COM0015 Blog Post #2 – Lead, Follow and Grow

Prince Edward Island is known for many things besides Anne of Green Gables. The products that form part of the primary industries of agriculture and fisheries are well known around the world. From Malpeque oysters to potatoes, PEI produces a lot of what the world eats.

Like many places, Islanders like to support local producers – some by buying local at markets or direct from the growers, which can sometimes be done by actually going out into the fields yourself. My mom introduced me to U-Picks growing up and I now visit regularly on my own for things such as strawberries and apples. A number of Christmas tree farms also do this, allowing customers to visit their farm before the snow comes to tag a tree and to return closer to Christmas to have it freshly cut.

My local fruit U-Pick haunts both use Facebook but I don’t think ‘strategy’ quite describes their use. Occasional messages of ‘we are open’ and ‘we are closed’ are about the extent of the postings. While helpful, they could use a little work. On the other hand. my new Christmas tree farm of choice showcases photos of people out to get their tree, pictures of their farm and invites customers to share pictures of their trees after their are up and decorated in their homes.

A more defined strategy for the U-Picks could help encourage people to:

  • come out and try picking their own products
  • buy pre-picked products
  • learn recipes new recipes/uses
  • take part in experiential tourism
  • take tours of the fields and production
  • support local

and could reach out to groups such as:

  • day camps
  • seniors centres
  • newcomers associations
  • tourism providers
  • those interested in supporting local

By using platforms like Facebook, Instragram and Periscope, the U-picks could engage with current customers to provide up to date information on their operations, engage people new to the concept by showing them how things are done, what things look like and drive traffic to their websites.

The leaders and followers that I outlined both deal with products with short windows for selection. Being able to engage current and potential customers would help to ensure they maximize the returns on their seasons.

What about you – do you support local?

COM0014- Blog Post #6 – From Piano to Presenter

I was very quiet and shy growing up, very. In grade 2, I started taking piano lessons and a couple of years later started taking voice lessons, both from the same teacher. Soon after starting voice lessons, I was registered to take part in the annual Queens County Music Festival, an adjudicated music competition for young people in Prince Edward Island. I participated until about high school, preparing solos in each of piano and voice, with some years performing in more than one category during the week-long, springtime event.

My first piano book.

Somewhere between very uneasy and terrified would about sum up my feelings prior each performance and the preamble was always the same. The participants, usually the same age or within a year or two of each other, sat patiently in order of their program appearance, while the details of their ‘class’ were announced. Each took their turn, walking to the stage (without tripping), performing and returning to their seat. After everyone had their turn, we sat and waited to hear the comments that the adjudicator made for each of us and finally our marks.

So, how did this prepare me for what I do now? Not all of those performances went smoothly, but I was stubborn enough to keep at it and with each passing year I became more confident performing in front of an audience. Throughout high school, presentations made me a little nervous but not quite to the extent as some of my classmates. By the time I got to university, standing up in front of a group was considerably easier and now as a lecturer and presenter I actually prefer the ‘other’ side of the desk.

While I don’t perform musically anymore, I have been trying out my keyboard recently and look forward to getting back to playing soon.

COM0015 – Blog post #1 – Ears and Eyes

Hey! I’m listening over here!

As I continue to learn about listening and monitoring, I have been doing some research into what is available. At this stage I am most interested in free tools but appreciate that this may be a case of getting what you pay for.

Brandwatch’s August 2015 article revised its former top 10 to include the ‘Top 15 Free Social Media Monitoring Tools’. Of these, I have begun working with a couple of the recommendations.

HooteSuite

HooteSuite

HooteSuite appears to suit me because it is easy to use, it has a good amount of detail in the help function (including videos) and doesn’t seem too difficult for a newbie like me to manoeuvre. In addition, I like Google Alerts. I was introduced to this tool in COM0013 – Monitoring and Measurement and like how easy setting up alerts is. Both tools are free, which is what I am looking for right now and both provide the basic functionality that I need at this stage in my monitoring work.

A number of the other tools included in this top 15 list – TweetReach, Twazzup, TweetDeck, Topsy and Followerwonk – are not of particular interest as they only monitor Twitter and I would prefer those that monitor multiple platforms.

Of the remaining suggestions, I am still not sold on  Klout. HowSociable, Mention and Simply Measured all charge for their service and at this stage I am not prepared to pay.

The four remaining tools noted in the article, Addictomatic, IceRocket, Social Mention and SumAll all look interesting and might be something to try down the road.

Read all about it!

When I am looking for news, I mix the old with the new. My work involves keeping up with local information both what is reported in media as well as what is advertised. Often print media is the traditional means for this.

TC Media

TC Media

I read newspapers – in print and online and follow various media outlets through Facebook and respective websites. I like when outlets use social media to profile some oftheir top stories linking you back to their published content. Locally I read The Guardian and CBC PEI, as well as a variety of papers from different parts of Canada.

In addition to local news, I like keeping up on varied interests and am a regular reader of Greatist, a health, wellness and lifestyle website. I subscribe to the daily newsletter and am follower in social media.

There are so many sources of news and information these days that everyone can find one (or more) that suits them.  How about you – What do you like to read and how do you listen?

COM0014 – Blog #1: What I did on my summer staycation

After a very long and horrible Prince Edward Island winter, I was looking forward to a nice, warm (ok hot) and sunny summer. It took a little bit to get here but once it did, it really was great.

While I like to travel away to other places, it takes a lot for me to leave my home province in the summer. Prince Edward Island regularly serves up great entertainment, food and beaches and I took all of that in.

I am a beach person and spent time at my favorite spots, as well as some places that I get to see less frequently.   From West Point to Basin Head and with a good mix of PEI’s North Shore in between, I got to enjoy the sun and the sand fairly frequently this summer.

Ross Lane Beach

Ross Lane Beach

Living on an island means there is an abundance of coast line and much of it can be appreciated as beach space. My go to spot is Ross Lane Beach, which is part of the Prince Edward Island National Park. Located a short drive from Charlottetown, on PEI’s north shore, this is a quiet little beach with parking, sand and proximity to friends’ cottages.  I took this picture around supper time after the surf guards had finished for the day.  It was too nice a day for me to go home.

When I have a little more time I enjoy spending time at Basin Head Provincial Park. Situated in the eastern part of the province, the beach and surroundings make for a great day trip from Charlottetown or other parts of the province. Named Canada’s number one beach by Vacay.ca in 2013, this surf guard supervised location is known for its ‘singing sands’.   The sand squeaks when you walk in it – take a listen to it here in my short video – apologies in advance for the voice over by my friend trying to tell me a story.

So when I wasn’t busy soaking up the sun and the sand, I spent some time enjoying some other things PEI has to offer – the food and entertainment.

About half way between Charlottetown and the Confederation Bridge (PEI’s fixed span link to New Brunswick) you will find the community of Victoria-by-the-Sea. Known for its little shops and theater, ‘Victoria’ also is home to a few nice places to eat including the Lobster Barn Pub and Eatery. It serves LOTS of local flavours and has become one of my favorite spots!

I also had the chance to take in one of PEI’s local favorite pastimes – story telling. The Four Tellers was staged at the King’s Playhouse and ran to sold out crowds Monday evenings throughout the summer. This popular source of entertainment, generally humourous, included stories of local characters from the past and present and sometimes most often embellished.

Have you had the chance to visit PEI? What was the favourite part of your trip??