COM0015 – Blog 3: Building a Cooking Club’s Reputation

I am currently on hiatus from my professional and volunteer work. During this time, I plan to further develop and refine a strategy for the Mamaqtuq Nanook Cooking Club’s professional network online and in person.

The cooking club is a volunteer program I run at my son’s school in Apex, Nunavut. We meet once a week on Fridays after school. During our two hours together, we prepare and cook a meal, write out the recipe, participate in physical fitness, often listen to a guest speaker and we eat. We all go home with full bellies, more literate than before, and with new skills.

Since I started the club four years ago, I have built a reputation of a dynamic and free after school program that benefits the children and families in our small community. I have developed this reputation through a strong online presence and in person.

In terms of the online network, I have used the Nanook School/Apex DEA Facebook page and Twitter account to broadcast our story and weekly successes. I have also used my own personal social media accounts as well as community social media pages to communicate our success with our target audiences. This has grabbed the attention of my local media network. Cooking club has been regularly featured in traditional and social media in Nunavut.

I have used this success with my online network to develop my personal network, as it relates to the cooking club. I have attended panels and awards presentations and met with various food-related professionals to discuss things like food security, careers, funding and community service. During the current hiatus, I am writing a cookbook and a how-to cooking club manual. I need to refine my online and in person network prior to the launch of the cookbook.

The first step I need to take is to separate the Mamaqtuq Nanook Cooking Club Facebook page and Twitter account from the Nanook School/Apex DEA Facebook page. The cooking club needs its own online independent presence. Our social media presence is very important because it is followed by parents, media, funders, food security workers and community activists. I have worked tirelessly to build our reputation and it deserves its own social media presence.

The second step I need to take is to develop my participation in food-related territorial and national programs. I need to further enhance my reputation as a worker in the food security movement in Nunavut and in Canada. I need to locate new funding sources and I need to spread the story of our success more widely. Over the next year, I plan to find and join between 5-10 new territorial/national organizations that support food security in Nunavut or Indigenous communities. I need to join their boards or become a member of their organizations. I need to make sure that Mamaqtuq Nanook Cooking Club is a part of any organization that is making a splash in Nunavut or Canada in work related to poverty, food security or skill development in children.

Once this step is complete, I need to share this accomplishment via the club’s social media pages. I need to get our social media friends to like and share our posts and share testimonials about how the program has positively impacted their child and family. I need to resurrect the blog I started for the cooking club and link the blog to the new Facebook and Twitter accounts. I need for this heightened activity and the reason for it to be picked up by local media.

All this needs to be completed prior to the launch of the cookbook to ensure the book sells well. Once a launch date is selected, a full communications and social media plan for the launch will be developed and implemented. One thing is for sure, there will be great food at the launch, all prepared by the cooking club kids.


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