Blog Post #3 – Professional Networking Now and in the Future

I recently had an interview to be a social media specialist and this question actually came up. The lady doing the interview emphasized how important it was to her that we network online. Just like our notes say, more and more people are online today, and gone are the days (especially for at least the next few weeks, if you live in Ontario…) of in person networking, so we have to concentrate on online networking. Fortunately, tools like messenger, facetime, zoom, etc. are at our fingertips. I also feel like new tools and technology will always be surfacing and I am excited to see what people come up with.

If hired for this position (keep your fingers crossed!) I plan on reaching out via e-mail to past colleagues of mine, or sending them messages through facebook messenger to touch base and possibly talk about collaborating and/or pointing me in the direction of more people I can talk with. I would also start posting Instagram and Facebook call to action stories, tagging some of these friends and colleagues in stories to peak some interest in hopes that they will reach out and we can start chatting about future projects to collaborate on.

As for my personal blog and Instagram for Love Learning a Mom’s Journey, I plan to reach out to more moms and talk about going live with them. It’s so much fun and definitely gets some attention. I am also going to share, like and comment on more posts that I see in my feed that relate to my brand. The more love you give, the more love you will get in return.

Photo by Cristian Dina on Pexels.com

COM0014 – Blog #3: Target Audience & Communication: Raising Funds & Awareness Online.

Source

The Today 4 Tomorrow Appeal is a branch of the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa which raises funds for our five Community Ministries of Ottawa. The Community Ministries consist of shelters, day programs, and counselling services (Today for Tomorrow, 2020). It is also one of the social media pages I currently manage. So, who exactly is our target audience and how do we communicate with them? Read on to find out more!

To get to know our target audience, we first need to understand their demographics and psychographics. Since this is an appeal to raise money, our demographic is typically men and women who have a high level of education, are often executives or business owners, generally with a higher income level. Since our appeal is within the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa, most of our demographic would identify as Anglican or more widely as Christian by religion. Our target audience’s psychographics would consist of the upper class with more disposable income, people who have an interest in social issues, and likely people who are leaders in their field and will share our cause with their network. 

Now that we know Today 4 Tomorrow’s target audience, let’s talk about how to communicate to them! Since Facebook users tend to be of an older generation (Pokrop, 2019), we have found a lot of success in using it to reach out target audience. We tend to use videos and pictures to grab our audience’s attention, specifically showing people using our services and talking about how our services have changed their lives. Most recently, we hosted a lunch time virtual fundraiser called Building A Community of Hope (Today for Tomorrow, 2020). That one event raised $79,000 for our Community Ministries of Ottawa (Today 4 Tomorrow Appeal, 2020). 

Have you raised funds for a charity using social media? Tell me about your experience and target audience in the comments below! I’d love to hear your stories!

Sources:

Anglican Diocese of Ottawa. (2020). Ways To Support Us. [Website]. Retrieved from: https://www.ottawa.anglican.ca/index.php/donate?highlight=WyJ0NHQiXQ==

Pokrop. J. (2019, August 20). Instagram & Facebook user statistics in Canada – July 2019 UPDATE. Retrieved from: https://napoleoncat.com/blog/instagram-user-demographics-in-canada-march-2017/

Today 4 Tomorrow Appeal (2020, October 16). Cover Photo. [Facebook Page]. Retrieved from: https://www.facebook.com/t4tappeal/photos/a.171199030297249/809694436447702

Today 4 Tomorrow Appeal (2020, October 15). Fund Raiser. [Facebook Page]. Retrieved from: https://www.facebook.com/t4tappeal/videos/1526172950918966

Today 4 Tomorrow Appeal (2020). No Title. [Facebook Page]. Retrieved from: https://www.facebook.com/t4tappeal

Today 4 Tomorrow Appeal (2020, November 10). Thank You. [Facebook Page]. Retrieved from: https://www.facebook.com/t4tappeal/photos/a.176319239785228/831594047591074/

Today 4 Tomorrow. (2020). Welcome to Today 4 Tomorrow. [Old Website]. Retrieved from: https://www.today4tomorrow.ca

Today 4 Tomorrow (2020). Your Support Changes Lives! [New Website]. Retrieved from: https://www.todayfortomorrow.ca

COM0014-Blog#2: Outdated telegraph still impacts today’s news coverage

Image of telegraph machine courtesy Pixabay/Ray Shrewberry

I often thought that news stories were written in a format to accommodate the reading style of inspectional readers i.e. those who skim and scan for key information.  However, it is Samuel Morse, the inventor of the telegraph, who has the most impact on how we write and consume news and information today.

Before the invention of the telegraph in 1844, storytellers could afford to be long-winded in their writing since news had no urgency.  It could take weeks or months to send communications coast to coast or to other continents via stagecoach or steamer.  However, the new telegraph technology was expensive to use and if the lines were cut during the transmission of the message, it was prudent to get the most important information across first. Writing styles had to change from long, drawn-out partisan journalism to concise, objective newswriting. Many adopted the Inverted Pyramid writing style (leading with the most important information) out of necessity but that is no longer our reality. 

Inverted Pyramid Writing Style

Telegrams are outdated and have long been replaced by email. Perhaps it is time that we shelve the ‘Inverted Pyramid’ concept and stop teaching it in our classrooms or does this century-old style of journalism still have relevance today?

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COM0015 – Blog #2: Strong and Weak Organizations

There are many organizations all over the world that implement excellent social media strategies and create campaigns that are meaningful to their audience. One of these is a corporation that most of us are familiar with:

Nike

I saw a post recently on Facebook about Nike and their new “Dream Crazier” ad that features Serena Williams and other female athletes. I found it very inspiring where it goes on to promote gender equality and seeks to reduce stigma on what it means to be “crazy”—rather than regarding women as emotional, acknowledging their outstanding capabilities. The video was also released in good timing since International Women’s Day is just around the corner.

There is also a separate Nike Women page that highlights amazing achievements by female athletes. This page seeks to be more inclusive and celebrate diversity—one example is when they released the Nike hijab for muslim women. Although controversial since some customers did not agree with bringing religion into the brand, discussion increases engagement and creates change.

Nike Women

Photo by Nike Women on Instagram

On top of creating relevant content, Nike has their popular “Just Do It” slogan and that is all over social media and merchandise. They are also consistently active across all social media platforms. Nike is definitely a corporation that is jumping on the bandwagon of social change, and although not everyone wants that from a brand, it’s definitely something that seeks to provide engagement and transparency.

University of Ottawa

Another organization a little more close to home that I find has an excellent social media strategy is the University of Ottawa. Having done my undergrad there, I have seen how they have improved over the years online.

I saw them post on Facebook last month about their Wellness Week: a week full of free activities for students like discussions on stress management, yoga classes, and even a pet therapy day which really caught my eye since I love animals. I can see how that catches attention while also trying to connect with the students on a more human level.

They are also active on Facebook and Twitter, along with having blogs which provide opportunities for engagement through comments. Content is also bilingual which is important being a bilingual university and capital.

Also keeping up with changes in technology—the University of Ottawa makes use of the highlights feature on Instagram to divide content into categories like winter activities, mental health, exam tips, questions to students, and club information.

uottawa

Image from uottawa on Instagram

Using these highlights to ask questions directly to students is a great way to engage and provide a more authentic experience for the students.

There is one organization that I found which could improve upon its social media strategy:

Mood Disorders Ottawa

With events like Wellness Week taking place at the University of Ottawa and the rise of campaigns like Bell Let’s Talk, the need for mental health awareness has never been stronger and more talked about than it is now. But it can always be better.

When looking specifically for organizations in Ottawa for those affected by mood disorders, I found Mood Disorders Ottawa (MDO) which is a peer-run volunteer organization. They host a variety of support groups and counselling for those affected by things like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, along with the families of those affected.

They only have two posts on Instagram and only post about four times per month on Facebook. I found one comment on their Facebook page about someone who found their organization just through a web search. They wrote that the support groups were helpful and provided hope for the future.

Improving their social media strategy could help many more people in Ottawa who would not have known that the organization existed. By posting more frequently and consistently on Facebook, they could build their community and give the information that could save lives of those affected with these disorders. Posting on Instagram consistently and using the highlights feature could increase engagement and help people not feel alone.

Overall, social media can be isolating when used improperly. Content must be consistent and authentic when trying to reach any audience—as well as motivating and inspiring while keeping up with the times. Doing all of this right might just get you the engagement you need to succeed across social media.

COM0014 – Blog #2: Storytelling and Communication Styles

pexels-photo-803926.jpeg

Storytelling is the most basic form of communication.  Although we are more advanced from a technological perspective, we are still using storytelling as a primary method of communication.

Al Gore didn’t invent the Internet, primitive people did.

Okay, so maybe primitive people didn’t invent the actual Internet, but they did use cave walls much like how we use the web, as a way to capture information and share it with a larger audience.

In more modern times, the printing press introduced mass distribution and the wide reach that we continue to experience today through tv, movies, books, and of course, the Internet.

Content is rooted in story and the ability to tell a great one.

Bottom line: you need to be a great storyteller.  Given the volume of content available, many readers are skimmers.  You need to captivate your audience from the get-go with your title. Have you ever read an article that you normally wouldn’t have only because you were grabbed by the title?

Know your audience.

Content should be engaging, inspiring, motivational, and entertaining.  To accomplish this you need to know your audience.  Who are you writing for?  What do you want them to take away from your piece?  How do you want them to engage with you?

When you know your audience, your content is more likely to be shared.  Always be true to yourself and use your voice—there is only one you, and you are interesting.  (See what I did there, I’m being motivational!)  You will attract like-minded readers and increase your following organically.

Short and digestible.

Looking back at some of my other blog posts (I’m a book reviewer for various publishers), I quickly realized that the best ones are in fact the shorter ones.  These posts chunk the content into small paragraphs which plays right into the skimmer personality, which I think is what most of us are becoming.  How many times have you gotten a huge email, only to stop reading early on because it was too wordy and visually overwhelming?

You want engagement and buy-in.  By arranging your piece using short paragraphs, someone can quickly and easily read your post and look forward to reading more from your blog.

COM 0015 – Assignment 5 – Event Participation

Professional Development 2-for-1: that’s how it happened for me….

      Trying to figure out what would be the best professional development ‘EVENT’ was a tricky one.  Where do I go? What do I do?  What do I say about it?  So… I did two events in one  day… and lived to tell the tale: in blog format, no less. 🙂

For years now, I’ve been working towards pursuing a career as a freelance superhero, writer and possibility creator.  An active part of the Ottawa Writing Circle’s Meetup group, I have attended several of their workshops, social mixers and I finally decided to venture out of my comfort zone to see what their OWC WRITE IN event had to offer.  I have always been a very solitary figure as a writer.  True, I’ve had my share of group writing and editing opportunities over the years, but this opportunity was a little bit different.

When I met up with our coordinator, Averill (@averillelisa), there were two more participants pecking away at their respective writing projects.  Prior to our meeting, I had mentioned the event on Twitter– Thank you @Averillelisa for giving me my first Twitter conversation in real-time!!  Not only did we mention each other by Twitter id: it also gave me an opportunity to learn new conversation skills with someone who actually Twitter talked back.

OWCCollage

The write-in group included such writing personalities as Averill Eisa Frankes (bottom left w/ me), Alexandra, Ariel, Belle Alvine, James W. Cook, Michelle Human, Nick HJ, Sanna, Tamara and me.  (all mentioned are profile names for our Meetup Ottawa Writer’s Circle Group)

      Writers periodically dropped in and introduced themselves and we did have a discreet ongoing conversation; politely asking how it was going when we caught someone blankly staring at their screen. Averill did forewarn me that there were no outlets or wifi at the world exchange plaza foodcourt, so I had made a game plan in advance. I went with my trusty fully charged MacBook Pro and I used my iPhone to call up any images that I needed to play with. Airdropping stuff from my phone to my computer has become a regular practice for me— way less grunt-work!

“Can’t edit a blank page,” is one token of writerly wisdom that Averill left me with: short, sweet and to the point.

       Same day, different location…

45 minutes after leaving the world exchange food-court?  Yeah… I managed to haul myself and my amazing computer all the way home with a quick, portable fre-fab food that I picked up at Sobey’s with roughly 5 minutes to spare.

       When I initially signed up for this online event, I thought that it might have video or some sort of interactive discussion.  They’d been reminding me via text and email and I’d even built it into my calendar as a backup.   I’ve done a whole lot of reading of a whole lot of books and listened to audiotapes with these fine fellows.  Luminaries and philosophers and authors all rolled into one: they have distinctively different appreciation for social media.

DSETChaos

So, I rushed home and plugged my trusty MacBook pro into my television so I could see everything hi-def… and then, it turned out that their ‘BEAUTIFUL CHAOS: How to find meaning in a messy world’ (link for encore presentation) was audio only via internet that combined the sharing power of Deepak Chopra with Eckhart Tolle’s Power of Being perspective.  Bummer.I sucked it up and listened and took notes anyway.  The simplicity of the presentation worked well: zero technical glitches or distractions throughout.

Common narratives revolved around the power of transformation on the other side of catastrophe and their usual ‘this is how you can build power from powerless’ mantra.  The one super interesting part of their presentation talked about the tole of social media in our society at large and how it can be used to make a positive impact.

Eckart made an interesting analogy to Narcissus, touching on the superficial, facade based practices of social media.  Admittedly, he doesn’t really use it much at all.  On the other side of the coin, Deepak Chopra sees the power in social media for human creativity: becoming  “a catalyst for collective awakening.”  He brought an interesting perspective to the conversation.  Talking about the power of luminaries to share their knowledge and experience with the world, Deepak sees social media as the opportunity to have more luminaries present on the world-stage.

Left exhausted and inspired by the onslaught of creative input and my own interpretation of how challenging and rewarding this social media rich, professional developmental day could be for me: my plans for a luminescent empowering career path took shape.  I’m continually proving to myself that I am willing to try the impossible.  Let’s face it, in my world ‘Impossible’ is what a scaredy cat says when confronted with something that seems too big to conquer.  Giving up the ‘im’ part of that equation is what transformation is all about–

Transform the IMPOSSIBLE into a POSSIBILITY!!

 

 

 

COM0015 – Assignment 1 -Blog 4 – Out of the Box

Combining everything that we already knew about SOCIAL MEDIA with all the cases we’ve studied and all the best tools that are to be had: it feels like I’m only ever getting half-way to a solution.  Before starting this program, I thought I had a hunch about a few tools and programs out there in the real world of business meets social media… but.. wait a minute: ‘Things are changing… how will I ever keep up?’

LISTENING + LEARNING + STAYING IN ACTION  = keep to keeping up with trends and generating new ways of looking at the world through the lens of #SocialMediaMeetsBusiness.

 

So what do I hope to accomplish with social media?  Is it working? Well, I’m constantly learning new tricks.

From what I gather, I’m using platforms that are suited to my particular field and/or project(s.)  I’m learning from others about the varied style of communication using social media = the ins and outs of sharing your message.  What works for some people is worth a try but it might not quite work for me.  I guess it’s all a question of finding a style and sticking to it..

GOING MOBILE?  Here are a few tools that might come in handy…

I’m always looking for social media inspiration: taking free webinars and online courses.  I have found a whole bunch of useful information about how mobile apps come into play

Instagram can house short videos… Hilary Rushford, of Dean Street Society, hosted a webinar called: ‘Doubling Your Instagram Following.’

Distributing a free workbook, her program talked about free tools for editing and posting images on Instagram.

VSCO CAM = where you add a photo to your library and she talked us through using the editing tools.

@HilaryRushford also talked about the PERISCOPE App = live mobile video streaming; which works really well when you’re sharing content on a road trip, from various locations.

Another useful tool that I’ve grown to love is HOOTSUITE Suggestions...

Right from my iPhone, I am able to call up HOT TOPICS that I can easily share on my Twitter and Facebook accounts.

FYI>> It gives you THREE topics to search for and you can assign unlimited accounts… so make sure that you tweak the settings before posting on multiple accounts.  Be #strategic in what you post and where.  Double check your postings on each platform to catch anything that goes wrong.  If in doubt, delete and give it another try.  Skill takes practice.

Puzzled by PINNING?

PINTEREST is a social media platform that would appear to have limited application to business… but Melanie Duncan’s webinar gave me a whole bunch of information about optimizing this platform to steer traffic from PINS back to your company site.

> The type of material you PIN is part of the formula.  Inforgraphics are the most popular format (they spread like wild fire.)

Melanie also suggest the following tools:

PICMonkey =  Protecting your content with a watermark

Easily creating infographics = www.infogr.am

Getting a Pinterest tab for your Facebook Page = www.woobox.com/pinterest

Pinterest stuff = Courtesy of Melanie Duncan (www.powerofpinning.com/course

> The BLOGEME poster thingy I built (featured image)  still lives on scribd.com which I’ve embedded on my personal blog (backdoor access = click expand button on bottom corner) http://ow.ly/MFQx302Y1sy

Assignment 1 – Post 1 – Tools and sources – COM0015

Iliana Auverana (Assignment 1 – Post 1)

Post 1 – Tool & Sources What are your two favorite social media trend listening/monitoring tools and the two best sources of news and updates of interest to you?

Explain why you prefer those tools over others and the significance of the sources as they relate to your professional development or organizational interests.

The two favorites social media trend listening/monitoring tool are Twitter and LinkedIn

Twitter – I work in the translation marketing field. At work, we do the environmental scan to find out interesting facts or trends in the translation market around the world: new technologies, transnational mergers, world economy having an impact in the translation market, evolution in the importance of foreign languages, etc. The richness of the information is amazing. Through Twitter, we follow mainly two companies: Lionbridge and Moravia. These two companies publish articles or posts regularly. We receive email and click on the links to read the full article.

On Moravia blogs, we recently learned about long-tail languages (from emerging markets) and about the growth of voice-based content (video content).

http://info.moravia.com/blog/localization-lessons-for-emerging-markets

http://info.moravia.com/blog/translation-trends-to-watch-out-for-in-2016

On Lionbridge blogs, we get advice about many topics. From crowdsourcing translation (get translations from the crowd), to global content (engaging the global consumer with interesting content) to hiring remote workers (what to consider).

http://blog.lionbridge.com/enterprise-crowdsourcing/

http://content.lionbridge.com/hire-global-remote-workers/

LinkedIn – Through this platform, we have been able to connect with professional in the translation and marketing industry. Professional and experts in a particular field share interesting articles or white papers. We have joined three different groups we have common interests with (communications, marketing and translation). We have the possibility of exchanging knowledge and increasing our awareness about the market needs.

https://www.youtube.com/user/LinkedIn

https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/translator-jobs

Google trends – In the tranlation field, this platform only shows graphs that are of no use to us. This tool is excellent for political news, celebrity gossip or entertainment news.

https://www.google.ca/trends/

Feedly – Many people use this platform to get news updates in their field. For us, this platform hasn’t been useful. We joined several months ago, and we never got any email or alert in our subject matter. According to the website, feedly helps people to get the content they need to accelerate their research, marketing and sales, but we checked all the preferences and we are unsure about the reasons why we never got any information at all. https://feedly.com/i/welcome.

 

 

COM0014 Blog #6 – Do people know your story?

As a Corporate Communications professional, I think the greatest challenge that I need to overcome is fear. Fear can be a scary thing and can hold even the strongest business person back. Fear can be the ultimate villain in a person’s life story and we need to work hard to make sure that we don’t let it consume us.

As a professional, I need to make sure that I take appropriate risks and weigh the pros and cons of every decision carefully. There was a time that I was offered a position at another company and I had to think about the pros and cons of leaving my current employer and position, for a new employer and position. Even though this position was a better position and better pay, there was still the fear of moving out of my comfort zone and going to the unknown. If I hadn’t decided to take the risk and fight the fear, I could have remained stagnant in my career progression.

I think a lot of businesses, and people, don’t progress because they don’t accept the challenges that they are faced with. There are many factors that are out of your control when you are running a business, but how you react to a situation or face a decision is within your control. Overcoming ourselves is the biggest challenge we can face.

COM0014 – Blog #2 – The power of storytelling 

The most important part of communication and storytelling is listening. That may seem like an odd concept for some but you need to be able to listen to what your audience needs before you are able to communicate with them. It is important to know if your audience would prefer to watch a video on the topic, or read an article about it. Everyone communicates differently and the audience will be more engaged with your story if they are engaged with the way the story is being told. 

In order for a story to be powerful, it needs to be communicated effectively. A great story needs to encourage the audience to interact with the content, especially if there is a lesson to be learned or a takeaway to be had. The story also needs to be clear and concise to get the point across with some detail, but avoiding going into too much detail that you will loose your audience. 

I also think a really important aspect of communication and storytelling is to inspire your audience to action. Whether this action be posed in the form of a question to debate on a topic, or encourages them to participate in the conversation, it is always good to engage your audience this way.

What communication styles are important to you? How do you engage your audience through storytelling?