Personal Reflection- Blog # 7

Why is storytelling is important in creating digital content

Storytelling in digital media helps put an empathetic human touch on a story making it more real and authentic. It helps create a less plastic or impersonal – personal brand. Storytelling and creating a unique style of writing can also help with developing a personal brand. This unique style will help you stand out and encourage more real and meaningful engagement.

How will my content be guided by a story?

Content will be guided by establishing who my audience is and trying to ascertain what they need or what they might want to follow or support me. Having a clear vision and mission and then creating a call to action to a target audience will also help guide my story.

What kind of stories do I want to tell?

I want to tell stories that help people share how their faith or involvement in a Faith community has made someone’s life better somehow. These can be stories that are inspiring or perhaps stories where their faith community helped overcome adversity in their lives. I want to tell stories about the struggles that refugees and their families have had over the years and how many communities of Faith were able to rally together and help them settle into a new life. I want to tell stories about how affirming and welcoming our faith community to individuals that identify as LGBTQ2 and how people who were once made to feel ashamed and discriminated against because are their sexual orientation can be welcomed and treated as an equal and respected. I want to inspire people to be better people by helping others!


Do People Know Your Story? Blog #6


The greatest challenges for my non-profit organization are sustainability and learning how to stand out.  

Sustainability and commitment to a Social Media Strategy

I believe Social Media is here to stay and is not simply a fad. It’s a new way to effectively communicate privately with members of an organization and also with the public at large. It’s a great way to engage a core group of individuals in online conversation.

The problem for smaller non-profit organizations like the one I am involved with is finding volunteers and responsible leadership willing to post, monitor and engage in various social media platform in a timely fashion. A major problem in small non-profit organization or n my case a church is the lack of expertise on how to properly leverage social media, understand analytics and have the time to do it! Having successful communication requires a commitment to ensure the efforts that are put into building a strategy I maintained and continue to grow. Blogger, Stephen Morrissey states, “much like creating a website, social media is a journey, not a destination”.



Learning How to Stand Out

The solution to the challenge of Learning How to Stand Out is taking the time and effort and research to know who our audience is and effectively building a personal brand by telling our story. Clearly identifying a Mission and Vision can be time-consuming but worth the effort when creating a personal (organization’s) brand. Communicating who we are and what we do and so that followers (online and in person) can be inspired is a challenge.   As David Bourgeois states, “the biggest challenge churches face today in their use of social media is the willingness to put in a real effort to understand their audience and align their social media usage to best meet the audience where they are.”








Personal Brand – Blog #5

What makes Kitchissippi United unique and sets us apart?

“Kitchi” what? – Our name and our Mission!

The word Kitchissippi is the First Nations’ Algonquin name for the Ottawa River meaning ‘Great River’.

Kitchissippi United Church is not like other traditional United churches. It is a unique creation of new faith community, founded by three former congregations; Kingsway, Northwestern, and Westboro in 2008. Kitchissippi United represents three emerging rivers of faith coming together to make a new “Great River”.  We are a unique open-minded, affirming faith community that gathers together to provide share resources with the local community, provide spiritual support, work at becoming better stewards of the earth and support Indigenous peoples through Right Relations.


Volunteer dedication and commitment to community Outreach is Kitchissippi United’s greatest asset!

One of KUCs’ greatest successes is their commitment and ongoing support to the success of the Carlington Arts Initiative. The CAI is a program established by Kitchissippi United Church to support the Carlington community through art and music.

Other notable community initiatives in partnership with KUC “Eco Christianity” include the creations of a beautiful green space in partnership with Ecology Ottawa called Depave Paradise. Together, with volunteers, an unsightly asphalt area was converted into beautiful alcove garden.  The Eco Christianity Circle is a group that supports learning and action focusing the relationship with all of Creation and how it informs our faith and our daily decisions about how we live our lives. The Circle also organizes annual events open to all, called “Rooted in Earth, Growing in Spirit” at Tucker House Environmental Centre in Rockland an has participated in the Great Canadian Shoreline Clean up.


Kitchissippi United Church is committed to building caring and respectful relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. “Right Relations Circle members have actively supported several campaigns and initiatives including Project of Heart, the Kairos campaign working towards the full implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada, and the work of the First Nations Family and Child Caring Society and Youth exchanges,

Once again, volunteer and staff dedication and commitment to ‘Outreach’ is Kitchissippi’s greatest remarkable and measurable asset.  Kitchissippi church is known as the church that provides great support to its community!  Aside from the programs mentioned above, there are MANY more local and Global Outreach programs and initiatives that this faith community support.

What do you do that you are most proud of?

Kichissippi congregation is very proud of the hard work and the success of the programs that are supported by dedicated volunteers and staff. They are also proud of the fact that while many churches are struggling to maintain members Kitchissippi is holding its own and thriving after 10 years of amalgamation of three rivers into one“Great River”.



B2C Case Study Blog #4

Wayfair – Just What I need!

I must confess I am not a fan of online shopping.  I regularly engage in social media, I have been using online banking for my business and personal finances for many years and understand how banking security encryption works but so far I have not fully trusted or had the overwhelming need or urge to making online purchases online. Recently that all changed when I finally broke down and bought something online at



Wayfair ( is an online ‘store’ that sells over 5000 product included indoor and outdoor home furnishings, bedroom and bathroom décor, carpets and accessories, etc. Their tagline and the jingle is “Wayfair- just what I need”.   Last month while online browsing local stores websites such as Ikea and Homesence, ads kept coming up on my searches so I finally checked out them out.  Almost immediately (no surprise), ads with the items I looked up were now being advertised on my Facebook feed. Not long after that, I noticed their TV ads, I also received a postcard in the mail from Wayfair offering a Promotional code with 10% off on my first purchase. With a few clicks – it wasn’t long before I found what I wanted and bought what I was looking for!

The quality of the interactions was excellent.  Wayfair made it easy to set up an account; they offered a variety of secure ways to pay and sent a confirmation number with a tracking number so that the delivery of purchase could be tracked. The delivered the day promised and then followed up with a courtesy phone call after it was delivered to asking about how satisfied I was with my purchase and if I would buy from them again. I said yes!

While I still find the whole thing a bit creepy – feeling as if was being a little manipulated and stalked by through my online searches and by Facebook, but it worked. Wayfair was able to reach a very wide target audience by aggressive social media advertising, tv ads and good ol’ old-fashioned ad mail. I was as able to quickly find what I was looking for a price that I could afford and have it delivered for free. Free shipping was the ‘value-added ‘ bouns, as I was not counting on that. Wayfair’s aggressive B2C marketing campaign did an excellent job of maintaining my attention by having an excellent attractive engaging website within trendy displays of a variety for items, they offered a price discount and the promise of fast and free shipping. Have you bought anything from Wayfair?


Target Audiences – Blog #3

I work at a church that is currently engaged in the Visioning process. The congregation is made up of three churches that chose to amalgamate in back in 2008. After 10 years together it was time to take a closer look at that the Vision and Mission. One of the goals of the visioning process is to try to create a personal brand and continue to create growth and create ways better ways to communicate and serve the community at large.

The two biggest challenges in communications have been first, finding effective ways to communicate with our ageing “Baby Boomer” members and secondly, how to effectively promote and communicate ‘who we are’ and ‘what we do’ to the public.

Who we are

The congregation is made up primarily of individuals and families that live within a 1-20 km radius to where the church is located. The majority of the members are between 50 and 65 years old (60%) followed by a smaller group of young families under 49 years old with young children (20%) and the much older members over 66 years old (20%).

Current Communicating Challenges

1)      Still using old style technologies to communicate to members– ie. Weekly Email newsletter blasts with pdf attachments.

2)      Majority of the older members use email but don’t engage heavily in Social Media.

3)      Inherited an old and outdated website.

Solutions and new Strategies to increase better existing and a wider audience

  • We currently share information (upcoming services and events)with the majority of our members electronically via email blasts using Gmail with a pdf attachment. While there are no complaints about this way of communicating, we have no way of knowing of monitoring who is reading the information that is sent. Many people won’t make the effort to click on the attachment.

Solution: Move our e-communication from email blast with a pdf to Mail Chimp

  • While we heavily promote our Facebook site as a source of information very few people engage in the Facebook page and have expressed distrust in using Social media and site the reason being the problems “breach of personal information and the idea of people personally oversharing information’ is perceived to be not a good thing.  Today’s news about Facebook’s involvement was not helpful in promoting Facebook as a viable communicating tool (

Solution: Create a Google poll to reach out to all of our members to find out who uses social media and how they would prefer to receive information. 

  • Many non-profit organizations lack funds and expertise in marketing and promotion. A volunteer 8 years ago offers their services for free to set up a simple website in WordPress.  While the events calendar is updated regularly the look and style of the site is now badly outdated, in limited and lacks important features.

Solution: Invest time and resources into recreating a new interactive website with a blog option for engaging the members and public ( if they are not on Facebook) and ensuring all members that are able to easily navigate it and use it as a tool to better promote the organisation to folks that might consider visiting. 

Any other suggestions on how we can better engage the older generation would be helpful! 






Storytelling and Communication Styles Blog #2

Know your audience!

Many years ago I joined a local Toastmasters group to improve my public speaking skills. The first and most important thing we were encouraged to do when crafting a good oral presentation or story was to identify who the target audience would be. Like a good speechwriter, an effective digital storyteller must be able to engage an audience by understanding why they might be interested or willing to read what you have to say. Know your audience.

Why am I writing this?

The second most important element is to clearly identify the purpose of the speech or story. If you have a clear idea of who you are writing for – then the next obvious question is why and what do you hope to accomplish by sharing a story. To be an effective storyteller the story must have a purpose and the purpose needs to be clearly stated. It is intended to be educational or provide historical information is intended to be entertaining or be a call to action? Define what the purpose of your story.

Simple Structure and solid Proofreading

Again, like a good speech, a good story should have a strong beginning or opening statement and clearly state what you hope to share along with the purpose of the article.

It must also have a solid middle, with a few interesting ideas or accurate facts that back up the beginning and a strong ending. One strategy for a strong ending is to begin the story with an end in mind. Consider what you want the reader to do or learn and make it easy to share! Open stong, follow with facts and close with a strong ending. 

To be an effective digital storyteller it is also important to write with clarity, simplicity and with a positive tone with an active voice. Finally, before sharing your story – take the time to closely review grammar and spelling to ensure a professional image – proof and proofread again! 

What I did on My Vacation #1 Blog

Family Fun in Algonquin Park – Achray Provincial Park

The campsite was booked – the canoes were reserved and the trip was on!

On Labour Day weekend a few years ago, our family packed and were on our way to camp in Algonquin Park. We had been invited to share a few campsites with other family friends for the weekend. This was a good thing because we are not experienced campers; rather we are more experienced cottagers and prefer the comforts of indoor plumbing and electricity. Nonetheless, we had committed ourselves to go – so we did.

We headed out of Ottawa and found our way to the Algonquin Park Portage Outfitters to ensure that the canoes and accessories that we had rented would be delivered to our campsite on time. Everything was in good order there so we were off to Achray Provincial Park to join our group of friends.  Achray is located on the east side of Algonquin Provincial Park, about three hours south west of Ottawa, approximately 9 km west of Pembroke, Ontario on Grand Lake.

We found our campsite and tents we put up and supplies were quickly unpacked. The canoes and paddles and lifejackets were delivered – let the exploring begin!  Our first day’s trip was to canoe to High Falls, the Water Slide, and the Barron Canyon. This was a 4hour canoe ride (one way) with a short portage. It was a long for us but when we arrived we were stunned by how beautiful the rapids and falls where. The highlight of the trip was the body surfing at Barron Canyon. The water was warm and high enough to slide down on your back to the bottom!

The next day we canoed and explored Grand Lake in the morning and then after lunch hiked The Jack Pine Trail in the afternoon. This is a 2km trail that takes you to the location where Tom Thomson, one of the Group of Seven’s famous Painters’ was inspired to paint The Jack Pine. This trail begins and ends at the Achray Campground. This location is also one of a series of self-guided historically significant sites featuring the history of the Achray area from 1914 to the present.

This was a special time and vacation for our family for a few reasons. If you have young adult children you will know how difficult it is to get everyone together for a set period of time. They have busy lives, work summer jobs and are preparing to return to school after Labour Day and they don’t always want to hang out all weekend with their parents – but they did and they loved it.  We have never camped as a family before so this was an affordable, safe and fun experience that we all could share together – not to mention the weather that weekend was a balmy 28C and with no mosquitoes!

Have you camped at Achray or visited the Barron Canyon or anywhere else in Algonquin Park? We are definitely planning another trip to somewhere else in Algonquin Park this summer – any suggestions for us?