PR Week to end publication of Canadian Newsletter

prweekcanadiannewsletter-090430Here’s sad news: PR Week will announce Monday that it is shutting down its Canadian Newsletter.

This comes on the heels of PR Week’s announcement that it would take its weekly main publication exclusively online, gate its content and switch its print publication to a monthly magazine format. On top of this, Editor-in-Chief Keith O’Brien earlier this month left PR Week to join a PR firm.

Last year, PR Week established a Canadian Newsletter and Canadian PR Week microsite in order to generate additional Canadian subscribers and advertising. Signs began to emerge in March that this effort was in trouble. First, PR Week announced that it was changing the publishing schedule of the Canadian Newsletter to monthly from semi-monthly. Then, PR Week quietly cancelled plans for a Canadian Roundtable and Thought Leader Breakfast. They had tried without luck to find sponsors to host this both in Vancouver and Toronto. Now, the Canadian Newsletter will be cancelled altogether.

These are tough times. I wish the folks at PR Week well and hope that they make it through to the other side of the recession.

Call for help: Third Tuesday

Steve RubelFor three years, Third Tuesday Toronto and Third Tuesday Ottawa have provided the social media community with opportunities to meet and discuss the most important trends and leading developments in social media, online community and relationships, and the implications of these things on traditional media and organizations.

I’m often asked by people how they can help with the organization of Third Tuesday. And I tell them that one thing we always need help with is identifying the topics that people want to discuss and speakers who have a thought provoking perspective to spark the conversation.

Katie PaineHow do we get speakers to appear at Third Tuesday? The people who participate in Third Tuesday work our networks. We invite people we know whether they’ll speak to our community. And some smart people have said yes.

In the past three years, we’ve had some great speakers on topics that resonated with the community. People like Steve Rubel, Shel Israel, Shel Holtz,Podcaster and blogger, Shel Holtz Richard Binhammer, Mathew Ingram, Michael Geist, Mark Evans, Colin McKay, Anthony Williams, Rob Hyndman, Michael McDerment, Saul Colt, Katie Paine, Marcel LeBrun, Carol Leaman, Marcel Lebrun, David Alston, Jeff Braybrook, Niall Cook, Bryan Person, Ilya Grigorik, Melanie Baker, Jim Murphy, Stephen Taylor, Paul Wells, Marshall Sponder, Mitch Joel, Alex and Ali de Bold, Darren Barefoot, Jesse Brown, Brendan Hodgson, Giovanni Rodriguez, Danielle Donders, Ryan Anderson, Marc Snyder, Joe Boughner, David Jones, Terry Fallis, Julie Rusciolelli, Keith McArthur and Martin Waxman.

Shel Israel, Author, Speaker, Nice Guy!So, if you have ideas for topics that you think would spark discussion at Third Tuesday, I’d like to hear from you. Even better, if you know someone who might be able to present a unique and leading edge perspective on this area, could you help us invite that person.

I’d love to hear from you either through a comment or by sending a message to @thornley on Twitter.

b5Media: From blog network to online media company

WoJeremy Wrightuld you take a 60% reduction in your salary in order to keep your company alive? The President of b5media, Jeremy Wright, would – and has.

In the first heady days of blogging, every conference and gathering of bloggers would echo the question: “How do I monetize my blog?” One answer was to join a blog network – harnessing the power of a single advertising sales team to place ads on your blog along with other blogs in the network.

Since its launch in September 2005, b5Media has been a pioneer in testing and reshaping the blog network model.  In its four year life (so far), it has evolved substantially – evolved in terms of what it presents, its authors, how it compensates bloggers and how it packages and sells the advertising opportunities. In February of this year, b5media evolved further, consolidating many of its 300 individual blogs into a handful of portals focused on specific subjects.

There is no doubt that b5media has attracted viewers. Each month, b5media receives 30 million page views from 10 million unique visitors.

Now, however, the recession is hitting advertising budgets and advertising sales – hard. Traditional media has been first to take a hit. We`ve seen newspapers disappear and television stations close. But online media outlets have not escaped. And b5media has been hit as hard as anyone.ThirdTuesdayToronto

So, Jeremy and his management team developed a survival plan. Jeremy took a salary cut to just above minimum wage. Other senior executives left the company. All in the name of preserving the core publishing platform to grow again when post-recession budgets are restored.

That takes guts. And it takes belief in a vision – a vision not only for a company but for the entire sector.

So, what is that vision and belief that caused Jeremy Wright and his executive team to choose the course they did? Well, come to the next Third Tuesday Toronto to find out. Jeremy will be in the Third Tuesday Toronto spotlight next week. He’ll talk about the survival plan he developed and what he hopes the future will bring for b5media, blogging and online advertising.

You can register online to attend Third Tuesday with Jeremy Wright. I hope to see you there.

And a big thank you to CNW Group, whose sponsorship for Third Tuesday has been rock solid – even through the recession.

UPDATE: We reached our room capacity only 2 hours and 10 minutes after announcing Jeremy’s appearance. Happily, the Berkeley Heritage Event Venue was willing to put us in their larger space. So, we’ve increased the number of spaces for the event.

The Morning After Mesh: A Third Tuesday Social Media Breakfast with Bryan Person

ThirdTuesdayTorontoThird Tuesday Toronto has taken on a range of different formats – a small group gathering in a pub; a large event of 200+ people; a dinner conversation. What’s made all of these events distinctive is that we look for interesting speakers with a unique perspective who can provide a jumping off point for our conversations. What has bound all of these formats together is our focus on social media and its impact on community building, communications and organizations.

This week we’re venturing into new ground. We’re holding our first Third Tuesday Social Media Breakfast. On the morning after Mesh, April 9.

Why breakfast? Well, it’s convenient for some people who can’t stay downtown in the evening. And even more importantly, Bryan Person is in Toronto.

bryan-person-090405Bryan Person is the founder of the Social Media Breakfast series which, along with Social Media Club, would be considered the U.S. counterpart to Third Tuesday. His day job is social media evangelist for LiveWorld, an agency that builds, manages, and moderates online white-label communities for brands. Bryan will be in town next week for Mesh and would like to catch up with Toronto’s digital leaders … over breakfast, of course!

I’ve known Bryan for several years. So, when he said that he’d be coming to Toronto, what would be more natural than offering him a hearty Toronto social media welcome. And who knows, this may just be the start of a Third Tuesday Social Media Breakfast series.

If you’re interested in meeting Bryan and talking social media over breakfast, you can register online to attend the Third Tuesday Toronto Social Media Breakfast.