Monthly Archives: June 2013

Report from the IABC World Conference in NYC

It was Tuesday night—close to midnight and for the first time in a really long time I just got that “I NEED to write” moment. It used to happen to me a lot but lately I’ve fallen victim to the over-busy syndrome and nothing has suffered more than my writing—something I used to consider my passion!

But there I was  at the IABC World Conference feeling that rush all over again, finally!  Three days in I was  already getting concerned that I’d probably forgotten half of the really interesting, insightful and useful information that I’ve learned. I’m relieved I got business cards from most of the people I’ve met so that I can go over and hopefully remember some of the fascinating conversations I’ve had.

Like any conference—key themes emerge throughout the presentations. What’s unique about the World Conference is that because of the sheer size—with so many tracks going on and a really diverse set of topics under the communications, you can really make the themes you really want to emerge. Kind of like those ‘Choose your own adventure’ books.

Social Media Panel featuring speakers from Dell, Amnesty International and DIRECTV.
Social Media Panel featuring speakers from Dell, Amnesty International and DIRECTV.

Anyway, rather than write about any of the wonderful sessions I sat in on (and I hope that I will do that later) I wanted to write to express three of the themes that really stood out to me and that really excite me about the whole experience. These themes include building strong connections (trust and reputation), The “I” in IABC (International perspective), and strong leadership that embraces communications

Over the next few weeks I will cover a few of these themes and relate it to my personal experience at the conference.

Stay tuned!

Living the long weekend in a new Ford

We decided to buy a new car. While I love my Avenger, it’s a big honkin’ thing and not the most practical for ‘booting around’ downtown as we often use it for. Case in point, the various bumps and scratches that mostly resulted from me trying to back out of our narrow lane way sans coffee. Oops.

So we want something small, but stylish. Practical but fun. We’re both geeks so of course we want some cool technology built in too…

Having previously worked with Ford Canada through Thornley Fallis, a Ford was our first choice. I’m a big fan of the My Ford Touch system, as well as lot of the cool bells and whistles (many that come standard!) in a new Ford.

My first car buying experience was a bad one. They got me in and excited about this “great deal” (which it was to start…) and then loaded me up with all these hidden extras that amounted to me paying way more than I had realized. I had strolled in to test drive a car with no intention of buying that day. I ended up paying almost double what I thought I was paying… I must have had “sucker” written across my forehead. (Lesson learned: do lots of research BEFORE you ever step foot in a dealership. Knowledge is power, friends!)

So I definitely have my back up this time. We went in and looked at some cars and one that really intrigued us was the new CMAX–this is Ford’s new Hybrid that’s compact and affordable. The CMAX is new to North America, but is already popular in the UK–a great blend of ‘tried and true’ mixed with the excitement of something new:

Image provided by Ford Canada
Image provided by Ford Canada

Despite the sales guy leading with “it’s a great family car” (Ya, no thanks, we’re not there yet!) We really liked this car. And thanks to Thornley Fallis–we got to take it out for the long weekend and really give it a spin.

It also came in handy because following the IABC Ottawa Excel Awards, two board members (Simon Chen and Carolyn Miyazaki) and I drove around town to deliver “LUNCH baskets:” to some of our sponsors–courtesy of LUNCH.

We also drove it up to Sharbot Lake for the annual Seed to Sausage ‘Day of the Pig’ party. Between that, driving around town, and to the cottage and back, we didn’t even go through a full tank of gas (very impressive considering our current gas guzzler).

My favourite feature is the bumper sensing system that beeps when you are close to something, and the rearview camera. Contrary to what my husband might say, I am actually a very good driver but I am wary about space directly around the car and getting in and out of tight spots. Can you blame me really? I’ve been in a big car with terrible blind spots the last few years!

We loved the CMAX so much that when we dropped it off at the dealership–I was quite sure we were going to walk out of there as proud new owners. While it was certainly a better experience than my prior one–the cost proved to be just too much out of our price range.

So we haven’t bought a new car yet. I hope we can swing a great deal on a CMAX but in the meantime we’re going to look at some other options. I was hoping for a happier ending to this blog post but I’ll still say the CMAX is a great car, for a great price (especially for a Hybrid!)

My Ford Touch - with built in nav system
My Ford Touch – with built in nav system
Decent trunk space