5th Annual BC Communications Forum



About the Forum

February 26 + 27, 2018


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. Questions? please call 1.855.688.0189 or email forums@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 BC 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!


Founded in 1959, CPRS Vancouver is a networking and professional development organization serving public relations and communications practitioners in British Columbia. Our members belong to corporations, government, not-for-profit organizations, associations, health care, education, public relations agencies and independent consultancies.

CPRS Vancouver offers regular professional development and social events for our members to network and discuss issues touching on public relations. We promote high professional standards and encourage our members to earn APR accreditation. Our chapter society is a member of the national Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS).

Venue and Reservations

Pinnacle Harbourfront Hotel 1133 West Hastings St, Vancouver, BC

Room reservations will be made by individual attendees directly online here.

Parking: Underground parking is available at the hotel and is subject to the posted rates unless you are a registered guest. Parking garage height is 6’0”. All parking rates are subject to taxes. Transit: nearest station is Waterfront station

February 26: FORUM Program

2018 BC COMMUNICATIONS FORUM + Workshops • Feb 26 + 27, 2018

DOWNLOAD THE BROCHURE  Early Bird Rates end 11:59pm on January 18, 2018

  • 8:00 AM: Registration

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

  • 9:00 AM : From birthday party to glorious engagement. An inside-look at VCH’s 15 Years of Care employee engagement campaign

    Corporate anniversaries are boring, soul-sucking endeavours. But they don’t have to be.

    When Vancouver Coastal Health’s Corporate Communications team was recently tasked with marking the organization’s 15 years of operation, they worked hard to buck the trend of “boring”. They sought a way to meet executive expectations while celebrating in a way that would be meaningful and engaging for employees. What emerged was a beautiful, impactful and personal campaign that incorporated moving short stories and artistic environmental portraits – while contributing tangibly to strategic priorities related to recruitment, retention and recognition.

    Come behind the scenes of the Celebrating 15 Years of Care project as two long-time team members show you how their high-touch, low-cost employee engagement strategy honoured the long-term commitment of employees, and eventually saw more than 85% of those surveyed agree that the campaign made them proud to work at VCH.

    This case study will share practical advice tools, tactics and approaches, allowing you to replicate the results in organizations big or small, likely within your existing budget. You’ll also get advice on how to turn “necessary evils” like corporate anniversaries into meaningful work that advances strategic goals and gets you the respect you deserve as a professional communicator.

    The 15 Years of Care campaign earned five 2017 IABC Gold Quill and Silver leaf Awards in the categories of Employee Engagement, HR & Benefits Communication, and Audio-Visual Skills.

    Laurie Dawkins, ABC, MC

    Laurie Dawkins, ABC, MC

    Director, Corporate Communication, Vancouver Coastal Health

    Maile Conwi

    Maile Conwi

    Corporate Communications Manager at Vancouver Coastal Health

  • 10:00 AM : Networking & Refreshment Break

  • 10:15 AM: Consultation and a Superfluity of Nuns…

    Facilitating a superfluity (group) of nuns as they faced the decisions that aging and reduced numbers forced upon them was a fascinating work and learning experience. Oddly enough there are strong and important lessons in that work for community consultation, facilitation and listening abilities – all important lessons for communicators.
    Glenna Cross, ABC, MC

    Glenna Cross, ABC, MC

    President, Cross Wise Communications Ltd.

  • 11:15 AM : Social media during times of crisis - another tool in the tool box

    One size does not fit all. There is no arguing the importance of social media engagement, especially during times of crisis. In this presentation, Ben reflects on his communication experiences during two of Canada’s largest natural disasters (2013 Alberta flood and 2016 Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo wildfire) and the role that social media played. While it is important to appreciate the role of social media in times of crisis, it’s important to understand one size does not fit all; “Although a powerful communication tool during crisis, we must understand that social media is just one tool in the tool box”, says Ben.

    Benjamin Morgan, MA

    Benjamin Morgan, MA

    Owner, Both Sides Media Consulting

  • 12:15 PM : Networking Lunch Break

  • 1:15 PM : Authentic Business Storytelling

    Trust is harder than ever to earn. According to the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer report, we are facing a global trust crisis. Faith in business, governments, media and NGO’s is at an all-time low. Savvy communicators are responding to the changing climate with some new strategies.

    Find out how Covenant Health – Canada’s largest Catholic health organization and a World’s Most Ethical Company – is sharing stories and building trust.

    Dive into the case study of Lasting Impressions, Covenant Health’s new annual report to the community with the project lead and principal consultant. Find out why and how they shared first-person stories that were directly quoted from recorded interviews with patients, clients and employees. Leave the session with a step-by-step guide to the new ‘reverse key message’ storytelling model they created that you can use for your own trust-building communication strategies.

    Karen Diaper

    Karen Diaper

    Senior Communications Advisor, Covenant Health

    Celine Richter

    Celine Richter

    Principal, Celine Richter Communications

  • 2:15 PM : The Challenges of Transparency

    Health advisories and recalls are issued all the time, but how would you communicate a risk of infection that has the potential to appear up to five years after a procedure where the symptoms are similar to that of the common cold – without causing mass panic? Our team successfully supported the notification of more than 21,000 patients and their physicians across BC about a newly discovered risk of infection. We’ll share our approach and what we learned along the way. You’ll leave this session with some fundamental points to consider in issues management communication and how knowing your audience is key.
    Angela Wilson, ABC

    Angela Wilson, ABC

    Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA)

    Melissa Mueller

    Melissa Mueller

    Communications Officer, Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA)

  • 3:15 PM : Networking & Refreshment Break

  • 3:30 PM : Interactive Media Panel: How to get your story heard

    In this interactive session, hear from the media themselves with tips and techniques to get your story heard. Panel will include members from TV, print, radio and online.
    Panel members include:

    Panel members include:

    Valerie Casselton, Managing Editor, Vancouver Sun + The Province – handling daily operations and building strategies to achieve news gathering, readership and financial goals. She works with the senior management team of PNG and Postmedia, whose publications have a national reach of 2.1 million readers daily on four platforms including smart phone, tablet, desktop and newspapers.

    Natalie Langston, TV Personality, Radio Show Host, Lifestyle Editor – Natalie is an accomplished Canadian TV Host and Lifestyle Expert for Global BC, Breakfast Television + JRfm. Lifestyle Editor for Iconic Concierge Magazine. Fitness & Health Reporter for BC Living. Freelance journalist and Emcee with a passion for all things Fitness, Fashion and Fun. Volunteer and Spokesperson for Dress for Success Vancouver, member of Ladies Who Lunch Global Network for female entrepreneurs and Style Ambassador for the Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards.


  • 5:00 PM : Closing Remarks

February 27: FORUM Workshops

2018 BC COMMUNICATIONS FORUM + Workshops • Feb 26 + 27, 2018

  • 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM: Crisis and Risk Communication Planning - strategically pilot your communications through times of crisis

    An effective communication response during times of risk and crisis begins well before an event unfolds. Organizations can be challenged by multiple areas of risk – predictable and unpredictable. Preparation begins now and begins with a plan. Identifying stakeholder groups, key areas of risk, communication channels, building key messages, and creating critical relationships are some of the elements required when building your crisis communication plan. This workshop will walk delegates through some of the foundational steps in building an effective crisis and risk communication plan.

    Benjamin Morgan, MA

    Benjamin Morgan, MA

    Owner, Both Sides Media Consulting Group
     Benjamin Morgan is a communications professional focusing on crisis communications, public relations, media relations, and social media. He has played integral communication roles during Canada’s two recent costliest natural disasters, 2013 Alberta floods and 2016 Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo wildfire. He was called as an expert communication witness during the Elliott Lake mall collapse Ontario public inquiry hearing. Benjamin holds a Masters Degree of Professional Communications from Royal Roads University where his research focused on the influences of new media on crisis communication. Now, as associate faculty at RRU he instructs crisis and risk communication in both the BA and MA programs.

  • 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM: The communicator at the heart of the organization: Using strategic communications to achieve your organizational's goals

    The proposed new vision for IABC (International Association of Business Communicators) is “a communicator at the heart of every business.” Just think about that. Are you and your team at the heart of your organization? And, if not, what would it take to move in that direction?

    Being at the heart means essential, life giving, totally connected to all the moving parts. Communicators are generally very well trained and equipped to plan and deliver good communications tactics in support of specific issues and/or programs. But that’s not where the magic happens.

    To get to the heart, communicators need to challenge themselves to develop their business acumen and take the time to really think about how communications can help drive the big business goals. This isn’t a new idea…but when it clicks…it’s a magic thing to behold.

    This interactive workshop will unearth some of the big goals that most communicators support and through a combination of presentation and collective problem solving participants will develop strategies that can move them closer to the heart.

    Participants should come prepared with knowledge of their own organization’s big business goals and some ideas of how communicators can contribute to them.

    Glenna Cross, ABC, MC

    Glenna Cross, ABC, MC

    President, Cross Wise Communications Ltd.
    Glenna’s company, Cross Wise Communications, focuses on building capacity for communicators through teaching and training, communications organizational design and structure, recruitment of communicators, definition of appropriate service offers and communications audits. Glenna has spent 20 years in communications leadership roles in the public sector, private sector and agencies. Glenna’s credentials include a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing, the first-ever Master of Communications Studies from the University of Calgary, professional accreditation (ABC) 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.

Non Member Rates

Package Early Bird Regular
Communications Forum Only $549 $649
Communications Forum & 2 Workshops $949 $1099
Communications Forum & 1 Workshop $899 $999
1 Workshop Only $349 $499
2 Workshops Only $449 $599

IABC/CPRS Member Rates

Package Early Bird Regular
IABC/CPRS Member Forum Only $499 $599
IABC/CPRS Member Forum & 2 Workshops $899 $999
IABC/CPRS Member Forum & 1 Workshop $749 $899
IABC/CPRS Member 1 Workshop Only $299 $399
IABC/CPRS Member 2 Workshops Only $399 $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.

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