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 CURRENTS 2012 :: June 10-12, 2012

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Keynote Sessions

Financial sector communications in an uncertain economic environment

Lindsay Gordon
President and CEO
HSBC Bank Canada

This keynote session will explore the challenges of operating in an uncertain economy. The presentation will focus on the HSBC brand, community investment, confidence and growth in the financial sector.

Diana and Charles Tisdall Lecture in Communications
Sponsored by McMaster University with an Education Grant provided by the Communications + Public Relations Foundation


Rob Guénette

This keynote session will discuss how to foster unconventional thinking that challenges people's opinions, beliefs and ideas.

The Power Within

Silken Laumann
Olympian, Inspirational Speaker and Author

Silken Laumann continues to inspire and engage audiences with her own brand of realistic optimism. She believes in the power of our dreams but also the power of our minds to release or inhibit that potential. Silken understands many of the challenges in the world of public relations, as she has experienced both the up side and the down side of tremendous media attention. Listening to Silken you will be challenged to be aspirational in your thinking, understand how to connect to your dreams, and build awareness of your limitless potential.

Transformation in the media industry – impacts on the PR industry

Wayne Parrish
Chief Operating Officer, Postmedia Network Inc.

As a former journalist himself, Wayne Parrish has been on the receiving end of some pretty interesting pitches. Today, as Chief Operating Officer at Postmedia Network – one of Canada's largest media companies engaging millions of Canadians every week across its print, online and mobile properties – Wayne shares his insights on the biggest transformation the newspaper industry has ever faced: moving from print only to a digital and audience first model. The growing need for news instantly has changed the media landscape and the way PR professionals interact with editors, writers and bloggers to generate news coverage. The challenges and opportunities that exist in this new environment will be explored as well as inside tips on how PR pros can work with the media to get their stories out.

Sponsored by Infomart, a division of Postmedia Network Inc.

Answer the damn question!
...the tussle for truth, perspective and credibility in journalism.

Anna Maria Tremonti
Host, CBC Radio's The Current

In a world swirling with information from official players, clever interlopers, social media, accidental sources and those-who-have-nothing-to-say, Anna Maria Tremonti offers a candid view of the state of journalism today...

Plenary Sessions

PR Expanded: Eight New Strategic Practices for the PR Champion

Deirdre Breakenridge
Pure Performance Communications

Social media has reignited the PR profession. PR professionals are expanding their roles, as they shift from communication facilitators and handlers to strategic PR champions and influencers. They are taking on new responsibilities in their organizations, which are not only exciting, but also challenging at the same time. When PR meets social media, PR professionals have the opportunity to expand their practices.

Deirdre Breakenridge, author of Social Media and Public Relations: Eight New Practices for the PR Professional, discusses how PR must move from tactics to strategy by creating more efficient processes and internal collaboration, increasing the guidance over social media communications, analyzing relationships to build stronger connections, averting crisis with proactive measures, and creating measurement programs to reveal valuable outcomes for business executives.

PR professionals will learn new practices, which focus on:

  • Spearheading the team of social media visionaries and strategists who participate in audits, policy development and social governance.
  • Developing processes to foster greater employee collaboration and innovation for more productive programs and greater communications impact.
  • Creating a more structured approach to social media sharing across the organization, helping to break down the silos.
  • Planning for all levels of crisis escalation by developing strategies, which identify the key players and build a seamless listen/evaluate/respond approach to crisis.
  • Enhancing relationships by visualizing connections and creating deeper interactions.
  • Building a program that offers executives the metrics they expect vs. the program analytics that show varying levels of audience participation.