COM0015 | Blog post #4 | Out of the Box

Unexpected applications in this new and exciting world, is they we are networking using the messaging feature on social media channels to do business.

Both Linkedin and Facebook offer a convenient feature to chat and send messages with associates and friends in real time. Rather than e-mail and expecting a response in delayed time, the method of instant message is a real boost to productivity.  With Linkedin I network with knowledge experts to obtain a response to a question or a service, especially if I do not know their e-mail, which is often the case.

As the owner of an iPhone 5s, I have had discussions with clients and associates using the text message feature from my desktop workstation (MacBook pro/Mac mini) to a smart phone anywhere (recently with a client in Toronto) … the beauty of this it doesn’t matter the Operating System the other phone is using. The seamless integration with the chat on the iPhone and the desktop is very handy when you need to share and image, video or a concept and obtain a response has improved my business productivity.

Instagram with disappearing images, videos once they have been seen is a fascinating feature that may have a business use … not sure but this is to be examined.

As video is increasing integrated into the various applications, is see opportunities that fit with the B2B, C2B, B2C interaction in doing business on an instant on demand requirement in the case when a urgent decision is required.

While I personally have not used the Facebook live video feature, I can see a potential use for this feature in providing business services with clients. On that note, I recall a moment years ago when i was introduced to a client’s supervisor, in a 20 second elevator speech i sold the supervisor 10K of training. I can see the potential use of Twitter and other social media channels as a way of posting elevator type videos to sell services. Mind you people have been using their Youtube accounts to promote their services for years.

What I see is a cross pollination of promotional media to each social media outpost, the significance of this to social media is anybodies guess.

 

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COM0015 | Blog post #3 | Professional Networking now and in the future

Present strategy

Using Linkedin and Facebook I flip through competitors social outpost and comment on those that are relevant to my mind set. The majority of the time, content is typical, however, once in while I find interesting tidbits that expand my knowledge and all me to reconnect with past associates and make new ones.

Twitter has been an interesting experiment for me, I follow people and organizations that interest me, and from time to time either like or retweet a post. This outpost continues to be a work in progress for me, however, since enrolling in this Social Media Program, I have increased my Twitter followers 53 to 108. To the extend I will use twitter for advertising, that will depend upon future contracts and clients.

I am a solopreneur, as such I run my business all on my own, challenging at times but rewarding as it enables me to work on a variety of projects. Most of my work time is spent in my home office, however, once a week I make out to Bridgehead on Anderson, off Preston street. The majority of the time it is an opportunity to work in a different space and be able to develop fresh ideas. Recently, at Bridgehead, just as I was packing up to leave, a woman sat down at the table next to me. As she was setting up to work she placed a document beside her computer, the title on the document was something like “Social Media – a strategy for Addecco”. I commented to her that I am developing a Digital Approach for National Research Council, Office of Energy Efficiency (NRCan OEE). During our brief chat I found out she was let go from the City of Ottawa in November 2016, well one thing led to another. I explained my history of work with at the City of Ottawa and on a standing offer, as well the people we know that work and worked there. We exchanged names and have since connected on Linkedin. She suggested we get together and talk strategy.

The key to striking up a conversation is finding that common ground, much like a 30 sec elevator speech when being introduced to someone for the first time. I was awarded a number of projects through by chance meetings and introductions. This is a strategy I will continue to employ. Because of my position as a part time brand ambassador for Keurig, striking up a conversation with a stranger has been increasing easier and quite enjoyable, 3 months ago I reconnected with an old colleague I worked with a the City of Ottawa in late 80’s.

Activities and commitments

I will continue to peruse Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter to the extent that I find these useful. This Social Media program has lit a fire under my but to use social media more and more. Although, I know one agency that barely uses social media and they are quite busy.

Through out the year as networking events occur my future goal is commit to participating and networking at events that I find can potentially expand my knowledge and network. On a monthly basis, I take in an online webinar that enhances my skills and expertise with respect to digital strategy, social media and software.

The essential challenge I currently have, I am employed as a full time contractor with NRCan OEE to develop a Digital Approach for the OEE, this runs until March 2018. My strategy is to work in concert with OEE’s internal and external stakeholders by meeting and exceeding the contract deliverables, hopefully, this will lead to a new contract or opportunity for a full-time position.

Ultimately, at 64 years young my goal is to work until I am 70-72 and evolve my digital approach to business in the online world in-conjunction with social media.

It is a brave new world online!

 

COM0015 | Blog post #2 | Strong and Weak Organizations

A weak organization |
Office of Energy Efficiency | NRCan

I was drawn to Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) Office of Energy Efficiency (OEE), in part because of because of the job I have with them and because I am personally interested in energy efficiency. I am tired of paying ridiculously high prices for electricity to the government of Ontario. Although, the Government of Ontario and NRCan’s OEE are not tied to each other from a legislative and organization aspect, they are intrinsically link as stakeholders to Energy Efficiency in Canada.

Using the search term “National Research Council Office of Energy Efficiency” on the main Social Media Sites:

Twitter: No results.
Facebook: No results related to Canada in the top tier.
Youtube: Nothing related to OEE.

Using the search term “The Office of Energy Efficiency” on the main Social Media Sites:

Twitter: Posts on Energy Star Canada, One post from OEE.
FacebookThere is a page, but no posts, looks like it needs to be populated.
Youtube: Some video’s related to NRCan, none specifically to the OEE

NRCan’s OEE current Social Media Strategy is inconsistent and lacks a coordinated approach.

By developing a Social Media Strategy that communicates clear and consistent messaging, consolidating and highlighting compelling digital information, NRCan’s OEE will actively engage and inform stakeholders and the general public on energy efficiency and alternative fuel opportunities and benefits.

A strong organization |
Heart and Stroke

Personally, I feel life is a precious commodity, where our heart plays a pivotal role in the physical and mental well being our very lives. I am drawn to the Heart and Stroke organization in Canada because it reminds Canadians regularly of those facts through engagement campaigns using social media.

The video’s and stories on Youtube, TwitterFacebook and Instagram are compelling and engaging reminders that our lives are precious, each Social Media site has followers in the thousands. Contributing to the Heart and Stroke foundation is good for you, for your family for everyone. All lives matter.

The efforts of the Heart and Stroke foundation saves lives through on going initiatives, creates engagement and calls to action.

As they say:

Life. We do not want you to miss it.

A model organization to follow when it comes to using Social Media.

COM0015 | Blog post #1 | Tools and sources

Listening | Monitoring | News Sources | Updates

A very good question is posed here “What  are my two favourite social media trend listening/monitoring tools and the two best best sources of news and updates of interest to me.” Let address that by stating as a newbie … I am not sure which ones I should use.

Trend listening/monitoring tools

I have primarily use Google alerts as my main source of listening and monitoring, it is free and a basic functionality, yes there is extra work on my part but I understand it. Twitter is the other tool, again it is free and I understand the logic behind it. They are significant in that I have been on them since 2009, so I am sticky with my roost.

Sources of news and updates

For sources of news and updates I stick with what is a cost effective price point, free – Facebook and Twitter.  They seem to do the trick for me at this time. As I mentioned under trend listening/monitoring I started on them back in 2009. Long standing tools at this point they do the job.

My future tools for Listening | Monitoring | News Sources | Updates

However, that being said, as my understanding evolves in Social Media and business opportunities arise, the listening/monitoring tools along with sources of news and updates will evolve. Perhaps in the direction of Hootsuite, Buzzmo and maybe Simply measured, these tools will provide deeper insight into trend in energy efficiency.

I just signed a contract to plan, design and implement a Digital Approach for NRCan’s Office of Energy Efficiency over the next 12 months. I know my selected tools will evolve into paid and purchased services.

COM0017-W17 • Blog 7 • Personal Reflection

Why is story telling important to creating great digital content?

Story telling opens the mind to the reader as to who you are (the story teller) are as person within a body of life experiences. Great story telling engages the reader, to experience an event real or imagined in their mind. What astounds me is my wife reads, actually devours books on a weekly basis, about fictional tragedies, love stories and mysteries all from a printed book. Online story telling takes that to a new and higher level by integrating images and videos by presenting and creating a sense of realism.

How will my content be guided by story?

My content will be guided by the experiences and the knowledge I accumulate as I complete my journey in life, whether they be work related or life related. Sometimes I may, if the subject matter moves me, comment online to events and opinions.

Amid the mind boggling amount of information on the internet, it makes me wonder how many different ways content is created. World events and society is a fluid mass moving oh so precipitously toward an unknown future, yet day in and day out society finds away of creating new story lines. That then becomes the crucible from which a story is created. Whether it be social, event or cultural issues there will always be a story tell. It is how we as story tellers weave the story to make it engaging and rewarding to read and watch.

What kind of stories will I tell?

The stories I will tell are going be reflections on what life has taught me and why we as a human race should take a moment each and everyday to appreciate this precious journey we share. Of course this is going to be relevant to the subject matter at hand, needless to say, each of us from the poor person on the street to the billionaire have a story tell, I hope to be able to either facilitate or respond to that as a story in an online blog.

 

COM0014W17 • Blog #6 • The birth of a corporation …

On June 8, 1993, I incorporated my business gls dezign inc.

In reality the journey to that momentous occasion was planted years earlier. In 1987 I applied for a part-time professor position in the Algonquin College Daytime Graphic Design Program. For my interview I brought in a portable Mac SE computer and proceeded to show two professors how I designed a full colour booklet using the Mac with a grey scale monitor and Desktop Publishing Software. They were impressed and hired me to teach Graphic Design and Desktop Publishing to second year students in the french stream.

By chance in spring of 1989 I was introduced to the Gilles Aubry, the Director of Continuing Education at Algonquin College. At the time Gilles Aubry was looking for someone to be the Continuing Education Coordinator for its evening Desktop Publishing Program. He was impressed with what I accomplished for the daytime program, Gilles hired me and asked to review the existing program and present a budget for the next year.

Over the next 3 years I evolved Algonquin College’s Continuing Education evening Desktop Publishing program from a menu of 6 courses to over 42 courses, introducing the revolutionary courses “Hello Mac and “Hello PC”  which explained to students on how to use windows based computers, maintain and fix them. In three years under my direction and vision, the number of students in the program grew by 300% and revenue increased
by 275%.

One of the courses in the Evening Desktop Publishing Program that I taught was Pagemaker, in that course there was a writer buy the name of Ronald Baynes, Baynes Communications. During a teaching session one evening, he requested my phone number and asked if he could contact me in the event he need help with his projects. Three months after that fateful evening course he called me up and asked for help. I Desktop Published a few projects for him, after that he asked me to be a strategic partner.

The strategic partnership with Ronald Baynes led to a wealth contacts and contracts in the Federal Government, in 1997 I resigned from my full time job as a Desktop Publishing Supervisor at the City of Ottawa to concentrate on running gls dezign inc full time.

On June 8th, 2018 gls dezign inc will reach its 25th year anniversary.

 

 

 

COM0014 • Post 5 • Personal Brand

gls dezign inc • the imagineer

On June 8, 1993, I incorporated my business gls dezign inc., sometime around the turn of century 2000 or 2001 I began using the moniker the imagineer.

My brand is gls dezign inc run by the yours truly the imagineer.

What sets the gls dezign inc brand apart from its competitors is the ostrich, the web site presents vistas of deserts and landscapes. The images given rise to the peace and tranquilly found when successful creative solution are delivered and applied. We are know as the ostrich people.

What sets me the imagineer apart?  The imagineer is a resourceful, creative doer who has the uncanny ability to take complex design challenges and distill them down simple creative solutions. The imagineer is a creative ninja otherwise a jack of all master of no trades. I have taken on projects other agencies have refused. For example in 2015, Environment Canada required series of maps for the Great Lakes Waters Basins to be created using GIS software and supplied as Adobe Illustrator printable maps. Of the 8 firms sent the Request for Proposal, I was the only firm to respond. In that project, I learned GIS software, created and designed a family of maps (printable pdf and google view able) showing the Great Lakes Water Basins through the assembly of digital GIS data from a diverse set of sources.

I am very proud that to say, with little or no experience and I have taken on tasks and brought them to a successful conclusion. A great example, back in 1998 I was designing and producing various publications for the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade aka DFAIT, they needed a document laid out in Arabic. I had already laid out Chinese,  Japanese and a few other foreign languages. I agreed to do the job, the challenge with Arabic is you have lay out the text as a mirror image of the english. The other unique aspect of Arabic books is the text is read from right to left and back to front, completely opposite of english. Talk about a brain teaser.

My most recent accomplishment, this week, February 21, 2017, I won a contract to work as a Project Manager with the National Research Council of Canada (NRCan). The year long contract with NRCan’s Office of Energy Efficiency requires me to create Digital Engagement Campaign to provide Canadians with relevant, timely information and online interaction on energy efficiency.  This project will stretch my skills an abilities to new heights.

I take great pride in being able to evolve my business with technology, over the years I have successfully navigated the ebb and flow of a small business with no formal training. The new contract with NRCan is an example of that very evolution.

My colleagues would say they are amazed that I have been able to remain in business using and embracing technology along the way.

COM14-log #4: B2C case study • We love coffee and style … but not the garbage.

The single serving coffee brewer is an interesting story from it’s beginning to its current impact on the environment.

My interest in the subject of single serve coffee brewer lies in one of my jobs. I am a Keurig Brand Ambassador for Match Marketing (Ontario) and SVM (Quebec) — the same company two different branches. I have setup and handed free out coffee, hot chocolate and tea in Future Shop, Sears, Hudson Bay, Home Outfitters, Canadian Tire. I am not necessarily an expert, but I have sound knowledge about the Keurig product.

According to coffeemakerspicks.com Keurig  is the leading manufacture of single server brewers. It is a fascinating story about how Keurig began and became a juggernaut in the single serve beverage for both business and personal uses. After Keurig’s patent ran out, in 2012 Keurig introduce Keurig 2.0 to maintain their market lead in the single server brewing system.

Keurig is on Facebook with 2.8 million followers, Twitter  7.8 thousand followers and on Instagram they 2,200 followers. On each of these outpost they present their product in smartly posed settings making the brewers desirable appliances. From a marketing perspective, they have nailed it with the K200 system, it is manufactured in 9 colours from frosty mint to spice orange, very stylish and they look cool on a kitchen counter top or in board room. If you are a fashionista, then these make cool looking appliances in the kitchen. Keurig has done an excellent job this. The k2 system makes single cups, a carafe, a mug and with an adaptor your own special blend of coffee .. they have listened to consumers.

The major issue with Keurig is the recycling problem of the pods, The Atlantic talks about the problem of the non recyclable K-cup in that it is creating a serious environmental problem. As a brand ambassador for Keurig, the lack or recyclability is cited as the main excuse people do not by a Keurig … they detest the waste that it produces.

Mother Parkers Tea and Coffee Cups introduced in 2014 a fully recyclable single pod, because of the guilt consumers were experiencing on the waste they were depositing in the garbage. Keurig’s goal is to make their K-cups fully recyclable by 2020.

Unless their is a major backlash against the lack of recyclable K-cups, Keurig will continue to be the leader in the single serve coffee brewer market … with a twist of trendy fashion at an affordable price point.

Simple, convenient and easy to use, they nailed it and are listening to their consumers.

 

 

 

 

 

COM0014 | Post 3 | Target Audiences

A classic Italian Sports Car that starts with and F …

Gotcha! No it is not a Ferrari … it is a Fiat. I refer you to my post  COMM0011• Bog Post#5 • my favorite car … that provides a context for this post.

After reading my original post it becomes obvious on my preference for a classic Italian Sports car that starts with an F … is a Fiat Ritmo105tc, this is also my hobby. You may ask how could such a rare and undignified car would\could find a following? It may surprise you that there exists a site devoted to the Ritmo Cars called Ritmo World

The Audience

Members of Ritmo World come from all parts of the world, they can be in their mid 30’s to people like me in their 60’s. For example one member, Albert Byvalin lives in
St. Petersberg Russia, and looks like he is 30 perhaps younger and owns a 1982 60CL. Goh Ohtani in Japan who owns a series 11 130 Ritmo looks to be in his 40’s. Myself, Gregory Sreblowski, in Ottawa Ontario, Canada own a series 1 Ritmo105tc, I am in my 60’s. Then there is Alberto Massarotto, is in his mid 40’s, owns a 1980 Fiat Strada, the North American version of the Fiat Ritmo. There are more than 125 members listed on the Ritmoworld website, some own more than one Ritmo or Italian car. My love for these cars is rooted in my first new car, a 1979 Fiat Strada that I purchased in Ottawa.

Communicating with the Audience

The best way to communicate with this captive audience, is through Ritmo World, the moderator of the site is Andreas Hellmann. Andreas owns at least 6 Ritmo’s that I know of, he is a great source for parts and knowledge on the best options for dealing with issues related to fixing these cars.  Since 2000 he has been organizing bi-annual drives spring and fall, he calls them Ritmo World Meetings, with members mainly in Europe. Then there are the obvious places to connect thought Italian car clubs across the world via the internet and vast network of Italian car enthusiasts.

On Twitter there is a Fiat Ritmo Club Italia which does not have much activity. There is a Fiat Ritmo Facebook page that has more activity than Twitter. On Youtube there are variety of videos that show people driving Fiat Ritmo’s. On Youtube, video’s with Giancario Baghetti promoting the Ritmo’s (in Italian), when compared to today’s approach to promoting cars using video’s, his approach is quaint to say the least.

Social Media Strategy

This is a niche audience,  a strategy would involve Andreas linking Ritmoworld site to Facebook, for people to communicate issues and update the lovers of these cars about what they are doing while they enjoy these quirky vehicles. Email is one other tool to connect with Fiat Ritmo enthusiasts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

COM0014 • Post #2 | Communication Styles

Communication Styles: Who doesn’t enjoy a cup of coffee? 

(Replace coffee with tea or hot chocolate in the title.)

I am a brand ambassador (a part time job) with Match Marketing and have promoted the the Keruig Coffee brewers in Canadian Tire, The Bay, Future Shop, Best Buy in Ottawa and the region for the last three years. 

You may say what does coffee and being a brand ambassador have to do with story telling.

2015-04-17-11-15-53-hdrI would say lots … when I started out it was easy to stand and spew out the merits of the brewer single cup system and the technical details, it was all boring. Non engaging and I dreaded each time I did a shift.

Then I changed my style. Rather than spewing out details about the brewer, I talked to them and asked why they enjoyed coffee (tea, hot chocolate) what the drink did for them on a personal level. Then I would weave a story on how the Keurig brewer would enable them to enjoy the their coffee (tea) in the morning, afternoon … or time they preferred.

To get people to talk I comment on something they wear, baseball caps are great. Especially if it is the local team Senators or the Canadians … a great conversation starter about the coffee, tea or hot chocolate  … then I chat bout the brewer and it easy of use … the story.

In sales your are there to sell the sizzle so the customer buy’s the dream. That is how I present the brewer … the dream, the vision … I weave a story. It is that engagement with the customer that makes the “experience” all the more important. For example, when the latest version of the Keurig system began showing up in stores, the K200 became available in a range of colours …  red, blue, grey and so on. I would ask “So what colour is your kitchen?” … once I showed then colours in store and online … the eyes lite up, thinking about which colour would go best in their kitchen.

Other times it is an older couple that stops by and I always asked the man … “Is that boss?” The man usually says yes and the woman nods in approval and a discussion occurs about them. Then they have a cup of coffee the story goes on and they walk away having had a great cup of free coffee and a great experience with the Keurig brand.

Story tellingis about engagement … how you engage and bring people into a story is the key. That little morsel of information … the lead… that perks them up and makes them listen (video blogging ) OR read your blog.

Once people are engaged in the story then you need to keeping feeding them morsels/information that makes them read on and or listen until you arrive at your conclusion. But … do not bore your audience. The stories or the video pitches that are most annoying, are the ones that promise info and keep dragging on ad nausea and do not get to the point.

So what does coffee have to do with story telling? … a lot … people talk when them have a coffee in hand either standing or sitting and listen and converse about their lives, their stories.

I would not be surprised IF some of you are enjoying a cup of coffee or tea as you read this and other posts.