Spring - Summer 2011
Elizabeth Trew

Elizabeth Trew,
PIC Director of Communications

On behalf of the PIC executive, I want to thank everyone who attended our workshops in 2010-2011. During the past year, for the first time ever, one of our workshops - Getting the most out of LinkedIn - sold out! Lesson learned: we'll be sure to include some social media workshops during 2011-2012.

Speaking of social media, read PIC Chair Donna Papacosta's post Beginner's Guide to Google+ on the new IABC/Toronto blog. We hope you consider contributing to this blog to promote your ideas and show off your writing skills. As an added bonus, you can link it to your own blog or website to drive traffic to your business.

Better networking opportunities this fall
We've all been guilty of coming to a meeting and talking only to people we know, rather than approaching people we don't know and introducing ourselves. Starting in September, PIC will provide formal networking before our workshops to help people break that habit. Who knows? You could add someone who could help you grow your business or to bounce ideas off to your network.

Looking for speakers for PIC workshops
If you've attended a presentation or heard someone speak on a topic that could be of interest to PIC members, contact us at info@pictoronto.com. We're always looking for new ideas.

Accessing PIC newsletters   
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


A big thank you from the PIC executive

As another IABC season has drawn to a close, and with the fall soon approaching, I'd like to thank everyone who contributed to the success of PIC. We had a busy year, with our membership growing to 189, and a great roster of entertaining and expert speakers.

In the words of Patricia Davies, our Director of Programming and Events: "Our speakers explored a range of skills and business issues, including how to use mind-mapping, make cold calls, write résumés that people will read, gain credibility without saying a word, keep cash flowing in the right direction, make the most of LinkedIn, and manage our websites. A PIC panel answered questions about 'Are you getting paid what you are worth?' and our final speaker in June told us how to stand out in a crowded field."  

As chair of PIC, I'm grateful for the creativity and dedication of the PIC team, who keep our group running smoothly all year:
  • Patricia Davies, Director of Programming and Events
  • Amy Sept, Director of Membership
  • Elizabeth Trew, Director of Communications
  • Gary Schlee, ABC, Director of Social Media
  • Cathy Ledden, Director of Marketing
  • Barb Sawyers, Past Chair
A big thank you to the other PIC members who volunteered with us, and to the members and guests who came out to our meetings, and to the board of IABC/Toronto for their support.

We hope you will join us this year for more inspiration and education. Of course, we welcome your ideas for speakers and panels and for other PIC initiatives.

Hope you've had a lovely summer. See you in the fall!

Donna Papacosta
PIC Chair 
In This Issue (links)
An update and preview for the fall
Chair's message
Save the date!
May program report
June program report
2011 World Conference highlights
Show off your writing skills
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:

Marketing on a tight budget 

Writers needed

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

marketingSAVE THE DATE!

Are you always trying to do more with less? Then come to PIC's first workshop of 2011-2012 ---- Marketing on a tight budget with Tom Kaufmann.


Date & Time: Wednesday, September 7, 2011 

Place:            TBA


For a preview of this workshop, go to the PIC podcast.




Taking the fear out of cold calling

Just about everyone raised their hand when presenter Tom Kaufmann asked PIC workshop attendees, "Who hates cold calling?"

Business owners need to get over the fear of rejection and failure and the mindset of hating to cold call. It's nothing more than a numbers game, and happens to be the most efficient way to grow one's business.

Here are a few pointers:

  • Develop individual scripts for gatekeepers, decision-makers and voice mail.
  • Practise your scripts until they sound natural.
  • Start your day by making the less important calls, where the outcome isn't crucial to your success.
  • Smile when you speak to someone on the phone. (If you need to, look at a mirror.) Remember that you have five to seven seconds to capture interest, so get to the point. When someone answers the phone (or you reach someone's voice mail) say who you are and why you are calling.
  • Take the focus off yourself and put it on the listener by asking questions. Probe to determine your potential client's "pain point" or "pleasure point."
  • Don't offer your services. Provide solutions to solve your potential client's problems.
  • To help ensure that your phone calls are returned when leaving a voice mail message, ask the person to call you back and specify a time when you will call back if you don't hear back by that time. Call them back when you said you would and leave a voice mail again. (If you don't hear back after several attempts, then stop calling.)

Above all, make cold calling a habit!   


Step into the spotlight 

By Helen Kohl

Tsufit shared her conviction that ALL business is SHOW business - along with her book, Step Into The Spotlight!: A Guide to Getting Noticed -  at a dynamic, entertaining PIC presentation on June 1, 2011.

A former Bay Street lawyer, Tsufit now coaches entrepreneurs and business people from all walks of life on how to use show business techniques to sell themselves and grow their businesses.

A few of her tips:
  • Figure out your role in the marketplace, what you're selling and who your audience is. Much of the time, this comes down to determining your brand and focusing on selling it. Johnny Cash, for instance, maintained his brand as "The Man in Black" by cultivating a renegade persona and performing in Folsom Prison. Rolex always makes sure to sell luxury (not watches). Nike knows its main product is the ability to "just do it" (not shoes).
  • 3Ds of opening your mouth in public are:
    • Don't bore them
    • Don't bore them
    • Don't bore them 
  • When you speak, use words as paintbrushes to create a story. This means replacing standard industry jargon and abstract filler with a concrete, vivid, memorable script that will stick in peoples' heads every time they think of you.
  • Use humour to add credibility. "It tastes awful AND it works," for instance, is the ideal slogan for Buckley's.
  • Build your own fan club. If you're not naturally self-confident, fake it. Remember: you are good enough to be the star of your own business.
  • Know when to sit down and shut up.
  • Business is seduction.
  • Don't be the person who sets up the spiker.
  • If an accountant can land a client in 30 seconds, you can too.  

Helen Kohl is a Toronto-based business communicator and project manager.



Most of us couldn't attend the 2011 World Conference. Lucky for us, a few PIC members brought the conference to us.  


Long-time PIC member and regular World Conference attendee Sue Horner described her most memorable sessions from - Flying solo to Let's tell a story - in her blog.


PIC Chair Donna Papacosta not only wrote about the conference, but was also a presenter. In her blog, Donna describes what she learned, from the most valuable breakout session to the most appreciated refresher course. In her presentation, Digital Storytelling, she helped participants understand that "people forget facts but remember stories." You can download her handouts and audio here.


Other PIC members who made presentations included Annette Martell, ABC, MC and IABC Fellow, who spoke about The Shifting Sands of Communication Measurement and Cyrus Mavalwala, ABC, who discussed Act Like an Agency: Branding You and Your Communications Team.    


PIC members can showcase their skills, share success stories or simply write for fun on the new IABC/Toronto chapter blog. IABC/Toronto blog   


Why do it? Read this post by PIC member and blog co-moderator Barb Sawyers, 10 reasons why you need to write here.    


If you have any questions, please contact Barb at barb@stickycommunication.ca or co-moderator Neil Hrab at neil.hrab@gmail.com.


Start thinking about your first post today!

What are you up to?

This spring, PIC's Director of Membership Amy Sept launched her own firm, Nimbyist Communications.   After 10+ years in staff positions, she's focusing on non-profit marketing and public relations. Amy is keen to build her indie experience and portfolio. If you need support on any projects, please get in touch with her at amy@nimbyist.com.

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).


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