PIC Newsletter - May 2016
Hope you enjoy the latest edition of The Buzz!
Changes to your PIC exec, from chair Sharon Aschaiek

I have a love-hate relationship with inspirational quotes.

On one hand, their exhortations to be in the moment, let it go or love yourself can seem trite. Plus, after seeing a dozen a day in my Facebook feed, they start to lose their effect. On the other hand, they occasionally make me pause, reconsider my assumptions or behaviour and, sometimes, motivate me to improve my life in some way.

One quote I have always found meaningful is Mahatma Gandhi's "Be the change that you wish to see in the world." For me, it succinctly sums up the idea of what it takes to solve problems and get things done. From time to time I draw on it, and on Ghandi's own tremendous social justice achievements, when I'm looking to be more productive.

It's an attitude that has also influenced my decision to volunteer for Professional Independent Communicators.

I first joined the PIC executive in 2012, and on top of the benefits of general membership -- making more contacts, finding out about work opportunities, updating my professional knowledge and skills -- volunteering also offers the satisfaction of supporting members' career goals. As well, along with my fellow exec members, I get to help shape and improve the landscape for local independent communicators, which is both rewarding and empowering.

Now here comes the sales pitch: You, too, can be the change in PIC! Though of course, I wouldn't say it if I didn't think it's a terrific opportunity. As we approach the end of our 2015-16 season, the following executive positions are opening up:

  • Co-director of programming
  • Director of membership
If one of these roles appeals to you, ask the current executive for details -- our email addresses are at the top right of the newsletter.

Also on the PIC volunteering front, I'd like to thank:

  • Jacqui D'Eon, our departing director of social media, for all of her ideas and hard work to help us improve how PIC interacts with the world. Jacqui put a lot of thought and effort into organizing and executing our social media communications activities, and we are grateful.
  • Bill Smith, an integrated communications strategist and a long-time IABC/Toronto member and volunteer, who is taking over from Jacqui as our new social media director.
  • Sohini Bhattacharya, who is stepping down as director of membership. Thank you, Sohini, for welcoming our new members and helping to ensure our professional developments ran smoothly.
  • Susan Nakhle and Heather West, who leave the role of co-directors of programming. We truly appreciate their enthusiasm and organizing skills, which brought some terrific PD sessions and fun social events to PIC members.
  • Sheila Gregory, a corporate communicator and content marketer, who will be joining us as co-director of programming.
Welcome aboard, Bill and Sheila, and we look forward to working with both of you!

Continued success, 

In This Issue
A message from Sharon
June 9: Your money, your future
Other upcoming events
May 3 recap
Congrats, Priya!
Answer the salary survey
Meet Claudine Kapel
Add your LI profile to the list
Join our LinkedIn group
Quick Links
Newsletter archives
Join Our Mailing List!
We want your talents!
PIC 2015-2016 Executive
June 9: Your money, your future -- Managing your road to success without the potholes

Thursday, June 9, 2016, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (networking at 6:30 p.m.)

Metro Hall, Room 310, 55 John St., Toronto (closest subway stop: St. Andrew station)

What critical money management tips will help position you for success? Find out on Thursday, June 9, from Heather Keeling of Mortgage Intelligence and Janine Purves of Assante Capital in a presentation tailored to entrepreneurs.

PIC is giving you a jumpstart on improving your cash flow by sponsoring this event, so there is no charge.

This interactive workshop will set you up for success even in challenging economies, and help you:
  • Understand how to position your finances so you can focus on the business
  • Learn money management and financial planning tips for entrepreneurs
  • Learn strategies for maintaining solid cash flow
  • Understand your money personality and how it affects your ability to succeed
  • Understand the most crucial mortgage and credit rules with a specific focus on the self-employed.
At similar sessions, 95% of attendees rated the presentation as excellent. Comments included, "Simple tips delivered with passion help the audience to be engaged and informed" and "Excellent presentation, geared to the audience."

Get a flavour of the event in this conversation between PIC's Donna Papacosta and our speakers. 
About our speakers:
Heather Keeling, BMath, AMP, is a licensed member of both the Financial Services Commission of Ontario and the Mortgage Professionals Canada. AMP identifies Accredited Mortgage Professionals, who adhere to a strict code of ethics, have met a high standard of education and training and have in-depth knowledge of products and services. Heather specializes in providing mortgages for the self-employed.

Janine Purves has 20 years of experience in banking, brokerage and financial planning environments. In addition to being a fully licensed advisor, her designations include CFP and CCS, recognizing expertise in financial planning and cash flow management. She has appeared on CP24 and Rogers TV, and been featured in The Globe & Mail, Toronto Star and other publications.

To give you time to grab a bite before the meeting, registration and informal networking start at 6:30 p.m., and the session begins at 7 p.m.

Although the event is free, please register by June 3 by email to Susan Nakhle, snakhle@dynamicpr.ca. 
Other events of interest to indie communicators

June 1, 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
10th anniversary boat cruise with IABC Golden Horseshoe
47 Discovery Dr., Hamilton, ON

Join IABC Golden Horseshoe aboard the Hamilton Harbour Queen to celebrate the chapter's 10th anniversary. Enjoy a scenic cruise on Lake Ontario's open waters, with a full buffet dinner and inspirational talks by two local visionaries -- Tim Potocic, president of Hamilton's Sonic Unyon Records, and Silvia Ruegger, former Canadian Olympic marathon runner and National Director, Running & Reading Programs, Start2Finish. You'll also be introduced to the incoming IABC GH Board Members for the 2016-17 year, who will be voted in that night as part of the brief AGM portion of the evening.

Learn more and register  

June 4, 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Take your business to the next level
Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, 750 Spadina Ave. (at Bloor), Toronto

PWAC members, Editors Canada members and freelance business owners are invited to learn how to Take Your Business to the Next Level! Enjoy professional advice, lively group discussions and mini-consultations with one of three industry experts -- Dorothea Helms, Jayne S. Huhtanen and Cathy Mendler. First come, first served for a consultation, so arrive early to sign up.

Learn more and register

June 23, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Trends alert! An insightful talk on the "Next Big Thing"
Centre for Health and Safety Innovation, 5110 Creekbank Rd., Mississauga

"The most insightful and inspirational talk about trends ahead. Scary and yet invigorating."
That was one reaction when Julia Oosterman talked about keeping up with the 'next big thing" for CPRS and CNW in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. She discussed how powerhouse technologies like 3D printing, gamification and big data are not only changing today's communications channels, they are also influencing the content of communications. 

Learn more in this conversation between Julia and PIC's Donna Papacosta.
More details and registration (early bird rate until June 9) 

Note: If you hear of a communication-related course, workshop or other event we should share with PIC members, please let Sue Horner know. Thanks!

May 3: In which we learn about and try networking

PIC and IABC/Toronto members came together on May 3 for a casual joint networking event at the Spoke Club in the heart of the city's bustling King West strip. Participants made new contacts, engaged in great conversation and enjoyed delicious snacks in a cozy atmosphere. Thank you to Bailey Parnell, founder & CEO, SkillsCamp, and Claudia Gale, executive search consultant at Lee Hecht Harrison Knightsbridge, for sharing their networking tips.

Congratulations, Priya Bates, ABC, MC, CMP, Fellow!

PIC's own Priya Bates has more to add to the ABC, MC and CMP after her name: Fellow. She is among the five 2016 Fellows just announced by IABC.
The IABC Fellows designation is the highest hono(u)r the organization confers upon its members. It goes to communication professionals who have been nominated for their exceptional leadership and service to IABC.
Besides Priya, the 2016 Fellows are Alice Brink, ABC; Mary Hills, ABC; Edward Lundquist, ABC; and Bish Mukherjee, ABC. Priya and her fellow Fellows will receive their awards at the Excellence Gala June 6 at this year's World Conference in New Orleans.

Take part in the Creative Earners Salary Survey

If you are a graphic designer, copywriter, communications manager, art director or other creative type, you're invited to fill out a 15-minute survey on what you do and what you earn. The Association of Registered Graphic Designers, the Graphic Designers of Canada and Creative Niche are building a national industry resource and want your help. Results will be available in November.

Learn more and fill out the survey

PIC Personalities
Meet Claudine Kapel

By Sue Horner

Claudine Kapel
is principal of Kapel and Associates Inc. She is a human resources and communications consultant with more than 20 years' experience in compensation design, performance management and employee communications. Find out more on her website, and reach her at (416) 422-1636 or claudine@kapelandassociates.com.
When did you launch your independent business, and how did it come about?
I launched my business in 2003. I had been working for a large consulting firm for many years and decided the time had come to establish my own business.
What's your background?
I have a degree in Journalism from Ryerson. I worked as a journalist for several years before moving into corporate communications and then consulting.
What are you working on these days?
My consulting work has two major areas of focus:
  1. Employee communications, helping organizations implement new HR programs, including developing material explaining pay, benefits or total rewards, and training employees and managers on how to apply them. I also help clients manage communications during major organizational changes, including mergers and restructurings.
  2. Human resources, designing compensation and performance management programs and helping clients address pay equity compliance. I am often engaged in helping clients communicate programs I've designed, which is very satisfying -- it enables me to see my work come to life.
What do you enjoy most about being an indie?
I enjoy the freedom and independence that comes from having my own business. It's a very creative undertaking. I also enjoy working with different clients, developing tailored communications and programs that address their unique challenges and objectives.
What don't you like about being an indie?
When you're working on your own, you don't always have ready access to all the resources you discover you need. So I've made it a priority to build a strong network that includes other independents I can partner with on assignments. My network also includes good people who provide support for my business, including around technology and accounting.
What advice would you give to someone new to independent life?
Develop your network! It's great to have people you can reach out to and share ideas with. They can help you stay fresh in your thinking, and remind you that you're not alone. Having the support of a great IT person can also make life a lot easier.
How long have you been a PIC member?
I've been an IABC member for most of my career and I joined PIC just after I started my business.
What value do you get from your membership?
I really value the networking opportunities, and I enjoy the newsletter. I can't always get to the meetings, but I do appreciate the diverse subjects that are covered.

We count more than 160 members in PIC, offering a range of talent from coaching and media relations to video production and writing. Do you know everyone? Our PIC Personalities feature introduces new members and randomly profiles existing members. Let Sue Horner know if you'd like to be profiled and she'll be in touch to set it up! You can find previous PIC Personalities in The Buzz archives.

Get your LinkedIn profile link on the PIC member list

You may not have a website to include in your profile in the PIC Member List on the IABC/Toronto website, but you do have a LinkedIn profile, don't you? Send the link to PIC's director of membership, Sohini Bhattacharya. Sohini keeps a running list that she updates with IABC/Toronto every quarter.

Not on the list yet? What are you waiting for? As a member of PIC, you can promote yourself at no charge in the directory. Simply send Sohini your name, company name, location, email address, telephone number, website, blog and a brief description of your business (up to 35 words).

Find extra value in PIC's LinkedIn group

You'll find useful information about building and managing a small communications business when you visit PIC's LinkedIn group: IABC Toronto Professional Independent Communicators (login required). Recent posts have included links to advice on pricing, writing a freelancer's resume, content marketing and more, along with notices about upcoming PIC events.

If you want to be in the know, join the Linked In group and set your notifications to at least weekly to keep up with the latest developments. You are welcome to post articles or ask questions that will help other members grow and manage their businessesPIC's social media director Bill Smith moderates the group. 

PIC is a special interest group of IABC/Toronto. 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. Connect with us on the web at pictoronto.com and LinkedIn.

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.

Sue Horner                                                           
Editor and Director, Communications - PIC