Posts Tagged ‘communications’

Unfriending Parti Quebecois supporters

August 20, 2012

I recently posted a status message on my Facebook profile, explaining the fact that I ‘unfriended’ a couple of individuals who went ahead and ‘liked’ the Pauline Marois Facebook page. Now, to some this would seem like an act of intolerance and exclusionary behaviour. But the truth is, it’s actually a gesture of pure Federalism, pure and simple, nothing more.

We all use the term ‘friend’ loosely on Facebook. Many of us have throngs of acquaintances we don’t really know. Due to my radio program in Montreal, I have a lot of listeners and fans of the show that have found and added me on Facebook. I accept most of the friend requests because I want to be grateful that they are faithful to my show, and also to let them feel like they have access to me.

It’s also worth noting that I generally don’t post any pictures of my kids or family on there, and don’t give out too many details of my private life. To me, Facebook is a social networking tool, designed to better seek out and reach people with whom you are interested in communicating and monitoring.

So when a couple of people decide to celebrate a politician whose only goal in public life is to break up the country that I live in, well, I took great exception. As a result, I HAD to delete those that encouraged the dissolution of the only nation that I have ever lived in.

If I don’t stick up for what I believe in, how could I look my kids in the eye. Sure, it would be the politically correct decision to ignore the Parti Quebecois support of a couple of Facebook friends for the broader appeal of me and my public dealings. But I am not wired like that.

Any party that encourages the limiting of religious freedoms, the separation of Quebec from Canada and the crackdown on the English language in every facet, cannot be something that I act indifferent towards.

Don’t get me wrong, I know my actions don’t amount to a major ripple in the political waters of this country. But it’s a way to vent and to have a non-destructive outlet. I had a satisfactory exhale upon my ‘unfriending’ exercise and was able to move on with my day. Non-Quebecers don’t understand how emotional and anxiety-causing the Quebec separation issue really is to some La Belle Province natives.

It’s definitely a cathartic activity for frustrated English-speaking Quebec citizens. Simply visit the Marois Facebook page and see what common friends of yours have liked it. You will then know who to delete right away from your friends list.

I am sure these guys will never notice that I am no longer friends with them. I have no illusions about my at-best “E level” celebrity status in this town. But, if they were thinking of sharing the Pauline Marois Facebook fan page with me at some point, they have another thing coming.

Matthew Ross is a communications professional and freelance journalist. His sports radio show has been on TSN 990 since 2004. 


Straddling the line between communications professional and journalist

April 11, 2012

So far in my career, I’ve been fortunate, very fortunate. I’ve accomplished a lot of things in so many genres. As a journalist, I’ve managed to hold down a part-time sports program on TSN 990 in Montreal since 2004. I’ve also been published in the Montreal Gazette, National Post, and on, to name a few.

But I’ve also had some success as a public relations professional, landing clients media attention on television, in print and on major online portals.

However, because I have the good fortune of being on both sides of the media, the lines can become blurred. Recently, I had a PR client who approached me looking for sports media coverage. Simple enough, right? Well…. not exactly.

The client was elated with the results from our work on the campaign. But it was the process that became a little sticky at certain points. When you’re PR itching the very same people that you consider journalist colleagues and friends, you have to tread lightly and proceed with extreme finesse.

In the end, it all worked out. I didn’t manage to alienate anyone and I didn’t cross any journalism ethics codes. But, the whole experience did make me stop and think.

I’ve always viewed my versatility and diverse communications background as an asset. But in this particular situation, it almost hindered me.  I thought a sports client would be the ultimate, drawing on my years of experience as an industry watcher and commentator. But in the end, it turned out to be just as challenging.

Would I do it all over again? Absolutely! I’ve always been one to say that things happen for a reason. So the public relations campaign, deemed a success by my client, was but another experience to learn from and to draw on in the future.

Follow Matthew on Twitter @matthewrossmtl