COM0014 Blog #2 – Did We Miss the Most Helpful Technique?!

Photo by Matheus Bertelli from Pexels

Communication styles and techniques were the topics of discussion this week. Between “Grammar, Spelling, & Punctuation” and the “inverted pyramid,” we’ve been left with many ideas to ponder for our writing. Yet, one of the topics jogged a memory from my public speaking days that goes hand in hand with this week’s material. Que the THREE RHETORICAL APPEALS.

First, to jog your memory, the various levels of readers referred to the four stages that audiences go through while reading an article. Our job is to turn them from Elementary/ Inspectional readers to Analytical and Syntopical ones – we do this by being clear and concise. Achieving this is simple in theory, but could there be a perfect formula to promising you, readers who consume your content syntopically!? This is where the rhetorical appeals come in.

Welcome! Ethos, Pathos, and Logos.

Ethos refers to the value and credibility of your words. Be that tapping into a joint ideology between you and your reader, or your credibility from life experiences, work, education, the list goes on.

Pathos is the effect on readers’ emotions. Could be descriptive storytelling that evokes a feeling from the audience. It grabs their attention from the start and reels them in for the rest of the article.

Logos, which conveniently refers to logic, is about using reason and rationality to solidify your point. Using logic, careful structure, and objective evidence can be a key to gaining respect from your readers.

Photo retrieved from Charles H Stewart on charleshstewart.com

If you want to persuade your audience to believe in your content and develop opinions around it, you have to find ways of compelling them and craft your article well enough to captivate them for the long haul. Using a perfect balance of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos mashed with the communication techniques outlined to us, we will be a force to be reckoned with online.

COM0014 – Blog #2: Bing Bang Boom–Story Telling

COM0014 – Blog #2: Bing Bang Boom–Story Telling

Image By Matthew Lightstorm

You can do it in whatever style you want, but you need to follow the basics of story telling. You need to be close to them, but not too close. You need a little suspense to lead them in, but not too much to get them lost. Imagine you are sitting by the fire and the audience has your attention.

Bing

The Bing is that initial ringing sound you hear that draws your attention. You know you hear that bing when your head turns, or something pulls you in, to read more. You are by the camp fire with a full moon and you want to tell your audience a blood-curdling story. You want to lead your audience into the story to ensure that you have their full attention. You may start by telling them, “I never told anyone this story about how I came across a dead body.” Or you may not want to tell them the ending right away and start with something alluding like, “I never wanted to know what it felt like to see a dead body.” You may choose to tell your story from the first person, second person, or third person, but the further removed you are from the story the less personal it becomes. You may also consider that you can make it personal in the second and third person by being a party or witness to the story.

Bang

The Bang is that sudden loud noise that makes everyone jump. The body of the story comes to life; just as a dead body in a horror story might awaken. All the surrounding details of how life after death are made possible in the supernatural, may convince the reader of the plausibility. The logic and facts used to convince the audience are just as important as how you convey them through your writing style. Perhaps, you will add that, “the government had been testing human cells in their ability to reverse their state of apoptosis or cell death–as you may have learned in Grade 10 biology.” Anything is possible when you begin to change the audience’s point of view and create the idea of new possibilities.

Boom

The Boom is the final act in the story that finally allows the entire story to come to some kind of conclusion and leaves the audience with some kind of closure or open-ended idea for more possibilities. Using the example of the camp fire horror story, the boom is the part of the story that just shocks the pants off your readers. Assuming the lead was catchy enough and the body was believable, the audience is now waiting for the final verdict–however shocking it might be. The boom needs to follow the same logic as the story and not introduce any new evidence; but more like an unfolding of all the facts. In the end, “behind the gates of the abandoned mine the government had contracted to use the grounds as an experiment to test its new reverse-cell-apoptosis drug on unclaimed bodies with decomposition profiles of less than 10 days.” My uncle worked at the facility as a janitor and was only privy to certain details. What happens to all the successful risen bodies after the story is entirely up to the reader’s imagination. After the story, the reader might even feel compelled to look up the word “apoptosis reversal” even if this is just a story about writing stories. Knowing what your audience expects from your content, making your point of view clear and applying the elements of good form and style, are the fundamentals of telling a story–whether fiction or reality. In view of Blog 2, it was a story about a story for the purpose of writing about writing and whether you believe it to be true or not; it would have left an indelible mark in the deep synapses of your mind.

Personal Reflection – Digital Communication

Personal Reflection – Digital Communication

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio (Pexels.com)

What I learnt in this course is, that we need great storytelling for compelling content marketing that will grasp the attention of the consumer. Especially in the fast-paced world of social media in that, we live today.

I also learnt that we should not be afraid to make mistakes and not to over-edit our work. We learn and grow from our mistakes – as writers and marketers. In the past, I was always too scared to make mistakes or thought I should not write about a certain subject, but after this course, I will change that.

We also need to remember to be transparent in the relationship with our customers. So, I will try and find a piece of myself in every story that I will write from now on.

I was also too afraid to be too personal in the content that I post online, but now I will start to embrace that and be more transparent and share more personal stories.
Thank you!

Who am I & Why did I Start My Business?

Who am I & Why did I Start My Business?

Photo by: Eike Peter Scholz; 2017

I never thought or even had the dream of becoming a model. But in 2011 I accompanied my sister to find her wedding dress in a Bridal Store in our hometown in Germany.

When we were ready to leave, the owner asked me if I wanted to model for her on the runway. And that’s how I landed my first model gig.

The owner of a bridal store hired me for three runway shows. I had never modeled before which meant I was about to learn how to pose and walk like a model on the job.

Luckily, some of the other and more experienced models gave me a few modelling lessons while we were waiting to go on the runway.

This experience was my first and only model experience until I met a photographer named Eike on the Frankfurt Zombiewalk in 2014, three years later. (He made all photos you can see on today’s blog post)

Photo by Eike Peter Scholz; 2014 – Zombiewalk Frankfurt

I don’t know how Eike saw that I could be a model for Portrait and Fashion photography, but he approached me that day at the Zombiewalk in Frankfurt and told me to message him to set up a photoshoot. Later I found out, that we just lived across the road from each other. Small world!

Photo by Eike Peter Scholz Fotografie

But this was the beginning of my modelling career. Since moving to Canada and because of Covid-19 it has slowed down quite a bit. But I’m sure it will pick up again when things get back to “normal”.

But you never know how your life might change. I certainly never thought I would model but I enjoy it very much and have found really good friends through it.

Did something like that happen to you as well? Let me know in the comments.

My Personal Brand

As a freelance model, I had to think quite often what kind of qualities or characteristics set me apart from models in my area.
One might be obvious. My red hair and my fair skin.

But the reason why some photographers keep booking me again or recommend me to their colleagues is that I am very professional, reliable, friendly, kind, confident and disciplined.

If need be, I can also plan and organize a hole photoshoot with a few days or offer an idea to a photographer. All of this I learned in the past 6 years of working as a model.

I have a Facebook business page and Instagram page for my modeling where I post about every two weeks. I also joined modeling and photography groups on Facebook to network and find new contacts for photoshoots (since I am still fairly new in town). Even when I do not post new content in those groups often, I do comment and/or engage on posts of other photographers and models.

After Covid-19 I plan to start meeting with photographers again. This time with photographers I have not made any photos yet to expand my network.

Any tips and tricks you can share with me? Then please, leave me a comment! Thank you.

Oreo’s Daily Twist Campaign

Oreo’s Daily Twist Campaign

Photo owned by Kraft Foods – OREO (found on Pinterest)

In my post today I want to talk about the Daily Twist campaign that Oreo launched in 2012 for the 100th anniversary of the Oreo cookie.

What I like about this campaign is that Oreo is not trying to sell us anything with this ad.

They are trying to connect with the consumer and I believe they were successful.

How Oreo made advertising fun

They took holidays and days that we celebrate (like pride month, grandparent day), current & historical events, meme’s from the internet and landmarks etc.

Oreo shared those ads daily on their Facebook page. Their 30 million followers loved it and shared it with their friends without Oreo asking them to do that. People just loved it that much.

Photo owned by Kraft Foods – OREO (found on Pinterest)

Oreo’s Daily Twist was engaging, colourful, aesthetic and fun. This ad did not want to sell anything to you. It was entertaining.

Photo owned by Kraft Foods – OREO (found on Pinterest)

It shows us that advertising or engagement with our consumers does not always have to be “you have to buy this product!” Or “buy this product because it is the best out there!”. Ads can be fun and show off your product in a new way that your consumers have not seen before.

Try it out, you might be surprised!

Any similar ads that you can recommend to me? Or any advice on how to improve business to consumer advertising? Thank you for reading.

Characteristics You Need To Be a Professional Model

Characteristics You Need To Be a Professional Model

Model: Rena Grey (me) Photo by: Venustas Fotografie; 2017

Characteristics

The typical characteristics that a good photographer should have are:

Patient

  • Be patient. Taking the right photo is not always as easy as it looks and the set have to set up and the photographer must get ready as well.

Confidence

  • You must show confidence in the way you enter a room or in the way you express yourself. You might not be as confident as you present yourself, but no one must know that! 😉

Commitment

  • A model must be committed to the project. Especially in the beginning, you might get a lot of “no’s” before you hear a “yes”. And photographers might cancel on you as well. Be prepared for that.

Persistent

  • As I just mentioned you might hear a lot of “no’s”. You must embrace those and just believe that you will get the next job. It is not personal.
  • Be realistic that millions out there want to be a model.

Creative

  • A model needs to be creative. Especially when you are not working as a big model like Heidi Klum, then photographers might ask you for an idea and the vision for the final photo.

Communication Skill

  • A model needs to be able to communicate with the photographer behind the lens on how they need to move and what vision they have for the final photo (which should also be discussed before the Photo shoot).

Professional

  • Modelling is not as easy as it looks. Models must be in perfect “condition” when they arrive on set. Remember to be always on time, friendly, return calls and dress professionally.

Tools and Strategies

The tools a model should be using online are Instagram, Flickr and Facebook. From my personal experience, I can say that those are the best platforms to reach photographers.

I tried Twitter, but I just was not able to get a good following there.

Another thing I can recommend is to look at Facebook and Instagram Insights. This way you will know which post was most loved by your followers and you can create more content like that.

In the beginning, I joined all my local photography Facebook groups as well, to connect and to make the community aware that I exist. This way I was able to slowly expand my model portfolio and my network.

I also used Facebook Ads in the very beginning to grow my Facebook business page, which helped a lot and I have some of the followers to this day.

Another thing I did was to use hashtags every-time I posted a photo (for example #ottawamodel #portraitoftheday #portraitphotography). And sometimes that is how the photographers would find me too.

Do you have any other tips and tricks? Let me know in the comments.

Honeymoon in Paris

Honeymoon in Paris

Now in the times of Covid-19, I think we all would love to go and take a vacation to our favorite place.
So, why not go down memory lane and think about the last vacation we had. Today, I will talk about mine. Paris, France in the summer of 2018!

Deciding where to go for our Honeymoon

My husband and I renewed our vows in my hometown Hanau in Germany in July 2018. I decided that I wanted to surprise him with a Honeymoon.
I planned the whole thing without him knowing and I also booked everything online.

The only thing I had asked him a few months earlier was, if he got the chance to see either Rome or Paris where he would rather go. He chose Paris. And that’s when I started planning everything.

Arriving in Paris

At the Gallery Lafayette


We were staying in Paris for 6 days. I thought this would give us plenty of time to see “everything” but I was so wrong! I think we just saw a small part of what we wanted to do.

I booked tickets to go to Paris for us by train on early Monday morning. We were in Paris (from Frankfurt) in as little over 4 hours. By about 1 pm we were in our little hotel in Montmartre (just a few meters away from the Moulin Rouge). Thinking back, I’m still glad that I booked a hotel with Air Condition because we would end up having at least 35 degrees every day during our stay.

Anyways, our first day was a very relaxing start in Paris and as I said earlier, I had planned everything. So, we had a clear idea of what we were going to do in the next few days.

The first day we walked to the Gallery Lafayette, not to shop but because I knew that you could see the whole city from the rooftop. The view was amazing!

To finish our first day off and to take in the city, I had arranged a tour with a Parisian 2CV Car. If you ever visit Paris, take the time to do a tour with one of those cars. It is amazing.

View from the little 2CV Car

Versailles, Catacombs, The Rodin Museum & Museum D’Orsay

In the next few days, we had planned many things. Our second day was completely booked off for the Palace of Versailles. Stunning. I highly recommend it. Especially the gardens.
We stayed there the whole day and we spent about 2-3 hours in the Palace and the rest of the time we spent wandering the gardens. I think I could have spent our hole trip just in Versailles. It is an amazing place.

Gardens of Versailles


Day three we went to the Museum D’Orsay, which is located in an old train station. It is a beautiful museum and I wished that we had more time. Great collection of french art.

The next stop was the Catacombs. I had heard about them a lot and I wanted to see them. The Parisian catacombs were modeled after the catacombs in Rome and go through the hole Paris underground. All the people that were killed during the French revolution are buried there (except Marie Antoinette and the King). Fascinating place. We kept talking about this place for the rest of the day.

Day 4 and 5 we went to the Rodin Museum, which has a great selection of Rodin’s most beautiful sculptures. Close by is Napoleons Tomb and Les Invalides, which is worth checking out as well.

And by accident, we stumbled upon the Luxembourg Gardens (close by is the Notre Dame which we were lucky to see before it burnt down).
But if you are in Paris, those Gardens are worth checking out. They are so beautiful. Take a look at the photo below.

Our second last day we spent at the Louvre. I think everyone knows that you need about a week in the Louvre and you still haven’t seen everything.
Beautiful art collection!

Last Day

Our last day we spent exploring Montmartre. We ended up regretting this because it was the favorite part of our trip. It is a wonderful part of the town and we hope to explore it more if we can come back.
The last thing we went to was the Sacre-Cour, down below you can see some photos from the top of the church and from Montmartre.


What was your favorite vacation? And do you have some favorite spots and tips and tricks? If so, let me know in the comment section.
Thank you for reading!

Do People Know your Story?

Thrifting has been a part of my life since I can remember. I grew up going to Value Village and small local thrift stores rather than the mall. It allowed me to be creative with my style, and to save lots of money to have experiences rather than things. As i grew up societal pressure to buy new overtook me and I fell out of love with thrifting. While in college I got into a car accident and developed chronic back pain which resulted in a lot of time in bed and a LOT of online shopping. I mean a LOT. I would get a new wardrobe basically every week, and every week I would just give my old wardrobe away or pile it at the bottom of my closet. 

Eventually I realized that what I was doing was not healthy for my wallet so I stopped buying things. I then started doing research into the companies I had been buying from and the whole fashion industry. This is when my mind was blown. I started reading about the horrible ways that Fast Fashion impacts the environment and impacts people. As I read I started to feel worse and worse about my shopping habits and I started to thrift again. What started as a moment of “shame” quickly turned into an educated decision. I realized that I truly didnt know any better when it came to buying my insane amounts of clothing. I had no idea the effect my purchases were having in the grand scheme of things and I had no idea there was another option that would allow me to continue to shop and have fun with fashion while supporting charities and supporting sustainable shopping. 

This is why I started reselling thrifted clothing on Instagram. To show people that there are some seriously cute items out there, and that its easier than it looks to shop second hand. I started to share information about the fast fashion industry and why shopping sustainably was so important. My business is not about making insane profits, but rather giving people information about thrifting and offering a place for them to get started. 

COM0014 – Blog 7: Personal Reflection

Between mid-May and early July 2020, I took a Digital Communication course at the Algonquin College. Here is my brief reflection on what I learnt in the course.

Stories make great content

There is a lot of information in the digital world. An average social media user is bombarded by thousands of various messages as soon as they go on any online platform. If you want your message and content to stand out, you need to tell powerful stories. You also need to do so in your unique and authentic voice.

Social media users are bombarded by information. Source: Hulu on Giphy.

Stories shape content into something that resonates with audiences. A story provides content with a natural flow, from a beginning to an end. In doing so, stories give digital content a form that most people are wired to follow.

Stories help you explain what makes your business or organization unique, and they do so in a compelling way.

Every story needs an audience

In crafting digital content, it is important to know who its audience is. In modern multicultural societies, audiences are bound to be culturally diverse. Therefore, it is important to understand the various groups within your target audiences and to ensure that your messages resonate with all of these groups.

In storytelling, it is important to know who your audience is. Source: GOV BALL NYC on Giphy.

When you know who exactly you are targeting with the content, it is much easier to decide what kind of stories you want to tell and how you want to tell them. Stories will guide your content.

My stories

Storytelling is already helping me in my job. I use stories to communicate important digital safety messages to audiences that are not likely to pay attention to information conveyed in a different way.

And what kind of stories are you telling? Does your audience find these stories compelling? Let me know in the comments below.