Can we auto-correct humanity?

I spend my days connected to Canadians all over the world via social media. Discussing culture, technology, current events and what makes us all tick. I absolutely love the opportunity to “meet” so many interesting people and exchange ideas, opinions and content. As much as I love and embrace social media and technology, I do have major concerns about the effects that it is having on us as individuals and as a society. We seem to be so dependent on technology and the need to be connected to each other, that we’re actually losing touch with our loved ones and the the physical world around us.

I belong to the Millennial generation or Gen Y as some like to call it. Many of us are able to remember a time when the internet wasn’t an intrinsic part of our everyday life. We grew up learning how to deal with boredom and discover ways to entertain ourselves. Technology as it is today, wasn’t always something that was within arm’s reach.

I came across this video from rapper Richard Williams (otherwise known as Prince Ea) which really helps put this issue into perspective. One of the lines from this is, “I imagine a world where we smile when we have low batteries, because that will mean that we’re one bar closer to humanity.” Take a look and make sure to share.

Rendez-vous des communications – PR mixer in Ottawa

Yesterday evening, over 30 PR professionals gathered in Ottawa for #RDVcom’s inaugural event!  A big thank you to everyone who took the time to come out to network, exchange ideas and share a drink or two!

It was a great opportunity to connect in person with some of my counterparts who work for the various crown corporations, cultural and arts institutions in the Ottawa/Gatineau area. If you work in this area and would like to join us for the next event, check out our LinkedIn Group or get in touch with me and I can add you to the list.

Has a film ever caused you to actually visit another country?

BaggageHave you ever seen a film that has made you fall in love with a country and wanted to visit said country? Well, the brainiacs over at Tourism Competitive Intelligence found that 2012, 40 million international tourists chose their destination primarily because they saw a film shot in that specific country. Pretty interesting indeed.

Kate Bedingfield, VP of Corporate Communications with the Motion Picture Association of America wrote an excellent blog post about this that you can find on their site. There’s some interesting info on which productions sparked an increase in tourism in the US. Can you guess what series sparked thousands to flock to Senoia, Georgia? Hint…there are zombies involved!!

 

Popular dating app Tinder used to find some puppies their forever homes

Rosie Animal Adoption and marketing company DentsuBos are behind this creative use of the popular dating app, Tinder. They called it “Tinderdoption”.

I wasn’t too familiar with the App before, but apparently what it does is recommend possible matches in a close proximity to you, based on common interests. For example…if you love long walks on the beach, dining out or lounging in the sun… They added some dogs that were up for adoption in the area and I think that this is pure genious! I hope that everyone finds their puppy-love/forever homes!!

‪#‎RethinkHomelessness‬

Campaign by Rethink Homelessness in Orlando. Homeless friends to write down a fact about themselves that other people wouldn’t know just by walking past them… Get the tissue out…

 

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

 

 

Canadian connection – Canadian CEO’s embracing social media

One of the most popular requests that I get are from people looking to find “good examples” of people excelling in a specific area of social and digital communications. For everyone who has asked me for an example of a President of a Canadian Crown Corporation using social media effectively, I recommend you look into Via Rail’s new President, Yves Desjardins-Siciliano.

I had the pleasure of hearing him speak a few years ago at a social media convention, while he was heading up Via Rail’s Corporate Services including Communications and Marketing.  He seemed to have really understood that social media isn’t just a “cookie cutter” tool and that in order to truly harness the power of it, it was important to encourage feedback and be ready to act. One of the items that they were working on at the time was introducing vegetarian and more health conscious menu items on-board, which was an idea originally submitted by a passenger.

Below is a video that Via Rail released shortly after he was named as the new President of the company. It’s simple and reminds Canadians of the company’s history and importance while making Canadians feel like they are also valued.

 

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!

 

Canada remembers legendary Canadian broadcaster Knowlton Nash

Over the weekend, the broadcasting world has lost a legend : Knowlton Nash.

I often listened to Knowlton Nash on CBC’s The National – though not by choice at the beginning. Back then, I was still in elementary school and would fall asleep listening to my dad watch the news. Looking back, I’m not sure if this was irresponsible parenting – letting a kid stay up so late…on the flip side though, we were watching CBC so maybe that makes it ok…?

I spent some of my day today reading tributes on Twitter, looking through CBC archives for early footage and strolling down memory lane… I wanted to see those early newscasts to see if they were in fact the way I remember them to be. I wanted to see if his voice had the same effect. Would it still seem familiar? Indeed it did.

Reading the tributes made me really proud to work in broadcasting – specifically for the CBC. Sometimes in life, you encounter people who have so much passion that it spreads. This is what Knowlton Nash did. His passion for journalism, people, Canada and behaving ethically seems to have had a fundamental effect on many of us who work in the media industry today.  Many, like myself, have been touched by his drive and determination without ever having actually met him. With the industry shifting as it is, it’s becoming harder and harder to identify other’s who are as authentic as Knowlton Nash. I hope that we can all channel our “inner Nash” as we take on the digital world and make sure that we don’t lose what’s truly important – our voices and our ability to think critically and make our minds up after examining the information.

To read my post on CBC/Radio-Canada’s corporate blog, you can visit it here.

 

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