Mary Susan’s Election Statements

2012 ELECTION STATEMENT

Mary Susan MacDonald arm wrestles the CFL's Peter Dyakowski
Arm wrestling Peter Dyakowski, CFL football player and winner of Canada’s Smartest Person on CBC Television

Statement of Mary Susan MacDonald, nominee for the position of Vice-President Communications

Effective internal and external communications will be essential to Mensa Canada in the coming years.

I am running for Vice-President Communications because I believe that I will bring a fresh perspective and make a difference to the Society in this role.

I support the Board’s commitment to improve the maintenance and growth of membership in the face of present-day competition for people’s time and commitment.

I will guide needed improvements to the Society’s electronic presence and relevance on the internet and social media. I believe that we would benefit from a solid marketing strategy and the appointment of an individual to manage the Society’s social networking.

During the past year and a half, I have served on a Board sub-committee -Marketing Group – to help come up with innovative ideas to improve the marketing of Mensa Canada. In addition, in an article in MCh, I have suggested changes to attract and retain members. These suggested changes include upgrading our presence in online media and inviting more involvement by young Mensans. Such initiatives will help to broaden our audience and capabilities while complementing the experience and corporate memory of older Mensans. I would welcome the chance to put these ideas into practice – and to talk to more members about their ideas.

Mary Susan MacDonald and Jim Mourgelas
With Jim Mourgelas enjoying the forest

Over the same period, I have been fortunate enough to work with the Editor of MCh and SOM Times Newsletter and to interact with members of the RG 2012 Mensa Falls for Niagara Committee on various initiatives.

As well, I presented a new graphic look for Mensa Canada and won the Society’s contest in the Fall of 2011. I am now working with the new webmistress to carry the common graphic look and theme through to the new website, currently under development.

In my view, the most important attribute of the VP Communications is proven successful relevant experience.

Communication has been a major focus of my professional life as a senior executive in the health and business worlds (Director Hospital Services, Montreal Children’s Hospital: Vice President, Sick Kids Foundation; Vice President Medical, Sick Kids Hospital; Vice President, Gilmore – leading Canadian consulting and training design firm; Consultant to the Canadian Olympic Association on a practical ethics program).

My educational background includes: DHA (masters health administration), University of Toronto; BA Philosophy, York University, Toronto; RN, Royal Victoria Hospital School of Nursing, Montreal. I have been a member of Mensa for 21 years.

 

 


2014 ELECTION STATEMENT

Mary Susan MacDonald with issues of Toronto's Montage at a new members' night
Preparing for a monthly Toronto new members’ night

Vice-President Communications

In March 2012, I committed to guiding improvements to the Society’s presence and relevance on the Internet and social media, setting a solid marketing strategy, appointing an individual to manage our social networking, and inviting more involvement by young Mensans.

All of these commitments have been surpassed. Member and prospective member engagement online has increased dramatically and membership in Mensa Canada in 2013 was at its highest level in 10 years. This is not the result of any one person. Mensa Canada is loaded with talent and since July 2012, new teams of Ms have formed within the communications area, members of which include: Social media buffs, web enthusiasts, techs, communication designers; researchers; writers, leaders and more. These teams have achieved remarkable results, as elaborated in recent articles in MC².

The Web Team conducted a national survey of members’ web usage, in preparation for the new website, which was launched to accolades without incident in Fall 2013. The new website now receives twice the 2012 rate of unique visitors per month.

The Social Media Team created two new channels (Twitter and Google+), and all of our social media channels (LinkedIn; Facebook; Twitter; Google+) are up significantly, in some cases by more than 500 per cent.

The Writing Team has produced the Social Media How To Guide and new Member Handbook, with an Event Planning Guide in process. MC² continues with six substantial issues per year.

The Young Mensans have now established themselves as a successful local and national SIG. They have established their own active channels of communication and, as a result, are organizing events, volunteering at AGs, and more.

Mary Susan MacDonald holding hands up excitedly
Trying improv at We’eM 2011

Internal communications initiatives are supporting AG, RG and IBD organizers, delivering marketing promotions via website and social media. Membership increased via the Friends & Family membership drive in October 2013 and special membership promo in December 2013. Increased awareness of the MIL Photography Contest yielded three winners from Canada in 2013. Mainstream media coverage continues to highlight Mensa Canada as attractive for new members, thanks to the excellent support of several Local Groups and national Board members.

Plans for 2014-15 include:

  • Continued growth of social and mainstream media presence and engagement.
  • Creation of additional pages on national website; collaboration with Local Groups in launching subdomain sites; development of an engaging graphical interface for the new website.
  • Development of additional areas of focus, such as media relations and technical advisory.
  • Supporting ongoing member involvement in setting and achieving strategic goals.

Effective internal and external communications will remain essential to Mensa Canada in the coming years. I am running for VP Communications for a second term because I believe that I will continue to make a difference to the Society in this role.

 

 


2016 ELECTION STATEMENT

Election Statement – Vice-President Communications, Mensa Canada

3 March 2016 by Mary Susan MacDonald

Mary Susan MacDonald and Jim Mourgelas
With Jim Mourgelas at We’eM 2016

Effective internal and external communications will continue to be essential to Mensa Canada.

I am running for VP Communications for a third term because I believe that I will continue to make a difference to the Society in this role.

In March 2014, I committed to: continued growth of MC media presence and relevance; developing an engaging graphical interface for the new website; support of ongoing member involvement in setting and achieving strategic goals; creation of additional website content; partnership with chapters in launching subdomain sites; development of additional areas, such as technical advisory on new projects.

These commitments have been met through teamwork and cooperation. Member and prospective member engagement online has increased dramatically, and membership in Mensa Canada in 2016 is at its highest level in ten years.

Since July 2012, new Communications teams have formed, including social media buffs, web enthusiasts, techs, designers, researchers, writers, leaders and more.

The Social Media Team has grown our online channels, most increasing by >65% since 2014.

The Writing Team conducted the 2015 member survey regarding member engagement and participation in person and online. It received a 50% response rate, informing Mensa Canada’s strategic direction and priorities. Of 300 respondents interested in volunteering, 60 have connected with such areas as: MC Scholarship Programme, Social Media Team, Web Team, Gifted Youth, and various local groups. The widely-distributed report is available to logged-in members.

The Web Team has established a translation team for the national site; managed new graphic re-design work; created numerous local group subdomain sites; worked with VP Membership and developers to improve the membership database function; launched the Mensa Canada Office 365 collaboration platform.

The Technical Advisory Team is setting priorities for best-practice projects to be undertaken by the Web Team in maintaining IT and security standards.

Internal communications initiatives have included:

  • Establishing successful local/national young Mensan groups, who have created active channels of communication to support volunteering, social events, and more.
  • Working with AG, RG, international event organizers to deliver marketing promo info
  • Promoting awareness of LEAP, HIQORA, scholarships, photography, literary and other contests, Friends & Family and holiday membership promos.

Communications continues to produce 6 editions of the national journal annually.

Mainstream media opportunities have been handled with the excellent support of local groups and national Board members. The national website provides links with details.

Plans for 2016-2017 include:

  • Collaboration with MC’s new Marketing Committee
  • Continued growth of: internal networking; social, and mainstream media presence
  • Creation of: additional national website content; sites for local groups and AG organizers
  • Development of additional areas, such as membership database functions.

I will continue to support ongoing member involvement in setting strategic goals.

Mary Susan MacDonald with the 2017 board of Mensa Canada
With the 2017 Mensa Canada board at the Ottawa AG

 


2018 ELECTION STATEMENT

Election Statement – Vice-President Communications, Mensa Canada

5 March 2018 by Mary Susan MacDonald

Mary Susan MacDonald and Jim Mourgelas
With Jim Mourgelas at the 2018 Indy AG Mr. Mensa Pageant

Effective internal and external communications will continue to be essential to the success of Mensa Canada (MC).

I am running for VP Communications for a fourth term because I believe that I will continue to make a difference to the Society in this role.

The commitments made in my 2016 election statement have been met through teamwork and cooperation. Member and prospective member engagement online has increased dramatically, and membership in Mensa Canada in 2018 is at its highest level in ten years.

Highlights of the MC Communications Teams 2016 to present:

Several teams collaborated to secure a long term Google Ad grant of a maximum $10,000 USD per month beginning in mid August 2017. The ad campaign has resulted in an 87% increase in visits to our test payment page. Overall site visits have increased 42% over pre-advertising levels.

The Social Media Team has grown our online channels, most increasing by over 40% since 2016 (and some, as high as 100% since 2012). As well, SMT has created an FAQ for the national website, updated the New Members’ Handbook, and more.

The Web Team has: redesigned the national website; supported AG organizers from Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary and various local chapters in their website development and management; integrated the website with the membership database, and more.

The MC2 Editorial Team was formed with a new Editor and Proofreader.

The Technical Advisory Team has set priorities for best-practice projects to be undertaken by the Web Team in maintaining IT and security standards.

Mainstream media opportunities have been handled with the excellent support of local groups and national Board members. The national website provides links with details.

Plans for 2018-2019 include:

  • Continuing growth of: internal networking, social and mainstream media presence
  • Improving website usability and functionality and modernizing e-commerce capabilities
  • Surveying members to acquire feedback on issues, including member-driven newsletter delivery preferences
  • Enhancing and increasing direct communications with members by using automated email and direct alert technologies
  • Supporting ongoing member involvement in setting our strategic goals
Mary Susan MacDonald with the 2018 board of Mensa Canada
With the 2018 Mensa Canada board at the Calgary AG