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Archives (2007)

Page history last edited by PBworks 11 years, 10 months ago


A thank you to everyone to took part in Talk Is Cheap 1.0. About 160 communicators attended the event; that's 80% of the number registered. Very impressive!


Just a reminder that if you found value in the evening and wanted to indicate your appreciation, consider a donation to the literacy programs of Frontier College at



Feedback from the 2007 event:


How impressive this evening was! Congrats to Gary and your organizing team for pulling off such a great night. It was innovative, accessible, fun and educational. I think what really struck me was the quality and engagement level of the community that showed up. GTA rocks! Web 2.0 is clearly for all of us -- as noted by the variety of age ranges, levels of experience, areas of expertise, etc. We all need to be on this train and it was terrific to be with such a great group of people. Let the journey continue! Eileen Chadnick - Big Cheese Coaching and TGIMworklife.


I think congratulations to Gary and all the people who helped to organized the event are in order. It was a tremendous event. Twenty minute presentations times four was a great night. Excellent presentations by people who had a complete command of the subject. The centre crackled with energy the whole night; people exchanging e-mail information, business cards, and ideas. Thank you very much for making this event available. I learned so much in one three-hour period.



Dave Fleet: Fleet Street PR

Donna Papacosta: Trafcom News

Melissa Shum: Just Cuz I'm a Girl

Michelle Chang: heighten perception

Jai: Metricity

Joseph Wilburn: Cogitations of a PR Student

Michelle Kostya: MEGO

Christine Smith: A Learner's Way



Donna Papacosta: RaganTV

Gary Schlee: RaganTV


Congratulations, Gary, and everyone else who was involved with putting the event together. Thanks also to your students who were so helpful with directions and opening and closing the sessions. I really enjoyed the un-conference. I thought 20 minutes was the perfect length for sessions, so that we could stay focused and keep moving. I'm amazed that we were able to attend four presentations in the course of one evening! Looking forward to future events. Linda Dessau, Idea Generator & You Talk, I'll Write.


The event was great! Everyone who helped organize should be proud of themselves. The teachers and students involved did an excellent job putting this together and making sure everything ran smoothly. Let's do it again soon! - Chris Clarke, NATIONAL Public Relations & Student PR


Gary, Talk is Cheap was a great experience. I learned a lot from the sessions I attended and I met some very interesting people. Thank you for all you hard work in pulling this together. Now, when is Talk is Cheap(er) - the sequel - going to happen? :-) Joseph Thornley, ProPR.ca


The conference was outstanding. Congratulations and thank you to Gary and the other organizers and planners. My only frustration was in having to narrow my choices down to four sessions. I would have preferred to clone myself in order to benefit from everyone's insights!

Sara Clodman, professional writer/editor


Congratulations, Gary, and pleasure meeting you last night. It was a great conference, with a couple of the more thought provoking presentations I've seen on social media. Thanks to everyone involved in putting it together.

John Delacourt, Consultant, Thornley Fallis


Gary, what an amazing unconference you organized! Everyone I met was having a great time learning and networking. The student-guides were terrific, keeping us on time and helping the directionally challenged guests (like me) find their rooms. I especially enjoyed the case-study sessions. The night went by way too quickly, however. A big thanks to you and to the students and of course to IABC for sponsoring the event. -- Donna Papacosta, Trafalgar Communications


Congratulations to Gary and to everyone involved in Talk Is Cheap. What a great night! My only regret is not being able to check out more of the fantastic presenters... what a nice problem to have! That speaks again to the quality of the event you organized. Looking forward to the next one! :) -- Dave Fleet, Fleet Street PR & Toronto Runner


Congratulations to Gary and his team for a truly innovative unconference. I'm still talking about it days later. I have pages of great ideas to take back to the office. And on behalf of IABC/Toronto, we're super pleased to have been your sponsor for this event. -- Janet Comeau, IABC/Toronto


Congratulations and many thanks to Gary, the presenters, and everyone involved in making it a fun and educational evening! The presentations were eye openers and definitely highlighted the growing importance of social media. - Melissa Shum, JUZD & Just Cuz I'm a Girl


Kudos on how well run your unconference was. The timing between sessions was perfect as it helped people to network and I found that the mix of sessions were great. None of the sessions seemed to be the same. I've been to my share of unconferences, I was even the lead organizer for Podcamp Toronto, so it was refreshing to see that Talk Is Cheap was so well organized. -- Leesa Barnes


Great job, Gary and Company. The buzz was great and so were the attendees. I've noticed that for all their eloquence on, uhm, "paper," many bloggers get kind of tongue-tied when they try to explain blogging to the rest of the world, so I think that it's great to meet and talk things though together.

Based on several requests, I have uploaded the list of "12 Reasons why Blogging Beats Print" that I presented at TalkisCheap. It's on a separate page on this Wiki. I hope that's all right, Gary. If not, please feel free to move it to wherever it belongs. :>) Thanks. Rick Spence




Photos from the 2007 event:

Thanks to Centennial student, Alana DaSilva, photographer.


At the Registration desk, Centennial students Rayanne Langdon and Joe Chawla.  
Event organizer Gary Schlee with Agency-Blogger panel Michael O'Connor Clarke of Thornley Fallis, Dave Jones of Hill & Knowlton, Julie Rusciolelli of Maverick PR and Martin Waxman of Palette PR.  
Dave Fleet's session  
Terry Fallis's session  
Student panel with Chris Clarke, Sarah De Bruyn and Scott MacDonald  
Shachin Ghelani session  
Gary Schlee, Centennial College, with Janet Comeau, president of IABC/Toronto, sponsor of Talk Is Cheap  



Schedule of workshops (2007):

This is the evolving schedule of presentations for Talk Is Cheap. Last update: Nov. 14: shuffled a few sessions












Time Social media in PR #1 Social media in PR #2 Social Media in PR #3 Social Media in PR #4
6:00 p.m. Grab a bite, grab a drink and network. Food is free while it lasts!      
6:30 p.m. Telling the story through social media: A WWF-Canada Case Study - Tara Wood, WWF-Canada open Wordpress: Amplified! - Using widgets, pages and design to move your blog onwards and upwards - Will O'Neill, Financial Planners Standards Council Best practices in social media relations - Do's & Don'ts - A blogger's perspective, Joseph Thornley, ProPR.ca
7:10 p.m. Social Media and Crisis Communications: California Wildfires Case Study - Dave Fleet, Fleet Street PR Blogs vs Print: The Power and the Glory- Rick Spence, Canadian Entrepreneur Video and Social Media - An Overview - Wayne MacPhail w8nc inc. Why students and new practitioners should be wading into the social media pool. Chris Clarke of National PR; Sarah de Bruyn of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources; Scott Mac Donald of Maverick PR
7:50 p.m. Using social media to build an audience and drive demand for a novel before it's even published - Terry Fallis - The Best Laid Plans Social media with social causes

How corporate communications and PR can leverage trends in social media to build brand equity.

Shachin Ghelani, Ogrant

Google OpenSocial, the Anti-Facebook: How the Next Big Thing in social networking is impacting social media. - Andrew Cherwenka, Trapeze

  ---- No Show ----

Podcasting Inside the Organization - Donna Papacosta, Trafalgar Communications


8:30 p.m. Social media monitoring - what are you missing? - Chris Ramsey, Radian6 Podcasting for Profit: How to Make Money & Measure Your ROI - Leesa Barnes Creating a Conversation: Using Social Networks On and Offline: An Urbanmoms.ca and Cuisinart Case Study - Jen Maier and Michelle Kostya Agency bloggers: a personal thing or business benefit? Martin Waxman, president of Palette PR; Julie Rusciolelli, president of Maverick PR; Michael O'Connor Clarke of Thornley Fallis.



Slides from Dave Fleet's Social Media and Crisis Communications




Leesa Barnes

Author of Podcasting for Profit and president of Toronto-based Caprica Interactive Marketing – Leesa Barnes is a communicator who makes marketing fun and profitable. Barnes helps individuals and businesses get over their fear of technology by using analogies, humourous stories and visuals. A recognized expert in podcasting and online media, she is one of the founders of Podcamp Toronto.


Chris Clarke

Chris is a public relations professional based in Toronto. He works at NATIONAL Public Relations as Coordinator, New Media. He spent his first year and a half in PR with Thornley Fallis Communications, specializing in social media and podcasting. Chris has been blogging about public relations since April 2006 at Student PR. He holds a certificate in Corporate Communication & Public Relations from Fanshawe College (2006) and an Honours B.A. in English Language and Literature from the University of Western Ontario.


Sarah de Bruyn

Sarah is a communicator with the Ministry of Natural Resources. Previously she worked in the public relations department at World Vision. Sarah holds a public relations certificate from Humber College and blogs at Join the Conversation.


Terry Fallis

Co-host of the popular podcast – Inside PR – Terry Fallis co-founded Thornley Fallis, a full service communications agency, with Joe Thornley in 1995. For almost eight years, Fallis was a government affairs communications consultant with Hill & Knowlton and later became president Berger & Associates. Before venturing into PR – Fallis was involved in federal and provincial politics. He recently hosted and produced the Michael Ignatieff Leadership podcast during the federal Liberal leadership race. Fallis introduced his book – The Best Laid Plans – through a podcast, chapter-by-chapter. He sits on the advisory committee for Centennial’s Corporate Communications and Public Relations program.


Dave Fleet

Dave Fleet is a communications professional based in Toronto. A proud Britnadian – a British citizen living in Canada - Dave is the Coordinator for Organizational Effectiveness in Cabinet Office Communications within the Ontario government. Dave blogs at Fleet Street PR and Toronto Runner, and is one of the organizers of Podcamp Toronto 2008.


Michelle Kostya

Regular blogger on My Eyes Glaze Over, Michelle Kostya is keen on helping her audience understand what tools are available on the Internet and how to use them. Kostya is a marketing and communications manager for Kitchen Products Cuisinart Toronto.


Jen Maier

A seasoned alternative media marketer, Jen Maier is the founder of urbanmoms.ca – a free online community for moms by moms. Maier, a mother of two, created the site to gain a variety of perspectives from other mothers. Urbanmoms.ca provides lifestyle and parenting information for busy moms.


Scott Mac Donald

He blogs at Fuzzy Gloves and has been the Canadian contributor to the Forward PR blog for students and new practitioners. Wrapping up his studies in PR at Humber College, Scott currently works for Maverick PR.


Wayne McPhail

For more than 20 years, Wayne McPhail has been a print and online content producer. He also has experience as a magazine and newspaper editor, photographer and a feature writer. In 1991, he founded Southam Inc. InfoLab – a research and development studio for Southam. Since then McPhail has produced online content for such companies as: AOL Canada, MSN, CANOE and Sympatico-Lycos. He is currently, the Director of Content for Sympatico-Lycos.


Michael O'Connor Clarke

Legend has it that Michael was the first PR person to start blogging, way back in March 2001. A Vice President at Thornley Fallis Communications, he now combines his passion for social media with more traditional communications strategies and techniques to build breakthrough campaigns for the firm's clients. In previous roles, Michael led worldwide marketing for Canada's third largest software firm, was part of a team that took a startup from zero to IPO in nine months, and ran national technology and corporate practice groups for two of the world’s largest public relations agencies. He continues to discuss everything from parenting to social media reputation management at his personal blog.


Will O’Neill

A recent grad from Centennial Corporate Communications & PR program, Will O’Neill is a communications specialist for the Financial Planners Standards Council. He worked as the webmaster for HealthyOntario.com on behalf of Prescient Digital Media. O’Neill blogs and has created a Facebook group for Centennial College Corporate Communications grads.


Donna Papacosta

Donna Papacosta is an experienced writer, editor and host of the Trafcom News Podcast, one of the first communications podcasts in Canada. Her company, Trafalgar Communications, specializes in employee and marketing communications for clients in the corporate, government and nonprofit sectors, using traditional and new media. Papacosta also conducts webinars, including Podcasting 101 for Communicators and Marketers.


Chris Ramsey

A vice-president at Radian6 in Fredericton, N.B., Chris Ramsey has more than 14 years of experience in business development, marketing and product management. Radian6 is provides monitoring and analysis solutions for PR and advertising professionals who need expertise in social media. Ramsey has held a variety of executive and director positions at Microsoft, Axonwave Software, NCompass Labs and Fulcrum Technologies.


Julie Rusciolelli

With more than 20 years experience as a public relations practitioner, Rusciolelli is president and founder of Maverick Public Relations. She has worked at a variety of multi-national PR firms in Toronto and has won numerous PR awards. She sponsors the IABC Maverick Student Award and was named one of Canada’s TOP 100 Women Entrepreneurs in 2004, 2006, and 2007. PR Maven is where she blogs.


Rick Spence

Rick is a Toronto-based writer, speaker and marketing consultant who specializes in helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses. He is the former editor and publisher of PROFIT, The Magazine for Canadian Entrepreneurs, and author of Secrets of Success from Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies.


Joseph Thornley

Joe Thornley is CEO of Thornley Fallis, a firm that helps companies and organizations build relationships and communicate by integrating social media with PR. An early adopter in the world of PR bloggers, Thornley often uses his Pro PR blog to talk about trends and issues being discussed at new media communications conferences.


Martin Waxman

Founder and co-owner of Plalette Public Relations, Waxman also worked for Manning, Selvage & Lee and Firefly Books. He is a published novelist ("Everything in Winnipeg Begins in a Car"), former journalist and ex-standup MC. He blogs at my(PR)palette.


Tara Wood

A recent graduate of Centennial’s Corporate Communications and Public Relations program, Tara Wood has been noted as one of the Ones To Watch: Marketing’s Next Generation by Marketing magazine. In her job as a Manager of Public Relations for World Wildlife Fund Canada, Wood has been using social media and social networks to reach new audiences with the organization’s messages about global warming. While still at Centennial, she helped WWF Canada promote its annual CN Tower Climb.



Rick Spence's 12 Reasons Why Blogs Trump Print:


I have been asked by a few people to upload my list of reasons why Blogging is Better than Print.


I shared it with the Talk is Cheap audience on Nov. 15 because I believe in the power of blogging -- but I think we all have to do a better job of selling other people (e.g., businesses and oganizations) on the value of blogging. It's so much more than journaling in public.


Feel free to use or adapt any of these points in your own work. Because I think a world where more people talk out loud is a better world.

1. People come to blogs because they are interested in the topic – whether they have deliberately targeted your site or arrived by accident through a search engine link.
(And keep in mind that search is everything today. Daniel Morel of Wunderman, a New York based direct marketing agency, recently bought a Canadian online marketing company, Blast Radius, because he was astonished at how his clients are moving their communication dollars into online. He expects that one day the history of advertising will be divided into "Before Search" and "After Search.")


2. People usually know how to find a blog again if they want to


3. Not only can they bookmark blogs they like, they can even subscribe to their favourites so they never miss another update


4. People can contact most bloggers directly with questions, comments, requests, and suggestions


5. Blogs are generally more welcoming of a dialogue than newspapers, ads, columns, etc.


6. Using standard web analytics, bloggers can see how many people visited the blog, when, and from where (country or city). That makes those readers more “real” to the writer/publisher than the thousands of people who read newspaper articles and ads – but leave no trail behind. And by checking web-search terms, the bloggers know what those people were interested in or looking for.

7. Blogs often link directly to references, sources of more information, and action steps, providing instant gratification for readers wanting more (e.g., if a blogger mentions a good book, they will often include a link to where you can buy it right now if you wish)

8. Blogs are generally more timely (no long production or distribution delays), thus of greater perceived impact

9. Readers can interact with other visitors around specific ideas or topics through comments (and sometimes emails)

10. The power to go deeper: if you like this writer or topic, you have instant access to their previous blog posts and can find much more about them or their ideas

My blog’s 40,000 visitors don't mean much compared to the circulation of my magazine columns. On the other hand, most of my magazine columns - which reach 100,000 people or more - attract no feedback, whereas this blog's 40,000 visitors have contributed hundreds of comments. That's called "dialogue," and it's why the Web will edge out print publishing in the end.

11. The ability to copy and paste means you can “own” that information yourself, by printing out or storing it as a digital file (which then becomes searchable on your own computer)


12. Bloggers often include links to their other sites, projects or products, making it very easy for interested readers/consumers to pursue deeper relationships with that information, that person or business. (And for many of us, that's the point, right?)



Please let me know if this has been helpful, or if you have any comments. I'm rick@rickspence.ca

My blog is Canadian Entrepreneur at http://canentrepreneur.blogspot.com/



General Info:


Other social media unconferences on the radar:

CaseCampToronto6 on Tuesday, November 20.

Podcamp Toronto 2008 on February 23-24, 2008.


TRIVIA NOTICE UPDATE (Jan. 2008) You may have noticed that Talk Is Cheap presenter Rick Spence won a $5,000 travel voucher on CBC-TV's Test the Nation as the blogger with the top quiz score of the evening, getting 57 of 60 questions correct!


A social media unconference for corporate communications and public relations folks


-- Thursday, November 15, 2007, from 6 to 9 p.m.

-- At the Centre for Creative Communications (Centennial College) in Toronto.



-- find out more about Talk Is Cheap on the FAQs page

-- register for the November 15 evening event

-- volunteer to run a session




  1. If you have registered and find you are not able to make the event, it would be helpful if you removed your name from the Registrants list.
  2. If you have not registered and are planning to attend, we do not discourage that, but, frankly, it does hamper our ability to ensure we have enough space for sessions and enough food. Registering would be very helpful.
  3. In addition to having lots of sessions from which to choose, we hope you will also see this as an opportunity to network. We are hoping to colour-code the name tags so you can identify organizers, presenters and folks who have some social media experience.
  4. We are hoping to videotape a few sessions. If you are a podcaster or blogger interested in recording a session, we would appreciate the initiative.
  5. if you arrive by car before 6 p.m., you will likely have to find street parking. After 6, you should be able to find parking in the campus lot. The entrance is at the south end of the building off Carlaw.
  6. Remember that Talk Is Cheap is an unconference created and driven by the participants. Everything is done by volunteers, which explains why you are able to attend for no cost. Do not expect the polish of a full conference. (If that happens: bonus!). If you see something that needs doing, consider just pitching in and helping us with it. It is that kind of evening.



Sponsored by IABC/Toronto

Hosted by The Centre for Creative Communications. Check out the directions.

Here are directions if you're coming on the TTC.


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