Communicators as the conscience of a brand

Any brand’s effort to gain public trust and maintain its reputation is a never-ending cycle, and if the last year has taught us anything, its that communicators need to have a seat at the table. As we continue to navigate a global pandemic and ongoing social justice issues, marketers and communicators have risen to the challenge in an effort to adapt to the situation quickly, and help inform decisions to maintain public trust.

In this episode of The Pivot, we chat with Russell Baker, president of IABC/Toronto. Part of his mandate is to modernize the Toronto Chapter – by placing an emphasis on data to help inform decisions. Tune in to hear the discussion on Russell’s mission to modernize the profession, the IABC’s DEI initiatives, and his key learnings on being a communicator during the pandemic.

Keeping up the dialogue on DEI

When thinking about initiatives to foster a more diverse and inclusive workplace, it’s promising to see that it’s become more of a priority for brands and organizations. The ongoing conversation of DEI will only lead to tangible change – and we remain optimistic it will lead to more representation of diverse voices.

In this episode of The Pivot, we chat with Cam Gordon, head of communications at Twitter Canada, and founder of The Communicators Collective. We’re also joined by Oindrila Hazra, a member of the collective and communications manager of Softchoice. Tune in to hear the discussion on DEI in communications, the need for diversifying who we communicate to, and how driving inclusion can empower employees. Plus, Oindrila shares her hard fought journey to landing a job in communications after immigrating to Canada from India.

Founded in 2020, The Communicators Collective is based on the need to better reflect the diversity of our country in terms of its culture, demographics, and geography in our sector. The collective is also fostering open access to tools, networking opportunities, and dialogue among communicators from all levels and background.

Why we need mentors, especially now

Representation matters. No matter what industry, having diverse voices and leaders shows there’s a path to leadership for all. When it comes to mentorship, there’s a ton of value in having young professionals of diverse backgrounds having a mentor who looks like them and may have shared similar experiences. And for this to happen, we need platforms that bring people together to share their experiences, especially in a time where we may feel more disconnected from our peers more than ever.

In our first episode of Season 5 of The Pivot, we’re joined by Daanish Ahamed, Founder of PR Ramp, to discuss the inspiration behind PR Ramp, creating its flagship mentorship program and the importance of having diverse voices speak about their experiences to up and coming communications students.

PR Ramp, a Toronto-based public relations association helping students and recent grads jump start their career in communications. Founded in the summer of 2020, PR Ramp’s flagship mentorship program connects newcomers with communication practitioners for a one-hour session over Zoom.

An e-commerce experience like no other

In the spirit of staying connected to the wider world (as we continue to stay put in our ever-shrinking ‘bubbles’), Ken re-tells his story of a recent online purchase from Nigeria-based menswear line, Russell Solomon. The customer experience from the brand was both unusual and exceptional – what started out as a purchase from the website, resulted in a conversation via Instagram DMs between Ken and the team at Russell Solomon.

Today, Russell Solomon founder, Gabriel Ugochukwu, joins on us on this episode of The Pivot. Tune in to hear about the initial meeting between Gabriel and Ken, establishing the Russell Solomon aesthetic and how it has evolved overtime, and the inspiration behind the new Russell Solomon collection, AFLOAT.

Why location data matters

A discussion on using data to understand our neighbourhoods

There’s a lot to consider when going through the home buying process, one of the most significant being location. Location not only impacts price, and the scale of the investment, but also quality of life. So how can technology play a role in the decision making process when it comes to enhancing our quality of life? After all, technology has transformed the way in which real estate is build, bought and sold.

In this episode, we’re joined by Vincent-Charles Hodder, co-founder and CEO of Local Logic, and head of marketing, Jillian Ruiz. Local Logic is a real estate AI company providing an innovative approach to buying and selling by applying location based data and algorithms to change the way cities are built and real estate decisions are made. Tune in to hear our discussion on Canadian real estate in the pandemic era, infrastructure and its impact on local businesses, and factors in a neighbourhood that contribute to our quality of life.

Exploring the mindset of younger generations

A conversation on marketing amidst entrenched and systemic social challenges, juxtaposed with the profound potential of Generation Z and Alpha to lead a new era in creative creation.

Today, marketers are being stretched like never before. Not only are they trying to sustain brand relevance in this crisis, but they are now tasked with navigating entrenched social issues that no campaign will ever do justice to.

But if we look to generation Z, and even generation alpha, there is some hope. Generation Z are confident creators and less burdened with self-conscious expression, but for this potential to blossom, they need the financial independence and liberty to truly unleash their creativity, business savviness and activism.

In this episode of The Pivot, we’re joined by Sabaa Quao, Co-founder at Wealthie Works Daily, to discuss the shifting consumer mindset in the midst of the pandemic, how the digitization of money count present risks to younger generations and the need for persistent and consistent financial literacy.

Delivering an effective education experience in the COVID-19 era

Well before the COVID-19 pandemic, education technology was gaining rapid influence with educators, policy makers, students and parents. Now, in the midst of an unpredictable pandemic, the relevance of the sector has exploded globally.

The pandemic has accelerated the need for a virtual learning experience across all levels of education. In this episode, we’re joined by Nick Stein, CMO of Top Hat, to discuss online education in the COVID-19 era, creating engaging educational content and how the education technology sector as a whole is keeping up with the demand of a virtual platform to enhance the learning experience overall.


Arts in the time of COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter

As a society, we have spent considerable time lamenting the brutal impact the coronavirus has had on specific sectors - and there's a lot to lament. One key industry that has been reeling is the arts and entertainment industry. The television and movie production sectors in Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal have been dormant since March. Theaters have been empty, and actors have nowhere to perform, let alone audition, and we're all the poor, emotionally and intellectually, as a result.

In this episode, we’re joined by Toronto-based actor and writer Nicole Nwokolo. Tune in to hear Nicole discuss the current landscape of the film industry, along with systemic racism and navigating a career in a pandemic.

Catering to the e-commerce demand

The logistics of shifting operations to meet the pandemic e-commerce boom

The growth of eCommerce has been immense during the pandemic. From retail to alcohol, online sales have skyrocketed to all time highs, leaving many organizations scrambling to keep up.

In this episode, Corina Pardo of Sombrero Latin Foods discusses the logistical challenges her team faced while shifting their business from supplying restaurants, to delivering their products directly to consumers through a revamped e-commerce platform.


Office design with empathy in mind

How smart office design is essential to creating an enjoyable “New Normal” for employees.

In recent weeks, we’ve seen companies such as Twitter and Shopify announce their workforce will continue to work from home either full time or in a modified fashion permanently.

However, the majority of people are actually looking forward to a return to office, opting against continued work from home. Host Ken Evans chats with Annie Bergeron, Design Director and Principal at Gensler Toronto about how Gensler the company is planning office design to propel a safe and sustained return to work, which includes putting space and empathy at the forefront of the conversation.