Public Relations Committee

In Brief:

Committee Chair(s): Vacant; roles and responsibilities are outlined below

Number of Committee Members: 3

Committee Members: Liz Pullin, Olivier Flibotte, Stephanie Allen

How Often Do You Meet?

Monthly meetings via telephone, with a break over the summer months

Committee’s Responsibilities and Requirements:

The committee assists with communication to the membership, as well as external advertising. This can include the creation of marketing material, content creation for the MTANS website or Facebook, print ads etc.
The position of School Liaison and MTANS Spokesperson falls under this committee.

More from the Committee

The Public Relations Committee has two main roles:

1. Advertising to the Public. This is done to increase the profile of massage therapy and massage therapists in the public eye. These advertisements to the public can be done in the form of pure advertising of events or programs, or they can be educational pieces. An example of an educational piece would be this website, which provides general information about massage therapy.

2. Communication to the members. In an effort to foster peer networking and good communication about the profession, the PR committee undertakes various tasks. In the past, such efforts included the Take Hold newsletter that was issued quarterly. Currently we have established Regional Representatives. Those are local MTANS members who would act as a connection point between rural members and our head office and Board of Directors.

The SAGM was held at Atlantica Oak Island in the fall of 2017.

SAGM 2017 Committee Report

Last month across Canada, Massage Therapy Awareness Week was held October 22 – 28. In the past the PR committee has released posters for placement in your office or at like minded businesses. While those were available on line and through the e-newsletter, this year we focused more on a mix of advertising. Ads ran on the PharmaSave in-house screens in rotation with their own advertising for the full week, Chronicle Herald online ads for a full week and print ads, The Coast newspaper – an article about a recent Grad – our own Olivier, and an advertisement, QEII Times advertisement and The Highland Heart (a regional paper in north eastern NS) an article and an ad.

Working with Picnic Studio, our Spokesperson Melanie has filmed two videos to be used for public education. They will be posted to the MTANS website and Facebook site, feel free to share them via your own website, or Facebook page.

PR would like to remind the members that we have a Facebook and a LinkedIn page. Both are used to share information about what is going on within the association and the profession. LinkedIn is a great place to start conversations about any research you are reading, or trends in the field. It has been used recently to highlight the conference and the presenters.
Please note the Facebook name is not our standard MTANS, you can see the link posted below.

As you are aware, the role of Chairperson for PR is vacant as of December 31, 2017. The detailed job duties of the chair are explained on the committee page on the website. It might seem like a lot of work but it is very fulfilling and if the tasks are shared out, it is not too daunting. I would advise members to take a look and see how they can get involved.

Finally I would like to thank all the committee member past and present for their hard work. I wish Jennifer, the School Liaison and Melanie, the Spokesperson great success in the future.

 

Responsibilities of the Chair

As this role will need to be filled by one or more committee members, I thought it best if you knew what would be required. I have indicated time commitment for each item:

1. Monthly attendance at Board meetings. There are 10-11 Board meetings per year. They are always Monday morning at 9:30 and last about 3 hours. All but 2 of those are teleconferences. That means you can call in from anywhere, but you would not be able to see clients on those Mondays mornings. Donna Noddin, MTANS Executive Director has the entire schedule ready for a calendar year by about October or November of the previous year. That makes it easy to book yourself out of other commitments.
Committee Chairs are non-voting Board members so we are there to join the conversations and give our opinions. Not all chairs attend, but for PR it is important to know if there is anything happening that we will need to address as bad PR has a quick turnaround. Approximately 3 hours per meeting for 10-11 monthly meetings.

2. Committee meetings. The number of meetings will depend on the workload; about 8 year should be plenty. As Chair you have to book the meetings, send out reminders and set agendas. Ideally there will be another member to take minutes as you have to chair the meeting and move the items along. It is difficult to do your own minutes. Booking the meeting is just a phone call to the office to set our dates and reserve the teleconference line. Some committees operate as needed, or set the next meeting at the current one. I have preferred, like the Board schedule to have it set for the full year. Each Chair should do what works best for them. Approximately 1 hour for the year to manage the schedule; Approximately 1.5 hours per meeting – with prep time and chairing the meeting.

3. Contacts. There are occasional e-mails or phone calls from print media with offers for ads (esp. special editions), event planners looking for sponsorship, and companies inquiring about member benefit partnerships. These can come to you directly, or a Board Member that forwards it to you, or the head office that forwards it to you.
Realistically that is about 2 contacts per month. However that can lead to more phone calls or conversations or e-mails that can add up. You are responsible to navigate that. Approximately 1-2 hours per month.

4. Some Website Management. Jeff Smith at the office does most of the day to day site management, however, there are times we have to do it. It is pretty rare but often requires a quick turnaround, so you will have to manage that time frame. Additionally you are required to keep the PR Committee page up to date. Approximately 1 hour per month.

5. Support. The Chair will sometimes act as a support to the Spokesperson, Melanie Desmaresq and the School Liaison, Jennifer Wessel. They are fairly independent roles and will speak with the Executive Director and Office as needed, but they are attached to the PR committee, so the Chair is responsible to provide any support they need. Approximately 1 hour per month.

6. General Membership Meetings. There are two of these per year; one in the spring and one in the autumn. They are held in Halifax, or in conjunction with the MTANS conference. As Chair you must write a report for the membership outlining the work done over that six month time period. Additionally you must attend the meeting, present the report, and be available for questions from the membership or the Board about our work. Usually on the morning after a general membership meeting there is an in-person Board meeting. The Board meeting time commitment is the same as the teleconferences. Approximately 3 hours – twice a year.

This puts the workload for the committee Chair at roughly 90+ hours per year. Remember that you can claim CEUs for your MTANS volunteer hours.

Massage Therapy Awareness Week

Each year in October we celebrate Massage Therapy Awareness Week. This usually involves a poster campaign. You are free to download some poster options to print for your own clinic. When you click on the link a .pdf will download onto your computer. There are three versions of the poster, choose the one that most suits you, and print that one page.

Massage Therapy Week Poster

There will be other advertising and education pieces done by the committee – check back for further details.

Regional Representatives

Cape Breton/Sydney – VACANT

Richmond – VACANT

Inverness/Victoria – VACANT

Antigonish/Guysborough – Christine Briand; christine@betterbodiesbymassage.ca

Pictou – VACANT

Cumberland/Colchester – Stephanie Allen; stephanieallen3@mac.com

Hants/Kings/Annapolis Valley – Liz Pullin; awarehs@gmail.com

Digby -VACANT

Lunenburg – VACANT

Yarmouth –   VACANT

 

The Public Relations committee aims to meet by teleconference 7 – 10 times a year. These meetings tend to occur monthly, with a summer break. Often the meetings are completed in one hour and committee members may be tasked with researching an advertising option or event. Occasionally there will be queries sent to committee members via e-mail. Committee members are responsible to follow- up in a timely manner to e-mail inquires and attend all teleconferences.

The PR meetings had been held Sunday evenings at 8:30 p.m.

If you are interested in joining the committee, as a regional representative for one of the unrepresented regions, or as a member at large – to share your skills, please contact a member of the committee, or MTANS head office.

Similarly, if you have an event or concern and you would like to speak with the committee, contact any member at any time and your concern will be raised at the following monthly meeting.

Spokesperson

A new position within the PR committee is that of the Spokesperson; admirably held by Melanie Desmaresq. You can see Melanie’s biography on the Board of Director’s page.

This position was created to assist with the education piece of our communication plan. The aim is to utilize the Spokesperson for interviews focusing on MTANS bid at Regulation. As our association moves forward in that campaign there will be many meetings with government officials, associated health professional colleges and associations, as well as various media groups. To ensure our best representation Melanie Desmaresq, the Spokesperson – along with Amy-Lynne Graves, the President, and the chairs of Legislation and PR committees: Elizabeth Pullin and Christine Briand, respectively – attended media training in Halifax in January 2015.

If you have an event or idea that you think the Spokesperson could be involved in please contact the committee.

School Liaison

In the past the role of School Liaison was held by a member of the Board. Recently that role was moved from a Board position to one taken by a volunteer. Due to the nature of the work, it was believed that role would be most appropriately linked with the PR Committee. After a call for volunteers, the MTANS Board reviewed applications and the roles was awarded to Jennifer Wessel.

The role of the School Liaison is to represent MTANS at each of the three massage therapy schools in Nova Scotia. At various times throughout the year, the School Liaison is invited to attend open houses, or events of professional development when the students are introduced to the associations they might join after graduation. At the graduation ceremonies for each of the schools, the Liaison attends and presents an award to the top student, on behalf of MTANS.