Elizabeth Trew

Elizabeth Trew
PIC Director of Communications

We're listening!

PIC's event surveys tell us what kind of programs our members want and to see what we can do better. Our members want to learn about the latest trends in social media and how to market their businesses. Attendance for this type of programming confirms this desire. So for our June 6 PIC event, we've lined up branding expert Rhonda Page who will provide tips and tools to help you know your difference™.

Because people also told us they want something to eat, PIC now provides an assortment of wraps at meetings, in addition to beverages and cookies. Not only does our caterer - the YMCA Hospitality Training Program - provide reasonably-priced food, it also provides valuable training for people on social assistance. This training is designed to help provide them with the skills they will need to enter the hospitality industry.

We know that some of you want a change in venue. Due to cost considerations, we've chosen to stay at Metro Hall for the next while.

Keep giving us your ideas by completing event surveys or by contacting us at

New to the world of independents?

We've noticed some people at our recent meetings are just starting their businesses or thinking of going independent. If you're a newbie, you can go to The Independent Life on the PIC blog to find everything you want to know about setting up your own business. You'll find tips on setting your fees, setting up your office, marketing your services and managing your finances. You'll also find a wealth of resources on subjects that range from registering your business to dealing with Canada Customs and Revenue Agency.     

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 We're always looking for new ideas.
Elizabeth Trew

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Tidbits of Knowledge
IABC/Toronto members and non-members can now access our Professional Independent Communicators - Toronto blog and check out content by your peers and event podcasts.

"Know your difference"
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.
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KNOWYOURDIFFERENCEKnow your difference
Do you know what sets you apart from your competition?

If you don't, then you're likely to be a little bit of everything to everyone, spreading yourself thin and working hard, but not getting the clients you want and the revenue you need.    

If you need help in getting noticed, then come to PIC's June 6 event to listen to speaker Rhonda Page present personal branding strategies. She'll provide tips that help you stand out from the rest of the pack so clients will want to work with you.  

You'll learn:  
  •     why it's important to have a clear vision of who your customers are  
  •     how to stand out from others doing similar work
  •     what branding is and what branding isn't (hint: it's not about your logo)

You will leave with a brand score, action steps and special secrets to build your unique brand.  


Rhonda is the Clarity Girl at know your difference™, a program designed to help small businesses get clarity on their unique difference so they can market themselves successfully. Rhonda's more than 20 years experience in creating brands for global companies have helped her develop a coaching program on brand differentiation tailored to the needs of small business owners. 


For a preview of what you will learn at this event, listen to a podcast of PIC Chair Donna Papacosta interviewing Rhonda Page.  

Date:              Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Time:              6:00 to 9:00 pm
Place:              Room 314, Metro Hall (55 John Street)                                                 
Price:              $22.00 + HST for members and $32.00 + HST for non-members
                      Includes wraps, home-baked cookies, juice, coffee and tea




Secrets of successful communicators

By Sue Horner

The F-word cropped up early in the March 7 "Secrets of successful independents" session put on by PIC. I'm talking about FOCUS.

Coping with changes in the freelance landscape requires both focus and business vision, the foundation of a business plan, agreed speakers Paul Lima, author and freelance writer, and Cathy Ledden, RGD, of Ledden Design. Yet a show of hands revealed that embarrassingly few of those at the meeting have a business plan, which is one of the secrets to being a successful independent.

What do you do with your 86,400 seconds a day?


Time management can often be a dry topic. But time management expert Ann Max, president of Productive to the Max and presenter at PIC's May 2 meeting, engaged the audience with her warmth and sense of humour by discussing the unique time management challenges of independents.

Instead of presenting the usual laundry list of time management techniques, Ann told us we first need to focus on what we want and how we work.

She helped us understand that time management is about living the life you want. It's about getting control of what's coming at you and not letting others dictate how you spend your time. It's about more time planning and less time reacting.


The IABC/Toronto blog has a new logo and name, thanks to IABC/Toronto volunteers who developed the logo and suggested the new name, comm-VERSATIONS.

PIC member Cathy Ledden, RGD, of Ledden Design and her colleague Susan Mosdell, RGD, designed the logo, and IABC/Toronto member Juliet-Paul Kamanu picked the new name.

Several changes were made to the blog to encourage member participation. These include:
  •     Modifying the disclaimer, so articles appear "as is"   
  •     Rearranging the social sharing links
  •     Recognizing the author (short bio and a picture, if you so choose)
  •     Archiving the posts in chronological order (instead of alphabetical)
So start blogging now!


What are you up to? 

Please send your What's Up! news to Elizabeth Trew at 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).

Congratulations to PIC member Barb Sawyers for winning the "What's Your IABC Story Contest?" Barb won a free one-year IABC membership, complimentary registration to the OVATION awards gala and a feature article in an upcoming issue of Communicator.

Barb's award-winning story compares her early IABC/Toronto adventures to the way Dorothy felt when she woke up in the Land of Oz. "Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore," Barb begins.

IABC/Toronto logo

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. 

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