Monday News Recap: Week of January 9th

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Here’s the weekly news debrief, with things to know from around the world for January 9th:

Vancouver:

For those that may not have heard, BBTV is making a serious push into new global marketplaces with expansions into Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Egypt. Expect to see BBTV grow substantially more in the next few years.

Canada:

Alberta doesn’t seem to be recovering, or at least not nearly as fast as many predicted. Two and a half years in and the oil slump continues to hammer the province, with unemployment at a provincial high. One solution being presented is to ask for the Federal Government to invest in a sustainable fund that would encourage junior exploration and defunct oil rig clean up work.

US:

This is a crucial week for Trump and his nominees, with his cabinet picks undergoing confirmation hearings with questions ranging from civil rights abuse allegations to Russian business ties. Trump will also hold an official press conference this week, the first since July.

International:

North Korea has claimed they have the capability to launch nuclear missiles into the US “at any time.” So far there is no proof, and it appears the N. Koreans are waiting to see what policy changes will come into effect with Trump’s administration.

Tech:

Norway will be the first country to officially kill FM radio. The country is transitioning all radio broadcasts over to digital radio, something some are saying is too soon as it will leave millions of homes and vehicles without the ability to tune in. Plans are in motion for the same to happen in Switzerland, Britain and Denmark.

Science:

The Orca that terrified you in the documentary ‘Blackfish’ has died. Tilikum the killer whale (totally intention pun) died of a bacterial infection last week. Tilikum was 36 years old and responsible for the deaths of three people.

Entertainment:

Last night’s Golden Globes awarded La La Land all seven awards it was nominated for (I mean it’s a movie with Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone dancing and singing, how could that NOT be good?). Meanwhile Meryl Streep took six minutes to destroy Trump, no one does it quite like Meryl.

Fun:

How I feel during the winter months:

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Monday News Recap: Week of January 2nd

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Happy new year! Here’s the very first weekly news debrief for 2017!

Vancouver:

Here’s a weird story to kick off the new year. Over one billion litres of water have been wasted at a construction site in West Vancouver when an aquifer was breached by an inexperienced drilling team, who then fled the country! It has taken 15 months for repairs to even get to this point, which apparently is incredibly complex, and water is still leaking. So far it’s cost the city nearly $3M.

Canada:

Now’s the time of year to watch out for potential scammers, with Canada Post warning Canadians that mail-forwarding fraud saw a big increase last year. Essentially scammers redirect your mail to new addresses, gathering information from bills and credit card statements. Although, how much mail are you actually getting these days? Scammers would just be getting my Domino’s pizza coupons and real estate junk mail.

US:

We are T-minus 17 days from the Trump Presidential inauguration (yes this is actually happening, you didn’t get to leave that behind in 2016, decisions have consequences so enjoy this one for the next four years). Morgan Stanley is cautioning a volatile stock market in the year ahead with uncertainty in many areas of the economy.

International:

Finland is one of the first countries to launch a universal basic income trial, giving more than 2,000 people a general monthly income of around $600 a month tax-free. UBI is being talked about as a potential globally, with programs in the Netherlands, Uganda and Canada rolling out this year as well.

Tech:

What’s one piece of technology that everyone hates? The printer. With all our complex advancements in tech, the printer has remained relatively unchanged, and hated, for years. Now a new printer has appeared offering inkless printing through the use of infrared beams and could totally revamp printing. You still may have to deal with paper jams though.

Science:

New research into the incubation period of dinosaur eggs may help understand why they went extinct. It is entirely possible that it took up to six months for dino eggs to hatch, putting them at a distinct disadvantage to faster breeding animals.  This was a stroke of luck for us, imagine rush hour traffic with brontosaurus’ roaming around? Think about it.

Entertainment:

I honestly can’t think of a better way for 2016 to have ended than with the giant Mariah Carey bomb at Times Square. I really don’t care whose fault it was, watching Mariah crash and burn with style was the physical representation of the year.

Fun:

Let’s all approach the new year like this fox.

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Monday News Recap: Week of December 19th

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Here’s the weekly news debrief, with things to know from around the world for December 19:

Vancouver:

If you’re wondering where that 0.5 per cent tax increase for front line services will be going from the city of Vancouver, just look at the latest drug overdose numbers. By the end of November, BC had recorded 755 deaths due to overdose, a staggering 70 per cent increase over last year. And yes, Fentanyl is largely to blame for this, accounting for 60 per cent of all those case.

Canada:

VW Canada has reached a settlement in the class action lawsuit regarding the massive emissions scandal from late last year. VW will pay out over $2.1 Billion to the over 100,000 Canadians affected, with either vehicle buy-backs or repairs. The scandal has already cost VW over $10 Billion, which is an expensive price tag for a lesson that should have been learned in middle school: don’t cheat on your tests!

US:

Remember the phrase “truth is stranger than fiction” for this next bit. Police barricades around Trump tower are now branded with Tiffany & Co signage. The light blue barricades are just soooo pretty, and bodes well for other luxury brands who will be interested in renting lawn space at the White House. Next year’s Presidential pardoned turkey brought to you by Whole Foods; they have the best, just the best turkey. Look at the size of these turkey legs, they’re yuuuge.

International:

The Russian ambassador to Turkey has been killed in a shooting while attending a photo exhibition. It’s still not known who or why, but Turkey and Russia have been at odds with the handling of Syria.

Tech:

Blackberry has announced a new autonomous vehicle division, which at first glance seems odd from a failing smartphone maker. But, Blackberry’s strongest asset was it’s security, which will be an important factor in maintaining safety in an autonomous future.

Science:

After months of baffling scientists, it’s now believed that a mysterious sound recorded in the depths of the Mariana Trench is a never before recorded Baleen Whale call. It’s still not known what the call means, it could be anything from a unique mating call to a young baleen whale pursuing his career in EDM with the freshest techno beats this side of the Atlantic.

Entertainment:

Zsa Zsa Gabor, actress and famous crossword puzzle answer, has passed away at age 99. Not necessarily known for her roles, Zsa Zsa out lived her two other sisters and was the spitting image of “elite” constantly wearing fur and pearls, marrying EIGHT millionaires and of course calling everyone in her sight “dahhhrlink.”

Fun:

Can you believe the snow today, this hairless rat can’t!

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Am I the only one who thinks he kinda looks like Salvador Dali?

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The Return of Yellow Journalism: How To Fact Check Fake News

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The rise of fake news is on everyone’s minds ever since the US election. After falsified stories leaked all over social media feeds, there’s concern that it could have swayed the election results. While the fingers are still being pointed, it’s important that you have the right tools in order to separate fact from fiction.

A New Era in Yellow Journalism

The fake news trend isn’t anything new; parallels can be drawn to the days of yellow journalism when print publications opted in for flashy headlines, lavish pictures and exaggerated content in favor of well-researched columns. While sensationalized media is widely vilified by journalists, the question of ethics in media keeps resurfacing as the flow of fabricated stories continues to become an issue.

In this new age of yellow journalism, the media landscape shifted from the morning newspaper to instantaneous social media posts where the majority gets their news. Bloggers aren’t held to the same standard that journalists are but they are often the first point of contact for many seeking breaking news. Without the expectation to have journalistic integrity bloggers are free to publish any biased or under researched media that will escalate on social network platforms.

So, how do you separate truth from fiction?

The short answer: dig much deeper.

Even Wikipedia isn’t foolproof; it’s an open source encyclopedia that can be edited by anyone. Use due diligence and follow these helpful tips to navigate the fake news minefield.

Check The Domain Name

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The first step in determining a fake news story is as simple as checking the link of where the article is from. There are more than a handful of faux websites out for your clicks. They can be blatantly obvious such as unconfirmedsources.com but they can also have less discerning names such as civictribune.com.

Always refer to reputable publications to see if that story has run. Globe & Mail, Wall Street Journal and Forbes are examples of credible news sources you can confide in. Don’t be fooled, however, there are some fake news sites that highjack popular outlets and slightly change the name.

MSNBC.com is a trusted news source, yet MSNBC.co has been flagged as a fake news site. That slight difference is easy to miss at a quick glance, which is exactly what they set out to achieve.

Use Fact Checking Websites

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Luckily, there are websites who showed initiative and created resources to use when a questionable political story surfaces. The first one can be found at factcheck.org. Any reported articles will end up here, there’s even a section to ask a question regarding a story and they will post the answer. The second source measures the accuracy of a post with a Truth-O-Meter that will tell you the extent of how true a story is. At politifact.com there’s a database of debunked political articles and the Obameter, which is a tally of the promises he kept or broke. Politifact won the Pulitzer Prize for its contribution in the battle against misinformation.

Google Has a Reverse Image Search

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Sometimes a story will emerge followed by a photo that gives claim to the information. That doesn’t mean it’s true. Photoshop is an incredibly powerful tool for those who know how to use it. Many photos have been altered to suit a narrative then pushed out into social media where it gets shared and lost in the static.

The solution here is simple. These three simple steps will allow you to verify the credibility of a photo in question:

  • Screenshot the photo
  • Open Google Images in your browser
  • Drag the screenshot into the search field

Google will perform a reverse image search and present the URL’s associated with the picture. From here you can see where the image came from and if it originates from a reputable source.

Download The “FiB” Chrome Browser Extension

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When a team of four bright students came together at HackPrinceton, they set out to create an algorithm to combat fake news. Not only did they successfully create the Google Chrome extension called “FiB” but also it only took 36 hours to complete it.

But how does it work?

FiB has a two-pronged approach; first it scans through your Facebook feed and checks status updates, photos and links, and then follows with a Twitter search. Based off the information it assesses whether the content was fabricated or not.

Second, for anyone posting news it does the same verification process but will notify before posting if it’s “Verified” or “Not Verified”. The user can then decide if they want to continue the post.

If there’s one take away from all this, it’s that you need to be objective about everything you read online. The US election set a dangerous precedent setting up a post-truth era but the silver lining here is you have the power to end it by questioning and sharing correct information.

Monday News Recap: Week of December 12th

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Here’s the weekly news debrief, with things to know from around the world for December 12:
 
Vancouver:
Half of all Vancouver’s most expensive homes are secretly owned, meaning we have no idea whose fuelling the ultra-rich real estate market in the city. The NDP has called for more transparency, and to close the loophole on purchasing real estate through shell corporations.
 
Canada:
Syrian refugees celebrated one year officially coming to Canada over the weekend. Over 36,000 have been welcomed into Canada, and while it’s a good news story, the flip side is many are struggling to find work and their funding support was only meant to last a year.
 
US:
The CIA has “confidently” confirmed that Russia was involved in hacking to improve Trump’s odds at winning the Presidency. In an unprecedented move, but typical to Trump, he calls it nonsense, being the first incoming President to seriously undermine the CIA. At this point, Trump is going to convince the entire US population he is the only trustworthy person in America.
 
International:
The IOC has released a scathing report claiming Russia helped over 1,000 athletes tamper with doping tests in two Olympic games. And this apparently goes right to the Kremlin. It’s actually kinda crazy, the tests found male DNA in female athlete urine samples, so either Russia was cheating, or they’ve been secretly inserting men into the women’s games.
 
Tech:
Bill Gates, along with Alibaba head Jack Ma and other billionaires are launching a $1 Billion dollar fund to combat climate change. The fund is expected to run for 20 years and will help companies at all stages develop reliable and affordable clean tech. Looks like having a climate-change denying President may drive others to do it for him, that’s a small silver lining.
 
Science:
A very promising vaccine for HIV has been approved for Phase II trials, meaning it will be tested on HIV-negative patients to test the reliability of the drug. This is the biggest step medicine has taken to date in finding a vaccine for HIV and has already proven to be extremely effective in Phase I.
 
Entertainment:
Some guy who was fraudulently using his company credit card to buy things like cars and seasons tickets spent $1 Million dollars on the mobile game Game of War. One Million dollars on a mobile app!!
 
Fun:
This happy Shiba Inu!
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The Big Five Tech Trends That Shaped 2016

In 2016, tech trends like augmented reality and smart appliances took off while the seeds of virtual reality and artificial intelligence were planted. As the year comes to a close we’re taking a look back at five tech trends that captured our hearts, minds, and wallets.

1. Wearable Tech

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The romance of tech and fashion was a hot topic this year, far beyond the Apple Watch. From heart rate monitors, wearable sleep enhancers, to a dog collar with built-in GPS, it’s clear what direction the fashion industry is heading.

Take for instance the Indiegogo funded Spartan Boxer Brief, an undergarment that repels 99% of cellphone and Wi-Fi emissions. With numerous studies suggesting radiation in cellphone waves causes cancer, the Spartan Boxer Brief is pushing wearable tech that might one day save your life.

2. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

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VR and AR are two buzzwords that piqued interest, but do you really know the difference? Here’s the break down:

Augmented Reality (AR) blends virtual reality with the real world. The worldwide phenomenon Pokémon Go was downloaded over 100 million times and now software companies are switching gears to develop more AR titles from its success. Hardware such as Google Glass saw modest adoption and Google now plans to release the second generation of its tech-infused glasses next year.

Virtual Reality (VR) is the complete immersion into a virtual world through a headset. This trend is shaping up to revolutionize the way you communicate in real-time. Sony just released its VR hardware for PlayStation 4 forcing its competitors to rush to market. The barrier of entry here is a hefty price tag. With units costing upwards of $600, it’s up to financially-sound early adopters to become the voice of this industry.

It’s still too early to know which technologies will triumph. Throughout the year AR had a clear lead, but next year when more content releases for VR it will be a major contender. You can expect to witness another contest on the scale of Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD with only one clear victor, the consumer.

3. Internet of Things (IoT)

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Internet of Things is the concept of industrial and home devices being connected through cloud-computed networks to gather information. Think smart appliances. Don’t worry; the washing machine isn’t trying to steal your debit card PIN, but rather it’s becoming ‘smarter’ by learning your usage habits and using that data to improve efficiency.

Imagine owning a fridge that knows when the milk runs out so a grocery reminder is sent to your smartphone or consulting an app to see if you remembered to turn off the stove. Apps are the big mover for this technology and we’re on the cusp of having fully controllable households from the palm of our hands.

But is IoT really that big? The IDC 2016 Global Market Predictions believes so. The market research organization forecast by 2018 there would be 22 billion Internet of Things devices installed, which will promote over 200,000 new IoT apps and services.

4. Financial Technology (Fintech)

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Touted as the major disruptor to the financial industry – the Uber of banking – fintech is creating new avenues to handle day-to-day banking affairs without having to step into an actual branch.

‘Fintech’ is a blanket term that can’t be categorized into one specific area. The rise of crypto-currencies and block-chain provides a secure and transparent allocation of currency worldwide. Meanwhile, companies such as TIO Networks are re-inventing bill payment solutions for the underbanked outside of traditional bank channels. Even financial institutions are investing in fintech through services such as mobile deposits and online banking apps. Studies are showing the millennial generation is shifting away from traditional brick-and-mortar concepts in favour of easy, instant access to finances. 

5. Advanced AI Ecosystem

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Big strides towards artificial intelligence were made. AI was developed so it could be ‘taught’ through complex algorithms and data rich neural pockets operating on a cloud network.

Sound like a quote from Star Trek? The reality is machines are learning how to perform day-to-day tasks that were only thought possible by humans. Google DeepMind created a learning algorithm allowing AI to remember something after only seeing it once. This out performs humans who take two to three times to recall new learnings. AI is also capable of natural language generation, which is working to break down communication barriers across the world. Soon customer support lines will have conversation and troubleshooting capabilities through a live chat-bot eliminating the need to speak to a representative directly.

AI tech is being developed for a multitude of functions including diagnosing human illness, serving and autonomous vehicles. The ride sharing behemoth Uber has already begun testing a fleet of driverless cars throughout Pittsburg. With 94 percent of car accidents involving human error, there could be a drastic improvement of road safety with this technology pushed nationwide.

While AI can tremendously impact our lives there are still questions that need to be addressed. How will the government regulate mass-production of robots? Will self-taught AI possess a moral compass? Are low-skilled labour jobs at risk? Only time will answer these questions, however it’s exciting to see what direction it goes.

In the coming years, expect more groundbreaking discoveries in the field of space exploration, biotech, and medicine. There’s so much to cover in the world of tech, but these are the trends that stuck out most in 2016. Either way, it’s a great time to be alive.

Brand Storytelling 101: Telling Your Story To Maximize Loyalty

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Do you want your brand to resonate? To truly embed your brand in the mind of customers, you need to establish a personal connection through a well-told brand story. The most powerful brand stories build trust while driving home the core values of the company. Make an effort to cultivate a compelling narrative and you’ll be rewarded not only with more revenue, but consumer loyalty as well

Tell Them, Don’t Sell Them

Selling a product or service is the end goal, of course, but the point of a brand story is to sell yourself or the company to create rapport. Consumers are quickly adapting to evolving marketing strategies and they can see a sales pitch coming from a mile away. If they catch even the slightest whiff that you’re deceptively pushing a product they will just as easily move on.

The Lego Movie was a great example of this notion done right. While the product is Lego, they never directly tell you to purchase it throughout the film. Instead, they open the viewers’ eyes to the possibilities of what Lego is capable of through an animated world constructed entirely out of their building blocks. By the end, you forget that you’re watching a 90-minute advertisement for Lego, but instead a fun, creative story for the whole family.

Choose The Right Platform

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The method in which you push your brand story is a factor worth considering. Through blog posts, speeches, videos or case studies on social media, the delivery is solely dependent on what you’re selling and whom you’re trying to reach. Choose a medium that’s true to your business and conveys your story in a way that will leave the greatest impact.

Social media allows direct contact with customers who are willing to express opinions about your services. This is an opportunity to share or retweet positive anecdotes and have real people become your brand ambassadors. It’s also a place to target your narrative to a more intimate audience. With copious amount of analytics available, you can real-time track how people are reading and reacting to your story.

Clean. Concise. Clear.

Let’s face it, the rise of digital media has reduced our collective attention spans and the average consumer has no time to read fluff. Keep this in mind when drafting your story; get to the point and cut what doesn’t need to be there. Grammar and readability need to be put forth so the average reader can digest your message with ease.

Less Stats, More Story

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An essential step in crafting a brand story is focusing less on the statistical side (graphs, charts, and figures), and more on the deeper, emotional level. Studies conducted with neuro-imagery suggest that when evaluating brands people use personal feelings and experiences over brand attributes and features. Ask yourself, why are people willing to pay more for a brand when they can buy a comparable product for cheaper? The answer is the emotional attachment.

When the decision-making happens in-store, people draw on past experiences and how they connect with the brand to help sway their choice. Connect on a human level and pull the reader in from the beginning. Personal anecdotes about the people behind the brand, their values and how they were brought up, will likely resonate more with the consumer than mere product or service features. Consumers should be so imbued after reading a brand story, that they want to spend their money, not just on its offerings, but to be a part of its journey.

Some brands enlist the aid of professional writers to draft their story. The wording is so important because if the audience reads something dull it could reflect on the company as a whole. Alternatively, if a brand story is inspiring it can serve as a catalyst rather than a trap.

Tell your story, be proud of it and your brand will resonate.

Will Virtual Reality Be the Next Battleground For Consumer Marketing?

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One of the biggest shifts in technology this year has come with the release of several major virtual reality platforms. Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR are some of the high-end products to recently hit shelves, while lower end rigs like Google’s announced Daydream VR and Samsung Gear VR offer cheap entry points for interested consumers.

With this influx of opportunity, VR has begun to blur the lines between the digital world and the real. Developers aren’t the only ones hard at work discovering the potential of this new technology, so are marketers. Even in its infancy, VR already presents an opportunity that no previous generation in history had the chance to explore; Full immersion.

Think of how consumer products have been marketed to date; Beautiful photography, catchy tag lines and dynamic video all created to draw the attention of the consumer. But what if you could bring the entire experience direct to their own living room?

Virtual reality offers a form of communication and connection that no other medium can express. Imagine a retail brand being able to offer customers to not only shop online but also physically see the way those clothes fit through a virtual reality changing room. Or how about a travel company promoting the newest five-star hotel in Paris with a VR tour of the estate? Consumers could even test drive a new Audi on the famous Monaco circuit all from the comfort of their own couch. The opportunity of VR ushers society to the next generation of brand awareness.

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Creative Ways VR Is Being Implemented

At these early stages, we are only beginning to scratch the surface of possibility for VR experiences. Fortunately, there are some who have taken the risk of early adoption and are trailblazing with new concepts to promote their services. Destination BC became the first destination marketing organization in North America who used VR to launch The Wild Within VR Experience. People from anywhere in the world could experience the beauty of British Columbia in an interactive setting from salmon fishing to viewing the Rocky Mountains in all of their glory. VR continually proves that we can push the boundaries of what we originally thought possible.

An Effective Tool For Discovering Consumer Habits

We’re in the early stages of seeing how consumers react to this new tech. Only time will tell how effective this immersive visual medium will increase conversion rates. Vancouver-based Cognitive VR is a company that understands metrics will be valuable in the coming years in determining effective VR advertising. The company has created software that follows eye movement for capturing interest focal points and A/B testing for virtual ads. This provides significant data into how, if at all, virtual advertisements are being consumed. Knowing what draws people’s attention will help tailor content to increase effectiveness.

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It’s Certainly Not For Everyone, Yet

By now, it may seem like VR is the next wave of consumer engagement but it’s important to understand that with any new technology will come challenges. Like any new platform, VR is relatively untested and a foreign concept not only to consumers but also businesses. It also has yet to reach a market penetration that would be considered substantial, this will surely grow as VR develops but for now, it’s a small audience for an arguably high price tag. App development can be difficult, expensive and hard to implement, and it will take brands with high-risk tolerance or deep pockets to move in  early on. However, there is a prime opportunity right now for brands to establish themselves as innovators and forge into the unknown. These brands will not only benefit from being one of the first to market, but also learn from their own successes and failures, making them far better positioned to engage with a growing audience as VR penetrates households to the extent previous innovations like radio and TV have before.

5 Crisis Management Tips To Save Your Public Image

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By Ryan Tessier

Crisis management is often considered when the worst has already happened. Whether you’re a CEO of a multi-national corporation or the sole proprietor of a modest startup, there’s always the potential for mistakes that can have a negative impact on your branding. Crisis management is best leveraged when it’s implemented proactively. The process of planning, implementing and reviewing all the necessary facts can help mitigate the damage from bad PR when a disaster takes place. Take these five tips to prepare for unforeseen circumstances.

1. Create a Crisis Communication Plan

They say preventative medicine is the best way to stay out of the hospital, the same can be said for your image. Drafting a crisis communication plan will not only give you a reference point for when things are in panic mode, but also differentiate a minor scenario from major so you can plan accordingly. Not only will you be well equipped in the event of a mishap, but also employees will have confidence knowing how to handle the press and what not to say on social media.

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2. Assign a Spokesperson & Practice

 While some owners are stellar entrepreneurs, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are prepared for the media spotlight; speaking in front of investors or a boardroom is not the same as handling the press. All it takes is a slip of the tongue to land the company in more hot water than it began in. Assign a spokesperson that is knowledgeable in best interview practices and can stay on message. Be sure to practice in advance to prepare for any difficult questions.

3. Assess Potential Damage & How To Mitigate Public Reaction

When a crisis hits it can be instinctual to act as quickly as possible to put out the fire. While it is certainly important to handle a crisis in a prompt manner, it’s equally important to take time to get the facts and the full picture to devise the right go-to-public strategy. Grab your team and run through how you want your brand to be presented in the public eye along with any tricky questions that might be asked.

4. Timeliness & Accuracy

Brix-media-Crisis-management-prepareIn the event of a slip-up, it’s best to tackle the issue head-on rather than hoping it ‘boils over.’ While public reactions will change based on the issue itself, there could be a firestorm of negative reactions in media and social media already taking place. Do a thorough review of the information and respond quickly to ensure rumours don’t muzzle the truth. The public will appreciate transparency and a swift response. Remember that by not providing information, you’re allowing speculation and inaccuracy to dominate the conversation.

5. Post-Incident Review & Adjust Accordingly

After the smoke clears, brush off the debris and ask what can we improve on for next time? Having a post-analysis of the situation will identify what you did right or wrong so you can be prepared for any future issues. Try having a brainstorming session with your team to hash out what should be included for next time so everyone has a better understanding of crisis management next time it’s needed.

 

How To Use Content Marketing To Grow Your Business

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Marketing has changed; long gone are the “Mad Men” days of advertising thanks to the development of social media and a much more connected consumer landscape. We’ve become desensitized to advertising, even finding new ways to completely block it from our lives; we use DVR to skip commercials, or stream content without ads altogether, that flashy banner ad to win a free iPad doesn’t get the same traction as it used to and ad blocker software removes advertising completely. So in a world where consumers are actively avoiding marketing efforts, content marketing is proving to be a direct means of reaching the right audience in an organic way. Keeping that in mind, there are a few tips that can strengthen your reach when it comes to content marketing:

1. Go Beyond ‘Traditional’ Social Media Outlets

At this point Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are all household names. While each of these platforms still hold strong value add for exposing your brand, there are other social media platforms that shouldn’t be ignored. Other social media avenues such as LinkedIn, Reddit, Pinterest, and Snapchat have effective user response rates too. Why limit yourself to the audience of the three major players when there’s plenty of untapped potential by reaching out to the other ones? The key here is determining your audience and which platforms reach them most effectively. Looking for B2B outreach? LinkedIn is likely your best candidate; pitching a consumer product to a millennial demographic? Snapchat could be the tool for you. Try not to extend yourself on too many platforms at once for social media marketing. Effectively managing a few at a time with regular, original content will be far more beneficial than spreading yourself too thin across a multitude of platforms.

Brix-media-content-marketing-seo2. Write With SEO In Mind

When it comes to having a presence on the web, Google is the undisputed gatekeeper; playing within the search engine’s rules will offer a huge boost to your SEO. Research the best practices for SEO with Google’s up-to-date algorithms and look for the most searched keywords for your topic. This will help you develop copy on your post to help increase your site’s visibility with those keywords. The more consistency in your posts, the more love Google will show in return.

3. Cross Promote Content

The concept of “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” rings true when it comes to content marketing. When writing a post, create links to other websites with relevant topics. Try reaching out to the editors and let them know that you’ve included links to their content; many websites will return the favour and link back to you for future posts. Also, by guest blogging on other sites, you can sway potentially new readers into checking out what you have to offer on your own site.

3. Include Eye-Popping Visuals

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This should come as no surprise but content with relevant images get 94 percent more views than those without. That isn’t a small difference, therefore a graphic included on every post should be mandatory, as long as the imagery is associated with the content. If your post is heavy on statistics, try creating an infographic to make the information stand out, the colorful layout and simplistic design is more likely to be consumed.

5. Reach Out To Influencers In Your Field

Rather than reaching out to an entire demographic to promote your brand, try finding the major players within that field. Bloggers, industry experts and case studies can also help spread the word. Getting one person to share your content within their network opens you up to an entire group of potential buyers who are influenced by their recommendation. It’s all about building relationships!

Content Marketing creatively puts your brand in the minds of consumers but remember that all of these efforts will be in vain if your content isn’t engaging or interesting. Be sure to eliminate any industry jargon and break copy into smaller, digestible chunks so it’s accessible for the average reader.