Archive of ‘Resources’ category

Calling all CEOs: It’s time to join Twitter (via Globe and Mail)

Terrific article from Hilary Carter on CEO’s needing to take the plunge and join Twitter so that they can take advantage of what the tool has to offer.

In addition to the fact that Twitter is a really powerful communications tool, Hilary also highlights that communications as a whole is changing as are consumers’ habits and expectations. I highly recommend reading this article, especially if you’re a communications professional that has been battling with a CEO that is not quite move forward and embrace our new digital reality.

Read the article here: Calling all CEOs: It’s time to join Twitter



How to turn non-social media savvy people into bloggers

As the social media advisor for Canada’s national public broadcaster, I spend a lot of time coaching people on how to simplify things. If you manage a group or corporate blog, chances are that from time to time you have run into a wall where you’re desperately searching for content or collaborators who can be both a source of in-depth information and also be able to translate this knowledge into a snappy blog with a killer title that resonates with the people…While it’s not impossible to find, you may need to put in some time coaching your local non-social media savvy (NSMS) colleagues on how to craft a blog post.

Do not despair – here are some tips on how to deal with this challenge and turn NSMS thinkers into bloggers.

  1. Be the voice of your audience and ponder the big questions: You know your audience and as a blog manager you have a sense of responsibility to act as their voice. There is a balance that you need to strike between answering their questions and offering insight that may be unsolicited but nonetheless useful. Compile a list of these questions (keep them open-ended) and share these with your NSMS colleagues. This will help them put get their thoughts on paper. In many cases, you’ll just need to select the most interesting questions and revise their answers so that they are succinct and written using the right tone.
  2. Give them a taste of the spotlight through an interview: Even some of the most shy introverts daydream about being recognized for their talents and skills. If they’re very reluctant to start blogging, I suggest doing a Q&A with them where you ask them questions and they answer them. You can then share the interview (in text form) on your blog. This helps them gain exposure, experience and confidence without actually having the responsibility of being considered the “author” of the post. This has been very effective in helping people get a taste for being featured on a blog. This is their first baby step towards penning their own post.
  3. Follow them for an afternoon: People can be so oblivious as to how cool their jobs really are. Sometimes they just need a fresh perspective to show them. Try following them for a day and share your experience on social media. They’ll be shocked to see how many retweets, likes and shares the content is generating. I had the opportunity to shadow CBC/Radio-Canada’s President and CEO and let me tell you the reshares were remarkable.
  4. Spark a fire under them: Don’t give up on people that are reluctant to embrace social media…keep at it and help make it an easy transition for them. One day your efforts will pay off and even if they never write a blog post, they’ll at least understand the environment a little better…! Keep fighting the good fight!


Teaching the broader benefits of social media to future business leaders (via FP)

Social-Media stampsFor those interested in the evolution of Executive MBA programs that have a strong emphasis on Communications, I encourage you to read Denise Deveau’s article that appeared in the Financial Post.

Similarly to many other digital media courses, the focus used to be on media relations and marketing. As our Communications toolkit expands, the focus has now shifted to a broader view of communications where we are challenged to be more strategic and use the tools that best fit our needs. According to Deveau’s article, executives are being taught to let go of the need/desire for control. This is definitely a must when it comes to working with social media.

My favourite excerpt from the article comes from an interview with Daniel Tisch, president and CEO of Argyle Communications: An equally important aspect is assessing both the good and the bad sides of social media, Mr. Tisch explains. “Rather than relying on PR to do the listening, managers need to learn how to turn their employee base into an army of listeners, and identify the risks and opportunities that go with that. We talk a lot about that now.”

LinkedIn increases insights available in “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” section

One of the greatest features of LinkedIn (in my humble opinion) is the ability to see who has viewed your account. Apparently, LinkedIn is in the process of rolling out analytics for the “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” section. This will enable users to differentiate the various types of users that have viewed your account (recruiters, industry, position, etc.).

Updates to accounts apparently started yesterday – not sure if this was just in the US though since I have yet to see the updates reflected in my own account.

Has your account been updated yet? What do you think of the changes?

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.



Google Music

Discover. Shop. Listen. Organize. Share.

Google Music is the pixie dust that Google needed to sprinkle over their products to take them to the next level. Although it’s not yet available in Canada, Canadians are able to take a virtual tour of the product. I had a look through today and I am really liking what they have to offer.  It made me swoon all over again for Google. I had/have a bit of a love/indifferent relationship with Google+. I understand that it has its place in the market and I see the value that its integration with other products like Google Docs has.  But, today is the first day that I was actually excited about Google+ because music was the deal maker…

The consumption of music via radio is declining (many would argue that this is because radio has turned into a device that replays the top 10 most annoying songs over and over…but that’s besides the point ). People, including myself, now flock to services like Pandora and Jango to help them come across new bands and musicians. I actually prefer this type of service to something like GrooveShark, where you create your own playlist. If it weren’t for Jango, I may have completely missed the boat on Bon Iver, Soko and Kate Nash. Google Music promises to recommend you music that you’ll like and this adds a lot of valuable people like me, who are old school radio fans and who have now become jaded because we’re sick of what traditional radio has turned into.

The shop and listen features seem to work like iTunes, only Google Music tells users that there is no need for syncing or wires…This could be interesting, only I don’t have an Android device so it may not have any effect on me. When it comes to organizing, you can upload and store your music library (up to 20,000 songs). You can also share selected songs with your Google+ followers and they can listen to the track once (for free) or purchase it. This is a really nice feature because as much as I love iTunes sometimes I feel like Michael Scott from The Office when he keeps replaying that 30-second preview clip of “Goodbye my Lover” because he only wants a taste…

Well done Google. Now please come to Canada so that we can rock out.

- Sarah



I’ve been in a bit of a “blah” mood lately. Most people are, with the end of summer here at our doorstep. This morning I came across a Facebook application that is making me excited to go online again! The app is : WindDecoder by Wind Mobile.

The concept is simple. The application translates ‘new school’ lingo into ‘old school’ definitions. Users can also add their favorite phrases and definitions within seconds. I like to call this app the PG/texting version of the urban dictionary.

Fun and relevant apps are a great way to “energize” your fans and audience. It’s also a great way to increase traffic to your respective sites and build brand awareness. The key items that many companies overlook when developing an app are:

  1. Simplicity:  Is it simple enough for someone with little or no knowledge of your brand/company to use?
  2. Does it serve the purpose that it was created for? Is it useful? Fun?
  3. Can you explain the concept of the app in under 20 seconds? Make sure that the vision is clear.
  4. Accessible: Is it accessible? Can it be used on a variety of operating systems? Languages? Browsers?

Due to the specialized skills required for developing apps, I find that many companies choose to use external professionals.  Whether you use someone in-house or external, make sure that you are clear when you  communicate your vision with them.  Encourage your team to offer suggestions and ask questions, because these can really help improve your overall product.

Ning may be on the market

The World’s largest platform for creating social websites may soon be sold. Word has it that Ning has been talking recently to a large pool of companies about selling itself. Potential buyers include Google, Groupon and who knows…maybe even Justin Timberlake after his recent co-purchase of MySpace.

If you’re unfamiliar with Ning, here is the lowdown: Ning is very popular, because the platform allows people, companies and bands to launch their very own social network (known as Ning Networks). Often it is personalized with the company or artist’s branding so you probably won’t even realize that you’re using it. Among the users are: Linkin Park, Twilight Saga, and the Dallas Mavericks. The service also allows customers to charge for membership or monetize off of advertising.

Needless to say, you put all of these Ning Networks together and you wind up with a widely used platform that includes users from a variety of different demographics. Although management has had to evolve with the market, it seems as though they had found their “happy place” in a somewhat saturated market.


Whether you love it,  hate it or just don’t understand it Google+ is creating waves in the social media industry.  Many are calling it the “game changer” that social media needs that will take it to the next level.  Although, Google states that it’s purpose is not to compete with Facebook or Twitter a part of me disagrees. Yes, it’s true that the purpose of the tool is different but Google+ is competing against other social networking tools for your attention.

So far, Google+ has a lot going for them:

  • Accessibility: Many businesses still ban Facebook at the office. Also, many small to medium sized businesses have started using Google Apps for email, communication and collaboration.
  • Integration with GoogleDocs: If you have ever had to track changes and then lost track of what the latest version of the document is that you’re working on is, then you will love GoogleDocs. I began using several years ago, while working on a group project for my PR certificate and fell in love. You can access, share and edit projects simultaneously. You also have a lot of exporting options. Think about how easy this will make working on projects when you can collaborate so easily.
  • Video Conferencing: Would you like a cost effective way to video conference people in far away lands? What makes this even more intriguing is that you don’t have to install anything on your system, so your IT colleagues won’t have a fit.
  • Google+ and Latitudes: I never installed Latitudes on my iPhone or BB because it was a little too “Big Brother-esque”  for my liking. Essentially, it allows people to see exactly where you are and tracks your phone’s movement.  You don’t have to “check-in” like on Foursquare or Facebook Places.

Just some food for thought… Keep an open mind and always make sure that whatever you share is ok for public consumption!…

- Sarah


Microsoft is jumping back into the ring

Rumour has it that Microsoft is working on their own social search project, Tulalip.

Images were “leaked” via and Microsoft is claiming that it is an internal design project… Is this true, or is it just a smart PR move to generate some buzz?
I’m going with the latter.

Microsoft has been making it’s way back into the spotlight after they announced that they would be releasing Office 365 in the cloud. This will enable users to access their files, docs, calendars from virtually anywhere. Google has been offering these types of services with GoogleDocs for several years already. We can expect a sleeker design from Office 365 though, with more enhanced customizations available.

1 2