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Great Campaigns Produce Great Results

As a fan of the Song of Ice and Fire series of books by George R. R. Martin, I have been watching the development and promotion of the new TV series: Game of Thrones, with a keen eye.

HBO’s promotional campaign is great example of a successful integrated marketing campaign. From seizing the throne, to free bicycle throne rides events and then integrating it with a Facebook, blog and Twitter campaign, HBO had a great promotional campaign.


They placed giant throne replicas around major cities like New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Then, people got their picture taken which were then posted on Facebook and Twitter as “seizing the throne.”

This strategy is great for many reasons. First, giant thrones in a major public area will create attention and buzz from traditional media and word-of-mouth. Second, posting the pictures on Facebook gets people to spread the word to family and friends which further promotes the new TV show. Third, people will then post and talk about these events occurring (such as this blog!)

These promotions were highly successful judging by the 4.2 million viewers who tuned into the first episode.

Although HBO had a large budget, they used it efficiently. By showing these events across all possible mediums, they used their dollars wisely. Make sure you do the same when planning and promoting your events.

Social Media for Small Business

Thanks to the team at Hastings County for inviting me to speak to a group of entrepreneurs, from all over the region, about Social Media for Small Business. Despite some technical difficulties with the internet (which ended up being a good illustration for the technology gap business owners face in rural Ontario), the day was really successful.

We introduced the group to the basics of social media, explaining how it could benefit their businesses. There was so much more I would have liked to accomplish, but we covered quite a lot with limited internet access. However, I did promise that I would make my slideshow for the workshop accessible. (We didn’t make it past the fourth slide, but we did have some lively conversation!)

For those in the group who were able to sign up for Twitter, here are a few people you’ll want to follow:

Daryl Kramp, MP Prince Edward-Hastings – @darylkramp

Mayor Neil Ellis – @MayorNeilEllis

Councillor Bob Dolan – @Councillorbob

Hastings County – @HastingsCounty

Bill Glisky – @BillGlisky

Dan Taylor – @CreativeDanT

You can find a list of local folks on Twitter, HERE.

This is also a great resource: Time Magazine’s list of Eight Big Ideas for Small Business.

Thanks to those of you who were able to join us, and to Hastings County, and the Marmora Town Hall for their hospitality!

CARE Canada: International Women’s Day

2010_iwd_logo_rgbWe all know that I’m an advocate for non-profit organizations that focus on social justice. Being in PR and marketing, I’m always interested to see what new, innovative methods non-profits are using to communicate their messages, and champion the needs of their clients.

One of my favourite non-profit organizations to watch is CARE Canada. Last year, I was fortunate enough to interview their President, Kevin McCort, an incredibly passionate, creative leader in the field. Kevin and his team stepped up to the plate in a big way recently in Haiti, partnering with Oxfam and Save the Children to create the Humanitarian Coalition. Jointly, they raised over 13 million dollars to bring aid to those affected by the earthquake.

CARE’s work extends far past disaster relief. Their mission is to fight poverty through the empowerment of women and girls in developing nations. Using education, economic development, health care and HIV/AIDS programs, as well as disaster and conflict relief, CARE Canada is working with communities around the world to achieve their goals.

The results are inspiring, to say the least. You can imagine my excitement when I was contacted by their Communications Manager, Kieran Green, who wanted to give me the scoop on their plans for International Women’s Day!

International Women’s Day, held annually since 1911, on March 8, is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. To kick it off tonight, CARE is hosting the 1-night-only Canadian premier of “Half the Sky Live”, inspired by the best-selling book by Pulitzer Prize winning journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. It features live musical performances, celebrity commentary, and chronicles the struggle of poor Ethiopian women who overcome sexual violence and discrimination. It’s the first time a non-profit development group like CARE has commercially released a film to both entertain and raise awareness of a global issue.

On Monday, March 8, CARE will be celebrating International Women’s Day with an innovative awareness campaign. I’m going to let Kieran tell you about it:

With our focus on empowering women at the core of our poverty-fighting work, International Women’s Day is a natural fit for CARE for spreading the word about our work, and about the importance of women in the fight against global poverty.

This year we were looking for something that could be both a symbol, and also a simple activity for engaging Canadians, and raising awareness about International Women’s Day. We thought about the red ribbon for AIDS, the pink ribbon for breast cancer research, and about the wrist bands other causes have adopted. We wanted to do something in that vein, but at the same time unique and attention-getting.

Then we remembered the old folk tradition of tying a string around your finger to remind yourself of something you don’t want to forget. The idea was born. So for International Women’s Day we want all Canada to wear the string as a reminder of all the things the women of the world have achieved, and of all the things that are yet to be done.

It’s easy to do – you don’t need to buy a ribbon or any special equipment. Just cut a piece of string, or wool, or yarn, or ribbon, and tie it on your finger. And it’s not just for this year. Our dream is for the string to become the globally-recognized symbol for International Women’s Day year after year.

How fantastic is that?! Taking a familiar tradition (the “awareness” ribbon), and giving it a unique twist (the “reminder” string) is such a cool idea. It’s easy, the audience understands the concept, and through the use of social media, people can become a part of the campaign in ways that just weren’t available in the past. Through Facebook and an interactive Flickr album, supporters will be able to take part in this initiative in a deeply personal way.

A mentor of mine once said to me, “Everyone wants to be heard. Everyone wants to be loved. And everyone wants to be part of something bigger than themselves.” CARE Canada’s International Women’s Day campaign fits this bill. We’ll be taking part. Will you?



Tweet Up Outtakes

Thursday’s Tweet Up, at the Boathouse Restaurant, was a huge success! We had lots of fun, gave out a tonne of prizes and we were able to raise some money for a good cause. What better combination could you ask for?

We here at Engine wanted to take a moment to thank the students from Loyalist PR, who partnered with us to put together this evening of networking and fun. Special thanks to Marina, Jeremy, Michael, Jordan, and Eri for all of their hard work! Thanks to Kerry Ramsay, co-ordinator of the Loyalist PR program, for her direction and guidance.

Another huge thank you goes out to Winding Violets, for taking the time out of their busy schedules to photograph our event. They also donated our grand prize: A private portrait session! (So cool!) Despite poor (very poor) lighting, they took a bunch of great photos, and we couldn’t be more pleased with the results. Make sure you follow Lucas on Twitter, and check out their Facebook Fan Page for an album of pictures from the event.

Thanks also to all of the vendors who donated door prizes: The Boathouse Restaurant, Classic Hits 95.5 & Cool 100.1 FM, Polish Day Spa & Salon, Essential Relaxation, Capers Restaurant, L’Auberge de France, The Organic Underground, The Empire Theatre, Chumleighs, Kernels Popcorn, Sweet Escape Dessert & Coffee Lounge, Belleville Art Association, Symphony Boutique, Stephen License Ltd., The Bull & Boar, and Foxy Hair Salon. Wow – that’s a lot of amazing donations!

You can take a look at our Facebook Fan Page for more pictures from the evening, but here are some outtakes that you won’t find anywhere else.

@brynajones (Me) having a great chat with some tweet up guests

@brynajones (Me) having a great chat with @KerryRamsay and some tweet up guests

@ariel_54 (Ariel) signing in with the help of @TweeterBird82 (Jeremy)

@ariel_54 signing in with the help of @TweeterBird82

What do you call a whole group of Tweeters? A flock? A gaggle?

What do you call a whole group of Tweeters? A flock? A gaggle?

@youresovanilla chatting it up

@youresovanilla chatting it up

@quinterecycles enjoying the company of @SaraHamil

@quinterecycles enjoying the company of @SaraHamil

@QuintePR and @jerikabradford

@QuintePR and @jerikabradford





@jayzeb deep in conversation with @ariel_54

@jayzeb deep in conversation with @ariel_54

@dantruman and @brynajones having some fun with @maltesefalcon behind the lens

@dantruman and @brynajones having some fun with @maltesefalcon behind the lens

Thanks again to everyone for a successful evening! My only question: Who’s hosting the next Tweet Up?!

Collaboration, Photography and Tweet Ups!

19246_257781601065_257755301065_4875631_4067735_nHi everyone! Wow, has it been a busy week for anyone else?!

This morning I had the privilege of speaking with the students from Loyalist College’s Art & Design Foundation program. The subject: “Social Media for Creatives”.

I’ve had the chance to work with the group before, and I couldn’t have been happier to be invited back by program co-ordinator, Robert Kranendonk. We love working with Loyalist’s faculty and students, and it’s always a pleasure to visit the college. On top of that, one of the highlights of the morning for me, was guest presenting with Lucas Tingle, and his wife and co-owner, Melissa Howlett, of Winding Violets.

These two incredibly talented professional photographers are based in Kingston, Ontario, but have worked throughout North America. They came in, literally at the last minute, to help me explain to the group why social media and personal branding are of the utmost importance for young, creative entrepreneurs. You must take a look at their website to see why I was so excited to bring them on board.

And it gets better!

Tomorrow, we’re partnering with Winding Violets and Loyalist Public Relations, to present the next Quinte Tweet Up! Lucas and Melissa have generously come on board to chronicle the event, pictorally, and we couldn’t be happier! With their avid use of social media, and their gifted photographic skills, they’re the perfect people to work with for the event.

And it gets even better!

Winding Violets is donating our grand prize: A personal portrait session for one lucky guest!

How do you qualify to win? Easy! All you have to do is show up to the Boathouse Restaurant in Belleville, Ontario, tomorrow night between 5:30-7:30pm, and donate to Flights of Hope and their relief efforts in Haiti. This is such a win-win scenario!

Why do you win? Once again, may I direct you to Winding Violets’ website. Also make sure to become a fan on Facebook, and follow Lucas on Twitter.

There’s still plenty of time to RSVP to this event via our Facebook Fan Page, our event profile, or by tweeting me, @brynajones, or @EngineCom.

Hope to see you there!

It’s Official: Tweet Up!

As I’m sure you’re aware, we here at Engine have partnered with the students from Loyalist College’s Public Relations program to host a tweet up for all Quinte area social media users. All of the details can be found on our Facebook Fan Page, and you can RSVP via our event profile. You can also tweet, email, call or fax in, your attendance.

Heck, we’ll take anything but carrier pigeon and smoke signal.

There are so many ways to connect! That’s why we’re hosting a tweet up. We want to take all of our great online connections, and translate them to the real world.

You’re all so cool! We want to meet you, and introduce you to some other great people in our community.

You know what else is cool? Our logo for the event! (Fillmore is my hero.)


Exciting Announcement

twitter-logo-forwebWe here at Engine are psyched to announce a very special collaboration with the students of Loyalist College’s Public Relations program. Along with their professor and program coordinator, Kerry Ramsay, we will be hosting a Tweet Up for Quinte area tweeters.

Details will come soon, but in the meantime, keep your calendars open on Thursday, February 18, 2010 for a night of networking, social media and raising money for a great cause! (Bonus: Fabulous door prizes!)

This is a great group of students, and we’re excited to have them on board to help with all elements of planning, design and promotion. Take a look at the great work they just did for Haiti here, and you’ll see why we can’t wait to work with them.

And as an added bonus, we’ve got pro photograpers, Winding Violets, covering the event as our official photographers. Lucas Tingle and Melissa Howlett are two of the best in their business. Make sure to follow Lucas on Twitter, and take a look at Melissa Howlett Photography on Facebook.

Even if you’re not on Twitter (yet) but you’re interested in learning more about social media, or you love to blog, use Facebook, etc. This is the event for you. Come learn, engage and connect.

Stay tuned for more info! We’ll be posting all of the event updates here and on our Facebook Fan Page.


At this point, the world is in shock over the devastation this country suffered on Tuesday as a 7.0 magnitude earthquake rocked the island of Hispaniola–the epicentre of its force being only 14 miles away from the capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince.

Some of you may know, but for those of you who don’t, I was scheduled to board a plane to Haiti on January 27th, for a two weeks of humanitarian relief work.

I don’t know the fate of that trip; I don’t even know if they have an airport. An estimated 3 million people have been affected by this disaster–something no one in Haiti can afford. Most of Haiti’s approximately 9 million residents already live on $1.00 per day. They are the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Cite-Soleil, one of Port-au-Prince’s shanty towns is the poorest neighbourhood in the world with 300,000 people living in abject poverty.

My heart breaks for these people. It has for awhile, which is was going there. And right now, I unabashedly plea with you to act. Nothing is more important today then helping those who can’t help themselves.

My friends at World Vision Canada are already on the ground in Haiti, with emergency response teams being organized, and help being brought to residents as quickly as possible. We won’t know the full extent of the damage for days, but we can all do our part.

Give to World Vision Canada’s Haiti Relief Efforts

If you’re from the Quinte region, and you want to give directly to local efforts, then please email Rick Langstaff of New Mercy Ministries at [email protected] or you can donate to NMM’s Haiti relief by visiting Desert Stream Christian Fellowship at 535 Dundas St E. in Belleville.

Thank you!

Merry Christmas!

We just wanted to take a moment to say thank you to all of our readers, fans, and followers for an absolutely fun, exciting 2009. We wish you all the best in the new year. We’ll see you back here in January with fresh content, features, and some great surprises.

Barcelona…to Belleville?

Yesterday, the Olympic torch passed through our fair city, with thousands of Quinte residents crowding the streets for a glimpse. Despite the fist shaking that ensued over congested traffic, the Olympic spirit prevailed, and a sense of unity and pride was in the air.

(Take a look at the video our friend Trevor Crowe, of Crowe Productions took yesterday!)

The Olympics is an event of, well, Herculean proportions (pun very much intended). And there’s more to it than simply the games. Whether it’s in city planning, architecture, uniforms and accessories, logos or branding, the Olympics is as much about design as it is about the sport. Since its rebirth in 1896, both summer and winter games have seen various attempts at capturing the Olympic spirit visually.

Rumour has it, we like design around here as well. So we thought we’d take a look at some past logos, in honour of the torch run, and let you know our favourites.

olympic2Fillmore’s Picks

Albertville, 1992 and Calgary, 1988.

Kathy’s Picks

I prefer Helsinki Summer 1952 for the sole reason that it definitely has the “retro” feel. However, for fun colour and movement I prefer Barcelona Spain – I’d love to go to Spain one day. Calgary 1988 hits me in a nostalgic way because I remember watching Elizabeth Manley win silver in women’s figure skating. It was so exciting!

Bryna’s Picks

olympic5For purely nostalgic purposes, I agree with Kathy regarding the Calgary 1988 logo. I think it was the first Olympics I was really aware of, and it held a certain grandiose mystique in my seven year old mind. Plus, I liked those bear mascots!

As a grown up, I love the Athens 2004 logo, but I think it lacks the movement that you might associate with a good Olympic design (ie. Barcelona, Nagano, even Torino). But I still think it’s gorgeous so it’s my favourite.

Kerry’s Picks

olympic1I am quite torn as to which one I like the best. I would have to say that it is between three: Lake Placid Winter 1932 (really love the feel of this one and the image of the skier); Sapporo Winter 1972, and Calgary Winter 1988. Funny how they are all winter ones! If I absolutely had to pick, I guess it would be 1972–awesome color combo with the silver and red, it looks crisp and clean (not too busy like some of them) and easy to understand. Love the snowflake! 

olympics8Shaun’s Picks

Vancouver 2010 as it’s the most sophisticated/modern design of late. Taking the colour from the rings was smart, and they didn’t overdo it with the fonts.


For a complete list of Olympic logo design, check out this link.

What are you favourites?