Personal Reflection

What is story telling? Why is it so important in my life?

Story telling in my opinion is the ability to convey meaningful messages to one another either orally, written, or graphical.

For a start, being able to communicate in a meaningful way is part of both my professional life and my personal life. I’m in the advertising industry, therefore the art of storytelling is important in my line of work in order to get our client’s message across to millions of consumers across two countries. We want to tell consumers all about our client and why they do what they do and why current consumers love what they do.

In terms of digital content, story telling gets even more advanced and competitive because you have to tell a story that will engage people and connect them to the things they love or lead them to some discovery. Engaging in meaningful story telling online today involves many tricks of the trade to get all the attention. Using video, photos, creative drawings, and catchy phrases are tools of digital story telling that we must all learn to use. It is no longer enough to simply tell a tale, people want to see it, hear it, and feel it in order to really connect with the words.

These are the types of stories I would like to be able to tell my audiences. I expect them to acknowledge my words, see the meaning behind them and feel it.

For example, I love chicken noodle soup. If I were to write a blog about chicken noodle soup I would start by telling my audience about my very first time trying it and summarize that the reason I chose to eat it in the first place was because I had a terrible cold with a fever and chills, I thought it tasted like rosemary and roast chicken which I love and it was nice and hot which was soothing on my throat. Lastly, I want to always have a can in my cupboard for the next time I get sick because I loved the warmth, taste and comfort it brought me. I would also include a photo of my bowl of soup and the brand can it came from. I feel that a lot of people can connect with this story because just from reading my words, they can visualize it, taste it (literally if they have a can at home too), and can share the same experience.

Thanks for reading.

Melinda

 

 

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Out of the Box: Post #4

There have been many advances in digital communications over the past decade. However, none have surprised me as much as Facebook has.

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2004 Original Facebook brand page: Forbes.com- 

https://www.forbes.com/pictures/eihm45lilf/2004-welcome-to-thefacebook-com/#3700c11e6700

Facebook exploded after 2004 as one of the most popular social media platforms for all ages. Then in recent years people assumed Facebook was just for older generations. Now, Facebook is constantly reinventing itself to keep its millions of members. In 2009 they developed a real-time live stream for posting and introduced the “status update” (Forbes.com, 2017). In 2010 Facebook was booming for the advertising industry and the entertainment industry, celebrities and companies began utilizing Facebook as a social campaign platform to ask their customers and fans one of the most crucial questions: “Do you like us?” (Forbes.com, 2017). Then in 2011 Facebook introduced their video chat,and the “time-line” that people and businesses could now openly allow others to visualize their lives and brands with photos, and albums (Forbes.com, 2017). By 2012 Facebook developed their app centre which now drove users to discover other social media content (including their own Instagram) and of course games (Forbes.com, 2017). Today they have enabled more advanced algorithims for their live video content and video in VR 360 mode and pushed users to be able to discover new content every day that is easily accessible and searchable. They have also developed the ability to buy goods directly through Facebook and you can donate to charities right from their platform (Facebook.com, 2017).

Facebook has evolved to become a social powerhouse and can act as a data archive on users and allow companies to participate in the best form of social listening among some of the sites with the best audience reach.

What do you think of Facebook’s evolution? Surprised or did you see it coming?

See link below for some more images of Facebook’s evolution:

https://www.forbes.com/pictures/eihm45lilf/2013-graph-search/#1d7f9bbf3193

See this link for more info on Facebook’s new look:

https://www.facebook.com/help/?helpref=hc_global_nav

 

 

 

 

Why I Am The Way I AM

You want a piece of me?

If writer John Jantsch asked me the  question “What about your childhood shaped you for this moment?” my answer would be the following:

Being the kid in the corner made me who I am today as a person which carries over into my professional life. Looking back on my childhood , I was always the odd one out, the nerdy kid, the weird kid. My parents thought I was weird, my brothers made fun of me, other classmates made fun of me it seemed like something I should be ashamed of. But I wasn’t in fact, I didn’t even care. By high school I had made friends with other individuals who were just like me. By the time university rolled around I was fully embracing my nerdiness and weirdness.

I noticed that all that time, I had actually excelled at developing my communication skills and could hold enlightening and educational conversations about an array of topics that provided more learning than simply chatting about how drunk I want to get at the next house party. I also had many opportunities pass along to me because of who I was. I got to become the President of the Medieval Students’ Society because of my passion for medieval history that extended beyond the classroom. That was a huge achievement for me that really made me realize I was proud of who I was and that I could use it to my advantage in any career path.

Today in my current career, I have been able to apply my unique perspective on important decisions when buying media for our client. I was able to prove that my experience and knowledge in a variety of topics makes me unique in my own rights.

 

 

 

 

 

Networking The Fun Way

Networking nowa days for professional purposes is often done via social media using sites such as LinkedIn and even Facebook.

But..there are other more engaging ways to connect with professionals in tandem with social media that will gain you not only professional relationships but personal relationships as well that can be leveraged in your industry.

Below are the steps I take to personally and professionally grow within my industry:

  1. Create and evolve a LinkedIn profile. As we continue in our careers and develop our skills or gain new ones it is always best to continually revise your LinkedIn profile. I have personally noticed whenever I make a change, my number of viewers grow.
  2. Connect! Always remember people’s names when they introduce themselves to you and if they give their permission add them to your LinkedIn. I always do this and write them a personal message to say thank you for adding me.
  3. Post. Try and post unique topics for conversation that drive engagement from your connections. I am guilty of being terrible at this, it is one area I need to take my own advice on. But I think it is indeed something you should do so that you do not let your connections go “dry” like that friend you talk to once every three years or more.
  4. Get out there. Give LinkedIn some time off and join a Meetup group of your interest or industry. This is where the fun really begins! Just this past year I joined a metope group for Anime, Marketing, History, and Asian Culture as well as a group called RAG (Random Activity Group). Each group organizes tons of social events from trivia nights, cocktail parties, discussion groups, educational lectures and board games at the Riddle Room. The best part is that each time you go there are different attendees. Whenever i go to events hosted by my groups there are always interesting people I meet from various backgrounds including my background-advertising and museum studies. Last meet up I connected with a jewellery designer, an chemical engineer, a web developer and a video game programmer. In the past I have also connected with other advertising professionals, bloggers, and business and economics fanatics. Each of them provided me with professional connections to network with and a friendly relationship to support that connection.

In conclusion, don’t just sit behind your computer screen. Use social media as a starting point to get yourself out there, but always use your actual face to develop your professional side. People want to remember you, not a picture of you. I have now made a commitment to do my best to keep up both my online appearance and my offline appearance to keep developing and qualifying my professional networks.

Post #2-COM0015

 

Strong and Weak Organizations On Social Media

I feel that brands associated with popular culture are always at the forefront of generating the best online content. I know there are obviously thousands of brands not associated with entertainment content as well who blend popular culture into their brand messages, but I think that companies and brands such as Cineplex Entertainment and Informa Canada do a really good job at demonstrating how passionate they are about their fans and what they bring to consumers. Their passion shows across their social media.

Then there are also brands who produce fantastic products that everyone loves, but they can’t seem to engage outside of the retail space. That is why I believe the brand Capezio Shoes is among those that lack in the social media department.

Cineplex Entertainment utilizes their social media as a listening tool to record consumer complaints and compliments, but they also engage with their customers. On their Facebook site, one of the first items you will see is a “Get In Touch” message portal. It also lists the response rate as being 86% which is pretty good.

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Cineplex Facebook page inviting customers to communicate openly and directly. (Facebook.com; Cineplex Entertainment. 2017

To a consumer, seeing something like this is reassuring. When consumers are upset about a product or service, they want to vocalize it and be heard, not just by the company, but also by other consumers. Inviting your consumers to message you and receive a nearly immediate response lets them know you are present as a company and are actively listening. Cineplex does a good job of trying to understand and sympathize with their consumers which is one of the goals for any B2C company (Algonquin College, 2012). Informa Canada also demonstrates their listening skills across their social media.

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Fan Expo Canada: Facebook home page showing the same message tab to invite consumers to communicate. Facebook.com; Fan Expo and Informa Canada. 2017

Informa Canada (Fan Expo Canada) actively listens to consumers when they have questions during in from all over the country and from he U.S.

 

Generating content and fostering communities across your social media is a large part of success for B2C companies and both Cineplex and Informa Canada can achieve this goal very easily. Consumer generated content comes almost naturally when you have so many fans ready and willing to shoot their mouths off about their favourite film, celebrity, comic book artist, or sci-fi TV show. Not only is there plenty of conversation but these companies have also given consumers the tools to share content and participate in online events such as the recent scavenger hunt by Cineplex for a trip to NYC.

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Cineplex Entertainment- Access to their scavenger hunt content only on FB. Facebook.com; Cineplex Entertainment. 2017

 

Of course, let’s not forget the goal of a B2C company is to sell. Both Cineplex and Informa have buttons to sales for buying tickets and e-gift cards. I don’t know what their level of online sales are, but I can imagine all the events and discussions probably lead to a decent number of sales because their social media platforms are providing the consumer with the content and immediate accessibility to purchase. For example, I ended up clicking on “Buy Tickets” in the Fan Expo FB page and bought my tickets via their main page portal. I didn’t have to go and exit out of FB to get to their website because it was already linked. These two companies rely on content and consumer engagement to achieve online sales; all their content is geared towards engaging the consumer and gathering them all in one place and making their sites and social media pages the go-to for information.

Capezio Shoes does not seem to fully realize or utilize the power of social media to their advantage. For a company that sells a product such as shoes, they do not have a very good listening strategy online, and there is nothing that discerns their FB page from an ordinary flyer or ad in a magazine.

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Capezio Shoes, FB page showing only a replica of a marketing flyer.. didn’t even receive any likes. Facebook.com; Capezio Shoes. 2017

Unlike other companies on FB and Twitter, they do not openly invite consumers to connect with them. You can message them, but this is not out in the open and is kind of hidden. They do seem to reply.. but it’s mostly a very robotic response. They also have no events on the go except for 1 a while back. This brand has no form of engagement other than a very 1 way communication style. They are using FB as an extension of their website to market their products to consumers.

If they had a better communication style with their consumers I think they could be a better brand on social media. They need to communicate directly with consumers in a more positive and personal manner, don’t only send a direct communication when there is a complaint, actually talk to your consumer to start conversations (Algonquin College, 2012). As for lack of content it clearly means they are using FB and Twitter to “focus on their internal marketing” and not providing any real value or entertainment value to drive consumers to their social media (Algonquin College, 2012).

This is why I feel that Capezio fails in the area of social media strategy.

References:

Capezio Shoes, (2017). Facebook: Capezio Shoes Posts. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/pg/CapezioShoes/posts

Cineplex Entertainment, (2017). Facebook: Home. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/Cineplex

Cineplex Entertainment, (2017). Facebook: Posts. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/pg/Cineplex/posts

Cineplex Entertainment. (2017). Facebook: Cineplex scavenger game. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/Cineplex/app/

Informa Canada, Fan Expo.(2017). Facebook: Home. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/fanexpocanada

Informa Canada, Fan Expo. (2017). Facebook: Posts. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/pg/fanexpocanada/posts

Algonquin College, (2012). Lesson 4 content: Choosing the correct storytelling tools for your audience. Retrieved from http://ccol.algonquincollege.com/com0014/lesson-4/lesson-content

 

 

BLOG #4-COM0014

CRUNCHYROLL: ORGANIC CONTENT AT ITS BEST

The Organization I have chosen to investigate is Ellation, and the brand is Crunchyroll Inc. Crunchyroll is an online streaming service for Anime and Japanese Dramas. I believe they have made Anime in North America more accessible to audiences than ever before. They have achieved this by having an effective yet simplistic business strategy, and they have built an incredible online community of fans to generate a high level of active engagement with the brand.

According to the company’s core business objectives, they strive to provide consumers of their media brands the ability to stream on-demand media but also to improve how they access it (Ellation, 2017). Another key objective is to generate high energy quality engagement with audiences (Ellation, 2017). The last two core objectives are to build and evolve better programmatic services to support to consumer needs (Ellation, 2017). Their audience objective is where they utilize a strong social media and digital web presence.

With the brand Crunchyroll they have created a unique digital space where Anime fans can congregate in an online forum that is seamlessly connected to Facebook and Twitter as well as Google social media platforms.

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Crunchyroll.com- Home Page displaying different forum outlets and discoverable content (Crunchyroll.com,  2017).

What makes their brand’s community so successful is that they have various outlets for different types of fans to engage. They have news forums, creative forums, and discussion forums arranged and organized by topics and shows that you can search. They allow the consumer to explore Japanese culture, Manga, Art, and Anime because they know that their audiences enjoy all the media content associated with Anime. By having a thorough understanding of the needs and expectations of their audiences they can foster a positive relationship with consumers.

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The Enthusiast’s Corner: A forum where fans can upload video blogs, blogs and photos from other social media platforms. (Crunchyroll.com, 2017).

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Crunchy roll creative corner where fans can post art work, fan fictions and other sharable content. (Crunchyroll.com,  2017).

Although their social media presence is providing the same outlets (but using platform specific tools for accessibility), they still promote the same relationship as on their brand hub. I think their approach is working well as they are all about promoting content and driving consumers to subscribe and stream Anime which is often hard to get in North America unless you pay a lot of money to buy. By having a strong network of fans and great content to provide, its the fans that end up doing half the marketing for the brand organically. Generating organic content is really at the heart of every social media campaign. Word of mouth is what sells a brand, not just the tools the brand provides.

References:

Crunchyroll.com, (2017). Forums. Retrieved from http://www.crunchyroll.com/forum

Ellation, (2015). About Us. Retrieved from http://www.ellation.com/about

GROWING PAINS

Growers Ciders

I do not work for the cider company Growers, but I think they are an interesting brand.

 

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Apple-Melinda Phelan, March 21, 2017

In my research, I discovered that the majority age of light to heavy users of Growers brand consumers are predominantly women aged 45+ (average) and males of the same age range (Numeris, 2014). Also from looking at their demographic and psychographic profile on Numeris, they have a household size of between 1-2 people, no adult children at home (Numeris, 2014). Their education consists of a Highschool diploma and some college/university (Numeris, 2014).

The lifestyle trends they display are being conscientious of their health and wellness; they are socially active and crave engagement, they are also digitally savvy (Luke, 2014; Norris, 2015). They are also information seekers and comfort seekers (Luke, 2014).

Regarding their media consumption, they heavily consume TV, Digital, and Magazine (Numeris, 2014). According to ComScore, the digital online sites they visit most are Facebook with a 73.3% reach, Google, with a 94% reach in search, and Microsoft sites (E-mail and search) at 94% reach (ComScore, 2013).

Summing all the data up, I put together the key insights of the Growers brand consumer demographic:

Basic demo: Boomers and Seniors
They are a multi-faceted audience who are seeking consistency, engagement, and a healthy active lifestyle (Norris, 2015). They do not want to be considered “aged” and prefer to behave the opposite of how other generations perceive them (Norris, 2015).

Their media consumption habits gave me a clear set of tactics for choosing the right media vehicles to communicate with this demo. The first is TV via broadcast advertising, the second is Magazine which has the ability for pass-along readership as well, and the third is, of course, digital via search, display, and social media (Facebook) (Numeris, 2014).

Regarding the brand look and feel across these communications, I thought it should be bold and sophisticated but not ‘Old’ and outdated. Most alcohol brands I see advertised are clearly going for millennials, well, the Growers demo behaves younger than their biology dictates, but we do not want them to be confused as to whom we are targeting. If we incorporate women and men in the creatives who are between 35-45, it is a good way to make the brand feel young, but not too young. We want our ad communications to outline our “Get-To-Buy” which is:
GET all boomers and seniors TO engage with the Growers Brand BY making them believe it fits into their lifestyle and aligns with their attitudes.

REFERENCES:

ComScore. (December, 2013). Top 100 media properties, Dem.Profile. Retrieved from http://mymetrix.comscore.com/app/axprinterfriendly.aspx

Luke, Paul. (September 29, 2014). Over 65 and going strong: Baby boomers are reinventing old age. Retrieved from http://www.theprovince.com/story_print.html?id=10240044&sponsor=

Norris, Doug. (July 23, 2014). Don’t call us seniors: The Baby Boomers at 65. Retrieved from http://www.environicsanalytics.ca/blog/doug-norris-blog/2014/07/23/don-t-call-us-seniors-the-baby-boomers-at-65

Numeris, Kantar Media. (2014). Cider: # drinks drank in past 7 days. Retrieved from Print Measurement Bureau 2015 Spring 2 YR Database

Numeris, Kantar Media. (2014). Cider: Cider brands personally drank most often. Retrieved from Print Measurement Bureau 2015 Spring 2 YR Database

Numeris, Kantar Media. (2014). Demographics-media imperatives- English magazine/TV imperatives. Retrieved from Print Measurement Bureau 2015 Spring 2 YR Database

MELINDA PHELAN-BLOG #1

My two favorite listening tools for social media are Sprout Social and Campaign Monitor.
Technically Campaign Monitor is more geared towards e-mail marketing, but it measures engagement quite effectively depending on the unique engagement level of your e-mail marketing. I worked with this tool while on placement at the Canadian Museum of Nature. I developed an e-mail blast going out to public schools in Ottawa and Gatineau. I had linked their school program’s web pages ticket portal and brochures to the memo style message body.

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My thoughts on paper..-Melinda Phelan, July, 2015

I used Campaign Monitor to extract addresses and send out the e-mail. After you send the e-mail, their system tracks how many recipients download the document, and how many people click on the links within the document. It also tracks how long it took for people to open the e-mail, and then click on a link. It presents the data in the form of colorful line graphs indicating each statistic. The best part is that it measures in real-time from the moment the recipient gets the e-mail in their inbox to the engagement click. It will also let you know how many e-mails bounced back and for what reason. I am sure currently they have many more analytics dashboards but even when I used it I was satisfied with the data it provided. At the end of each day, I would produce a report based on the data. We were able to assess the best time to send the e-mails based on the average time at which most recipients opened the e-mail and followed with engagements. We also got a sense of how engaged recipients were with the e-mail and the links provided. We could also track the level of sales via the clicks and purchases through the ticket portal from the e-mail. Another aspect of the system was that you could perform A/B tests with your campaign.

I think e-mail marketing is often overlooked as a source of social media. No, it is not specifically intended to allow for conversations per say, but it does allow for engagements online that can lead to social content. For example, you could include social links in the body of your e-mail design or embed social media such as video content.

The second tool I like, but do not have any practical experience with is Sprout Social. I think this is a great low-cost monitoring tool for agencies and individuals. It apparently provides an array of analytics such as indicating and tracking brand mentions, hashtags, keywords, influencers and provides project management widgets for large scale campaigns. So instead of having multiple analytics dashboards and a project management space such as BaseCamp, you can have an all-in-one package. According to a friend of mine who uses Sprout Social and Radian6 has said Radian 6 could become very costly because the reporting can be pricey but with Sprout Social, the cost subscription covers everything without limitations.

My two best sources of information and news regarding DRTV, digital and Broadcast televised media trends are another agency called CanadaTVMedia, and Strategy Magazine Publications. CanadaTVMedia releases free reports on Broadcast tv trends in Canada that are also public files. They offer official data sourced from reliable statistics. Our agency subscribes to Strategy Magazine and Strategy online (its digital platform) to view their reporting section for any news regarding other agencies and trends. Another source is Telefilm Canada. They also provide free reporting on current trends in TV viewership in Canada. Another source, of course, is my reps! They provide reliable statistics about their stations from Numeris (formerly PMB). As an agency that specializes in DRTV, we continually seek information on viewership to keep on top of our demo and their viewing behaviours. It helps us to streamline our buys and know where to buy into and at the right time.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLS CHECK OUT THIS LINK:

BEST SOCIAL MEDIA TOOLS-2017

The Art of Reading Well-Blog Post #2

Anyone Can Read. Right?

Wrong.

That is why I have developed my personal system to becoming an “expert reader”.

Author Brian Clark suggests, not everyone is “good” at reading in his article “How To Read”.

According to Clark, there are four types of readers:

  1. Elementary
  2. Inspectional
  3. Analytical
  4. Syntopical

(Clark, 2008)

Below is a brief synopsis of each type:

The first is someone who can read a sentence based on grammar and vocabulary at the most basic level (Clark, 2008).

The second type of reader is someone who has a pre-motivated intention of finding specific information. They just “scan” a document to locate key words or phrases much in the same way SEO works (Clark 2008). This type of reader also accounts for those who read for the sake of reading (Clark, 2008).

The third type of reader is someone who can comprehend the information in its basic form, and compartmentalize it in his or her head to enhance their comprehension (Clark, 2008). In doing so, they identify key terms and points of contention leading into an informed discussion (Clark, 2008).

The final type of reader is someone who can draw meaningful connections between external knowledge and experiences to the information they have just processed (Clark, 2008). By doing so, this person becomes an expert on the chosen subject in their rights (Clark, 2008).

Drawing on Clark’s hierarchy, I have devised 3 easy steps to become an “expert” reader:

Step 1. Know your grammar, spelling and understand the importance of tone: If you don’t understand the basics of writing, you cannot fully comprehend the written word. Regarding tone, most authors use a particular one to enhance their writing styles. For example, if an author is sarcastic, it usually means they disagree with a subject, or they are criticizing a subject. To me, this first step plays into the first two levels of basic reading comprehension.

Step 2. Read Between The Lines: To advance into what Clark considers “The Analytical Reader” I have to be able to not only read what is in plain sight but also identify concepts within. See if I can clearly divide the information into the traditional storyboard quadrants: A) Introduction, B) Middle, C) End or Conclusion (Algonquin College, 2012). I can also think of the end as the beginning, and ask myself what is the main point (s) the author is making?

Step 3. Think Outside The Page: Now I can draw on information not contained within the text at hand. I ask myself “What other information have I read that is either similar to or contradicts the text in front of me?” Going through this thought process and creating these connections will help to develop a unique analysis of the information and provide substance for questions. Now I can become a “Syntopical Reader”, an expert on the subject matter through a unique perspective (Clark, 2008).

These are my three steps to becoming an expert reader and aiding in becoming a better writer by knowing and understanding how people can read your work. Please take the time to read my post and see if you can come up with something better!

References:

Algonquin College. Lesson 2: Becoming a digital storyteller [PDF document]. Retrieved from http://ccol.algonquincollege.com/com0014/lesson-2/lesson-content

Clark, B. (August 27, 2008). How to read. Retrieved from http://www.copyblogger.com/how-to-read

Melinda Phelan: Blog Post #1-COMOO14

My Trip to Ireland

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Jerpoint Abbey. Phelan, Melinda [Image file], May 7, 2016

Last May I travelled to Ireland with my father to visit his family. My father is from a family of 12 including himself! It is because of my father’s background that I was able to become a dual citizen and hold Canadian and Irish citizenship. I get some odd looks sometimes from the security at the Dublin airport because I am actually South Korean by birth but was adopted.

When we got to the airport in Dublin my aunt and uncle came and picked us up. We then made the long journey to Kilkenny.

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Walking through Kilkenny with mum and dad-Phelan, Melinda [Image File] May 8, 2016

Once we were settled in at their house I decided to go exploring. First off, I only knew a few areas of the town including Kilkenny Castle.

Well, I knew where it was anyways. So I wondered what was around it rather than just seeing the gardens again. I walked from the front entrance down the side this time round and found a walking path.

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The lonely winding path. Phelan, Melinda [Image file] May 8, 2016

And another..

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Walking path 2. Phelan, Melinda [Image file] May 8, 2016

Until I stumbled upon this:

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The Manor House. Phelan, Melinda [Image file] May 8, 2016

It was an old stone manor house probably built sometime in the 1700s (Purely a wild guess by the skeletal architecture). I walked closer to get a better look at it, and it was an amazing feeling finding this building!

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My personal discovery. Phelan, Melinda [Image file] May 8, 2016

I felt like Indiana Jones. It was pretty cool, I walked inside the open space and felt like I was transported to the late 1600s/1700s. I could imagine the people who might have used the space and wondered what it looked like before it fell into disrepair. I guessed it might be a manor house, but when I was done snapping photos and filming my own little video I ran all the way back to the castle to meet my parents. According to my father, he says it might have actually been a jail at one point but he had nothing to prove this either. I have searched for information on it but I could not find anything concrete. It it also very likely it was associated with the land belonging to the Castle grounds which would make sense. But to this day I do not know what it was for or for whom it was built.

Please help me out if you know this building!

Post a reply in the comments if you want to help me solve this mystery. I want to learn about its history. Any leads will help.

I hope you enjoyed my story, thanks for your time.

 

Melinda Phelan