Kerry Bezzanno

FKA’s Edmonton office is seeking a Communications and Content Advisor to be part of our growing team. If you’re enthusiastic, organized and have at least three to five years’ experience in communications (including social media content development and management), we’d love to meet you.

The ideal candidate is an exceptional communicator who’s not only strongly skilled in business-focused technical writing but also has the chops to deliver creative flair. And you’ll get the opportunity to showcase your writing prowess working with national-level clients and across a variety of formats — from strategic plans and reports to media releases, brochure copy or social media posts that compel and persuade.

Reporting to the Communications Director, the Communications and Content Advisor will work with colleagues in departments throughout our agency — creative, interactive, media, and account service to understand and articulate our strategy and approach to integrated marketing communications initiatives that drive results for clients. This will require cultivating collaborative working relationships with FKA’s clients, as well as vendors, partners and internal team members.

Put simply, we’re looking for a well-rounded communicator who can make the complex seem simple and who loves writing content that inspires. And above all, someone who can keep up with our pace, wants to be part of an ambitious team and is eager to continue learning.

Responsibilities:

  • Write and edit a wide variety of communications materials, including communications plans, reports, news releases and backgrounders, social media posts and blog articles, key messages, web content, brochures, speaking notes and presentations, newsletter copy, as well as promotional items for diverse audiences.
  • Develop traditional media materials (e.g., media advisories, news releases and backgrounders) and help with the distribution (either directly or via wire services), as well as media pitching.
  • Assist in the development and implementation of communications strategies (both short- and long-term) in support of clients across a range of sectors, including monitoring and reporting.
  • Collaborate with internal and external stakeholders to build social media strategies across various platforms, create content (short-form posts and long-form articles), monitor and develop reports on progress.
  • Assist in new business development activities, including drafting RFP submissions and presentation pitches.
  • Collaborate and build positive relationships with client teams, as well as with the FKA team.

Qualifications:

  • Minimum 3 to 5 years’ experience in a communications role.
  • Undergraduate degree or diploma in a related discipline (marketing, communications/PR, journalism or related field).
  • Exceptional technical writing and editing skills, including solid proficiency in adhering to the Canadian Press (CP) Stylebook and knowledge of communications best practices.
  • Proven ability to create compelling, engaging social media content for a wide variety of audiences, across diverse sectors and industries, that drives results.
  • Proficiency and experience with computer software and technologies, such as the Google platform, Microsoft Office and Apple products (e.g., Keynote, Pages, Numbers, etc.) and social media applications.
  • Demonstrate a high level of integrity, trust, tact and diplomacy with a commitment to high standards of professionalism.
  • Proven relationship-building skills and service-minded focus for clients.
  • Ability to work collaboratively and cooperatively with a diverse range of people, including senior executives, management teams and committees.
  • Proficiency in project management including leading and managing print and digital communications processes to successful completion.
  • Excellent interpersonal and verbal communication skills.
  • Proven to be someone who takes initiative and is detail-oriented, a creative problem solver, a critical thinker and self-organized.
  • Membership in the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) or Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) is an asset.

FKA offers an exciting, fast-paced advertising and interactive agency environment. We start each day with a scrum to collaboratively manage capacity and risks and every week we survey the team to make sure everyone is feeling supported and challenged and take steps to improve things that aren’t working well. FKA provides team members with competitive compensation, health benefits and opportunities for professional development and networking.

FKA is a best-in-class Google Premier Partner and one of Canada’s fastest-growing companies—we were just ranked 150 on the 2018 GROWTH 500 list.  We boast a stellar team of some of the best and brightest in the business and have been recognized with awards from the Advertising Club of Edmonton, Digital Alberta and the International Association of Business Communicators.

Interested applicants are asked to send their cover letter and resume with “Communications and Content Advisor” in the subject line to recruitment@fka.agency no later than 5pm on Friday, November 16.

As most know, changing your business name is about more than creating a logo and affixing it on promo materials. It can involve a set of complex — and sometimes drawn out — administrative and legal processes taking place behind the scenes, as you prepare for the big reveal.

And for us right now, this involves trademarking.

Without a doubt, we had to embark down that long and winding road of the trademarking process to safeguard our new brand while we’re still in the midst of rebranding. Otherwise, we could leave our company — and our impending new brand — vulnerable. And, hey, that’s never a good thing.

We also want to ensure we don’t encounter any business hiccups into the future if (erm…when) we expand into more markets across Canada beyond Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto — or even internationally (though we might be getting ahead of ourselves just a tad).

Recently, we connected with Tom O’Reilly, an intellectual property lawyer and trademark agent at Field Law — an Edmonton, Calgary and Yellowknife law firm we have known for many years. He gave us the scoop on why it was important for us to take the step to register a trademark for our name, as well as the three most common mistakes businesses make in this area.

Choosing a trademark that describes your service or product

This is a common mistake people make at the very beginning of the process. Descriptive words are usually good marketing terms — if you give a product a name that suggests the product, people are more likely to know what it is. But if it’s too descriptive (e.g., calling a  store that sells shoes, “The Shoe Store”), your trademark registration will be refused, and you won’t be able to protect your brand because no business is allowed to monopolize the generic names for the products and services sold by it, or by its competitors.

Filing your own application

Unless you have extensive experience filing trademarks, doing it yourself is a mistake. If you accidentally input the wrong information into your application (like putting in the wrong first use date or not describing things the right way), this could cause problems for you down the line. You may still get your trademark application approved through the CIPO (Canadian Intellectual Property Office) process and obtain registration, but if you get into a lawsuit with someone years later, they can use that incorrect information in your application to render your registration void and strip you of your defence. Also, the whole Trade-Marks Act and trademark registration system is going to change radically in the next year, so the application you submit now will probably be subject to a new set of rules part way through the application process, that you didn’t see coming.

Assuming your name has protection everywhere without registering

Although you can still have protection in your local marketplace by just using your business name, your protection spans across Canada if you’ve registered your trademark.

Unfortunately, a lot of companies find out about this problem too late because they’ve been using their trademark for five years and have built up goodwill in their local business area. We’ve seen relatively recent examples of this in Edmonton where a local favourite has received a dreaded cease and desist letter seemingly out of nowhere. And then they’re toast.

If you discover someone, say in Saskatchewan, is using the same name as you it’s too late to do anything. If you don’t have that registered trademark, there’s nothing you can do about that guy a province over. You’re done before you even know it.

Spending the time and money up front to protect your brand properly will save you a colossal headache and the accompanying damage to your brand and your company you have worked so hard to build up.

So what’s our takeaway from all this?

Hire a good lawyer. But, equally important, always be proactive and prepared, which is what we would recommend to any one of our clients.

Working with a professional services firm like ours enables you to get advice that’s typically based on hard-won experience and knowledge. We can also put you in touch with the right legal experts to help you. Saving you peace of mind and your brand along the way.

There may not be an industry that worships and chases the coveted ‘idea’ more than us in advertising. Although creativity flows through every facet of our lives, we in the biz rely on it to shape and inform every aspect of what we produce as an agency. Naturally, then, the process of fostering this creativity and generating ideas — the timeless brainstorm — is of the utmost importance. With this in mind, we were recently inspired by an article from the Harvard Business Review, which talked about research findings for how to improve the quality of brainstorming sessions.

First off, the science shows that brainstorming groups tasked with focusing on quantity (as opposed to quality) achieved better results on both fronts. So don’t overthink it — just say it!

Moreover, studies have found that when members in a brainstorming group share an embarrassing story, results, again, are materially improved. It’s hypothesized that these preliminary expressions of vulnerability and candor lower inhibitions and help open the floodgates for creativity. It also means that, by the time you get down to work, everyone will have had a good laugh (or two, or three).

Armed with this knowledge, we set about creating the ‘Idea Time’ card to share with members of our team, clients and collaborators. These cards serve to remind everyone how to work together during a successful idea generation session by listing some of the proven best practices. Additionally, we wanted to make something tangible, as real objects can sometimes carry more weight than virtual ones, like emails or wikis. Lastly, the smooth glossy finish means they can reflect light and act as a signal of sorts, in case we ever all get trapped in the office and require rescuing.

In fact, through this process, we’ve been inspired, and are now envisioning a whole of deck of cards with guidelines, suggestions and helpful information that we could build out over time and share with our team.

Without further ado, here are the nine points on each Idea Time card:

  • Start by having everyone share an embarrassing story
  • Share every idea that comes to mind
  • Aim for quantity, not quality
  • Don’t just say it, explain it
  • Build on the ideas of others
  • Avoid criticism
  • Stay focused
  • Ask everyone to contribute
  • And if you get stuck, restate the problem and try again

And of course, since we’re in the middle of a rebrand, we added only a hint of the Starburst logo.

Our new Idea Time cards.

Our new Idea Time cards.