January - February 2011
Elizabeth Trew

Elizabeth Trew,
PIC Director of Communications

PIC thanks Helen Kohl for graciously volunteering to copy edit the buzz. Helen is a veteran communications consultant and project manager with corporate clients in business and government. She was a contributing editor to the Financial Post magazine and has written for many major Canadian magazines. 
Our March 2 workshop, Are you getting the most out of LinkedIn, is sold out! We'll make sure to include key learnings from this event in our next newsletter ---- not as helpful as what you might have learned at the workshop, but the next best thing. 
Former comedian and now website expert Paul Chato is certain to inform and entertain you at PIC's April 6 workshop, Interview with your website. This workshop, like the March 2 event,is proving to be very popular, so book now!
We're pleased that more work opportunities have recently come our way. We want to be the "go to" place for finding talented freelancers, so tell your friends in corporate communications that PIC provides free postings for contract work, requests for recommendations and RFPs. All they have to do is email the job description to us and we'll do the rest.
What independent isn't interested in earning more money? Check out January's program report on How to get paid what you're worth for helpful tips.
PIC members and non-members alike can now go to PIC's newsletter archives for quick access to past issues of the buzz. That's much easier than searching through your emails for the past year's newsletters.  
Director of Communications
In This Issue (links)
PIC welcomes new copy editor
Save the date!
January program report
The Independent Life: Helping you run a successful communications practice
What's up?
Quick Links
Tidbits of Knowledge

Check out our Independents Toronto blog for content shared by your peers and event podcasts. Non-members can visit our podcasts here.

Upcoming events:

Are you getting the most out of LinkedIn? - Sold out!


Interview with your website

Writers needed

We'd love to hear from you if you're interested in becoming a volunteer writer for PIC or IABC's Communicator

PIC's MISSION & the buzz
PIC's mission is to support independent IABC/Toronto communicators through professional development, networking and marketing.

The buzz is PIC's e-newsletter, intended to inform independent communicators about our activities, share professional development tips from past meetings and keep us aware of what's going on.
Join Our Mailing List!



Interview with your website


"What has your website done for you lately?" is one of Paul Chato's favourite questions.


Paul is the founder of the company, Your Web Department™. His company helps small businesses design and manage their websites to accomplish real, measurable results ---- in addition to looking pretty.


Paul will share the technique he developed, Interview with Your Website, that helps his clients learn how to establish a website strategy that makes their websites earn their keep.


Even if you don't have any programming experience, you will learn the basics of designing and developing a website. You will also learn how to integrate your website with social media, use Google analytics, obtain website statistics with a click of a mouse, and much more!


Paul Chato created Your Web Department™ to be the world's first hosted website management system for designers and communications specialists. Before he started his software development career 20 years ago, Paul was a member of the comedy troupe The Frantics, and served as head of television comedy at the CBC.


Date:  Wednesday, April 6

Time:  6:00 to 9:00 pm.

Place:  TBA



paidHow to get paid what you're worth
By Sue Horner, Get It Write!
Are you getting paid what you're worth?

Anyone can appreciate the value and attraction of that concept, but perhaps independent business owners most of all.

Last month, I attended a networking/professional development event on just that topic, put on by IABC/Toronto's Professional Independent Communicators (PIC). The session was a panel discussion about fees and getting paid. Here are are some of the tips shared by the panel, which was made up of Kevin Hanson (a communication consultant specializing in performance management and reporting); Donna Papacosta (writer, podcaster and chair of PIC); and Marcia Ross (writer and editor of IABC/Toronto's Communicator newsletter):

On setting up your fee structure/proposal:

  • Not certain what to charge? Ask senior level corporate communicators what they pay for similar work, or ask other independents what they charge. IABC members can also view the 2009-2010 salary survey (log in required), which includes some information on freelance/self-employed members.



Need help with your business?  


Find everything you want to know about running a successful business in The Independent Life, a series of 6 articles in the Independents Toronto blog.


You will learn about: 

  • Building an effective website: seven surefire strategies for failure (and how to avoid them)
  • 10 low-cost ways you can promote your business
  • How to price a corporate writing job

Thanks to PIC's Social Media Director, Gary Schlee and long-time independents Sue Horner and Lee Weisser for their work in transferring this information from our Wiki to our blog.  


Attended any interesting presentations lately? Have any helpful marketing tips? Use the Independents Toronto blog to spread the word to fellow indies! 

What are you up to?

The PIC Marketing Team dreamed up this new section of the buzz to provide updates on members' news, help us get to know our independent colleagues and help us learn about the range of their skills, talents and interests.

Please send your What's Up! news to Elizabeth Trew at elizabethtrewcommunications@bell.net. Keep your blurb to 60 words or fewer! If you wish, you can also include a link to your LinkedIn profile, website or blog (only one link, please).

Former PIC Chair Barb Sawyer of Sticky Communication recently held a pilot workshop based on her ebook, Write like you talk - only better, and she also spoke at a "Lunch & Learn" hosted by the Canadian Association of Women Executives and Entrepreneurs. Barb will share her expertise again at the IABC/Toronto's March 22 evening seminar, Write like you talk - only better, where she will discuss the three easy steps that can turn good talkers into good writers.


PIC is a special interest group of IABC Toronto. As the largest chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators, IABC Toronto provides access to products, services, activities and networking opportunities in Toronto and around the world. IABC helps people and organizations achieve excellence in corporate communications, public relations, employee communication, marketing communication, public affairs and other forms of communication. For more information, visit the
IABC website.
Don't forget to connect with us on the web: pictoronto.com