Day 2 of Conference

Tracks: CS = Communication Skills; L&S = Leadership & Strategy; M&B = Marketing & Branding; R = Reputation; E = Engagement

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

9:30 – 10:00 a.m.  Tradeshow & Networking
10:00 – 10:10 a.m.   Welcome/Opening Remarks
10:10 – 10:50 a.m.  Keynote Session

Ipsos Insights: What Does the Future Hold? (S)

Darrell Bricker, CEO, IPSOS Canadian Public Affairs

How does Canada- and world-wide research about COVID impacts, economic recovery, the future of travel and returning to brick-and-mortar workplaces help our individual organizations prepare for the next 3, 6 and 12 months of ongoing changes? Hear insights into the latest research into vaccine uptake and resistance, what the results of the recent federal election mean for the economy and recovery, and predicting the future at the local level. Understand how communicators can lead the use of research to help leaders and employees adapt to the known and unknown.

10:50 – 11:10 a.m.  Networking/Tradeshow Break

11:10 – 11:55 a.m. General Session

Leading the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Communications: Challenges & Lessons Learned (S)

Cathy Allison, A/Associate ADM, Communications and Public Affairs Branch, Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada

Introduction: The Government of Canada was – and is – the lead on communicating the country’s response to the COVID-19 response, both to Canadians directly and to the federal government’s partners, such as provinces and international agencies.

The pandemic has challenged Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada like no other incident in recent history. Just as organizations and companies across the country had to adapt and respond in real time, so did the public sector, but they had to do it first and fast to help Canadians prepare

Objective: With circumstances evolving at lightning speed and dozens of ministries involved, learn how senior communications leaders within the public sector re-organized themselves to respond, addressed communicating in such uncertainty, focused on inclusion with tight timelines, and worked with Ministers as key spokespeople.


  • Cutting through approval layers to make decisions quickly
  • Saying ‘no’ certain request to focus on priorities
  • Training and managing multiple spokespeople
  • Hindsight is 20/20: lessons learned

11:55 a.m.– 12:05 p.m. Chair Yoga

12:05 – 12:25 p.m.  Lunch/Networking/Tradeshow Break

12:25 – 1:10 p.m.  Breakout Sessions

A. Keeping You Safe: The Invisible Work of Cybersecurity Communications (E, CS)

Linda Ong, ABC, Communications Director, University of British Columbia, UBC IT – Office of the Chief Information Officer

Trevor Carpenter, Content Strategist, University of British Columbia, UBC IT, Cybersecurity

Introduction: In a frenetic digital ecosystem, the prevalence of cybersecurity incidents plague our workplaces and personal lives. When done well, cybersecurity communications keeps users safe, informed and educated to withstand the perils of phishing, breaches, and ransomware attacks that are increasingly more and more invasive and global in reach.

Objective: Examples will be shared from UBC’s award-winning cybersecurity communications program, unifying privacy, information security, and technology.

In this session, hear more on the role of communicators when adopting or integrating cybersecurity communications into your toolkit.


  • How cybersecurity incidents can make or break organizational reputations and erode stakeholder confidence
  • How to recruit executive leadership to foster an internal culture of vigilance and awareness
  • How to apply issues management and crisis communications techniques to navigate ongoing risks

B. A Facebook Faux Pas (R)

Tara Shand, Corporate Communications Manager, The City of Red Deer
Julia Harvie-Shemko, Founder/CEO, Red Thread Connections

Sometimes we learn more from our failures than our successes as was the case when one of our team members accidentally posted a passionate personal comment about the LGBTQ+ community on The City’s Facebook page instead of her own. We acted fast, owned the mistake and put ourselves in the press on our own terms resulting in media coverage that was 90 per cent consistent with our stated key messages, triggering online community support and minimal community backlash.

In this session, learn how we quickly managed this issue and processes we changed as a result. Attendees will:

  • Understand how to manage mishaps, mistakes and muck ups in an online world
  • Get comfortable with “I’m Sorry”
  • Learn how to build trust, even when we mess up.

1:10 – 1:30 p.m.   Networking/Tradeshow Break

1:30 – 2:15 p.m.  Breakout Sessions

A. How to Leverage Micro-Influencers Efficiently (M&B)

Mike Schwarz, CEO, MyZone Media

Introduction: If you have been running influencer marketing campaigns and are not quite seeing the results you expect, it may be time to reevaluate your strategy and implementation. Or perhaps you’re launching a new business and want to see how far influencer marketing can take your brand. When it works, influencer marketing supercharges your business’ bottom line by generating gains across the funnel–it increases brand awareness and strengthens brand image, boosts engagement and optimizes conversions.

Objective: In this session, attendees will gain deeper insight into how and when influencer marketing works, how to develop an effective strategy, how to automate processes and which tools to use and how to measure success.


  • Comparison between macro and micro social media influencers and when to utilize each
  • How to successfully incentivize influencers
  • Tips on how to manage influencers and things to avoid
  • Insights from a case study for Glow Gardens, which generated over $5 million in media value on a budget of less than $20,000, and the role of social media influencers in its success

B. The Communicator’s Roles in Indigenous EDI (CS, L&S)

Juli Holloway, SCMP, Principal, Weft Communications

Introduction: This session will help communicators understand how to welcome Indigenous worldviews into the workplace to foster inclusion and belonging for Indigenous employees, as well as how to create stronger organizational relationships with Indigenous people and communities.

Objective: Indigenous communicators will share their lived experiences and insights to help participants come away from this session with practical ideas.


  • Challenge unconscious bias and contribute to truth and reconciliation
  • Create space for Indigenous inclusion by supporting education on historical and contemporary Indigenous issues
  • Forge stronger and more meaningful relationships with Indigenous communities

2:15 – 2:30 p.m.  Wellness Break

2:30 – 3:15 p.m.   Closing Keynote

Edelman Trust Barometer 2021 (R)

Megan Spoore, National Practice Lead, Corporate, and General Manager, Edelman Calgary

After a year of unprecedented disaster and turbulence—the Covid-19 pandemic and economic crisis, the global outcry over systemic racism and political instability—the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer reveals an epidemic of misinformation and widespread mistrust of societal institutions and leaders around the world. Adding to this is a failing trust ecosystem unable to confront the rampant infodemic, leaving the four institutions—business, government, NGOs and media—in an environment of information bankruptcy and a mandate to rebuild trust and chart a new path forward. This presentation will do a deep-dive into the Canadian Trust data and explore how companies in Canada can leverage the report to create a path forward.

3:15 p.m.   Closing Remarks