WELCOME VIN HENEY TO NORTHPR

I’m very excited to announce that Vin Heney has joined NorthPR!

As demand for a more personable and agile approach to PR becomes the norm, I am thrilled to have Vin Heney join me at NorthPR. Vin and I are not strangers to working with each other—he used to be a client of mine where I admired his strong writing and editing skills, and his very kind personality! His ability to keep me organized is a big plus, too! Vin has been working alongside me since the fall after going out on his own venture, becoming a copywriter and communications consultant. Vin continues to run his own consultancy while working with NorthPR.

We’re excited to take 2019 by storm! Off and running already with a strong client roster whose stories we are so excited to share this year.

Welcome Vin!!

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I'm Hiring!

Linda is looking for someone to help take NorthPR to the next level. Someone who loves the idea of entrepreneurship as much as she does, and brings smarts and creative thinking to the table. Someone who flourishes in a nimble and agile startup-type environment, and not a company with hierarchy and multiple levels of approvals. You’ll be helping her do it all!

Linda is seeking a PR consultant with 1 - 3 years experience who shares a passion for startup culture and entrepreneurship. Ideally, the best fit is someone who has already taken the leap out on their own with a couple smaller client projects. To start, you will join Linda in-house three days a week at Toronto's newest co-working space, Spaces Queen West (180 John St.). This could quickly move into a full-time position.

The qualified candidate is eager to tell fascinating stories to secure top media coverage for clients. They have a keen eye for detail and are able to think creatively, finding unique ways to solve challenges that come up throughout the day. They are a go-getter and find the 9-to-5 grind a bit of a drag. They prefer to work flexibly, and always get projects done on time and with grace!

Job responsibilities include (but definitely not limited to):

  • Brainstorming story ideas
     
  • Writing media materials

  • Developing and maintaining media lists using Cision

  • Media pitching

  • Building relationships with the media

  • Media monitoring and coverage tracking using TrendKite

  • Coverage reporting

  • Researching and applying clients for speaking opportunities

  • Editing, editing, and more editing

  • Writing company blog posts 

  • Working with social media influencers

  • Social media calendar content writing

  • Using Hootsuite to schedule content and monitor online conversations

  • Assisting with social media and media relations strategy

If you’re interested in applying, please send your cover letter and resume, or any other way you feel like applying for the position, to linda@northpr.ca.

The contract is currently scheduled to last a minimum of 4 months.

NorthPR now working with Metropolitan Hotels!

I'm very excited to announce that I'm now working with Metropolitan Hotels!

Metropolitan Hotels includes some amazing Toronto properties - SoHo Metropolitan and The Hazelton Hotel, and restaurants Wahlburgers (as in Mark and Donnie Wahlberg!), Luckee by Susur Lee, and Mark McEwan's ONE Restaurant.

Luckee By Susur Lee

Luckee By Susur Lee

I will be working with them over the next year keeping their PR machine going. First up - TIFF!

Looking forward to this new adventure.

 

Press Release: Borrowell Launches Better Borrowing For Responsible Canadians

Borrowell Launches Better Borrowing For Responsible Canadians

A new and innovative borrowing solution lets Canadians be smarter about managing debt

TORONTOApril 21, 2015 - Borrowing for Canadians just got smarter. Borrowell, the new peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform, offers affordable, fixed-interest loans giving Canadians a smarter way to manage their debt. The online platform accepts applications from Canadians with good credit scores who want better alternatives to high interest rates on credit cards and avoid the inconvenience of bank loans.

According to Equifax, Canadians currently hold over $80 billion in credit card debt with a typical interest rate of 19.9 per cent or higher. Borrowell is designed to let responsible Canadians be smarter about their borrowing, and customizes interest rates based on the borrower's credit profile. The marketplace lending platform offers loans up to$35,000 on three and five-year terms with rates starting from 5.9% APR. Interest rates are fixed, loans are fully paid off at the end of the term and there are no early pre-payment fees.

"We believe Canadians deserve better borrowing options," says Andrew Graham, CEO, Borrowell. "We reward responsible Canadians who have good credit by giving them an affordable alternative to the traditional, expensive and cumbersome options currently available. Our goal is to help Canadians conquer debt by giving them a smarter solution."

How It Works
Borrowell matches people who want to borrow with lenders who want to lend money to responsible Canadians. Its proprietary technology does the matching quickly and securely. Borrowell operates exclusively online, cutting down on cost and complexity to pass the savings on to the borrower.

Growing Popularity of Peer-to-Peer Lending
Peer-to-peer lending is disrupting traditional borrowing. In the US and UK, online marketplace lenders have served over one million customers to date. Goldman Sachs estimates online lending could grow to take over $1.7 trillion of an addressable $4 trillion of debt. In the past year, the industry has seen rapid growth and has been named 'Innovation of the Year' by American Banker.

"We're seeing massive growth in marketplace lending around the world," said John Bitove, Canadian businessman and Borrowell investor. "With Toronto-based Borrowell entering the market, Canadians now have an innovative and smarter way to borrow money, allowing them to get a better handle on their debt."

In December 2014, Borrowell received $5.4 million in seed funding and loan capital. Key investors include Equitable Bank and Oakwest Corporation Limited, a private investment company owned and managed by the Beutel family. In addition to John Bitove, notable individual investors include Roger MartinDan Debow and Joe Canavan.

To learn more, visit www.borrowell.com.

About Borrowell
Borrowell is an online peer-to-peer lending platform that provides responsible Canadians with better borrowing options. Its affordable, fixed-interest loans are funded by carefully selected institutional investors, allowing the company to offer better rates, better service and a better customer experience. Borrowell's institutional partners include Equitable Bank and Oakwest Corporation. More information is available at: www.borrowell.com

Things are getting busy at NorthPR!

When I started NorthPR over a year ago, my goal has been to work with innovative tech clients in Canada. I'm excited to announce a growing client roster that fits this niche perfectly - Dyson CanadaBorrowell and Decentral

For Dyson, I will be working with the company's in-house PR team to maintain momentum for their incredible product lines after launch--keeping them top of mind for journalists as they write product roundups, gift guides and seasonal stories!

Recently launched to Canadians, Borrowell  is a new marketplace lending tool that uses innovative technology to match borrowers and lenders quickly and securely. The Toronto fintech startup has already been featured in the Financial Post, Globe and Mail, and Toronto Star, and I'm excited to take it to the next level by getting more consumers aware of their choices when it comes to new and better ways to borrow.

And you may have heard of Decentral before. It's the Bitcoin place on Spadina (recently moved to 123 Spadina). I've spent the last month ramping up on Bitcoin and determining if I need to be scared of it or if I need to be ready for the technology. The founder, Anthony Di Iorio, has expanded my mind and together we're going to help demystify the future of these kinds of payment technologies to Canadians. NorthPR is also the official PR sponsor of MaRS' DEC_TECH event, part of MaRS' new and very popular fintech cluster. 

And as an ongoing goal to give back, I've been helping promote Pink Pearl Foundation upcoming event at Airship37 in the Distillery District - Black & White with a touch of pink. The foundation raises much-needed funds to support young woman facing cancer. Purchase tickets (the event's going to be a blast) and come on our to support this amazing group of women.

I'm looking forward to the spring, continuing to grow and working with these three new incredible clients! 

Cheers,
Linda

 

Guest Blog: PR and SEO are converging before our eyes

A few years ago, not many connected the dots between SEO and PR. While SEO focuses on website analytics and PR focuses on audience engagement, these two practices have been heading in the same direction for quite some time.

There’s a very important meld happening in the industry, and it’s one of the main reasons the team at Vordik was excited to partner with a PR firm.

MAKING SEO HUMAN

Back in the day, website owners thought SEO was a tricky Internet game that could be won by stuffing as many relevant keywords into a page as possible. The more variations of "PR" you included (Public Relations, Relations with Public, media, media relations, hype), the better your ranking, right? Well, if this technique was possible before, it won’t get you anywhere with Google today.

What lacked when SEO first emerged was the human aspect. The whole point of driving traffic to your website is to build relationships with real people, not bots. So your SEO strategy should be based around the person, not trickery. This year alone, Google has switched up its algorithm over 40 times so no one can hack the system. If we look at the human element of the formerly dry art of SEO, it's no wonder that SEO and PR are a natural fit.

BUILDING YOUR STORY

Building your brand’s story to be newsworthy and unique is key to mastering SEO. Once you have your angle and solid, high-quality key messages, then it will improve, what we call in the industry, ‘Longtail Keywords’, which are an important aspect of SEO strategy.

Image courtesy of Moz.com

Image courtesy of Moz.com

Longtail keywords have lower traffic but the conversation rate is much higher. The closer to the end of the tail, the more specific and unique the keyword. These words in combination make up about 70% of all searches. So having a unique message will end up paying off big time.

The Role of On-Page SEO

On-page SEO has drawn away from a calculated formula towards newer concepts designed around UX. On-page, or the SEO activity conducted on your own website is the best chance for you to showcase what your brand stands for on home-grounds.

The strategy here should involve keeping content fresh and relevant. Websites with stale or static copy will eventually get buried deep beyond the first page of search engines. Writing often not only enhances your PageRank, but also allows you to experiment with website copy and keywords. Keeping the user in mind, PR professionals can help choose a topic that will interest the audience, and SEOers can then break it down in to several keywords or phrases to be fit in to posts organically. This diversification based on theme or topic rather than a sole keyword will help cast a wider net while maintaining a naturally compelling brand story. 

FOSTERING A SOLID REPUTATION

Creating the right content isn’t easy. That’s why there are so many content marketing firms out there today trying to master this practice. A company may put out all sorts of content with all the right keywords and relevant information, but if you’re not reaching the right people through the right channels, it’s just a big time-suck.

This forms the basis for SEO and PR. Link building from quality websites (referred to as off-page SEO) is becoming more and more crucial, and having connections to top influencers and journalists oh so important in gaining credibility. Whereas on-page content can be all about your brand, off-page should be a mix of tactics that will ultimately draw the audience back to your website. Techniques such as guest blogging and gaining backlinks from respectable sources up your credibility both in terms of earned media, and page authority.

Whether it’s online or off, you have to be careful choosing all the right channels to share your content, or the outcome won't be as powerful as it could be.

STAYING ON TREND

SEO and PR require constant attention to what's going on in the world around us. With the fiery power of the Internet, trends can change as quickly as your newsfeed on Twitter. Staying on top of relevant news and making the best of it by riding the media wave is what PR professionals do best, while aptly predicting and utilizing Internet trends lays at the core of solid SEO.

This is where metrics come in to play. SEO and PR professionals can work together not only to decide topics to create content around, but also gauge the target audience’s reaction and see how well a campaign worked. While keeping up with the news and utilizing Google keywords tool are a must before-hand, measuring results using Google Analytics throughout will allow you to tweak and improve tactics. Take a look at the visible difference before and after:

NorthPR client Google Analytics after coverage in Toronto Star

NorthPR client Google Analytics after coverage in Toronto Star

That being said, the combination of SEO's focus on analytics and PR's focus on audience engagement make a pretty powerful team.  When these two disciplines come together and work closely with each other, brands win big!

About the Author 

Anastasia Lamotchkina is the Marketing and Communications Coordinator at Vordik, a Toronto-based digital agency that specializes in designing web, mobile and cloud applications. For more on the importance of SEO, get in touch with NorthPR and Vordik.