COMM0014 – Blog #7 – There is always 2 sides to a medal.

As a photojournalist, telling stories is what my job is. There are always 2 sides to a medal and, as a staff photographer I get to show our side of it. The medias can take care of the other side.


Photo of the medals awarded to Lt.-Col. David Currie during the Second World War including the Victoria Cross. Photo by Serge Gouin

With a minimum of information, a time, place and a contact name, I need to be able to show up at any location with the appropriate gear, and document any event in a way that will go along the lines of what my client is hoping.

There is rarely only one client since, many department can benefit from these images. If I do it right, I can supply images for the event manager (most likely to promote the event the next year), the social media team, the recruiting team, our image bank and even the participants themselves.

Understanding your audience, the impact you are hoping to get is crucial. Learning to please most of it is something I need to deal with on a daily basis. Experience is the key and feedback is the most precious thing you can ever get.

Telling a story is not hard for me. That being said, the challenge is always there. What if the light is not as nice as you expected? What if only 10 people showed up to this rally? What do you do if it rains? …

You just need to find the right angle. Our angle. Our side of the medal.




If you wish to read about the medal’s story, click here

COMM0014 – BLOG #3 -Variable audience

As you may know by now, I’m a photographer . I have two kind of clients: 1- The strategists from my full time Job and, 2- my sideline photography business.

Serge photographe

Taking pictures of Garance

I quickly realized that I always have more than one client for my products of the same event. For example, if I take photos at a parade, I might take some close ups that can be used by the recruiting department and artistic photos for the social media teams. If I am lucky, the boss might use some for her twitter account and so on. The audience varies depending on the strategists and their specific projects and I try and bring home a variety of images that tells the story and will suit everyone.

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Screenshot @CommrRCMPGRC ‘s Twitter account using my pictures of a parade.

For my business, it is a totally different picture. My audience consists of my friends, my family, local families and businesses in my community. They usually come from my network, meaning people I work/train with, friends or mouth-to-ear referrals. They are mid-class to wealthy people (meaning they can afford professional photography services). I find it interesting when I look at my client’s sessions page. It gives me a visual of who they and who is reaching out for my services. My blog, website and Instagram are used to share my work with them, including what I do at work.

At this time, my strategy is not aimed towards getting a lot of clients. Since I work full time, I keep my online presence to maintain a reputation and, from time to time, find opportunities for assignments.

While we are here…

We are currently taking part in an international photo contest with one of my image! Head to this @Policenationale Instagram post and please like my picture to help us win! – and become part of my audience!

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Please vote for my picture on @policenationale ‘s Instagram account!



Hitting the Bullseye

Who is your audience? Where do you find them? How do you talk to them? If you don’t have the answers to these questions, chances are your social media marketing strategy will go nowhere. You have to know where you are going before you can start.

Your target audience is your bullseye. Knowing how to reach them, engage effectively, and create a relationship is essential.

Yoga practice originated in India and has been around for thousands of years, helping people reach their spiritual, mental, and physical goals. Its popularity took off in the 1980s and keeps getting stronger every year. And as it grows, so do the numbers of yoga studios, magazines, specialty stores, and training/workshop schools.

To be successful, the target audience needs to be identified. In fact, part of Lululemon’s manifesto is, “Listen, listen, listen, and then ask strategic questions.”

Typically, yoga practitioners in North America:

  • are female
  • earn more than $75,000 annually
  • are between the ages of 18 and 54
  • have a post-secondary education
  • have a fair amount of disposable income
  • enjoy lattes (joke…)

Yoga magazines, websites, and blogs communicate well with this audience by using images featuring other women in the age group, colour schemes and images that women like, and language that appeals to this demographic. Stores and studios also have calm and quiet environments with muted colour schemes, and modern, feminine, and sleek décors.

This demographic is also very active in social media, so using apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest can be very effective. Many studios, magazines, and instructors use social media apps and see huge benefits.

Although it is a niche market, the target audience will slowly evolve and change as more and more men and seniors begin to take up yoga. Social media marketing strategies will need to change and evolve in order to bring in these new demographic groups.

COM0014 – Genuine Communication

Some people tell a great story. They know how to weave a good tale and keep their audience listening. And others don’t. Those are the people we avoid.

We’ve all met these people at some point. They prattle on about something obscure, giving too much detail and forgetting who they are talking to. They don’t care what anybody thinks, so they talk in one long, loud sentence. Eventually, they get to their point – the meat of their story – but by then, most people have completely tuned out (you can tell because their eyes have glazed over and their jaws have dropped).


Image from

Good storytelling is everything. It can make or break a company, small business, or blog. To tell a great story is to communicate with your audience: know who they are, what they are looking for, and what you can give them. It’s about asking for feedback and listening to what they have to say. Focusing on the human interest angle and making it personal can create a solid connection.

Talk to your audience as you would in real life. Avoid the jargon, jibber-jabber, and ten-dollar words. You will confuse your audience; they will drop you quickly. An active voice should be used. Use an active voice!

Be clear. Be concise. Use plain language. Check your spelling, grammar, and punctuation. We may be living in an age of texting and emoticons, but breaking too far away from traditional grammar is a risky move.

Following these steps and opening the door to effective, genuine communication is the key to success in social media.

COM0015 – Blog Post #4 Out of the Box

I used to use Facebook a lot in my previous job, as for a flower shop visuals are essential.  As a software company, I find that Twitter and blogging are more relevant to our followers. They are looking for news on mobile threats, security solutions for enterprises that want to protect their confidential data, and so on.

I did find some unexpected and extremely useful tools that helped us a lot to stay in touch with our audience, reach out to them, and provide useful information.

For video creation I use a screencast tool (the video screen capturing software) used along with Camtasia, a very easy to use professional screen recording & video editing software. We create “how-to” videos to guide our users into learning how to use our software.

CamCard: a free tool to scan business cards for Android or IOS phones. After a trade show you end up with tons of business cards, therefore a free tool like Camcard is the extremely useful alternative to manually inputting contact details into an excel file. You scan the business cards and the soft is giving you the option to save them into your phone or export into an excel file.

Mailchimp a free email marketing service provider for email blasts. You can stay in touch with your contacts by sending them information regularly about what we are up to.  I used Constant Contact as well and for a monthly fee you get more flexibly with regard to template layouts and usability, vs Mailchimp.