Blog Post #7: Personal Reflection

This course has taught me so much about story telling.

I have always been obsessed with stories and I often scour ravenously through novels and listen in rapture to other’s tales of adventure and trial. I have often struggled to tell my own story though as I easily get stuck in knowing how to explain myself or what to tell and not tell. When I learned about identifying target audiences in this course and how we can use our audiences’ perceptions and interests to shape how we communicate with them, this opened up all new possibilities of how I can share my own stories.

I want to share stories about my life: my adventures, successes, failures, and lessons learned in hopes that others will share theirs back. I want to share stories that I’ve invented, and I have a long list of story ideas that are just waiting to burst from my head. I’ve felt that these stories have been trapped for so many years inside of me, but I feel like I’ve learned so much already in this course that I can start setting them free.

My journey as a writer is only just beginning and I now see the possibilities that posting my content online offers. I’m not looking for fame but instead just an outlet to share what is bursting to be released. Thank you for being a part of this journey and I look forward to reading more of your stories as we continue along the way.

Assignment #1: Post 6 – What’s my story?

As a person who has moved around a lot in my lifetime, I know what it’s like to settle in a new place. I’ve moved to new schools, new cities, new provinces and across the world to new countries, so I’ve experienced the difficulties that newcomers face with daily tasks, finding friends and navigating culture and language. I’ve experienced housing crisis, medical crisis, and loneliness all in a language that I couldn’t understand. Though these things are tough to deal with, I’ve mastered the art of adapting and making friends. I’m very resourceful and incredibly friendly, which makes me the best language teacher that you’ll ever meet.

If my students need something, I help them find it. If they are facing a crisis, I point them to resources to help them through it. So many people needlessly struggle alone, but I can help to change that and help connect them with the things and people that they need.

I am a firm believer in living life in community. Communities support each other, help each other through difficulties and teach each other about the best ways to live life. With each person I meet and each student that enters my classroom, my community grows. It’s my goal to empower those around me to live life better and help others to do the same. Anyone is welcome, any time, from anywhere. Let’s be neighbours!

Assignment #1, Blog post #5- Personal Brand

My personal brand is as a bleeding heart, an empathetic listener and a person who will work for those she cares about. I’ve always had a particular talent in making others feel comfortable enough to share their stories with me. People whom I know deeply but even strangers that I’ve just met, have always seemed to feel comfortable to share information with me that they wouldn’t normally share with others. I am safe and approachable, so people seem to know that I can be trusted and that I care enough to help. Though it comes naturally, I’ve worked on honing this talent and funnelling it into a passion for listening to and helping others. In my family and friend groups, I’m known for the energy and passion that I put into listening to others and helping them with their struggles in any way that I can. I hurt when others are hurting but this ‘hurt’ doesn’t always mean physical pain; if someone is struggling to carry something, to afford something, to decide something or even just to fill time – I want to help them. I focus my energies on easing burdens and lightening people’s loads where-ever I can.

It shouldn’t be surprising then that I became an educator. As a professor, it is my job to identify my student’s needs, help them develops skills and provide resources to meet those needs. If I want to do that job well, then I need to connect with my students and create a comfortable environment where they can wrestle with ideas and feel brave enough to try new things. I am very good at creating a comfortable environment for my students and, semester after semester, I receive comments and reviews from students about how engaging my lessons are, how helpful I am and how obviously passionate I am towards my role.

As my strengths are most on display in my classroom where colleagues and authorities rarely venture, I have had to find other ways to stand out amongst my peers. I’ve made a concerted effort to share lesson and assignment ideas with colleagues and to join discussions where I can share my ideas and successes; I also strive to explore new avenues, teach new courses, and try new methodologies.  I am known by co-workers for being friendly, approachable, and helpful but also intensely passionate about what I do. I am also open to try and learn new things and eager to discuss the which is what lead me to this course. Digital communication is such an important part of the communications field, so I want to learn more about connecting with people digitally so that I can bring this information back to my classrooms and department. I love connecting with and helping people. It’s what I love to do with friends and family and what I’m privileged to do for my career. I’m good at working with people and I love it. They say that if you do what you love then you’ll never work another day in your life; I guess that means that I haven’t worked in a very long time!

Blog Post #4: Burger King Case Study

Burger King

Burger King is a 70-year-old, major fast-food burger restaurant that was originally founded in Jacksonville, Florida but now operates out of Miami. Burger King’s signature burger is The Whopper which has many varieties, but the original is still one of their best sellers. As of the end of 2018 it has more than “17,796 outlets in 100 countries” worldwide and a dynamic social media presence.  

Burger King is known for its’ quirky advertising campaigns and has experienced many advertising successes as well as blunders over the last 70 decades. (Rahman, 2023) They got themselves in a bit of trouble in the early 2000’s, for example, for advertising campaigns that were perceived as sexist or culturally insensitive (Burger King, n.d.). With some swift maneuvering in 2011, however, they started to diversify their target audience, broaden their menu and rise in popularity to become a tough competitor for other major burger restaurants, such as McDonalds.

Burger King on Social Media

Burger King has an active online presence that uses a variety of strategies to gain awareness for their brand and engage their audience.

On Instagram and Twitter, Burger King boasts over 1.9 million followers (Rahman, 2023) whom they engage with in unique and usually successful advertising campaigns such as ‘The Moldy Whopper,’ that used a disgusting image of a molding Whopper to gain audience awareness for the lack of artificial preservatives in their Whopper. Though the campaign was held both on and offline (with posters featuring the moldy burger at bus stops and billboards) it generated a lot of attention for the brand with more than 21.4M online impressions or reactions to the photo. (People are Disgusted…, 2020) Burger King also uses a lot of popular culture to attract brand attention and has collaborated with large companies such as Netflix.

Social Media Posts

Aside from their campaigns, Burger King seems to value post “quality of content over quantity” which makes them different from their competitors. (Rahman, 2023) On Twitter, for example, Burger King focuses most of their energy to posting photos or comments about current events and trends, or replying to comments/posts on their page with “97% of the posts” focused on responses to consumer’s comments or complaints. (Rahman, 2023) (People are Disgusted…, 2020) They almost always utilize their tagline ‘Have it your way’ when replying to consumers and have a very fast response rate to posts. They also troll their competitors by commenting on their advertisements or counter offering better deals on Burger King products when another restaurant advertises a deal.

A recent campaign on Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and Tiktok is called #yourule that focuses on a Burger King jingle that raps and sings about the layers and ingredients of different sandwiches and how customers can choose the ingredients they want (ie. they can have it their way). It then ends with the tagline ‘At BK, have it your way’. Followers on Tiktok are encouraged to create their own ‘karaoke’ post of the song in creative ways using pop culture characters and the videos are shared across all social media sites. This creative and engaging campaign is just one example of how Burger King uses the trends and technology of the day to engage their audience.

Burger King’s social media campaigns are engaging and entertaining and their presence is very personable, especially with their quick replies to consumers’ comments and complaints. Overall, it seems that they are engaging their audience well and creating a quirky yet wholesome brand reputation that continues to gather new customers for their restaurant.

Assignment #1, Blog #3: Target Audiences 

My target audience is ESL educators in higher education in Ontario. I chose this target audience because I am an English Language educator and because I volunteered as the director of communications on a local committee for the past few years where I managed all the social media accounts and the website for this target audience. I had no knowledge of social media management when I began working in the role, but learned a lot through trial and error. My volunteer term has nearly ended, but I enjoyed it more than I expected so I’m eager to learn how I can create even better engagement with a target audience in my next opportunity.

There is a lot of demographic diversity in ESL educators, but we tend to agree on topics such as education and immigration and we are always looking for ideas and information to benefit our classes and our students.  As language educators, we use a wide variety of materials and methods to build skills in our students, but this means that we can find and use resources from a lot of places. Language educators spend a lot of their time (work or spare time) seeking these resources, so one of the best ways to connect with them is to provide ideas and lessons or guide them towards resourceful sites.

The local committee I worked with always struggled with social media engagement and I think the main reasons for this is because the educators we targeted had so many other places that they could engage with. TESL Ontario is the main governing body of our executive committee, and it governs the licensing and accrediting of adult ESL educators in Ontario. TESL Ontario has a decent social media following of 3,500,000 on Facebook, 3,073 on Twitter, 800 on Instagram, and 11,000 on LinkedIn. Not only does TESL Ontario share a plethora of resources and information with it’s members and online followers , but there are other organizations as well such as national language organizations and government resources for immigration and refugee education that share resources with ESL educators. As our target audience has so many choices in whom they can connect with on social media, how can our local committee hope to gain some attention and engagement for ourselves?

The best strategy, then would be to join the conversations of other organizations, engage with our audience there and share information about all events (other organizations and our own) on all platforms.

As our target audience has so many choices in whom they can connect with on social media, the best strategy then would be to join the conversations of other organizations that our target audience already trusts, engage with our audience there and share information about all events (other organizations and our own) on all platforms ( By joining the conversation on other trusted organizations, we could become part of our target audiences’ circles of influence and could draw attention to ourselves by what we are commenting on and sharing. Once we’ve listened and commented for a while, we could then begin offering conversation topics of our own and ensure that we post at times when our target audience is free to engage. We could use tools such as Facebook Meta, Google Trends and Sproutsocial to monitor trends in conversations and peak engagement times and begin sharing information that our audience cares about at a time when they are looking for it.

I think the biggest take away from this is that we don’t always have to create unique content to grab our audience’s attention. Many times, we just have to join the conversations and organizations that they are already a part of, engage with them there and then slowly encourage them to check us out too. It’s worked for so many other organizations, so I’ll definitely give it a try in my next communications role!


What are you trying to say? How to tell a good story, quickly.

Good story-telling is captivating. It engages with the audience, hooks them quickly (and deeply) and leaves them wanting more. In our world of ever-increasing competition for our focus, good story-telling must also be clear and concise with the extra details, explanations, narratives and ‘fluff’ cut out. This kind of seems contradictory though, doesn’t it? How can we engage deeply with our audience but also share information with them quickly?

How much time should it take?

This confusion boils down to different types of story-telling which depend on the audience of the story and the medium used to tell it. If an audience books a ticket for a 2-hour play or purchase a novel of 1000 pages, then they will expect 2 hours of watching or 1000 pages of reading. If the audience reads a blog on a website, however, they want the information in much shorter time.  Online readers skim more than they read and will decide quickly whether they want to dive deeper into your content or swipe/click past it.

Studies that show that “55% of all page-views get less than 15 seconds of attention” ( and most people blame this on shortened attention spans – but I don’t think that’s the case.

Your content is the problem, not my attention span!

As Vladimir Covic on explains, it’s not our attention span that’s the problem; it’s our content. Internet articles are repetitive, and so many websites, blogs, etc. post the same information in the same way – on repeat. We’ve become so accustomed to an influx of options to retrieve our information that we filter through it quickly and decide hurriedly whether the page we found will contain something useful or not. We have become efficient at deciding whether to read a page or swipe past.

If we want our stories to be read, then we must have something useful to say in a unique way and we must say it quickly. We have about 15 seconds or less to engage our reader or they will move on.

The key is, get to the point and don’t waste time.

The inverted triangle is a great guide for organizing content in a way that doesn’t waste the audience’s time. Share the important things first, give details later and don’t elaborate too much.

After all, if you have more to share, you can always write another post tomorrow! Don’t waste your audience’s time and they will reward you by reading your content. So, what story would you like to share? I’ll give you 15 seconds…go!


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COM0014 – Blog #1: Rome – The Trip of a Lifetime – with a Big Mistake!

A few years ago, I made the mistake of planning a quick trip to Rome. An old high-school friend and I couldn’t decide where to travel together so we each picked a city and packed Dublin and Rome all into one 10-day trip.

I chose Rome because I had always wanted to see its ancient architecture but the moment I stepped out of the airport, I realized that we should have planned to stay much longer.

As the famous journalist and writer, Silvio Negro once wrote, “a lifetime will never be enough” time to spend in Rome.

So, We Didn’t Waste Any Time!!

As we walked around, tour guides explained many things, but the marks, rubbings and nicks etched into the stone held the proof of the stories of more than 20 centuries of artists, athletes and warriors passing through those halls – it was amazing to just even be standing in that place.

We visited the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and surrounding areas in our first two days and took a tour of the underground chambers where gladiators and beasts would await their turn to join in the fight for glory and fame.

We spent our time touring historical places with frequent stops for wine, Aperol Spritz or pizza. The weather was very hot and travelling on foot was tiring, so we were ready for an excuse to stop and enjoy each time we passed a trattoria.

Perhaps the most memorable part of our trip was when we travelled to a city called Frascati, 20 kms south-east of Rome.

We took the train there which allowed us to witness just how far the ancient aqueducts stretched across the land which was quite the sight to see too.

In Frascati, we were met by a guide who met us at the train and took us for a quick tour of the quaint city. Then we went to a family restaurant where we drank wine and learned how to make pasta by hand. Not only did we laugh and have a great time, but we also got to know more about modern Roman life and visit the catacombs under the restaurant that had been in the family for many generations.

To book your own pasta making experience, follow this link:

With full bellies, light hearts (and heads full of wine), we travelled back to Rome proper and spent our last day wandering around, finding churches and history in every nook and cranny of our neighbourhood, and eating as much pizza and pasta as we could.

Rome is such an amazing city. I felt like I had travelled back in time, laughed, eaten, met God and fallen in love with a city all in just a few short days. Who could leave a city like that? It was so difficult to leave because Rome left such an impression on me, and I feel like a fool for booking such a short trip. I’m already planning my return trip. Are you coming with me this time? First glass is on me!