What I’ve Been Up to Lately

Marketing Cobblers Shoes

 

I’ve grown fond of a saying recently: “The cobbler’s children have no shoes.”

Meaning: The shoe maker is so busy making shoes to earn a living that he has no time to make free shoes for his kids (or something along those lines).

Me, I’ve been doing just the same and this poor blog has had no posts. I’ve been so busy whipping up marketing strategies, doing SEO, writing blog posts, attending sales meetings, etc. etc. that I have had no time to create blog posts for my own blog! Such is the very fun life of working at a marketing firm.

Evidence of my actions is spread around the internet. I appeared on the Loyalist PR blog, show up frequently on the Belleville Chamber Chat Facebook Page and am always chatting with locals on Twitter and Facebook.

It really has been a whirlwind of adventure these past few months… and that’s just the beginning!

Drive your Car on the Times Square Big Screen

How’s this for a great idea: Hyundai is letting you use your iPhone to play a Veloster video game on the 80 inch big screen in Times Square, New York.

Things like this always make me wish I was in a bigger area than Belleville. It would be AWESOME to stand in Times Square and play a game on my iPhone for all to see.

Could be embarrassing if I sucked at it though….

 

I wonder if they will let people play it on New Year’s Eve?

Red Turns White, White Turns Red

A few weeks ago I was with my fiancé watching the newest Twilight movie (yes I’ll admit it!) One of the commercials that are now ever present at movie theaters was for Coke turning their cans white for the cute cuddly Polar bears.

PR and Brand Change

I said to Ashley “That’s a neat idea! And works great because everyone knows Coke and polar bears.”

Well, turns out that prima facie judgement was all wrong, people hated the new cans! Kudos to Coke’s branding department for creating such an emotional impact with the red can. Minus for not researching consumer reaction to new cans.

From Diet coke confusion to a different taste, the complaints were everywhere. Sadly, the polar bears are going , going… gone from shelves now.

Perhaps Coke should have stuck with a red can, and white polar bears on it. Perhaps they should have just donated the polar bear money and not changed the can. Whatever the case I thought it was a great, although flawed, execution  and at least Coke is willing to be daring! (New Coke anyone?)

 

One Year Anniversary!

 

 

One Year PR With Troy

Over one year ago, this blog was created, as a class project for Loyalist PR. However, I immediately realised that this blog was way more than a class project. I began showing up on Google, people started talking to me about blog articles I wrote, and I got in touch with local politicians about Downtown Belleville.

When I went for interviews, hiring managers had already heard about me because of my blogging and social media outreach. I’ve attended events and can start the conversation with “Hey, I saw you on Twitter!” and they can respond “I read this blog your wrote…”

It’s been a great adventure, and admittedly work has gotten in the way of my blog (as noted by my month long absence) but I am still here, and still blogging (and also blogging professionally). So stay tuned, and thanks for making this first year so great!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Master Twitter in 3 Easy Steps

Want to join, or already joined Twitter but feel overwhelmed?  Here is a quick guide to get you started:

 

1)      Ditch Twitter.com for HootSuite- Twitter.com is clunky,  unorganized and makes it hard to find topics of interest. Instead, start using an app that allows you to customize your Twitter experience, all from one window.

 

So. Simple.

 

 

 

2)      Create topic searches: Using keyword searches in HootSuite/TweetDeck allows you to see what interests you. Like popcorn? Have a “popcorn” search set up and you will see any discussions about popcorn in your feed.

 

3)      Use Twitter Share/HootBar/ Buffer- These allow you to Tweet straight  from a webpage you are viewing. No more copying a URL and pasting it into Twitter.

I spend a lot of time on Twitter, yet unless I need to do some account maintenance, I am never on twitter.com.  Use these tools to make Twitter easy!

Riots and the Aftermath: The Double Edged Nature of Social Media

 

In my previous blog post “Has Social Media Really Created  Two-Way Discussions?” I addressed the nature of humans to naturally revolt, and create two way discussion.

Well, social media seems to have another dual perspective: creating/fuelling riots and then subsequently creating/fuelling a backlash and clean-up.

My examples: the Vancouver and London Riots and their aftermath.

Vancouver lost the Stanley Cup finals and then citizens began to riot: Vancouver Sun “Time to Riot” one user said; however, reading that article users began to identify citizens that caused the destruction.

During the riots, people celebrated their participation. Afterwards, people condemned and jailed participants.

 

 

Now look at London. BlackBerry messenger, email, Facebook, and Twitter all are claimed as communication platforms for the riot’s organizers.  (CBC and AdWeek). Without social media, the argument goes; the rioters never would have organized. Or, in a less strong position, the riots would have occurred but the damage and scale would have been smaller.

The articles also explain how police, citizens, and RIM (the creators of the BlackBerry) are now fighting back by indentifying rioters in pictures and through their BBMs.

Social media is great, but as many individuals and companies know, it has a double edged nature. It can cause success but also crisis. It can cause feedback but also harsh criticism. It also can cause riots but also inspire good deeds.

Harry Potter and the Communicator

 

Harry Potter has smashed box office records. It has made its author a billionaire.  And now he can teach us some communication lessons.

Leading up to the finale, I was struck by the end of movie 4, Goblet of Fire, and movie 5, Order of the Phoenix.  Between the two movies, there are some great lessons to be had.

Be Open: At the end of Goblet, Dumbledore (the headmaster) amasses all the students and lets them know that a student was killed by Voldemort. He doesn’t hide, he doesn’t say “a series of events occurred which led to the expiration of a Hogwarts Student.” He lets everyone know what has happened, and because of this a crisis is calmed and people begin to want to fight back against Voldemort.

Dumbledore showed great wisdom at the end of movie 4, but then in movie 5 Dumbledore has a change of heart.

Don’t Avoid Your Audience: Throughout all of Phoenix, Dumbledore avoids Harry Potter, avoids the students and avoids the national newspaper. What happens? People begin to lose trust and faith in the wise wizard, Harry Potter becomes outraged and the general public no longer wants to fight against Voldemort.

Meanwhile, Harry has done the opposite and his friends trust him, while people who didn’t trust him completely, come over to his side (I’m looking at you Seamus Finnigan)!

Harry Potter teaches us to be open, engage with our audience and true to our beliefs.  If we do that, perhaps we will smash our own personal and career records.

Consistency is Key!

While looking at my LinkedIn profile, my WordPress plugin stuck out like a sore thumb: “posted 28 days ago.” I guess time flies when you are having fun, especially when consistency is so important with any form of communication. Any people who view my profile, no matter how good/bad my blog posts are, will see I am out of date, and not committed to my blog (I am, I swear!)

It just reinforces one of my key mottos: consistency is key! No matter how good you perform, no matter how good a product is, no matter how great of press release you make, you have to be consistent. A great post won’t stand the test of time, as people always want more and they want the more to be just as good, if not better.

In an ever growing and competitive world, being consistent is key to your company and brand succeeding. Have a consistent message, logo, image and events and with a bit of hard work and luck, you will perform.

The worst thing I see companies do is a constant shift in messages. They will try something for a few weeks (or less) and see no results, so they give up. This is exemplified perfectly by the vast amount of Facebook pages left abandoned after only a few updates.

So whatever you do, be on target and keep your brand consistent.  Heck, be consistent in life too and you’ll be on your way to success.

“Real World” Here I Come!

Today I got the email every student likes to hear: “You are graduating!”

Loyalist PR was the catalyst for the creation of this blog, and I have continued it well past the December due date mark.  Part of my program included an internship at Engine Communications where I updated their blog, Facebook and Twitter.  It was a great experience, and I hope I can continue to stay in contact with them.

Now, I have begun work at Loyalist Certification Services which will be another great learning opportunity.  The great thing about the real world is that I now have a vehicle (Mazda 3!) and am not nearly as concerned about receiving loans.  Though, the real world sure seems to take up a lot more time than schooling!

16hrs of class + homework is way less than 40hrs a week at a job.  But it is change, and change is always a good thing!

As long as I don’t create a Whisper-Gate Burson-Marstaller esque PR fiasco, I am pretty sure the real world will be fantastic!

University= High Scool Rd. 2

Recently the Globe and Mail (here and here) has published a few articles pertaining to the declining lustre of the Bachelor of Arts degree. As a holder of said degree and soon to be a graduate of the Loyalist College Post-Grad PR Program, I am the focus of their articles.

University (and to a lesser extent, College) is required for many job postings and positions. 20 years and even 10 years ago, any applicant with a Degree was a highly qualified applicant, who stood a good shot at getting a job.

Now, things are different. Most have an undergrad degree or college diploma. You don’t stand out if that’s all your resume has. University/college has become the new high school. Students are now flocking to masters, professional programs and colleges to acquire even more credentials and skills.

I think this is great (albeit there are a few worries: mainly $$$). The more education we receive the better. Although it is a shame that on the job education is not being offered to students (since companies won’t hire unless you have experience) having formal training is great to keep individuals motivated and learning.

 The cost of this training is my main worry. Each year of education is easily 10 grand, and much more if you go to a professional school. Learning is great, but being unemployed and 30 with $80k+ student debt to repay is terrifying. It limits who can go (the rich get richer?), and increases household debt to high levels.

 Education has now reached a point where one post-graduate diploma/degree isn’t sufficient. I hope we as a society can combat the overwhelming costs associated with this trend.

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