Archive of ‘MediaBzz’ category

Back from a hiatus

I’m back after a long hiatus!… I’ve been recovering from a concussion and thus looking at a computer screen for long hours always ended up in me feeling pukey. Anyways, I’m getting back to “normal” little by little. Thanks to everyone for your kind wishes and flowers!!

Most influential brands in Canada

When it comes to brands in Canada, one of the “go-to” guides for communicating how successful a brand is doing in terms of the public’s perception is the annual Ipsos Reid study that looks at brands and how influential they are. Although I’m not a big fan of using the term “influence” when it comes to rating a brand, I do find that the characteristics “measured” in this study is on point.

The study examines the following dimensions:

  • Trustworthy
  • Engaging
  • Leading edge
  • Possess great presence
  • Demonstrate good corporate citizenship

Among the top Canadian brands include: Tim Hortons, CBC, Apple, Facebook and Google.

Human Library

If you’ve never heard of the “Human Library”, I strongly recommend that you look into. In hopes of breaking down stereotypes by “facilitating conversations between people who may never meet  otherwise” several countries and independent organizations have taken to hosting their own local human library events.

CBC has teamed up with the Human Library Organization to host some here in Canada…You can read more about it here.

Dear #AmericanApparel, all you had to do was ask

Like many industries, PR went through its “trashy” stage where any attention was thought of as good attention. Thankfully, the industry and the public have evolved.  As consumers, we demand that companies make smart choices. Not just in the way that they produce their products or deliver their services, but also in the way that they market to us.

american-apparelWe now seek out companies that are socially responsible. We celebrate brands that “give back”. A great example is Maxwell House’s 2008 advertising campaign “Brew Some Good” where instead of spending a small fortune on producing swanky television ads, the corporation decided to instead donate money to worthy community groups. This campaign is actually one of my favorites of all time. It tied in the element of the corporation being socially responsible and it represented a shift in corporate culture to a more collaborative environment where consumers could nominate worthy causes in their community.

Now, let’s fast forward by 4 years and take a look at American Apparel’s latest Hurricane Sandy Sale (#SandySale). It feels like we are regressing and moving back into the dark ages of PR and Marketing where offending consumers is “where it’s at”.  With all of the destruction and deaths that Hurricane Sandy has caused, I think that the decision to run this campaign was in very poor taste. As someone who studies the reputational impact that “social media blunders” have on brands, I think that this will have an impact on how the brand and how consumers feel about it.

Oh, American Apparel….All you had to do was ask…Ask your audiences, social media experts, marketing students,  people with common sense or even this mountain goat and we all would have probably told you the same thing – don’t run this campaign.goat

My only words of wisdom for American Apparel are to donate the proceeds of their sales to the victims, families and the communities of the people affected by Hurricane Sandy. Do it soon…and when you do it, don’t give yourself a pat on the back because you still don’t deserve it.

Back from CBC/Radio-Canada’s Technology Forum

I spent most of this week in my hometown of Montreal attending (and preparing for) CBC/Radio-Canada’s Technology Forum. While this event is mainly for employees, the Corporation has been very open about it and even invited me there to tweet live from the event. The forum lasted 2 days and was jam packed with presentations from so many leaders in the media, digital, broadcasting and technology fields…Oh and did I mention, these experts actually work for CBC and Radio-Canada?

For someone like myself (I consider myself to be somewhat of a broadcasting geek),  it felt like I was in Techie Hollywood. Meeting dozens of Canadian technology revolutionaries that I had been following on Twitter or had read articles penned by them in various trade and online publications. There were a couple of presentations that went “over my head” a little because of the level of detail or complexity, but judging by how involved the in-studio audience was (composed of employees) I was in the minority which I can appreciate. With less than a decade of (full-time professional) media work experience under my belt, I know more than anyone that I still have quite a lot to learn. I can say though, without a doubt, I learnt a heck of a lot in only 2 days.

Thank you to the Technology  Strategy Board for sponsoring this forum and stay tuned for some more in depth posts on some of the topics that were covered…like iPhones for broadcasting, social tv, email in the cloud, etc.



Starbucks Prank with Gavin Slate

Check out this week’s featured video that comes to us from an old classmate of mine from Ryerson’s RTA. Kudos to you, Gavin! Also, stay tuned to the CBC/Radio-Canada Corporate blog where I’ll be writing an article on musicians and their creative use of video and social media…Will be highlighting Gavin and also Canadian band Kalle Mattson.

Radiohead weekend…

After decades of loving Radiohead so much that my heart hurts, I’ll be returning to Toronto this weekend to see them perform at Downsview Park! Follow me on Twitter for my epic play by play… Let me know if you’ll be there and we can gush together!




Good news for TV viewers in Canada! The CRTC published the final regulations requiring Canadian broadcasters to regulate the volume of TV ads. Many of us have had times where we’re watching a program and then all of a sudden it cuts to commercial and the volume is ridiculously loud. This decision made by the CRTC is intended to fix this annoyance.

Essentially, broadcasters and broadcasting distributors have to adhere to the Advanced Television Systems Committee’s (ATSC) standards for measuring and controlling television signals. To learn more about the process and the deadline, you can refer to this article.child-covering-ears1

Bye bye LOUD noises!



Creative people are different

Creative thinkers are different. Both creative minds and scientific/methodical minded people can agree on this. There’s value to both types of people, but in traditional markets most management styles are geared towards the more methodical style.

If you’re interested in understanding more about how to manage creative minds or if you are a creative person and would like to understand a little more about what motivates you,  you should read this article by a colleague of mine, Leah Geller. Leah is very creative and also manages a team of writers so she knows what she’s talking about :)

Here’s a short excerpt:

“If I had to characterize the kind of research we’ve been doing, it’s a lot about the current marketplace being a creative/innovative market.The basic message is that we need to shift to a very human approach to management in which employees bring their whole selves, their passions, and their ideas to work and away from traditional industrial models that were not well-designed for creative work.”

“Some of the conditions that enable this are high trust, flexibility, autonomy, and inviting people to contribute where they have passion – even outside of their core assignment at times. This can be tricky for us to balance in our environment where there is a “show to run.” But it’s an area we need to explore further because this contributes to competitive advantage in that employees bring all of their gifts to the table.”

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