One of the main things I took away from this course is the importance of knowing your audience. Too often, and I include myself in the word often, people work tirelessly and try to implement actions, which in the end, have no impact precisely because they were not the right actions. Working in duplicate is far from ideal and that’s why you must be prepared and do your market research beforehand, compare data, make sure of the accuracy and choose the right tools. We will not have the same way of working with generation X as with generation Y.
I have discovered that I am a storyteller, I report facts, but I add an extra touch in my own way in the delivery of my texts. I have a particular way of seeing things, which can be funny or sad and I tend to think I use a wise choice of words to deliver them. I have always loved to read and write, so with a well-stocked vocabulary and a touch of emotion a la Josiane, a blog is a perfect example for me. Keeping the reader on the edge of their seat until the next paper is published is great!
I also re-discovered Instagram and with my new puppy, I’m going to create his own account (he does a lot cuter things than me hahaha) and thus find canine friends!
Josiane’s background is somehow atypical. She always wanted to be a journalist, if not that then involved in sports somehow. Being refused entry into the most prestigious school of journalism in Quebec, she rolled up her sleeves and moved to Ontario, more precisely to Ottawa to study at La Cité Collegial. All this, at only 16 years old. Even more impressive, she moved in with a woman who didn’t speak French…even though she herself only very basic and limited abilities in English. This is quite a challenge that Josiane passed with success!
Josiane was aiming high when she wanted to be a sports journalist! But as the world of communications is a jungle, she had to start at the bottom, with the Ottawa Rogers TV team for the Sens 360 show. She had to elbow her way through the male journalists and make to establish her place in the business. Josiane’s determination has allowed her to sit next to some of the most influential journalists in the world…only then to meet hockey legend Scotty Bowman.
To have better luck in her career, she enrolled at the University of Outaouais to study politics. This became four years of study combined with holding down four jobs. It was a lot of work in that time, but she wouldn’t hesitate to do it all over again.
Following successful completion of her studies, she was rewarded with employment on Parliament Hill as an assistant to a Member of Parliament. Once again, many challenges awaited Josiane. Being a determined individual, she was able to help get MPs elected, work on campaigns, assist with building reputations, draft speeches and most importantly, get private member’s bills passed.
In summary, Josiane’s life has been full of challenges, but they were all surmountable. Challenges shape life and allow us to emerge stronger.
Listing the things that define us and our personal brand without falling into biographical mode is complicated. After talking with a few friends and my spouse, my determination and my stubbornness is what stands out the most. Being stubborn can be taken as a quality or a flaw when mismanaged. Lately, I’ve had to deal with a few health problems, a second job that requires employee supervision, a career change in the Government, volunteering with the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization, an old sick dog and a baby dog that requires energy X1000… and I’m still standing! I have never dropped any of my projects and everything has been completed.
Another situation of which I am extremely proud, and which demonstrates my determination was during my adolescence. Leaving home at 16 years old to study in Ottawa without knowing a word of English. I can say mission accomplished. My enthusiasm for new projects, my determination to get what I want and above all never giving up despite the pitfalls of life make these qualities distinguish me from others and make me unique!
Vzion is a young company created a few years ago by a man wishing to make a difference in the lives of all. Almost everything is considered in the Company to emphasize what the President founder advocates.
It is a company that sells ULTRA comfortable clothes. It all started with hoodies. It worked out so well that the company now sells coordinated kits, more women’s and men’s clothing, hats, jackets etc.
The company only sell its products online. In just a few years, the site has evolved and is now much more attractive and easier to navigate. Some people consider product pricing somewhat exorbitant, but products are of unmatched quality.
The President and founder maintains a very active social media presence. He has his own social media page where he interacts with his followers through videos and discussions.
The company also has its own Facebook page, Instagram and website. There are many contests and many promotions such as free shipping with the purchase of a specific amount of purchase. Promotions are regularly held seasonally during such periods as back-to-school, Christmas etc.
The president has also launched a contest to find influencers and promotional agents. A Facebook post got over 1000 responses, mine own included!
The company is also very quick to respond to questions posted within publications or even in private messages. Having lived the experience, the customer service team responds very quickly to questions / comments with professionalism and courtesy.
Many options are in place so that the customers who sample their merchandise are tempted to buy repeatedly with promotions or a small note giving a % discount or on an upsell of additional products afterwards. The customer service team is very quick to respond to requests and to ensure the company continues to run smoothly. This is a great example of B2C and I’m sure this company will continue to evolve over time..
In another life, I was Mrs. Tupperware and Mrs. Mary Kay. I tried to advertise and reach out to people via social media platforms, but I had no idea how to address these situations. As a result, I wasted a lot of time and energy that could have better used elsewhere, and my results reflected it.
By taking a step back and having the knowledge I have now, I would do everything differently. A friend of mine started her company with Epicure and she is killing it!
If we take Epicure as an example, we need to know our target audience. You would think that anyone who cooks a little bit could use these products. True, but there is a way to refocus the whole thing. Epicure saves time in the kitchen, is healthy, gluten free and can be used in many ways. Families and students are perfect target markets. By creating social media pages, you can share quick recipes, cooking tips and news.
We can also use social networks to announce our presence at specific fairs and events. We can also post pictures and results of the said events. Each catalog release becomes a great event and an opportunity to highlight products. We can also send targeted publicity in the neighborhood to increase our viewings.
Behind each company of this type hides many other pages of the same type. A search with keywords such as food, health, well eaten, Epicure etc. will allow us to see other competitors in the neighborhood and share ideas!
The use of social networks is a full-time job in addition to working full time on this business. Listening to customers is a continuous and ever evolving. The use of social networks, the discovery and mastery of its target audience can do wonders for the company. But the opposite is also true and bad management, a lack of understanding of this tool and its components can lead to the destruction of the efforts put into the company.
When I studied journalism, the first thing we learned was on how write a text that catches the eye of the reader. The concept of the lead and the inverted pyramid is not new to me, so I thought it would be an easy text. Big mistake. Speaking about an event is totally different from simply describing something. As an example: a serious accident occurred whereby 10 deaths occurred versus my family apple picking trip.
After thinking, I figured out that it’s the same thing. You must know your audience and you are all set. The audience for a blog is usually more specific to a certain point and they follow your way of thinking versus a general media whose mission is to inform people (We could go deeper and realize that some media outlets are more to the left or the right but that’s another story).
With a large database and followers that have been following you for a long time, you can easily tell whatever you want, as long as you maintain your personal touch; is it humor? sarcasm? strong opinions on specific subjects?
Having well-defined needs will allow you to target specific information in your text as the most important and put it at top and finish with suggestions of articles or other trivial details that will not block the understanding of the text if the reader does not go there.
In summary, you need to know your audience and if you are building it, you need to determine which audience you want to attract. You must know your strengths and weaknesses (I would never do a blog about the economy and all those numbers.) Then you keep the same recipe with the magic ingredients first (emotions, shocking phrases etc.) and you “inform and educate” your readers afterwards. Do you think it’s important to keep an open link to your readers and respond to their comments?
Finally, after 2 years of uncertainty, we were allowed to do something other than look at our backyard!
Everything was planned; girly road trip to Toronto to see the New Kids On The Block with a great Airbnb rental and a full 4 days! …that is… until the band cancelled their show.
Being too late to find a plan B, I told myself that my vacation was going to be the opportunity to work more at my second job and save 2 days in September to go see the Backstreet Boys in Ottawa AND Montréal (Yes, in my head it’s still the 90’s)
But we all need a vacation once in a while, don’t you think?
That is when I decided to do all sorts of different activities, big or small, that came to my head as I got up every morning; biking, reading. invent/trying new recipes, drawing. Some people will spend thousands of dollars on a vacation project and that’s okay! I figured that with the time I had, a few little treats/activities I wanted to do, well it would be like a vacation! The other projects could be picked up later ( please, another tour!)
That’s how a day at the Nordik Spa Nature into the daily plan. An yet as unused wedding gift, it was perfect! I’m a girl with way too much energy, so for me the spa was a “challenge” in itself… stay still and relax?! But I passed the challenge with honors… and I plan to do it again hahahaha.
Another of my summer activities was the basic training of this dear monster: Archie the Terror!
I would not have believed it possible, but this little ball of fur has more energy than me hahahaha.
Archie is a German Shepherd now 8 months old and for those who do not know the breed, German Shepherds need a lot of training, stimulation and activity to spend the energy they accumulate. A big part of my summer was also based on his evolution and training. We can now manage the basic commands, (sit, down, paws) and we hardly run after the birds when walking!
It may seem like I’m feeling sorry for myself, but I’m not. The fact that I must take care of a little monster has forced me to go out, structure my time and his, to ensure a normal evolution so that I don’t find a demolished area in the house when I go out without him. The animals are always happy no matter what the situation! These little balls of fur bring a certain comfort and are present in the good or the most boring moments! Do you believe in the power of the benefits of animals, in their positive contribution?
It’s funny how life can surprise us sometimes. We start talking about our life and of the “future” as soon as we can speak. We speak about our future career in high school, and we change ideas so many times before finding what we hope is the perfect path. Later comes the first round of questions from your family about when you will have your own family.
And… wait. I was so lost with my thoughts that I completely forgot to introduce myself. Hi. I’m Josiane and I’m 37 years old (soon 38 yeah) and I’m the proud mom of … 2 big dogs. Yup, no kids. Dogs. For people who know me, it can be surprising. Not that I have dogs but that I don’t have kids. You see, I’m the kind of person who would prefer to sit at the kids table than being with the adults and groaning about everything.
Well life has decided to throw me a curve ball. A genetic disease decided to crash the party that is my life. To add the cherry on top of the cake, it’s the type of condition that is really rare so you’re now a lab rat and try to understand and figure out what will be the next crisis. One of those crisis had me hit the biggest wall I can imagine. A wall so big that now on my body I have the sign “no kids allowed”. Woaaa life, what did I do to you…. I don’t think I deserved this…
There’s 2 ways to react to this; you take the hit and get knocked down, or you take a step back and come at this curve ball from a different angle. After a little research, my husband told me about Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada. Hummm okay, let’s have a look. Great, there’s a chapter for the Outaouais. That’s it! I will become a big sister for a kid who needs someone just like me.
For people who have no idea what the Organization is, here’s few details: “ For over 100 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been championing the health and wellbeing or youth. We step in before it’s too late, to help prevent the physical and mental effects of adverse childhood experiences. We ensure children as young as 7 are supported by caring adults as they overcome these adversities, helping them to do better in life—physically, mentally, socially, emotionally and academically” ( Big Brothers Big Sisters website, main page, p.1) About Us – Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada
In other words, this means you will create a bond with a child desperately in need of one. You will be there for him/her if they need to talk, you will be there to create memories, to give advice and change their mindset. In short, a person outside of their current environment they can share and grow with.
I realized quickly that it wasn’t for just anybody to become a big sister… but it’s so worth it! Anyone can submit for their kids to be part of the big family of the Big Brothers Big Sisters. Often, kids are having some trouble at school, at home, in the family etc. More often, they might come from less-than-ideal home settings. As a mentor, you must realize and accept that not everything works out as has planned.
You must undergo several interviews to figure out what your motivations are and determine your interests. There is also some training involved. After that, they try to find your perfect match. Little quote here: a lot of kids are patiently waiting for their mentors. For the Outaouais, they missed more than 20 big sisters/ brothers to be able to pair everybody.
Going back to my story, I initially had a match with a teenager! The first meeting was great, but everything changed a little further down the road, and we had to end the match after only a few months. Disappointing but it happens. I started again, this time with a 10-year-old who loves hockey and dogs! Bring it on!
Having a little sister can bring a lot of joy into your life, but also a lot of challenges. One thing is sure: you will learn from each other. If boundaries are established from the beginning and you’ve agreed to work on the relationship (because yes, you’re going to build a strong relationship and bring a lot to your little sister) you are in business!
Now, I know you must have a lot of questions like: how can you establish a good connection with your little sister? Who’s going to pay for the activities? Do you have to handle discipline with her? Well, to get all the answers to your questions, you will just have to come back and follow my blog!
Talk to you soon! For now, I must work on a list of future activities
Of course, when you have so many followers, you are funny and you have a big impact on people’s day, you can be the perfect spokesperson, or at least, ambassador for a company. Humans Influencers can turn efforts into profits; it’s the same formula for animals.
Another good example is Tucker Budzyn. His owner, Courtney a.k.a Linda in the videos, documents everything from the day she went to get tiny Tucker to today with the new addition to the family, his son Tod. Tucker has 3,1 million Followers on Instagram. He also has his own website and his merch (toe bags, hoodies).
He’s on YouTube with a bunch of videos of taste tests, with friends, or just being a lazy boy. His channel is really popular. It started in 2018 and it now has 3,58 million subscribers! All those subscribers help to bring money and buy more “chimken” (please see the picture below for the reference 😉)
Well, for animals, being a pet influencer is to use the same formula as humans have to follow and it requires as much work as human influencers.
Their human helpers must develop their brand (being a big boy, do some tricks etc). Even if it’s a lot of work, some owners can earn a considerable amount of money because of their animal and live a comfortable life without working in a more “traditional” manner.
Do you think you could be able to use your animal as a source of income or is taking pictures to show your friends and family enough for you ?
Everyone must be careful on what they publish on their social media (all platforms combined). When you work with the public, like singers or athletes, you must be careful since social media can cause so much damage to your career. One foot on the wrong side of the line and you might have suffered collateral damage for years. For this blog, I chose a subject that has a love/hate relationship with social media: Politics.
During the last Federal election, according to the surveys, the Liberals and their chief, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, were in a bad situation. One former President of the United States thought that it would be useful to publish a small text on his social media account. Barack Obama never hid his “bromance” with Justin Trudeau. Does this tweet really help? It certainly didn’t hurt. He did the same thing in 2019. This message was published at a really specific time in the campaign and the rest of the story is well known. The Liberals won the election with a minority.
Hillary Clinton, wife of Bill Clinton and runner for the President chair in 2016 also gave support to Justin Trudeau by publishing a cheering message.
For these two examples, Social media and Politics were the best of friends. We will never know the exact effect those tweets had on the election, but having a supportive, positive message and endorsement from two influential well-known people can’t hurt. The tweets went viral and everyone spoke about it.
On the other side, we find the best example with William Amos, ex-MP for Pontiac. For the last year and a half, MPs have been working from home and sometimes on the Hill and they have been using zoom for their meetings. William Amos was caught naked on screen after a run. He never realized that his camera was on. One opponent took a screen shot and send it a few media outlets which relayed the info on their social media. It took less than few hours and it was viral around the world. Mr Amos was caught a second time during another personal situation. Here we go again. Mr Amos gave a press conference with his wife and explained that he has too much going on in his head and won’t run for the next election.
If the opponent had not leaked the photo, would we have had the same result? For this specific situation, clearly, social media and politics played a major role.
I could continue on with a long list were social media and politics were on good terms but too many times a career ends abruptly because of negative information circulated on social media.
From my point of view, everything depends on the situation and how you manage it!
This brings me to one critical piece of advice… always check if your camera is off before doing something… and keep in mind that EVERYTHING can be posted on the net at a furious speed!
And you, dear readers, do you know of some situations where social media was your best friend or your worst enemy ?!
Facebook: Do you think Social media and Politics can be friends? Have a look at my examples: https://bit.ly/3AUstNm