COM0014 – Blog 3: The Audience I Am Trying to Reach

Digital technology is everywhere. It is permeating everything we do and shapes how we do it. In this context, it is important that everyone understands risks associated with digital technologies and has the skills to handle these risks.

Digital technology is everywhere. Source: Giphy

Digital safety project

I work for an Ottawa-based nonprofit that helps civil society organizations stay safe online. One of the particularly challenging projects that I am currently helping to get off the ground supports small civil society and independent media organizations in Kyrgyzstan, a small nation at the heart of Central Asia, by helping them understand and tackle digital risks.

The following is my attempt to define the audience for the project’s social media channels and describe some ways to reach this audience.

The younger urbanites

The project’s audience includes individuals working for or collaborating with small independent media organizations and civil society organizations in Kyrgyzstan.

These are mostly young people, between 20 and 35 years old, living in large cities. About two out of three individuals in this group are men. Most of these individuals are recent graduates from one of two Western-style universities in Kyrgyzstan, the American University of Central Asia (AUCA) and OSCE Academy in Bishkek. More than half of people in this group spent at least a year studying abroad, typically in the United States or United Kingdom.

The younger urbanites have grown up in the world
permeated by digital technology. Source: Giphy

These individuals come from middle-class families with mostly university-educated parents. At least eight out of 10 people in this group speak fluent Russian and more than half speak fluent English.

Reaching them

Most individuals within this audience have grown up in the world permeated by digital technology. They embrace digital technology and have a good understanding of risks stemming from their reliance on these technologies.

They embrace digital technology. Source: Giphy

The best social media platforms to reach this audience include Facebook and Instagram. Video and images are the two types of content best suited for this audience.

All educational content should assume a good level of familiarity with basic digital safety practices and aim at providing practical recommendations rather than abstract advice. One type of content that I expect to resonate particularly well with this audience is humorous content, specifically memes.

Do you know of any organization doing similar work around digital safety? Do you have any suggestions or tips on how to reach the audience I described? I will be happy to hear from you in the comments below.

COM0015 – Assignment 1 – Blog #4: Latergram might be safer than Instagram

As we’ve seen throughout this course, people continue to find novel ways to use online marketing and social media – from Facebook birthday posts as a way to promote donations to charity, to celebrities and scientists using Reddit AMAs as a way to promote their work. One unexpected, and very unfortunate application of social media that I have come across is of burglars using Facebook and Instagram as a way to find their next target.


Photo from Pixabay

Charlotte Parnaby in Social Media: A Burglar’s Best Friend and Maggie Winterfeldt in Over 78% of Burglars Are Using Social Media to Find Their Targets have reported on studies in the United Kingdom and the United States which found that a number of ex-burglars reported having used people’s public posts on sites like Foursquare, Twitter, and Facebook to “pick out potential places to rob. Three quarters of the surveyed ex-burglars also used Google Street View to get a feel for the property”. (Winterfeldt).

Perhaps the most famous recent example of this was in 2016 when Kim Kardashian was robbed at gunpoint at her hotel in Paris, after having posted numerous photos online of herself wearing a series of massively expensive pieces of jewellery, as well as pictures of the hotel at which she was staying in the days leading up to the robbery.

Certainly this is an extreme example of a unique way to use social media tools, and it’s worth noting that the sample size of the UK and US studies were quite small (and that the studies were conducted by security firms). But it does serve as a good reminder to be careful about what we share, and when and how publicly we share it. Sometimes, it might be better to share those vacation posts sometime after the fact, or at least make sure that you are up-to-date on your chosen platform’s privacy settings.

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).

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).

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.

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.

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.



COM0014 – Blog #7 – My Personal Reflection

Storytelling is not new to us, it has been around for decades adapting to the world’s communication forms as they change. Digital communication is the newest form of storytelling and is crucial to creating engaging digital content. Digital storytelling for businesses allows the employees to humanize the business’s online presence. Furthermore, this blending of personal and corporate branding builds and maintains a trust with the audience that will positively impact brand recognition.

Our content will demonstrate to the reader that we are listening and we can improve their business if they use our services. There will be a much more personal approach to the content chosen instead of stiff, boring business chatter. I believe that because we are a small family-run business we will have great stories to tell of our achievements and disappointments. My dad is my boss and also the President of the company, it can’t get any more personal than that! Our stories will always tie back to our ultimate goal of creating brand awareness and maintaining trust with our fellow readers.

I am excited to put our new digital storytelling content into motion. I am constantly observing my surroundings listening for any opportunity that may arise for a great story to be told.

COM0014 – Post 7 – Personal Reflection

Communication is all about sharing valuable information.  And what better way to communicate than through storytelling. Storytelling opens doors to engagement.  People remember stories. Storytelling can weave the reader into the fabric of your brand.  Stories ‘show’ rather than ‘tell’, and good stories touch readers in a personal way.  So really, what better way to create dynamic digital content for your readers?

Here at the Centre for Research & Innovation we have some great stories to share.  This Digital Communication course has reinforced to me that our stories, after all, are not in the ‘innovation’, as much as they are in the people behind the innovation – the driving force.  It is the unique value that the individual brings that makes a story so effective, personal and shareable.  Digital content can be guided by story as long as the story is relatable to your message; that it ties back to your mission, your goals and overall key messaging.

As I began to dig deeper within storytelling it became clear that perhaps we are not fully capitalizing on the merits of this practice.  To begin with we could expand our stories on innovation about the people behind the invention; to include their narrative, their challenges.   Not just the intelligence behind the innovation; but the motivation – the thing that kept them up at nights.  Stories infused with first hand content about overcoming commercialization hurdles, and in doing so how they changed the marketplace, and ultimately themselves.  Through this type of digital content we’d hope to advance our engagement, and encourage people to take innovation risks, that failure is ok too. And if I explore our storytelling choices one step further I think of the great social media tools readily at our fingertips; Podcasts, youtube, slideshare.  All are equally great ways to create dynamic content that can be easily shared.  What’s your story to tell?