COM0015: Blog 3 – Professional Networking now and in the future

I believe networking is an important piece of growth in many professions. Working in fundraising for the past 5 years, I believe networking is an integral part of my job. I do not yet feel I have mastered the practice of networking but I certainly am trying to.


Since I began a fundraising career prior to the COVID19 pandemic, I solely focussed my time on attending local networking events. Locally, we had a biweekly take 5 event that would be held as a come and go between the hours of 5-7pm. Many different types of professionals would join in, each week held at a different location and each week, a short presentation on a local business would be held. By joining in on these events, I was able to meet many different people and all of many different ages and professions, gaining knowledge of businesses I may not have even heard of before. In addition, I was also able to begin my very own rolodex of individuals that I could reach out to at a later time should I need to reach out – which proved to be super beneficial when looking for new sponsors and / or donors!

Once the pandemic hit, I will admit that it something I had forgotten about doing or making efforts to do. If I’m being honest, I also felt the effects of not keeping in touch with those I had met in my earlier networking meetings. Since, I’ve opened a LinkedIn account and plan to continue updating my profile with information. In addition, I’m trying to be more vocal from behind a screen in the many different zoom meetings and professional groups I am a part of on many different social media networks.

I believe like social media, networking will continue to open new doors and may have evolving forms to come.

How do you network? Do you have a preference? Any advice?

COM0014: Blog #7 – Personal Reflection


I’ve always felt storytelling is an important piece of day to day living. My dad was an amazing storyteller; although not so great putting words onto paper he had the ability to captivate the audience he was speaking to and well because of this, I sometimes found teachers and speakers rather boring while sharing dry and hard to swallow information (haha) but also because of this, I knew the importance behind communication as my career evolved into holding a marketing presence.

Participating in the Digital Communications course gave me the opportunity to dig down to the basics on not only the importance of storytelling but also understanding how to speak to your audience. A good example of this is speaking passive vs active, ensuring you are clear and concise and to encourage engagement and interaction.

I truthfully don’t know what the future has in store for me or where I may end up when it comes utilizing my digital communication skills but for now, I’m looking forward to continue taking the tools I’ve learned to the small charity I work for. Being a small time organization it has been a challenge to gain new followers and I’m hopeful that by encouraging engagement and putting my storytelling skills to the test, we will be able to grow our platforms and share with the community we live in just how impactful such a small charity can be.

COMM0014 – Blog #6: Do People Know My Story?

Asking myself who am I? What do I do?

These are 2 questions that I’m not sure have simple responses to. I’ve mentioned in blogs before that I am a daughter, a mother, a friend, a wife, a marketer, a fundraiser, and well the list could go on. So who am I really? And who is it I want describe to you today?

Fresh out of high school, I thought I wanted to work with children and so, I enrolled in the Child and Youth Worker program at my local college. I completed 3 years of schooling that gave me background in the social services field however, when it came time to find work, I found myself pondering if I took the right path and if I was where I really wanted to be. At this time, I was getting married and starting a family of my own and truly figuring out who I was at the core.

When our youngest turned 1, I decided I wanted to make a change, so I began working at a local museum doing office administrative work. The hours were great for being a mom, I worked Monday to Friday day shifts and was home on the weekends with my family however, this gig was a contract that there was no further funding for and I landed back at home searching for employment opportunities. I found a posting to my local United Way that I found quite intriguing. They were looking for someone to work in their Essential Services division. This would be a mix of social services and office administration. I quickly applied and was hired for the position and instantly fell in love with the work I was doing for my community.

In time, I was quickly picking up more jobs under the United umbrella, dipping my toes in project management. I gained experience through fundraising campaign initiatives, leading volunteer groups as well as major events. I was approached by local CEO to see if I had any interest in applying for the Fundraising Manager position. This position would be responsible for meeting fundraising goals and overseeing marketing for the organization as a whole. Since I had no formal training in these areas, I was hesitant however, encouraged to apply and well, I did with success!

To date, I have been working as the Fundraising Manger for my local United Way. While I believe there is always room for improvement, I feel that my personal life experiences have truly helped me to adapt to this position. I am continuously learning as I go; by taking new courses, participating in group exercises and networking opportunities. I feel that the potential to grow is endless. I am passionate about the work I do, even in these trying times, I put my best efforts into raising money to support the programs and initiatives in the community I live in. I have always been a person who thrives under pressure and finds new ways to tackle old obstacles. Of course, there are many challenges and obstacles to still overcome, I look forward to seeing the end result.

Have you changed your career path? I’d love to hear your story too!

COMM0014 – Blog 5: Personal Brand

Photo by Eva Elijas on

I’ve been working for a small not for profit for nearly a decade. I’ve climbed the ladder from an entry level to management position and now am overseeing 2 major areas within the organization itself. How did this happen? In all honestly from where I started to where I am now the positions and backgrounds have changed drastically. I’m a Child and Youth Worker who now oversees fundraising and marketing initiatives. This got me thinking.. how and why did I land here doing the work I do?

According to my team, I am a hardworking, dedicated leader who works hard to ensure the goals of the business are met. I’m easy and fun to talk to even when tough conversations need to be had. I’m extremely organized and driven by deadlines. I recognize when good work is done and reward where necessary. And each and every person shared that I am good at conversating and sharing the brand of the business itself.

While getting this feedback makes me feel good about what I am doing how I am visioned by those I work with, it makes me wonder, how do I want to build my brand? How do I want people to see me? Not only as an individual but also as a worker?

I want to be a well respected individual of the community. I want people to know and see the work I’m doing to better help right here where we live as a whole. Since the organization I work for is very much focussed on local initiatives to reduce poverty, it is important to me that I stand out as a change maker for this organization.

Being that one of the main parts of my job is to educate businesses all around the small community I live in, I have the ability to meet and learn the goals and objectives that other local businesses have. I get to see where their priorities are and what they want to see for the community and how we can support those goals with the work we’re already doing.

In order to build the brand of myself I’m looking to create, I work hard to attend and participate in ongoing networking opportunities. I showcase our brand on social media. I listen to what our followers, partners, donors and volunteers want while working to meet their needs to get their support. I want businesses to trust me and the brand I work for.

With all of this, I believe we all can continue to grow, we can all work towards greatness and as I grow and meet goals I set out for myself, I look to create and meet new goals.

I’d love to hear how you brand yourself! What do you do to meet your goals and let yourself shine?

Is social media addiction a real thing?

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The first recognizable social media platform was brought to the world in 1997 with a site called Six Degrees. This site allowed users to upload a profile and make friends with other users. That means social media has been around for over 2 decades. We see it evolving at rapid speed. We see users joining and participating by the minute. I don’t know about you, but in many ways, I feel social media has taken over the world. If its not post worthy, did it really happen?

My first introduction to social media was ICQ, followed by MSN messenger. Since I was a late boomer to getting internet in my home, I was always anxious to visit a friend or hop online at a local library, school, and even internet hub location. I wanted to see what my friends status’s were and who they were talking to. I wouldn’t call this addiction, but fear of missing out as a teen is definitely a real thing that I certainly experienced. As I graduated high school, MySpace was the new big thing. Everyone had a MySpace account. We all worked tirelessly to show off how much fun we were having. Choosing the best music to add to the page. This is when I truly became fascinated and crazed over social media. During College I watched social media continue to evolve, this is when Facebook became the new trend and everyone was using it. As I adapted and got to know and understand all Facebook had to offer, I was hooked. Checking it over and over daily, looking to see photo’s and status updates of friends. Wanting to post and share my life for the world to see how ‘awesome’ I was (or atleast thought I was). Once it became available on my phone, I was constantly online. Chatting, commenting, posting updates, sharing more and more photos.

My question still remains, is social media addiction a real thing?

According to the Addiction Center, social media addiction is considered a behavioral addiction “that is characterized as being overly concerned about social media, driven by an uncontrollable urge to log on to or use social media, and devoting so much time and effort to social media that it impairs other important life areas” (Hilliard, 2021).

Social media addiction is very real. The question “do I have social media addiction?” is a question that is likely pondered by many. “This addiction is driven by a neurobiological pathway known as the dopamine system. Dopamine is released when we eat food, exercise, drink or do drugs, have sex, and also when we have successful social interactions. When our body releases dopamine, it leaves us with a rewarding feeling, making us want to do it over and over again” (Annie Hayes, 2020)

To relate this to social media, lets talk about a time you’ve posted a photo on Facebook or Instagram. Once you’ve posted, how many times do you go back again to see if someone has commented or liked this photo? When people do, it makes us feel good and releases dopamine, leaving us with a rewarding feeling. If it is this easy to feel ‘good’, it makes it equally as easy to keep posting photos. Prolonged use of this can lead to addiction leaving individuals constantly seeking that ‘feel good’.

It is important to be aware of the time you, as an individual, are putting into social media use. If you find you are spending to much time on platforms, there are healthy ways to help you reclaim your screen time. If social media has been used to help relieve depression, loneliness, or stress, it may be helpful to seek help from a professional.

Overall, I believe there are many resources available out there to help anyone who may be suffering, even those who may not realize it. There are plenty of online tools to help guide us in the right direction as well as professionals trained to guide us to healthy path of social media use. Have you ever dealt with social media addiction? Or do you know someone who has? I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback on what has helped!

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COMM0014: Blog Post #4. Just do it?

It is no surprise that social media is one of the top online activities across the world. With millions of users on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok, businesses can reach optimal awareness of their brands. All while encouraging purchases. This could be considered Business to Consumer (B2C) transactions.

I currently do participate in social media use. With that being said, I’m not as ‘up with the times’ as I feel many of the younger generations are. My day to day use is scrolling Facebook and/or Instagram. I of course will watch YouTube videos however, I don’t go scrolling their feed, I go to YouTube when looking to find information and/or if someone I follow has shared a video that peeks my interest.

I decided to dig into Nike as I try to comprehend and understand what Business to Consumer is all about. I expected to find busy social media accounts across multiple platforms. Here is what I found:

Since Facebook seems to be my ‘go to’ social media platform, it was the first place I went to look up Nike. I was surprised to find that when I pulled up the official Nike Facebook page, the last post was made on January 28th, 2018. Putting aside the time gap from their last post, I could see how they were utilizing the success of famous athletes to promote their brand (influencer marketing). Their most recent post from 3 years ago, included a photograph of Roger Fedner wearing a Nike headband, stating he just beat his own record. Basically insinuating that if you wear Nike, you can to! Scrolling along, I see posts including actor Kevin Hart, athletes, Shalane Flanagan, Geoffrey Kamworor, Rafa Nadal, and Eliud Kipchoge all sporting and wearing Nike items. On Facebook, Nike is promoting their brand with influencer marketing.

On Instagram, I quickly learned that the hashtag nike (#nike) has been used over 122 million times. They have an abundant amount of posts including both photos and video where they promote their brand and famous logan “Just do it.”. Their posts include influencer marketing, inspiring quotes, promotion on new lines of product, as well they encourage athletes and teams across the globe.

On YouTube, Nike has many different types of video content, some relating to kids, some relating to skateboarders, snowboarders, hockey, football, working out, etc. One thing most of these videos has in common is encouragement. Encouragement that you can. In addition, they have playlists that highlight things like innovation, Nike for kids, Nike uninterrupted, wellness, and athletes. Nike’s YouTube page is filled with various and positive postings.

Nike is utilizing TikTok regularly. Each video contains someone wearing the Nike brand and like other social media accounts Nike has, the majority of the content is empowering and inspiring. Their feeds are full and they are posting regularly keeping their audience entertained.

Overall, I feel Nike’s presence on Facebook may be lacking, however, I do feel they have a strong social media presence on YouTube, Instagram and TikTok. I think that their inspiring and encouraging posts can go a long way. Not only are they promoting their brand, I found they also support causes like Black Lives Matter. Nike has set a great example of what a B2C social media account might want to look like and I feel even smaller sized businesses may want to adapt some of the strategies Nike has laid out for the world. What do you think? Do you think Nike does a good job with their social media accounts?


Does social media mix with business?

I’ve spent some time talking about the pro’s and con’s of social media; I’ve talked about the pros and cons of individual social media usage, as well as how social media can affect our children and youth of today but one thing we haven’t talked about is the benefits social media has for businesses.

Most organizations and businesses have some form of social media today. Some utilize many different platforms while others may choose to only invest their time in one or two platforms. Some have plenty of content while others may not make many posts. The question remains, why is social media beneficial to a business?

Lets start with talking about the benefits. According to Hootsuite’s blog, there are 22 benefits. Here are a few key benefits I can personally agree with:

  • Increases brand awareness
  • Humanizing your brand
  • Opportunity to keep your business top of mind
  • Opportunity to increase website traffic
  • Audience engagement
  • Free to use
  • It’s both the present and the future

These are just a few examples of how social media use can benefit a business. Since I currently work in a not for profit business, we do not have a large marketing budget; since it was no cost to our organization to create social media accounts, we were able to begin making awareness campaigns. This has proven to be an excellent tool in educating our followers about who we are, what we do, and how they can help. By making content to share your brand at no cost, it can help gain new customers, clients, and donors. If done properly and you are able to provide steady, meaningful content, you have the ability to increase the awareness of your brand while engaging with your audience.

However, like I’ve said before, with all good can come bad. So what are the negatives for a business to use social media? According to Technology HQ, here are a few disadvantages to social media use in a business:

  • Time
  • Hacking
  • Negative comments and feedback
  • Extensive planning
  • Vulnerability

It is no surprise that adding a new strategy will take time. Not only does it take time to create your posts but it also takes time to plan out your content while ensuring it has a steady flow. In addition, by making your posts, social media users have the ability to make comments and sometimes these comments can be negative. Although this is a downfall to social media usage, it also has the ability to turn into a positive by teaching you what people may think of your brand – whether it is a misconception or maybe a true flaw that you had never considered, leaving you with the ability to address the situation and fix the problem should you need to. Lastly, with anything online it is a reality that you can be hacked which could lead to bigger problems.

In todays world, it is my opinion that utilizing social media for a business is essential. However, I do feel it is extremely important to be aware of the cons that can happen. By being aware in advance, your business can be sure to take necessary precautions. What are your thoughts? Do you think it is beneficial to use social media in the business world?

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COM0015: Blog #2 – Strong & Weak Organizations

Social media is continuing to grow at a staggering pace. It is more crucial now for a business to have an active social media presence. By doing so the business will have access to gaining insights, customers, and the ability to grow their reputation.

Strong Organizations:
While social media options have grown there are plenty of tools available for businesses to share their brand with their audiences. I believe what makes an organization strong is how well they connect with their followers. Are they engaging them? Is the content easy to read and does it flow? Are they sharing relevant information? All of these things are big contributors to whether or not an organization is strong or weak. Take ARCH Hospice for example, their website is very easy to follow, it flows and contains important information. I can easily find their social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube and see that they are active on their pages. In addition there website is up to date with important information on what they offer, upcoming events, and various education pieces.

Weak Organizations:
Just because an organization is noted as weak, it doesn’t mean they can’t turn it around. Typically, a weak organization does have a social media presence whether it mean they have a stagnant feed, or they are forgetting to engage with their followers. I spent some time looking up various businesses social media accounts and websites and found that locally, our Air Cadets is lacking a social media presence. I believe there is plenty of opportunity to turn around the 155 Borden Gray GC Squadron social media and online presence. I understand that budget and access to resources are very limited however, there are many free tools that would be able to assist this group. As of now, there has not been a post made to their Facebook account in 7 months, they have never made a post to their Instagram account and I found their website out of date as I couldn’t find any information or restrictions since the pandemic took place.

Businesses across the world are all competing with each other in a sense and in order to remain a top contender with your social media strategy, it is important to make sure you are engaging with your audience and sharing relevant information. How do you ensure your business keeps up with times to remain a strong organization? Do you have any tips?


COM0014: Blog #3 – Target Audiences

Understanding how to “assess and reach your target audience is a critical first step in designing your communication strategy”.

As some of you may already know, I currently work for a small not-for-profit business. The business’s goal is to reduce poverty in the region I live in. In order to achieve our goal of maintaining and gaining new donors, I feel it is important to market our brand and share initiatives in what we do and how we do it while also showcasing the impact the organization has on our community.

Being the employee who oversees the marketing plan, my fear is not sharing our brand effectively. I’ve learned a key piece to avoiding this is by making sure to make posts and website content specific to our target audiences. So how do I this?

I must first be sure to understand my product and what its benefits are. What needs does it fulfill? Once I know this, I can think about who would this most benefit. To better understand the ‘who’, it is important to answer questions as follows. What is the ideal….

  • Gender:
  • Age:
  • Education:
  • Annual Income:
  • Location:
  • Interests:

By considering and understanding the demographics and psychographics of my ideal ‘customer’, I will be able to begin painting a picture of my communication strategy.

In addition to this, it is also important to listen to what my target audiences’ needs are. This is done by listening to clues from this group of people, allowing us to better understand “where they are spending time online, who is in their communities, and what tools they are using to communicate”.

In conclusion, target audiences are important to businesses as they try to share and develop a social media strategy. Businesses should keep in mind that it is important to re-evaluate their targeted audience on a regular basis.

Do you focus on target audiences? If so, I’d love to hear some strategies you use! Let me know in the comments below.


Social Media Use: How to protect our kids

With each passing generation, the use of social media creates an ever-widening rift. We have gone from a small crack to a gaping chasm. What do I mean by this? In a span of less than 20 years we have gone from having 1 in 5 households having access to the internet, to everyone having multiple devices to be able to access online content anytime and almost anywhere. Casual communication platforms have evolved from ICQ and MySpace to more immersive personal social media communications like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. How has this drastic change affected our youth and how can we support future generations? 

From the beginning of social media to today, millennials have faced the brunt of the change. In order to better understand how to support our future youth, I feel we need analyze what happened to millennials, like myself, and learn how to better prepare future generations for the social media world. A few years ago, I watched a YouTube video featuring Simon Sinek (found here). According to his opinion, millennials were at risk of having lower self esteem and lower self confidence and this put this generation in a precarious position when it came to social media. Parents of this generation vowed to do things differently than their heavy-handed upbringing and typically chose to raise their children with the understanding that simply trying was all that was expected. Unfortunately, through no fault of their own, when these millennials transitioned into their careers they abruptly learned simply trying was not necessarily enough. This lead these individuals to a large decline in self-esteem levels and self confidence. This transition was occurring at the exact same time as the explosion of social media.

While social media can provide pleasure and happiness it also has the ability to hurt and destroy one’s self esteem and confidence.  Young people are now equating their online presence to happiness, even when their real world could be the complete opposite. The brain gives a pleasant dose of dopamine whenever a post gets likes, or a friend sends a friendly text message.  However, since dopamine is the same neurotransmitter that the brain gives when smoking, drinking alcohol, or gambling, you can see the dangers of leaving social media experiences with our youth unchecked.  Receiving online criticism often becomes bullying, and many youth have found themselves in a spiral of depression and anxiety trying to navigate the waters. 

So, what does this all mean to me? As a mom of a tween and a teen, I can certainly appreciate the scares associated with social media use in our youth (note – I don’t think its all bad). As a mom with concerns, I can take what I’ve learned (and continue to learn) and implement strategies to best help my kids by enforcing strategies that help them have a healthy relationship with social media. My hope from what I’ve learned on millennials, is to try and break a sense of entitlement while doing my best to protect my kids from the sudden shock of social media vs. reality. Here is a list of things that we are currently implementing in our home:

  • Monitor text message, snapchat messages and other various forms of social media messaging on a regular basis
  • Previewing TikTok videos prior to posting
  • Limiting screen time
  • No secret passwords – all passwords shared with mom and dad
  • Making sure they understand that just because its scene online, it doesn’t make it true
  • Discussing various issues as they arise to ensure my child has a clear understanding of context without being able to hear a persons tone
  • Making sure to reinforce positive behaviours in the real-world and minimizing the importance of things like social media likes and comments
  • Teaching my children to always be conscious of what she shares on social media. Its important that young people know from the beginning that once content is shared, it may follow you forever

As many of us have heard the statement: “it takes a village to raise a child”,  I’m looking to my fellow ‘villagers” (aka all of you), to share what strategies you have in place. What preventative measures are you taking with your tweens/teens and why?


This Is Why You Don’t Succeed – Simon Sinek on The Millennial Generation – Bing video
Why Tween Social Media Use Impacts Well-Being Later (

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