COM0014 – Blog #7: The Elements to your Content Centrepiece

Social media success paints this treasure trove of flashy and eye-catching content with *clickbait* titles and odd trends with short life spans, but can it be more than that? Can we engage the audience through storytelling?

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While quick attention-grabbing content is how we attract a new audience, back in COM0011, we were drilling the importance of creating engaging titles and blogs to evoke immediate engagement from our fellow students. But as we progressed through this course, we see the shift from just popular content creation to quality content creation – the latter forcing us to test our storytelling abilities and for a good reason.

As previously mentioned, attention-grabbing content is how we get new readers and old readers clicking our articles or engaging with our content. Yet, storytelling is how we hook them in—turning them from a reader to a participant in the conversation. Storytelling has such a massive part in expanding the content’s capabilities online and can project a much more meaningful and influential perspective on our audience.

How would I tell my stories?

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Although the topic of my content is certainly not set in stone, the way I’d like to tell my stories is through the integration of multiple platforms where one story doesn’t end on one blog post or one tweet but rather in the realm of social media. Content stretching from platform to platform helps paint the greater purpose of the centrepiece, so to say.

Utilizing each platform for its strengths to garner interest and attention to the digital content centrepiece that I have created. I believe playing around with multiple media is a strength for many creators online and that seamless integration is how you get a larger audience pool. Then your ability to tell a fantastic story is how you keep them enthralled and coming back to you for more.

COM0014 – Blog #6: A Borderless Agenda

I am still in the beginning stages of my career and the daunting question of “what do you do?” is something I feel like I can never answer as the direction is always shifting. But I often find it much easier to answer the “why do you do it?”, why do I stay in the hospitality industry, which is in every definition of the word exhausting.

Photo by Chinmay Singh from Pexels

I continue to stay in this industry because I love people, and something that always resonated with me was a manager of mine who pointed out the authentic moments people share with you when they go out to eat every day. Memories that get lost to you as just another Monday at work can be their most treasured and monumental day in life that they climaxed the celebrations for by going out to eat or go on vacation. Horribly dramatic and goosy, I’m well aware, but that’s why I chase different positions but always in the house of people and experiences.

Aside from the emotional pull the industry has on me, it’s the freedom that keeps me indulged and thus far blessed me with the life experiences I’ve had to date. Those being an intern at a hotel in Italy for a summer, studying hospitality in the heart of the Swiss Alps, and when time and circumstances allow, hopefully, my borderless journey to figure out what it is that I do become ever closer.

Photo by Tom Leishman from Pexels

Until next time…
Tchüss! 😊

COM0014 Blog #5 – Selling Myself: A Personal Brand

Personal branding sometimes feels like the impossible task to not paint yourself colourfully with clichés and highlight only your best moments when you are still creating your brand. I myself often get stuck with overly general terms like hard-worker and creative, but as I’m continuing to write my own professional story in the hospitality industry, which is still only in the first few chapters, those terms seem to fit me best for the brand I am today.

So let’s break it down!

Photo by Maria Orlova from Pexels

What makes me stand out?

My stand-out feature is my creativity and drive to learn new things continually. Recently I’ve been working on diversifying my skillsets and keeping an open mind on what my future may look like. For now, that future looks like learning about social media and different marketing channels and learning new languages (currently that being french).

What would my colleagues say about me?

That I am an incredibly hard-worker. “and I’m painfully aware of how vague that is. But the thing is… it’s my biggest asset and the reason why I excel in my workplaces. The passion I have for my industry and the drive I get from inspire my hard work, and I often find myself going above and beyond to help my colleagues and superiors make work as proficient as possible. From creating menus, organization, and bookkeeping, I simply like to stay busy and do it with purpose.

What am I most proud of?

I’m most proud of my inability to stop. It’s a blessing and a curse, but it is what has helped me create exciting events, successful projects for school, good relationships and success in my industry, and some lifetime achievements in sports.

COM0014 – Blog #4: We’re Not Really Strangers Case Study

B2C transactions is the most common way we average joe’s purchase products. Especially with the pandemic, the ease of online shopping, and the massive influence social media has on our purchasing habits; it’s only expected that certain companies have grabbed our attention. For myself, it was the card game We’re not really strangers.

Pinterest Uploaded by Sarah FL

It is a purpose-driven card game, and it’s all about making meaningful connections

Creator, Koreen Odiney

2 examples of how WNRS uses their engagement online to contributed to their success. Focusing on Instagram.

1. Using repetition and imagery to create brand identity

What jumps out at you initially when looking at their posts are their meaningful and thought-provoking quotes and questions, sometimes hidden with humour and sarcasm. It’s a continuation of tone and conversation that the game guides you to have and the brand continues to have with its followers online.

@werenotreallystrangers Screenshot of Instagrams feed taken on 12.2.2021

They use the repetition of the colour red throughout their posts to connect deeper with their brand’s products, which is in a red box.

2. They rely on people making emotional buying decisions and marketing to a large target audience.

The warning that’s attached to their post and written in the bio is “feelings may arise”. They’ll often share messages from players and how the game helped them finally opening up to their loved ones in their daily reels.

@werenotreallystrangers Screenshot of Instagrams banner taken on 12.2.2021

Their target market is very large and is geared to anyone wanting to build stronger connections with people or themselves. The highlights reel is used to market their products those being the game itself, some expansion packs and a self-reflection kit.

WRNS is a thought leader for vulnerability on social media, and their audience loves it. If your brand aligns with their message, you might want to consider taking some notes!

COM0014 Blog #2 – Did We Miss the Most Helpful Technique?!

Photo by Matheus Bertelli from Pexels

Communication styles and techniques were the topics of discussion this week. Between “Grammar, Spelling, & Punctuation” and the “inverted pyramid,” we’ve been left with many ideas to ponder for our writing. Yet, one of the topics jogged a memory from my public speaking days that goes hand in hand with this week’s material. Que the THREE RHETORICAL APPEALS.

First, to jog your memory, the various levels of readers referred to the four stages that audiences go through while reading an article. Our job is to turn them from Elementary/ Inspectional readers to Analytical and Syntopical ones – we do this by being clear and concise. Achieving this is simple in theory, but could there be a perfect formula to promising you, readers who consume your content syntopically!? This is where the rhetorical appeals come in.

Welcome! Ethos, Pathos, and Logos.

Ethos refers to the value and credibility of your words. Be that tapping into a joint ideology between you and your reader, or your credibility from life experiences, work, education, the list goes on.

Pathos is the effect on readers’ emotions. Could be descriptive storytelling that evokes a feeling from the audience. It grabs their attention from the start and reels them in for the rest of the article.

Logos, which conveniently refers to logic, is about using reason and rationality to solidify your point. Using logic, careful structure, and objective evidence can be a key to gaining respect from your readers.

Photo retrieved from Charles H Stewart on charleshstewart.com

If you want to persuade your audience to believe in your content and develop opinions around it, you have to find ways of compelling them and craft your article well enough to captivate them for the long haul. Using a perfect balance of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos mashed with the communication techniques outlined to us, we will be a force to be reckoned with online.

Social Media Tools and Tips to help your Bar take off!

At the beginning of the year, you probably had a list that was miles long with events, promotions, and ways to keep customers engaged and coming back for more than just one of your signature drinks. But like so many other bars globally, you’re being hit not once, not even twice, but now three times with restrictions and early closures. The safety of the public is essential but surviving this quarter is becoming increasingly more difficult. But remember all is not lost, and there are still ways to keep business flowing and hopefully turn things around to ensure you and your employee’s prosperity as soon as the time allows for it!

Photo by Rijan Hamidovic from Pexels

You probably didn’t consider if the list of new ideas created at the start of the year could be made digital and still be useful. The pandemic has forced professionals in the bar industry to re-think their strategies and have had to take on the world of social media to connect with customers and expected to be experts in it seemingly overnight.

As tricky as some of the challenges have been, it’s allowed us to breathe for a second and look at how things have unfolded since your business started—maybe realising to pick up new skills to help your business or just for personal growth. But if it was your realisation of how poorly you’ve engaged with your customers on Social Media, then don’t sweat it; it’s not too late!

Here are 4 tips to boost your Social Media Game not only to keep your audience but to grow your reach in the process!

Where is your audience and do you write for them?

As much as it should be about you and your content, it’s also about finding your customers online and resonating with them! Understand that now more than ever, people are looking for ways to escape reality even on Social Media, and what do we do best? Create fun experiences for people to disconnect from their busy lives. With a 362% increase in social media engagement for the big alcohol brands, we can see the interest is there. It’s just about tapping into the interest for your gain.

Growing your Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram presence is absolutely the way to go! Maybe start a blog to write about your bar and share content that matches your brand and promote your business.

At the same time, be experimental and check out all the options available. With the new buzz around Tiktok, it is a shame not to look into it. One TikTok’ r called Spiritedla has 162.9K followers and teaches them all about cocktails, clothes & boozy etiquette. It’s an excellent place to create light-hearted and fun content for a newer (of age) generation with a short attention span (including myself). This very retro aesthetic bartender does it perfectly.

@spiritedla

How to make the perfect summer gin and tonic with @empress1908gin. #ad 21+ only. #fyp #cocktail #makeadrink #gin #drink #karen #diy #empressgin

♬ Dream Lover – Bobby Darin
Post by Spiritedla on Tiktok

That said, it is for you to decide where to market yourself. Just be sure to be fun and creative in your Social Media presence and locate yourself amidst your community and your customers. Promoting yourself across all the platforms is a must and using websites like Linktree is perfect for just this. A website specialized in gathering all your links into one digestible webpage to showcase all your platforms for easy maneuvering. It’s ideal for keeping customers connecting to you and all the spaces you are active!

To-go drinks

Although regulations are strict and the party has to end much earlier than we’re used to, that shouldn’t mean the after-party continued safely at home afterwards can’t extend until later. 🤭

Apotek Restaurant in downtown Reykjavík has been doing just that. Their bartenders offering some of the best drinks in the downtown area, getting a bottle of their Dill&Gin cocktail to share with the household has been a huge success! Offering this To-Go cocktail can keep your bar relevant during lockdowns as more people are promoting and taking part in at-home happy hours, brunches, and just boozy skype calls. Why not be the ones offering the drinks?

Post by Apotek Kitchen Bar on Instagram

Listen & Communicate with your Customers

Social Media listening can be a bit of a daunting tool if you’re just getting started and building your audience online. But introducing the 5 W’s of Social Media Listening to your online technique, keeping in mind the Who, What, When, Where and Why while creating content and engaging with your customers will reap the long-haul benefits. Many businesses are using this time to understand what the customers want without all the added pressure of curating that in-person experience.

Keep your content light hearted!

We’ve all gotten the Covid-19 fatigue. We’re all just getting tired of hearing about the hardships, and you shouldn’t be adding to it. Even though in March of this year, content that addressed the virus had some of the highest engagement statistics, this is not the time to be a pesky reminder of how scary the state of the world is. We have to go back to our roots as curators of experiences and bring the customers virtually back to us and away from their real-world struggles.

Empirical Spirits does this well by showing us behind the scenes of their R & D team and little teasers of what’s to come for their new launches.

Post by empiricalcph on Instagram

Be sure to leave your favourite local bars linked below so we can all support our small businesses and let me know what kind of boozy online adventure (brunch, zoom call, happy hour) you’ve taken part in?

Photo by mali maeder from Pexels

Facebook: CALLING ALL BAR OWNERS! Getting exhausted over lockdowns? Try these 4 Social Media Tips to keep your audience engaged and knocking on your doors!

Twitter: CALLING ALL BAR OWNERS! Here are 4 social media tips to get you back on your feet! https://bit.ly/3dyUtvC

Social Media and This Unlikely Industries Growth in it during Covid.

Social media has become a playground for companies to grow their creative side and explore new ways to promote brand identity, especially with the shift in the last few months due to Covid-19 restrictions. It’s only plausible to think that every industry is dipping its toes in the wild west of social media marketing right now.

Photo by Christian Fridell from Pexels

One such industry that has taken on the medium and fine-tuned some strategies during lockdown after seeing a 326% increase in engagement during the first month of lockdowns was the alcohol industry.

The online space has allowed alcohol brands to engage with their customers on new products, communicate their key serves, and tell their stories in highly imaginative ways. This new environment has given them the voice to talk about issues that hit home for all of us.

With the posts published in March 2020, addressing the alcohol brands’ efforts during the Pandemic gaining the most engagement, the industry gained some valuable information to push their advertising online strictly. Whether some of these acts are performative or honourable is not for me to speculate. Still, some honourable mentions would be the distilleries and big names like Tito’s that created hand sanitizer to fill the market demand during those scary times.

These two campaigns from some of the top Alcohol brands took on the new normal in the alcohol industry by creating and defining new ways to support one another during the Covid-19 restrictions while also grasping on to Social Media methods.

Jameson Hosts Instagram Campaign

Jameson, the famous Irish Whiskey brand, created an online platform called Jameson Hosts in April of 2020 on Instagram. This platform’s purpose was to create “a new place to come together “for professionals to support one and other during the bar closures and a space to showcase and extend cocktail masterclasses, well-being sessions, career coaching whiskey tutorials to the Jameson audience. They were perfectly amalgamating together through the house of Jameson Whiskey.

Introduce yourself to their partnership with bartenders and local producers under the house of Jameson. They’ve taken on 6 countries thus far and counting! https://bit.ly/3dpDVpY

Jägermeister Save the Night Campaign

The edgy german herbal, black licorice liqueur usually consumed very haphazardly during a night of partying, has created a Save the Night campaign, which is about saving the nightlife community during Covid restrictions. What Jägermeister did was create a platform for different professionals to showcase their act through the brand, not only limiting to alcohol professionals like bartenders but the full spectrum of entertainers such as musicians, artists, even fashion designers. How they did this was by doing what they called “Meister Drop-ins,” which essentially offered people the chance to enjoy these acts virtually through Zoom, House Party, or Skype.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B_u-t87Hhep/

Photo by Lucian Petronel Potlog from Pexels

But an interview was done with Tracy David, the CMO of ListenFirst, perfectly explains why we saw this change

“Given the number of normal activities that have been taken away from consumers, people are especially thankful that they’re still able to drink which is a big contributor to why social engagement around alcohol brands has risen.”

If you are interested in seeing more of what alcohol brands are doing to help give people a break from the current reality, I recommend checking out the top 10 spirits brands on social media. The Spirit Business ranked some of the world’s million-case spirits brands against each other, judging them on their presence and activity on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Let me know what you thought about Jägermeister and Jameson’s campaigns? And What has been your favourite at-home quarantine drink?

Facebook: Where you engaging in Quarantinis and Brunch Zoom? Let’s see just what that did to this Industries Social Media Landscape!

Twitter: What does Alcohol, Social Media and Covid-19 have in common? 👀https://bit.ly/3lIv3yK

Reference:
ListenFirst. (May 2020). Alcoholic Beverages Industry Special Report: Social Media in the Time of Coronavirus. ListenFirst. https://www.listenfirstmedia.com/alcoholic-beverages-industry-special-report-social-media-in-the-time-of-the-coronavirus/

3 Restaurants that will make you travel to Iceland!

Often when we decide on taking the adventure of a lifetime and travel to exotic and foreign lands, one of the factors that dictate our choices is food. Many people travel to Italy because of their deep love for pasta. After my last post introducing you to the Aperitivo, it gave you have more reason to want to go there aside from the spectacular sights. Food can also go further in being that lifeline that connects us with different cultures and helps us understand the people and what drives them when we travel. Even if you don’t speak the same language, sharing an Aperol Spritz with the local Italians helps us see life from their eyes and how they live. In my last post, I introduced you to the Italian pastime of Aperitivo, but today I’d like to bring you back to my home in the Nordic and show you why if you are a foodie, Iceland should be the next stop on your journey.

Photo by Tomás Malík on Pexels.com

Iceland’s known for its unmatched nature and has become a real hot spot for adventure travel. But what isn’t paid as much attention to are the culinary strides the country has made. People often stop when they hear about food in Iceland and get a grim image of fermented shark and Svið (please don’t google it if you have a weak stomach. Its sheep’s head, It works well in soups). Because of the abundance of geothermal water, greenhouses have grown the wildest foods that our climate would have never allowed for before. Inspiring chefs to craft absurd creations like 100% Icelandic Wasabi Ice cream. That’s right; we grow nordic wasabi. It changed many fish-specified restaurants deciding to take on Asian cuisines that incorporate this ingredient and make them a little more Icelandic.

Below you can find my favourite places with classical Icelandic cuisine and those pushing the boundaries to craft something inspirational

Pakkhúsið
Langoustine Restaurant

Giant red Atlantic lobster is alright, and all but haven’t you ever thought what if it was sweeter and even more delicious? Well, Pakkhusid offers just that and some history with it. The building was built in 1932 and was refurbished in 2012 to serve as a restaurant. But before this, it was an old warehouse used for both storage of fishing equipment and the fish itself before it was shipped to other countries. The walls still showing old stamps used back in the day for organizing the fish.

Located right on the port, you can enjoy a very authentic Icelandic meal from a local chef who studied abroad to refine old school dishes with a beautiful view. What makes this restaurant unique is its location in the East. Höfn is a small town with a population of 1800 that has been celebrated for fishing the ever-elusive Icelandic langoustine. The town hosts a Langoustine festival every summer where locals will come together to the port just in front of the restaurant and cook their version of Humarsúpa, which translates to langoustine soup. If you wanted to try the Icelandic seafood, I recommend starting at Pakkhusid and working your way into the city of Reykjavik.

Pakkhus Port. Photo by Bríet Savard Gudjonsdottir

Friðheimar
Tomato Greenhouse Restaurant

A family-run restaurant started by a couple who had a lust to do something different and against the grain. With the wife interested in agriculture, they located themselves on the trendy and geothermal active region in Iceland known by foreigners as the golden circle. The restaurant was initially just a greenhouse powered by geothermal energy that’s found in abundance nearby. They focused on growing vegetables like tomatoes and cucumbers for the Icelandic public, and they still do with the greenhouse, accounting for around 11% of all the vegetables sold in Iceland. But now they’ve created an experience like no other where guests can enter a real Icelandic greenhouse have themselves a seat amongst the tomato vines as they enjoy a hot bowl of tomato soup at the buffet before continuing on the circle to see phenomena like Geysir and Gullfoss. 

Dinner Date at Fridheimar. By Bríet Savard Gudjonsdottir

ÓX
Micheline guide restaurant

Picking a single restaurant in the capital is difficult, but one that still leaves me drooling for more is ÓX. Noted as the smallest restaurant in Iceland with only 11 seats, it’s a fine-dining experience done very relaxed. You get a very personalized experience with the head chef Þráinn Vigfússon cooking and crafting your dinner in front of you and cracking a few jokes as he tells each dish’s stories and how they connect with the land. What makes it still fit with the above recommendations is its warm homely vibe. With the interior of this tiny space decorated with Þráinns grandmother’s old kitchen cabinets that his grandfather built, it feels like he has invited you into his home. But his ground-breaking twists on Icelandic classics are what makes them stand out, and their menu changes frequently to adapt to what’s in season or frankly just available in Iceland.

Photo submitted and published by mbl.is

So, if you’re someone who likes to travel with their stomach, be sure to stop by in Iceland and taste for yourself the new normal for this exponentially growing food mecca. I promise we have so much more to offer than just fermented concoctions and fish. Where would you like to eat from the examples above? Leave a comment below telling me how you like to travel!

Facebook – Do you travel with your stomach? Here are 3 restaurants that are sure to make Iceland your next stop for a delicious foodie fix!

Twitter – Do you travel with your stomach? Find out what country is calling you next! https://bit.ly/36AvNlc

Aperitivo, a new Weekend classic? 3 ways to spice up your evening!

Since our current reality has been slightly shifted, we seem to have forgotten how to relax and unwind after a busy work week. With everything online now and most of us working in some sort of home office, the idea of cuddling up in front of the tv, watching YouTube videos, or scrolling through our phones has never seemed as exhausting before. Spending all this copious amount of time online and in front of a screen can be tiresome. So, how can we experience those evenings we use to have sipping away at a few cold beverages, sharing laughs with our close friends or family celebrating the end of a workweek at your local bar or restaurant and not have it zoomed in to you?

Now, what if I told you that Europeans have been harbouring a secret that could bring that vivacious reality back to your life in a COVID friendly matter? Introducing you to the Aperitivo.

Photo by Adrienn on Pexels.com

The Aperitivo is an Italian tradition that’s often an event in itself before you go on to have your dinner. It includes small salty hors d’oeuvres, refreshing beverages and good vibes all around. Since we can’t travel, why not bring a little bit of that Italian spirit home to you and you can do it with just these 3 easy additions to your evening plan.

The Spritz

Traditionally a spritz has been a refreshing bitter-ish beverage with the magic ratio being

1 part club soda
2 parts of either Aperol or Campari
3 parts prosecco garnished with an orange.

Photo by Olenka Sergienko on Pexels.com

The reason for this refreshing bitter beverage was the Italian way to “prepare and cleanse” the palate before dinner, with the bitter flavours of orange believed to open up the taste buds for an even more amazing culinary experience later on. But with the popularity of the Spritz sweeping over Europe, you can find Aperol or Campari bars just around every corner. Still, not all nations had as much of a loving attachment to the bitter flavours. An example of one such country was Austria, with the busy ski season coming up and their sweeter pallet, the call for something similar yet “better” was imperative. Their version of the Spritz substituted the bitter liquor for Austrian white wine, and ever since then, the possibilities have been endless for different modifications.  

Here you can find a link to 9 bubbly Spritzes that are sure to knock the socks off of every one of your guests. (The ginger-lime Spritz is a crowd favourite!)

Charcuterie

Charcuterie is just the fancy term for a plethora of different salty snacks served on a board. The fun thing about it is there are no rules for it! Make it salty; make it jammed packed with sweets, or make it just crackers. It’s just about what you and your guests like to snack on, but if you want a classic Italian charcuterie, it is imperative to have the salty with the choice of something sweet that pairs well with your Aperol Spritz.

Photo by Luna Lovegood on Pexels.com
  • Green or Black Olives. Sundried tomatoes. Anything that harbours a salty oily flavour but olives are the most popular.
  • Prosciutto, Salami, or Ham. All cured meats are fun to add for a change in flavour and texture. I’ve included the spicy Spanish sausage chorizo on my spreads before as a salami substitute, so just play around with it and see what’s locally available.
  • CHEESE! For the love of God, please don’t forget the cheese. A good rule of thumb is having 3 different textures of cheese. My favourite has always been pecorino romano cheese and a good brie as they pair well with similar fruity jams. Medium cheese can be as simple as adding gouda, depending on your guest list; young kids usually devour that one and like the texture.
  • Fruity Jams. Although this isn’t very Italian, it has become more of a staple since tourism and the need for something to balance its salty flavours. Italians are known for staying true to what’s in-season, so for a summery Aperitivo, a fig jam pairs beautifully.
  • Fruits or Tomatoes. Staying in the theme of what’s in season. Adding a refreshing flavour to combat the salt. Italians will often sneak a few freshly picked figs onto the plate during the summertime and, for an all-year-round experience, include smaller, sweeter tomatoes.

Having other fillers around the board like crackers, smaller breadsticks or nuts is a good idea since we don’t all have the Italian pallet of eating cheese on its own. Adding some sort of raw veggie spread with a dip is more of a North American addition, but it’s still a good one so don’t feel restricted by the recommendations above. Then decorating and presenting these spreads in small eclectic bowls or on a beautiful wooden plank is up to you.

Good Music

Finally, the necessary thing to include to any good Aperitivo is a good DJ. Suppose you have a hard time picking the music fit for the Aperitivo vibe, no worries. Spotify has countless excellent playlists to give the right mood for your evening, and you can find my favourite one linked below.

Aperitivo Time Playlist created by Spotify

The Aperitivo is a tradition that should become the new way we experience the Friday night drinks at the local bar until we can return safely. Still building the personal connections with loved ones, enjoying a good drink and snacks, and, most importantly, helping each other get through these strange times. This experience shouldn’t be limited to those globetrotters lucky enough to have travelled the Amalfi Coast before lockdowns. Being together is a past time we all know and love, and the Italians just did it with a fun twist.

How would you do like the Austrians and create your own Spritz recipe? Leave a comment below telling me how your Aperitivo night went and what changes and additions you would make!

Grazie Mille and I’ll hear from you soon,
BríBrí

Facebook:
Ciao Mi Amore, Grab that sparkling wine and make something new out of it this weekend with this Italian secret!

Twitter:
How to take back your Weekends with this Italian tradition!