus $10 for GST. After this time, you are liable for the full registration fee even if you do not attend the conference. If you register during this 10 day period, you are also liable for the full fee. Swansea Communications reserves the right to change program date, meeting place or content without further notice and assumes no liability for these changes.