May 2021: PR Associates News
For PRA team members living east of the Rocky Mountains, the first signs of spring are bringa sense of renewal, and for our team on the West Coast sunnier days are on the horizon. This seasonal transformation resembles what’s been happening here at PR Associates where a rejuvenation of the organization is cause for much optimism and anticipation of what lies ahead.
Our organization is continuing to grow. This month we added Celine Barton, a Social Media Specialist to our team. Celine brings extensive knowledge on all things social media especially charting the changing landscape for how companies can most effective use social media and have conversations with their shareholders, customers and communities. Celine has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication with a Minor in Print and Digital Publishing from Simon Fraser University where she specialized in digital design, video editing and digital marketing. We are fortunate to welcome Celine to our team.
P.S. Celine has offered up her expertise in the Social Media: Use It or Lose It article in this newsletter about social media and corporate reputation along with her top tips to improve your company’s current social media presence.
In addition, we’ve added two Senior Associates to our team this month. Caroline Douglas, a Senior Communicator with 30 years of public sector experience across a broad portfolio including science and innovation, public safety, finance and environment. Caroline is fluently bi-lingual and most recently worked with Infrastructure Canada, Acting Director General at Fisheries and Oceans Canada and a series of Director of Communication roles across the public service including the National Research Council of Canada. Caroline has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Political Science from Carleton University, she’s a professional executive coach and yoga instructor. Caroline will be providing Government Relations and Public Affairs Communication support.
We are also pleased to welcome Abby-Jane McGrath who has joined our team as an Engagement, Facilitation Public Engagement Specialist and Strategic Writer. Abbey-Jane holds a Communications degree (with First Class Honours) from McGill University and a Law degree from the University of Toronto. She is trained in facilitation as well as engagement and public participation. Abbey-Jane was also previously called to the Bar of British Columbia, as well as commissioned as a Notary Public for British Columbia. She maintains a background in professional development, law, publishing, engagement and event planning. A common thread throughout her career is bringing together people across various disciplines and groups, enabling voices to be heard and ensuring that stories are well told. Abbey-Jane believes that clear communication and meaningful participation have the power to impact and improve decision making, transform projects, and lead to better decisions.
Further, we’d like to welcome a few new clients this month including: InBC, The Chilliwack School Board, Inventus Capital, Skeena Resources, First Nation’s Mining and Energy Council and Life Sciences Ontario. It’s an honour to be supporting such a socially, ethically and purpose driven group of companies and organizations.
As always, we are profiling one of our super star team members and this month it’s a pleasure to introduce Ambika Maitra, our Account Director. Ambika challenges the status quo and is catalyzing new thinking around public relations, communications and marketing. As PR Associates strategist in chief, she brings a big-picture view to the work of the organization and how that work fits into broader systems of impact. She also leads and supports the PR team to excel as coaches, connectors, and conversation changers.
Ambika Maitra has almost two decades of experience in the communications industry and has worked across diverse sectors ranging from STEM organizations to mining to healthcare to finance, education and consumer brands, in multiple international markets.
As a senior member of the PR Associates’ team, Ambika is a trusted advisor to colleagues and clients, and brings unique strategic inputs to all campaigns.
Ambika has been involved with 70 multinational and national organizations like CDRD, TRIUMF Innovations, Seabridge Gold, National Geographic Channel, BASF, BMW, GlaxoSmithKline, Mining Association of BC, MineSense, Unilever as well as German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office.
She has been the recipient of multiple awards for excellence in brand reputation campaigns which won accolades at a firm and international level including the prestigious WPPed Cream. Ambika has double Master’s degrees in Communication and Global Management along with a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature.
We sat down with Ambika and asked her a few questions about her career, her family and if she could have dinner with any person alive or dead who would it be and what would she ask them?
Why did you choose a career in public relations and communication?
A communications professional has the power to influence behaviour and impact change. The vast possibilities of positive change that my chosen profession can bring, gets me geared up every single morning.
What’s the best thing about the job and the worst?
This profession pushes one’s mind to think beyond the ‘ordinary’ for every ask. Creativity and atypical thinking are the best parts about this profession. It’s a high energy and an extremely fast-paced environment that requires more than 24 hours in a day, most days. While exciting, it can also be quite challenging.
You recently became a mother to twin girls, how do you manage your work-life balance?
The beauty of a virtual organization or a remote working environment is that I can see my girls grow, not miss any fun/mischievous/cranky moment and yet maintain focus on my job. However, there are CRAZY days when staying calm, organized and prioritizing my tasks for the day, are what help me balance. A glass of wine at the end of the day helps too!
If you were giving someone advice about considering the PR business as a career what would you tell them?
Never shy away from media relations. Understanding how to tell a good and impactful story is the foundation for all communication asks.
If you could have dinner with anyone living or past, who would it be, why and what would you ask them?
My late father. A highly educated man of science, he was always able to simplify complex phenomenon using visual and practical examples while explaining technical concepts to us throughout our lives. I would have loved to learn this skill from him to consistently improve my science communication abilities.
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