Personal Reflection

What is story telling? Why is it so important in my life?

Story telling in my opinion is the ability to convey meaningful messages to one another either orally, written, or graphical.

For a start, being able to communicate in a meaningful way is part of both my professional life and my personal life. I’m in the advertising industry, therefore the art of storytelling is important in my line of work in order to get our client’s message across to millions of consumers across two countries. We want to tell consumers all about our client and why they do what they do and why current consumers love what they do.

In terms of digital content, story telling gets even more advanced and competitive because you have to tell a story that will engage people and connect them to the things they love or lead them to some discovery. Engaging in meaningful story telling online today involves many tricks of the trade to get all the attention. Using video, photos, creative drawings, and catchy phrases are tools of digital story telling that we must all learn to use. It is no longer enough to simply tell a tale, people want to see it, hear it, and feel it in order to really connect with the words.

These are the types of stories I would like to be able to tell my audiences. I expect them to acknowledge my words, see the meaning behind them and feel it.

For example, I love chicken noodle soup. If I were to write a blog about chicken noodle soup I would start by telling my audience about my very first time trying it and summarize that the reason I chose to eat it in the first place was because I had a terrible cold with a fever and chills, I thought it tasted like rosemary and roast chicken which I love and it was nice and hot which was soothing on my throat. Lastly, I want to always have a can in my cupboard for the next time I get sick because I loved the warmth, taste and comfort it brought me. I would also include a photo of my bowl of soup and the brand can it came from. I feel that a lot of people can connect with this story because just from reading my words, they can visualize it, taste it (literally if they have a can at home too), and can share the same experience.

Thanks for reading.

Melinda

 

 

Out of the Box: Post #4

There have been many advances in digital communications over the past decade. However, none have surprised me as much as Facebook has.

Screen Shot 2017-04-24 at 3.47.27 PM

2004 Original Facebook brand page: Forbes.com- 

https://www.forbes.com/pictures/eihm45lilf/2004-welcome-to-thefacebook-com/#3700c11e6700

Facebook exploded after 2004 as one of the most popular social media platforms for all ages. Then in recent years people assumed Facebook was just for older generations. Now, Facebook is constantly reinventing itself to keep its millions of members. In 2009 they developed a real-time live stream for posting and introduced the “status update” (Forbes.com, 2017). In 2010 Facebook was booming for the advertising industry and the entertainment industry, celebrities and companies began utilizing Facebook as a social campaign platform to ask their customers and fans one of the most crucial questions: “Do you like us?” (Forbes.com, 2017). Then in 2011 Facebook introduced their video chat,and the “time-line” that people and businesses could now openly allow others to visualize their lives and brands with photos, and albums (Forbes.com, 2017). By 2012 Facebook developed their app centre which now drove users to discover other social media content (including their own Instagram) and of course games (Forbes.com, 2017). Today they have enabled more advanced algorithims for their live video content and video in VR 360 mode and pushed users to be able to discover new content every day that is easily accessible and searchable. They have also developed the ability to buy goods directly through Facebook and you can donate to charities right from their platform (Facebook.com, 2017).

Facebook has evolved to become a social powerhouse and can act as a data archive on users and allow companies to participate in the best form of social listening among some of the sites with the best audience reach.

What do you think of Facebook’s evolution? Surprised or did you see it coming?

See link below for some more images of Facebook’s evolution:

https://www.forbes.com/pictures/eihm45lilf/2013-graph-search/#1d7f9bbf3193

See this link for more info on Facebook’s new look:

https://www.facebook.com/help/?helpref=hc_global_nav

 

 

 

 

COM0014 – Personal Reflection

It is human nature to want to communicate.  To tell stories, to share experiences, and to provide insight and advice.  We are built to communicate.

Communication is not only personal but professional.  We communicate in business to raise awareness, sell products, advertise brands and inform our clientele.  With the advent of social media, business know have another means of connecting with their customers, and it is immediate and far-reaching, and can sometimes be unforgiving.

Businesses have a huge task to engage their audience, given the abundance of information out there.  They need to grab the attention of their audience and try their best to keep it.  Their stories need to be relevant to what the customer is looking for, as well as being responsive.  They need to listen to what the customer is saying and respond to that.  Social media is a two way conversation and business need to be conversant and address the needs, concerns and questions of their audience.  Otherwise, with all the competition ready to step in, your customer will go elsewhere.

It is also vital that businesses need to know their audience.  And while demographics are important (ie gender, age, geography etc) it is important for business to know even more about their audience.  Businesses need to be in tune with trends, issues and concerns, and the behaviors that are common with their target community.  It is always a good idea to test drive any messages with a small target audience, and listen to feedback before putting out to a wider audience.  And as mentioned previously, it is also critical to value the feedback you recieve from your audience and respond accordingly

COM 0014 Blog #7 – Creating Digital Content

Creating great digital content is much harder than I originally thought it would be. I have been responsible for implementing social media for my organization for a year and a half now and the thing I struggle with most is content creation. I work in an industry where the majority of our material is technical, a lot of it is confidential and our social media program has been met with resistance. Through this course, I realized that I may be able to rely less on the help of the technical staff members by telling a story rather than requiring all of the nitty gritty technical details.

As we learned in this class, sharing stories helps bring people together; it is a way to passionately and clearly communicate your content in a format that is universally understood. I want to tell the story of why space research and technology should be important to everyone.  Many people don’t realize how omnipresent and deeply integrated space is in our daily lives; Canadians rely on space systems to navigate almost every aspect of modern life. Using examples of the space systems we rely on, I will weave the story of the importance of investment in the space sector to Canadians and to all citizens of the world.

 

COM0015 – Blog 4: Out of the Box

With a shortage of family doctors in many regions of the country and an over-use of hospital emergency rooms, more hospitals are looking at using social media as an online reliable source for potential patients to check out their symptoms, look for advice on solutions to their problems and receive advice on whether they need to come to the emergency room. More and more individuals research their symptoms online before seeking medical advice with a lot of those sites not being medically accredited, and to me, a bona fide hospital or emergency care centre would be the best place to seek trustworthy and reliable information.  I do not believe potential users would enjoy a more “advanced” way to search, such as Chatbots, for medical questions because of privacy concerns.

 

Symptoms

A second application I foresee gathering momentum in the next year for marketers in the social media realm are Chatbots; a chatbot is a simple computer program designed to mimic conversation with the help of artificial intelligence. A good description of Chatbots, according to Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella is “… (they) will infuse intelligence into everything. Bots are the new apps.”

Chatbots can respond to questions and comments 24 hours a day; mistakes in e-commerce orders can be remedied easily; bots will help companies and marketers by cutting down on the number of emails it receives and free up employee time for other important activities. According to forbes.com, “conversational commerce” — the act of placing orders through online conversations — is the future of digital shopping. It will become more relevant and replace how older generations defined customer service. Chatbots will become very valuable as a marketing tool, to attract a younger consumer audience (for example, on Facebook), even before getting the target audience onto the marketer’s web site. They can be used as either voice bots or instant messaging response bots.

There are still problems to iron out; one Chatbot had to be removed from the internet as it got corrupted and started spewing racist comments, however, be on the lookout for a bot who will answer simple questions and queries, remember you if you have used it before for restaurant orders or weather information for a specific geographic location.

ChatbotCartoon by Andrew Toos

 

http://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/microsoft-envisions-future-bots-ai-predict-your-every-need-n548151

https://smallbiztrends.com/2016/07/chatbot-for-business.html

https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurenfriedman/2016/06/22/chatbots-and-millennials-how-smart-brands-should-be-using-artificial-intelligence/#587248463665

COM0015 – Blog Post 3 – Professional Networking Now and in the Future

I am an introverted person; I am uncomfortable thinking about networking in person, and anxious at the thought of physically walking into a room of strangers. I have learned in the past few years that once I shrug off the negative feelings, I can share knowledge and information with others who don’t necessarily share my passions but who find me intelligent and easy to talk to.

On the other hand, I do well analyzing situations and thinking conceptually which leads to communicating very well in writing. Social media is perfect for me, as I listen, research and learn. I have not yet taken the step of joining groups or commenting on blog posts outside of my comfort zone, but I am gearing up to do so. It’s great to listen but I’m sure once I make the move from passive to active, it will be interesting and rewarding to me.

My first goal for the immediate future is to update my LinkedIn profile, using a benefits oriented profile so that potential partners recognize the advantage of working with me. Working on my profile will also include asking past co-workers, instructors and business friends for endorsements on my specific skills, as well as recommendations related to my professional abilities. I will feel more confident once this is completed to begin building relationships with potential allies, partners, and customers.  I will also eventually join and actively participate in groups related to two of my passions, social media and editing.

My second goal will be pushing outside of my comfort zone by attending one in-person networking event every two to three months and introducing myself to at least one new person at each one. I will share my passion about the work I love. As I read on Business Insider, “It’s not always about who you know, but who knows you.”

The obstacles in my way are twofold: first, I am shy, but I am working on that aspect of myself; second, I am currently dealing with ailing, elderly parents and I cannot always use my time as planned. But neither of my goals are unattainable!

COM0015 – Blog #4 Out of the Box

As a photographer, I am an avid Instagram user. I have been on Instagram since 2010 and have posted over 2000 times. I have always used the app as a way to share my photos that I like taking. I never quiet realized how people and companies use it as a marketing tool until very recently.

As an experiment, I started to market myself on Instagram and see what happened. I started by making my account no longer private, then I began following more people. I found a local business or two and started following all of their followers. I also would use locations on my pictures. I’ve always been against using lots of hash tags as I find them to be annoying. I ended up boosting my followers by a couple hundred. I then started to un-follow people to see what would happen, and my followers went down significantly.

One thing I noticed when I began to follow more people is how many companies and lifestyle bloggers use Instagram to sell their products.  Some people try to make it more subtle than others by masking their products behind pretty pictures and meaningful sayings, where others just flash their product or service in your face. At the end of the day, Instagram has moved away from an image sharing app to a marketing app and has been very successful in doing so.

COM0014 – Do People Know Your Story?

I cry at parades.  It doesn’t matter if I am participating in the parade or watching the parade, you can be guaranteed that I will, at some point, be crying.

It’s not a sad cry.  It’s not necessarily happy either.  It’s just an overwhelming sense of collective energy that builds up inside of me.  A sense of wonder and appreciation for each and every role, from the spectators lining the streets, to the marching bands stepping in unison, to the participants happily waving from their floats.  And witnessing these roles all come together in a shared, connected experience.

The Cannington Haunted Trail and Maze is an event that operates much the same way.  There are many different roles to be performed by many different people.  And in the end, we are all rewarded by knowing that the culmination of our efforts produced an amazing show.  I suppose that is part of the reason we participate each year in our local parade.  We believe strongly in  contributing wherever possible.  We believe that there is strength in numbers.  We welcome opportunities that unite and fortify our community.  We see first-hand what wonderful things can happen when we collaborate our efforts.

Why I Am The Way I AM

You want a piece of me?

If writer John Jantsch asked me the  question “What about your childhood shaped you for this moment?” my answer would be the following:

Being the kid in the corner made me who I am today as a person which carries over into my professional life. Looking back on my childhood , I was always the odd one out, the nerdy kid, the weird kid. My parents thought I was weird, my brothers made fun of me, other classmates made fun of me it seemed like something I should be ashamed of. But I wasn’t in fact, I didn’t even care. By high school I had made friends with other individuals who were just like me. By the time university rolled around I was fully embracing my nerdiness and weirdness.

I noticed that all that time, I had actually excelled at developing my communication skills and could hold enlightening and educational conversations about an array of topics that provided more learning than simply chatting about how drunk I want to get at the next house party. I also had many opportunities pass along to me because of who I was. I got to become the President of the Medieval Students’ Society because of my passion for medieval history that extended beyond the classroom. That was a huge achievement for me that really made me realize I was proud of who I was and that I could use it to my advantage in any career path.

Today in my current career, I have been able to apply my unique perspective on important decisions when buying media for our client. I was able to prove that my experience and knowledge in a variety of topics makes me unique in my own rights.

 

 

 

 

 

Networking The Fun Way

Networking nowa days for professional purposes is often done via social media using sites such as LinkedIn and even Facebook.

But..there are other more engaging ways to connect with professionals in tandem with social media that will gain you not only professional relationships but personal relationships as well that can be leveraged in your industry.

Below are the steps I take to personally and professionally grow within my industry:

  1. Create and evolve a LinkedIn profile. As we continue in our careers and develop our skills or gain new ones it is always best to continually revise your LinkedIn profile. I have personally noticed whenever I make a change, my number of viewers grow.
  2. Connect! Always remember people’s names when they introduce themselves to you and if they give their permission add them to your LinkedIn. I always do this and write them a personal message to say thank you for adding me.
  3. Post. Try and post unique topics for conversation that drive engagement from your connections. I am guilty of being terrible at this, it is one area I need to take my own advice on. But I think it is indeed something you should do so that you do not let your connections go “dry” like that friend you talk to once every three years or more.
  4. Get out there. Give LinkedIn some time off and join a Meetup group of your interest or industry. This is where the fun really begins! Just this past year I joined a metope group for Anime, Marketing, History, and Asian Culture as well as a group called RAG (Random Activity Group). Each group organizes tons of social events from trivia nights, cocktail parties, discussion groups, educational lectures and board games at the Riddle Room. The best part is that each time you go there are different attendees. Whenever i go to events hosted by my groups there are always interesting people I meet from various backgrounds including my background-advertising and museum studies. Last meet up I connected with a jewellery designer, an chemical engineer, a web developer and a video game programmer. In the past I have also connected with other advertising professionals, bloggers, and business and economics fanatics. Each of them provided me with professional connections to network with and a friendly relationship to support that connection.

In conclusion, don’t just sit behind your computer screen. Use social media as a starting point to get yourself out there, but always use your actual face to develop your professional side. People want to remember you, not a picture of you. I have now made a commitment to do my best to keep up both my online appearance and my offline appearance to keep developing and qualifying my professional networks.