2018 CALM Conference Presentations

Workshop Schedule

Friday May 11

Workshop 1 – 9:00 am – 10:30 am

Samson Learn
“Introduction to photography and general event coverage”

In this beginner-level workshop, participants will get to know the basics of (DSLR and mobile) photography so they can easily capture more exciting event photos. 

Chelsea Connor
“Remaining calm in a crisis”

Learn how to keep calm as you weather the media storm when your organization gets hit with a crisis. Chelsea Connor, a veteran communicator on both sides of the Canada-US border, will walk you through how to plan ahead and what to do when the unexpected hits. Learn from her mistakes, see what works and what doesn’t, and get an insider’s perspective on how to be responsive to media demands. This will be an advanced-level workshop.

Chris Parsons
“How not to get trolled: An introduction to the far left and the far right on social media”

This presentation (led by an occasional far-left troll) will introduce participants to the current ecosystem of internet trolls on major social media platforms and provide tools to avoid making inadvertent mistakes or being baited into protracted fights that could grow into the next viral embarrassment for you, your organization or your elected leadership.

Workshop 2 – 10:45 am – 12:15pm

John McCracken
“Crafting a communications plan”

Learn the fundamentals of putting together a campaign, whether it’s a bargaining support campaign, a fightback campaign or a public awareness campaign.

Key components will include:

  • Membership communication

  • Membership mobilization

  • Public Relations

  • Media Relations (earned media)

  • Advertising (paid media)

  • Research (polling, focus groups, member surveys)

Rebecca Rose
“#solidarity in the age of #metoo
How social media is being used by and against women”

In 2017 a simple phrase “me too” became an online phenomenon that helped survivors of sexual violence share their stories; hold (some) perpetrators to account; and have bigger discussions about sexual violence. #metoo – originally coined by Tarana Burke – also reinvigorated the conversation around pay equity through the #timesup hashtag. At the same time trolls continue to use social media to harass women and trans people and spread hate.
This workshop will provide an overview of several online movements that highlight and combat misogyny, sexual violence and harassment, and violence against women (such as #metoo, #timesup, #mmiwg, #justicefortina, #donewaiting). It will also give unions language and resources they can use to support women, survivors, and trans folks online and off.

Samson Learn
Upping your photography game

This advanced-level workshop will focus on DSLR photography and how to use storytelling techniques to document events, gatherings and special moments. 

Workshop 3 – 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

Jason Alward
“Learning design basics”

How do you make high-quality materials that stand above the noise of other communications materials? In this workshop, delegates will discuss font selection, composition, spacing, colour, and different technical aspects. We’ll also talk about how to choose the right medium and choosing the best channels and technology to promote your message.

Ethan Clarke
“Harnessing Facebook to win campaigns”

Your key Influencers aren’t on SnapChat. This workshop will discuss the merits of investing in Facebook advertising for a union and how to ensure you get the most bang for your buck. Topics covered will include Pages vs Groups, Boosting Posts, Ads Manager, Custom Audiences and techniques to keep sense of all of it. Ethan Clarke of Campaign Gears will lead this interactive workshop.

Lorraine Endicott
“How to Edit, Keep Your Sanity and Have Some Fun”

Do typos, AWOL writers and missed deadlines keep you up at night? Whether you’re a volunteer newsletter editor just starting out or a union magazine editor with years of experience under your belt, in this workshop you’ll enjoy learning and sharing tips of the editing trade. (Tip No.1: Always expect something to go wrong!) Bring copies of the publication you work on and sample problems that we can solve together.


Satuday May 12

Workshop 4 – 9:00 am – 10:30 am

Larry Haiven
“Labour and the Community – How to Build Solidarity Between Citizens and Trade Unionists”

In the autumn of 2016, the Nova Scotia Teachers Union seemed headed for the first province-wide strike in its 200-year history. As the dispute gathered steam, Haiven organized together with group of parents to form “Nova Scotia Parents for Teachers.” With a mixture of media conferences, testimonials, rallies, links with student groups and a Facebook page, they intervened precisely at a key time and place to monkeywrench a government-inspired assertion that the teachers had no public support. The Facebook group eventually garnered over 20,000 members across the province and terrific media support. With the legislated suppression of the teachers’ resistance, the parents’ group morphed into “Nova Scotia Parents for Public Education.” Delegates will hear about this campaign and learn the tactics and strategies that this group used to influence the public support for teachers.

David Climenhaga
“Writing the perfect Op-Ed”

This workshop will teach participants about the value of opinion articles submitted by groups and individuals to mainstream media print publications as part of advocacy campaigns, how to pitch op-ed articles to editors, ways to “recycle” op-ed articles to increase their value, and offer hints about how to edit your own work when you are not a professional writer. The seminar also includes ideas on what to do if things go terribly wrong and an op-ed article is rewritten in a way that dilutes or alters its message. In the main portion of the seminar, participants learn about the traditional formula for writing opinion articles and consider how to use it effectively to advance the causes we believe in.

Rebecca Rose
“Media Relations Basics for Union Locals”

Whether you’re in the midst of tense contract negotiations, on strike, or simply want to get the word out about a campaign or event, every union local needs to know how to generate and talk to the media.
This session will cover media-generating basics (such as advisories and releases), developing and sticking to a message box, getting your message out on social media, and what to do when a reporter calls (or tweets at you!). It will also cover the less conventional (and often more fun) ways of getting the media to take note.

Workshop 5 – 10:45 am – 12:15 pm

Ethan Clarke
“Using data to win – choosing the right CRM”

How can a campaign use data to more effectively win? What tools, specifically CRMs, are on the market which can help with this effort? Our facilitator, Ethan Clarke of Campaign Gears will lead this interactive workshop that will take delegates through different options campaigns can use to win including NationBuilder, and Action Network. Participants will learn best practices to ensure you get the most of your data and make smart decisions.

Nora Loreto
“Privacy & security for large unions, federations and organizations”

Is your union PIPEDA ready? Do you have a privacy officer? Can your members file official requests to see personal information that your union has on file? In this workshop, Loreto will walk delegates through the various legal responsibilities that large organizations have to protect private information. Delegates will also have hand guides and tools that they can employ to improve their privacy and security.

Dave Cournoyer
“Writing and using media releases”

What? Who? When? Where? Why? This workshop is both a primer and refresher for union activists and communicators on how to write effective media releases. The workshop focuses on the basic structure and approaches that can help make a media release successful.

Workshop 6 – 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Jason Alward
“Learning to master WordPress”

It’s hard to overstate how the Internet has democratized communications; is it the biggest advancement since the Gutenburg press? This is perhaps best seen in WordPress, an open-source tool that you can use to manage and maintain your presence on the Internet. 
In this workshop, delegates will learn about the history, options, customizability and communicative ability of this easy-to-use content management system. Find out how your organization can easily create and collaborate on a central online location. Post press releases, news, announcements, photos, video and audio all while being accessible to both desktop and mobile environments.

Ben Sichel
“How to get your members into the media”

A union brings workers together to speak with one voice – but that doesn’t mean individual voices should never be heard. Getting rank-and-file members to speak to the media can bolster your union’s official line, diversify your union’s presence and importantly, increase how much media attention your union receives. In this workshop delegates will discuss how to balance message consistency with the benefits of members sharing their stories with the public.

Nora Loreto
“Privacy & security for small union locals”

What are your union’s responsibilities under privacy legislation? Do you outsource your email or do you host it internally? Do you even know if your union has credit card information stored somewhere on some cobwebby hard drive? Privacy and security is serious business, and for small union locals, the task of securing your union can seem daunting. This session will highlight your responsibilities, how you can mitigate risk and ways in which you can better handle private or sensitive information. This presentation is for smaller union locals; unions that are less likely to have a privacy commissioner, access to lawyers, a large staff and/or several hundreds of members.

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