Six teams and three brands in Battle of the Burgers

A TEP educational project by professor Daniel Schneider and Associate Dean Bob Richardson of the Bachelor of Public Relations Program at Humber College’s School of Media Studies.


A recruitment initiative

Humber’s Bachelor of Public Relations program offers an annual PR Boot Camp to high school students in order to open them to the possibility of a career in public relations.

In previous years, the program was offered at Lakeshore campus; however, it was a challenge to get participants to attend. Instead, this year we redesigned the initiative as an after-school program on their home turf.


Humber BPR partners with Father John Redmond Catholic Secondary School

As a pilot project, we launched the new format in conjunction with Father John Redmond Catholic Secondary School.

The program was designed as a talent-search challenge called Battle of the Burgers. Students would be broken into teams to develop and pitch their concept of a public relations campaign promoting a well-recognized hamburger brand.

The program was first set for November 2017, at a time when high school students are thinking about options for post-secondary education. However, due to the college strike, the event was postponed to February 2018, spread over two days.


Background on the Battle of the Burgers challenge

Some of the best-known fast-food companies are not only in the business of selling delicious hamburgers, but they also need to create public goodwill and consumer trust in their brand. How does McDonald’s build public trust in its name? The brand created a campaign called Our food. Your questions.

Through the campaign, McDonald’s answers some pretty difficult questions from customers who are concerned about their health. The company faces public criticism head-on, so that consumers can feel safe with what they are eating. The program is effective, because it demystifies negative conceptions about McDonald’s food.


The challenge to Father Redmond Secondary School students

Drawing inspiration from the McDonald’s case study, we created a challenge for the Father Redmond students that was issued in these words:

Three brands need your expertise. Your public relations team will be assigned a company in need of a PR campaign. Your group will bid on one of the following:

A&W Canada: “At A&W, we’re on a journey to source simple, great-tasting ingredients, farmed with care.”

Wendy’s: “…we stand for honest food … higher quality, fresh, wholesome food … prepared when you order it … prepared by Wendy’s kind of people … people who believe this is My Wendy’s … we do it Dave’s Way … we don’t cut corners.”

Burger King: “The original HOME OF THE WHOPPER,® our commitment to premium ingredients, signature recipes and family-friendly dining experiences is what has defined our brand for more than 50 successful years.”

Answer the following questions:

  • Create a new burger and describe it!
  • How does it fit the restaurant’s message?
  • What makes it different from other burgers?
  • Who would want to eat this burger?
  • Why would they feel good eating your new burger?

You will prepare a 5 to 7-minute pitch presentation to a panel of senior-year students of Humber’s Bachelor of Public Relations Program. You will be evaluated on:


A clever PR strategy



Win great prizes!

We look forward to hearing your ideas.


Outcome of Battle of the Burgers

The February event was unfortunately cancelled due to low enrollment.

As a solution, we rescheduled the Boot Camp to take place on June 5, 2018. We presented to students from the Toronto Catholic District School Board who visited Humber for College Experience Day. The lesson plan was condensed and redesigned into a 45-minute interactive session that was offered to three separate groups.

In November 2018, we will resume our original plan in partnership with Father Redmond Secondary School. Leading up to the event, we will have more time to promote in advance.


TCDSB College Experience Day at Humber

The June 5 event was a tremendous success. We presented the 45-minute workshop to three separate groups of students from grades 7 to 10.

Though we will not see an immediate increase in program enrollment, the sessions were meant to offer the students a fun and playful learning experience. They understood how the field of public relations can be rewarding and collaborative, and we gave them a sample of what their career could look like. The natural talent in the room was astounding.

Most importantly, the initiative created an excellent foundation and practice run for the more extensive workshop that will take place at Father John Redmond Catholic Secondary School in fall 2018.



Welcome to DamageControl7Media

Daniel Schneider is a professor at Humber College’s School of Media Studies in the bachelor of public relations program. He teaches brands how to get their positive message into the press. Daniel loves contemporary art, sailing, longboarding and strong espresso.


DamageControl7Media started back in 2014 when I first taught social media as a partial load instructor. Every semester, I have students contribute blog posts on topics such as entertainment, fashion, beauty, lifestyle, politics, environmental sustainability and student life. We have reached audiences from North America to South America and from Europe to Australia.

Now in my second year as full-time faculty, I have completed the Teaching Excellence Program (TEP), in which I took on an academic and community project that contributes to the growth and development of our program.

It felt most appropriate to use DamageControl7Media as a central hub to showcase my initiative, in addition to some exemplary student work and other essays reflecting on my teaching experience here at Humber.

Though there are hundreds of blog posts on DamageControl7Media, this page directs us to some highlights related to my TEP training. If you would like to follow some of the student work dating back to the beginning, click here.


Academic project


As part of my TEP academic project, I was involved in student recruitment. Our Associate Dean Bob Richardson and I developed a PR Boot Camp designed to reach high school students and teach them about a fulfilling career in an exciting fast-paced industry. How did we do it? We offered them a challenge to take the title in Battle of the Burgers. And here’s how we did it.


Community initiative


As part of my TEP community project, I was involved in the Disabled Sailing Association of Ontario (DSAO), and I have now become active in the national body, Able Sail Network (ASN). As an avid sailor, I have been a volunteer for disabled sailing for several years; however, now I have contributed my skills as an educator and communicator. Learn how people with a mobility impairment can leave their wheelchair behind and enjoy the freedom of sailing.


Teaching Excellence Program essay: Digital technology in the classroom


At Humber College, the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) has identified an opportunity to integrate digital technology into the learning experience. Does it help students to engage in the curriculum more effectively? Can professors connect with students in a new way? Learn what happened to the art of note passing and why the classroom is better without it.


Teaching Excellence Program essay: Problem-based learning


After studying problem-based learning at TEP, I was inspired to explore the topic with a particular focus on how students can acquire skills in creativity, instinct and judgement. Reflecting on my former experience in art education, I was inspired to write a blog post called: How to draw in three steps using problem-based learning. Follow these steps, and you can do it too.


 Exemplary student work

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For my class, Public Relations in the Non-Profit Sector, I asked each student to support a charity on CanadaHelps, Canada’s platform for donating and fundraising online. The series of assignments helped the students to understand how PR can support fundraising, but more importantly, how PR can truly make a difference. Learn how these students made a difference.


And to my colleagues and students…


Before I sign off for the summer, I would like to thank my colleagues and students for your amazing support. You have all made a tremendous difference on my journey.

Though I have completed my TEP training, this is only the beginning of my academic project and community initiative which will continue over the coming years. But most importantly, DamageControl7Media has become an important archive that captures student creativity and progress. Stay tune for more posts this fall 2018.


People with a mobility impairment can leave their wheelchair behind and enjoy the freedom of sailing


Daniel Schneider is a professor in the bachelor of public relations program at Humber College. He enjoys sailing, longboarding and strong espresso.

When I’m not teaching, my wife and I are avid sailors from April to November. As part of our passion for sailing, we are also involved in helping to get peoples with disabilities active in the sport.

Sailing is one in a handful of sports that enables a full integration of disabled and able-bodied people to participate on a recreational and competitive level. Disabled sailing programs across Canada offer sailing opportunities regardless of ability or age, providing self-confidence and independence on the water.

As part of my Teaching Excellence Program (TEP) community project, I was involved in the Disabled Sailing Association of Ontario (DSAO), and I have now become active in the national body, Able Sail Network (ASN).

As a part of the initiative, my not-for-profit PR class provided recommendations to DSAO for the launch of the 2017 season opener. The students provided strategies and tactics on how to reach past and current donors, prospective donors, associated organizations, politicians and local businesses. The event transpired into a very successful ribbon-cutting reception showing appreciation to those who have offered support. The sponsors delivered speeches; there were demonstrations on the use of assistive devices, followed by musical performances.


However, my favourite way to get involved in the charity is by photographing the races from the spectator boat, truly capturing the competitors in full form. Here are some of my most memorable moments in racing:

Meet Rene Dallaire in the boat named, Aladin (notice the French spelling). Rene is a high-level quadriplegic; when he was 18 years old, he was a competitive downhill skier and got injured in a training accident. Now as a sailor, he is a force to be reckoned with.  He uses the Sip ‘n’ Puff system, which provides a sensitive pneumatic control interface allowing high-quadriplegic sailors to control the boat using the simple inhale or exhale of their breath.

An able-bodied companion sailor will provide additional support and safety, but this person cannot give tactical advice.


The starting line is the most exciting time for the race photographer and the most stressful moment for the sailor. The racers are given a five-minute countdown. The objective here is to be the first over the mark. A good start sets you up for a successful race, firstly for the obvious reason, but secondly because there will be clean wind and no turbulence from the other boats. So, first is where you want to be.


Though a boat might be first off the line, the sailor must not get too excited or over-confident, because anything can happen in a race. One slow tack, getting caught is a lull or getting stuck in someone else’s wind shadow can cause a loss of boat lengths. So it gets pretty hairy up at the windward mark where the boats are clustered together. The sailors find every opportunity to nose their way in. If the sailor cuts to the mark too wide, there is plenty of opportunity for someone else to wedge in.


Downwind can make or break a great race. See number 707 in the photo below? He’s sucking away number 581’s air. Number 581 won’t be ahead for very long. I’d rather be in boat number 101 where the air is clean and it is pointed straight to the finish line. That’s where I will bet my money.


The last great place for photos is at the finish line. If a sailor hears the air horn when crossing the line, that means they got the bullet…and probably a trophy to go with it. That’s the way to run a race!


One time after a race, a sailor with a lower-level of disability yelled at Rene Dallaire for fouling him on the course. I don’t like to see such disputes amongst healthy competition, but what I did appreciate is that everyone was competing on a level playing field regardless of ability.

The lakes and oceans of Canada serve as great healers and equalizers; people with mobility impairments can leave their wheelchairs (and their disabilities) behind, and enjoy the independence and freedom that one experiences when wind, sun and spray join forces to make a perfect sailing day.

And now I turn this over to you; what brings you a sense of freedom?

How will you make a difference?


Daniel Schneider is a professor in the bachelor of public relations program at Humber College. He enjoys sailing, longboarding and strong espresso.

Guest speaker Kevin Arnsdorf, marketing director of the Toronto Sports Council, turned to the whiteboard and wrote down one question: How will you make a difference? In hindsight, it’s a question that I should have asked my students on the first day of our non-profit PR class, because it truly describes the essence of the entire course.

I designed the course so that every assignment has meaning and purpose. Therefore, I asked each student to support a charity on CanadaHelps, Canada’s platform for donating and fundraising online. With the selection of online charities to choose from, the students could support anything from mental health to food security; all they needed to do was start up a CanadaHelps page.

To be clear, the main objective wasn’t to raise funds, though some students did successfully bring in donations. The purpose was to drive online traffic and to create a community of conversation through blogging, video, online contests and any other way they could possibly support the cause.

It was an exercise in building awareness, and the online tools merely made the assignment easily accessible within the classroom environment. I wanted the students to have a portfolio piece that went live and one that they could measure its effectiveness in reaching audiences.

Without further ado, here are my top picks of students who really made a difference:

Waste not, want not: Food waste and food insecurity: While the amount of food we throw out is growing, so is the number of people who are fighting food insecurity. Leandra Greenfield created a campaign in support of Second Harvest, Canada’s largest food rescue organization that rescues and supplies surplus food and turns it into 22,000 meals for people on a daily basis. What I love about this campaign is how gracefully it captures my attention, builds my interest and then drives me to the CanadaHelps fundraiser. The appeal and call to action is subtle, yet very effective.

Three ways you can make a difference for your local women’s shelter: At any given night over 6,000 women and children in Canada sleep in a women’s shelter to escape abuse. Most shelters are equipped with both in-house and outreach services, and programs to help women dealing with abuse find their strength again. Cathryn Hurdle offers three ways that you can help to make a difference for your local women’s shelter. A great blog post is one that teaches us something in a new light; Cathryn taught me some simple ways to get involved, even from the comfort of my own home. Now there is no excuse!

The superhero myth: Why many moms don’t ask for help — and why they should: Able to conquer household chores, attend PTA meetings and work full-time jobs without breaking a sweat, the image of the modern-day mom is that of an unstoppable force capable of doing it all. Unfortunately, when it comes to the challenge of raising a family, many mothers find it difficult to ask for help. Tureisha Hamlet supported The Nanny Angel Network, an organization that helps moms to balance child-care commitments when going through cancer treatment. According to Tureisha, “It truly does take a village to raise a child, and we can each play a role in that village.” That’s what I call, making a difference!

Five reasons why you should get up and dance! You can dance in your living room, on the dancefloor or even at the grocery store. In support of the Heart & Stroke Foundation, Eloisa Jane Mariano challenged her online users to dance for 20 seconds every day for 20 days. I particularly appreciate that Eloisa collaborated with a representative from the organization to make her campaign successful. If you search online very carefully, you might even see footage of her teacher dancing; I warn you though, it’s not pretty.

How my clutter inspired me to fundraise: We could probably all use a day to declutter our lives. And here’s an interesting piece of trivia: Socks are the most needed and least donated item at shelters and charities. Raveena Maharaj supported a campaign for Just Socks, an organization that is distributing 40,000 brand-new pairs of socks to 41 charities across Toronto. Learn more about how your socks can make a difference.

I would also like to recognize the fabulous work of other students who posted their campaign on the DamageControl7Media blog site, including:

Spencer Craig in support of Big Brothers and Big Sisters Toronto

Kirtesha Moncrieffe in support of Addictions and Mental Health Ontario

Daniel Ruccella in support of SickKids

Stephanie Ahlborn in support of Al-Anon

Daisy Zamarripa in support of Sheena’s Place

Nicole Macina in support of CAMH

Maxim Naylor in support of the Jane Goodall Institute

Paya Farahmand in support of FLAP Canada

Dani Dupuis in support of the Toronto Humane Society

Brent Murphy in support of Casey House

Priya Maini in support of Progress Place Rehabilitation Centre

All of the students above have just completed their third year, and they are now in their first internship. For this course, it was important to come up with assignments that bring added challenge and build on the fundamentals that students have learned in all of their other courses. But, it was most important to assign them something real, something that is measurable and something that they can show in their next job interview. I found it most fascinating to see how these students really connected with something that is more important to them than just a grade.

To Kevin Arnsdorf, thank you for your inspirational words. In turn, I asked the students the same question in the final essay assignment. And now I turn this over to you, in 1,000 words, how will you make a difference?

Women’s Habitat of Etobicoke

Domestic violence is a serious concern and sometimes life-threatening situation that countless women in Canada face each and every day. Every six days a woman is killed by an abusive partner. So you say to yourself, “well I don’t know anyone who has been abused so why should this matter to me?”. Well, roughly 67 percent of Canadians know a woman who has been a victim of dadfomestic violence. Even if you don’t know anyone personally, chances are your mother, your sister or your friends do.Women in abusive relationships often feel ashamed, embarrassed or afraid to seek help or even share their story. The Women’s Habitat is a judgement-free facility that helps women experiencing all forms of domestic violence. By providing both in-house and outreach assistance, The Women’s Habitat gives victims the tools they need to rebuild their self-esteem, establish their future and heal from their past.


Seeing first-hand the impact that abuse has on a woman has opened my eyes to how crucial these services are. Violence against women does not discriminate against race, age or socioeconomic status. Shelters provide a safe haven for all those affected. Being a small shelter, the women’s habitat often struggles with over capacitation, however, they are committed to protecting all women and will never turn down someone in need. Their dedication to protecting the vulnerable has impacted the lives of hundreds of women in the community.


In Canada, 1 in 5 women experiences some form of domestic violence. And in 2014 my sister became that one. Each day I am thankful that my sister had her local women’s shelter offer support and give her tWOMEN-HOLDING-HANDShe courage and resources to leave her toxic relationship. Please help support The Women’s Habitat of Etobicoke in giving other women the strength they need to end their cycle of domestic violence.


Donations to The Women’s Habitat help fund the necessary programs and services needed to help victims and their families. Your contributions can help save a life and improve the future of women within our community. For more information about The Women’s Habitat of Etobicoke please click here.


Click here to make a donation to The Women’s Habitat of Etobicoke.

Three ways you can make a difference for your local women’s shelter

At any given night over 6,000 women and children in Canada sleep in a women’s shelter to escape abuse. Most shelters are equipped with both in-house and outreach services and programs to help women dealing with abuse find their strength again. Many shelters in Canada, even ones in your own community struggle with obtaining basic necessities to provide to victims and their children. There are so many ways you can help make a difference for your local women’s shelter that does not involve making a monetary donation. Take a look at three ways you can help make a difference for your local women’s shelter and improve the lives and future for women and children experiencing abuse.

Build a shelter kits

Attempting to flee from an abusive relationship dangerous and in some cases life-threatening. Victims may not have the time to pack items, or they may not be able to take much with them. Building a shelter kit is a great way to support your local shelter by providing them with basic necessities for the women and child who use their services. If you are unsure of exactly what to put in your kit, check out your local women’s shelter website. You may be able to find a list of specific items that your local shelter needs. Their website may also clearly explain what items they accept and what items they will not. Here is a list of common items that shelters ask for:

  • Diapers and wipes
  • Pads and tampons
  • Cosmetics and nail polish
  • Socks
  • Toiletries
  • Gas cards
  • Pyjamas
  • Bras

TIP: Make sure to check with your local shelter before donating any new or gently used clothing. Due to limited space, some shelters may not accept these items.

The magic of makeup

The effects of abusive leave women feeling broken. They lose all sense of self-worth and their self-esteem. Although it may not seem like much, makeup is a way to give women some added confidence and make them feel more comfortable. It can also increase a women’s confidence when attending job interviews and can just give her the boost she needs to start getting back on track and reach her goals.

Donate your time

Let’s face it – not everyone is comfortable donating money, and that’s okay. Another great way you can help out local women’s shelter is to donate some of your time. Many shelters host events and information sessions and require the assistance of volunteers. Others seek volunteers to help with cooking, event planning, programming, child care and much more. Again, check in with your local shelter and see what they are looking for and how you can help. sc

Educate yourself and share your knowledge with others

One of the easiest ways to help your local shelter is to educate yourself. Get familiar with their services and programs and use what you learn to help educate other people in your community. The more educated you are the more you will be able to help those around you seek the help they need. Social media is a great way to get involved in the discussion and connect with victims and hear their stories. Sometimes it can be difficult to connect to an issue when you haven’t experienced it first-hand. Even if you never personally experience domestic abuse, it could affect someone you know. Be prepared and stay informed.

Every contribution matters

These were just gnfa few ways you can help make a difference. Share your donation story or idea in the comments below. I would love to hear from you! Tried out one of these ideas? Share it on social media using #WeStandTogether. For more information on local Toronto women’s shelters and to make a donation to The Women’s Habitat of Etobicoke click here.




Five reasons why you should get up and dance!

Eloisa Jane Mariano is a third-year bachelor of public relations student at Humber College.

Everyone does it and you can do it just about anywhere. That’s a fact.

You can dance in your living room, on the dancefloor, or even do a little happy dance at the grocery store. You don’t even need equipment or professional dancing skills to dance! So there is truly no excuse to say no when your friends ask you to bust a move on the dance floor! In case you need extra encouragement, here are five reasons why you should get up and dance:


  1. It’s a great way to exercise (without actually feeling like you’re exercising!)
    Dancing is a great way to burn calories, build muscle and increase your daily activity. The best part about dancing is that you barely even realize how many steps you’ve taken or how many muscles you’re stimulating because you’re too busy having fun! If you find yourself having a hard time stepping off the dance floor, it’s a great way to motivate yourself to spend a good amount of time getting your body active! Go ahead, shake it off!
  2. It’s a great way to express how you ~truly~ feel
    It’s not called a “happy dance” for nothing! Dancing is a great way to express yourself. Whether you finally finished that project you’ve been working on since forever or you’ve crossed another item off your bucket list (climb a [rock] mountain… check!) you can’t help but do a little dance to express just HOW happy you are! Alternatively, you can also use dance to cope with feelings of anger or sadness through dance as well! By the end of it, you will definitely feel a little better once you’ve expressed yourself in a healthy way!
  3. It can also help boost your mood
    In those times where you don’t feel super happy (let’s say a break up), it’s common for your friends to suggest going out to dance. There is a good reason for it too! When you dance, you release endorphins which improve your mood. So if you’re ever feeling down, put on some music that you love and get groovin’!
  4. It’s a fun activity to do with your friends (or that special someone)
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    When you go dancing with your friends, everyone is bound to have a great time! Dancing by yourself amongst strangers can be pretty intimidating but when you’re with someone you trust and feel comfortable with, you feel happier and focus on having fun! You stop caring what others may think of that weird dance move you do (no judgement, everyone has one!) and you end up having ~the time of your life.~
  5. It’s good for your health
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    Dancing is a fun, great way to increase activity and mood, but it also has really great health components too! Amongst these benefits, you also reduce stress and your risk of getting heart disease or stroke. Until April 20th, you can challenge yourself and your friends to dance for 20 seconds every day for 20 days to significantly improve your health! For more information about this challenge, visit CanadaHelps and get dancin’!