COMM0015 – Ottawa Humane Society Wiggle Waggle Walk

While I had gone to a few bank functions over the last couple months that consisted of everyone sipping red wine and being dressed to the nines, one of the most successful events I went to where I actually was able to develop professional networking was at the Ottawa Humane Society Wiggle Waggle Walk. This is an event put on every year where people from all over eastern Ontario and western Quebec come together to raise funds for the Ottawa Humane society and get to bring and show off their dogs. I chose this event because I recognized it as an out of the box opportunity to network and mingle with some of the higher-ups of my company (Bank of Nova Scotia). Every year, our district puts together a team of dog owners who raise money for the Ottawa Humane Society, and having a dog myself (and being a HUGE dog lover I may add) I thought this would be a good opportunity to use a passion for dogs as a conversation starting with some of the district managers it a light-hearted atmosphere (its somewhat more comforting approaching your boss’s boss when they are wearing jeans and a t-shirt covered in drool rather than wearing a high-end suit sipping a $15 glass of wine).

I was able to speak with my district vice-president (Frank Bilodeau) about our love for dogs, but also about how our business is doing, and what credentials and areas of focus I need to be more successful and move up in the banking business. I spoke with Mike Mullin, my community manager, that I don’t get to see often as he has so many branches to supervise that he is only in his office once a week. We started again talking about dogs, he was surprised at the size of my dog (which won biggest dog at the Walkathon) and from there we turned to more business related matters. We started with out branch performance as a whole, then queued in on my performance for the year and he congratulated me on winning a district award for the year (He kind of ruined the surprise because I wasn’t sure I won, our year-end gala wasn’t for another two weeks). After this we just walked a kilometer or two with our dogs winding in and out between the two of us about what I wanted to do in the future, who I should try to follow, and the courses and tips to move up and be the most successful I possibly can.

These two were people who I looked up to and was happy to have the conversation. They gave my guidance about what to expect in the near future, but they also were looking for my input on certain aspects on how the branches were run, which made me feel very good that they acknowledged the little guy so to speak. They both gave me the knowledge and revived the passion to get back to working on bank related courses that I need to move up and become better at my position and future positions (Canadian Securities Courses, Financial Planner Courses, etc..). This was an event I will never forget, for the amazing dog’s I got to visit with, the amazing words of wisdom I got from people I looked up to, and I will definitely be signing up for the Scotiabank Wiggle Waggle Team again for as long as the event is held. It’s the perfect opportunity to meet new people who are also dog lovers, and a more casual approach to networking with management and bosses at my job.

The most important thing I may have learned was some wise words that my manager gave me as we concluded our conversation as my dog decided he wanted to go a different direction “Not only is a dog a man’s best friend, but also a man’s most useful conversation starter”. I kind of laughed it off at first as I walked away, but as the day went on and I was approached as people asked me how much my dog weighed and how much food he ate (180 lbs. and 6 cups of dry food respectively) I noticed that when two dogs walk towards each other and start sniffing, the owners always strike up a conversation. My dog was the perfect wing-man so to speak in starting conversations with strangers that I alone would be less likely to converse with without him as I am somewhat of an introvert at big events. (And for all you wondering what a 180 lb. dog looks like, I’ve attached the photo taking directly from the Humane Society twitter page of me and my Brutus winning the biggest dog competition.

 

Thanks for reading!!

 

Trevor

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COMM0015 – Blog 4: Reddit AMAs – Random yet amazing?

For me, Online Social Media began with Facebook. This was the first real connection I had to my friends outside of face-to-face contact (I didn’t have a cell phone until I was 19). Facebook at the time was one of the greatest creations and best tools I could have to communicate with and reach out to friends. You could share photos, videos, and statuses with all of your closest friends (and even just some random people from high school that decided to add you). For some this was amazing, but for others it wasn’t quite enough. Twitter came next, and while it had the same freedom of Facebook in terms of sharing and posting information for friends to see, now you could “follow” your favorite athletes, actors, personalities and see everything they want to share with the world; basically turning you into one of their close friends in their inner circle so you could always know what they were doing (kinda creepy right? but whatever, everyone seems to enjoy themselves).

Twitter came and went for me, I thought it was pretty cool at first, I pretty much just followed my friends and sports broadcasters until I realize was already getting all the exact same information through Facebook and Jay & Dan on TSN every morning – Miss you guys 😥 . To me I felt as though Twitter is so successful because there are so many people that want to know what their favorite celebrities are eating, wearing, and doing 24/7. While I didn’t exactly care about what Kim Kardashian was doing on her latest vacation, or what Taylor Swifts crazy cats are up to today, there are things I’ve always wondered about celebrities and wished I could ask them personal questions.

This is where Reddit Comes in. Quite possibly the biggest waste of time, and the most entertaining thing anyone can do is bury themselves in Reddit for hours on end in a never-ending path of amusement. They do however have one strand on their website – AMA (Ask me Anything) which is actually quite interesting and fun to read or participate in. While there are a large number of threads that seem completely pointless yet are hilarious – The owner of Tard; The Grumpy Cat; AMA, there are some threads that are very informative and well written. A turn on most go to the comedic side, but people can put requests for what they would like to hear from and a large majority of the time someone steps forward.

AMA has basically turned into a personal forum where you can ask people anything, no boundaries, no moderation and can be used in many different ways. For humor – you can ask Jay Onrait why his back is so hairy or why Dan O’toole is so short. There are more serious Topics as well, where someone will come forward with serious issues or things they have gone through, and others can ask questions for advice, comfort, or just someone to talk to. You can ask questions to someone who has been an abuse victim, someone who has been reunited with separated family members after 20+ years, stories and seriousness of 911 dispatchers working on certain cases.

They have has AMA for many people, from your average Canadian teen in college, to the president of the united states (Although I’m sure he had someone else doing the keystroking). I find this an interesting concept as it allows people to basically have conversations about and personal and private issues with people they look up to, or people who have been through similar struggles or events. At first I thought they were mostly pointless, but if you find a thread from something you find interesting you can almost guarantee that someone out there is in the same position as you and has asked the question you wanted to know and you can read and understand things from others perspectives.

I find this strain of Social Media because if takes off where Facebook and Twitter have developed in the need and want for information from others, but gives everything a more personal touch as you can ask anything to almost anyone (volunteers to set up threads) in a comfortable atmosphere from behind your computer screen.

 

Trevor Doucette

Post 3 – Professional Networking Now and in the Future

Currently, I’d have to say that for me, my present strategy for developing professional networks is more over a quality over quantity mentality. While many people have the mindset that networking is getting yourself out there as early and often as possible to get a wide spread network, I find that this can sometimes become overwhelming, confusing, and harder to keep a grasp of if you are trying to do too much at once. While I do think that I participate in networking methods and activities, I try to keep my focus on a smaller amount of networking opportunities, but take more time to concentrate on each, hopefully producing more efficient results. Online, I have recently created a LinkedIn account, which I have used to join groups regarding finance, banking, and business programs, which I find beneficial as I work for a financial institution currently, and have met people and swapped information and knowledge regarding different areas of our field. I have also uploaded a profile onto our Scotiabank Employee blog network, where people can chat, post questions, comments, and opinions on different things that are happening at the bank and in the finance world in general. In person, I try to contribute as much as possible to work sanctions, as well as anything that our work in sponsored for and/or is participating in. I have spend the last 3 years participating in both the Scotiabank Dragonboat Festival rowing team, as well as the beach volleyball team for the H.O.P.E. volleyball tournament in Ottawa. I participated in the inaugural Scotiabank Young Professionals Hockey tournament, which brings together people from all sectors and levels within Scotiabank across Ontario and Quebec for a weekend of hockey, conferences, and dinner sanctions to network. On the more professional side of work. I have been attending Scotiabank Young Professionals career advancement round tables, networking events, and year end conferences over the past two years. (Events and schedules: http://www.eventbrite.ca/org/2287812363) As well as attending multiple charity events, including the Scotiabank United Way Silent Auction, Nordic Walk for cancer survivors, and be part of the Scotiabank team for the Alzheimer’s walk, and Scotiabank Aids walk for life. Over the next 6-12 months, I plan on trying to network myself further within the groups I am already a part of, while also doing more community work and attend other networking opportunitties and events through the College. I have another Scotia Young Professionals hockey tournament in Belleville in April, and the Scotia Young Professionals networking events for the new year should be starting up in the next few months, which I fully intend on participating in. 

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Trevor Doucette

COMM0015 – Strong and Weak Social Media

For this blog I decided to try to focus on two things I find most fascinating in life. Finance, and Eating and Drinking. I work for a financial institution, and always get feedback from customers and friends, or people I meet in general, about how they find everything is run through the institution I work at. Whether they like what we are doing, hate it, are surprised about what we are doing for social media and networking, or have some questions and doubt about whether we are doing enough. So not to be biased, I searched the web for the other major Canadian Financial Institutions and how they run most of their social media practices

After viewing a few different companies, it became apparent to me that TDCT (Toronto Dominion Canada Trust Bank) seems to be ahead of the game when it comes to social networking and media. TD not only has very amusing television commercials and radio ads, but also multiple twitter pages, including general info, inquiries, a Canadian tier, an American tier, and TD waterhouse and Ameritrade accounts for more in-depth information and news on subsidiaries of TDCT. They have information and news regarding new products, changes to accounts, advertisements, as well as a general Q & A that many people find very appealing and useful. TDCT also has Facebook accounts, both Canadian and American, which are also used to provide information and help for anyone looking for news, or just wanting to ask a few questions. They always seem willing to help and have quick responses to most posts, and the pages are quite clean, precise, and up to date as much as possible. With over 20k followings to both the Canadian and American twitter accounts, to go along with over 400k likes on Facebook to the Canadian fan page, its easy to see that people are using these applications and ways of social networking for advice and information.

The next two companies I decided to focus on, one good and one bad, are both local eateries that many people visit everyday for a quick bite or a few pints to watch a hockey game. The company that I applaud for their social networking skills is Jonny Canucks restaurants. The main Jonny Canucks I visit in Orleans has its own twitter account, which promotes daily specials, big hockey games, the UFC fights, and other promotions and contests where retweets or favorites can earn you money and gift cards, or other sports memorabilia. Each of the four Ottawa locations each have their own personal Facebook page as well, There pages are always advertising contests, promotions, the daily entertainment whether it be sports, music, or outdoor BBQs and more. They are kept fairly up-to-date and regularly used, where people can post pics of their food, or comment on how good of a night they are having, or how amazing lunch on one of the big patios was.

The company that I really like personally, but when trying to find information online through social networking that upset me a little bit was the D’Arcy McGee’s franchises. While each of the restaurants in Ottawa do have Facebook pages, it seems that little effort is used in keeping up to date on all the info, promos, and live entertainment except for the two largest and most popular locations on Sparks Street downtown and in Orleans. The fact that they have two other Facebook pages that aren’t being used to their potential is kind of disheartening. The twitter of D’Arcy McGee’s is what I really found frustrating. I personally find twitter more useful than Facebook when getting users and customers to advertise, as I check my twitter more frequently and pay more attention to each post as there is not nearly as much spam as on my Facebook feed. Finding the twitter accounts took a little bit of work, and after finally feeling somewhat accomplished when I was able to find them, I was very disappointed. They had two accounts, one a general D’Arcy McGee’s accounts, which had 8 tweets with the last one coming in 2009, and the Kanata location, which has a whooping total of 0 tweets to go along with 11 followers.

While I did judge most of this on twitter and Facebook pages, I was more so surprised at how easy it was to find information and sites online for Jonny Canucks compared to D’Arcy McGee’s, which I find the most important thing. People aren’t going to did around through Social Networking to try and find the page, the whole point of Social Networking is to be easy accessible and right in front of peoples faces as often as possible for best publicity. In terms of TDCT, I just find the way they do thinks and the way they keep up on top of everything, with daily updates, responses, and reminders very important, and out of all of my Institutions main competitors I think TDCT has the best control and ideas about the way they advertise themselves through Social Networking.

While I do believe that D’Arcy McGee’s is still a very successful company, I think that it would never hurt to get their image, and name out as much as possible, and using a twitter account to post promos, food pics, and entertainment lists to draw in more people would be beneficial enough that they should really consider getting someone to start up a page, or take control of the pages that were made years ago and just never used.

That’s just my two cents, and sorry for the long read everyone 🙂

Trevor Doucette

COM0015 – Blog #1: Tools & Sources

It’s a shame to admit, but I am really behind the times when it comes to Social Media, and sources to get the most up-to-date news and updates. Ever since I moved out on my own, I never bothered to subscribe to a local newspaper (which was the way I got all of my information when I was living with my parents). Facebook was becoming popular when I was in highschool, so for the next couple years that was my go to. I would be on facebook after school every day for a few hours, finding out what my friends had to offer, as well as reading everyones posts about whats going on in the world. Facebook has fallen off the map for the most part, and twitter has become my “online” go to for news and updates. Twitter never seems to fail, when I hear about something walking by a radio, or catch something on a news channel waiting to pick up food, I know I can hop on twitter and find hundreds of posts, links, pictures, and articles about what the big news is.

I work for a financial institution which monitors my internet consumption, so I do get away with reading some larger media websites (CNN, BBC, etc..) but as sad as it may seem, I always find myself back on NHL.com or TSN.ca in short time.

I am aware of the many channels of social media that is available to me, but I just never found it too interesting to read the news.

In the end, I would say that the sources I use most are Twitter, and online newspaper websites for most of my information. I find these the most practical, as I can quickly swift through article headers and select the ones that seem most interesting to me. I wouldn’t say that either of these are really significant when it comes to my personal development, or organizational interests, but the fact that I can quickly hop on, get a sense of the more popular articles and news updates, helps to communicate and be more personable with clients, which makes the more comfortable and helps me personally and professional gain friends, clients, and business