The Word

about Centennial’s Corporate Communications + PR program

Archive for May, 2009

Grad wins significant award

Posted by bwaite on May 11, 2009

Marta Sinyard joined the CC+PR program in January 2002.  She completed her Field Placement internship with St. Joseph’s Media, under the direction of communicator Christine DiSiato.  Marta’s  been there ever since, earning a number of promotions and increasing her responsibilities.

Our 2008 Chairman’s Award Recipient

If there is an opportunity to learn something new, this associate is there with no hesitation. She views every opportunity as a chance to learn and grow into a valued but humble associate.

She is a strong advocate of using recycled stocks for all communications. She is involved in St. Joseph Partners in Growth program and is an active member of the Environmental task force; it’s evident she is all about saving the environment and will step up and do whatever it takes to make it happen. And she feels guilty when using styrofoam cups for her coffee.

It is with honour that we introduce St. Joseph Print’s 2008 Chairman’s Award.

Recipient of St. Joseph Print's 2008 Chairman's Award - Marta Sinyard

Recipient of St. Joseph Print's 2008 Chairman's Award - Marta Sinyard

Marta started with St. Joseph Communications on July 7, 2004 as a part-time intern in the Corporate Communications & Marketing department.

Through her dedication and hard work, she quickly became the full-time Communications Coordinator, and was given the immense responsibilities of planning and executing some of St. Joseph Communications major associate initiatives, including Partners in Growth, Volunteer Day, and of course, Chairman’s Award.

As St. Joseph’s Associate Manager, Corporate Communications, she is a passionate and enthusiastic associate, willing to pitch in wherever needed.

Our sincerest congratulations Marta!


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Grad doesn’t consider PR “The Dark Side”

Posted by bwaite on May 11, 2009

Grad Bruce Williams

Grad Bruce Williams

By William Lin, Class of 2009

Two decades ago, Bruce Williams covered a murder in East York. It was to be his last story.

A Centennial College journalism student, Williams spent late evenings toiling on the student-run East York Observer. He covered fairly routine stories, from advertisements on garbage trucks to an apartment protest where tenants set furniture on fire. But, he was bothered by the murder.

“That’s sort of what led me to not want to be a journalist, because part of that was having to interview the family of the murdered person. And, I just couldn’t do it,” Williams said. He was also frustrated by the lack of creativity while writing sports copy at his placement at 680 News.

So, after graduating in 1992, he took Centennial’s then two-year corporate communications program, where his writing and design skills found a new home. Today, Williams works as Centennial’s advertising manager in the marketing department, a return full circle to his alma mater. He credits Centennial’s corporate communications program for his career.

“It gives you a fair bit of breadth of knowledge and skills, and that’s what I enjoyed about it. It’s not just focused on writing. It’s designing, writing, editing. It’s interviewing,” he said.

Like reporting, his current job is deadline-driven; he gets three to four calls a day from college departments asking for brochures, posters and mini-marketing plans to promote programs. Williams is responsible for two designers, handles mass media advertising and creates ads for courses and programs. It’s his first marketing position, but Williams said the skills are transferrable from corporate communications. “You just kind of tweak your thinking a bit.”

When Williams refers to his journalism background, he often gets wry comments. “They say ‘oh, so you’ve come over the dark side,” he said. “I don’t think marketing has to be seen as dark. I think if you have a good product or a good service or whatever it is, you’re promoting those benefits and services in an ethical way, there’s nothing dark about that,” he said.

In fact, Williams has always used his communications skills to aid others. After graduating, he did contract work for Canada Housing Mortgage Corporation and the Ontario Heritage Foundation. He then spent three years at Goodwill Industries of Toronto and another three at what was then known as Foster Parents Plan.

He was eventually hired as a communications coordinator at Centennial after bumping into the marketing director at a magazine store one afternoon. He was soon promoted to advertising manager.
“That’s another way I can justify being in marketing and communications. I’m working for organizations that help better lives. It’s not like I’m other there on the street talking to people and helping them, but I’m contributing in some small way.”

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Grad enjoys working for Ontario government

Posted by bwaite on May 11, 2009

Julia Holliday

Grad Julia Holliday

By Nicole Bachan, Class of 2009

Fiona and Sean, two appropriately named prized shamrocks, strategically nestle neatly under the lights in the corner of Julia Holliday’s desk. She is a graduate of the Corporate Communications and Public Relations (CC&PR) program and director of the Web and Interactive Marketing department at the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation (OTMPC).

Although Holliday nurtures these shamrock plants, the luck of the Irish is by no means the reason for Holliday’s successful career.

Holliday, who graduated in the late 80’s, really enjoys her job at the OTMPC and attributes her success to the CC&PR program at Centennial College. “If I hadn’t taken that program at Centennial College, I wouldn’t be sitting here,” she says.

At 28, married and with two children, Holliday found out through a friend about the merits of enrolling in the then two-year CC& PR program. She registered for the program as she felt confident in her writing. “I’d always been a really good writer,” Holliday said, and, naturally, decided to pursue her career along those lines.

With Holliday’s previous writing experience at Aon Reed Stenhouse Insurance Brokerage Communications’ Department producing internal and external publications, Holliday knew the CC&PR program was a right fit.

As a result, following her internship at the Department of Public Health, she landed a six-month contract at the OTMPC. This resulted in her present seven years of success at this corporation.

Holliday’s assessment of the CC&PR Program courses is “extremely useful.” She appreciated the journalistic writing aspect, the photography course, and the creative thinking prods from Christine Smith, the program coordinator.

Now, with a team of six, managing 13 different websites, Holliday highlighted the “skills around thinking creatively and strategically,” “writing effectively,” and “analyzing annual reports,” as proficiencies she uses consistently as part of web marketing. She also frequently works strategically with the director and on other specific projects with an advertising team.

Her greatest challenge now is “the new trend of social media,” she said. “You have to be strategic in thinking. It’s not always the right strategy.” Holliday is interested in using social media to advertise the customer experience. However, “challenges from the government and privacy laws” restrict content. “Many resources have to go into it,” Holliday said.

Having both this CC&PR education and work experience, Holliday offered this advice. “It’s always overwhelming, but put discipline in it” and “be very confident; confidence is like three quarters of it.”

It appears only the shamrocks know the final quarter to Holliday’s continued success.

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