COM0015 Blog #1:  Tools & Sources Soooo Many Choices

COM0015 Blog #1: Tools & Sources Soooo Many Choices

If you mentioned Social Media to me prior to enrolling in this program, I would have likely not thought much about it!  Since enrolling in this social media course it has been definitely an eye opener to me.

The volume of information shared over websites and the different paths one can choose to reach their desired audience is mind boggling. Though a trial and error method I have zoned in on our targeted audience by means of developing our two main websites which is a ongoing project. In our community Facebook seems to be the main pathway used, we advertise on 14 swamp shops within our target area not including our 2 Company Facebook pages. CAN411 is also used as a site for potential clients to gather or zero in on Moving companies in our general area. It gives them a taste of what our company does along with client referrals and other links to our main sites.

One thing to remember when choosing which pathway you are going to use, is to have a strategy plan and do not flood the web so that it becomes out of control. You have to have a controlled delivery along with the proper listening tool. Disorganization can kill even the best attempts at social media by spreading yourself too thin and using too many different tools at once. It is like organizing multiple trains on one set of tracks.

When it comes to tracking / measurement it is putting the cherry on top of a sundae. It plays a vital part of your plan for a successful campaign. I started using Hootsuite as a social media Marketing & Management dashboard but now I am trying Goggle my Business, time will tell!

There are so many tools that can be used for social media if you had to pick your top 3 or 4, what would they be for a successful campaign? Almost as hard as choosing your favorite ice cream on a hot summer’s day!

 

 

COM0014: Post 7 – Personal Reflection

Storytelling is one of the key pieces of the pie to creating successful digital communication. Your storytelling must engage and draw your desired audience to want more. It is a major building block for starting a relationship with the targeted audience and also to gain more followers to spread your story throughout the social media world.

There are many factors to consider when storytelling. Demographics play a very important role whether it be gender, age, income or even personal interest. One key element is to match your type of transaction to your potential client. There are three basic classes, starting with B2C which is your business directly to the regular everyday consumer on the street. The other classes are B2B meaning business to another business along with B2G business to government. You must research continuously for your target audience in order to keep updated with changes.

When composing a story you must make your audience want to read more and to provide enthusiasm in order for them to ask questions, making them feel a part of your writing. Listening is another major component and is a necessity in order to have a story line that flows naturally along with the style and message you want to relay. Stories can be used for many purposes whether it be marketing your business or product to a personal story about what you did on your last vacation.

Consistency can make or break a terrific story but always remember, no two people relate exactly to the same story. Some view the glass as half empty while others see it as being half full!

 

 

Assignment #1 Blog #6.. Do People Know Your Story?

Assignment #1 Blog #6.. Do People Know Your Story?

I work in the relocation business which means we can be responsible for industrial, retail business, municipal and provincial organizations along with the everyday person looking to move from one location to another. We are a trusted company that goes that extra mile to make our clients experience worry free. Meanwhile there are some moving companies out there that are looking for that quick dollar and they have no shame on how they acquire it!

One morning late last year I received a phone call at work from Wendy wanting to ask a few more questions about her move that she just booked with our company. I replied to her that this was the first time we had spoken. She asked if my name was Olivia? I replied saying no my name is Cheryl. She then asked for Olivia which I informed her there was no one by that name working here. She then told me that our affiliate company by the name of Red Maple Moving & Storage based out of Mississauga gave her a rate to move her this morning and took her credit card number for deposit. I immediately informed her we do not have any affiliates and to call her credit card company and hopefully any funds would still be in the pending stage.

As soon as I got off the phone with Wendy, I contacted the manager of our main website provider at Site Dudes and let her in on what has happened. Some how our main contact email was hacked though their site. We immediately changed our passwords and Site Dudes set up a sting hoping to catch the culprit. Red Maple Moving & Storage was contacted and asked for their address which was found to be a UPS store located in Mississauga.

I have a friend that is a manager at Toronto Crime Stoppers and I contacted her giving the information that was collected including Wendy’s contact info. She filed a report and found out that Toronto Police are currently investigating the company Red Maple Moving.

Below is a link to Red Maple Moving out of Mississauga, Ontario.

Mississauga Moving Company that said they are affiliated with All Ways Moving Company in Smiths Falls

Fortunately Wendy did reach her credit card company in time to remove the pending charges to her credit card. We did book her move, she also came into the office to personally thank me for the quick thinking and action taken. Red Maple Movers are on the police radar and have been charged. My employer was very proud of me on how quickly a disaster was turned into a positive outcome.

What more could one ask for for a Happy Ending!

When Life gives you lemons…

When Life gives you lemons…

When describing one’s personal brand it is as individual as we are, we all have different skills, personality, values and goals. Unlike some of my friends and co-workers, I have always had the reputation to turn a negative situation into an opportunity area. I have given one of my favorite quotes which is in the image at the beginning of this blog.

When life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade….Then try to find somebody whose life has given them gin, and have a cocktail hour!

As for my work ethics my employer has several times mentioned my natural ability to being resourceful in identifying clients needs and the capability of designing a solution that will fulfill their requests. With having a vast knowledge, being able to multi task and having excellent people skills keeps myself an asset to the owners of the company.

I am in my mid 50s now and for 27 years I have been in a shipping / receiving work environment. Due to a critical injury at work my shipping / receiving career was no longer. After 2 1/2 yrs of rehab my friends and relatives suggested to me about  taking the easy route by going on disability. I worked with WSIB, Agilec Employment Consultants and a local company Ontrac to get funding to retrain for suitable employment. I was very eager and willing to add to my knowledge base along with updating and learning new skills.

My positive attitude towards retraining drew my present day employers attention to look at me for a new position within their expanding company. They were looking for certain traits in the ideal candidate, honesty, trustworthy and professionalism were the top three. The ideal lemonade cocktail was being mixed right before my eyes. I am so happy with the path I took and have never looked back to the Y in the road. I feel really good having  retained my dignity to this day!

Below is link for a recipe for a pregnant wife.

The Pregnant Wife favorite cocktail

 

Assignment #1, Blog#4: B2C

Assignment #1, Blog#4: B2C

There are so many good examples of B2C (Business 2 Consumer) now a days, it was hard to choose which one. Like a kid in a candy store I chose Home Depot as my business for this assignment. Home Depot Inc. or Home Depot is an American based home improvement supply retailer that sells everything from light bulbs to everything you need to construct your home from the ground up.

Home Depot uses several different paths when it comes to social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, You Tube, Twitter and Blogs. Home Depot has taken the approach towards three different types of customers. The first being DIY ( Do It Yourself ), DIFM (Do It For Me ) and Professional Customers ( Contractors ) which takes care of all their target audiences. They also use in store Demos to promote sales along with Flyers and Special Buys/Purchases. Below is a link explaining their approach to sales and how they draw their customers in by using Omnichannel ( store, online, mobile ), which they were named Retailer of the Year by Internet Retailer in June 2017.

The Ultimate Guide to selling at Home Depot

Home Depot prides its self on 8 core values:

  1. Taking care of their customers
  2. Giving back to communities
  3. Doing the right thing
  4. Excellent customer service
  5. Building Shareholder value
  6. Ambitious spirit
  7. Building strong relationships
  8. Respect for all

With these 8 core values in mind one would think they are on the right path to success, provided they are driven with a common method for all employees involved from the sales floor to the corporate levels. Below is a link explaining how different departments or even Home Depot stores can discuss and share information. This gives their employees a convenient two-way path for communication to help with common issues and information. If this system is used correctly Home Depot should be able to keep on top of issues that arise and work towards a common goal as a retail giant home improvement supply store.

Their major competition is Lowes which is also orginally from United States. Between the two which is your favourite store?

Home Depot – The Internal Social Media

Assignment # 1 – Blog # 3….Target Audiences

Assignment # 1 – Blog # 3….Target Audiences

With All Ways Moving & Delivery we target a wide variety of audiences, ranging from the first apartment to the downsizing / senior retirement living. We have found that in the past 2 years, seniors that are downsizing have prevailed as a majority of our relocation moves. With this in mind our company has expanded to be the only local “full service” moving company in this area. We make it so the clients can virtually walk out of their house with the clothes on their back. We pack their possessions, move or provide short or long-term storage along with unpacking and assembly of their furniture. Heck we can also arrange cleaning of their old or new home along with selling or disposal of their unwanted items.

With our business being located in Ontario next to Quebec which combined holds 50% of the 36,927,520 Canadian population according to Stats Canada. Also according to Stats Canada Seniors 65+ outnumber children under 14 years for the first time in history 5.9 million to 5.8 million. With these results it sure makes someone wonder where are we headed in the future?

Below is a blog link from Senior Living which really makes me think of the future population of Canada.

Canadian Cities with Oldest Population

As for tools and strategies for targeting our audiences we use local sites such as Facebook and for a broader coverage CAN411, Google search along with our home sites which are all linked. We try to keep our sites stream lined and user-friendly for everyone.

COM0014 – Blog 2 – Successful Storytelling in a Nut Shell !

COM0014 – Blog 2 – Successful Storytelling in a Nut Shell !

In order to be successful in having a targeted audience, one must entice the reader to want to read more starting with a catchy headline. The reader will be like a bee attracted to the sweet nectar of a flower, always wanting more!  Being comprehensible and having good flow of information are pieces of the puzzle that will give a clear picture to the reader.

With todays companies there are major power struggles, in order to be a leader you must raise above the competition with your target audience. Proof reading your articles for grammar and spelling errors can either make you a success or failure, it is a make or break situation. Your information must be accurate and kept continuously updated. I have attached a link at the end of this article, which is a great sample of a company not updating with the times.

You may have to trial and error while creating your storytelling in order to draw the select audience. Welcome feedback or suggestions from them, listening is part of a successful plan. Having readers share your story is a great way to spread your information provided it is user-friendly to do.

 

Below is a video link from Inside Edition that was featured in Business Insider Publication

11 year old Megan Markle 1993 takes on Global Company Procter & Gamble

 

This video is proof that there are different ways to perceive messages in advertising and sometimes the company does not prevail and must adjust to their audience. I applaud her in making a difference that changed ideas worldwide. A 1993 social study project that made a difference to this day for all.

COM0014 – Blog #1: What I did on my Vacation

COM0014 – Blog #1: What I did on my Vacation

I would like to start out by saying our yearly vacation is spent at our cottage. Also just about every 2nd weekend we head to the cottage usually between April and November.

For the last few years  we have been upgrading the old A frame cottage into being more useful along with upgrading the plumbing, electrical, windows and overall appearance. With purchasing the cottage in 1997 money was tight with owning a house also not just financial but trying to balance time between both properties. We made our own blueprint design for the make-over, which was an adventure on its own!

The old A frame.

Prior to construction 2012.

Build in 1975 the 2 x 4 inch construction walls needed to be stripped back to the bare walls in order to install new insulation and vapor barrier. The entire front of the cottage which was cedar was removed and replaced making it up to date with the building code, supports ( lintels ) for the new windows and doors were constructed and installed. Which we had professionally installed by a certified contractor from the area. We like to support local labour because they take into mind the local weather ie: extra snow load. Going above the Ontario Building Code, instead of using 2 inch x 10 inch for the main floor supports, we used 2 inch x 12 inch for the new addition which we hope will pay off in the future for re-sale value.

The start of the framework.

The start of the new framework.

With having 2 bedrooms on the upper floor we made the decision to make a main level 14 feet x 20 foot bedroom with a storage/utility room. That meant the fuse panel had to be moved to the new build. But it was great to finally have an area to store our tools which we did not have before. We also had an new dining area added to the front of the cottage, which have windows on all walls along with a patio door walk out to the front deck.

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Our New Main Level Bedroom.

With having a new kitchen installed at our house in 2013 we had a complete set of kitchen cabinets for the cottage which saved us thousands of dollars.

Reusing our old kitchen cabinets from our house.

Reusing some of our kitchen cabinets from our house.

 

We have friends come up for visits and we make it a work and fun time for all, after all that is what cottage life is all about! Our Bengal ( Figgie ) has been known to temporary fill in for that game of cards or give your boat the good old heave hoe to land.

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We do have a few rules of the cottage for our guests. We ask that you hang your watch on a special hook with your car keys, go to bed and get up when you wish, eat meals without watching the clock which could mean pecan pie and a root beer float for breakfast!

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Life at the cottage is what you make it!  I love taking someone fishing and them getting that monster on the end of the line also experimental cooking is a must.

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We plan on finishing our inside upgrading this summer. With plans to work on the exterior grounds to come to a close within the next 2/3 years just in time for retirement.

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Above is how the front of the cottage looks today, a bit of a change for sure.


Below is a link for information on the local culture for Patterson Lake located just outside Watson’s Corners, Ontario.

Patterson Lake link:   Patterson Lake 


Cottage Life is what you make it, even though it may be your yearly vacation, long weekend or a lifetime dream!

Procter and Gamble Almost a Memory in Canada

Procter and Gamble Almost a Memory in Canada

Procter and Gamble announced recently they are shuttering their Brockville Plant within the 2020 / 21 year.

The employees of the Brockville Procter &Gamble plant along with the local community of the Leeds and Grenville area were flabbergasted when the announcement was made that the plant was set for complete closure. As per the newspaper link listed below P & G had no intentions on closure but some downsizing would take place. How things can change so drastically ?

The City of Brockville has been working with the site to increase sustainability, making them more cost effective with plans to provide road and interchange improvements to allow improved logistics access to the P & G site which was to help them to be more competitive.

Brockville Recorder & Times Newspaper editorial link as per March 16, 2016.

Despite rumours March 16, 2016 Recorder & Times

 

Today the site is still the largest employer for the city with 500 full time employees along with contract P & G employees and numerous 2nd party contract employees. In the early 2000’s it employed approximately 1,000 full time not including the hundreds of contract personnel before losing the powder laundry detergent to the USA.

In 2016 the Brockville plant was awarded the highest award for safety, profitably and reliability for P & G North America. Making it the number one plant in North America. It just makes you think why would you close down your pride and joy and money maker? Then keep the non profitable sites.

Would the politics in the USA have played a role, with keeping the jobs in the USA?

The plant employees donate their time and fund raising efforts for the United Way fund raising and contributing yearly $200,000 to $250,000 which is approximately 25% of the total 1,000,000 United Way yearly campaign. No other employer can come close to the money and time donated. They also shut the plant completely down for one day a year for the “community day of caring” were they repair, paint and transform schools, Legions, shelters, churches, retirement homes or hospitals into colourful and clean works of art. It brings smiles from ear to ear from young and old and gives pride to everyone involved. It sucks that this all will be lost!

 

Below is the link to the official announcement of the site closure.

Official announcement in Recorder & Times

 

Donating to United Way Leeds Grenville happy faces all around.

PG Brockville United Way donation

 

 

Will the last remaining plant in Canada which is located in Belleville, Ontario survive or are they on borrowed time?

 

I guess time will tell the tail is the best answer we can give now!

Some companies are wolves in sheeps clothing.

wolf in sheep clothing