Young PR Pros: Episode #36 – Bilingualism in PR and communications

This week, our hosts, Kristine Simpson and Julia Kent, answer a listener’s question about bilingualism in the PR and communications industry in Ottawa, Canada, and offer tips on meeting people in a new city.

Brit Mockler, or @bamcklr as she is known on Twitter, asks:

How important is bilingualism in Ottawa PR jobs and how can I make contacts in new city.

Julia starts by answering the first part of her question. she encourages Brit that even if she doesn’t know French, as long as she shows the willingness to learn, she should still be able to get a job in Ottawa.

Kristine on the other hand explains that the majority of communications work she does is in English and is only required to write short emails, do simple interviews and occasionally pitch French journalists in French. Press releases, reports and other big items are always sent to translation. A base of the language is sufficient enough.

Kristine and Julia both agreed that having French is a bonus on your resume, but shouldn’t get in your way of landing a job as long as you showcase your true talent and willingness to learn.

As for making new contacts, Julia says Twitter can be a great tool to connect with professionals before and during your transition to a new city.

Julia says: get your name know on Twitter and get your face know through in-person networking.

She also mentions the importance of networking in professional communications associations, such as IABC. Kristine shares her favourite networking story of Kerry Mortimer, past president of IABC Ottawa, and her success of utilizing IABC Canada connections and landing a job by volunteering with IABC Ottawa.

Thanks Brit for sending in your question. If you have a question for Kristine and Julia, send us an email. If you have already sent in a question, stay tuned, your question may be answered in future episodes.

We would love to hear from you. Share your opinion or ideas by leaving a comment below or on our Facebook Page, or on our Google+ page, or in our LinkedIn group, or send us an email at, or send us a message on Twitter @youngprpros@kristinesimpson or @kentjulia.

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