Blog Post #3 – Professional Networking

Networking online isn’t all that different from networking in person. Here are some easy steps to get you on track to building online relationships that will help you reach your professional goals:

Step 1: Where to find the right people. 

First, you need to know what type of people you’re trying to network with. Are you a dog owner looking to network with other dog owners? Are you a hairstylist looking to expand your clientele? Are you an entrepreneur looking for investors? In any case, finding the right people for you is accomplished in the same as it is in person – you need to go out of your comfort zone and meet new people. For online networking, try attending webinars, joining live streams, following pages, and surfing accounts. The more you put yourself out there, the more opportunities you will have to build your network. Set your net far and wide and set goals to help keep you on track to meeting new people regularly. 

Step 2: Building a network.

Now that you’ve found your people, you need to connect with them. Thanks to social media, there are many ways that you can do this. If there’s an option to send a direct message to another person’s social media account, that’s an awesome way to connect with them. Just remember, if they don’t respond to your message, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t want to connect with you. Perhaps try an alternative way to contact them or reach out to a mutual friend of theirs. Once the dialogue has started, you want to build an understanding of one another since trust can be difficult to build when you aren’t face-to-face. Try to be more than just a keyboard behind a screen and find creative ways to share parts of your personality. 

Step 3: Maintaining relationships.

Networking isn’t something that has a set start and finish. Networking is about repeated interactions and continuously seeking new relationships. If you speak to someone once, have you really networked with them? You need to check in with others regularly to maintain a lasting impression so that relationships don’t fade. Social media can help with this since every time you make a new post, the viewers who see that post are reminded about you. If that reminder is linked to a previous interaction that was positive, then you’ve developed a professional network online. Last, but certainly not least, remember to always show your support for the people in your network by liking their posts, commenting on them and sharing their content. 

James Roberge

Post 2 – Strong & Weak Organizations

To say that GoPro has an impressive social media strategy would be an understatement. I think the main reason for their enormous success and 20+ million followers is that everyone can relate in some way to GoPro.

Whether you’re a runner, a blogger, or a police officer, GoPro has something for you. For me, I use GoPro products for content creation. Their lightweight, durable, and versatile cameras are perfect for what I do and following them on social media keeps me up to date with new products and helps to get the creative juices flowing. They’re constantly seeking customer feedback and posting content that has been captured by their followers using their products. Can someone say “Free marketing”?

Another company that is always coming up with new and innovative social media strategies is DJI Global. DJI is a tech company that is most famously known for their affordable, and high-quality drones. I have a personal interest in this company because they are leading the pack in the aerial videography market that has largely been untapped until now. Aerial photography is the way of the future and as a content creator, I realize that I need to hop on the train before it leaves the station. DJI Global’s social media game is off the charts. The content, promotions, product releases, and branding sets the standard for how to operate a successful business in the digital age. Like GoPro, DJI Global primarily posts content that their customers have created using their products. This shows the authenticity and unique uses for their products. On their pages, they have direct links to their online store where you can buy their best Drones with a few clicks. 

To stay on the topic of technology, there is one company that I found that could greatly benefit from an improved social media strategy and that company is Nikon Canada. I personally have an interest in this company since I do most of my content creation on a Nikon Z7 II Mirrorless Camera but for a company this size, their numbers just aren’t telling the right story. Nikon Canada does post lots of content that has been submitted by their customers using their products however, much of this content doesn’t look any different from any other camera company. To differentiate themselves from other camera manufacturers and their older sibling, Nikon USA, I believe they could benefit from posting more content that showcases Canadians, Canadian cities, and Canadian symbols. In addition, I find that their posts aren’t consistent in frequency. Some weeks, they will post once a week, while they won’t post at all for other weeks. Maintaining a schedule helps build trust with their audience by ensuring a consistent approach week to week.  For Nikon Canada to start to improve their social media strategy, I believe the first step that they should take is to contact Nikon USA and implement a similar strategy to the strategy that their older sibling is implementing. 

James Roberge

COM0015: Blog Post #1 – Tools and Sources

Capitalize on Conversations that are Happening NOW!

By keeping a close eye on social media trends, we’re able to fully capitalize on conversations that are happening on social media and use them to our advantage. Hopping on trends in their early stages can help boost your reach gain more interactions while being slow to react to emerging trends can result in the opposite effects. Either way, taking advantage of trends starts with listening and monitoring. Here are my favourite ways to discover trends while they are still in the early stages of popularity. 

Best Tools for the Job.

The first tool isn’t really a tool at all. It’s simply organically listening and monitoring – some would call it “scrolling”. Spending a half an hour a day watching the top Reels in Canada today or searching relevant hashtags can help enormously in spotting trends before they fully gain traction. If you’re scrolling through music on Instagram and you see the arrow indicating that a song is trending, don’t wait to see how it performs in a week or two, use the audio now! 

The second tool that I find to be the most effective at spotting trends is word of mouth. On top of listening to conversations on social media, trends are often discussed among friends, colleagues, and family. Ask the question to your partner or to your roommate: Have you seen any new trends on social media lately? Perhaps you have a friend who teaches high school or university students. Ask them if they’ve heard their students talking about new trends. If you’re serious about social media, you can’t just setup an RSS feed and sit back, you need to put in the effort to find out what is currently in style and what is passé.

The Best News Sources for the Job.

The two sources of news and updates that I consult on a weekly basis at Defence Team News for all the updates on my organization, and Trending Topics on Twitter for all the “hot tea”. Defence Team News is a weekly newsletter that is sent by email to all members of the Department of National Defence, and it includes updates and news on equipment, pay, policy, special events, etc. Twitter topics is a good way to discover topics that are being talked about in real time. As soon as something major happens in the world, you can bet your bottom dollar that someone is tweeting about it. Many of the tweets I read on Twitter are for my general awareness of things happening around the world such as the recent earthquakes in Turkey. 

James Roberge – 8 Mar 2023

COM0014 – Blog #4 Business-to-consumer Case Study

GoPro – leader in Innovation and Manufacturing

The business that I selected to study for this week’s blog post is GoPro. GoPro is a leader in innovation and manufacturing of action cameras. Not only does GoPro deal in business-to-consumer transactions through their online store and authorized resellers, but they are also involved in business-to-business and business-to-government transactions. GoPro has a presence on many platforms including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Target Audience

On Instagram alone, GoPro has nearly 20 million followers and it’s clear that they put a great deal of time and focus into their social media strategy. They post engaging content multiple times a day and lean heavily on messaging that encourages others to buy their products. It goes without saying that GoPro’s target market is very wide ranging. From bloggers to astronauts to search and rescue teams; almost everyone has a use for a GoPro!

Social Media Tactics

When GoPro announces new technology, their add campaigns are aggressive and directly target potential customers with paid advertisements. They use dramatic, high-quality imagery to capture attention and convey feelings of excitement. This excitement entices viewers to make emotion-fueled purchases of their products and empowers others to become GoPro brand ambassadors. GoPro also uses contests to grow their reach and encourage conversations about their brand. This leads to new customers and encourages repeat customers to buy new products. 

GoPro uses available social media channels for two-way communication with their customers. They encourage customers to hit the “contact us” or “message us” buttons where customers are immediately connected with a customer service representative. GoPro has made it so that users are encouraged to provide their feedback and GoPro regularly demonstrates to their users that they are listening to their feedback by the fact that their products are continually improving, and customer needs and concerns are being promptly addressed. Overall, GoPro is very effective in their use of social media and many companies could take a few lessons from the tech giant.

Keep it up GoPro!

James Roberge

COM0014 – Blog #3 Target Audiences

When you think of any business, what do you think their overarching goal would be? Most people would probably say that the number one goal of any business is to make money, but what if I told you that isn’t quite the case.

Mission: Defence of Canada

Some organizations simply aren’t in the business of making money… in the case of the Canadian Military, the “business” is in the defence of our country, its interests, and its values, while contributing to international peace and security. Because of this, their goals and objectives are significantly different from those of a traditional business. With the goal of recruiting in mind, let’s look further at who their target audience might be.

Eligible and Suitable Audience

The organization that I work for has members that are in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick so the target audience would be those who live in the above-named provinces or who would be willing to move to these provinces. In terms of age, there are two main groups that our target audience falls into: 17-24, and 25-34. This is based on our current social media followership and analytics from the last 12-month period. The target audience values loyalty, courage, inclusion, integrity, excellence, and accountability. Due to eligibility criteria to serve in Canada’s military, the target audience must be a Canadian citizen, between the ages of 16 and 57, physically and medically fit, and have completed at least grade 10. 

Trending Trends to Talk and Tackle Targeted Audiences

The characteristics of our target audience call for the use of communication tools and strategies that are tailored towards younger, educated Canadians who are willing to serve Canada before self. Specifically targeting high school and university students on platforms such as Instagram that are trending and using content such as reels that are popular within the targetted age group can help to attract these in-demand prospects into the Canadian Military.

James Roberge

COM0014 – Blog #2 Storytelling: Tips & Tricks

If you’re fishing, you must attractive bait.

What’s the first thing that you saw when you looked at this blog post? Was it the photo of the fisherman? was it the heading? The first step to effective storytelling is to use good imagery (when appropriate) and a well-crafted title to catch the audience’s attention. A dramatic photo with a catchy title will stand out to the reader as they’re skimming their news feed to find content that is of interest to them. Once you’ve caught their attention, you need to reel them in. This is where the inverted triangle comes in. As we’ve learned this week, the attention span of online viewers is extremely short so you need to hit them with the most important information that they need to know first, followed by additional information and then the “nice to have” information at the end.

Know, how to Write propparly.

The internet age has forever changed the way we communicate. Where once we had to pull out a dictionary to confirm the spelling of a word, we now have the ability to spell check at our fingertips. Not only does our content have to be grammatically correct, but it must also be clear and concise, well-structured, and in plain language that everyone can understand. There’s nothing that reflects discredit more to an organization than to have content published that is riddled with errors.

Don’t hesitate to think outside the box.

Be creative; and if you’re not creative person, steal your ideas from others. There’s infinite amounts of content out there, so why re-create the wheel if the inspiration you’re looking for is only a few clicks away.

James Roberge

COM0014 – Blog #1 Destination: Portugal

Have you ever been to the Algarve region of Portugal? If the answer is no, drop what you’re doing and book a yourself a vacation because you absolutely have to check it out! The Algarve region is located in the south of Portugal and is known for having the best climate in Europe. That’s where my fiancee and I spent just over a week during our month-long backpacking trip in Europe this past Summer.

Photo: Views from kayaking near Benagil Cave in the Algarve Region of Portugal on a day in early August 2022.

There are a number of ways to travel to the Algarve but for us, we opted to rent a car since that option gave us the most flexibility. The Sixt car rental cost us about $450 Canadian but was entirely worth the money. We departed from the Lisbon Airport for the scenic four-hour drive along the Atlantic Ocean before arriving in Lagos. When we arrived in Lagos, the sun was shining and the temperatures were perfect; not too hot, and not too cold.

The most memorable part of our visit to the Algarve was the full-day Airbnb hiking experience that we signed up for on our second day in Lagos. A gentleman by the name of T.J. took us to Vicentine Coast Natural Park, Europe’s most Southwestern corner where we spent the day exploring terrifyingly steep cliffs and beautiful sandy beaches before having a Algarvian picnic on the edge of a cliff as we watched the sun set over the Atlantic Ocean. When I think about that day, I can still feel the vertigo from ascending and descending near-vertical cliffs and hear the sound of the wind blowing waves crashing. I can clearly remember the taste of the salt in the air and smell the Algarvian carrots and the flame-grilled homemade Portuguese Chouriço.

Photo: Views from Vicentine Coast Natural Park, Portugal as the sun sets over the Atlantic Ocean on a day in early August 2022.

Sounds magical right? It was without a doubt an adventure that we will never forget! Where have you experienced your most memorable hikes? When you think back to those places, what part of your experience do you remember most? Let me know by leaving a comment below… Until next time!


Livestreaming an event? Here’s what you’ll need to know.

This time last year, I was put in charge of planning and conducting a Livestream for a high-profile event my employer was organizing. Seems easy enough right? Not quite. There are many ways to conduct a Livestream but not every solution fits all. Spur-of-the-moment #FacebookLive videos with your built-in camera and microphone might work for a quick, unplanned Livestream but you might not get the desired reach and professional look your organization wishes to achieve in this way. 

Is a Livestream required?

Before going the extra mile, you should first ask yourself what the goal of the Livestream will be and if a Livestream is the best solution to achieve your goal. In my case, the goal of the event was to bid farewell to an outgoing executive and welcome the incumbent into their new position. The Livestream was required for two reasons. The first was due to the health restrictions at the time of the event that restricted the number of people who could physically attend and the second was to give the audience the opportunity to interact with the outgoing and incoming executives as they were formally changing positions. A simple video or photo post on social media would not have satisfied these two requirements therefore a Livestream was selected as the best solution. Now that the decision to conduct a Livestream has been set in stone, planning can begin. 

Photo of an iPhone in the palm of a hand displaying a live video. Photo retrieved from

Photo of a man on computer with a Livestream setup. Photo retrieved from

Planning for a Livestream Event

Planning should be carefully thought-out to ensure the widest reach and to periodically remind attendees about the event. I would recommend starting by creating an event on Facebook and linking the event to your business’s social media pages. The event should include the 5Ws, have a clear title, an attractive cover photo and at least one catchy hashtag. In the weeks leading up to the event, you should focus on promotion. There are many ways to promote an event on social media. You can post photos, video teasers, and stories about the event, highlighting the key information about it and linking the event page to the posts. Another way to promote the event is through online giveaways by encouraging followers to like, comment, tag others and share your posted content for a chance to win a prize. This method costs very little and can have a huge effect.

Time to “Go Live”

You’ve now reached the big day. If you’ve done your planning right, you should be in for a stress-free day. More detailed steps for going live can be found here but all you must do is simply log in to Facebook, select your event, and click “Live Video”, followed by “Go Live”, and follow the prompts. From the “Go Live” page, you can insert a Livestream title and description, select your media source, and preview your feed. Once you are on-air, the dashboard will give you important information about your viewers, likes, comments, and shares. Pro tip: be sure to keep an eye on the comments section throughout your Livestream so that you can fix issues that viewers identify such as poor audio levels or video quality.

Photo shows “Watch” tab on Facebook. Displayed are options for viewing different videos.

Have you ever done a Livestream? If so, what kind of content did you share? Did your viewers get Involved and interact with you? 

For crying out loud… Clean out your social media!

For crying out loud…

Clean out your social media!

You clean out your closet, right? What about your garage? Or your car? You know it’s time to clean out these things when they become cluttered or messy. So why don’t people clean out their social media? 

Photo of a Facebook page named “Smoke Weed Every Day” displaying 6.9K followers.

Is it time for some spring cleaning?

Laziness could be the reason why people don’t clean out their social media profiles but it’s more likely to be that people are just plain oblivious. I think most people honestly don’t know what others are able to dig up about them from their social media profiles. Even a profile that is private can reveal a lot about a person. Certain information such as profile pictures, likes, and friends can still be viewed by others with a simple search of your name. You might think that nobody is looking at this information but trust me, this stuff matters. 

Photo showing Facebook favourites that includes music, movies and TV shows. Among the liked pages are Jersey Shore, Battle Los Angeles and Vice.
Photo shows how to access settings and privacy on Facebook profile.

Why does it matter?

The small things can have the biggest impact when you are forming an opinion about someone but have limited information to do so. We quickly form Implicit Bias which are stereotypes that we have unconsciously about certain groups of people. Even in the early hiring stages, a candidate’s resume picture, their name, or their hometown could influence your opinion more than you think. Nowadays, companies screen the social media profiles of prospective employees during the hiring process so it’s vital that your presence on social media represents you as a professional and that your values align with those of the organization. In a study, 78% of employers stated that they believe that employees should maintain a work-appropriate social media profile. The limited information others can see about you on social media can make the difference between leaving a good first impression or tarnishing your reputation before having the chance to build one.

Video titled “WORST Facebook Profile Pics EVER!.

What can be found?

Your current and past profile pictures show how your style has changed over the years and provide insight into the type of people you surround yourself with, which in turn tells a lot about the type of person that you are. Comments and likes made on your profile pictures give insight into people’s sentiments towards you and the context of the photos gives information on what you consider important, whether that is family, friends, travel, partying or breaking the law. The “friends” section is also a section that should be carefully vetted. Another profile section that never seems to disappoint is the “About” section. This section includes favourite TV shows, liked pages, reviews and profiles that you are following. A comment that you made, a page that you liked or a photo that you posted 10 years ago might not reflect who you are today; but that wouldn’t be so obvious to anyone who doesn’t know you personally.

If reading this blog hasn’t fully convinced you, I implore you to open Instagram, hit search, click on your top result, and scroll alllllllll the way to the bottom of that person’s profile. Maybe then, you might be convinced to start your cleaning. Did you find anything embarrassing while cleaning your social media? Let me know in the comments below!

Do I really need to include French translations? / Dois-je vraiment inclure des traductions francaises?

Do I really need to include French translations? Dois-je vraiment inclure des traductions francaises?

If you work in the public sector of Canada, the answer is almost always, yes. “Why?” You might ask. The reason is that it’s the law!

A page reads Official Languages act. Source: Anik Sauvé –

Official Languages Act

When I first started my job in Army Public Affairs, I often found myself asking these very questions. It wasn’t until I was introduced to the Official Languages Act (OLA), that I fully understood the impacts that it has on social media use in the public sector.

Essentially, OLA is intended to ensure respect for English and French as the official languages of Canada. Based on the OLA, Defence Order and Directive, DAOD 2008-8 was produced and includes regulations governing the Department of National Defence’s use of external communication on social media platforms. What does this mean for anyone managing public sector social media accounts? This means that all social media content that is posted on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Flickr, etc. must be provided in both English and French, and that it must be of equal quality in both languages.

A soldier takes a knee in a photo that posted with bilingual captions on the 5th Canadian Division Flickr page. Photo by James Roberge.
An animated hand holds a smartphone displaying a social media app with a notification. Source:


OLA and DAOD 2008-8 have an enormous impact on our social media content. Unfortunately, these regulations can make it difficult to make in-the-moment social media posts such as Facebook Livestreams and Instagram stories. It doesn’t matter if you have millions of social media followers…If your marketing isn’t timely and relevant, it won’t succeed. When you can’t have a quick turnaround from capture to post, you lose your competitive advantage. We’ve often found that other non-public sector accounts will have their content published well ahead of our content. Personal social media users and news agencies are often the first to flood the internet with their own content before we can post a single picture. We have learned to adapt and overcome these challenges; however, we have had to accept that we will never be able to produce and distribute content as quickly and efficiently as we would like.

Adapting and Overcoming

Official language regulations have forced us to be better at planning and anticipating. We’ve learned that the only way to collect and post content in a timely manner is to pre-emptively write out our captions so that they are generic enough to fit most photos but also specific enough not to confuse our audience. Often, this means requesting official translations of lengthy documents, only to use 1-2 of the translated captions on our social media accounts. We’ve also acquired equipment such as cellular-enabled tablets and software such as #snapbridge that has made it possible to send imagery directly from the camera wirelessly to the editing station. This has allowed us to cut down on the time from flash to bang and given us more time to select the appropriate, pre-translated caption and post. In a world where news happens fast, we cannot allow ourselves to get lost at the bottom of a news feed or skipped over because of how quickly stories can get turned around and shared. We must always strive for our content to be the first to go live and first to be consumed.

Does the organization that you work for enforce or encourage bilingual social media communications? If so, do they require social media managers to be bilingual? If not, do you think they should give bilingual applicants priority? Let me know what you think!