It happened again: This time a gold award from the CPRS

Last week I wrote about the excitement of watching the Thornley Fallis and 76design team’s creativity and hard work being recognized at the IABC Toronto Ovation Awards.

Well, it happened again. One of the programs we did with Allstate CanadaDriven to Distraction – won a Gold award at the Canadian Public Relations Society’s national awards ceremony. And our work with RBC on the “RBC Student Fall Banking Program Goes Digital” picked up a Bronze award.

Another great night. A night when we celebrate the talented team members who gave their very best to make our clients winners.

Thank you to all the Thornley Fallis team members for your great work. You make me proud to count myself one of you.

The IABC Toronto Awards: It was the best of nights

IABC Ovation Awards 2011

Last night, IABC Toronto held their Ovation Awards gala. It was a night to celebrate the best communications work of the past year and the people behind it.

It was one of those nights that I wish could come more often. I was incredibly proud of the people that I work with – and for – as Thornley Fallis participated in an armload of awards. Knowing that we were up for these awards, we brought two tables of the people from our company who worked on the nominated projects and the clients for whom we done the work. And I have to say that the sheer joy with which everyone greeted being recognized by their peers for outstanding work was truly special.

During the course of the evening, I saw smiles bloom on the faces around me and I got to see great practitioners and coworkers like Jennifer Gordon, Jennifer Fox, Sean Howard, Andrea Ong Pietkiewicz, Mike Edgell, and Jo Langham get their chance to walk across the stage and be recognized for the quality of their work.

It was also a great opportunity for us to enjoy an evening in the company of the great clients who allowed us to do this work with them. We consider ourselves fortunate to work for blue-chip clients like RBC, Allstate, and Rogers Communications. Thank you to Amy Woods and her colleagues at Allstate, Keith McArthur and his team at Rogers communications, and Jill Quinn, Michelle Savoie and Kate Yurincich from RBC. You gave us your confidence and we were able to give you our best work.

During the evening, the Thornley Fallis team was part of these award-winning projects:

You can follow the links above to see this work or case studies about it.

All in all, I night to remember, a night to celebrate. Thank you to the IABC Toronto chapter for sponsoring these awards. Thank you to the people I work with in the clients we work for for giving me a chance to be part of something great.


Are you a .ca? Show your pride

Third Tuesday has a new sponsor – the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA). CIRA is responsible for Canada’s top level web CIRA’s sponsorship will enable third Tuesday to expand and do more programming. (I’ll write more about this in a future post).

I use domain for my blog, I want to speak with my community of interest wherever they are in the world. But I’m also proud of where I come from. Signalling that I’m Canadian provides people with a reference point. It anchors me in my home community.

We have a lot to be proud of in Canada. Now CIRA is giving us a chance to recognize and celebrate some of the best initiatives that use a .ca domain.

CIRA has launched the .ca Impact Awards. The awards will recognize people who are using their .ca websites to make a positive difference for their communities. Awards will be given out for each of four categories: e-learning, small business, not for profit, and web technology. The winners will receive a prize of $5000 and be recognized at an awards ceremony at this year’s Mesh Conference in Toronto on May 24, 2011.

The deadline for award submissions is March 25. So if you think that your .ca website has had a positive impact on your community, why not submit an entry to the Impact Awards? You’ve done something remarkable. Now be recognized for it.

Interested in more information? Take a look at this video.

(Disclosure: not only is CIRA a sponsor of Third Tuesday, but they also a client of Thornley Fallis and 76design. To paraphrase the old commercial, I liked using the domain so much, I went to work for the people who run it.)


Meet Terry Fallis on the eve of the Canada Reads Short List

Next week, we’re holding an event in Ottawa to celebrate the journey of Terry Fallis from “guy like me” to celebrated author.

It’s a remarkable story. An aspiring author writes a comic novel, The Best Laid Plans, and then seeks a publisher. The response: rejection after rejection. But he doesn’t give up. He decides to self-publish his novel. So far, this is a familiar story. But this one has a twist.

This novelist is Terry Fallis. The time is 2007, the early days of social media. And Terry’s an early adopter of social media, with a podcast, a blog and 20 years experience in communications. And he decides to bring his two passions – communications and writing – to promote his book.

He decides to create a podcast in which he will read a chapter of the novel each week. He creates a blog to host the podcast and he makes sure it’s available on iTunes.

The Best Laid Plans

Then the power of social media kicks in. Terry’s novel finds an audience. They talk to him and he talks back. They celebrate what he’s doing with his podcasting his novel. And it helps that his novel, the best laid plans, is a great read.

Others notice what’s going on. They read his novel and they think it’s good. And one morning Terry wakes up and discovers he’s been nominated for the Leacock Medal recognizing the best Canadian humorous novel of the year. A couple months later it gets even better: Terry wins the Leacock medal.The Best Laid plans is recognized as Canada’s top humorous novel of 2008.

Success builds on success. Having opened the door through social media, the critical acclaim and recognition of the Leacock medal leads to traditional success. He is taken on by one of Canada’s most highly regarded literary agents, Beverly Slopen, and she lands a traditional publishing deal for Terry with McClelland & Stewart.

Terry is having the time of his life doing what he loves to do. He has written a second novel, The High Road. And it may be better than his first.

But The Best Laid Plans isn’t finished with Terry yet….

Every year, CBC stages Canada Reads, an annual literature competition between books chosen by Canadian celebrities. This year, they’re doing something special. They’re asking Canadians to help select the Essential Novels of the decade. And guess what? The Best Laid Plans was nominated by Canadians to be on the list of the Top 40 essential novels of the decade. Then, through an online vote, it was selected as one of the TOP TEN essential novels. Now, we’re waiting for November 24, the day that the TOP FIVE essential novels of the decade are announced.

An invitation to attend

On November 23, the evening before that short list is announced, Terry will be coming to Ottawa to celebrate Canadian publishing and to talk about how an unknown author can make an impact in the era of social media.

You can meet Terry and you can be part of this event. if you’d like to attend and meet Terry, register online at the Third Tuesday Ottawa website. Come join us to celebrate Canadian publishing, creativity, and the power of social media.

Thanks to our sponsors

Okay, I’ll be honest. Thornley Fallis is throwing this party for our co-founder and friend, Terry Fallis. But we also wanted to reach out to the Third Tuesday social media community, a group that Terry co-founded in 2006. Third Tuesday is important to Terry and we want to share this celebration with you. And we wouldn’t have been able to sustain this community without the support of our sponsors: CNW Group, Radian6, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, and Rogers Communications. Thank you for helping us build and sustain our social media community, not just in Ottawa, but in cities like Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver as well.

He won! He won! Terry Fallis won the 2008 Leacock Medal.

I just returned from lunch to discover this in my inbox:

Terry Fallis Wins 2008 Stephen Leacock Medal For Humour

    ORILLIA, ON, April 30 /CNW/ - The suspense felt by five finalists for the
2008 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour came to an exciting conclusion today for
Terry Fallis and his novel The Best Laid Plans. The announcement was made at a
celebratory luncheon on the grounds of the historical Stephen Leacock Memorial
Museum in Orillia, Ontario. Fallis will receive a $10,000 prize courtesy of
TD Bank Financial Group for his winning entry.
    "It is somehow appropriate that this year's winner be an author with an
interest in the foibles of federal politics as Leacock himself had more than a
passing interest in the subject. He'd be delighted with the comic antics
described by Fallis," said Wayne Scott, President of the Leacock Association.
    The Best Laid Plans, Mr. Fallis's first book, centres on a cranky and
reluctant political candidate who consents to run in a federal election based
on the fact that he is "certain-to-lose." He accepts the task with the proviso
that he won't campaign, give media interviews, canvass door-to-door, attend
all-candidate meetings, use lawn signs, have contact with campaign workers or
even be in the country during the election campaign! As the reader can well
imagine, things do not turn out as anticipated - the key to successful comedy.
    The other books nominated for this year's award were The Gum Thief by
former nominee Douglas Coupland; Spanish Fly by former two-time Leacock
medalist Will Ferguson; And God Created Manyberries by Ron Wood; and King John
of Canada by Scott Gardiner.
    The Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour has been awarded since 1947 as a
means to honour the dean of Canadian humourists and to perpetuate humorous
writing in Canada. Some of Canada's finest authors - Pierre Berton,
W.O. Mitchell, Mordecai Richler and Robertson Davies - have all been
recipients of the award over the past six decades. Last year's winner was CBC
broadcaster and author Stuart McLean for Secrets of the Vinyl Cafe. The award
is presented each year to the most humourous English-language book written by
a Canadian and in addition to being presented with the silver medal, the
winner also receives a $10,000 prize from TD Bank Financial Group. The Leacock
Association is also grateful to its other generous sponsors: Osprey media,
Lakehead University and Orillia's Thor Motors.
    Both the medal and the cheque will be presented to Mr. Fallis at the
annual Leacock dinner to be held June 7, 2008 at Geneva Park near Orillia,

Terry, all of us at Thornley Fallis and 76design are tremendously proud of you!

And now, will you please select us to be the agency that does your national book tour? 🙂

Previous posts about Terry’s nomination:

Video interview with Terry about the Leacock nomination and what it means to him

Terry Fallis is nominated for the Leacock Award

UPDATE: See Terry’s acceptance speech on the Orillia Packet & Times Website. (Thanks to Michael Seaton for pointing to this.)

Terry Fallis talks about Inside PR

Inside PRTerry Fallis and David Jones have been nominated for a Podcast Award for their work on Inside PR.

Inside PR is part of my weekly listening routine. The guys are always interesting and entertaining. You can tell that they are true friends with great personal chemistry. (Disclosure: Terry co-founded Thornley Fallis with me and I’ve worked with Dave both as a colleague and a client.)

I get to see Terry every day. But the vast majority of Inside PR listeners have probably only heard his voice. So, I decided that Inside PR’s nomination would be a good reason to conduct a video interview with Terry.

Terry talks about the history of Inside PR, its content and focus, some of the lessons he has learned from the experience (If you’re thinking of starting a podcast, this section is a must-watch) and the challenge of keeping it fresh after more than seventy weekly episodes.


I didn’t have a chance to arrange for David to be in the room with Terry. But I’ll try to make it to his office at Fleishman Hillard in the near future to get his perspective.

Oh, and if you’re a fan of Inside PR like I am, don’t forget to cast your vote for Inside PR.

Society for New Communications Research calls for awards nominations

Society for New Communications ResearchShel Holtz points out that the Society for New Communications Research (SNCR) has opened nominations for its new awards program.

The SNCR says that the awards “will recognize excellence in the use of new communications models and solutions.” Nominations must be submitted by September 8, 2006 and the awards will be granted later in the autumn at the society’s inaugural research symposium. Case studies for the winning awards will be published in the society’s online New Communications Review.