Presented by the Communications + Public Relations Foundation and the McMaster-Syracuse Master of Communications Management program
As we work to build a more diverse, inclusive and innovative environment within the public relations industry, the critical first step is to identify and interrupt biases—in particular, unconscious biases. When we know how to interrupt and address biases, our workplaces are more inclusive, and our teams are happier, more engaged, and are better positioned to target diverse markets.
In this highly practical session, Ritu Bhasin will draw on the latest neuroscience and leadership research to explore how discomfort with differences manifests within the public relations industry. Ritu will identify how to address challenges that arise when working across cultural differences with team members and clients, and provide strategies for becoming more inclusive and culturally competent when working across cultural differences.
Ritu Bhasin,, LLB, MBA, President of bhasin consulting inc., is an award-winning speaker, author, and globally recognized expert in diversity and inclusion, women’s advancement, and authentic leadership.
Since 2010, Ritu has delivered leadership training, coaching, and advisory services across sectors, working with top organizations and senior leadership teams around the world to develop inclusive cultures. Ritu is known for her expertise in cultural competence, unconscious bias, and neuroscience strategies, and has coached hundreds of professionals, leaders, and executives to be more inclusive. A passionate advocate for authenticity, inclusion, and empowerment, Ritu has won numerous awards for her work, including the City of Toronto’s William P. Hubbard Award for Race Relations in 2014.
Ritu’s Amazon-bestselling book, The Authenticity Principle: Resist Conformity, Embrace Differences, and Transform How You Live, Work, and Lead, was released in the fall of 2017. In the same year, Ritu also co-authored a ground-breaking research study, called Sponsor Effect: Canada, with the Center for Talent Innovation, which examines the experiences that people of colour, Indigenous peoples, and women have with advocacy and sponsorship in the workplace.
Celebrities are everywhere! And this matters. Seriously. Research shows that popular culture has a profound influence people’s health and that our ideals of beauty and success are framed by a celebrity-dominated worldview. In this fun and provocative presentation, Timothy Caulfield will examine what science tells us about the influence of popular culture. He will also debunk common health myths and provide practical, evidence-based, recommendations relevant to both healthcare professionals and to individuals seeking to live a healthy lifestyle.
Rising polarization, hate speech and misinformation is threatening healthy public discourse and, ultimately, our democracy. A big part of the problem is the decline of local news. With the disruption of publishers’ advertising business model, 260 local newspapers have closed in 190 communities across Canada in a decade. Research shows that people who live in communities without local news are less likely to volunteer, vote and trust their neighbours. Local journalism is an essential part of the social fabric that unites us as communities.
Join Erin Millar, founder and CEO of The Discourse, for dispatches from the frontlines of entrepreneurial media. Find out how her team is reinventing the local paper by empowering community journalists to directly serve people who have been historically excluded from public discourse. Get to know this disruptive new category of digital news emerging in communities across Canada, how they're shaping the future and how you can be part of it.
Erin Millar is founder and CEO of The Discourse, a media startup building a new kind of journalism in Canada. Millar was recently named one of the top seven women-led ventures in Canada at the SheEO summit. She was a Bob Carty Fellow by Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, Storyteller-in-Residence at Ashoka Canada, and an AmEx Emerging Innovator in 2015. She has hosted talks and workshops across Canada and internationally, including the Canadian Association of Journalists and Italy’s International Journalism Festival, and reported from more than a dozen countries for Canadian and international publications. Millar taught journalism at Quest University Canada and Langara College, is a trustee of the Uncharted Journalism Fund, and serves on the board of the National Magazine Awards Foundation.Erin Millar is founder and CEO of The Discourse, a media startup building a new kind of journalism in Canada. Millar was recently named one of the top seven women-led ventures in Canada at the SheEO summit. She was a Bob Carty Fellow by Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, Storyteller-in-Residence at Ashoka Canada, and an AmEx Emerging Innovator in 2015. She has hosted talks and workshops across Canada and internationally, including the Canadian Association of Journalists and Italy’s International Journalism Festival, and reported from more than a dozen countries for Canadian and international publications. Millar taught journalism at Quest University Canada and Langara College, is a trustee of the Uncharted Journalism Fund, and serves on the board of the National Magazine Awards Foundation.
Traditional methods of producing and publishing ads, newsletters, email, posts, and online content is missing the vital other half of the opportunity that comes from communication: the listening. With technological advances, it is easier than ever to communicate with customers and stakeholders and engage in a meaningful dialogue.
In this presentation, Jeff Silvester of AggregateIQ will share stories and insights from their experience working on some of the biggest issues and campaigns in recent memory and talk about some of the lessons learned along the way - including from Brexit. He will also show how organizations can make listening and learning central to their operation, all while inviting participation and questions from attendees.
Learn how, by not paying attention and not listening, organizations are taking their customers and stakeholders for granted - opening themselves up to disruptors who recognize an opportunity and are capitalizing on it - both in the corporate world and in politics. AggregateIQ has successfully helped campaigns and companies integrate tools, change their process, and learn how to leverage technology to turn their one-way communications into conversations.
Strategic communicators play an important role in the information environment, which is currently being faced with several systemic challenges. The most troubling of these being, perhaps, the increased use of information warfare and digital propaganda.
Many ethically questionable methods are being used to carry out such campaigns, ranging from using big data and targeted marketing tactics, i.e. behavioural advertising, to falsely creating an appearance of a groundswell of support through digital means. What makes these most effective, and consequently most dangerous, is that these not only capitalize on a climate of reactive fear from both policy makers and society, but they also reinforce it.
There’s no question the tools available have made large-scale persuasion more possible. However, even as tech companies begin enforcing appropriate use of their platforms more and more, the line between what is and isn’t acceptable continues to blur. As a result, now more than ever, there is greater scrutiny on those who aim to persuade.
This is a perfect storm for practitioners, and public relations now stands at a crossroads.
Fortunately, while there are indeed choices that need to be weighed carefully by today’s communicators, there are also many opportunities to do good.
Weaving together anecdotal evidence with her own research and modelling, in this presentation, Alicia Wanless will not only paint a realistic picture of the current state of affairs, but also provide practical advice on how to continue practicing according to a strong code of professional ethics to win the war against fake news.