Keynote Speakers and Sessions

College of Fellows luncheon speaker

Evan Solomon
Host, CBC TV's Power and Politics
Host, CBC Radio's The House
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The "New Normal"
Change, Communication and Brands: How It Works Behind the Scenes and the Challenge Ahead to Communicators


Evan will focus on the fundamental challenges facing the communication and media industries in the rapidly changing landscape of the 24/7 communication world. He will bring his unique focus on government and the challenges of this new landscape policy to the discussion. How do brands handle crisis? What is the best way to design transparency? How do you balance a top down vs a bottom up approach? How do you plan for a future that always surprises you? What is the best way to read the global outlook and how do you ensure success? Bringing in a wide range of perspectives from politicians, business and technology leaders Evan will paint a picture of the road ahead and the ingenuity needed to stay on it safely.

Diana & Charles Tisdall speaker

Terry Fallis
Co-founder, Thornley Fallis Communications
Bestselling author
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25 Years of Storytelling: Perspectives on the short trip from PR to Novels

A 25 year veteran of the PR agency world, Terry Fallis has witnessed the many changes, evolutionary and revolutionary, in our profession. He’s also an award-winning storyteller with three bestselling novels to his credit and a fourth on the way. Up and Down, his third novel, is actually set in a multinational PR agency and should be required reading for PR rookies and veterans alike. Terry will share his perspective on the changing world of public relations, how his PR career helped him break through as a novelist, the future of the profession, and his views on what continue to be the bedrock or essential skills of the successful PR professional. There should also be a few laughs along the way as he dips into his novels and holds a mirror up to our profession, and on the behind-the-scenes life of politics in the nation’s capital.

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

Keynote speaker

Ira Basen
Producer, CBC Radio
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DIY News: Content Marketing and the Future of PR

Today, organizations can no longer rely on traditional paid and earned media to deliver their message. Search engines and social media both demand a constant supply of fresh quality content. That's why every organization, no matter what business they're in, must also now be in the publishing business. "Owned media" has the potential to be a game changer for PR, allowing organizations to bypass traditional media and deal directly with their publics. But along with these new opportunities come some significant challenges.

Keynote speaker

Alexandra Samuel
Vice-President Social Media, Vision Critical
Social Media Blogger, The Harvard Business review & The Atlantic
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Meet your Invisible Audience

Do you really know your social media audience? Social media monitoring can tell you about people who post and tweet. But how do you get to know the lurkers who aren’t tweeting, liking or sharing your content? Gain insights into your invisible online audience in this first look at the largest-ever survey of social media users. Drawing on a recent survey of social media users in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K., Alexandra will show you what’s different about lurkers, and what you need to know about reaching them.

Keynote speaker

Jean-François Dumas
President, Influence Communication
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Today's Media Landscape

Most people believe that the importance attributed to a social phenomenon is proportionally reflected in news media coverage. Which role does the media play in our society or in our perceptions? What differentiates one media outlet from another ? What is the primary interest of the media - for what is most interesting or perhaps important?

Jean-François Dumas will trace an accurate portrayal of the Canadian media landscape and describe its strong points and weaknesses.
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