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A growing number of consumers criticize the overconsumption associated with Black Friday.

Once a sacred day dedicated to in-store shopping, Black Friday has progressively expanded over time (think of it as the Cyber 5, that is, five days of shopping).). This year, Amazon had already started advertising its best sales in early October, an aggressive strategy criticized by many retailers. After all, how much excitement will consumers feel toward shopping once November 26th finally arrives? Probably not a whole lot!


According to QMI, a growing number of consumers criticize the overconsumption associated with Black Friday. The tides are also turning among retailers: in Quebec, some retailers simply ignore the event, such as Montreal shoe store Maguire, which promotes fair prices year-round.

Best way to utilize Comedy for Public Relations in Québec

How to leverage comedy in Quebec PR campaigns

French-language comedy might get lost in translation, but there’s no mistaking the fact that the humour business is no joke in Quebec. It’s not even funny how much it can help your PR agency. The province is home to the world’s biggest comedy festival, Just For Laughs. And now there’s even a new contender: Grand Montréal Comédie Fest.

Grand Montréal Comédie Fest.

Few outside the province may have seen hockey comedy Les Boys or its sequels, but that hasn’t stopped it becoming one of the highest-grossing film franchises in Canadian history, even if it knocks some Chiclets out of good taste. And Québec has more than its share of comedy superstars too. While the likes of Martin Matte and his fellow French-speaking funnymen couldn’t get arrested in the anglophone world, they’re household names in their home province and laughing all the way to the bank.

Martin Matte successful Maxi campaign 2018


Does this mean that humour can be a gateway to the heart of the Québec consumer? While there are few certainties in this beautiful marketing life, humour is as close as you will get to assured success. The only twist to be aware of is that Quebecers can laugh at themselves but does not find it too funny when someone else does.


To be most effective while utilizing a humorous tone in your PR agency’s communications approach in Quebec, you need to hire local comedians. Local stars work best when you are trying to deliver your message in a humorous tone. Situational comedy (like the one we see in most sitcoms) is not a style of comedy that works well in Quebec.

Situational comedy like Seinfeld is not the prevalent comedy style in Quebec.


Trying to hire a comedian to play a role in a script is like trying to fit a round peg in a square hole. On the contrary, a PR agency should focus on developing the messaging around the comedian. The reason is simple: people love their local comedians and they are expecting their signature comedy when they see them in an ad.

Patrick Huard’s taxi driver character lights up Intact Assurance ads.



Having access to a comedian as a spokesperson can easily help cement or open opportunities with vendors and retailers. Photo ops with employees, as well as invitations to the comedian shows, go a long way. Needless to say, any written material should incorporate the comedian to have consistency in your PR agency’s campaign.


As PR agencies know, media events are a great way for reporters to experience your products or services. Include in your event flow the comedian’s appearance. This way reporters will have an additional storyline to develop, giving you more earned media space. Sometimes this is the difference between only getting a blurb in the newspaper and an article. Be sure to create a context for the comedian to feel comfortable and don’t try to shove his or her way all the messaging for your company. Always utilize people’s strength.

Joannie Rochette was the star of a media event in one of our public relations activations. An example of leveraging her healthy and athletic aura for the launch of a product.


Even if some pundits express doubts about the effectiveness of Influencers in your marketing mix, you cannot overlook the fact that people interact better with people than with brands. Hence, influencers give a human vehicle to your company and brand. And inviting your comedian spokesperson to get involve with other influencers will help raise the attractiveness of your campaign as well as give a popularity boost to the influencers. A win/win situation.  


Your owned social channels are probably well established. By that, I mean that you have found your voice as well as your fanbase. But this should not deter you from involving your chosen comedian with your social channels. If you have gone through a rigorous selection process his/her presence will be accepted and will only enhance your communications and not disrupt your community. It can help you get traction to open conversations as well as help spread your messaging faster to a larger audience.

Comedy is 90% cultural. So instead of trying to reproduce your comedic concept to the Québec culture, call upon a local comedian to help your messaging resonate. That will prevent faux-pas:)

5 Steps PR strategy to drive results

How to maximize your Public relations

Public relations are your secret weapon for increasing your website search engine optimization.

Yet, leveraging a PR strategy is the most undervalued tactics by marketing professionals.

There are 2 main reasons why:

1. Many people struggle to write a public relations pitch that stand out in a reporter’s inbox or piques an editor’s interest enough to even reply.

2. And then, most people do not know what to do with the ensuing covering to make it worth their efforts.

But those 2 obstacles can be easily overcome by putting in place a plan to seed and nurture a public relations campaign, and by then maximizing the results.

In helping out many clients, we have come to a formula that works incredibly well to increase SEO results from any public relations campaign.

5 steps PR strategy for success

1. Begin with your priority keywords.

2. Identify media outlets that rank well for your keywords.

3. Create top quality owned content relating to your keywords.

4. Craft your own pitch, to show your thought leadership.

5. Optimize your articles with anchor text.

Begin with Your Precedence Key Words

Use the keywords that you are focusing on for your company as a starting point to turn them in a statement which can be used as a headline to get a high-level bit of content. Use the Google Keyword Planneror another keyword research tool to make sure your headline reflects a phrase for which people are searching, and will work for the rest of this process.

Once you’ve refined 10 keyword phrases you want to focus your content around, you’re ready to move on to the second step.

Identify Top Media Outlets Covering Your Subject

Using a Google search, look-up your keyword phrases and find which high-traffic websites and media sites your crowd visits.

Those websites are where you need to earn links from to raise your domain name power and to drive qualified visitors to your website.

To prioritize your media outlets, use tools like Moz toolbar to obtain each sites domain authority.

You will want to focus on obtaining links back to your website from domains with higher authority than yours.

Plan a Content Strategy

Here, the goal is to make sure your earned media ties into your owned content

In order to do so, your content needs to live on your company blog. In our experience, it is best to write two to three blog posts on your primary keyword phrase (like for example: How to build a Media Contact list.)

For each of the blog posts, identify three contributed content ideas to pitch to publications, and three to pitch to blogs.

For each of the identified blogs or media outlets, you will pitch an idea related to one of the topics you included in your content for publication on your company blog.

These are broad topics that correspond to the media contact’s keyword phrase.

Once you’ve completed your media relations outreach, you will have six higher domain websites pointing back to content on your blog.

Craft a Private Pitch

To craft a personal pitch you’ll need to have spent some time building relationships with the reporters or bloggers you want to reach.

You can use any social listening tool to identify the influencers. You’ll want to interact with them on social media and amplify their content.

That way, when you are ready to pitch, your name will be familiar to them.

You’ll also have a much better idea of their beat and preferences.

If you haven’t done this yet, or don’t have time to do this, there are other tools like datablitz that alleviate some of the more tedious aspects of the work. You subscribe to the service and you can find the relevant reporters and bloggers according to your query. An excellent time saver for your PR strategy.

Tip: In crafting your pitch, briefly outline who you are and cite your owned content as examples of your expertise and prior take on the topic. Note that you’ve seen a specific piece of content on a related topic, and would like to pitch them on your topic.

Every day, journalists receive an inbox full of pitches from people they don’t know, on topics they don’t cover. Spending the time to individually craft each pitch‚ instead of writing a generic pitch and spamming it out to your entire media list will stand out.  

Optimize Your Content

Once you receive coverage for your pitch or publication of your contributed content, you’ll want to include a link back to your website from a relevant anchor text.

By including this link to your site, not only will you begin to see an improvement in your domain authority over time, you now have something concrete to measure.