One Two Three Four, tell me that you love free/online PD opportunities more

With apologies to Leslie Feist, but the talented singer/songwriter is a compatriot, after all, and the fast-approaching PD events I’m about to detail are all Canadian in origin and (I think) “suitable for” public relations practitioners. Particularly the ones who appreciate the importance of big-picture understanding and strategic planning.

First up are three webcasts being presented by CNW Group under its Free Educational Forums umbrella:

1. January 24, 2008, Toronto
Crisis Communications Planning, featuring Jay Hope, Ontario’s new Deputy Minister of Emergency Planning and Management. He will discuss crisis communications planning and tips on how to prepare your organization for any situation. (I’m registered to attend this one in person.)

2. Also on January 24, 2008, Vancouver, When Image Control Becomes Damage Control, with Robert Cribb, one of Canada’s top investigative reporters. Cribb (who spoke at Toronto- and Halifax-based events last year) will show how journalists research in-depth stories and how organizations can respond to potential public relations nightmares. Learn the kinds of questions journalists are likely to ask, and how your reactions can impact the outcome, for better or worse.

Cribb will then hop on a plane and give a similar session on Friday:

3. January 25, 2008
When Image Control Becomes Damage Control, Calgary (It might be interesting to register for both webcasts, to see if the dynamics are different in Vancouver and Calgary–I would suspect so!)

Remember, you can listen to any or all of these webcasts live or access them as archives. (And lucky Ottawa-area practitioners, who can register to attend the February 21, 2008, “Changing Canadian Media Landscape” CNW Group “Meet the Media” event at the National Arts Centre. Apparently “More information is coming soon.”)

And although these are Canadian-produced events, anyone can register and listen live or to the archives…that’s one of the beauties of online professional development.


Here are times/direct links to the actual webcast registration pages:

Toronto – 2008-01-24 8 a.m. NA EST
Crisis Communications Planning
Jay Hope, Commissioner of Emergency Services Ontario

Vancouver – 2008-01-24 11 a.m. NA EST
When Image Control Becomes Damage Control
Speaker: Robert Cribb

Calgary – 2008-01-25 10 a.m. NA EST
When Image Control Becomes Damage Control
Speaker: Robert Cribb

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Fourthly,” free but not online, the Canadian Journalism Foundation sent an invite to attend its (public) session, Pamela Wallin: Reporting on Afghanistan. This is a very timely presentation, given the release of the Manley Report only yesterday (January 23).

From the CJF’s website:

“In October, 2007, Prime Minister Harper appointed the Independent Panel on Canada’s Future Role in Afghanistan to review Canada’s mission and mandate in that country. The panel was chaired by former Liberal Deputy Prime Minister John Manley. One of the panel members was former journalist and Canadian Consul-General in New York, Pamela Wallin, an officer of the Order of Canada who serves as a top adviser on Canada-U.S. relations to the president of the Americas Society and the Council of the Americas in New York. Ms. Wallin offers us a behind-the-scenes look at the panel’s work and tour of Afghanistan, what they learned, their conclusions, and their recommendations for Canada’s future role once the current military mandate expires next year.

The session will be moderated by Sally Armstrong, author of “Veiled Threat: The Hidden Power of the Women of Afghanistan” who is currently working on a new book about that country.”

The CJF event takes place Tuesday, January 29, 2008, at Innis Town Hall, University of Toronto. If this topic is of interest and you are in the GTA, consider registering (depending upon space availability, natch).

Update: Pamela Wallin’s appearance in Toronto at Innis Town Hall is now available in an archived video format. A Word-format report on the presentation by Karina Dahlin (Their Cause Is Our Cause: Highlights of Pamela Wallin’s January 29 Canadian Journalism Foundation speech with links to corresponding excerpts of the Manley report) is also available online.

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Stay tuned to this space as I’ll be providing deets on two more (free) webcast opportunities in which I have partial or direct involvement. Here’s a sneak preview:

1. Direct Engagement Inc.’s (February 5th) Peer-to-Peer Roundtable (including Rock Lefebvre, FCGA, vice-president of research and standards, Certified General Accountants Association of Canada)
February’s discussion theme: How Effective is Corporate Governance in Canada?

“Capital markets in Canada compete globally for issuers and investors. Scandals in the US demonstrated their fragility. Statistics show Canadian regulators devote a smaller percentage of their total budget to enforcement than the US. Is the present corporate governance system working? Why are some organizations better than others in corporate governance?”

2. The Certified General Accountants of Ontario’s (February 21st) Annual Economic Update Webcast (yep, that’s my organization)
The Canadian Economy in 2008, featuring Derek Holt, CFA, from RBC Economics Research

“Worldwide, the 2008 year has already witnessed great turmoil in credit, commodity and currency markets, which definitely bodes to the likelihood of downside risks to the Canadian and U.S. economies in the months ahead.”

More information here.

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