New book release: Spaces to Fill

Through our subsidiary Benchmark Press, we were honoured to work with Saskatchewan author Jack Boan to help bring his book project to life: Spaces to Fill: And a Century To Do It.

In this autobiography, Boan shares the story of his incredible life that has spanned 100 years.

In April 1917, Canadians fought and won the Battle of Vimy Ridge, an event that has come to symbolize Canada’s coming of age as a nation. In December of that same year, on a small farm near Briercrest, Saskatchewan, Jack Boan – the eldest son of Anglo-Scottish immigrants – was born. In many respects, the intervening years have been both Boan’s and Canada’s century, as the man and the nation grew, matured and flourished together.

In World War II, Boan enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force, where his boyhood interest in radios led to training in wireless and surveillance operations and a posting on Vancouver Island. Following the War, the Veteran’s Rehabilitation Act allowed him to attend university and ultimately to attain his doctorate in Agricultural Economics—an opportunity which would have been unthinkable for a farm boy in the pre-War years. Boan met, and married, Jean Campbell, and together they raised a daughter and two sons. In the years that followed, Boan’s career was exceptionally varied. In the 1950s, he worked with the Federal government in Ottawa. In 1960 he was appointed to the Royal Commission on Health Services (better known as theHall Commission), which would be instrumental in establishing Medicare in Canada. From there, he moved on to become a professor at the University of Saskatchewan, Regina Campus, the forerunner of the University of Regina.

He was a popular professor of economics and committed to the liberal arts, academic freedom and collegial decision making. Postretirement, when many people slow down, Boan seemed to accelerate. In the ensuing years, through his interest in health care economics, and later in the plight of refugees, he has touched innumerable lives.

Spaces to Fill: And a Century To Do It retails for $25 and is available online at www.benchmarkpress.ca and through select retailers. A book launch will be taking place at Campion College on Nov. 23 at 2:30 p.m., featuring John Meehan and Vianne Timmons. For more information visit https://www.uregina.ca/events/book-launch-dr-jack-boans-spaces-to-fill-and-100-years-to-do-it.

New book release: The Regina Indian Industrial School

Through our subsidiary Benchmark Press, we were honoured to work with Saskatchewan author Douglas Stewart to help bring his book project to life: The Regina Indian Industrial School (1891-1910): Historical Overview and Chronological Narrative.

Stewart draws on a wide expanse of archival material to present a history of a relatively large but little-known residential school that operated just outside Regina at the end of the 19th and into the early 20th Century. The book is separated into two parts. The first locates the Regina Indian Industrial School within the wider context of residential schooling in Canada. The second part depicts the manner in which this institution was operated including the interplay among school, government, and church officials, the conditions under which 500 children and youth recruited for the school from Indigenous communities across the prairies were required to live, the impact on students of their experiences at the school and factors that led to the school’s closure in 1910.

“This book is truly an eye opener into Regina’s historical connection to residential schools,” said Pat Rediger, Managing Partner of Benchmark Press. “It’s clear that Stewart has diligently researched this subject. He provides an intimate portrait of the Regina Indian Industrial School while also expanding the scope nationally.”

Stewart is a Professor of Education (emeritus), University of Regina, where he taught undergraduate and graduate courses in philosophy of education. He is a past-president of the Canadian Philosophy of Education Society and a 2012 recipient of the Society’s Distinguished Service Award.

A book launch will be taking place as part of the University of Regina Research Office’s Indigenous Research Day festivities. On Oct. 25, 7-9 p.m. University of Regina Education Auditorium, Room 106.1, Stewart’s book will be launched and there were also be a film screening.

The book is currently available at SaskBooks (324-1831 College Avenue, Regina), Coles-Regina (489 Albert St N), the Benchmark Press online bookstore and Amazon.ca.

The book has garnered a lot of media attention. The Regina Leader-Post wrote an article following the book’s release: http://leaderpost.com/news/local-news/new-book-explores-history-of-regina-indian-industrial-school. The author also has interviews lined up with John Gormley Live, CBC, MBC (a province wide aboriginal oriented radio network) and Eagle Feather News later this week.

We’ll keep you posted of any new media stories and when the book becomes available through additional retailers.

Brand, identity and logo: the complete package for your organization

If you’re an organization that is focused on enhancing its public image, you’ve likely heard these common buzz words: BRAND, IDENTITY and LOGO. If you’re not familiar with these terms, trying to distinguish them can make your head spin.

But it’s definitely worth becoming familiar with them.  Each of these terms are unique and play a crucial role in how customers and the public view your organization. Let’s review these terms to provide you a better understanding.

We’ll start with one many people are likely familiar with: LOGO. The logo is quite simply the visual centrepiece for your organization. It’s a visual element that can be a mark, flag, symbol or signature. Whether your logo is located on the front of your building, on a business card or as the profile picture of your various social media accounts, it’s the symbol of your business that people will identify with, even though the logo itself doesn’t include any description of your company.

There are many different approaches to designing a logo. The important thing is that a logo should derive its meaning from the quality of the thing it symbolizes. Some tips for a great logo include: 1. Be unique and clever; 2. Understand your brand (more on that later); 3. Choose colours that reflect your organization; 4. Keep it clear and recognizable; and 5: Create a variety of options to choose from.

Think of Apple’s logo (a small white apple). The company sells technology, but when people see that logo they’ve come to expect quality electronics. When people are looking for shoes, they’ll often seek out the white checkmark on a black background that signifies Nike.

A company’s logo ties directly ties into its IDENTITY. An identity is based around the visual devices used within a company. To effectively craft an identity, a company needs to create a set of guidelines that lay out what elements will be used consistently such as colour palettes, fonts, layouts, etc.

When you distribute a marketing letter to a prospective customer, you should use a consistent letterhead that contains your company name, logo and contact information. If you are a retailer, having distinct employee uniforms will ensure customers can seek help if necessary.

Together, a company’s logo and identity are major parts of its BRAND. A brand is truly a company’s corporate image and while you can shape it with things like logos, letterheads or slogans, it ultimately comes down to how the public perceives you. Think of it this way. When you’re out on your weekly shopping trip, how often do you add a familiar brand to your cart? There are usually multiple ones, including no-name to choose from, so why do you choose that brand?

There are several factors that influence your decision. You’ll seek out that brand if it is of high quality and has delivered for you personally for many years. A great way to build a brand is by creating a solid product that is quality assured and backed by outstanding customer service. Some people also consider whether the company behind the brand is corporately ethical. Does the company give back to the community? In creating its product, does it show empathy for the world around it? And yes, advertising with a consistent look also helps, as it gives your brand name recognition and makes people more likely to add it to their carts.

Recently at Benchmark Public Relations, we have been working on a logo enhancement project with the Northern Healthy Communities Partnership, a network of organizations working to improve the health of people in northern Saskatchewan by influencing the conditions in which they live, learn, work and play.  We are currently revamping the group’s various logos, creating new visual identity standards they can use in further marketing materials, and new templates featuring their enhanced logos. We have also done a major review of their website and provided recommendations for the redesign.

Global Ventures Summer 2017: Spotlight on Manufacturing

The Summer 2017 edition of Global Ventures has been published. Benchmark Public Relations designed and laid out the issue, supplied editorial content and secured advertising.

Global Ventures is a quarterly business publication produced by the Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership (STEP).  The publication is aimed at increasing the public profile of STEP members while carrying a message to the provincial business community as well as a vast network of international contacts.

Here are some editorial highlights from the issue, which focused on manufacturing:

  • Bridgeview Manufacturing: What were you doing when you were 13 years old? When you weren’t at school, you were likely hanging out with friends or involved in a recreation activity. Kevin Hruska was busy founding his company Bridgeview Manufacturing Inc. and establishing a farm in Gerald. Today, his farm and business are thriving. It’s a remarkable story about what you can achieve through hard work and dedication.
  • Breina Docks: In the beginning, Edward Fagnou and his cousin simply wanted to get a dock built so they could maximize their experience at the lake. When the price wasn’t right, they decided to do it themselves. After building 100 feet in 2008, the neighbours began to take notice and a company was born. Based out of rural Saskatchewan in St. Brieux, these aren’t your typical mainline manufacturers.
  • Robinson Residential: There have been lots of events put on to celebrate #Canada150, but Robinson Residential’s initiative might top them all. The company is designing a customized smaller home for each province and territory that reflects its identity. It started with a light house in Nova Scotia. When you learn more about this company, you realize it’s different by design.

Helping promote ATV safety

We’re proud to help organize the Saskatchewan All Terrain Vehicle Association’s (SATVA) safety campaign this summer.

SATVA has received funding from the Canadian Off-Highway Vehicle Distributors Council to reduce the number of injuries in Saskatchewan from ATVs by raising safety issues within the community’s target audiences. SATVA is asking ATVers to Ride Safe. Ride Smart and follow important safety practices like wearing a helmet and avoiding dangerous driving.

We created a poster that has been distributed to motor sports shops and provincial associations like the Saskatchewan Brain Injury Association.

To kick off ATV Safety Week, we helped SATVA put together a media event outside Regina. The media had the chance to try and ATV and learn more about operating the vehicle safely. There was some great press coverage generated:

CTV Regina: https://t.co/naA6J1SvKP

Regina Leader-Post: http://bit.ly/2rM3agh

Global Regina: http://bit.ly/2rLZQ4L

CBC Saskatchewan: http://bit.ly/2rtJ5uH

During ATV Safety Week, and throughout the summer, we will also be creating sponsored social media posts for SATVA and distributing themed safety articles for publication in Saskatchewan.

We’re happy to be working on a campaign that promotes ATV safety and will result in fewer accidents on the roadways.