Tuesday, April 8, 2014

R+T Park Watch Magazine Examines Healthcare Advancements

Very proud (I think it is one of my favourite issues to date) of the April issue of WATCH Magazine, the brand journalism vehicle for the University of Waterloo's David Johnston Research + Technology Park.  This issue focuses on healthcare innovation.  I have to admit, when one thinks about Waterloo's technology and engineering community, healthcare is not often top of mine.  However in writing this issue, I learned a great deal about our local healthcare innovation community.

In this issue I interviews Dr. Susan Elliott, Dean of Applied Health Sciences for the University of Waterloo.  Applied Health Sciences specializes in illness and injury prevention and well being through the lifespan at work and at leisure.  A great deal of AHS's research is devoted to understanding the aging process - a topic that resonated deeply with me as the daughter of aging parents.

Sticking with the University of Waterloo, I also had a great chat with Bill McIllroy, Chair of the Department of Kinesiology for the University of Waterloo, on the new research and innovation centre being established within R+T Park.  The centre will allow University researchers to directly collaborate across disciplines, and apply their knowledge to individuals in the community in need.

Traversing into start up land, I spend some time with the founders of Intellijoint Surgical (formerly Avenir Medical) a start up I work with as the in house communications advisor at the Accelerator Centre.  These three mechatronic grads have created a medical device to help orthopaedic surgeons improve joint replacement patient outcomes, and recently were granted their Canadian Medical Device Certification.  Awesome guys. Awesome technology.

Finally I chatted with Steve VanDokkumburg, from Agfa Healthcare about the future of visual healthcare. Agfa Healthcare, a leading provider of integrated IT solutions and state of the art diagnostic imaging solutions for hospitals and healthcare centres, is spearheading the clinical imaging charge from its global center of excellence located in the R+T Park.

You can read the issue for yourself here http://www.rtparkwatch.com/

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Brand journalism in practice

I've been curating, writing and speaking about #brandjournalism of late and the opportunities it is presenting for PR folk like myself.  As traditional media and journalists struggle to sustain our voracious appetite for content, companies such as Cisco, Coca Cola, Nissan and others are turning to authentic, journalistic storytelling to attract and hold prospective buyers, and build their brands.  I have the pleasure of working with two clients who have embraced the brand journalism concept and who are producing very high quality work. The University of Waterloo's David Johnston Research + Technology Park publishes Watch Magazine three times a year, showcasing University thought leadership, research, and its exciting technology and start up ecosystem.  My other client, Unitron, a global leader in advanced hearing healthcare solutions publishes its Unitron Magazine twice a year, again showcasing the stories behind and surrounding its brand.  Such an honour for Ignition to be involved as a contributor to both of these projects.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Accelerator Centre Client Intellijoint (formerly Avenir Medical) Groundbreaking Medical Device Company Featured in Toronto Star

I have the wonderful opportunity to advise and work with 50+ tech start ups through my gig as the in-house communications advisor at the Accelerator Centre. Intellijoint (formerly Avenir Medical) is one of these interesting companies.  The team has achieved a number of significant milestones over the last few months, closing $3.3 million in financing, receiving their Class One Medical Device certification, and now, as this article in the Toronto Star details, witnessing their device (which provides for a more accurate alignment of a replacement joint in hip surgery) used for the first time in an actual patient surgery.

Ignition tech start-up client cream.hr featured in Mashable

I have great fun working with cream.hr, one of my tech start-up clients. The team is highly dedicated, the technology is very interesting, and the founders understand and appreciate the value of good PR. And now, they have customers singing their praises (which is always the very best PR of all). Congrats on their recent coverage in Mashablewww.cream.hr

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Ignition Partners with Kate Wild PR, Expands Tech PR Services

Ignition Partners with Kate Wild PR, Expands Tech PR Services
Waterloo (Ontario) CANADA, December 10, 2013 – Ignition, a Waterloo-based boutique marketing communications and public relations (PR) firm announced today a strategic alliance with Kate Wild PR – a move that will allow the firm to expand its high tech PR services and broaden its footprint in the Canadian and US technology markets.
Founded in 1992, Ignition provides a full portfolio of marketing and PR services to technology companies from start up to large enterprise.  Ignition clients include the Waterloo Accelerator Centre, Unitron, Compuware Changepoint, University of Waterloo Research + Technology Park, CloudOps, and Fresche Legacy, and the firm has provided PR advisory to a host of early stage technology start ups, helping BigRoad, BufferBox, Cream.HR, Clearpath Robotics, I Think Security and Magnet Forensics establish their brands and build awareness for their products and services.
Ignition chief marketing officer (CMO), Ellyn Winters-Robinson, is an accredited PR professional with 25+ years experience in technology marketing and PR. Prior to Ignition Ellyn was VP of Marketing for MKS (now PTC), an enterprise software company focused on the application lifecycle management (ALM) marketplace.  
Kate Wild brings more than 18 years of high tech public relations experience, including strategic communications planning and account management, writing, and media relations, to the alliance. Kate began her career at Mitel Corporation in Kanata, Ontario, and joined High Road Communications, a Toronto-based firm specializing in high tech PR, in 1996 where she was the North American account director for clients in the hardware, software, and telecom space including NEC Technologies, Avaya, and Gateway Telecom. In late 2000, Kate branched out on her own to work with clients including Sun Microsystems, Fujitsu, Logitech, Cray, Inc., Kronos, VERITAS, Avigilon and many others. Kate holds a Masters of Arts in Communications from Carleton University School of Journalism and Communication.
“I am excited to join forces with Ignition and provide clients with a broader scope of services, from brand journalism to content marketing and public relations,” said Kate Wild. “Together, we can deliver creative and engaging PR and communications programs that align with clients’ business objectives and positively impact their overall success.”
“Kate is a seasoned communicator and highly respected PR professional with deep knowledge and experience in the tech sector, and I’m thrilled to be able to partner with someone of her caliber,” says Ellyn Winters-Robinson.  “Together we will provide our clients ‘silicon valley’ style, senior-level PR representation, delivered through a creative, hands-on, client centric approach geared to achieving results.”
For further details, please contact:
Ellyn Winters-Robinson
519-624-2402 (office)
519-574-2196 (mobile)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Are you spamming your customers and putting your business at risk?

Are you spamming your customers and putting your business at risk?

New highly restrictive spamming laws to inflict significant financial penalty on those who do not conform.
  1. New Canadian spam legislation -- among the most restrictive in the world -- is set to go into effect in 2014.  
    The legislation will enforce high financial penalty on marketers who fail to comply.  The legislation, intended to protect Canadians from spamming, hacking and spyware, will severly punish companies who engage in these activities.  Also included in the new legislation is the practice of "harvesting" where a computer system is used to collect electronic addresses without consent. Fortunately, most commercial email marketing tools, such as @mailchimp have been updated to ensure users of the system remain in compliance. But not all marketers turn to these tools - there are still many out there who run email campaigns manually. To read more about this legislation and understand what you'll need to do to comply check out: 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I had the opportunity to deliver a workshop today as part of Communitech's Level Up program on brand journalism.  Here are some key takeaway's from today's presentation: 

1. The world of journalism is changing.  Declining ad revenues are causing publications to shut their doors, move online, cut staff. This has created an increased reliance on contributed content from freelancers. While this narrows the field of opportunity for traditional PR, it opens up new opportunity for brands to tell their own stories in journalistic style. 

2. Blogs and social media are a trusted channel for new. Where in the past the only way a company could have its story told was through a reporter, today companies now have the ability to by-pass traditional media to tell their own stories through their blog, social media channels and interact directly with their prospective and current customers. 

3. Stories draw people in. Audiences indicate they are more compelled by companies who communicate through stories. 

4. Brand journalism isn't repackaged PR spin. Stories need to be authentic, objective and adhere to journalistic principles or trust will not be achieved.  Strongly consider turning to trained journalist freelancers to develop your stories. 

5. Brand journalism complements and indeed can up the credibility of an organization's content marketing strategy.  It can also complement existing PR efforts.  

Are you embarking on a brand journalism strategy in your organization?