COM0014: Personal Reflection

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  Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.     – Rumi

Stories.

Storytelling holds to be one of the best communication tools.

Lesson 1 emphasizes styling. Telling your story in your own way represents your uniqueness as an individual. One can have multiple styles depending on the audience. Lesson 1 also encourages to first listen in order to grow. Expression is a two-way street with the ultimate goal of connecting.

Lesson 2 taught us the inverted triangle: a method in effectively relaying information. Storytelling is an exchange of knowledge that happens after connecting.

Lesson 3 restates the importance of listening. Because storytelling is a two-way street, who you tell your story to should shape your communication style. The goal after exchanging knowledge is to be understood.

Lesson 4 gave us the dialogues between businesses and consumers, between other businesses, and to government. The way you engage dictates the type of relationship you will create.

To be represented, to express yourself, to learn and understand, and form relationships are all the micro-phenomena that happen through storytelling. Creating online content in your image is forming your digital identity. Acquiring an audience is like making friends. To find out what kind of story you want to tell, you need a bit of soul-searching. Everyone wants to play a unique role in the world. For me, I feel like I want to deepen common understanding between us all. That means, I will be paying most attention to the audience-listening, in order to create content that can clarify, reach out, and eventually break any barrier or negativity.

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COM0015: Networking

 

I have to admit, I don’t really have a networking plan at the moment. I have been out of the loop due to my inability to strike a work-life balance coupled with time management issues. But I have been keeping my social media profiles fairly active and only add new connections when the situation arises — usually from a person-to-person encounter either at work or volunteering.

For the next year, I would like to immerse myself more in my volunteering scene to reignite my interest, develop more skills, and apply what I’ve learned here through the Social Media Certificate program. If you’re interested in global justice advocacy, perhaps you can take these steps I plan to take as well!

  • ONLINE
    Develop my own monitoring profile and stay on top of it every weekend.
    If you recall previous assignments, perusing profiles on interest helps keep you up-to-date and relevant in your industry.
    I’ll be keeping tabs on campaigns and discussions of max. 5 of my favourite organizations and keep a spreadsheet of my monitoring.
    Perhaps I will use HootSuite for this.
  • IN-PERSON
    Attend an OCIC Development & Drinks event (in person).
    This is where “my people” meet. I’ve never been to one but folks in my advocacy circles do.
    Hopefully my monitoring can help me stay in the loop and clue in to the topics discussed. Even though I may not be aware of it all, the advocacy community is great in filling you in.
    Sharing is caring!
  • ONLINE
    Refine my personal brand.
    Is my current personal brand cohesive with my advocate identity? Not so much because I haven’t incorporated this side of me into my online identity.
  • IN-PERSON
    If you volunteer for an organization, volunteers usually meet out of the usual meeting times for team building. This past year, I have missed out on a lot. I plan to attend more because I know from the past when I connected more often, that going forward is so much easier when you’re well-connected, in touch, and conversing!

Networking can seem frightening. It’s getting your physical and online selves out there and mingling. One thought to think of though is… free food! Like hors doeurves? Donuts? Yeah… 🙂

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Do it for the hors d’oeurves! (Source)

COM0015: The strong and the weak

STRONG

Do you listen to Hot 89.9? I do. Every morning. For over 10 years!
I decided to highlight one of Ottawa’s top radio stations because I find the DJs and their promotions very engaging and inviting. They mention social media accounts quite often so I wanted to know if they’re engagement transcends onto the digital space. From my findings, Hot 89.9 has strong social media skills! DJs encourage discussions on air to be continues online.

Facebook
296K Likes

They post regularly and every couple of hours.
Each DJ posts on the page and signs their name on their behalf.
They do not forget to stay true to their medium (music) through posts with music-related topics.
They engage in conversational topics.
They participate in trends (conversation pieces during their shows)
Overall, they maintain a friendly and positive vibe.

Twitter
42.6K followers @newhot899, individual DJs have 10K+ followers

Most DJs are active.
Twitter engagement is sometimes discussed on air.
DJs are often consistent in posting on all platforms

Instagram
10K followers
Cohesive but more about events and its updates

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On Instagram, there are updates on their Bras Across The Bridge fundraiser for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation

Outreach
Hot 89.9 posts current events, affiliates, and interactions throughout the city
Concerts, contests, updates, news, charities, fundraisers — all are posted on all platforms

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They even have apps!

WEAK

I decided to stick to another radio station – CFRA. A radio station that is a news outlet rather than about music. They have a much more serious appeal but should still have a social media plan as they have also relevant information for the well-informed listener.

Facebook
10.5 K Likes

Regular posts on current events.
Fair amount of relevant topics and asking audience opinions.

Twitter
28K followers

Mostly retweets.
Original tweets are mostly news prompts.
Little information on CFRA team and its outreach.

Instagram
No Instagram.

Outreach
Very few.
Reposting of other city events.
I realize that they are not a station full of endorsements and prized like Hot 89.9 but they could still have more audience engagement.

Why I believe CFRA is a weak organization in terms of social media is that I don’t get a distinct brand from other local news sources. They fail to form a unique identity that as a whole, they are not that far off from a retweeter bot or third-party news outlet gathering local news for Ottawa.

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I thought I would look at their slogan to get a feel of their brand… only to find out it was “News. Talk. Radio” lol

I still like CFRA though. Because they’re so informative!

COM0014: Do people know your story?

We were asked to choose a question posed by John Janstch in his marketing piece “Do People Know Your Story?”.  Storytelling has and always will be a great marketing message. The question I chose is

                                           What is your industry’s greatest flaw?

This is not really my industry but is a field that I am involved in: global justice advocacy.
A girl in Kenya travels more than 10 kilometres every day to get water. An Indian boy skips school to work at the scarf factory to have enough food for the week. Nearly  20 000 children under 5 years old die every year because they didn’t get basic vaccines that cost mere pennies. How do these stories make us feel? This is the Global South and we’re not a part of it.

When a cause is introduced to us, usually storytelling is a way to get attention, sympathy, understanding and support. But what the industry usually fails to do is carry us through the journey of making sense of it all, accepting the injustice, and potentially taking a step towards change. Millions can share that video of a stranded dolphin on a receding coast line because of climate change. It’s sad and emotions are shared everywhere. But what next? There’s a gap and this is the industry’s greatest flaw.
It’s a difficult flaw to improve because you can’t change human nature. The Us vs. Them narrative gets in the way. Being that change you wish to see in the world is a very complicated movement!

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The Arab Spring (source)

COM0014: Personal Brand

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Just joking. Well, this is a hard blog topic. Thanks, Leanne!

I am a hodge-podge whose ideas seem to magically make sense. I watch Wendy Williams in the morning and watch Steve Paikin at night. My bestie is a hijabi while I myself am non-religious. Everyone is surrounded by opposites of all sorts and I hope my personal brand can speak to making sense of it all. I would like to represent myself as someone who can relate to old, young, trendy, and conservative audiences, with an open heart and mind. My worldview and voice is not that different from any other Millenial or Digital Native. What sets me apart is a conviction for common understanding.

While my work is purely in technical science, I pursued this Social Media program to satisfy an interest in social dynamics that I’ve always had. I still believe the ideals that were taught to me in Grade 3.

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With everyone online and communicating, there’s a huge potential to work together and I don’t want to miss out on it.

My best trait is creativity. Piecing different ideas together in various ways comes naturally to me. With this trait, combined with my various interests, maintaining that open mind and heart is a side effect.

🙂

COM0014: B2C Case Study

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Orange. Be orange. Just because.

*B2C = Business to Consumer

Selling oranges

I decided to see the recent election campaign as a B2C model. Based on the lecture notes, the criteria of this interaction seems to apply: a political party tries to understand, empathize, respond to needs and concerns, focus on how lives can be improved and show how their product (in this case, platform) is great.

I will use the critique on how the NDP lost voters using the common B2C mistakes.

Mistake #1. Failing to Monitor
As suggested, conversations cannot be controlled. With the push of apples (Liberals) claiming they are the change needed and promoting strategic voting against the blueberries (?), the NDP should have been quick to counter the rise of the movement before it became a huge influence.

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Apples are more abundant and hardier than oranges. That’s a fact.

Mistake #2. Expecting instant results
In the summer, NDP was at the top. With two months left, they started to decline in favourability. What did they do differently to try to come back up? They stuck to their guns by choosing the least favourable stances on certain issues without trying to change the hype to something else other than the niqab. Seriously, why did we spend over a month talking about that…

Mistake #3. Failing to invest sufficient resources
Maybe there was significant effort, but from my end, I didn’t see it. Somewhere during the campaign, it was a war only between apples and blueberries and this dynamic continued. Oranges just weren’t fitting into the mix and something had to be done. They needed pointers from Apple’s marketing team. Apple the tech company – not apples as in Liberals… this fruit metaphor is failing me.

Mistake #4. Focusing Internally
This ties to Mistake 1 and 2. There wasn’t enough effort to counter what happened in the past few months. The message from apples were getting stronger and stronger and the trending topics from the blueberries made oranges look way uncool. If you’re looking uncool, you gotta switch it up!

Mistake #5. Not building networks or using syndication
This means not using your social media tools to its full potential. I think every party tried its best with this, but perhaps the value of the content is what separated them from each other – also tying in to Mistake #6. I looked at what each party leader tweeted in the past few weeks leading up to election day.
Here’s an Oct. 14/15 comparison:

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Oranges had the more ‘internally focused’ message. Apples were doing more comparing making it clear that they are more ‘abundant and hardier’. Large and direct messaging from the bluberries made the orange message pretty weak.

Here’s a September comparison:
september

There were a few comparisons with other parties done by NDP but the target was more towards blueberries – not apples, their main competition.

Lastly,
Mistake #6. Ignoring synergy between media campaigns
The comparisons above doesn’t seem to help orange sales go up. Like the first image of this post, oranges were confident to be orange and believed their orangeness was enough. While blueberries seem to do this as well, it worked for them because they were on a league of their own (on the other end of the spectrum) and didn’t have similar opponents.

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Behold. I am the blueberry. There’s no one else quite like me. Come on blueberry lovers, let’s start an army!

Again, sorry for the fruityness. I tried to not make it sound too political and more objective to focus on the B2C dynamic.

Image source: oranges apples blueberry

COM0014: Targeting students for change

LOOKING AT LIFESTYLES

The subject I’ve chosen is social justice advocacy and the target audience that I’m particularly interested in are students in high school and University. The ages span from late teens to mostly young adults in their 20s meaning that studies, social life, and budding careers take precedence. Hobbies and involvement in extra-curricular activities can be appealing to this audience if they contain fun or involve social benefits. Social justice advocacy isn’t exactly social or about fun, so this is a challenging niche to sell for Millenials.

Me: Hey guys, did you hear about the UN’s Sustainable Goals?
Row of five friends using cellular phones smiling

“Um… no.”

TO CARE + TO LEARN Being an advocate for an issue or cause involves getting informed on a particular topic. This means more reading and learning which would NOT be appealing to students. The approach has to first catch attention and evoke interest and passion for the cause like any marketing strategy for a particular product. One campaign that did successfully this was KONY 2012 (as controversial as it is). The campaign video was very well done, had emotional pull, and was picked up by many celebrities that helped cause it to spread virally.

+ TO DO
Advocacy involves a call to action. This can be writing a media piece or set up a meeting with the mayor. The level of involvement can be time-consuming and can be scary or uncomfortable for some. This is why youth are often termed as “slacktivists” or “passive” when it comes to social issues especially lately in the media around voting. One step in a social movement is awareness and discussion and youth can play a very significant role in this. #BellLetsTalk created an open discussion about mental health. With organizations willing to match dollar values with social mentions, it has been a successful campaign so far.

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Global Citizen had a #ShowYourSelfie campaign. This was such a smart campaign
as the selfie was used as a personal stamp, putting a face to a believer of a cause,
while it was encouraged to be sent to a decision maker or someone in power.

Looking at the lifestyles of the target audience is a key component. Students have busy lifestyles and can’t financially contribute much towards fundraisers and events. Campaigns need to be convenient and not too intrusive. They are also involved in what’s current and so the marketing around it has to be strategic whether it be short, colourful, controversial, bold, or have celebrities involved.

COM0014: Communication Styles

Micro pyramids

As the lesson pointed out, people have short attention spans and skim. Content has been formulated around this human nature and best practise is to write the main information first before attention drifts.

BASE
Headlines of online articles or news outlets have somewhat replaced the inverted pyramid base. They all seem to be attempts at encapsulating all the information in a catchy or controversial way.

MIDDLE
After the main message has been delivered, the reader is hooked with pertinent but not crucial information. Magazine articles divert the eye from all the finer texts with panels or quotes in colourful text.

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Catchy quote.

TOP
How to end a written piece? I thought about memes and how they’re used so effectively in engaging the reader. Memes I have seen usually bring a common emotion that the readers should share after reading the content. They are the ba-dum-psh! or the womp womp. Don’t you think?

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You. Not impressed. (Grumpy cat meme)

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‘Rage faces’ were all the rage.

As you can see, I am pro memes.

Sources of short written content like Buzzfeed seem to use mini forms of inverted triangles with a very catchy title for the ‘article’ followed by multiple one-liner sentences each followed by a GIF or a meme. Learning about the inverted triangle got me to notice how now our content still follows its theory but with all other trends, also became micro in its structure.

COM0014 – Blog 1. My Vacation

This wasn’t technically a vacation.
But I did go to a place far, far away that removed me from everyday experiences.
For work, we have to “map the land!” as they call it. I assist geologists and they LOVE rocks and want to know how rocks transition all over Canada, even in the most remote places, which is why we camped in the middle of nowhere for 5 weeks! In a tent.
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How to get there
The first step is going to Iqaluit. It’s so up north and Iqaluit was my first taste of northern beauty. It’s surreal being in a small community surrounded by pure nature just a few kilometres outside the trail you’re walking on. Of course I found a place to shop – check out these fashion sealskin mitts!

A photo posted by Rochelle Buenviaje (@orcelb) on Jun 30, 2015 at 2:07pm PDT

You then take a flight to the small community of Rankin Inlet. Population: ~3000. We flew over the top of Hudson Bay. That’s how I spent Canada Day. We flew over ice rafts and made me appreciate the vastness of our country! After Rankin Inlet, we then had to go to the tiny hamlet of Chesterfield Inlet. Population: ~300!
From Rankin, we then had to take an Otter plane to the camp site.

What my job entailed isn’t probably going to interest you but the cool thing about it is riding a helicopter everyday. We would go out for the whole day, either trekking or “bopping” (helicopter stops over large distances) visiting sites of interest. Let me tell you that the north is full of GRANITES! We can supply the whole solar system with granite countertops, no problem. This is all granite (below).

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Some days we would hike, stop… say “granite” all day. Metals occur very sparsely. Did you know that it takes over 4 garbage trucks worth of rock to produce one gold wedding band?

When we visited sites nearer Hudson Bay, the pilot would take us near polar bears. Inside a helicopter is probably the closest we can ever be near one. It’s hard to think that these jiggly fluff bears are vicious and can tear you apart in minutes.

A video posted by Rochelle Buenviaje (@orcelb) on Jul 28, 2015 at 3:31pm PDT

Well, when I got back, I obviously had to do errands. The first few times I had to go to the bathroom and my first instinct was to find a large rock outcrop to hide behind!

 

The north is a beautiful place. The tundra is immense. Canada is huge!
I do long to go back and I probably will next summer… just not looking forward to the tent flapping constantly from the wind for 5 weeks straight.

COM0011: Intro Takeaways

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COM011 BLOG POST #6

 

This course has opened my eyes to a LOT.  Learning about social media is NOT how to use Facebook or how to tweet as many think a social media course is about.  Little do they know, it’s deeply understanding how we now communicate and all the intricacies behind these interactions.  It’s knowing how to uphold the digital identity for people and products and all of the implications concerning perception to profit. Here are a few of my personal takeaways, from an INTRO course(!):

  • You are a brand.
    Your brand will have a specific type of audience.  There’s no such thing as knowing too much about brand and audience. These two dictate content. Consistency, authenticity, and relevance strengthens the brand.
  • Avoiding the faux-pas of social media will save your butt.
    You can either be squeaky clean or push the limits and own it, but NEVER be offensive or vulgar. Unless you want haters.  This greatly applies to businesses and public figures.
  • Engagement can take you all the way.
    A business cannot reply to ALL customer feedback just as how an MP cannot reply to all of its constituents…or can they? It is necessary to analyze how one fares in engagement.  Knowing how you fare can help allocate resources and implement new systems. Promotion can only get you so far.
  • Social media efforts can also flourish offline.
    For businesses and public figures: Direct contact with your audience strengthens the relationship: networking, events, conferences, tables, outreach, fundraisers, etc. Engagement can’t be done all online.
  • Popularity and influence is now a measurable science.
    Hashtags. Keywords. Links. Clicking. Tracking. Analytics. Search Engine Optimization tactics. Return On Investment. Referral traffic. I am listing because I don’t really know too much lol. I should be able expand on this after COM0012.
  • Personal vs. Professional identity is gray area.
    Both identities will be limited if combined under one profile.  Unless you’re a comedian like Ellen, it will be hard to pull off.  Separate them if you are a private person or want to be expressive without bounds. Combine them if you post things you wouldn’t care if the public knew.
  • Stay on top of the social media evolution to survive!
    Facebook is now over 10 years old, and Twitter just turned 8.  Within a decade, how the world communicates is very different – and it is still changing!  Social media giants are partnering up, merging, and acquiring other companies and this will influence and further change how communication will be done in the future.
    Following blogs and sites can help keep you up to speed (with Twitter bios):

    • FastCompany
      …business media brand; inspiring readers to think beyond traditional boundaries & create the future of business
    • Mashable
      News, resources, inspiration and fun for the connected generation
    • Visual.ly
      The coolest visual content brought to you by the world’s best creatives
    • TechCrunch
      Breaking Technology News And Opinions
    • WIRED
      WIRED is where tomorrow is realized
    • MakeUseOf
      We’re a bunch of geeks from all over the world, trying to find the absolute best things YOU can make use of

 

What are your takeaways? Who and what do you follow to help you stay on top of the social media frenzy?