PIC Newsletter - January/February 2013
Newsletter Title
Newsletter Subtitle
Help from your peers at PIC's networking events
PIC's bi-monthly networking events are proving to be a great success! These events attract a wide range of communicators from those working in the corporate world who are planning to go solo soon to seasoned practitioners with 20+ years of experience as indies.

Attendees can obtain practical advice on a wide range of issues from pricing (always a concern!) to finding a good website provider who knows how to work with independents. And learning from your fellow indies in person is more private than posting your questions on LinkedIn groups for your entire network to see.

Interested in taking on an active role in PIC?

It's that time of year again. PIC is recruiting executive members for the 2013-2014 term. See PIC chair Donna Papacosta's article below for more information.

Elizabeth Trew
Director, Communications
Message from PIC's Chair
PIC needs you

I hope you're getting plenty of value from your PIC membership. Some indies tell us that PIC has turned out to be the greatest benefit of joining IABC/Toronto.

As you know, the PIC executive keeps our programming, communications, membership services and social media efforts humming along. The next time you see Pat Davies, Elizabeth Trew, Sharon Aschaiek or Amy Sept, you can thank them for a job well done.

Right now your PIC executive is setting the stage for 2013-2014. And we're asking YOU to get involved. Perhaps you're already helping by writing articles or assisting with programming or promotion. Please consider taking that extra step and joining the PIC executive. Some of our executive volunteers are willing to stay on another year in either the same or different roles. But this is not a closed shop! If you would like to take on one of the PIC positions, please let me know. If you need more information about the roles, visit the PIC Toronto site at http://pictoronto.com/ and click on "PIC Executive" or phone me at 905.844.7645.

Are you involved in an event that you'd like to promote in the buzz? Contact Editor Elizabeth Trew.


Register now!
Websites 2013: What's hot, what's not

Join us on March 6th for an interactive presentation with Marketing CoPilot founder Marie Wiese.

Like many of our presenters have already told us, Marie says communicators should be specific about what we're good at and should accept that we can't be all things to all people.

People often make the mistake of building their website by focusing on what they do. Instead, their website should focus on what the buyer is going through to make a purchase.

Marie Wiese is a marketing professional, speaker and workshop facilitator. She is the founder and president of Marketing CoPilot, a B2B that works with business owners to deliver online strategies and marketing programs with defined metrics and conclusive lead generation results.

You'll learn about the:
  • "30 second litmus test" to determine if your website is working for you
  • Website elements you should consider for conversion success
  • Top ten elements of a successful website 
For a preview of this event, listen to a podcast by PIC Chair Donna Papacosta interviewing Marie Wiese.   

Date & Time: Wednesday, March 6, 2013
                     6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Place:           Committee Room 4, City Hall
                     (100 Queen Street West)
                     Note: Venue change

Cost:             $22.00 for members ($24.86 with HST)
                     $32.00 for non-members ($34.16 with HST)
                     (includes wraps, juice, coffee, tea and cookies)

In This Issue
Help from your peers at PIC's networking events
Message from PIC's Chair
Register now! Websites 2013: What's hot, what's not
January program report
February program report
What's up?
Quick Links
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.
Tidbits of knowledge
IABC/Toronto members and non-members can visit the Professional Independent Communicators - Toronto blog and check out the content written by your peers and event podcasts.

Upcoming events
PIC's Mission and 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!
January program report
Networking queen shows IABC how it's done

By Sue Horner

Donna Messer works a room like nobody else. Members and guests of IABC/Toronto's Professional Independent Communicators (PIC) saw first-hand on January 9 why Donna is known as the Queen of Networking. If any of us expected a traditional PowerPoint presentation, we quickly found out that Donna doesn't work that way.

Networking, Donna told us, is "a systematic process that gets measurable results. If you aren't getting results, you aren't networking."

Making her way from person to person, Donna demonstrated that networking is really "business matchmaking": take what you learn about a new contact and find a match in your network. A healthcare writer, for instance, might like to be introduced to someone you know who leads communications in a hospital.

Use the "3 Ws": Who are you? What do you need? What are you willing to share?


February program report
PIC Networking Exchange

By Elizabeth Trew

PIC's bi-monthly networking meetings give soon-to-be and long-time solo communicators an opportunity to discuss their most pressing issues. If you weren't able to attend, here are some snippets of the conversation that took place. 

Defining yourself

At the February meeting, several members mentioned having problems with defining themselves and selecting a niche. We agreed that you can't be all things to all people, but how much should you limit yourself? One attendee wrestling with this issue said, "It's scary to limit yourself."

Don't say no when a potential client gives you a project that's not your specialty. Instead, help him by referring someone else who can do the work. That way, your potential client will remember you as the "go to" person for recommendations and will come to you when he needs a project in your field. Another approach that works for some independents is forming alliances with other communicators who have different specialties.

What's up?
What have you been doing lately?

Have you spoken at a conference, won an award, written a book or launched a new service? Then use the buzz to tell your fellow indies what you're up to.

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


Elizabeth Trew                                                     Heather West   
Director, Communications                                     Copy editor