COM0015 Assignment #5: Event Participation: “PD Event: The strategy behind measuring and changing opinions”


“PD Event: The strategy behind measuring and changing opinions” ( The topic sounded interesting, so I decided to attend this professional development event hosted by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).

The session started with a networking opportunity over breakfast. I met a diverse group of people who work in/for: communication and public relations, Member of Parliament, NGO, and the government. It was great talking with them and finding out some of the priorities within their organizations. Many indicated that the number one request from clients is help with social media. Everything from developing company Facebook pages to using Twitter. Companies need help in learning more about social media and how to use it effectively within their organization.

Stephen Carter, National Director of Campaign Strategy, Hill & Knowlton Canada gave an informative presentation.


What I Learned
National campaigns are not the best way of doing things. National campaigns, “has worked against companies looking to blanket everybody with the same message and who respond to critics with a tin ear,” said Carter.

If you are doing a campaign you need:

• Big data
• Simplified messaging
• Multi-faceted campaigns
• Target small groups
• Test and refine

It’s important to collect the data first. Analyze the data and then act. The data collection is important. You not only need to determine the attitudes of people, but you need to know the size of role it plays in motivating an action. Find out what matters to people (e.g. their values).

Micro-message first and test your campaign to a small group. Then, after some refinement (if needed) move to a bigger audience. For example, you test a campaign in a community first before moving to a whole city. Based on the outcome from the campaign you might need to tweak the message. Change a few words and then test the campaign again. You need to give the right message to the right people. Changing a word or two can alter the outcome – i.e. the reaction of the target audience in response to your message.

Incremental engagement is best. In other words “whisper” – e.g. build a relationship first with your audience. Start small and build big.

Carter also talked about the use of heat mapping to determine the message. Heat mapping is “online visualization tools that can help you see which areas of your site are “hot” or which areas are “cold” (

I was impressed by the presentation and the opportunity to network with other professionals at the event. I’ll be back for another event with the IABC.

2 thoughts on “COM0015 Assignment #5: Event Participation: “PD Event: The strategy behind measuring and changing opinions”

  1. Sounds like an interesting event!! Really talks to the fact that people want connection and relationships online and anything to big and impersonal doesn’t give them that.

    • HI Lara I actually went to 2 PD events the past couple of weeks (in person) – the other was a CPRS event. Yes, I did make some contacts and have joined the CPRS. I figure I want to get as much learning as possible this year while I am on sabatical.

      I have already connected with someone on LInkedIn and have sent requests to others. It was at the first event that the person advised me of the IABC event the following week. And, I’ve written someone else to meet for coffee.

      So, looking forward to more events. Thanks! Ann

      On Sun, Nov 24, 2013 at 11:08 AM, Algonquin College Social Media Certificate Progr

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