Blog # 6 – Thank you

The last blog for this course, it doesn’t seem possible but it is true. I leave this course with mixed feelings. I  leave with more knowledge than I started with, but I feel I haven’t reached the same level others have. This is my homework for the summer and I will spend time mastering my comfort level blogging.

I remember we were only required to comment on two blogs or discussion postings. I followed those instructions to a “T” and only did the bare minimum. I realize that has been my loss and I have missed out on some great posts, and lots of valuable information. I have spent the last week reviewing blogs from earlier postings and I have come across some really interesting blogs and views.

Tonight I read one about a couple struggling with infertility and that brought me to tears. That  took a lot courage to share your journey and I wanted to thank you for telling your story. A happy ending with the birth of your beautiful twin boys.

Rob, thank you for being a great leader with all your gentle reminders and firm when needed.

To my fellow classmates and bloggers – thank you!

Enjoy your summer and cheer loud for the boys of summer – GO JAYS GO!

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Blog #5 – Time for another one

Well it has been another busy week, major assignment due, and  another blog too! Yup, kind of late on the blog.

Let’s just ease in to this one, and talk about the weather.

I live in an area that was hit hard this past week, but I only lost my power for an hour. I have a friend whose parents lost their power Thursday at 10:00 pm, and it finally came back on Sunday around 4:00 pm. We love our parents, but when they have to come live with you after twenty odd years of being away from them, it is a challenge.

I have another friend who posted on Facebook that her power finally came on yesterday at 5:00 pm. Communities to the north of me are still without power, their estimated time for having their power restored is April 1, 2016. That is crazy!

This is how I measured the power restoration in my area. Yesterday on my way to work, I counted twenty large Hydro One trucks and four pick up trucks heading in the direction of where I just left. Today, I only counted six large Hydro One trucks, and about four independent trucks towing a wood chipper – things are definitely improving!

Not to make light of the hardships that people have gone through in this past week, but we sure have experienced a roller coaster ride in the weather department lately. You just don’t know what you will get from one day to the next. To top it off, the weather announcers are getting it right more times than not!

Mother Nature and Social Media have similarities both are powerful and both need to be respected.

 

 

Blog 4 – Let’s talk Lesson Four

Here we are again, time for another post about what we have just learned in Lesson 4 – Introduction to Social Media Measurement and Monitoring.

This was an interesting lesson, and it made me look at the company I currently work for. We are a retailer, and we have stores all across Canada.

In 2015 the corporation went through the process of rebranding, and early 2016 they relaunched the website. I was thinking this was the perfect opportunity to see what networks we use, and if they are applying what I have been learning in this course.

Our office is open concept, and the marketing/communications department is one row over. I see them constantly taking pictures, and low and behold after booting around on the corporate site, I found the pictures they were taking on the different networks we use.

When I started four years ago, we had a website and we posted YouTube videos on our site, that was it.

Currently we use Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. I noticed all four networks are currently showing the same pictures. I listed Instagram first, since it is listed first on our website, and it appears to have the most activity.

We post lots of pictures showing all the products we sell. The photos are all nicely staged, and they correspond with the current holidays, but I don’t see a lot of engagement from us. We have comments or tweets from people about our products, and we also have  pictures of things you can make using the products we sell.

I am afraid we have the mentality of an old school marketer, which is one-way communication. I believe the marketing/communications team is trying to get into the different social media networks, and they are putting out a lot great pictures showcasing our products, but there isn’t a lot of substance to the posts. It appears to me we do not have a social media strategy.

We are definitely new in the land of social media and given time we will grow and establish our presence in the different social media networks. Right now we appear lost and have to find our way.

COM0011 Blog #3 – Introduction to Social Media

Here we are in our third post – 49 days left to the end of the course. It has been a very interesting journey. I am amazed by some of the blogs that I am reading, so many people write very well, and are very passionate about their beliefs.

Me, I find I am struggling still. I haven’t jumped in with both feet, and to be honest I am intimidated by some of the different social media networks. My children, have twitter accounts, I signed up for one before they did, but they have mastered it and I haven’t. They use Snapchat all the time, I wasn’t even aware of Snapchat until a couple years ago. I just read a little about Snapchat, and my age bracket usage for  Snapchat is less than two per cent. I think they use Snapchat more than Instagram. They seem to be able to master and adapt to new social media networks without any difficutly. I like to understand things, and to make sense of it.

I  found our Personal Branding Assignment #2 a challenge; I hate talking about myself, or selling myself. I understand and grasp the concept of what the assignment was all about, but I found it difficult to sell me.

Now in lesson four we are looking at measurement and monitoring, and the five w’s of social media listening. People saying good things = good…yeah! Google analytics, measuring traffic to your website, SEO and ROI – the bottom-line.

If I understand correctly, measurement is harder to determine when it comes to social media. Social media is  about driving traffic to a website but it is also about engaging, and talking – two way communication. This is not an easy thing to  measure, it is hard to put numbers to human interactions and conversations.

I just find summarizing the lessons helps me retain the information, but I always seem to have more questions than answers.

COMM0011 Blog#2 – Introduction to Social Media

COMM0011 Blog #2 – Introduction to Social Media

I found Lesson 3 very interesting. I am a former municipality worker, and I worked on contract for eight years in the Economic Development Office. I worked with entrepreneurs who wanted to start or expand their businesses.

Social Media was just coming into play for these up and coming entrepreneurs. I do remember my fellow colleagues signing up for an introduction to social media course that was offered through the University of Waterloo. At this time the focus was more on websites for small businesses, and live chat forms. I don’t think they even realized how important social media would become to entrepreneurs.

I was involved with the new design of our website, and was the content manager for the site. Our main focus was to keep it simple, user friendly and appealing to the different cultures within the municipality. We accomplished this, but that was four years ago and times have changed so much. I took a look at the site now, and the use of bigger buttons, more colours and not so many links is how it is designed now.

I remember only one person was allowed to use twitter, and the only other form of social media used were videos that were posted to the website. The city currently uses Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

The process seems so slow for this particular municipality, and I am sure the internal processes and the steps required to post one thing must be endless. It would be interesting to see if other municipalities have adopted a more proactive approach to social media.

I wonder how much two-way communication is really accomplished?

Social Media from a PR Student’s Perspective

What is Public Relations?

The Canadian Public Relations Society defines public relations as:

Public relations is the strategic management of relationships between an organization and its diverse publics, through the use of communication, to achieve mutual understanding, realize organizational goals, and serve the public interest.
(Flynn, Gregory & Valin, 2008)

Overview

I have been studying Public Relations through the University of Victoria, and I will graduate in June. I hope to become a Public Relations Specialist within the year, so yes, I am looking for a career change.

What I have found very interesting between this course and my Public Relations courses is, the main focus is two way communication. The basis for Public Relations is to engage, listen, act on your findings, and serve your publics through two way communication. Public Relations is low cost, and social media is a low cost medium to reach your publics.

Comparing Public Relations to Marketing, Marketing is or has been focused purely on the push method, or one way communication. We learned about this in Lesson One how marketers approach their target audience by defining their market, telling them what you think they want to hear, and getting the message to them. Social Media is making marketers change their way of reaching their target audience, by adapting the Public Relations’ perspective.

I am here to learn a more in-depth understanding of each platform, and to be able to use each to their full potential. I realize social media changes daily, but I will come out of this program with a better understanding in social media.

This has been a new challenge, and I was briefly introduced to blogs during one of my Public Relations’ courses.

I will take what I have learned and apply it from a Public Relations’ Perspective-two way communication.