8 Takeaways from Communications Week #CommsWeekCA

CommsWeeksCA

What a busy week this has turned out to be - cannabis was legalized across Canada on Wednesday, we celebrated Small Business Week, a new Royal pregnancy was announced and who knew it was also Communications Week?!

This year was the first time we celebrated Communications Week in Canada beyond celebrating it in New York, London, Chicago and Hamburg. I had the opportunity to attend the first-time event on Thursday, bringing together some of the best communications professionals to network and discuss timely topics like media/journalism, diversity, and branding in the communications realm.

The speakers were brilliant and provided a lot of catchy take-aways (shared with a lot of honesty and humour).

Here are 8 tidbits from the event:

  1. Choose social media platforms based on time investment. How much time do you have to put in to create content that resonates with your audience/marketplace - David Pagnotta, Founder & EIC, Fourth Period Media

  2. Competition is healthy in the digital space - it pushes us all to be better, more innovative and think differently - Jacqueline Leung, Founder & EIC, Pressed News

  3. Its not why/what to influence, it is how. You can influence in person, not just on social media. Social media platforms are just distribution channels. You need to determine your message/brand voice first - Joanna Track, Founder & Executive Published, The Bullet

  4. [When discussing multicultural advertising and showcasing all the incredible people associated with Hip Hop like Drake, Serena Williams, Jay-Z, Lebron James, etc]. Hip hop has evolved with the times and reinvented itself. Hip hop is an economic powerhouse - its people have reclaimed its narrative, its confident in itself, it knows its worth, the leaders of the industry are from the industry and will ensure its art form. Its why Hip Hop doesn’t have a diversity issue. - Dabo Che, Founder CHE Industries

  5. Don’t build a brand, build an identity. You don’t have to build a brand if you have a strong identity. - Shaharris Beh, CEO Hackernest

  6. Canada is more socially-aware and socially responsible than the US. Before brands come into the Canadian marketplace (or you go into any marketplace) do your research and homework first (its why brands like Target and Sam’s Club have failed) - Sheryl Johnson, Chief Insights Officer, BTI Brand Innovations Inc.

  7. Develop a relationship with media before you need them - Jodi Echakowitz

  8. Telling our story hasn’t changed.. we’ve always been telling our story.. but the way we tell our story is what has changed (when referring to social media and the digital space) - Erin Bury, Managing Director, Eighty-eight agency

If anything, the event made me think of how so much of what the speakers were talking about is what we need to think about in agriculture and food:

  • have we evolved in the consumer space like other industries/brands have to leverage existing trends (i.e. social media, influencer marketing, etc)

  • our industry were early adopters of social media but have we continued to evolve and adapt as social media has changed?

  • we need to listen to our audience/marketplace first before wanting to tell our side of the story

  • choose communications/social media platforms wisely and strategically (not every social media channel is needed!)

  • have we truly built the relationships we need as a sector to further our message (i.e. media, brand influencers, other sectors)

Most importantly, the event reminded me that communications isn’t just social media. Communications involves many facets - media, photography, branding, advertising, print, radio AND social media (even though the digital space is the way of the future) A good reminder for all!

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Welcome to our new home at Crowley + Arklie Strategy & Co.

This has been years in the making. We are proud to {finally} make things official and launch our digital communications agency. We have big ideas, a lot of creative juice and the tools to execute.

There are three things we’re passionate about, well I guess you could say four: people, communicating, agriculture and social media.

So what are we doing here?

We believe that every brand, business and executive should be good at communicating.

There really is no excuse in today’s digitally-crazed world where access to information (or anything!) is at our fingertips. That’s why we're on a mission to help transform the way brands, businesses and executives communicate in agriculture-food and beyond through digital and social media. 

The services we offer are what businesses, boards and executives need help in most: digital and social media, communications planning, campaign management and execution, media training, branding and more. Overwhelmed yet? Let us help you.

We’re glad you found us at our new home. Take a few minutes to browse and look around, learn more about our story, who we’ve worked with and by all means, get in touch with us so we can chat further about how we can help you.

Thanks for coming along and sharing in this new adventure with us.

We can’t wait to hear from you!

Food for Thought [volume 6]

+ With more women working full time than men, this article about selling to women is something that all companies and people in communications should be reading to tweak how they approach selling their products or services because there ARE stark differences in how to sell to women in the language that is used, and the visuals that attract women shoppers and decision makers.

+"GMO's" could be one of those words that was one of the most popular words of 2016. It seemed to be a word that appeared everywhere this year in food marketing. The myths that exist out there are astounding and many foodie bloggers and food enthusiasts are jumping on the anti-GMO bandwagon without knowing the real facts. Twitter enthusiast Yvette known as Science Babe had her article on the 10 Bullsh*t arguments against GMOs published in Cosmopolitan.. take a read and make sure to share with friends!

+ A good reminder for those who are beginning to blog or are considering jumping into the online world and want to find their 'thing.' Their message "You Can't Stand Out Until You Stand Up" is so true! Get going!

+I'm sure many millennials who read this article can relate to the idea of 'chasing your dreams' or 'following your passions' but what if you woke up one day like Jennifer did and asked yourself, 'what are you ACTUALLY trying to follow?'

+Even though the US Election has come and gone, I love reading the aftermath and post-wraps of what people thought each campaign did right and wrong. Advertisers in the US are reflecting on how they collect data to reflect the consumers that is the American people considering the outcome of the November 8th election results. Fascinating stuff!

+Another read that could relate to the outcome we recently saw with the US election, this article discusses what role the media plays in the timely debate of the CEO gender gap. Findings from a small sample of media coverage found that the way in which CEOs are covered often has a direct impact on their success in office.

+This explains why I feel so relaxed and happy when I listen to music while working away on emails/blogging/project work etc. Let the feel-good neurotransmitters out!

+I recently tweeted (& slightly tweaked) the lyrics to a famous #JayZ line that say "I got 99 problems.. and negativity ain't one of them." Fellow blogger Jen shared this article from the Globe and Mail that speaks to the serious impacts that complaining and negativity has on your brain. Loved the line in the article, when comparing complaining to second-hand smoking, "If a person were smoking, would you sit there all afternoon inhaling the second-hand smoke?"

+Want to see a cool visual that shows you what a day in the life of an American looks like then check out this simulation of what a 1000 people's day looks like. Its interesting to see what activities that Americans (and most likely us as Canadians) do more so than others.. sleep, eat, work, drink, repeat anyone?