Category Archives: Laura Murray Public Relations

Q&A: Sophie Gardner

Senior Communications Coordinator and Executive Assistant to Laura Murray, Sophie Gardner is one of the newest members of LMPR’s fast growing team. Coming to LMPR from Adelaide, Australia, Sophie brings her strong arts marketing experience combined with a passion for theatre and musicals. She looks forward to telling the unique stories of our clients, in her own creative fashion.    Tell us about yourself & how you got into arts marketing.   Like many of my work and industry colleagues, it was through volunteering. When I was studying Public Relations at university in 2006, a graduate of my course was the current publicist at the Adelaide Festival of Arts (one of Adelaide’s major annual arts events which runs for three weeks), and she requested some practicum students. I was one of two who volunteered, and on the festival’s closing night I managed to meet the person who gave me my first job, at the city’s largest performing arts venue. It was initially one day per week, and then two, and then for three months, and then for three years.   In total I worked there for four years, and then at another venue for three years. Finally, I set my sights on Vancouver where I have been for almost two years!         Where is the best place you have travelled & why?   It’s a tie between San Francisco and New York City. San Francisco because I adored its “laid-back” vibe, its eclectic thrift shops crammed with interesting treasures and of course, the food. I also love that the city is comprised of so many hugely diverse areas which all have their own individual and unique highlights. I think if I could live anywhere else in the world, it would be there.   New York City because come on, it’s NYC!     What was the first show you remember seeing as a child?   First “official” show was our community production of The Mikado when I was four - I grew up in a small country town and my dad played the title role, as one of the few local men who could sing!   My first “professional” show was Phantom of the Opera which my parents took my two younger brothers and I to as a Christmas present when I was twelve – I was transfixed by the glorious costumes, beautiful music, and special effects!     If you could grab a coffee with one artist – living or dead – who would it be and why?    It’s a very difficult decision to make, but I think Hugh Laurie and I could certainly have an engaging conversation. I’ve admired him for decades since growing up watching him in British comedies. He is an equally gifted dramatic actor, as well as an incredibly intelligent person, a published novelist and, an amazing jazz and blues musician. The man clearly has no faults, and is also quite easy on the eyes, you could say!     What are you most looking forward to in your new role at LMPR?   Continuing to immerse myself in the amazing arts knowledge and expertise of my co-workers, and also continuing to put faces to names of contacts I speak to via phone/email!   Regarding our current clients, I’m particularly looking forward to working on Theatre Under the Stars (you’ve probably noted by now how much I love musicals).     Lighting Round!   Morning person or night owl? Night owl, definitely   Drink of choice? Gin and tonic   Truth or dare? Truth (I’m happy to speak about myself but I’m a scardey cat when it comes to dares!)   Favourite book? It’s a toss-up between Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet and L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables   Best Movie? Singin’ in the Rain   Power of Flight or Invisibility? It’s a tough pick, but I’d have to say power of flight.    

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The Arts Agenda: Capture The Media’s Attention

  On Thursday, April 16, Laura Murray Public Relations was the proud host of the second instalment of our workshop series, The Arts Agenda. This session focused on a topic that’s on every arts marketer’s mind – how do you craft the perfect media pitch? We were privileged to have an interactive panel discussion with prominent Vancouver journalists – Janet Smith, Arts & Style Editor at The Georgia Straight, Steven Schelling, Editor at, and Monique Polloni, Formerly of CBC Radio-Canada – who shared invaluable tips and tricks for pitching.   The session began with a discussion moderated by LMPR Principal Laura Murray, which covered PR best practices from first impressions to follow ups. The answers provided unparalleled information to consider when pitching and building key relationships with the media. Once this portion of the workshop wrapped up, the floor was opened up to attendees wherein they were invited to ask the esteemed panellists their own questions.   To attend a future Arts Agenda workshop, sign-up for our email newsletter list here.  

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Job Posting: Senior Communications Coordinator/ Executive Assistant to Laura Murray

LMPR is looking to add a highly-skilled, big-thinking, arts-loving Senior Communications Coordinator/Executive Assistant to our team!   If you have a passion for publicity, client relations, and the arts, please check out our posting below:                                                                                                                    Company   Laura Murray Public Relations (LMPR) is a group of highly skilled, forward-thinking professionals with a passion for marketing the arts and creative industries. The company was founded in 2011 to provide artistic, cultural, and creative organizations with a single contact and unified approach to marketing and communications.   Our full range of services include public + media relations, marketing + advertising, promotions, social media + online marketing, graphic + web design, copywriting + grant writing, arts consulting, and audience development.   Based out of Vancouver, LMPR delivers a variety of innovative marketing and communications solutions for clients, including Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, Eastside Culture Crawl, Bard on the Beach, Theatre Under the Stars, Vancouver Opera, The Museum of Anthropology, and Vancouver Bach Choir, among others.                                                                                                   Position   LMPR is seeking a passionate and experienced Senior Communications Coordinator/Executive Assistant to join our growing team of specialists. This position will see the successful candidate working with and reporting to the company Principal. The candidate will be required to assume responsibility for a wide range of marketing and public relations tasks, as well as administrative duties in support of the Principal’s workload.   This is a demanding role that will require a highly efficient, tactful individual with superior communications skills who can prioritize and help manage and support the Principal’s desk. The candidate must be detail-oriented, proactive, and be able to work independently in a fast-paced environment, while managing confidential information.   This position will also assist in the daily management of accounts for a wide variety of arts organizations across the country, fostering strong relationships built on trust with clients and internal teams. The candidate will provide consistent high level client relations to raise organizational profiles, increase ticket sales, and achieve client goals by providing efficient, strategic marketing services.   This is a full time salaried position. Occasional evening and weekend hours required.                                                                                     Responsibilities   Oversee all stages of project planning and execution, on behalf of, and alongside, the company Principal to ensure the highest level of quality is always met Represent LMPR, and the company Principal, in a professional and confident manner in both written and verbal communications, internally and externally Tactically and effectively manage the overall workload of the Principal’s desk, including calendar and email management with minimal direction Identify the Principal’s needs as a primary focus, and proactively drive business opportunities for clients and LMPR Prepare and/or coordinate proposals, presentations, client correspondence and reporting Develop, implement, and oversee multiple high-level media relations strategies for LMPR clientele Identify various story leads within each campaign and craft accompanying pitches for individual journalists Write communications copy, including press releases, show descriptions, and correspondence Secure interviews, reviews, and coverage for clients across a wide variety of outlets Build strong relationships with internal and external clients, and provide strategic guidance and direction Establish innovative cross-promotions and partnerships with local businesses and arts organizations to connect clients with audiences in unique, unexpected ways Utilize a variety of social media and online tools to amplify the reach of client coverage Demonstrate the ability to analyze issues and innovatively solve complex problems independently Provide leadership support to LMPR team members, as assigned Maintain a close working relationship with the LMPR team Demonstrate the ability to effectively coordinate and use company resources                                                                                      Qualifications   Minimum 3-5 years of recent experience working in a marketing and/or communications role or related environment Business acumen achieved through previous experience in a fast-paced, professional communications services environment Bachelor’s degree in journalism, marketing, communications, arts management, or a related field of study Excellent organizational skills and solid project management experience Superior verbal and written communication skills Familiarity and comfort with software and online tools, including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Hootsuite, YouTube, and Photoshop Ability to multi-task and meet tight deadlines in a fast-paced environment Strong team player Passion and experience with the performing arts is highly valued Access to a vehicle is an asset                                                                                                  To Apply   Please send resume and cover letter to: no later than December 5, 2014. All applications will be kept in confidence.   No telephone calls or faxed applications, please. We thank all who express interest in this position; however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.  

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What’s Cookin’ at LMPR?

With September came the beginning of an exhilarating new journey for us here at LMPR. With eager anticipation, we packed up our belongings, and made the leap into our brand-new office space tucked into a cozy corner on Cook Street in Vancouver’s Olympic Village.   A former yoga studio, our chic home needed a major facelift before we could settle in. Extensive renovations saw a fully refurbished kitchen, a brand-new boardroom, an electrical overhaul, a feature bookshelf, a chalkboard wall for creative brainstorm sessions, and many coats of paint.   Of course, no makeover is complete without a before and after glamour shot. Here are a few of our favourite photos from this dramatic transformation (click to enlarge).   Before: After:

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Q&A: Shona Wercholuk

Communications Coordinator Shona Wercholuk is the newest member of the LMPR team. With a background in arts administration, public relations, and a passion for Vancouver’s independent music scene, she looks forward to sharing the news and stories of our diverse clientele.   Tell us about yourself & how you got into arts marketing.   I’ve always loved writing, and knew I wanted a career that was heavily involved in the craft but also knew I didn’t want to be a novelist. Due to this love I got a Bachelors degree in English from UBC and then immediately started working at Arts Umbrella. The arts have always been a hobby of mine, but it wasn’t until my work at Arts Umbrella that a passion to work in the arts really flourished.   I also soon realized that I really enjoyed working with people and began a search for a career that could combine all three of these interests. I recently completed SFU’s Public Relations Certificate program, which aligned me with the right tools to get started in public relations. I was then lucky enough to find a career that combined my love for the arts and public relations. Where is the best place you have travelled & why?   This is a really tough one! Because of my dad’s job, I have travelled a lot; I was fortunate enough to grow up all over the world as a result of that. As a child, I spent most of my upbringing in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia and the city will always be very near and dear to my heart.   I would have to say our family trip to Austria was my absolute favourite though. We went in December, a time of year I  love, and the country was absolute breathtaking. It was the epitome of Christmas- and full of authentic markets with the most wonderful handmade trinkets. It was a place and a feeling I will never forget.   What was the first show you remember seeing as a child?   Shania Twain. I was 8 years old and we were living in Australia at the time. I remember feeling very proud I was seeing a Canadian perform in a different country.    If you could grab a coffee with one artist – living or dead – who would it be and why?    After reading some of the Bronte sisters works, I developed a fascination for them, but particularly with Emily. There’s very little published information about her, so I would really love to pick her brain. Although she was said to be very shy, so who knows how much she would say.   What are you most looking forward to in your new role at LMPR?   There’s so much! I’m really excited to be working with some seasoned professionals as it allows for a great learning experience. I’m also excited about all of the amazing clients I’m able to work with and help market in new and creative ways. But the most exciting thing for me has to be the fact that everyday I am able to explore my creativity in some way.   Lighting Round!   Morning person or night owl? Night Owl   Drink of choice? A cold glass of bubbly   Truth or dare? Truth   Favourite book? The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde   Best Movie? The Little Mermaid (I can’t help it!)   Power of Flight or Invisibility? Invisibility  

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