Interview with CBC Sports’ Monika Platek (Social Media Lead)

Monika Platek

I’m very fortunate to have such an amazing job, where I routinely get to interview so many amazing Canadians. You can imagine how stoked I was to be able to interview Monika Platek, CBC Sports’ Social Media Lead.

Aside from having spent a decade covering sports, she’s also a fantastic example Canadian women who are leading the way when it comes to social media. During the interview, we touched on some of the challenges of training employees on social media…Even production and digital professionals have a bit of a learning curve when it comes to adopting new tools.

You can read the full interview here via the CBC/Radio-Canada Corporate blog.

Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Epic Split / Volvo

The latest video that seems to be making the rounds on social media is Jean-Claude Van Damme’s “Epic Split”.

Love the simplicity of the video and the message. The setup with the sun setting in the back…and the smooth camera work and the lack of in your face promotion by Volvo. If you visit their YouTube channel, you’ll realize that this was “Live Test 6″…I’m scared to ask what happened in Live Tests 1 through 5….In any case, this is a short video and definitely worth a quick look.

Technology Forum

I’ll be off again to attend CBC/Radio-Canada’s Technology Forum in Toronto. I’m looking forward to chatting about the latest projects that colleagues have been working on throughout the year.

This year, Morley Winograd will also be attending. He’s an author and speaker who focuses on the Millennial generation…some even refer to him as the “Millennial Generation Guru”. This should make for an interesting discussion, especially when we look at how different generations are using technology and consuming media.

I’m also really excited to learn more about Interplay Central…if you’ve been using Interplay Central, let me know what your thoughts are. Challenges? Hopes? Dreams?….


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!!

Interview with Business Correspondent Amanda Lang

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to interview Amanda Lang about her recent book, The Power of Why. You may know Amanda from the Lang & O’Leary Exchange or from CBC News.

One of the aspects that I love about Amanda is that she makes business news more approachable for a younger generation. Unlike many of my colleagues and family members, it has been less than a decade since I have been engaged in following what’s going on in the political and business arenas. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always voted and researched who I was voting for when it came to elections. Actually, I feel very strongly that it’s all of our civic duty to do this (but that’s another tangent). What I’m getting at though is as someone from GenY, with school/work/planning for the future taking up so much time it’s hard to have time (or the left over attention span) to follow anything else. Now, as an adult I often feel intimidated by business and politics because I feel like I have so much catching up to do in terms of what’s in my knowledge bank. It’s shocking sometimes to learn about how much has happened during my lifetime… All that to say, that I really appreciate Amanda’s way of approaching topics and making it easy for people like me to understand…and not be intimidated.

The Power of Why seeks to inspire Canadians to reignite their curiosity and passion for learning. It seems that Canadians just aren’t as engaged as we should be at work and this has caused productivity to be on the decline for decades. Amanda reveals the answer to this pressing economic issue…[spoiler alert] The answer is: Innovation. Innovation is fueled by curiosity, which in turn powers productivity… You can read more from my interview here, or pick up the book!!

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.

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