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Support Women in Need These Holidays

By Kyle Brown · December 4, 2015 MediaStyle is proud to support the Purse Project, a grassroots campaign aimed at helping vulnerable women get the items they need this holiday season. That includes: Warm clothes, such as gloves, socks and toques Hygiene products, such as soap, deodorant, sanitary napkins and tampons Non-perishable foods (granola bars, trail mix bottled water, etc.) Tooth brushes […]
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Three more days

By admin · October 20, 2015 The Media Narrative The proverbial die has been cast. It’s now time for undecided voters to get their rubric on. At three days left, only the most earth-shattering news could change the fates of this election. We’ve seen campaigns in the past manifest last-minute revelations and scandal, but it doesn’t work. All left for the […]
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Spotlight On: Twitter Parties

By Kyle Brown · October 9, 2015 Twitter parties have proven to be one of the more successful ways to engage audiences with your organization or brand. The idea of hosting one can be daunting, but these easy tips should turn any Twitter party into a success.
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Liberals on top, niqabs and the TPP

By Ian Capstick · October 9, 2015 The election is nearly over. We’ll have a better idea of what to expect on election night after additional rounds of larger-scale public opinion polling launch 72 hours after Thanksgiving Day.
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This Week on the Trail

By Ian Capstick · October 2, 2015 Trade and polls dominated headlines this week. We also saw candidates continue to be exposed for regrettable social media posts. The refugee crisis unfortunately fell out of election news.
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Where the Leaders Were This Week

By Vanessa King · October 2, 2015 Stephen Harper – The Conservative leader only had a handful of stops this week as he prepared for the Munk Debate and filmed campaign ads. He made appearances in Vaughan and Quebec City.
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Spotlight On: Listicles

By Kyle Brown · October 2, 2015 The BuzzFeeds and Vices of the world have cemented listicles as a viable method to share information quick and far. This election, listicles have been bouncing around the web as a new style of political reporting. So why do they work so well?
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Wagging the dog? Polls become a story to watch.

By Ian Capstick · September 28, 2015 Conservative polling numbers are on the uptick. There is an overall softening of reported NDP vote in urban centres and Liberals are gaining traction in Ontario. Polling is going to be a massive story this week. Read on for details.
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Spotlight on: Silencing Trolls

By Vanessa King · September 28, 2015 There are over 20 million social media accounts in Canada, and Canadians spend over two hours a day on these networks. With this volume of users, you’re guaranteed to run into negativity online. Understanding how to respond to online criticism is critical for any organization with social media accounts. Read on to learn our best practices.
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Spotlight On: Brand Consistency

By Adam Newlands · September 25, 2015 Building and maintaining brand consistency requires dedication and persistence. But the hard work is well worth it because an effective brand inspires trust, strengthens an organization’s reputation and builds credibility. Here are three ways to ensure brand consistency: Survey current brand awareness Ask your team members what the organization stands for to them. Then do […]
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Welcome to the edgy phase of the campaign

By Ian Capstick · September 25, 2015 This week the campaign entered the “edgy phase”, the moment in every campaign where no one really knows what’s going on. No one can predict when a campaign will dip into this inevitable moment. The pollsters of Canada all conflict with one another. The partisans are clearly getting tired and lashing out. Candidates are still […]
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Post-debate roundup

By Ian Capstick · September 25, 2015 The Media Narrative Health care, the right to die with dignity, the Senate, ISIL and the economy were all featured in the French-language debate last night. Each of the leaders projected a strong and calculated image to Canadians as a result of very solid rehearsals and preparations. The extemporaneous nature of the debate was refreshing […]
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Spotlight on: Local News Hashtags

By Kyle Brown · September 25, 2015 Anyone following this election has already become familiar with a few hashtags, namely #elxn42, #cdnpoli and #election2015. All organizations are vying for valuable space in that stream, but breaking through is a difficult task. That’s why we recommend targeting local news hashtags to ensure your message is seen. For example, here in Ottawa we use […]
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The joust in on: Conflicting polls and pollsters ahead of tonight’s debate.

By Ian Capstick · September 24, 2015 The Media Narrative Get your crackerjacks ready! It’s inside baseball day on the campaign trail or as we say it on French debate day, “le jour de baseball intérieur”. Not really, but that’s what Google Translate says. They’re working on it. It’s a down day on the campaign and this means there’s plenty of time […]
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Spotlight on: Preparing for interviews

By Vanessa King · September 24, 2015 There are a few weeks left in this election, meaning there’s more than enough time left to connect with journalists and insert your organization in the public dialogue. If a reporter reaches out for an interview, make sure you’re prepared. Before the interview, don’t be afraid to ask the reporter what questions he or she […]
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Today’s Special: Dog’s Breakfast

By Ian Capstick · September 23, 2015 The so-called “Media Party”, the moniker assigned to journalists by the right wing because they think journalists all report the same stories, seems to have forgotten to read yesterday’s pack journalism memo. It’s a dog’s breakfast for news out there, folks. Part of the reason is none of yesterday’s major news headlines really entered into […]
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Spotlight on: Easy Digital Advertising

By Vanessa King · September 23, 2015 Social media advertising is an easy way to reach specific audiences at a budget that works for your organization. Facebook “Boosts” and Twitter Promoted Tweet campaigns are a quick, simple way to promote specific posts without spending time building out big campaigns. Boosting posts on Facebook has become more important as page posts are served […]
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Afterburned: the fight over fighter planes heats up

By Ian Capstick · September 22, 2015 Media attention was focused on several fronts yesterday. The NDP and LPC continue to trade barbs over, well, just about everything. The CPC found itself in hot water with the family of Terry Fox because of Conservative MP James Moore’s suggestion that they were enthusiastic about the party’s pledge to match Terry Fox Run donations […]
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Spotlight on: Social Media Graphics

By Vanessa King · September 22, 2015 Using multimedia on Facebook and Twitter can increase a post’s engagement rate by more than eight times. A post with a high engagement rate is more likely to be shown to people outside of your network, which can help grow your following without advertisements. When creating social media graphics, make sure they’re the ideal size […]
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Getting feisty: the post-debate spin cycle

By Ian Capstick · September 21, 2015 Everyone came out swinging this weekend in the all important 72-hour spin cycle after the economic debate. As he arrived in Newfoundland, Mulcair was forced by the LPC to apologize for twenty-year-old comments. The CPC and NDP are seizing on new remarks by Trudeau in a CTV Atlantic interview, suggesting the LPC leader told the media it was their […]
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Spotlight on: Pitching the media

By Vanessa King · September 21, 2015 As newsrooms shrink, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get journalists to cover stories. Most organizations make the mistake of releasing long press releases and firing them off to hundreds of reporters. Here’s how to stand out in a reporter’s inbox: Customize the email. Adding a reporter’s first name to an email is a good first […]
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Spotlight On: Avoiding Social Media Gaffes

By Kyle Brown · September 18, 2015 So far, this election has been rife with candidates dropping out of the race due to social media gaffes. We’ve already written about this here, but the topic was a big hit at last night’s pre-debate panel with Ian Capstick and Kate Harrison, so it’s worth diving into a bit further. Even just two days […]
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Reaction to NDP ‘fiscal framework’, what to expect tonight

By Ian Capstick · September 17, 2015 The NDP needed a well-articulated and clean launch to their “fiscal framework” ahead of the economic debate tonight. The orange team will be pleased with what they accomplished yesterday. First, let’s take a look at the headline reactions: Toronto Star: NDP promises four years of budget surpluses CBC: NDP promises 4 years of balanced budgets […]
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Spotlight on: Becoming the Next @norm

By Kyle Brown · September 17, 2015 There’s no denying that @norm was the Twitter account to watch in August. The 74-year-old Toronto city councillor raced to 130,000 followers and earned recognition in every major media outlet in Canada. So, how do you replicate that success? While understanding the web works in weird, wild and mysterious ways, there are some important best […]
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Tough questions to come ahead of tomorrow’s debate.

By Ian Capstick · September 16, 2015 Ahead of tomorrow’s all important economic debate, the party leaders limit appearances as they prepare for the highly anticipated event. The NDP will be also busy here in Ottawa briefing the media on their platform’s cost. These events are make-or-break moments for political parties. Mulcair faces pressure from deficit-favouring labour economists and others in addition […]
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Spotlight on: Talking to Reddit

By Kyle Brown · September 16, 2015 Reddit has over 71 billion pageviews. Over 3.5 million users visit every day. The Canada subreddit has over 185,000 subscribers, not to mention Canada is home to the second most pageviews per capita in the world (behind only Iceland). Campaign managers salivate at the thought of reaching an educated and informed population from across the […]
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This election, the media aren’t ‘beholden’ to party announcements

By Ian Capstick · September 15, 2015 Yesterday’s highly anticipated release of Finance Canada’s Annual Financial Report can be explained with four major news headlines. Read in this order: Canada posts surplus of $1.9-billion for the 2014-15 fiscal year:Federal surplus is good political news for both Stephen Harper and Tom Mulcair (CBC) This means Harper holds to prediction of budget surplus for current […]
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Spotlight On: Social Media and Debates

By Kyle Brown · September 15, 2015 Second-­screening has become a crucial aspect of all debates this election, and shows no signs of slowing. With the initial debate this election, Maclean’s ran the hashtag #MacDebate in addition to hosting a panel of journalists and pundits and throwing questions out to the crowd on social media. So how do you and your organization […]
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How to shape and watch Thursday’s Globe and Mail leaders’ debate

By Ian Capstick · September 14, 2015 Plan to participate in the Globe and Mail Federal Leaders’ Debate on Thursday, September 17, 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM (EST). Live from Stampede Park in Calgary, Globe and Mail editor-in-chief David Walmsley (@WalmsleyGlobe) will moderate the debate. Political reporter Jane Taber (@JaneTaber1) will lead a panel before and after the debate. Help shape the […]
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Spotlight On: Finding the millennials

By Kyle Brown · September 14, 2015 Amidst the conversations of the role social media will play this election, a number of emerging platforms have been largely ignored. We’ve already written about the parties’ poor efforts to connect with students on traditional media, but how about on the online spaces millennials actually enjoy? While all of the leaders are active on Facebook […]
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Spotlight On: Effective Op-eds

By Vanessa King · September 11, 2015 Op-eds are a great way to share a message in the media without paying for advertising or pitching reporters. Before writing an election op-ed, make sure your piece is timely, succinct and well-placed. Focus on the news Every op-ed needs a news hook to make it relevant to readers. Be careful not to be so […]
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A three-way race and photo-op galore

By Ian Capstick · September 11, 2015 The campaign hit the halfway mark this week, and we have a three-way race on our hands. So far, most of the campaign has been spent jockeying. Each of the parties have released just enough policy to get by while playing defense on candidate eruptions and gaffes. We’re seeing very different strategies from each of […]
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Get prepared for policy in this election

By Ian Capstick · September 11, 2015 Some of you may remember the awesome kids show Romper Room. At the end of the show, the host would hold up her magic mirror and look through the TV to “see” the kids watching and make sure you had a great day. I’d wait and wait to hear my name. Elections can be just […]
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Minor scandals cloud headlines, Conservatives struggle to recalibrate

By Ian Capstick · September 11, 2015 Minor scandal seems to be the media’s stock and trade these days, pushing any substantive policy announcements off the agenda. The NDP and CPC had social media eruptions and candidate scandals earlier this week. Yesterday, the LPC made news when one candidatesuggested pregnant women should smoke pot and another bravely admitted alcohol and depression was […]
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Using Twibbons to garner online support

By Kyle Brown · September 11, 2015 One of the greatest social media tools over the past six years has been the Twibbon. Since its appearance in 2009, the Twibbon has played an enormous role in social media advocacy campaigns of all shapes and sizes. This election, expect to see an example of a Twibbon coming to a friend or family member […]
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How to build momentum next week

By Ian Capstick · September 10, 2015 It’s Thursday: focus on this weekend. What do you need to do to build momentum next week? Two important to-do items: Take a few extra hours and review the elections sites of each party, the five week review by our team and some of the most recent coverage. Plan to watch one of the political […]
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Conservative message lost amid leaks and refugee crisis

By Ian Capstick · September 10, 2015 The CPC message is becoming lost to two competing stories: the ongoing refugee crisis and the emerging narrative of a Conservative campaign in panic mode. The stories intersect at the strategic level and reveal an interesting weakness in the CPC campaign. It’s important to note two key facts: Ray Novak, Harper’s chief of staff, was sent […]
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Spotlight On: Social media and third party advertising

By Kyle Brown · September 10, 2015 As more groups turn to social media to reach large audiences fast, Canada’s election advertising laws scramble to remain as relevant as possible. The world of third-party advertising can be a bit tricky, but there is one rule that should guide all efforts: any time you are paying to have something appear, you should assume […]
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To do list: Scrub social media, tune in

By Ian Capstick · September 9, 2015 One Take thirty minutes and do a social media scrub down. As several CPC candidates and other campaign officials learned, the Internet lives forever (full disclosure: even Ian’s husband had to apologize yesterday for years old tweets). If you’re a spokesperson in this election or have contact with the media, it’s likely time you take a […]
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September 9: Media Roundup

By Ian Capstick · September 9, 2015 Tuesday’s News Justin Trudeau had his one-on-one with Peter Mansbridge last night. The CBC took the angle that the young Liberal leader “appears to be at odds with his father’s thinking” on several fronts. These include control in the PMO and the issue of which party can form government post-election – Trudeau Sr. suggested in […]
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Three things to watch this week

By Ian Capstick · September 8, 2015 Media outlook for this week: Three things to watch The state of the economy will continue to play a heavy role in the media coverage of the 2015 campaign. Several key dates and Statistics Canada second quarter indicator releases will be of interest in the upcoming weeks. BOC will release rate decision on Wednesday. Attention […]
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September 8: Media Roundup

By Ian Capstick · September 8, 2015 The Media Narrative Over the long weekend, Canada’s media focus was split between the serious and the surreal. The refugee crisis in Europe dominated media coverage. National newspapers devoted major sections to the issue, and television newscasts led with breaking stories related to Syrian refugees. Meanwhile, domestic politics became downright weird as the CPC lost […]
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Candidate Contact Centre

By Kyle Brown · September 8, 2015 MediaStyle’s Candidate Contact Centre (C3) is an innovative digital tool that allows organizations to inspire and mobilize their members quickly and easily this election. It’s a revolutionary tool that allows third-party or member-organizations to rapidly pivot, and offer feedback to candidates on any issue. Inspired by MediaStyle’s collective experience on the campaign trail and our […]
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Spotlight On: Influence Campaigns

By Kyle Brown · September 8, 2015 An influence campaign during an election is only as strong as its messaging. In other words, content is king. Too often, organizations rush to share content without considering their objectives and audience, therefore sending out a diluted message. Before launching any sort of communications plan (be that one tweet or a full orchestrated campaign), an […]
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Highlighting the emerging refugee crisis and impact on the election

By Ian Capstick · September 4, 2015 Chris Alexander’s appearance on Power and Politics took place only hours prior to the country learning that a young boy found drowned on a beach in Turkey may have had a Canadian connection. If it wasn’t clear from Alexander’s interview, Canada has no comprehensive strategy to bring in Syrian refugees. With the emergence of this […]
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Week 4: Where the Leaders Were

By Vanessa King · September 4, 2015 Stephen Harper – On Monday, the Conservative leader showed off his famously dry humour at a Tim Hortons, where he joked, “Just don’t let me handle the cash.” This foreshadowed the rest of his week, which was spent fending off questions about Canada’s deficit. He announced a mining tax credit while in North Bay, which […]
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Spotlight On: Tweeting at Candidates

By Vanessa King · September 4, 2015 Candidates realize door knocking isn’t the only way to engage voters. Most candidates are on social media, and Twitter specifically provides organizations a unique opportunity to speak to candidates about the issues affecting them. Below are some tips for increasing your traction on Twitter. Know your Audience Don’t waste time tweeting to someone who won’t […]
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September 4: This Week and Next

By Ian Capstick · September 4, 2015 Economics dominated the headlines and Canadians got a good lesson in “recession politics.” Canada was in a “technical recession” (GDP numbers reflect first two quarters of 2015, past tense is “technically” most accurate). Employment numbers are strong and the .01% contraction is tiny. If we weren’t in the midst of The Longest Campaign Ever™, this […]
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Q&A: Platform Development

By Ian Capstick · August 28, 2015 How does a policy make it into the platform? Each political party has their own process for deciding what makes it into their respective platform. At the end of the day, it is the responsibility of the senior strategists and campaign manager to decide what to put in front of Canadians. It has little to […]
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Week 3: Where the Leaders Were

By Vanessa King · August 28, 2015   Stephen Harper The Conservative leader stuck to Ontario and Quebec this week, making several whistle-stop appearances in small towns in both provinces. While in Markham, Harper promised funding for the Foreign Credential Recognition Loans program, which provides financial support to new Canadians. Thomas Mulcair The NDP leader also travelled through Ontario and Quebec this week. Mulcair […]
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Week 3: This Week on the Trail

By Ian Capstick · August 28, 2015 The Duffy trial wound down this week, leaving Canadians with a major takeaway: the levers of power in Harper’s PMO were controlled more tightly than anyone on the outside could have imagined. Women’s issues were in focus briefly this week as the NDP suffered the brunt of an online barrage of criticism for skipping the […]
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Spotlight On: TV Appearances

By Vanessa King · August 28, 2015 Preparation and confident delivery can make or break a television appearance. Below are MediaStyle’s top tips for on-camera interviews.
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Spotlight On: Undecided Voters

By Vanessa King · August 27, 2015 Context Only 30 per cent of Canadians have decided which party they’re voting for, while 70 per cent remain undecided according to an Abacus Data poll released this week. Why it Matters Leaders and influencers still have eight weeks to sway undecided voters. More than one third of these voters say they won’t make up their […]
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Week 2: Where the Leaders Were

By Vanessa King · August 22, 2015 Stephen Harper made several policy announcements while in New Brunswick and the GTA, including a plan to add 5,000 reservists to the Canadian Armed Forces and increase adoption tax credits. He also announced a renewed commitment to the Conservative’s “Life Means Life” legislation. He was the only leader who didn’t attend Montreal Pride on Sunday. […]
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Spotlight On: Getting Students to Vote

By Vanessa King · August 21, 2015 To many students, voting is like talking on the phone—annoying and to be avoided, even though Mom insists. In this election, parties are relying on student apathy. Student issues are not referenced on party websites, and they have not been discussed in debates or at campaign stops. Student issues are rarely in party platforms because students are rarely at the polls. In […]
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Q&A: Tim Powers

By Ian Capstick · August 21, 2015 What has you excited about the 2015 election? So far I am not overly excited about the election. However, if there is a glimmer of enjoyment for me it is the fact that it looks to be legitimately competitive to start and one way or the other some sort of history will be made based on who wins. […]
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Week 2: This Week on the Trail

By Ian Capstick · August 21, 2015 Wright and Wrong This week won’t be remembered for what happened on the campaign trail but for the courtroom drama in Ottawa. Nigel Wright’s highly anticipated testimony dominated political coverage early this week and the equally interesting revelations of former PMO lawyer Benjamin Perrin capped off the week at the Duffy trail. The revelations? The […]
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Week 1: This Week on the Trail

By Ian Capstick · August 14, 2015 Week two of the campaign will be remembered for what happened off trail as the Duffy Trial resumed with a star witness: the one and only Nigel Wright, super-starconsigliere to the Prime Minister. Wright made for a sympathetic and friendly witness for both the prosecution anddefence, a near impossible feat considering the lengths Wright went to cover up the Duffy […]
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Q&A: David Coletto

By Ian Capstick · August 14, 2015 What has you excited about the 2015 election? I’m most excited about the level of competition that exists between the major parties. At this point, any of the three main parties could win the election and any of them could come third. A long campaign coupled with a highly volatile electorate and a strong desire for change means that anything can […]
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Spotlight On: Truth and Reconciliation

By Vanessa King · August 14, 2015 The Truth and Reconciliation Commission made 94 recommendations in its June report on Indian Residential Schools and their legacy in Canada. The full report is expected after Oct. 19, yet many are asking how the TRC recommendations will play into the national conversation this election. Party approaches to implementing the TRC recommendations are divided across the board. The Liberals committed to adopting all 94 […]
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Week 1: Where the Leaders Were

By Vanessa King · August 14, 2015 Harper—The Conservatives made several policy announcements of interest this week. While in Ottawa, the Conservative Leader said he would crack down on “terror tourism”, making it illegal for Canadians to travel to locations with high terrorism rates. In the new riding of Markham-Thornhill, he announced (again) he would accept 10,000 refugees from Iraq and Syria […]
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Finding your brand’s voice

By Vanessa King · July 31, 2015 Social media is an authentic, personal way to connect with key audiences. The smartest brands have established clear voices on social media, drawing people in and making them feel as though they know the brand personally. Slack is a great example of a company that knows its voice and uses it to engage audiences. At […]
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We Do Not Negotiate With Trolls Pt. 2 – Being Prepared

By Kyle Brown · July 24, 2015 [This is the second entry in a three-part series on responding to negative criticism online] Last month, we talked about the best way to respond to negative criticism online. However, that post was all about the reactive – about turning around negative publicity and knowing how to respond. This week we’ll talk about the importance […]
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Avoid these four Facebook ad mistakes

By Vanessa King · July 13, 2015 With increased throttling and diminishing organic reach, more Facebook page managers are turning to social advertising to reach followers and get traction online. Facebook ads are a constantly changing and sometimes complicated communications tool. If you’re currently running ads or thinking of starting a new campaign, avoid these common pitfalls to ensure you’re reaching your […]
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5 Key Social Media Analytics

By Vanessa King · May 15, 2015 You don’t need to pay for software to learn valuable social media insights. Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have analytics tools built right into their platforms to help you better understand your posts and how they’re influencing audiences. Below are five key insights available through these tools. 1) See when your Facebook audiences are online. This […]
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An easy way to standout on Google

By Charlie Crabb · May 10, 2015 It’s tough to stand out on Google. It’s a constant struggle to stay out of obscurity, out of the doldrums of the second, third or fourth page of hits. You can routinely publish fresh content, retool your adword campaign and pray to the Google algorithm overlords, but there’s no silver bullet that will keep you […]
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Preparing for the Political AMA: Six Strategies for Success

By Kyle Brown · May 6, 2015 As the federal election draws closer, political candidates across the country are busy developing detailed strategies for communications and media outreach. Increasingly, politicians are turning to reddit and participating in Ask Me Anythings, better known as AMAs. The platform makes sense. Last year alone, reddit had: Over 71 billion pageviews. 174 million monthly unique visitors […]
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