Blog Post #3 – Professional Networking Now and in the Future

As a communications professional and graphic design freelancer, networking is definitely important because these connections can bring me new opportunities and knowledge.

Although I haven’t gone full force on my networking, I do have a game plan to expand it.

Online professional network
So far, my communications online network is heavily based on LinkedIn – a great number of former colleagues, former managers and even strangers in the comms field. On the graphic design side of things, my network really started off with friends and then mutuals through either word of mouth or social media (Instagram). Instagram helped a lot because the platform does suggest people to follow, and the hashtags help with the expansion.

In order to continue to expand this online network, I am thinking that I should actually interact with the people I make connections with. Activity-wise, I think it would be worth looking for virtual conferences or webinars that are geared toward communications professionals and/or digital arts.

In person

My in person professional network, for both communications and graphic design currently consists of former colleagues, friends and mutuals. The main way I have come to expand my network in person is by cultivating positive relationships with colleagues at different workplaces. By doing that, they often keep me in mind when they come across something that may relevant to me (ex. a job opportunity, freelancing opportunity, new tools, etc.). As mentioned on the online side of my networking, I could attend in person conferences to meet new people. I also think that art workshops, art related events could help me find people alike.

Blog #1 – Tool and Sources

In terms of social media listening and monitoring, the first two tools that come to mind are Google Alerts and Twitter.

My favourite sources of news and updates are Twitter and news websites, mainly CBC and CTV. 

What I like about Twitter is that often times you can follow a story as it’s developing because journalists are writing about it on the go and it’s available live rather than waiting for an article to be posted by news outlets. In my current role as a social media coordinator in a healthcare organization, Twitter becomes useful to pick up on topics that relate to the profession, other provincial associations and to get opinions on topics ex. mental health in healthcare workers and burnout.

On the entertainment side, you get to see what everyone is saying in real time during big events or when a popular show is airing on TV. You can monitor the popularity of a topic via hashtags or keywords, through both the “Top Tweets” or “Recent Tweets” tabs.

My second source is news websites. On the day to day, I like to check what’s being talked about, with no specific topic in mind. This tool is pretty important when taking on my social media coordinator role as because I go through the news to see if there is some content worth sharing to members or to our Director of Advocacy.

Blog Post #7: My Personal Reflection

This course has allowed me to see the importance of knowing who you want to reach when creating social media content- their age, their interests, their lifestyles and more. Confidently identifying a target audience throughout this course was a little challenging for me but I am now more comfortable at coming up with useful information. 

I learned that having a personal brand that isn’t necessarily overly polished will potentially convey more authenticity than not. Another takeaway from this course was the work on our personal brands and trying to describe it – I think in general, I don’t often self reflect on my personal brand (let alone “brag” about my qualities or even ask others about their perception of me.

Lastly, I learned that the story you tell is important but the way you tell it is even more crucial. In this day and age of social media, the average person doesn’t have a long attention span and so you need to capture their attention with precise, concise and relevant content – it will take some trial and error and continuous tweaking before getting your social media strategy can become very effective.

Blog #6: Do People Know Your Story?

“What about your childhood shaped you for this moment?”

As you may know, your childhood has a big impact on your adulthood – memories, personality traits and even behaviours. Some things stick, some for the better or the worse. I definitely have something good that stuck!

My childhood was a little hectic but a major piece that I remember is my love for art. My earliest art related memory was from first grade, where I drew (traced) my very first Pokémon drawing and it turned out AMAZING (or at least in my young mind).

That snowballed into me drawing almost daily, up until I reached university – unfortunately I did not study in arts. I ended up in Communications, which I liked, and little did I know would be revisiting my childhood passion.

Somewhere along my university journey, my love of drawing died out and I was saddened by it. After graduating from Comms, I took it upon myself to find a way to motivate myself to rekindle that childhood love. I ended up completing a graphic design certification that same year – whew, it was hard for me to get back into the creative groove, but I made it.

My childhood love of drawing pushed me to pursue arts throughout high school, and then in postsecondary studies (graphic design certification) to finally end up being a freelancing designer.

What about your childhood shaped you for this moment?

Blog #5, Personal Brand

When it comes to my personal brand, I think that I have two brands. My professional brand and my personal (family and friends) one. Although a little different, they are both genuine versions of myself.

I’ve decided to take note a  few qualities that blend between the two areas:

  • knowledgeable
    In the personal aspect, I’m the go-to person for a number of things, I even have an “aka” now, Google. Because I can find information quickly, I know Ottawa like the back of my hand (so Google maps). At work, I am the main person taking on our graphic design. When other colleagues create their work, they often will ask me to take a look, or to give suggestions (I am not in a Manager or Senior role, so that must mean something).
  • helpful
    I am always willing to help , especially family when they need me. Whether it be to bring my grandmother to do her groceries or helping my mom navigate technology. In a work setting, this quality often comes into play when a colleague feels comfortable enough to ask me for assistance because I continue to reassure them that giving a hand is something i’m always willing to do.
  • anticipator
    Maybe this is due to my previous experiences in customer service or just something I’ve always had, but I am pretty good at anticipating someone’s needs (future request even) and so I act early. Whether it be to help a friend or a colleague, I try my best to be one step ahead to help. 

Looking into my qualities and asking about them was an interesting – I was happy and also positively surprised on the feedback.

Do you have a quality you didn’t think was part of your personal brand?

Blog Post #4 : B2C Case Study, Fenty Beauty

With our daily involvement in B2C transactions with multiple businesses, it could sometimes be tricky to see who stands out. For this case study, I wanted to look into the, well known cosmetic brand of Fenty Beauty.

Since September 2017, Fenty Beauty has taken the cosmetic world by storm. The brand was launched by renowned Bajan-American singer Rihanna. With an already incredibly large fan base, her brand had a great start, but there was definitely more that contributed to its success.

This company has a good social media presence – Instagram, Twitter, Tiktok and Facebook. From these platforms, Instagram is definitely where most of the magic happens, with a total of 1.1M followers.

There are a few reasons why I feel their use of social media helps their B2C transactions/engagements:

Diversity & inclusion

This company has been built on the idea of diversity and it translates in their products and content. They changed the game by launching 50 shades of shades to make sure everyone can feel included and their social media content reflects that. Every week, they post people (more often influencers) that use their products – these people are from different backgrounds and come from different communities. This brand also pushes their inclusion by having their models

Instagram: FentyBeauty

Choice of content

As a brand trying to sell to customers, their content is very product driven. From posting the new items with extra flair, having Rihanna share how she uses the product, to reposting someone from the community using the product. With the new store feature on instagram, purchasing a product is two-clicks away!


Across the different platforms, you will notice that they comment on pictures/posts they get tagged in in a very friendly way.

This brand is continuously expanding, especially with its sister brands Fenty Skin and Fenty Savage. Maybe even Fenty Baby now that Rihanna has entered motherhood! Now that will be another brand worth making a B2C case study.

Blog Post #3 – Target Audience, Instagram Page

The object of my target audience research is a nursing student lifestyle Instagram page that I helped brand, @k.nursingchronicles. 

Her page is essentially a place where she shares her journey as a nursing student, and later on, as a registered nurse. Her content, consists of mini quizzes/fun facts, studying tips, student lifestyle and more.

The demographics of her target audience are young women, between 18-30 years old that are about to start their postsecondary nursing studies, and new nursing grads. They are Canadian and/or American and are English speaking. 

The audience’s personality type is are connectors – they seek other people from the nursing community to share relatable experiences and to get inspired to pursue their career. They are often sharing each other’s content and engage via comments.

They are interested in a healthy lifestyle (work life balance, working out, etc), they like trends (ex. fashionable scrubs, customized nursing tools). They are interested in the healthcare issues and healthcare breakthroughs all while advocating for their fellow healthcare workers. 

Her audience is most engaged when asked to share their experiences as a nursing student, notably via their stories. Considering that they are students, often doing long an unpaid internships, they tend to be drawn to useful giveaways, ex. a stethoscope, access to study ressources.

Blog #2: What I’ve Learned About Storytelling

As you may know, storytelling has been a societal practice for ages. We experience it and practice it perhaps daily, even it’s not necessarily writing fictional content. This week I learned that there are different communication styles that contribute to telling a good story. Here are the styles that I have placed in order of importance, in my opinion.

First, the use of “The Inverted Pyramid” approach.  This seems like the most important to use because it organizes your information/content. The most important information is at the very beginning to capture your audience’s attention. 

Second, I think that the conciseness of the content and the way it is broken down visually (ex. multiple headlines, extra space) will encourage readers to make an effort to read over skimming. At first glance, someone is most likely to read an article that looks shorter and broken up – as mentioned in our lesson, internet readers average a pretty low attention span.

Third, is the grammar/spelling/punctuation. As explained in our lesson notes, poor writing/multiple misspelled words will definitely take a toll on the reader’s attention span and willingness to read further. 

Although this isn’t an extensive list of all the elements that contribute to good storytelling, they are definitely essential. Lastly, we learned that a call to action is important in encouraging your audience to engage with your content.

COM0014-Blog#1: Once upon a time in Jamaica

Once upon a time (summer 2019), I went on vacation in a land not too far away, Jamaica. This was a trip that I was so looking forward to because I wanted to have a non all inclusive experience in the Caribbean.

For this two week trip, I joined my partner and his mother, and we stayed by his aunt’s place located at the very top of the hills of Kingston. The drive up and down these hills were insane. The paths were narrow, people drove fast and confidently. the view was gorgeous.

There were many highlights to this trip, honestly. 

First one is the nice ride I took on the river, Old Road St.Ann, on a warm morning. We took a “secret path” that led us to this beautiful empty beach, which led us to this activity in the picture. The man followed the current of the river, put some music along the ride. I was so impressed by the beauty of the nature and by the strength the man had to be doing this all day… in the HEAT.

Highlight number two. The food, of course! I finally got the chance to try some famous KFC chicken. I know what you’re thinking: KFC really? Hey, I didn’t think much of it either at first, but my partner and his Jamaican friends insisted that it was nothing like our Canadian KFC. All I have to say is, it’s true to the hype and I understand why there were huge lineups at almost every location. Oh, I also went to Devon House Ice cream, and that was delicious. Take note, Devon House is considered the best ice cream in Jamaica!

I absolutely loved the street food – one night, it was about 3AM and we came across a man parked to the side with his BBQ grilling some chicken, pork. I was so surprised to see someone working so late on a very quiet road. Needless to say that food was the perfect way to end our night.

Highlight three. We went to a surprise birthday party for my partner’s uncle and it was such a good time! It was themed, blue and white, and was hosted on a military base.

Highlight four. There was a carnival themed party we attended one night. Whew, they sure can party until much, much later than we do here.

There were so many more highlights but all in all, this is a trip that I will do again because it definitely felt like home. Is there a trip you’d do all over again?

Twitter, I choose you!

As of today, I think most people have a presence on an array of social media platforms. Some use many daily, or even have a preference. In my case, I hop between platforms daily between work and personal interest. Do I have a preferred platform ? Definitely, and I choose Twitter. Here’s why:

Live tweeting through shows/events
If you’re active on Twitter, you may have noticed that on the day of special events, new episode release, etc. Twitter uses tweet through it. Hashtags are created for the respective events and people live tweet and share comments/thoughts/opinions. Often times the official account of the show or even cast members will join in on the live tweeting, and that’s always a good time. That means if you can tune in on time, enjoy the show and if you’re late beware of the potential spoilers! The live tweeting experience is often seen as watching a show/event as a family, seriously.

Screenshot of respective hashtags for premieres/trending topics

News and Explore Tab
I like that Twitter is usually one of the first platforms to get the details on a story. Lots of politicians and journalists use the platform and that results in real-time content. For example, you will find journalists attending a court session live tweet the session before they may even have the time to update the article online. I also like that on the Explore tab, you’ll find categories of content.

Screenshot of the Twitter “Explore” tab

I like that my timeline consists more of text, and an overall variety of (often funny) content. If I were to compare my Twitter experience to when I use Instagram for example, I can say that I don’t feel like it’s influencer centered. You scroll through conversations, polls, videos, and some photos on an array of topics. With the ability to retweet and “quote retweet”, you can fill your own timeline with content you want all while sharing it with your followers. 

Overall, the same way different platforms can bring value on a professional level, they can also be just as valuable on a personal level. Despite having a preference for Twitter, I will still be a serial media user, a term I decided to illustrate someone that’s on multiple platforms at once.

If you’re active on social media, what’s your go-to platform?

Twitter: 3 reasons why you join Twitter if you haven’t already –

Facebook: Looking to get familiar with a new platform? Check out why Twitter should be your next stop: