By Bruce Wilson
PWAC Quebec Regional Director
First, I want to wish everyone a happy and prosperous New Year. And now the news…
http://www.pwac.ca — We Have Liftoff!
After months of fits and starts, stalls and promises, we finally have a new website! Kudos to Clare and all the hard-working members who contributed to the project, including our own Kathe Lieber who did the editing and Liz Warwick who helped with content development in the early stages. It was a massive undertaking with a level of complexity that many of us didn’t anticipate. As with every new creation, there are some kinks to be worked out, but the team is onto it and things should be working smoothly within the coming weeks. If you have any concerns or problems with the site, or just want to know how to navigate it better, contact Clare Leporati at the head office.
At our executive meeting last fall, we identified five key priorities for this year:
1. A Policy and Procedures Manual:
For years now, PWAC has operated on an ad hoc basis with respect to most policies and procedures. Often, the only explanation for why something has been done a certain way was, “that’s the way it’s always been done.” Thankfully, that is about to change. A committee headed by Tanya Gulliver is well along the way in creating a comprehensive P&P manual. This work will continue throughout the year and I will report on the progress in future issues of the newsletter.
2. National Conference & AGM:
Beverly Cramp and the National Conference committee are hard at work preparing the next National Conference & AGM. At this writing, the committee has secured the meeting and accommodation locales. The downtown campus of Simon Fraser University will be used for plenary sessions and workshops; the downtown YWCA hotel will be available for modest accommodation ($55 to $100 per night) and the Delta hotel across from SFU will have rooms for those with larger budgets ($175 per night).
At this point, confirmed workshop presenters include David Beers, editor of The Tyee (http://thetyee.ca), John Masters, travel writing expert; Debra Campbell, associate editor of Adbusters and adjunct professor at UBC school of journalism; and Heather Robertson. The gala dinner will be at the Alibi Room in Gastown. Jane Mundy is working on a trip to Whistler for the Monday following the conference for those interested. Guenther Krueger is planning the entertainment.
3. PWAC Marketing Plan:
The executive decided that we need to inform nonmembers AND members about the benefits of PWAC. John Degen writes, “after final testing and adjustments on the website are complete, PWAC will build on this fantastic new marketing tool by creating a comprehensive association marketing plan. The marketing plan will be a handbook for all PWAC public relations and marketing efforts, including a standard marketing calendar for the association, and policies and procedures for press releases, advertisements, internal and external bulletins and newsletters. The plan will cover all current PWAC activities including the National Conference, and will attempt to anticipate projects that should spring from further growth of the association.”
4. Website Redesign:
We put this one first. You can see the result at www.pwac.ca.
5. Professional Development Materials:
Professional development remains a high priority for PWAC. For over a year now, we’ve planned on producing CD-ROMS of workshops from past AGMs and making them available free to members (and perhaps non-members for a fee). We’ve also discussed the idea of posting a series of writers guides on a special section of the website, covering such topics as marketing, website design and construction, technical issues related to computers, negotiation, contracts, libel, tax issues, incorporation, insurance, etc. I see this as a task for the communications committee, but I’m open to all and any suggestions or creative ideas.