2007 PAAC Annual Conference

The Art and Science of Public Affairs: Riding the Grassroots Wave

Date: November 21, 2007
Location: Sutton Place Hotel, Toronto, Ontario

8:45 Opening Remarks
9:00 Keynote Address Why Winners Win: Secrets of High-Performance Grassroots Organizations that are Safe for Everyday Use
SPEAKER: Amy ShowalterFounder and president of the Showalter Group
10:00 Session 1A “What is best for my organization?”: Choosing the Grassroots model that’s best for you
From “key contacts” and “grass tops” programmes to broad based grassroots organizations the type of Grassroots Model that works for one organization may not be the best fit for another. After deciding to move to grassroots advocacy, how you do it is your second most important decision. Learn about different grassroots programmes and which one meets your needs.
SPEAKERS: Cindy WatsonWatson Labour Law, Counsel to the Amalgamated Transit Union, Canada; John KyteManaging Director, Crisis and Issues Management, Burson-Marsteller (Louisiana; Washington, D.C.)
10:00 Session 1B Making Grassroots Advocacy Work for You: Case Studies
Seeing is, in fact, believing. Learn the “do’s” and “don’ts” of grassroots organizing from professionals who’ve put the programs together that made a difference. After hearing these case studies you’ll be ready to put your program in place without having to re-invent the wheel.
SPEAKER: Victoria HuntOntario English Catholic Teachers’ Association
11:15 Session 2A Making It Work – and Making It Last: Three keys to maintain your grassroots program
Ultimately, the quality – and overall effectiveness – of your grassroots network will be defined by how well your advocates understand your issues, understand the process and are recognized for the efforts they make on your behalf.
MODERATOR: Howard Brown
SPEAKER: Kim AllenP. Eng., MBA, Chief Executive Officer and Registrar, Professional Engineers of Ontario
11:15 Session 2B Grassroots in Action: Identifying Strategic Opportunities
Many organizations use grassroots to meet particular legislative goals. The really successful programs are also designed to meet broader, political, goals. After all, public affair is about creating an environment where your organization is able to protect and enhance its reputation in the community and among opinion leaders – wherever they are.
SPEAKER: Louise HarrisDirector of Advocacy, Government Relations and Communications for the Ontario Bar Association (The Voice of the Legal Profession )
12:15 Award of Distinction Luncheon
Sponsored by the CNW Group
This year’s Award of Distinction winner was the Honourable Hugh D. Segal.
“Beyond Accountability: Public Affairs and Public Results”
A graduate of the University of Ottawa in Canadian history, Senator Segal also studied international trade economics at the graduate level at Carleton University. His long and distinguished career in public policy includes serving as president of the Institute for Research on Public Policy Montreal, Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister of Canada and Associate Cabinet Secretary in Ontario. In the private sector he has held senior executive positions in the food and alcohol beverage, advertising and public affairs and financial services sectors.
13:45 Session 3A Building for tomorrow: Third Party Support and Stakeholder Relationships
Astute outreach to stakeholders within your organization’s sphere of influence can result in valuable support from natural allies whom might otherwise be overlooked and greatly enhance both the reach and effectiveness of your internal grassroots programme. Learn from those who’ve done the work to show you how to identify third party support and build relationships beyond your grassroots “family”.
MODERATOR: Roberta Bustard
SPEAKERS: Tom OrmsbyManager Public and Corporate Affairs, De Beers Canada Victor Project; Bonnie GreenConsultant
13:45 Session 3B Grassroots and the Internet
“Organize, organize, organize!” But how to you connect with your current and potential advocates? Your members or employees are busy and hard to reach. Especially when you need to respond quickly and effectively to a particular issue or public policy shift. The Internet has made mass communication easier than we could ever imagine, now earn how others use the magic of the Internet to connect and communicate with their grassroots organization.
MODERATOR: Guy Skipworth
SPEAKERS: Terry FallisPresident, Thornley Fallis; Wayne McPhailPresident, w8nc, Canadian communications company specializing in emerging technology; Madelyn HerschornDirector, Marketing and Communications, Alzheimer Society of Ontario; Bruce CoxExecutive Director, Greenpeace Canada
15:00 Session 4A Election Finances in Canada
A review of key aspects of election finance in Canada, what you can do and what you can’t do.
MODERATOR: Elaine Flis
SPEAKER: Jack B. SiegelPartner, Blaney McMurtry LLP
15:00 Session 4B “So, how good are we?”: Measuring Your Success
There are no free rides when it comes to accountability. Senior management will rightly demand your grassroots programme demonstrate value and to do that, you must measure and quantify the performance of your network on a regular basis measuring your success and making the case for your grassroots program. Over time, the consistent use of the right yardsticks will equip you to chart the progress of your network towards its objectives and refine your approach.
SPEAKERS: Joe MacDonaldSenior Counsel, Public and Corporate Affairs, Innovative Research Group Inc.; Chris BenedettiVice President, Public Affairs, Sussex Strategy Group
16:00 Closing Plenary
SPEAKERS: Derek BlackadderNational Representative for CUPE; David JonesVice President, Digital Communications – Hill & Knowlton Canada; Cindy CleggPresident of Cindy Clegg Communications