AB Communications Forum

2016-abcommsforum-splash

About the Forum

March 6 & 7, 2017

logo-swansealogo-SummersDirect

We are a dynamic marketing and communications firm with a myriad of experience and skills which combine to provide clients unparalleled service. Communication is at the root of who we are as a species; it is what sets us apart from all other creatures in this world and is the force that carries us from moment to moment.

Our goal is to offer a conference experience that will educate, inspire and enable professional communicators from various industries through an environment of professional networking to benefit both delegates and speakers alike.

We are excited to have you join us and hope you return year after year. Please call 1.855.688.0189 or email us at info@swanseacommunications.com. You can also find out more about us at www.swanseacommunications.com.

Since 2014 SummersDirect and Swansea Communications have joined forces to present the Alberta Communications Forum. Through SummersDirect’s past experience in creating relevant and engaging conferences and Swansea Communications’ current involvement in the communications field you’re sure to love the end product; an event with quality speakers, tools and techniques you can take away and use, case studies you can relate to and most of all VALUE.

Together we want to build a long-lasting relationship with you!

Sponsors

iabc-edmonton-logo-webBecause professional and fun can go together.

IABC Edmonton is a professional association that prefers to do without the stuffiness that sometimes accompanies business events. Our more than 450 members range from students to seasoned professionals. As members of IABC Edmonton, they’re part of a strong and growing community that understands their passion for communication. We get together to stoke that passion with fun opportunities for professional growth, inspiration, and enrichment.

IABC Edmonton is the local chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators, which connects more than 15,000 of us (in more than 80 countries) in a vibrant network.

Venue and Reservations


Courtyard Marriott Downtown
One Thornton Court, 99 Street and Jasper Avenue Edmonton Alberta

Reservations will be made by individual attendees directly by calling 1.780.423.9999 .
Valet parking, fee: $30 CAD daily. Off-site parking, fee: $5 CAD hourly, $35 CAD daily. Valet parking only at hotel

MARCH 6: FORUM Program

2017 ALBERTA COMMUNICATIONS FORUM + Workshops • March 6 & 7, 2017

  • 8:00 AM: Registration

  • 8:45 AM: Welcome & Opening Remarks from the Chair

  • 9:00 AM : Finding Your Communications Minefield


    New tools and technology are an extension of who we are – they are not a new us. Armed with the a basic understanding of what motivates your audience and stakeholders you can find your way through most technology, tools, and the next ‘big thing’. Mike will draw on an extensive background in media and communications and convince you that the more things change the more they do indeed stay the same. We are all driven by some fairly straightforward needs that we can now satisfy with lots of shiny new toys, but we respond the same way we did a century ago. He’ll start you out in a war torn town in Croatia, lead you through a defunct digital powerhouse in Ohio, float through the all night radio airwaves,  and drop you back where your target audience is today. Along the way you’ll learn how to spot the minefields that could be blowing holes in your communications plans.
    Mike Spear

    Mike Spear

    Director of Communications, Genome Alberta
    Mike Spear cut his teeth in Communications as a journalist and producer with CBC and tackled social media back before it had a name, let alone a strategy. He has produced live Olympic coverage, election night programming, live music and drama, and has numerous media-related awards. While still with the CBC he took a leave of absence and worked as a media trainer with the U.S National Democratic Institute. After leaving  journalism he hung out on the ranch and was Communications and Marketing Manager for Alberta Beef Producers, and later served on the  Working Communications Group for the Biotechnology Innovation Organization in Washington, DC. He is currently Communications Director for the not-for-profit research funding agency Genome Alberta where he created DNA Day in Canada and had his genome sequenced. As an extreme communications tool, he posted those results across the ‘net and he or his clone may share some examples during the Forum.


  • 10:00 AM : Networking & Refreshment Break

  • 10:15 AM : Podcasting yourself: how podcasts can shape brands and deliver institutional results


    If you’re into it, there’s probably a podcast for it. Bollywood, local vintage music, dinosaurs, sports of all kinds. Podcasts are growing in popularity, and there’s a good reason for it. Listening to human voices is natural for us. Plus, it’s easy to do—we all have mobile devices that let us download episodes, and many of us have commutes where there’s not much else we can do to entertain ourselves that’s productive and discreet.
    So how do organizations take advantage of this emerging disruption to traditional media consumption to grow their brand? The possibilities are infinite—and exciting.
    This presentation will explain how you can leverage podcasts to elevate your brand. We’ll also dive into an example from ATB Financial. At ATB, our story team worked with our Chief People Officer to start up his podcast on personal leadership. This helped forward ATB’s goal of being THE place to work—and we were just rated fourth best place to work in Canada. Plus, our CEO, Dave Mowat, has the highest approval rating of any CEO on Glassdoor, at 99 per cent.
    Lana Cuthbertson

    Lana Cuthbertson

    Communications Manager, ATB Financial
    Lana Cuthbertson is a communications manager at ATB Financial. That generic title translates to more specific responsibilities like writing, storytelling, creating, leading and having fun. She has experience in journalism, marketing and communications, and works with a great team to elevate ATB’s reputation and brand so it’s known as the best place to bank for Albertans.
    Lana completed a master’s degree in journalism at Carleton University, where she specialized in radio. Her passion for the spoken word has translated into a deep interest in podcasts and how they can be leveraged for brands. She brings this expertise to both her day job and her side gig as a communications consultant.a

  • 11:15 AM : Internal Communications: Achieving community through candour and conversation


    “Controlling the message” is the byword of communications professionals, but in order to create successful internal communication within an organization, one needs to develop a whole new set of skills. Internal communications is not just external communications pointed in the other direction. Using story, strategic informality, humour and timely messaging, well-wrought internal communication can enhance the culture of an organization, add to employee engagement, and develop trust between staff and senior management.
    Janice MacDonald

    Janice MacDonald

    Manager of the Ministerial Correspondence Unit for the Ministry of Treasury Board and Finance
    Janice MacDonald has worked in both external and internal facing communication throughout the Government of Alberta for almost a decade. Prior to that, she spent fifteen years lecturing on English literature, rhetoric, communications and creative writing at the University of Alberta, Grant MacEwan College and Concordia University College. She is also the creator of the bestselling Randy Craig Mystery series, the first detective novels set in Edmonton, Alberta. A professional writer for almost forty years, Janice has published widely and written across many genres: non-fiction, short fiction, critical reviews, radio drama, television, creative non-fiction, musical theatre music and lyrics, and the award-winning children’s book The Ghouls’ Night Out. You can read more about Janice or contact her through www.janicemacdonald.net

  • 12:15 PM : Networking Lunch Break

  • 1:15 PM : Stories from the Trenches – Fort McMurray Wildfire


    Canada and the rest of the world watched as wildfire threatened the northern city of Fort McMurray, the largest community in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, in the biggest natural disaster in Canadian history. A community of almost 90,000 people were evacuated to safety as they feared for their lives, their community and their homes. Fortunately, not one life was lost as a direct result of the fire and citizens began the return to their homes and lives five weeks later.
    Hear from Jordan Redshaw who coordinated the national media strategy and developed the signs and slogans that became synonymous with the fire. You’ll hear what happened behind the scenes to keep the community and the world informed of what was happening during the crisis.
    Jordan Redshaw

    Jordan Redshaw

    Press Secretary, Communications and Stakeholder Relations, Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo
    Having worked in communications for three municipalities, Jordan Redshaw is a municipal communications specialist. In his current role as a press secretary with the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, he executed critical crisis communications through the Fort McMurray wildfire evacuation, re-entry and recovery.

  • 2:15 PM : High Profile Crisis Communications

    Crisis can occur at any time, and we live in a time where the expectation to communicate is only matched by the velocity of information. There can appear to be no easy answers in a crisis situation, but there’s always experience to draw from and lessons to be learned.

    Nancy will lead a discussion of lessons learned, best practices, and insights of dealing with these situations.

    Nancy Arab has led the NATIONAL Public Relations crisis communication response teams on a number of high-profile crises including:

    • A consumer recall in Canada and the US which involved media and public communication and liaison with both the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada
    • Community, public relations and crisis support for a City and community affected by a large-scale natural disaster, including support for “reopening” and re-entry of the community
    • Canada’s largest process water breach for a large multi-national mining company, including stakeholder relations with affected communities and First Nations;
    • A pipeline spill near Fort McMurray for an international oil and gas company;
    • Flaring of H2S for an integrated Canadian and U.S. natural gas transmission pipeline system company
    • Heavy oil spill cleanup in northeastern Alberta for a large Canadian integrated energy company

    Nancy H. Arab

    Nancy H. Arab

    APR, ABC, FCPRS, CMP, Vice President, NATIONAL Public Relations
    Nancy is accredited, with her APR (Canadian Public Relations Society), ABC and CMP (International Association of Business Communicators), and was inducted as a Fellow of the Canadian Public Relations Society. She holds IAP2 certification as well as ICS 100 and ICS 200 certifications. She is also is the winner of several local, national and international communication awards, including nine Hermes Awards and one Videographer Award in 2012 for communication and public education programs; and a CPRS National and three Hermes Awards each in 2015 and 2016 for crisis communication management.

  • 3:15 PM : Networking & Refreshment Break

  • 3:30 PM : What does the Italian language and networking have in common?


    Prego…in Italian it means many things. Please. Welcome. You’re welcome. Come in. And depending on the hand gestures even more meanings. Like prego, networking has many meanings and most of them have lots in common with prego!
    This session will discuss networking in the broadest terms…from the dreaded meet and greet cocktail party, to the professional association lunch and the parent get-togethers at the kids’ sports games. Glenna will provide you with strategies, tips and maybe some tricks to get results from your networking opportunities and obligations…while calming your fears.

    Glenna Cross

    Glenna Cross

    ABC, MC, Cross Wise Communications Ltd.
    Glenna’s company, Cross Wise Communications, focuses on building capacity for communicators through communications organizational design and structure, recruitment of communicators, definition of appropriate service offers, communications audits and training in communications planning. Glenna has been a consultant for 18 years and previous to that, she spent 20 years in communications leadership roles in the public sector, private sector and agencies.
    Other speaking and training topics include Strategic Communications planning; Face-to-Face Communication – A Tool for Employee Engagement; and, various case studies. In addition, she delivers workshops on networking and job searching skills for communicators.
    Glenna’s credentials include a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing, the first-ever Master of Communications Studies from the University of Calgary, professional accreditation (Accredited Business Communicator) and the honorary Master Communicator designation. She is the proud winner of two IABC Gold Quill Awards of Excellence and the IABC Business Issue Award.

  • 4:30 PM : Closing Remarks


MARCH 7: FORUM Workshops

2017 ALBERTA COMMUNICATIONS FORUM + Workshops • March 6 & 7, 2017

SORRY WORKSHOPS ARE NOW SOLD OUT FOR 2017


  • 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM: 'Kick Ass' Communication Planning vs What You Usually Do!


    The foundation of excellence in communications is THE PLAN! Communicators often think they are doing good communications planning, but are they really? This session will lay out the key elements that separate the “wheat from the chaff”! Learn what elevates your everyday basic communications plan to one that really is top of the game. The key focus for this session is on linking your communications plan to the business need, audience analysis, “crispy” goals and objectives and evaluation that actually measures outcomes.
    Learning objectives:
    – Participants will be able to identify the clear line of sight between their communication strategy and the business need
    – Participants will understand what good audience analysis means and why it makes a difference in communications planning
    – Participants will learn what award-winning goals and objectives look like and how to use the magic formula to create their own
    Glenna welcomes questions or comments in advance so that the session can be customized to best meet the needs of attendees.
    Glenna@cross-wise.ca

    Glenna Cross

    Glenna Cross

    ABC, MC, Cross Wise Communications Ltd.
    Glenna’s company, Cross Wise Communications, focuses on building capacity for communicators through communications organizational design and structure, recruitment of communicators, definition of appropriate service offers, communications audits and training in communications planning. Glenna has been a consultant for 18 years and previous to that, she spent 20 years in communications leadership roles in the public sector, private sector and agencies.
    Other speaking and training topics include Strategic Communications planning; Face-to-Face Communication – A Tool for Employee Engagement; and, various case studies. In addition, she delivers workshops on networking and job searching skills for communicators.
    Glenna’s credentials include a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing, the first-ever Master of Communications Studies from the University of Calgary, professional accreditation (Accredited Business Communicator) and the honorary Master Communicator designation. She is the proud winner of two IABC Gold Quill Awards of Excellence and the IABC Business Issue Award.


  • 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM: Communications Opportunity Missed? How to Master Social Media

    Changes in communications technology and media have happened so quickly that many brands find themselves taking up real estate on social media applications just to keep up. Early adopters led the charge and made mistakes, while laggards are still hesitant to create an account. The reality is – not being on social media is a communications opportunity sorely missed. The only thing worse than not having a voice online, is having one but not using it properly.

    This three-hour workshop will start with an overview of the digital ecosystem, including a breakdown of the most popular and useful social media applications. We will demystify jargon and acronyms, and review account etiquette and maintenance best practices.

    From there we will look at content strategy development – the importance of a brand narrative and voice, creating objectives and conversions, selecting the appropriate applications, and determining the right types of content.

    Finally, we will review how and when to publish content and engage online, and discuss ways to evaluate content success.

    At the end of this workshop, participants will:

    • Learn about the digital ecosystem and social media language
    • Understand how to develop a brand voice, objectives and conversions
    • Appreciate how to evaluate the success of various pieces of content

    Nichole Budd

    Nichole Budd

    Manager, NATIONAL Public Relations
    With 13 years of experience as a communications, marketing and public relations professional, Nichole is passionate about creative communications solutions that move people in thought and action. Starting with research, insight and deep sector understanding, Nichole collaborates to develop strategies and engagements that connect the right people, with the right message, at the right time. Nichole has worked in both the public and private sectors, and with some of the Canada’s largest organizations. She has been at the centre of issues and industries that matter, leading change for today and tomorrow.



Non Member Rates

Sorry workshops are now SOLD OUT for 2017.

Package Early Bird Regular
Communications Forum Only $499 $599
Communications Forum & 2 Workshops $899 $999
Communications Forum & 1 Workshop $749 $849
2 Workshops Only $499 $599

IABC/CPRS Member Rates

Package Early Bird Regular
IABC/CPRS Member Forum Only $449 $549
IABC/CPRS Member Forum & 2 Workshops $849 $949
IABC/CPRS Member Forum & 1 Workshop $699 $799
IABC/CPRS Member 1 Workshop Only $249 $299
IABC/CPRS Member 2 Workshops Only $449 $499

Cancellation and 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.