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Pitching PR

Join host Lesley Luce as she cuts through the jargon and puts a new spin on the PR industry. In each episode, we interview experts who have made their mark in Public Relations, Social Media and creative industries and share their insight for taking your career to the next level. Find out more at www.pitchgraphicdesign.com
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Jul 2, 2019

In this episode, I chat with Shnane Liem-Abbrusci, founder of Vive Social + PR out of Vancouver, Canada. We discuss her career path and what inspired her to start her own agency, how she defines success for herself and her team and the shifts she is seeing in the PR industry and she is preparing her agency and clients for the coming waves of change.

Relevant Links:

www.vivesocialpr.com

Jun 25, 2019

In this episode of the #PitchingPR podcast, we chat with @pillay.nesh, founder of Press Pillay PR, about launching startups, working with lifestyle-tech brands and the importance of having social responsibility integrated into the core values of your agency. 

 

Relevant Links:

https://www.presspillay.com/

Jun 18, 2019

In this episode I chat with Clara Armand-Delille - a former Googler turned founder and Managing Director of her own PR agency, Third Eye Media. We discuss how working with startups is different than established businesses and the role PR plays at each stage of investment.

 

Relevant Links:

http://thirdeyemedia.press/

@thirdeyemedia_ on Instagram

Jun 11, 2019

In this episode I chat with Abby Van Den Broek founder of AVDB PR, and we discuss the public relations opportunities for the cannabis industry. We chat about doing PR pre and post legalization, what it is like to work with such a heavily regulated clients who might have high expectations, dope editorial calendars and working in this budding industry - so many puns so little time.  

 

Relevant Links:

www.abigailv.ca

Jun 4, 2019

In this episode of the podcast I wanted to explore the idea of brand archetypes and how we can apply them to the work we do as PR agencies – specifically using them when we are pitching new business and after we win that business, using them to pitch media and engage influencers and how these archetypes can help you better define your agency.

 

Relevant Links:

May 28, 2019

In this episode, we chat with Susan Jacobson from Jacobson Strategic Communications about how and why she implements a “flex-work” model at her agency. Flex work is exactly what it sounds like, but what is remarkable is how Susan has really turned the agency model and all of the traditional agency systems completely upside down and reshaped them to benefit her clients and team. She changed how she structures her teams, where they work, how they meet, their titles, time management, how she bills her clients and even how she compensates her team.  Every system was looked at critically and strategically and was reshaped to benefit the employee and untimely make for a better work environment. She made the agency work for her team, they don’t work for the agency.

 

RELEVANT LINKS:

May 21, 2019

In this episode, we chat with Andrea Clarke about her new book #FutureFit which is about how to “future proof” your career and the need to upgrade our own capability in ways we may not have considered because she believes the future of work is about talent, not technology.

I think this topic is so important for PR Professionals who are working in a constantly changing landscape – media is shifting, marketing is shifting, the whole industry is shifting – and While the fault-line is clear, so is the opportunity as long as we are willing to take our “human skills” to the next level.

Relevant Links:  

May 14, 2019

In this episode of the Pitching PR Podcast, I share insights from CoCo Con 2019 and a panel discussion with Vanessa Craft - Editor-In-Chief of Elle Canada. She shared her thoughts on the shifting media landscape, building relationships with media and the EXACT best time of day to pitch an Editor.

Relevant Links:  

“If you want to get the results that other people don’t have, you have to do the work that other people won’t do.” - Vanessa Craft

Feb 5, 2019

Continuing from where we left off last month, Justine and I discuss how to take a vacation from your business without losing any business. Justine Clay is a speaker and business coach for creative entrepreneurs and freelancers.

Topics:

  • How Justine helps clients create healthy boundaries.
  • Setting expectations and planning for a break.
  • The importance of reminding clients that you will be taking a break.

This podcast is courtesy of Pitch Graphic Design, a Toronto based firm, whose goal is to provide quality graphic designs for Public Relations. If you would like to get in touch with Pitch, please fill out the contact form.

Quotes:

“All of business owners know and feel like our businesses are extensions of ourselves.” -Justine Clay

Resources:

Justine’s Website

Justine’s Email List

Pitch Graphic Design on Instagram

Jan 1, 2019

It’s the time of year when everyone sets resolutions. In this episode Justine Clay and I discuss how everyone can set attainable business resolutions for the coming year. Justine Clay is a speaker and business coach for creative entrepreneurs and freelancers. Tune in to hear her thoughts on improving your business the seven steps for sustained success in 2019.

Topics:

  • Justine’s winding career path.
  • The importance of setting goals.
  • Why January is a great time for goal-setting.
  • Knowing why you want to change.
  • Assessing your habits.
  • Why your ego is a problem
  • Ways to take action.

This podcast is courtesy of Pitch Graphic Design, a Toronto based firm, whose goal is to provide quality graphic designs for Public Relations. If you would like to get in touch with Pitch, please fill out the contact form.

Quotes:

“In order to grow you have to look in the dark spaces.” -Justine Clay

Resources:

Justine’s Website

Justine’s Email List

Pitch Graphic Design on Instagram

Dec 6, 2018

It’s “Christmas in July” and December and honestly kinda feels like all year long. So today, we discuss with Erinn Stewart, a Toronto-based content creator and freelance journalist, the in’s and out’s of creating Holiday gift guides and the best practices for pitching one to busy media and influencers.

Topics:

  • How Erinn’s journalism career got started and which topics are on her beat.
  • Understanding the business culture of publications and how to use this to pitch efficiently.
  • We review the Holiday editorial calendar and when is the best time to follow up with writers.
  • The importance of in-person meetings vs. being phone-friends
  • Tips for making your gift guides stand out in a crowded media landscape
  • The  secret is out, Erinn reveals her best and worst gift guide pitches.

This podcast is courtesy of Pitch Graphic Design, a Toronto based firm, whose goal is to provide quality graphic designs for Public Relations. If you would like to get in touch with Pitch, please fill out the contact form.

Quotes:

“The Editor is the gatekeeper. I could submit twenty great items for a gift guide and then my Editor could cut three of them because they didn’t think they were a fit.” -Erinn Stewart

“Sometimes those coffee meetings aren’t always revolving around a new launch or a new product, sometimes they’re just kind of a get to know you and that is sometimes even more valuable.” Erinn Stewart

“If the product is really awesome, that is really half the battle. So be honest with your Client’s and manage their expectations.” -Erinn Stewart

Resources:

Erinn on Twitter

Pitch Graphic Design on Instagram

Nov 6, 2018

Today on the podcast we are asking the question: Is the press release dead? And the three worst rookie mistakes you can make when writing one.

To help us decide if press releases still have a pulse is Alistair Clay - an award-winning former national journalist with 20 years’ experience working in the media and PR.

He is the founder of Class:PR, the online PR training school, which has helped 100s of startups and small businesses around the world land major media coverage.

Topics:

  • Allistar’s move from Journalism to PR and how class PR got its start.
  • Is the Press Release as we know it dead?
  • Tips for writing a catchy headline or subject line.
  • How the press release has evolved from old school to new school.
  • Teaching Clients to think like a Journalist.
  • Top three Rookie mistakes

This podcast is courtesy of Pitch Graphic Design, a Toronto based design agency that exclusively works with PR Agencies; helping them create award-winning campaigns and win new clients. If you are looking to secure new clients and with Lesley at Pitch, please fill out the contact form.

Quotes:

“If you can’t encapsulate your news in fewer than twenty-five words it isn’t news.” -Alistair Clay

Resources:

Class PR

Pitch Graphic Design on Instagram

Oct 2, 2018

On this episode of Pitching PR, I get to speak with Natalie Potosi. She explains what it’s like working at film festivals, particularly managing press junkets and dealing with unexpected bumps in the road.

Natalie worked as an assistant at Alliant Films before joining Entertainment One’s PR/Promotions department. Now, she manages their PR team. Every year, she also works the Toronto International Film Festival. Listen in as Natalie describes her career path and what it’s like managing press junkets at film festivals.

Topics:

  • How Natalie promotes films for festivals
  • The festival process
  • Booking press events
  • Managing variables
  • Preparing for TIFF
  • Anticipating inappropriate questions from the press
  • Using social media
  • Natalie’s biggest “uh-oh” moment

This podcast is courtesy of Pitch Graphic Design, a Toronto based firm, whose goal is to provide quality graphic designs for Public Relations. If you would like to get in touch with Pitch, please fill out the contact form. 

Resources:

Entertainment One

TIFF

Natalie’s Instagram

Natalie’s Twitter

Quotes:

“The biggest thing that I’ve learned over the years is to build buffer time into your schedule.” -Natalie Potosi 

“Remember that you’re dealing with people and they have their own quirks.” -Natalie Potosi 

“Everything will work out…you just have to adapt and do your best…Never assume that a schedule is finalized.” -Natalie Potosi

Aug 15, 2018

Shannon Lee Simmons is a CFP (Certified Financial Planner), CIM (Chartered Investment Manager, media personality, and founder of the New School of Finance.

As the Author of Worry-Free Money, Shannon is considered a trailblazer in the Canadian financial planning industry. Today, we discuss the financial aspect of being a PR freelancer and/or agency owner. Tune in to hear her great insights!

Topics:

  • The New School of Finance
  • How to financially plan for running your own business
  • Opportunities for professional development
  • How to finance professional development
  • Pros and cons of hourly and flat rates
  • The importance of keeping and organizing receipts
  • How to bill appropriately
  • Understanding business taxes
  • The big mistake all freelancers make

This podcast is courtesy of Pitch Graphic Design, a Toronto based firm, whose goal is to provide quality graphic designs for Public Relations. If you would like to get in touch with Pitch, please fill out the contact form.

Resources:

New School of Finance

Shannon’s Website

Worry-Free Money

Pitch Graphic Design on Instagram

Quotes:

“As a corporation, you get to choose how much money comes out of the corporation to be your personal income.” -Shannon Lee Simmons

“Just making sure that you’re up-to-date on what the government allows you to write off...it can be a bit sticky.” -Shannon Lee Simmons

“The lack of tracking expenses and then not having enough money put aside for taxes. It is something that can kill your business.” - Shannon Lee Simmons

Jul 10, 2018

In this episode, we’ll be chatting with Megan Driscoll, CEO of Evolve MKD in New York City.

Megan (who founded Evolve MKD) was named one of PR Week’s 40 Under 40 and has received over ten industry award-wins, including Female Entrepreneur of the Year – the agency is known for having a passionate staff and positive work environment.

Tune in to hear our discussion about creating this positive environment and how Megan intends to perpetuate this atmosphere.

Topics:

  • What sets Evolve MKD apart
  • Why internal culture is so important
  • Creating a positive work environment
  • How to measure the intangibles
  • Mentoring

This podcast is courtesy of Pitch Graphic Design, a Toronto based design firm that works exclusively with PR Agencies. If you would like to get in touch with Pitch, please fill out the contact form.

Resources:

Evolve MKD

Evolve MKD on Facebook

Evolve MKD on Instagram

Evolve MKD on LinkedIn

Jun 19, 2018

Leslie has been on maternity leave for a year. Now, she is back working full time and has some knowledge to share with other working mothers. Tune in to hear Leslie’s insights into managing a business while on maternity leave.

Topics:

  • Setting boundaries for yourself
  • Recognizing that something has to give
  • Remaining flexible
  • Adjusting plans as necessary
  • The importance of delegation

This podcast is courtesy of Pitch Graphic Design, a Toronto based firm, whose goal is to provide quality graphic designs for Public Relations. If you would like to get in touch with Pitch, please fill out the contact form.

Resources:

Pitch Graphic Design on Instagram

Quotes:

“Sometimes boundary setting doesn’t come easy...it can be as simple as saying ‘no’ to new projects or setting office hours.” -Leslie Luce

“When we moved to a more structured sleep schedule, the windows I could work were limited to two hours and only over nap time.” -Leslie Luce

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help; it is not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of greater self-awareness.” -Leslie Luce

Apr 5, 2017

On this episode of Pitching PR, I get the opportunity to speak with Crosby Noricks, the founder and director of PR Couture. We discuss ways in which PR professionals can boost their reputation. Specifically, we talk about branding and raising your profile by applying to PR awards.

Growing up, Crosby loved fashion and wanted to find a way to incorporate that into her career. She found that PR was the best way to pursue her interests and particularly enjoyed creating business strategies. Her successful digital and traditional marketing track record include leading both in-house and large agency teams where she got to spearhead the social and digital footprint for brands like Charlotte Russe, Creative Nail Design (CND) and Sutter Home. She created PR Couture, a platform where she could pursue her specific interest, which was and is Fashion PR. Join us as she describes her professional journey and how PR Couture has boosted her professional profile.

Topics:

  • Thinking about/pursuing long-term career goals
  • Personal branding online and offline
  • How to build your professional reputation
  • Thinking of reputation building as delivering value
  • Launching the Bespoke Communication Awards and why awards play a role in branding
  • Tips for streamlining the application process for awards
  • Repurposing content to your advantage
  • Elevating your reputation through generosity 

Resources:

PR Couture

PR Couture email

Bespoke Communication Awards

Crosby Noricks’ Website

PR Couture on Instagram

info@thebespokeawards.com

 

Mar 1, 2017

On Today’s episode, I discuss the effects of a cluttered life with Ivanka Siolkowsky. We dive into the emotional and professional aspects of clutter and how to turn things around.

Ivanka Siolkowsky was once an extremely organized teacher who turned her passion into a professional organizing business. Her enthusiasm was driven by reading Marie Kondo’s book and instituting the KonMarie method on her life. She now helps others cut down on clutter and organize their lives.

Topics:

  • Marie Kondo and her KonMari method or organization
  • Organizing by category instead of by room
  • Looking critically at our work wardrobes
  • Changing the way you fold to increase space
  • Storing seasonal or weight-related clothing items
  • The benefit of implementing the KonMari method to your work space/office
  • Using the KonMari method when packing

This podcast is courtesy of Pitch Graphic Design, a Toronto based firm, whose goal is to provide quality graphic designs for Public Relations. If you would like to get in touch with Pitch, please fill out the contact form.

Resources and Links:

Ivanka's Tidy Moose Website

Tidy Moose Facebook

Tidy Moose Instagram @tidymoose

Tidy Moose YouTube 

The Original KonMari Site

Quotes:

 

“[Clutter] has a…negative emotional effect on you.” -Ivanka Siolkowsky

 

“You have a system that works for you and then things flow a little bit easier.” -Ivanka Siolkowsky

 

“Order it in order of priority and importance.” -Ivanka Siolkowsky

Feb 15, 2017

On today’s podcast, I had the opportunity to speak with Nicole Murphy, an email marketing guru and fellow podcaster. We discuss the unknown benefits and misconceptions about email marketing, how to use email marketing to grow your agency and how to come back from email typos and mistakes.

Nicole has an extensive background in ecommerce and online marketing and now specializes in email marketing at Freshbooks and in her own marketing consultancy, Learn to Love Email. Having spent so much time working in this specific type of marketing, Nicole has a great breadth of knowledge to share with us.

Topics:

  • E-mail is old, but not outdated
  • Misconceptions about email marketing
  • Avoiding being “spammy”
  • Ways to use the data to improve your clients’ content
  • Strategies for content development
  • Understanding what makes your business or your clients’ business unique
  • Finding your “written voice”
  • The terror of email mishaps
  • Steps for dealing with email marketing mistakes
  • Emerging email marketing trends

 

This podcast is courtesy of Pitch Graphic Design, a Toronto based firm, whose goal is to provide quality graphic designs for Public Relations. If you would like to get in touch with Pitch, please fill out the contact form.

Resources and Links:

Learn to Love Email

Learn to Love Email Podcast

Learn to Love Email Blog

Nicole on Instagram

Freshbooks

Quotes:

“The second you hit that send button, you immediately start getting real time reporting…” -Nicole Murphy

 

“When you’re developing a content strategy for your email marketing, the first step is to really understand what it is that makes you different.” -Nicole Murphy

Feb 1, 2017

Today, I sit down with Ariel Rule, the blogger and owner of freelancefreedomfighter.com, in order to discuss business-related anxiety. Anxiety is a hefty topic and can greatly impact your agency or freelance business, so we go over the possible triggers and potential solutions in a fairly light-hearted and straightforward manner.

Besides being the blogger and owner of Freelancefreedomfighter.com, Ariel is also a creative entrepreneur and content marketing expert. She got her start in web design, which eventually led her to discover her love of writing. She now spends a lot of her time doing content marketing for other businesses.

Topics:

  • The root of freelancer anxiety
  • Why “faking it” isn’t a good idea
  • Appreciating your own capabilities
  • Potential ways to combat anxiety
  • Focusing on self-care
  • The importance of community

This podcast is courtesy of Pitch Graphic Design, a Toronto based firm, whose goal is to provide quality graphic designs for Public Relations. If you would like to get in touch with Pitch, please fill out the contact form.

Resources and Links:

Freelance Freedom Fighter

Mommapreneur Mastermind Group

Ariel on Twitter

Ariel on Instagram

Jan 18, 2017

Today, I speak with Kim Dawson, who, among many things, is a business strategist and founder of K. Dawson Company. We discuss the ways in which hiring and investing in your PR agency and business can create growth, not just be a reaction to growth.

Kim received her degree in Accounting and pursued a career as a CPA, before realizing her passion for health and wellness. Upon getting her Master’s in Nutrition, Kim practiced as a nutritionist. Shortly thereafter, she opened K. Dawson Company, a business designed to help other women entrepreneurs achieve their goals.

Topics:

  • The success tipping point
  • Investing in your agency and business rather than saving
  • Why hiring will make you money, not cost you money
  • Methods for hiring the right team
  • Outsourcing social media
  • Teaming up with other PR professionals when funds are low
  • Managing your financial resources
  • The importance of Graphic Design
  • Creating office culture

This podcast is courtesy of Pitch Graphic Design, a Toronto based firm, whose goal is to provide quality graphic designs for Public Relations. If you would like to get in touch with Pitch, please fill out the contact form.

Resources and Links:

K.Dawson Company

Kim on Twitter

Kim on Facebook

Pitching PR Mainpage

Pitch Graphic Design on Instagram

 

Quotes:

“You actually make more money when you hire.” -Kim Dawson

 “As you grow, you have to grow your efforts to delegate…” -Kim Dawson

Jan 3, 2017

On today’s podcast, I have the opportunity to speak with Riana Topan, who is a communications fellow at the Aga Khan Foundation in Uganda. We discuss the benefits of setting career goals at the start of a new year and how to turn these goals into action.

Riana graduated with an arts degree, which she later spun into a career in communications. She uses her expertise as someone who successfully changed her career path to offer great insight into how to set short and long-term career goals.

Topics:

  • Why we set goals in the New Year

  • How to evaluate your current job status

  • Envisioning your ideal future

  • Making plans to achieve your career goals

  • Putting plans into action

  • Evaluating your progress

  • Long-term vs. short-term planning

  • What is a “medium-term” goals and why are they so important

  • Building a timeline for each set of goals

This podcast is courtesy of Pitch Graphic Design, a Toronto based firm, whose goal is to provide quality graphic designs for Public Relations. If you would like to get in touch with Pitch, please fill out the contact form.

Links and Resources:

Riana on LinkedIn

Pitching PR Mainpage

Pitch Graphic Design on Instagram

 

Quotes:

“Though the holidays are inevitably busy, this season is a great time to pause and reflect on all you’ve done in the past twelve months.” –Riana Topan

“More often than not, setting a career plan like this will extend well beyond the next calendar year.” –Riana Topan

“You’ll be much better off if you’re able to adapt to challenges as they arise and take advantage of new opportunities that come your way…” –Riana Topan

 

Dec 14, 2016

Today’s podcast is the first in a two-part series about the key learnings from professionals who have started their own agencies. I sit down with three of the five small business owners and get into what they’ve learned, the importance of these discoveries, and how others can implement these ideas.  

Aly Tsourounis, the first interviewee, started Hank PR over a year ago and specializes in consumer PR. She has also worked in PR for nine years. I also speak with Erin Richard of Hype PR, which she calls a “virtual agency”; Erin employs one full time worker and relies on a team of freelance employees. Finally, I talk to Laurie Weir of Next PR, which is in its infancy, as it was started less than a year ago. Laurie worked at various agencies for fourteen years before deciding she wanted to strike out on her own. Join me as I delve into the successes and pitfalls of running your own PR agency with these engaging women.   

Topics:   

  • Making connections 
  • Learning when to say, “No” 
  • Having a can-do attitude 
  • Finding your niche 
  • Employing freelancers to build up your small business 
  • “Proceeding with caution” when your name is on the line 
  • Remembering to listen 
  • Tracking your time 
  • Finding a trustworthy accountant who understands small business 
  • Operating with transparency 
  • Defining your brand  

This podcast is courtesy of Pitch Graphic Design, a Toronto based firm, whose goal is to provide quality graphic designs for Public Relations. If you would like to get in touch with Pitch, please fill out the contact form.  

Links and Resources:  

PR Couture Website 

Hank PR Website 

Hype PR Website 

Next PR Instagram 

Next PR Twitter 

The East Room 

Pitching PR Mainpage 

Pitch Graphic Design on Instagram  

Quotes:  

“Connections are everything. For those of us that work in PR…it’s our bread and butter.” -Aly Tsourounis   

“When you become your own business owner, you can also get bogged down in the strategic growth of your business…so it is important to remember to stay on the front lines.” -Leslie Luce   

“I found it really, really beneficial to invest up front in a really good designer.” -Laurie Weir 

Nov 23, 2016

Today’s podcast is about navigating maternity leave and your PR career and is cohosted by Jordana Wolch from Environics Communications in Toronto. It takes a village to raise a child and it takes a team to launch a PR campaign – so motherhood has a lot in common with PR. But adjusting to your new role as a mother and your role as a PR professional can be a challenge – I’ve heard toddlers are the most demanding clients! So we asked 15 PR Professionals who have had one or multiple maternity leaves to share their stories, wisdom and provide insight on how they navigated their PR careers and maternity leaves. Join us as we read their responses and draw on the experiences from a village of PR moms.  

Topics:    

  • Overview of Canadian maternity leave benefits 
  • Jordana’s experience returning to work after maternity leave 
  • Tips for telling your employer about the pregnancy 
  • Dealing with morning sickness and your pregnancy at work 
  • Common concerns about returning to work  
  • Professional development while on mat leave 
  • Advice for returning to work and balancing (or not balancing) it all  

Resources:   

 

 

Pitching PR Mainpage  

 

Pitch Graphic Design on Instagram  

 

Pitching PR on iTunes  

 

Quotes:   

“For me, the anticipation of going back to work was way worse than actually going back to work. ” - Jordana Wolch 

 

“Somedays you feel like you’re owning it and doing such a good job, and some days it all comes crashing down. You have to allow yourself to not be perfect for everyone, everyday.” -Jordana Wolch 

Nov 9, 2016

On today’s episode, I sit down with Emotional Wellness Coach, Barbara Erochina, about creating a compassionate workplace. The issue of compassion has risen to the forefront as new research suggests that compassionate workplaces increase employee satisfaction and loyalty. We discuss ways to be a compassionate leader and how to create an office environment where compassion encourages high performance and innovation.  

Barbara combines psychiatric studies with life-coaching techniques to help people using her own approach to emotional well-being. Barbara also created the BeWith Self-Care Cards for her client’s as a tool to help them live a more compassion live towards themselves and others.  

Topics:  

  • Why compassion and self-care has been rising to the forefront 
  • Benefits of being a compassionate leader 
  • How compassion encourages risk-taking and innovation 
  • Compassion vs. Sympathy 
  • The rewards of compassionate leadership 
  • Managing the fear of failure at work 
  • How compassion breeds empathy for others 
  • How the process of change affects workers 
  • The power hierarchy and how it affects office atmosphere 
  • Encouraging a healthy office environment  

This podcast is courtesy of Pitch Graphic Design, a Toronto based firm, whose goal is to provide quality graphic designs for Public Relations. If you would like to get in touch with Pitch, please fill out the contact form.  

Links and Resources:  

BeWith Homepage 

Barbara Erochina Coaching 

BeWith Cards 

BeWith on Facebook 

BeWith on Instagram 

Pitching PR Mainpage 

Pitch Graphic Design on Instagram  

Quotes:  

“Self-compassion is just that first step of acknowledging something is hard.” -Barbara Erochina   

“She wrote herself a letter of forgiveness…and it offered her the comfort that she needed to think about the next steps without that kind of harsh self-judgement.”-Barbara Erochina   

“One of the beautiful things about self-compassion…is that self-compassion automatically builds empathy for others.” -Barbara Erochina 

 

 

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