The Inside Track: Publicizing the Historic NASCAR Victory of Winnipegger Amber Balcaen

Amber Balcaen and Michelle Bailey
Amber Balcaen and Michelle Bailey at the Goldeyes game on Labour Day where Amber threw the first pitch

On August 27, 2016, in Radford, Virginia, Winnipeg racecar driver Amber Balcaen became the first Canadian woman to win a NASCAR sanctioned race in the USA. Moments after her big win, Amber was buried by media requests coming in from all over North America, particularly from local news outlets who knew she was coming home in less than 24 hours. With no money to hire someone and in need of instant help, Amber reached out to Michelle Bailey to develop a “fly by the seat of your race suit” tailored communication strategy.

Using Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and even leaning on the good old fashioned phone line to manage the onslaught, Amber spent the next 10 days conducting media interviews, attending events such as throwing the first pitch at a Goldeyes game, meeting the Mayor, answering questions on American call-in shows, and being the first person to conduct carpool karaoke with a local radio station. There were 14 appearances on Day 1 alone. Between Michelle managing the never-ending requests and working on opportunities for even further exposure, to Amber giving it her all to keep up with the demands, success was evident.
It was a full-on marathon for both Amber and Michelle, and the publicity went viral daily. It was an incredible ride. Now, the challenge moving forward? How to keep up the momentum in preparation for the 2017 race season, learning from what worked and what went slightly sideways in 2016?

Join Michelle Bailey as she discusses all this and more on Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at a luncheon to be held at The Metropolitan Entertainment Centre.

(more…)

CPRS KICK-OFF MIXER

cprs-fall-mixer-sep-29-coffee-cocktails-poster

Make a Whole Latte Connections at CPRS Manitoba’s Fall Kick-Off Mixer!

When: Thursday, September 29th, 2016, from 7:00pm to 9pm
Where: Fools & Horses, 379 Broadway, Winnipeg MB R3C 0T9
Tickets: $10.00 (via Eventbrite)

Celebrate National Coffee Day with “coffee cocktails” (cash bar) and CPRS Manitoba. Whether you’re a student, budding PR or communications practitioner, or you’ve been at it for decades, the CPRS Fall kick-off mixer is the place to caffeinate, meet up, and mingle.

*It’s also your chance to win an exciting door prize of a $100 VISA gift card, sponsored by PHARMASAVE!*

Register by Monday, September 26th, 2016.

Thank You from Mark Ragan

Thank you to everyone who was able to make it to the CPRS Manitoba event with Mark Ragan in late June. We had 130 people attend to make it our most successful professional development event ever! The event was a trending Twitter topic for the entire morning. And your enthusiasm and feedback was inspiring!

Below, please see a message that Mark asked us to share with you. Again, thanks for attending, and CPRS Manitoba will see you in the fall!


Hi there,

It was wonderful seeing you last week (thank you to the CPRS Manitoba members for hosting us!). You made me feel like a real celebrity for the first time in my life! It was immensely flattering—and touching. I’ll never forget the sincere warmth of your welcome to Canada.

If you left feeling as inspired and motivated as I did, and you feel you need more training or want to bring me to your organization or team, please email my stateside colleague, Keri Gavin at kerig@ragan.com. Let her know a bit more about your needs. She’ll be happy to work with you to craft a customized training session or speaking engagement with me.

Thanks again for your amazing welcome and your enthusiastic questions. I’m still babbling about you to my Ragan people here in Chicago.

Mark Ragan

P.S. Please connect with me on LinkedIn, if you haven’t done so already!

Brand Journalism with Mark Ragan: Schedule

CPRS Manitoba is looking forward to seeing you tomorrow at our professional development event, Brand Journalism with Mark Ragan. Our detailed schedule for the event is below.

7:30 a.m. – Registration and breakfast
8:10 a.m. – Brief opening remarks during breakfast
8:30 a.m. – Start of session
10 a.m. – Break (15 minutes)
11:30 a.m. – End if session

Ragan Ticket Giveaway!

The CPRS Manitoba event, Brand Journalism with Mark Ragan, sold out almost immediately after we announced it. Fortunately, our presenting sponsor Great-West Life is giving a ticket away to one lucky student.

To enter and be eligible to win the ticket you must:

  • Be a current or recently graduated (between 2014-2016) student of Public Relations, Marketing & Strategic Communication Diploma Program at the University of Winnipeg or of the Creative Communications program at Red River College
  • Tweet a question for @MarkRaganCEO using the hashtag #RaganCPRSMB
  • You must also be a legal resident of Manitoba and 18 years old on or before June 3, 2016.

Official contest rules, in their entirety can be found here.

Notice of the Annual General Meeting

CPRS Manitoba Annual General Meeting

Notice of the Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Public Relations Society Manitoba

Please join us at CPRS Manitoba’s Annual General Meeting on Thursday, May 26, 2016 from 5:00 to 6:15 p.m. in room P107 at Red River College, 160 Princess Street, Winnipeg. Register for this free event here. Join your fellow CPRS Manitoba members for a wrap-up of the past year’s activities, a preview of the plans for the coming year, and refreshments. The AGM will be followed by an informal networking event at The King’s Head Pub.

(more…)

Get Your Tickets for 2016 MCOY Award Gala!

Join us, the Manitoba Chapter of the Canadian Public Relations Society, at our signature Manitoba Communicator of the Year Award (MCOY) gala as we celebrate the year’s best in public relations.  The MCOY Award is the most prestigious public relations and communications award in Manitoba and honours practitioners who lead the way in innovation, resourcefulness and creativity.

This year’s award recipients are Red River College (RRC) and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR). Hear how RRC and the CMHR executed these award-winning campaigns at our gala event, and network with other superstars in the Manitoba public relations market. We will also be honouring CPRS Manitoba Creative Communications Scholarship recipient Katrina Sklepowich.

Register by noon Friday, April 29, 2016 for this exciting event!
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2016-manitoba-communicator-of-the-year-award-gala-tickets-24492188796.

CPRS Manitoba brings Mark Ragan to Winnipeg!

Update: We’re delighted with the response to this event, however it is now sold-out. To join the waiting list, click here.

On June 10, 2016, CPRS Manitoba is delighted to present Mark Ragan, CEO of Ragan Communications for a morning session on brand journalism.

At a breakfast meeting and three-hour morning training session at the Fort Garry Hotel, Ragan will describe how brand journalism can help an organization better connect with consumers, enhance media coverage and engage employees by making the organization the number one destination for high-quality information. (more…)

Drum Roll, Please! And, the 2016 MCOY Recipients are….

The Manitoba Chapter of the Canadian Public Relations Society is pleased to announce Red River College (RRC) and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) as the 2016 recipients of the Manitoba Communicator of the Year Award (MCOY). The MCOY Award is the most prestigious public relations and communications award in Manitoba and honours practitioners who lead the way in innovation, resourcefulness and creativity.

RRC won the large campaign category for its work on a communications campaign that supported a province-wide initiative to strengthen the brand of RRC, while creating stronger strategic relationships with their key publics that included: alumni, industry partners, and business. The CMHR won the small campaign category for a communications campaign that promoted its new exhibit, “The Witness Blanket,” which coincided with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report. (more…)