Editorial, sponsored and advertorial content

Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on May 14th, 2014

I spent last week in meetings with journalists in Vancouver and Toronto. Here at AHA, we regularly meet with writers and editors and TV and radio producers so we can keep informed about what they are looking for; how we might be able to provide them with information about our clients that they would see as relevant, valuable and useful; and how their jobs have changed. (They have changed a lot in the past five years and continue to change.)

We’re quite fortunate that we have built up solid relationships with some of the key journalists in Canada and the …

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Five PR lessons from Candy Crush Saga

Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on October 04th, 2013

Candy Crush Saga is a popular online game played on Facebook and mobile devices (iPad, iPhone and Android). Players try to match three or more candies in order to gain points, remove obstacles and meet goals. Currently, the game developers state that the Facebook version has 485 levels and the smartphone version has 425, with new levels being regularly released. Players need to unlock levels as they play. To do so, they can ask friends to help, they can pay for more “turns,” or purchase assistance in the form of “boosters.”

As much fun as this game is (and it …

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Travel PR

Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on September 17th, 2013

AHA works with clients in a range of sectors – consumer goods, technology, post-secondary education, health care, fitness, law and the judiciary, fashion, not-for-profit, insurance and, of course, travel. We provide a range of services for our clients including promotional public relations, community relations (including social media), strategic communications planning, writing and editing services, messaging and positioning, crisis and communication planning, and issues communication management.

We have extensive travel PR experience and a strong skill set in this area. Our clients range from tourism boards to hotels to airlines to tour operators and local activities. We have spent a decade …

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Are you in on the conversation?

Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on September 09th, 2013

Here at AHA, we work with clients in a range of sectors – government, not-for-profit and private. We have clients around the world, in the U.S. and, of course, in Canada. One of the perks of working here is that we do get to travel a little and see the world. We are set to visit a client in South Africa in December, so I have been doing some online research about activities and events that will be happening when we are there. Finding information that specifically interests me for travel has never been easier – TripAdvisor is of huge …

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Living the Brand – WestJet Does it Right

Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on February 26th, 2013

It isn’t often that I get to write a post like this – one that celebrates an organization that authentically lives its brand and keeps its brand promise. However – I just had (yet another) excellent experience with WestJet and I think they deserve to be acknowledged for this experience and for consistently behaving in an authentic, respectable and customer-focused manner.

I recently flew my father and his wife into Vancouver for a visit. My dad had a bad fall last year, shattering his femur, and he is still recovering from that. He still has some mobility issues, so when …

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This Ain’t Your Grandma’s News

Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on August 08th, 2012

We are big fans of David Henderson. An award-winning former journalist, Henderson tells it like it is and he doesn’t pull any punches. In many ways, he reminds me of some of the diehard news journalists I have had the pleasure and privilege to work with when I was at Maclean’s. Getting the story was what they lived for; covering breaking news and explaining what was happening and why to our readers was their reason for being. And they didn’t hold back when they had something to say – like Henderson.

His recent blog post talks about what news …

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Fake Friendliness Is NOT a Good Communications Strategy

Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on July 19th, 2012

Anyone who knows me or has worked with us at AHA knows that we have a commitment to authenticity. Being true to yourself is important. In my opinion, it should extend outwards and should include those times when you have to reach out to a complete stranger on a professional level.

I have written about this before – using those pain in the neck marketing/sales calls that every organization receives. You know the ones… where the person mispronounces your name, then cheerfully asks how your day is going, how you are enjoying the weather (often not realizing you are thousands …

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Busy is a Good Thing, if You Manage it Right

Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on July 10th, 2012

There are times when I feel really, really, really busy – and it can feel overwhelming. The fact is, I like to be busy. I work better when AHA is busy and I have more fun when I have many things on my list to get done – in both my professional and personal life. Some days, however, it feels a little less exciting and a little more pressured and overwhelming. It’s not necessarily in response to anything except the conversation that runs through my brain.

I came across a fabulous blog post on Ragan.com today that spoke to my …

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Values, Ethics & Integrity – The Foundation of Good PR

Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on June 18th, 2012

Over the weekend, I had dinner with friends and the talk turned to the ethics of public relations. Their son is in grade 10 and he wants to be a journalist, so we often have discussions about public relations, journalism and the shift that both fields are going through right now. We got onto the topic of the importance of ethics in a person’s life. Then it turned to what happens when an organization has an issue – how they are able to be ethical and manage their reputation.

The values of an organization and the ethics of the senior …

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Reviewing Your Social Media Outreach

Posted by Ruth Atherley of AHA Creative Strategies on May 28th, 2012

In the past week, we have had several conversations with clients about social media and what they could be doing or doing differently in this area. It’s always interesting to have these types of discussions and to take a good, hard look at what is being done, what needs to be done and what could be done differently.

A review of your communications initiatives (including social media) is a task we recommend to clients on a regular basis. Some of our clients do this every six months, others annually. The clients that take the time and make the effort to …

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