OPPI

This webpage highlights the work I have done with the Ontario Professional Planners Institute (OPPI) between 2017 and 2021.

The Ontario Professional Planners Institute (OPPI) has the mandate to grant the Registered Professional Planner (RPP) designation, govern the rights and responsibilities of its members – over 4,000 professional planners and more than 500 students – and set academic, experience and examination requirements for membership. The OPPI Professional Code of Practice and Standards of Practice set the benchmark for quality practice among planning professionals, meaning that every community across Ontario served by RPPs can be confident in a sound approach to planning in the public interest.

In my role as Communications and Marketing Manager, I oversaw the development and execution of OPPI’s external communications and marketing initiatives. This includes developing social media content, videos, web content, and monthly member newsletter. I led the redevelopment of OPPI’s website and new publication, Y Magazine, with a focus on telling the story of RPPs and why they are so valuable to communities across Ontario. In addition, I managed the day-to-day functions of our communications agency and web/digital agency that assist OPPI in the execution of our communications strategy and development of collateral and communications materials.

OPPI’s communications strategy began its transition from member-to-member communications to publicly-facing communications when I started in 2017. I was tasked, and still remain so, with implementing the new communications strategy within OPPI.

On this page you will find portfolio items relating to COVID-19 communications, media relations, Y Magazine, member newsletters, content creation, and additional work.

COVID-19 Communications

Starting in March 2020, I implemented a refined communications strategy for OPPI’s membership to inform and educate members on what was happening in Ontario during the COVID-19 pandemic. The strategy focused on several initiatives:

  • A central information webpage for members.
  • Consolidation of member newsletters and information into one weekly, then bi-weekly, newsletter (see below).
  • The development of our Forum Friday webinar series focusing on issues during and post-pandemic.
  • The development of a COVID blog series with members from across Ontario sharing their insights and focus.
  • Continuing to share information on all social media channels.

Media Relations

Generally speaking, OPPI issues releases around the time of our annual conference in October. Please see below a small sample of media releases:

Y Magazine

When I started at OPPI, the organization issued a magazine called the Ontario Planning Journal that was published six times a year. This publication gave members the opportunity to talk amongst each other, share planning concerns and raise issues. With the development of a new communications strategy, the focus of this publication had to change to one that was more outwardly-focused to the public, decision-makers, allied professions and additional stakeholders.

We brought on a new Editor who would curate stories around a central theme. We also took the opportunity to retire the old publication and create our new Y Magazine with new features and stories that positioned RPPs front and centre, allowed OPPI to publicize itself and key members, and any news it has to share, and made it more visually appealing. In my role, I acted as the publisher bringing the vision of the magazine to life, organize editorial meetings, and worked with the Editor to curate stories for our issues.

Please see below each copy of Y Magazine to date:

When each issue is ready, I issued a newsletter to subscribers and members announcing it is available to read digitally and will be reaching mailboxes shortly. Please see an example of an eblast below:

Member Newsletters

OPPI’s main member newsletter is called The Planner. Please see below a selection of newsletters issued before and during the COVID pandemic. These newsletters would be sent to a membership of approx. 4,600 people, including full-time members, candidate and retired members, sister organizations and student members. The newsletters issued during the pandemic consolidated several newsletters into one convenient source for members to access.

Other Newsletter Examples:

Before the COVID pandemic, OPPI issued several different newsletters. Please find a small sample of newsletters below. The list includes legislative/government-focused news, a student newsletter promoting student campus events, our weekly district blast promoting member events, and several announcement newsletters.

Content Creation

Working with our communications agency, one of the central items within the communications strategy is creating original content. This takes several new and existing forms:

Case Studies

The OPPI website redesign allowed for the focus and development of case studies that promote the value, importance and benefit of RPPs to communities across Ontario. Working with our communications agency, we develop easy-to-understand examples of planning successes. We would choose story ideas from our annual conference submissions; I would provide input on story development (and make any introductions, if needed) and our agency would write the stories. We would then promote to the membership and followers. Please see the list of case studies developed to date:

Some of these case studies, along with Y Magazine articles, were used to develop OPPI’s first media buy campaign, Plan On It.

Webinars

During the COVID-19 pandemic, I led the development and production of OPPI’s Forum Friday webinar series. On a bi-weekly basis, OPPI hosted a total of nine timely and relevant webinars for members on the topics they wanted to learn more about. The topics were sourced from member feedback prior and during the pandemic. Each webinar was moderated by a member of OPPI Council.

I sourced and secured speakers, developed webinar topics and speaking notes for moderators. Working with our production company, I also led pre-calls to discuss each webinar in advance, answer any questions panelists and moderators had, and to ensure we tested the technical/internet connections for each speaker in advance of the webinar.

These webinars were recorded and then posted on OPPI’s Digital Learning platform for members to view so they could collect Continuous Professional Learning (CPL) units.

Videos

Around the annual conference, I would develop promotional videos to entice members to register and attend OPPI’s conference. Working with our production company, we would go out to the city hosting our conference and shoot a promotional video. The full versions would be posted on OPPI’s YouTube channel and shorter clips would be posted on OPPI’s social media channels. Please see below a small sample of these videos:

OPPI18 Promotional Video

OPPI19: Beyond25 Promotional Video

OPPI20 Promotional Video

Additional Work

Some additional items that I do not have portfolio items for but are worth highlighting include:

  • I led the revamp of OPPI’s website to align with communications strategy and focus on the promotion of members and their work through the development of case studies.
  • I supported the public affairs function at OPPI, including working with external vendor to ensure OPPI policy submissions are developed and submitted on behalf of the organization.
  • I led the redevelopment and launch of new OPPI awards program, PlanON Awards, aligning program with overall communications strategy and offering new slate of awards recognizing the membership and their hard work.
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