The formula pulp piece appeared March 27th and was titled "Home is where the retirement money is"
On the website of one these companies, the public is told clients can obtain "continuous media coverage" from the PR firm:
Whether we are securing regular media coverage for you, making you the topic of online discussions or developing impactful marketing pieces, our integrated, big-picture approach is intrinsically linked to where you want to bring your business... Our outstanding results speak for themselves. We are particularly talented in getting continuous media coverage for our clients that communicates directly to the target market. And after engaging us for a period of time, you will see the impressive impact media coverage has on your business.
Denise has over 20 years of journalism and corporate communications experience. She handles a wide variety of writing and research assignments in the high tech, financial services, retail, government, education, oil and gas, and consumer sectors Whether it’s a thought provoking article, or compelling marketing collateral, Denise is able to deliver an effective piece that will meet your business objectives.
If this is actually what is happening, we asked if there wasn't an inherent conflict of interest (or at least the appearance of a conflict of interest) when a member of a communications company (who specialize in gaining access to media for their clients) writes for the Financial Post?
Shortly after asking this, the online profiles of Denise Deveau began disappearing from the websites of both communications companies (see here and here).
Naturally this raised eyebrows and we felt compelled to take a closer look at what is going on here.
BlueSky Communications has an interesting website page where they talk about their clients appearances in the news, a sort of self-congratulatory promotional page for their past success stories.
(At least the webpage exists as of last night, we'll see if it stays there much longer).
For kicks and giggles we took a look through to see which clients BlueSky has in its stable. Next we poked around the internet to see if Deveau may have had any articles published in the media profiling those same clients.
BlueSky seems particularly proud of the work they have done for the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education at Ryerson University, so we started there (click on images to enlarge):
On January 19th, 2013, Deveau contributed this article to the Financial Post (which was picked up by the Edmonton Journal).
It follows the same formula as the article for the Vancouver mortgage broker company. Someone is profiled, background given (with requisite problem/issue stated) and then a company was profiled. This time it is the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education at Ryerson University. Here is the initial shout-out to them:
If it was just one article, perhaps. Let's face it, BlueSky promises to obtain "continuous media coverage" for its clients so one article is hardly a smoking gun.
"Working with BlueSky Communications has been instrumental in generating awareness of our programs while raising the profile of our instructors as experts in their fields - contributing to increased enrollment and positioning us as leaders in continuing education."
- Marilou Cruz, Marketing Manager, The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education, Ryerson University
front-page media coverage in the National Post and profiles in the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, CBC Radio and Canadian Living. BlueSky’s ability to generate pre-launch buzz and build anticipation proved successful in attracting new business calls for LifeSpeak. Ongoing profile in the media has not only helped LifeSpeak continue to attract new clients nation-wide, it’s also helped the company attract new speakers for its roster.
More importantly, is there any real journalism being done by our nation's written press anymore?
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