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News

IABC London’s Merriest Monday Ever

Categories: News

A recap of the Holiday Social from the perspective of a first-time attendee

By Jacky P.A. Tran

From the very first moment I entered the room, I was greeted by a pair of smiling communicators. They handed me a bingo sheet filled with descriptors, such as “loves to travel” and “shops online.” It was a nice little icebreaker that helped spark conversations at my table.

As I looked around the room, what stood out to me was how engaged everyone was with one another. It was as if they all knew each other. However, from the conversations I overheard, most were strangers on this Merry Monday night.

With the energy high and the people engaged, Anna Tavener, director of professional development and President Jo Ann Johnston started the “Naughty or Nice Communications” list – a list created from a survey completed by local communicators.

My favourite entry for each category would have to be Apple’s, “courage” theme when it came to their iPhone 7 release. The other would be the SickKids’ VS campaign. Playing the video trailer immediately captured everyone’s attention.

When it came time to step away from my table and mingle with the other attendees, the first person I had a chance to connect with was Cassie Caranci. Cassie is the communications coordinator at Lashbrook Marketing and Public Relations. She walked me through her journey from her times as a student, as an intern, and now as a young professional in the business.

Many of my peers wonder if there is a better type of job that should we aim for when starting our careers in the field. When I asked Cassie for her advice, she shared that sometimes it’s all about finding the right fit for you.

Another person I had a chance to speak with was a young PR student named Muhammad Ismail. We talked about his move to Canada just two years ago, and he shared his experiences from working in human resources and how the work he did there piqued his interest in public relations. When I asked what made him move from HR and into PR specifically, Muhammad shared that it had to do with the opportunities PR provided in terms of using his creative skills.

As the night came to a close, I thought about all of the interactions I witnessed and had myself. Cassie and Muhammad both showed me their different paths into the field, and how finding that right fit was one of the most important factors.

Something else that occurred to me was that I couldn’t remember seeing anyone attached to their phone, which surprised me since we were in a room filled with communicators. This reminded me of another important aspect of the industry, the ability to listen.

For my first event with IABC London, I was intimidated by the idea of networking, however, the hospitality of everyone there made it easy to be present and open up with others. With every conversation I had, I started to understand more and more why professionals contribute their time with the IABC. Thanks to the people who attended, and the atmosphere of positivity they brought, this certainly was the Merriest Monday Ever.

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