COM0014 Blog#6 My Business’ Secret Wish


Ooh…. The Internet. Some of you may be too young to remember (I can’t believe I just wrote that) but it’s true. There was a time when you had to pay your bills at the bank, stop and ask for directions or drive around in circles. Memorize a dozen phone numbers, and hope you wouldn’t get a busy signal once you found a payphone and some change. Yes! Life was full of mundane hurdles.  

Luo Ping

You could only shop at those stores near your house, unless you ordered something from a catalogue. A trip to the video store was always an event but nobody liked returning those movies. A project for school? I know someone who has a good encyclopedia!! Seriously. How lucky are we to live in this connected world?….

Are We?


There was a time when camping a few hours from the city, meant disconnecting in the “remote” wilderness without outside contact. When renting a cottage meant spending much needed time away from screens, worrying about nothing but lighting a fire and deciding, what time coffee needed to be made in the morning for the first fishing run. A time with less “likes” and more “let’s”… Away from WiFi


My secret for my business? Embrace the changes but keep the bearings. We live in a planet where we can have virtual human connections in real time across the globe. We are now able to build communities greater than ever before. Why not build one that understands the benefits of disconnecting for a moment, spending time under the stars and bonding with someone over a fire?


There are lots of places out there begging to be discovered. Technology can help us find them, it can help us connect with those who want to join us, and it can help us get there. But we owe it to ourselves, and those who come after us, to embrace this world though our own eyes and not through a five-inch screen. Would you care to join us?  

COM0014: Blog #6 -Do People Know Your Story

What Choices Have You Made That You Regret?

Honestly there are not a lot of moments in my life that I can say I regret. I am of the mindset that everything is a learning experience. However, this one moment, if I could go back and change it I would.

I am going to start this off with, I lived a sheltered life. I had very strict parents so I wasn’t able  to go out and socialize like they rest of my friends. All I wanted was to be able to go out and have freedom like them.

When I graduated high school I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, what I wanted to study in college. So against my parents wishes I took a year off school and worked. I fell into a not so great crowd and this is where I feel things started to fall apart. Feeling this sense of new found freedom, I started sneaking out of the house, and lying to my parents about what I was doing and who I was with. When the year was up and I had to go back to school I decided to take this freedom one step farther and move away for college. I thought there was no way they could tell me what to do if they didn’t live near me. So I picked the first college that came to mind and I chose the first business course that would take me.

When I got to college I didn’t take it seriously at all. I never went to class and barely managed to hand in assignment on time. After my third semester my grades were so low that the school kicked me out of the program. I didn’t think schools could actually do it, turns out I was very wrong.

I ended up moving back home and got a job working full time. This was seven years ago and I am finally now getting my life together. I went back to school and got a better paying job.

I regret not taking school seriously the first time around. I also regret not going to college right out of high school, sometimes I wonder how my life would be right now if I made different choices. But it’s all a learning experience right?

COM0014: Blog #5 – Personal Brand

I would classify my personal brand, in term of social media, in the lifestyle category. I enjoy posting about my every day life, and current event happening in my city.

image1I feel my profiles are very true to who I am in real life and that makes me standout from everyone else. I am not trying to fake it or being someone else to get people to like me. Now a days, especially in the social media world, many people try to just post what they think everyone wants to see and just try to gain as many likes and follows as possible, under the assumption that this is their personal brand and it is “lifestyle”. I post content that I like and hope everyone else will too.

I recently started using the Insta-stories and Facebook stories to help grow my following a little more. The concept of using stories has really grown over the last year and followers seem to the love the real time footage. For the most part the stories feature only lets you post content from the last 24hrs, this is one of the reasons it does so well because the follower knows its not something from say 4 months ago you are trying to fake as happening now. It’s not something you can plan out the same way you do other content.

Everyone always says I have an energetic and enthusiastic type of personality and I try to show that in my profiles.

What kind of personal brand do you have?

COM0014 Blog 6 – Know Your Story

woman wearing brown shirt carrying black leather bag on front of library books

Photo by Abby Chung on

When I was a child, there was almost never a night that my mum didn’t read to me before bed. She started me young, and it stuck. I remember her reading George and Martha stories, Noddy’s adventures, poetry by Edward Lear, a story about Poppleton the Pig, and so many more. Later, when I was a bit older, we moved on to The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Hobbit. By the time I could read by myself comfortably, I was hooked for life. I remember getting the Harry Potter series as the books were released, waiting for my sister to read it first, and then tearing through it joyfully. I can even admit my obsession with the Twilight series as a preteen. My love of books is never ending.

Which is why it makes so much sense for me to run a book blog. I’ve loved reading for as long as I can remember. Not only did it shape me for a book blog, but it shaped my life. I have an English degree because of it. My mum inspired in me a great love for reading, as well as making reading and books a comfort to me, instead of a chore (although there were definitely books in university that felt like chores). I’m thankful for that, for having such a warm and loving childhood, full to the brim with magic and adventures. So running a book blog allows me to share the love for reading that my own mum shared with me.

Do you love to read? Can you think of something in your childhood that sent you on the path you’re on today? Let me know!

COM0014 – Blog 5 – My Personal Brand – Through Others’ Eyes


Afghan Ministry of Defence Media Center. Kabul, Afghanistan. One of the many international organizations I have mentored and supported. Photo by John Blakeley

My Brand – Through Others’ Eyes

Early in my career a superior officer once wrote of my style, “… he soldiers on regardless of challenge, without drawing attention to his many accomplishments and plaudits from satisfied clients.”

I have not changed. I still find it difficult to “blow my own horn”, particularly in a public forum such as this. So, let me share what others have said about me instead. The following summary is compiled exclusively of excerpts from various letters and reports written by Canadian and foreign senior government executives and military generals charged with command of national and international organizations and operations.

I have been depicted as a highly focused, exceptionally well-organized, results-oriented seasoned professional public affairs advisor who has a tireless passion for creating innovative and award-winning communications solutions that deliver strategic effects.

Considered fiercely loyal, extremely hard working and self-motivated, I am characterized as positive, dedicated, energetic, determined, courageous, resourceful, adaptable, creative and passionate.

Recognized for consistently demonstrating the highest levels of strategic thinking, planning and anticipation, I am credited with achieving superb results while operating in complex, sensitive, crosscutting and extremely challenging and dangerous strategic environments with the most severe consequences of error.  It is reported that I am able to think clearly and act decisively in incredibly stressful situations.

I have been evaluated by generals as an outstanding leader and a highly dependable team player who motivates and inspires others to follow willingly and deliver their very best. It is said that people galvanize around me in response to my interpersonal skills, vision, humour and praise. I am recognized for caring about people who work with me, investing in them and providing them with opportunities to grow to reach their full personal and professional potential.

Described as an excellent mentor, coach and facilitator, I have been formally recognized by the leadership of the Canadian Armed Forces for marking Canada as an acknowledged world leader in the field of military public affairs through my engagement with international audiences.

Considered one of the most experienced public affairs officers in the Canadian Armed Forces and commended by two prime ministers for my service to Canada, I have been singled out for high praise for delivering public affairs excellence in a variety of challenging leadership positions in demanding military and political environments in more than 40 countries around the world.

I recently retired from an amazing adventure-filled 45-year career with the military and am currently continuing to follow my passion, transitioning my experiences into a second career. My company, SCS International, is engaged in helping diplomats, government executives and senior military officers from around the world by providing them effects-based strategic communication solutions through coaching, mentoring and teaching public affairs, crisis communications and media awareness training. I continuously try to improve myself and my products to stay at the forefront of the business of strategic communication in order to stand out amongst my competitors.

How do you think I could brand myself without seeming boastful or opening myself up to ageism discrimination? I welcome your suggestions.

COM0014- Blog #5 My Brand

My name is Andres, and I want to brand myself as a Social Media Consultant specialized in eco-tourism in Ontario and Quebec. I want to level the field for the small eco-tourism business, by expanding their online presence and maximizing their network-outreach in order to help them drive more customers to their business.

I love nature. Over the last 25 years I have developed a serious enthusiasm for outdoor activities in all seasons. I have spent a significant amount of time talking to business owners in this sector (wilderness schools, fishing outfitters, bed and breakfasts, dogsledding, canoe lessons, etc) and have a clear understanding of the market appeal of this industry.

Ontario and Quebec have a wealth of opportunities in the eco-tourism industry, particularly for small businesses in the social media arena. Some have a great deal of appeal and also potential that has not yet been exploited. Often you find a beautiful physical infrastructure and very passionate owners, but some are not adapting to our evolving way of communicating. However, their customer base often does extensive online research prior to making a reservation. At a basic level, they expect a written description that matches their needs, a list of amenities and appealing visuals.

My passion for the outdoors combined with a solid skill set in advertising, writing and multimedia, strengthened by new formal training in social media, makes me an ideal supporting partner for the small business in the outdoor industry. My brand’s model is inspired by both: a great appreciation of how technology connects us, and a firm believe that we all need to put our phones down from time time time and learn how to enjoy nature.

It is an honest brand that connects everyday people who want to spend time outside, with the ones who look forward to have them as their guests. 

When was the last time you bonded with someone by a campfire? 

COM0014 – Blog 5 – Personal Brand – For the people and for government.

As the supervisor of Client Satisfaction at the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), I have realized that Social media’s influence is making its mark on the way we communicate our mandate and handle concerns and enquiries from the travelling public.  In the past my team was managing clients concerns by telephone and email.  In the last year there has been a significant shift in how we communicate with our clients.

I have an understanding of what people want and what they expect by using social media. Developing a strategy on how to acknowledge and respond to social media complaints has become my new skill. Working with and building relationships with the communication team, legal team and regulatory team I have become the go-to liaison between groups that usually do not communicate properly in the common goal to avoid reputational damage as well as have a satisfied customer as an end result. My main goal is to restructure the internal network at CATSA. Currently, CATSA’s objective in being active on social media is to build relationships with our stakeholders, educate the travelling public.

I provide insight on how social media can be used not just with the travelling public in mind but how to corroborate with stakeholders to provide a better understanding of who is responsible for what and why. To empower the individual who questions the experience they have had using our services. “Our” ultimately defined as stakeholders. The traveller does not usually have a clue s/he has interacted with and at which point of their itinerary, several government bodies and private industry. Was it CATSA? Was it customs? Was it the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)? Was it the airline or the airport authority? Social media provides CATSA the opportunity to engage the travelling public with the intention of redirecting them to the proper authority to voice their concerns to the right authority the first time. In light of my knowledge and experience working in several customer service centres for several government programs, I am an assent to the general public in referring them to the correct authority even when outside the CATSA mandate and giving them a guideline of what to ask, to whom and what they can expect as a follow up. With this comes an improved relationship between client and agency and reputational risks are reduced.


COM0014: Blog 5 My Personal Brand

books on bookshelves

Photo by Mikes Photos on

As my social media accounts revolve around me as a person, who reads books and shares thoughts, and not a product, my personal brand is very important. While I go by Molly Jane Reader, my real name is Molly Jane Read, so in essence, I am just being myself online. I think there are definitely certain qualities that set me apart from other online bookish personalities. I’m very genuine, and often funny. I love books wholeheartedly, but I don’t just read what’s trendy and new. I like to find used books that turn out to be gems, and read outside of my standard genres. I like to share these books and my reactions, in the hopes that others can have the same enjoyable experiences in what they are reading.

In my workplace, I think my colleagues would consider my best trait to be my friendliness and openness with guests and customers, my ability to connect with people and make them laugh and feel comfortable. I also tend to take a leadership role in different aspects of my job and life. I think this leadership can also be a great part of personal branding as I am confident in my writing and sharing my opinions.

I’m proud of my ability to communicate well with people, and to make them laugh. Part of this comes from my ability to listen and understand people. I think this ability to communicate in an honest and open fashion is a vital part of my personal brand. I think it makes me seem trusting and trustworthy.

What do you guys consider your best qualities? Would you consider trustworthiness and important quality in those you follow online? Or is there something else you look for? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Blog 4 – COM0014 – B2C

Wayfair is an e-commerce site that offers everything for indoor and outdoor home décor. Mainly active on Instagram, Wayfair also advertises on Facebook and Twitter. Wayfair has successfully managed to guide consumers from a pretty image on Instagram to the website shopping cart. The main goal for Wayfair is to sell products, which exclusively done on their website. Businesses often face challenges in successfully directing potential consumers to their website because the product that was advertised that peaked interest is difficult to find on the website’s search engine, and consumers just as quickly loose interest and a sale is lost. The following link provides a few examples of businesses that successfully use social media, including Wayfair.

Through their engagement on Instagram, Wayfair publishes images of professionally designed rooms one would see in a home interiors magazine. The added feature is that in these images Wayfair flags the products that can be purchased through their website with the price included. These images include a shopping bag icon that with a single click leads the consumer directly to the landing page of the product with information on shipping and availability. The Instagram images also include the ability to like and share an image, which extends the businesses reach. It’s quick, it’s easy, it’s instant gratification.

wayfair instagram shoppable post

COM0014 -Blog 2 – Storytelling and communication styles

In order to obtain the audiences attention and retain it throughout your engagement, I learned two main things about storytelling thus far.

  1. Writing in an active voice engages the reader to a greater degree. The goal of the communication is clearer and to the point. As an employee of a communication branch for a government department, using plain language is difficult to get through the approval process. Fortunately, due to an increase in social media engagement the branch has been pushed to use this method of written communication more often.
  2. In most cases we take the time to reflect and prepare the content of the story we want to tell. How to introduce it, what are the main points and what do you want the readers to gain from it? What I have learned is that reflecting on tone your communication will take is equally significant. Is the purpose of your tone to be witty, humorous on a lighter tone? Is the aim to be neutral about a given story, serious in presenting facts? Are you attempting to gather support and empathy is the route you need to take? Or is a voice of protest and disapproval better suited for your engagement?