fbpx

Category : Thought Leadership

HomePosts in Thought Leadership

“Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better”

I believe that people tend to place too many expectations on themselves. College grads think they need to be experts, those starting out think they’re not as far along as they should be and on and on it goes. I know I personally thought I wasn’t ready to be in the workforce because I didn’t know as much as I believed I needed to. But I also knew that the only way you can get there is to work at it. Treat every day as a building block to your success and try to learn as much as you can on any given day. If you pick up one new thing to make you quicker, smarter, more curious every day. You will find the excellence that you’ve been searching for.

Aaron Short is a Coordinator at ruckus Digital.

Need help with your social strategy? Drop us a line.

“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new”

The digital world is constantly changing and as practitioners, it’s important to have the ability to pivot. While it may be easier to remain in your comfort zone out of the fear of not being good at something, it will never give you the opportunity to learn or better yourself. I always keep these wise words in my back pocket when I take on a new challenge.

Emily Rivas is the Senior Strategist at ruckus Digital.

Need help with your social strategy? Drop us a line.

“Be kind to yourself.”

A marketing and communications career is a fast paced one. Towards the start of mine, like many others in the industry, I worked extremely long hours and wasn’t so kind to myself. I rarely stopped. I quickly realized that burnout is a real thing.  I learned that to do the best possible work and to keep up with the fast pace, you must be kind to yourself. That means reaching out for help when you need it and understanding that you won’t always be ‘on’ and taking advantage of the moments when you are.  Marketing is a team sport and a team is only as good as the collective of individuals. It’s important that we are all kind to ourselves so that as a team, we’re ready to go and up for any challenge.


Elspeth Baird is the Group Director at ruckus Digital.

Need help with your social strategy? Drop us a line.

“If You Smile At The World, The World Will Smile Back At You.”

When tasked with finding a quote that embodies my life and work philosophy, I easily selected the above. In my experience, positivity brings positivity. Colleague, mentor-mentee, and client relationships all benefit from positive interactions with open communication. Motivating individuals through encouragement and acknowledging wins provides a safe and happy environment. This, in turn, brings positivity back to the work being conducted and the relationships being built.

At the end of the day, people are most likely to perform their best work when they feel supported and like their workplace which becomes a cycle of positivity.

Abby Radovski is the Account Director at ruckus Digital.

Need help with your social strategy? Drop us a line.

#SMWTO – Providing LEGS for Real Time Community Influencer Moments

Earlier this month, the ruckus team had an opportunity to attend Social Media Week Toronto, which brought several leading social media marketers, influencers and social media platforms together to outline what’s new and upcoming for social media marketing. We live-tweeted, laughed, cried, and learned from the best.

This piece highlights our key takeaways from the conference and what inspired us the most:

1. A Moment Like This

FOMO and inclusion are the two main drivers in why individuals join social media. There is a large fear of missing out with an equally large drive to be included and feel part of a movement. Various speakers touched on the fact that to understand social media is to understand your audience. Challenges such as the ice bucket challenge, planking, and the kiki challenge give your audience the ability to be “cool” by partaking in a trending topic. They can then share their “entry” and be part of something bigger— a specific moment in time.

2. Community is King

We’ve all heard that content is king, but during the course of the week, it was all about community reigning supreme. Posting content for content sake is not going to earn you much engagement or clout with your followers. A few speakers hypothesized that the best method of creating content comes from seeking out your community and asking what they want to see. Conduct searches to see what accounts are saying about your brand, not just those who tag you, but the individuals who hashtag your organization or just write it out. By engaging with your community, you give them a voice, make them feel heard, and increase the chances of them sharing. Word of mouth is just as important online as in person.

3. Does your content have LEGS?

Yes, you read that right, but no, we don’t mean will it walk away. Creating content for the ad-averse is a real day challenge, and in order to grab those eyeballs, content should include at least one of the following elements:

Laugh Out Loud – If your content incorporates humour, individuals are willing to overlook the fact that it’s an ad for the reward of a good laugh.
Edgy – Pushing boundaries sparks conversation.
Gripping – Does it grab and hold your attention?
Sexy – make it visually appealing.

If your content doesn’t have legs, it needs to offer personal value in the forms of being inspirational, educational, or thought-provoking.

4. Real-Time

The theme of time and trends was woven through presentations on Twitter, 5G, Pinterest, and TikTok. Audience users expect immediate results and interactions. Whether it be in conversing online or partaking in a TikTok trend (which on average lasts about a week), they expect immediate response and reaction. With the development of 5G phone networks, we’ll be able to download and process information in 3-second increments. With Pinterest’s new lens, you can point your phone at an object and find out exactly where it’s from and purchase it on the spot. This is going to mean content creators (and everyday individuals) will have to work quickly to produce timely content while the idea is still fresh. On the flip side, this also means we’ll need to pay closer attention to real-time analytics in order to pivot in the moment.

5. Nano Influencers

In the era of fake news and bots, a lot of brands and agencies are shying away from influencers with large followings for nano influencers with more authentic reach. Much like brands, audiences don’t like the feeling of being duped when a piece of content gets thousands of likes and thousands of the same comment within moments of a post going live. Nano influencers offer more niche targeting with a higher likelihood of your branded content resonating with audiences leading to engagement.

Abby Radovski is an Account Director at ruckus Digital. Need help with your social strategy? Drop us a line.

CPRS event: The benefits of research and data collection

In the past 10 years, the public relations industry has advanced tremendously in how it collects and reports data, conducts research and quantifies success.

On February 5, 2018, the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) Toronto held an informative event where attendees had a chance to listen to four leading industry experts discuss how essential data has become in the digital age and how best to leverage it.

Read insights from the panelists on the CPRS Toronto blog Four reasons why PR demands data.

The panelists included our very own Diane Bégin, APR, vice president, who gave insights on how we leverage our research and data and how to use the information for strategic planning.

“There is so much data out there, and it is our job to guide our teams and clients on what the right, meaningful variables are to measure,” said Bégin. “We need to ensure the variables we are measuring are impacting our clients’ businesses in the right way and aligning seamlessly with their business objectives.”

Bégin added this has the potential to move clients’ in the right direction by allowing us to measure a real return on investment.

Need making sense of measuring your communications program? Drop us a line. Kristina Mikhalkova is a coordinator at APEX Public Relations / ruckus Digital.

As communicators we need to embrace social advertising

Not very long ago, our chief recourse as communicators who needed to tell brand stories was to work with publications and submit articles – or pitch thought leadership pieces.

Today, thanks to social and digital advertising capabilities, the game has changed. We now have several tools at our disposal that can help us reach the right audiences and build brands or organizations as credible sources of information.

Of course, the core principles of content creation – whether it is for traditional or social media – remain the same. When creating content, we still need to be informative, credible, thought-provoking and entertaining.

Creating great content is just the critical first step. Making it visible to the right audiences is the next. Social media advertising is a great avenue that can help us do just that.

Basically, social media advertising involves driving any kind of paid content on a social media platform.  For any communicator who is considering social advertising, a good place to begin is by identifying your objectives, target audiences and social platforms.

Ask yourself the following questions when planning social advertising:

  • What are the business objectives?
  • What are the key demographics or behaviours of the target audience?
  • What resources for content are available to tap into?
  • What topics or content is most important to this audience?
  • What is the best platform to reach this audience?
  • How do I mark success?
  • What is my budget?

Let us zoom in on the first three.

Identifying a strategy focused on your business objectives from the start can help maximize your efforts and help you test and experiment. Objectives for your branded content might be reaching the right target audience, engaging with them, driving them to a website or asking them to sign up for an event or newsletter.

When identifying your audience, social advertising lets you go beyond basic target demographics (age, sex, etc.) and allows you to identify your audience based on their behaviours or interests. This unique advantage leverages big data that social media platforms constantly collect from users – which communicators should use to reach their relevant audiences. For example, a company selling organic food may be able to fine tune its Facebook campaign by targeting interest-based groups that are interested in healthy cooking.

Lastly, it is critical to identify the best social media platforms to reach your audiences. Keep in mind that each platform serves varied audiences and their diverse needs. Consider other factors like the daily user base – is it mainly professionals or millennials? Is the platform used for news or sharing photos with friends? Will your content fit within this platform?

Once you have identified your objectives, audiences and platforms, you are ready to create content and start to test the results and the impact on your business.

Katie Boland is a digital strategy account manager at ruckus Digital. This article was originally published in IABC’s November 2017 newsletter. Need help with your social advertising strategy? Drop us a line.  

Upstairs Amy – the making of a web series

Recently Walmart and Interac launched their new comedy web series, Upstairs Amy. We spoke with Jenn Stein of APEX and Gary Edgar of ruckus Digital to find out what goes into making it, how the brands get integrated and why they think this approach will work with the target audience.

Subscribe to Upstairs Amy on YouTube and watch new episodes every Monday

Should fake news be archived to be preserved for the future?

That question was tossed around at an October 16 event, hosted by the National Archives in the stunning new Globe and Mail Centre, called Unfiltered: the Fate of Facts in the Digital Age. (Also check out what Globe staff have said about the Centre’s views.)

The discussion was moderated by Guy Berthiaume, Librarian and Archivist of Canada and included

With respect to preserving fake news for the future, Beasley offered a compelling metaphor from silent film. Apparently 9 out of 10 movies from the silent film era (from 1895 to 1936) were not preserved because the content was considered ephemeral.

Is that the case however for fake news?

While panelists agreed it has always existed (just that US politics have placed much more emphasis on it as of late), they had varying opinions on what to do with fake news, and many questions didn’t have any easy answers.

Should social media platforms accept a larger responsibility in stopping fake news?

While Twitter founder Jack Dorsey continues to assert that it’s better to know what’s on the mind of say the leader the most powerful country in the free world, libraries such as Cornell University have taken on the responsibility to provide resources to the public (like this fake news infographic) to make it easier to spot it.

Do current mainstream media outlets have a role to play in qualifying what is fake and what isn’t?

At least one audience member brought up biases if mainstream media outlets became the authority in determining what is fake and what isn’t.

While tools like the Globe and Mail fake news quiz better equips consumers of media, other much larger scale initiatives such as The Trust Project (watch for a launch scheduled for next month) is a collective initiative involving mainstream media that could be criticized for its biases. It also includes digital and social media representation from Twitter, Facebook and Google.

What role does fiction play as fake news in political discourse? (e.g. parody, political cartoons)

An interesting question to which again the metaphor of film was applied by Beasley. There was a time when audience members in theatres would clear out when a train was racing towards them.

Because the medium was new, they didn’t understand that they weren’t in imminent danger. The point being, it takes time to understand the effects of anything.

Ditto with mainstream attention on fake news.

What do you think? Tell us your thoughts here or on Twitter. Diane Bégin is VP, Social Marketing and Brand Communications at APEX PR and ruckus Digital.

Canadian cell phone emergency alert system coming soon

UPDATE – As of April 6, 2018, these emergency alerts are in effect

Would you want to receive a text message from authorities if your life may be in immediate danger?

From the 2012 Eaton Centre shooting in Toronto to the 2016 wildfires in Fort McMurray (incidentally the anniversary of the evacuation is this week), the ability to send a text message on the advanced wireless network could minimize chaos by sending accurate information to 97 per cent of the Canadian population instantly.

Well up until now in Canada you couldn’t receive those alerts. But, that’s about to change. On April 6, 2017, the CRTC “directed all wireless service providers to implement a wireless public alerting system on their LTE (long-term evolution) networks by April 2018.”

In an effort to catch up to other jurisdictions, the CRTC consulted last year about appetite for wireless service providers’ (WSP) participation in the National Public Alerting System for dangers to life and property. This would include “broadcast immediate alert messages” such as “imminent or unfolding dangers to life (including tornadoes, forest fires, industrial disasters, and tsunamis).”

The United States has had a system in place since 2012 – called Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs), which was a WSPs voluntarily initiative led through a partnership between the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Such an alert was used in the most recent New York bombings.

Australia also has an emergency alert system, using location-based SMS.

This evolution is part of other emergency innovations the CRTC is building upon including launching an interactive map for emergency alerts from broadcast media and next generation 9-1-1 (i.e. maybe 9-1-1 texting).

Some are opposed to the idea but the major wireless service providers are in favour – at an estimated $25M cost. All submissions on the change were made public following the close of the consultation last year.

“We agree that Wireless Public Alerting (WPA) will be a significant benefit to Canadians and should be mandatory for all Wireless Service Providers (WSPs), including primary brands, extension brands, and resellers.” Bell Mobility submission

“TELUS fully supports the implementation of a national wireless public alerting system in Canada. TELUS maintains that “a full wireless emergency alerting system implemented across Canada must be effective, reliable and robust.” TELUS Communications Company submission

“Rogers is committed to the next chapter of Canadian National Public Alerting System (NPAS) through the rollout of Wireless Public Alerting.” Rogers Communications Canada Inc. submission

Considered a lifeline for many already, this change to our cell phones will likely pass without most of us realizing it – that is until its service is most valuable, at a time when we need it.

Diane Bégin is VP, brand communications & social marketing at ruckus Digital. Also learn about our experiences on the ground during the Fort McMurray wildfire (video) and a Storify recapping our third ruckus makers event also on the wildfire.

 

Need digital help? Drop us a line.