samedi 29 décembre 2007

Podcamp Toronto : J'y serai ... j'y participerai

Ayant vécu, la semaine dernière, la diffusion du premier épisode de mon premier podcast, j'ai décidé de mettre à contribution mes acquis. Les organisateurs du prochain Podcamp Toronto cherchaient quelqu'un pour animer la session 'Podcasting 101'. Bien qu'ils soient certainement les mieux placés pour offrir des conseils, je trouve qu'il est souvent difficile pour les baladodiffuseurs d'expérience de se souvenir de l'époque où les défis attachés au lancement d'un podcast semblait insurmontables. Tandis que pour moi, c'est encore tout frais. O, que c'est frais.

Je me mettrai donc à nu, à Toronto, le 23 ou 24 février prochain, dans l'espoir de stimuler des commentaires et critiques de la part de podcasteurs chevronnés, afin que les nouveaux puissent profiter de mes erreurs et être assez encouragés par mon éventuel succès pour se lancer, eux aussi, dans l'aventure de la baladodiffusion.

Le pire étant maintenant derrière moi, il faudra que je me retienne pour ne pas me plonger dans trop de projets de baladoffisuion. J'ai la tête pleine d'idées et voudrais surtout/tellement produire une émission dans la belle langue de Molière ... Retenez-moi, les amis!

lundi 24 décembre 2007

Podcast : We have lift off!

Success! Got my MP3 out, my feeds working and my show notes posted. The Aquinas8788 podcast is officially out there.

There are definitely some production things I'll want improve for next time. Any feedback would be appreciated. I'm aiming to get episode 2 out by the end of January, making this a monthly podcast, which seems reasonable given the interview logistics.

I'm thinking I won't add this to the iTunes directory, just because it is so niche and I'm so new at this. Besides, most of my target audience will be coming at this through Facebook.

I'll think about it.

But I'm pretty satisfied that I managed to plod through it all the technical aspects of podcasting which often seemed overwhelming as I worked to figure out basic things like how to transfer my audio file to my computer, Audacity editing and MP3 creation. Now that I'm done, of course, it all seems like a piece of cake.

I'm thinking I'll be tackling a pilot podcast for my Telecom Hall of Fame client in the new year. There is a lot of great interview footage already in the vaults with people like Ted Rogers and I have a former telecom journalist ready to contribute a 5 minute segment for each episode. I can't wait to start putting it together.

All the best for the holiday season. Enjoy it.

samedi 22 décembre 2007

Adventures in podcasting

So as I mentioned here before at some point, I'm rolling up my sleeves and getting a podcast together. The subject will only interest those who graduated from high school with me a couple of years (decades) ago, but the idea is for me to get comfortable with even the technical aspects of podcasting, so I can better understand this interesting medium and propose it to my clients.

After much struggle, I pray my editing is now done. As I wait for my brother-in-law to return from the gym so I can get onto his wireless network to download LAME to my laptop, I thought I'd send a call out. You see, I wasted a *lot* of time with Audacity. My podcast is in interview format and incorporates music, so there were a lot of tracks. Guru Maffin has told me that Audacity doesn't do well with multi-tracks and that that might explain why, four seconds into some of my tracks, the sound vanished, only to come back again about 4 seconds from the end of the track. This happened again and again. I'm wondering if, by editing and tweaking other tracks, I somehow affected these tracks, causing the problem. Strange that it always followed the same 4 second-or-so pattern.

So if you have any ideas please let me know. Oh and I've heard the "switch to Mac!" suggestion already, folks, trust me. :)

mercredi 12 décembre 2007

Article of the day : The spoils of social media go to those who wait

Interesting article on the importance of investing in ongoing campaigns by companies who are trying to build communities and engage their clients in conversation. Includes the following Maggie Fox anecdote:

Maggie Fox remembers when she had an epiphany about social media marketing. Her young agency had taken on a campaign from Harlequin Enter-prises to promote the horror novel "Blood Ties." The campaign generated quite a following on Until its 14th week. That's when the budget ran out, new content wasn't generated and the program's momentum ground to a halt.

"It just faded," said Fox, whose Toronto-based Social Media Group now has eight employees and counts Ford Motor Co. and SAP among its clients. "The content dried up, and there was no one tasked with ongoing engagement."

Full article here.

mardi 11 décembre 2007

Last minute social media Xmas shopping : doing it 'barefoot' with the figure skater

Looking for a stocking stuffer for that hard-to-buy-for social media afficionado?

(...) a 100-page ebook filled with tricks, tips and case studies that show
you how to:

- Bring more visitors to your website
- Increase your company’s visibility online
- Approach bloggers and other online influencers
- Create compelling viral campaigns
- Get your website social media ready
- Craft a potent social media pitch
- Market effectively inside Facebook
- Avoid campaign killers and online faux pas

Now what's a social media book launch, without the proper accoutrement, you say?

Try this on for size:

A blog with an RSS feed and all the right bookmarking tools

A YouTube video or two (or several : if you check out their individual YouTube profiles, you'll see that they've even included personalized pitches to some heavy hitters (pun intended) like Robert Scoble and Steve Rubel. Clever, clever. Strange .. the Michelle, a Quick Message from Malta video must have gotten lost in the shuffle ... )

A Facebook Fan page

You can even read some sample chapters.

Walking the walk.

Oh and how cool is this : $1 from the sale of each copy is being donated to the David Suzuki Foundation.

Ed. note: Hey. Does that too-clever-for-its-own-good blog post title sound a tad naughty to you too? Totally unintended. Hrm. No wonder Santa brings me coal every year.

lundi 10 décembre 2007

Bonnes intentions en cette fin d'année

Les bonnes intentions de la semaine, avant de prendre l'avion vers Vancouver pour les fêtes:
  • Publier mon premier podcast (pour les intimes et les curieux)
  • Migrer mon blogue vers Wordpress
  • Lancer la refonte de mon site Web
  • Mettre de l'ordre dans mes dossiers
  • Faire un peu de comptabilité de fin d'année
  • Finaliser certains détails en préparation du lancement de Third Tuesday, Montréal au mois de février (ne voulant pas nuire à la SQPRP, qui présente un panel sur les médias sociaux le 15 janvier prochain, nous déplaçons notre activité d'un mois - mais quel lancement! À suivre ...)

Tout un carnet de commandes. Mais ça ferait du bien de terminer l'année avec des projets bouclés.

mardi 4 décembre 2007

Podcast of the day : Profit Magazine & Mitch Joel

Great social-media 101 for small/medium business entrepreneurs, courtesy of Ian Portsmouth of Profit Magazine, and his guest, Mitch Joel, of Twist Image.

Podcast segment here.

Social Media: Blogs, podcasts, Facebook and your firm
Ian speaks with Mitch Joel, president of digital marketing agency Twist Image, on leveraging the ease-of-use, cost-effectiveness and reach potential of social media to build your small business.

mardi 27 novembre 2007

Dell @ Third Tuesday

Marquez vos calendriers : Richard Binhammer, directeur des communications d'entreprise de Dell, sera à Third Tuesday Ottawa et Toronto les 3 et 4 décembre 2007.

Info ici

Dell is a prime case study of a company that took its lumps through social media. In the summer of 2006, the company was hit by two social media crises: Jeff Jarvis’ Dell Hell meme over his unhappiness with the company’s support service followed by exploding batteries on YouTube

Dell also is a prime example of a company that adopted social media as part of the response to its problems. The company launched Direct to Dell, a blog where real employees talk about Dell’s products and services and answer questions and issues raised by people in comments or in posts on their own blogs. It has buttressed that with a program of blogger relations, reaching out to bloggers to get to know them and become part of their community. It also has launched Dell IdeaStorm, a site that allows consumers to make suggestions to Dell and then enables the community to vote for or against these suggestions.

source: Joe Thornley, Pro PR

Si tout va dans le sens souhaité, dès le mois de janvier vous n'aurez plus à vous déplacer en territoire ontarien pour profiter de Third Tuesday. On se croise les doigts.

Loving Facebook

Today, I'm loving Facebook. I used it to touch base with the step-sister of the childhood friend I'd been wondering about for years. We had dinner together in Ottawa last night and it was a blast.

J'espère te revoir bientôt, Bri.

Thanks Mark Zuckerberg.

lundi 26 novembre 2007

Podcamp Ottawa

Thank goodness for people like Mark Blevis and Bob Goyetche. For podcasting 'newbies' like me, Sunday's Podcamp Ottawa was a godsend.

I missed Charles Hodgson's session on Wordpress, but got a ton of great info from the roundtable discussion that followed. I also really appreciated Bob's Audacity demonstration and picked up a couple of tips that will certainly make my life easier.

A couple of interesting things came out of the discussions, including the possibility that a podcasting wiki be developed, which would include a step-by-step basic guide to podcasting. I would LOVE to have my hand held through the basic process just once, then go off to tweak and explore new techniques afterwards. As a non-instruction-reading-non-techie, I find it can be daunting to try to figure software out by myself and having a clear and basis step-by-step process to follow to the letter would definitely help bring my confidence levels up.

As a bonus to the day, I met a lot of really interesting people and have a few potential podcasts on my radar. Can't wait to see them come to life.

So thanks, Mark, Bob and Charles (and our host, the NAC), for a great ... encouraging ... event. Cheers!

samedi 17 novembre 2007

Blogue du Jour :

Vers la mi-mars 2008, les Jeunes relationnistes de la SQPRP présenteront le 3e colloque annuel Parle, parle, Jase, jase. Le thème cette année? Les relations de presse.

Nous sommes en pourparler; il se peut que j'offre une conférence sur les médias sociaux. Si oui, je parlerai certainement d'un certain Lyle J. Dennis, qui a lancé son blogue,, il y a à peine quelques mois. Ce nouveau citoyen-journaliste se voit déjà invité aux conférences de presse de GM au même titre qu'un journaliste des médias traditionnelles.

Lors d'une entrevue accordée à Chuck Squatriglia de Wired Magazine, Dennis dit qqchose de très révelateur:

Q: Did you expect to have that much impact? To get the world's largest automaker to not only read your stuff but to call you and invite you to meet with them is an impressive feat.

R: I think the most important thing this shows is we are in a new world. We're seeing the democratization of the media. It's come to the point where anybody who's got half a brain and has a passion about something can make a difference through the Internet. To me, this illustrates that. Like you said - I've now got the attention of the world's largest automaker, and who the hell am I? I'm just a guy in his room writing on his computer. I'm nobody.*

Quant au journaliste, il serait apôtre du Long Tail : has just a few thousand regular members, but they'd all walk into a Chevrolet showroom tomorrow and buy a Volt.*, selon Technorati :
Authority: 98
Rank: 68,166

Pas fou, ce Bob Lutz. En passant, le Chef de la direction de GM tient lui aussi un carnet ...

*source: Wired, 16 novembre 2007

jeudi 15 novembre 2007

Interview of the day : Chris Anderson

Like hundreds (dare we say thousands?) of PR consultants, I too waded into the debate on PR practices launched by Chris Anderson of Long-Tail fame.

Anderson follows up this week through an interview with Brian Pittman of Bulldog Reporter's Daily Dog that's worth a read.

On being nice:

People who said there was a more generous and nice way to respond, like writing them individually, well … they're right. That would have been nicer, but also impossible for me to do. More important: It wouldn't have changed the game. It wouldn't have focused people on this issue. So, I guess I have to say, "Guilty as charged." The goal wasn't to be nice.

Is it my imagination or is Chris talking directly to me? Actually, I wasn't the only one to suggest that a kinder approach could have been nice, in a good karma kind of way. Albeit time consuming, I give him that. Maybe a template response is the answer. In his case, he could simply reply with a link to his blog posting.

Then again, maybe Anderson is right and a drastic wakeup call is a more effective solution to get us out of our lethargy.

Judging by the attention his post has received I suspect that, unfortunately, he's onto something.

At the very least, comms profs will be able to hold this article up high in the air to drive home their argument on the value of good research and solid media relations. PR virgins are already nervous about picking up the phone to call their first journalist. If this blog post doesn't have them quaking in their boots, I don't know what will.

Hopefully the same conversation is going on in the boardrooms and around the water coolers of PR agencies everywhere.

News of the Day : Blogger admitted to journalism union

The National Union for Journalists (NUJ), the union for journalists in Britain and Ireland, has admitted its first full-time freelance professional blogger as a member.

The blogger in question? Hull university student Conrad Quilty-Harper of tech blog Engadget.

Now this comes on the heels of an article penned by NUJ new media representative Donnacha DeLong, entitled Web 2.0 Is Rubbish, so the cynic in me suspects this might just be a PR move. All that said, it still represents a significant step in the evolution of bloggers / citizen journalists. Especially coming out of a union that's celebrating its centenary this year.

An excerpt from the contentious article here, just to give you an idea:

(...) what's wrong with it? Isn't increased participation and feedback from our "users" -- readers and viewers -- a good thing? Of course it is, but the problem with Web 2.0 is not how it introduces these elements to the media, but how it's seen as replacing traditional media. Professional media provide users with something that we need to fight to retain – truly authoritative content. (...) There are those who claim that Web 2.0 democratises the media. It would make everyone equal, yes, but should they be? It’s like saying anyone can play for Manchester United.

Nice blog, that Engadget. Check it out. Mr. Quilty-Harper's postings are interesting, and I'm intrigued by the Clockwork Laptop, but I have a special place in my heart for this article, personally. When does Joshua Topolsky get his union card?

Social media training : Dave Fleet's new wiki

Have I mentioned that I think Dave Fleet is a really clever guy? I met him at a Toronto Geek Dinner in August and have been following him ever since.

Dave has turned a fantastic idea for social media training into a collaborative wiki, where public relations professionals interested in dipping their toe into the social media space can benefit from the expertise of those who have been experimenting for awhile and are willing to share their key learnings.

Dave's slogan : Using Social Media To Create Social Media Training

It has just launched, and I've entered the fray with preliminary contributions to the Blogger Relations and Social Media News Release sections of the wiki. I'll be watching these pages and others to see how they develop over time.

The podcasting section is of particular interest for my learning curve, in case anyone out there feel like contributing ...

mercredi 14 novembre 2007

Dear Rockers : an exercise in online mea culpa

The incomparable Darren Barefoot has a new project on the go. Dear Rockers (a.k.a. Paying back musicians five bucks at a time) aims to free us all of the guilt we bear for downloading or otherwise pirating music.

Many of us own music that we didn't pay for. We don't feel guilty about shafting the record company, but what about the musicians themselves?

Here's how it works:

1. Pick a musician
2. Write them a letter
3. Scan or photograph the letter and send it to us
4. Send off the letter
5. Enjoy your new, guilt-free life

Darren must have been raised Catholic. As was I. Here's my contribution:

Dear Gipsy Kings,

In October 2006 (strikeout) 1996 I received a mixed tape from my then boyfriend, who was a Californian god. I specify, because it’s the only excuse I have for being seduced into accepting a non-purchased gift of your music. I enclose 10$ : that’s 5$ for my sin and 5$ for Surfer-god Tom’s. Thanks for the memories.

{heart} Michelle

If you look at the top centre of that photo, you can almost make out the tiny head that is Tom's portrait among the dried flowers and plane ticket. My, my, was he ever lovely. Thanks for the memories, Darren.

Tod Maffin (for Gowan), Julie of Boot and Blade (for Imogen Heap), Tanis of Boob Tube (for New Pornographers) and Monica of Your dose of lunacy (for Billy Joel) have already joined in the fun.

Now if I could just find a stamp ...

mardi 13 novembre 2007

The power of social media

So here's the power of social media :

17 minutes ago, David Jones of Inside PR and PR Works posted this in Facebook
David Jones is feeling special for loaning money through before Bill Clinton told him to today. 17m ago

11 minutes ago, I posted this in Facebook
Michelle is checking out 'cause David Jones told her to. 11 minutes ago

2 minutes ago, I ended a phone coversation where I told my best friend about

1 minute ago, I added the banner to my blog.

5 seconds ago, I finished my blog post about

Now I'm heading back to to put my money where my mouth is.

Facebook app of the day : BC Hydro's Green Gifts

Have you noticed that zombie, vampire and werewolf attacks are on the decline in Facebook? As the platform gains maturity, and users begin to tire of useless applications or become suspect as the result of increased awareness of privacy issues, usage takes a nosedive. I suspect that users are becoming more discriminating and that, shortly, the applications they add will be a truer reflection of theirs values and concerns.

If that happens, it's good news for apps like Rob Cottingham's Green Gifts. Working with its client, BC Hydro, Cottingham's Social Signal has come up with a free Facebook app that comes with a message : you can send a friend an energy-saving 'Power Smart' tip every 48 hours, along with a personalized note.

And, if you're a BC resident, you're even eligible for a prize.

Factoid of the day : According to Green Gifts, BC Hydro is working towards electricity self-sufficiency in B.C. by 2016.

Mia Farrow in Second Life

Mia Farrow's avatar looks remarkably like her. Someone did a pretty good job. Ms Farrow, actor and UN goodwill ambassador has become one of the most vocal activists condemning the crisis in Sudan's Darfur region. She joined the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's Committee on Conscience in taking the cause into Second Life.

Video here

The event took place at a virtual replica of Our Walls Bear Witness - Darfur: Who Will Survive Today? the powerful, outdoor photography exhibition highlighting images of the Darfur crisis by leading photojournalists as projected onto the exterior of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, around this time last year.

It's interesting to see not only how Second Life is being used to hold seminars, press conferences, album launches and other meetings between people from around the world, but how it's being used as a tool within a communications strategy aimed at mobilizing the global community around a cause that seems easy for most of us to ignore. I'll have to delve into Second Life a little more to understand how these events are promoted, but even sitting on the outside and looking in, it's easy to see the potential.

I've brought the question of an Olympic boycott in support of Darfur to Facebook. French and English groups are now open to the global Facebook community, with links to online petitions, resources and first-hand testimonials. Promotion has begun within my own network, but I'll soon be taking steps to bring the group to the attention of others I feel might be moved to increase its visibility and get the viral effect going.

vendredi 9 novembre 2007

Peter Greenaway in Second Life

Peter Greenaway in Second Life? Unless he was pulling Jian Ghomeshi's leg on Q today, the British filmmaker etc. extraordinaire is planning an event in Second Life. He declared (again) that cinema is dead and sees SL as its future, particularly because of its interactive potential.
More to follow?

To enjoy the Greenaway Q interview, go here - it's about 2/3 of the way through.

The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover. Rent it. Love it. Then keep an eye out for what Mr. Greenaway is planning on doing with it in Second Life.

I guess I should roll up my sleeves, find the patience to dress my avatar and start exploring Second Life properly before Greenaway's project launches, because I'm going to want a front-row seat in _that_ theatre.

FacebookCamp Montreal post mortem

Whew. What a crazy couple of weeks. Non-stop action. I'm more than happy to spend the last half of Friday evening quietly reflecting on the sweet success of Wednesday night's Facebook Camp Montreal.

The doorman's clicker-thingy said 213 people were in attendance - since there were about 50 bodies in the space before he started his shift, I'd say we had over 250 Facebook maniacs streaming in and out of the SAT that night. Great turnout.

I was the guard-dog .. erm .. timekeeper for the marketing stream presentations, so couldn't make it over to the developer side of the venue, but I hear their presentations were really interesting.

Highlights for me definitely included Eric Bolduc's presentation of ratsdeville's use of the Facebook space ... not only because Eric is a close friend whose project I support through PR strategic advice that included his introduction to social media platforms like Facebook, but because he did a great job with the 5 minutes he was given. Not only that, but Eric managed to coin the evening's catch phrase : Facebook is the blog of my blog. Like Thane Calder said later on in the Future panel, there's something really insightful about that comment that has some interesting implications. As Eric's presentation demonstrated, his use of Facebook is definitely having a terrific impact on his blog's traffic stats.

I also really enjoyed the Future panel, with Thane Calder, Sébastien Provencher, Martin Lessard, Bruno Boutot and Sylvain Carle. One thing that stuck with me was Sébastien's reflection on the impact a social media platform like Facebook will have on the Web of the future : like him, I remember a pre-Mosaic web and have known for a long time that the Web can be an interactive platform that goes well beyond dating and gaming sites. But now, Monsieur-et-Madame-tout-le-monde are cluing in to that reality and the Web will never be the same.

There are two ages of the Internet - before Mosaic, and after. The combination of Tim Berners-Lee's Web protocols, which provided connectivity, and Marc Andreesen's browser, which provided a great interface, proved explosive. In twenty-four months, the Web has gone from being unknown to absolutely ubiquitous.
A Brief History of Cyberspace, Mark Pesce, ZDNet, October 15, 1995

Social media is still pretty new to Montreal marketers and I think that was reflected in some of the panel discussions Wednesday night. Some are treading carefully (if at all) on new ground, while others are willing to start getting their hands dirty by experimenting.

PR people, be aware : marketers might still be skeptical about social media, but if their presence (and your general absence) Wednesday night is any indication, they're well on their way to getting cozy with it and will be quite capable of guiding their (your?) clients into the space sooner, rather than later. So how about it? Are you ready?

I'm getting there, thanks in large part to events like FacebookCamp. It was great to be involved in the organization of this first edition. Thanks to the other members of the organizing committee for inviting me on board : Sylvain Carle, Sébastien Provencher, Thane Calder, Geoffroi Garon, Tanya McGinnity and Antoine Girard.

À la prochaine!

mardi 6 novembre 2007

FacebookCamp Montréal demain à la SAT

FacebookCamp Montréal :

le mercredi 7 novembre

18h à 22h+

à la SAT (St Laurent entre Sainte Catherine et René Lévesque)

Entrée gratuite pour 200 personnes

Programmation disponible sur Facebook ici

YULNews : présentation disponible

Denis Canuel, fondateur de YULNews, a eu la gentillesse de rendre sa présentation BarCampMontréal3 disponible à tous ceux qui n'ont pas pu assister à l'événement en fin de semaine.

Allez jeter un coup d'oeil à la présentation et découvrez en même temps le blogue.

Fini la convergence?

dimanche 4 novembre 2007


J'ai participé hier au BarCampMontréal3 - un très bel événement organisé par une bande de malades qui passent des nuits blanches à s'assurer que tout se déroule à merveille.

Je n'ai pas pu assister à toutes les sessions, car j'y étais principalement pour assurer les relations de presse de mon client, The Code Kitchen, qui profitait de l'événement pour lancer sa plateforme de marketing par courriel, CakeMail, mais parmi celles qui ont particulièrement retenu mon attention:

CakeMail (naturellement)

Laurent Duperval et la présentation 101

... et YULNews: présentation que j'ai raté, à mon grand regret. Mais au moins YULNews est maintenant sur mon radar. J'ai bien hâte de connaître la suite et me suis inscrite pour un test beta.

Merci donc à Sylvain, Simon, Evan, Heri et les autres. J'espère que la fierté d'un travail bien fait puisse vous récompenser pour les heures que vous avez investi dans l'organisation de l'événement.

vendredi 2 novembre 2007

Third Tuesday à Montréal? Un pas de plus.

Généreux, ce Joe Thornley. Il s'est déplacé d'Ottawa hier soir pour rencontrer une dizaine de montréalais intéressés à lancer un chapitre de Third Tuesday dans la métropole. Ces rencontres, toujours avec conférencier, ciblent tout particulièrement les professionnels en communication. Ça nous permet de belles occasions d'échanger avec des pairs s'intéressant aux médias sociaux. Je pense que le timing est excellent, car la profession au Québec se réveille de plus en plus au phénomène et commence à s'intérroger quant à sa pertinence.

Le comité qui se formera aura un peu plus de pain sur la planche que les autres villes qui y participent déjà, vu nos réalités linguistiques. Mais quel beau problème : j'imagine le plaisir que nous aurons à puiser dans un bassin international afin de dénicher nos conférenciers potentiels.

À suivre.

Merci à tous ceux qui se sont joint à nous hier.

J'en profite pour ajouter le blog collaboratif à mon blogroll et de saluer Nicolas Cossette, qui y contribue de façon régulière.

mardi 30 octobre 2007

Chris Anderson saute une coche : à l'abris, collègues!

Aie, aie. Les drapeaux de notre industrie tombent en berne quand un blogueur influent, qui est également rédacteur en chef d'une revue d'envergure s'attaque à la profession des relations publiques ... ou du moins à certains de ses pratiques et practiciens.

Chris Anderson, qui était récemment de passage à Montréal dans le cadre des conférences Infopresse, se dit loin d'être impressionné par la quantité de pourriels qu'il reçoit de la part de professionnels en relations publiques qui ciblent mal et qui lui acheminent des communiqués pas rapport.

J'ai bien peur que pour la centaine de relationnistes qui se voient mis à l'Index infernal de M. Anderson, le Long Tail sera effectivement très, très long.

C'est certain que j'aurais préféré que M. Anderson adopte l'approche plus délicate prônée par Tod Maffin, journaliste du CBC qui prend le temps de corriger ceux qui ciblent mal, explications à l'appui, mais j'avoue que ça doit exiger une patience d'ange.

Le billet en question, ici.

Et, pour vous consoler (car il faut rire pour ne pas pleurer), vous êtes en bonne compagnie, chers collègues bannis, car d'autres illustres ont déjà été mis à un Index encore plus influent que celui de M. Anderson :

Le principe d'une liste de livres interdits a été adopté au concile de Latran en 1515, puis confirmé par le concile de Trente en 1546. La première édition de l'Index (Index Librorum Prohibitorum) date de 1557 publiée par le pape Paul IV. La 32ème édition, publiée en 1948 comporte 4000 titres. L'Index est supprimé en 1966 (1963 selon Pena-Ruiz).

Par ordre chronologique, voici une liste d'auteurs francophones ayant eu l’insigne privilège d'être mis à l'Index. (oc = oeuvres complètes):

Rabelais (oc), Montaigne (Essais), Descartes (Méditations Métaphysiques et 6 autres livres, 1948), La Fontaine (Contes et Nouvelles), Pascal (Pensées), Montesquieu (Lettres Persanes, 1948), Voltaire (Lettres philosophiques ; Histoire des croisades ; Cantiques des Cantiques), Rousseau (Du Contrat Social ; La Nouvelle Héloïse), Diderot (oc, Encyclopédie), Helvétius (De l'Esprit ; De l'homme, de ses facultés intellectuelles et de son éducation)Casanova (Mémoires), Sade (Justine, Juliette), Mme De Staël (Corinne ou l'Italie), Stendhal (Le Rouge et le noir), Balzac (oc), Hugo (Notre Dame de Paris ; Les Misérables jusqu'en 1959), Flaubert (Mme Bovary)*

... et j'en passe.

Consolez-vous : vous pourrez vous racheter en utilisant une nouvelle adresse courriel afin de faire votre méa culpa.

lundi 29 octobre 2007

Article du jour : Le portfolio professionnel remplace le C.V.

Article intéressant - merci Alain (Charbonneau)!

Le portfolio professionnel remplace le C.V.
29 octobre 2007 - 12h08
La Presse
Marie Lambert-Chan, collaboration spéciale

Que les employeurs ne soient pas surpris: les futurs candidats à l'embauche sont appelés à ne plus se présenter avec un simple curriculum vitæ tenant sur deux pages, mais bien un portfolio professionnel.

Présenté surtout sous la forme de page Web, le portfolio est un dossier contenant la biographie et le C.V. du travailleur, ainsi que ses principales réalisations. On peut également y retrouver des réflexions sur sa pratique, ses activités de formation continue, ses objectifs de carrière et ses défis. Le but du portfolio est de démontrer l'évolution constante de ses compétences et sa démarche professionnelle. C'est en quelque sorte «l'âme du travailleur», comme l'affirment certains spécialistes.


Selon Thierry Karsenti, une vidéo de quelques minutes qui témoigne de la capacité à bien communiquer, par exemple, peut être plus intéressante que si elle est inscrite noir sur blanc dans un C.V.

Article complet:

Dans le fond, un blog fait un peu la même chose ...

Commentaires, les boys de Standout Jobs? J'imagine qu'ils sont ravis de l'émergence de cette nouvelle tendance.

dimanche 28 octobre 2007

Podcamp Toronto 2008

Podcamp Boston ne fait que tirer à sa fin et déjà, on nous annonce les dates de Podcamp Toronto 2008.

Date: 24 et 25 février
Lieu: Université Ryerson
Tarif: 0$
Inscription: ici

Sortez vos agendas!

jeudi 25 octobre 2007

Second Life, vedette de CSI NY

Vous avez vu l'épisode CSI NY d'hier soir? Une belle, grosse pub pour Second Life. Les actionnaires devaient en jouir. L'émission en général aurait fait jouir votre tech geek préféré : plein de gogosses, d'écrans géants etc.

Un petit aperçu, gracieuseté de CBS, via You Tube

À l'horizon

Mais où est passé le mois d'octobre! Le 25 déjà.

Je suis impliquée dans l'organisation de FacebookCamp Montréal, qui aura lieu à la SAT le 7 novembre prochain (entre 18h et 22h, plus ou moins) et participerai également à BarCampMontreal qui se tiendra le 3 novembre prochain.

Podcamp Boston aura lieu en fin de semaine, mais, par hasard, je serai à Boston pour d'autres raisons. Les activités se dérouleront donc sans moi cette fois-ci.

Finalement, le 1 novembre, je réunis des professionnels intéressés à lancer le concept Third Tuesdays à Montréal. Le guru du mouvement, Joe Thornley, sera parmi nous. Infos à suivre.

Comme vous voyez, on en mange du Web 2.0 à Montréal!

mardi 9 octobre 2007

Interview of the day : Podcasting overview for business

Neville Hobson, of Hobson and Holtz Report fame, has provided a good general overview of social media to Irish radio. Not only do you get good content, but you get to hear the lilting music of a good Irish accent, thanks to host Damien Kiberd. Always a nice way to start the day.

They discuss social media definitions and sites, corporate interest in Facebook and other platforms, and Hobson and Holtz's new book, How to do Everything with Podcasting.

Interview here

vendredi 5 octobre 2007

Social media and the non-profit sector

The non-profit sector is jumping on board the social media bandwagon. Operation Kids is going hog-wild:
  • launched a widget
  • developing a blog
  • developing an electronic newsletter for sponsors
  • developing a new website
  • launched a presence on nine targeted social networking sites

"In the past, we just solicited donations," Larsen said. "We have realized that the current generation of donors, however, wants to feel a meaningful connection with the organization to which they donate. With this step, we are working to foster that connection through involving donors in new ways."

About Operation Kids:Operation Kids is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization dedicated to serving the needs of the Whole Child - their education, health, safety and well-being. Founded in 1999 the mission of Operation Kids is to support a global community of diverse, qualified and measurably effective charities, each addressing aspects of the Whole Child. These charities have earned the "OK Charity" designation, which means individual and corporate donors alike can give with confidence and expect accountability and results. All donations go directly to charitable causes.

One to follow. It'll be interesting to see how they do.

Press release here

Facebook group here

Know how successful other non-profits are at using social media? Seems to be big in the UK. What about here in Quebec? What are they up to and how are they doing?

Hoping to work with one of my non-profit clients on a social media strategy. If it comes to pass, I'll talk about it here.

jeudi 4 octobre 2007

Feeling better about Blogger

I feel better about myself this morning. There had been a sword of Damocles hanging over my head that suddenly doesn't seem so pointy.

Brian Solis uses Blogger too.

Yes, yes. I know all the arguments in favour of migrating this blog from Blogger to a WordPress platform that can be integrated into my website. They're all valid. And I'll get to it eventually.

But for now, I can breathe again, knowing that Solis, co-founder of the Social Media Club, Principal of an award winning PR firm and all-around-social-media-connoisseur is still on the Blogger platform too. There's something strangely comforting about that.

It's easy to become overwhelmed in trying to keep up with the Joneses. The social media space is an interesting subculture ... my goal is to become proficient enough in its language to help my clients enter into the space without trepidation. Like a well-seasoned traveller who plays guide to his fellow, green, countrymen when they step off the boat to explore a foreign land. (How Passage to India of me). I still expect to be able to rely on the kindness of the natives to get me through the stranger districts.

Adding David to my blogroll and to my feed - I suspect he's going to become required reading quite quickly.

(ed. note: David? Where did that come from? Google tells me David Solis is an actor. My apologies for the lapsus linguae, Brian.)

Social media press release

Well it looks as though the stars are aligning. The day I presented social media to an international group of telecom communicators, Tod Maffin raised the issue of the social media press release. I'd provided my group with the Shift template, for their consideration.

Dave Fleet has posted a great blog entry on the subject, and points us to some interesting resources.

I've been participating in discussions about social media press releases for a year or so and have been wanting to try this out for awhile now. I may have found the perfect client to join me in this new adventure. We'll see what he has to say when we meet in a few days to discuss tactics. After all, to paraphrase General Rick Hillier, I serve at my client's pleasure. And he may not want to take what I consider to be a small and calculated risk : after all, the social media release makes provisions for the traditionalists. I have a feeling he just might, though. More (possibly) to follow.

And Tod, I promise not to write in ALL CAPS.

lundi 1 octobre 2007

Article du jour : Le podcasting n'a pas la cote au Québec

Radio-Canada vs CBC - tout une différence en ce qui a trait à la baladodiffusion. C'est ce que révèle l'article de Tristan Péloquin dans La Presse d'aujourd'hui.

Notre ami Sylvain Grand'Maison est cité.


Septembre 2005: Radio-Canada se lance dans la baladodiffusion. Indicatif présent devient en quelques semaines le sixième podcast le plus téléchargé au Canada, selon le Top 100 de iTunes.

Deux ans plus tard, la version podcast de Christiane Charette, une des émissions-phares de la Première Chaîne, est laissée à l'abandon. (...) Pendant ce temps, les contenus baladodiffusés de la CBC connaissent un succès remarquable. (...) La barrière de la langue et les ressources relatives des deux secteurs de la société d'État y sont pour quelque chose. «Mais c'est vrai qu'ici, tout ce qui entre dans la catégorie «nouvelles plateformes de diffusion» est très marginal, reconnaît Marie Tétrault. La baladodiffusion, nous y croyons très fort, mais ça reste un produit très niché.»

Selon une étude publiée * la semaine dernière par Ad hoc recherche pour le compte d'Infopresse, un peu plus du cinquième des Québécois ont accès à un baladeur numérique et à un ordinateur branché sur internet. Pourtant, même s'ils en ont la capacité, seulement 12 % d'entre eux ont déjà téléchargé et écouté des contenus baladodiffusés.

Sylvain Grand'Maison, fondateur de et podcasteur indépendant (...) «Au Canada anglais, la baladodiffusion est un concept dont les médias ont beaucoup parlé lors de la grève des techniciens de la CBC et qui a forcé plusieurs animateurs à créer leur propre podcast.»«Ici, il n'y a pas eu de couverture médiatique comme ça», ajoute Sylvain Grand'Maison.

Le rapport d'Ad Hoc (...) : «En fait, 98 % des utilisateurs qui ont goûté aux podcasts se sont montrés satisfaits de l'expérience, et 29 % des propriétaires de baladeurs numériques comptent essayer la balado dans la prochaine année, souligne Michel Berne. J'en conclus que le podcasting est voué à une belle croissance. Si j'étais la SRC ou n'importe quel autre diffuseur, et que j'avais l'occasion d'investir dans la baladodiffusion, je le ferais sans hésiter.»

Il serait temps, effectivement. Radio-Canada devrait peut-être embaucher Sylvain ou Bob Goyetche, ou convaincre Tod Maffin ou Angela Misri de quitter leurs villes respectives pour la Belle Province.

Article complet ici

vendredi 28 septembre 2007

La SQPRP dévoile son calendrier d'activités 2007-2008

Lors de son cocktail de la rentrée hier soir, la SQPRP a dévoilé son calendrier d'activités de formation pour l'année à venir. Il y en a pour tous les goûts.

Des nouveaux partenariats avec l'UQAM et McGill

Un grand nombre de formations en administration

Médias sociaux avec Charles-Henri Guillaume (TP1) et Mitch Joel (Twist Image)

La recherche marketing avec Christian Bourque (Léger)

La communication au carrefour du marketing et des RP avec Louise Desjardins (Guidaction)

L'évaluation avec Guy L'Italien

Relations de presse avec Stéphane Prud'homme

L'étude de marché avec Sylvie Laferté

En j'en passe.

Félicitations à Abdellah El Mzem et à son équipe : ayant oeuvré au sein de ce même comité pendant 2 ans, j'apprécie le temps et l'énergie qu'ils y mettent. Bravo!

mercredi 26 septembre 2007

Retour sur YULBiz

Soirée YULBiz intéressante, hier. Je regrette seulement d'avoir été obligée de quitter plus tôt que prévu afin de visiter un ami qui était rentré d'urgence à l'hôpital en fin d'après-midi. Vous comprendrez qu'il le regrette lui aussi, le pauvre.

Malgré tout, j'ai pu profiter de conversations intéressantes avec :

Pierre Bellerose, Tourisme Montréal, sur la délicate balance qu'un carnetiste doit maintenir entre son image privée et publique.

Louise Desjardins, Guidaction, sur le cocktail de la rentrée de la SQPRP, l'importance du réseautage stratégique et son atelier de formation, La communication au carrefour du marketing et des relations publiques.

Marc Snyder, sur le réseautage stratégique (pour décrire notre conversation de façon délicate :)

Sylvain Carle, sur sa maudite bonne nouvelle.

Geoffroi Garon sur la très belle campagne qu'il mène sur Facebook, faisant la promotion du service de covoiturage Amigo Express - 1 073 membres en quelques jours seulement!

J'ai pu saluer, de passage, Pierre Bouchard, Philippe Martin et Michel Leblanc. Always a pleasure, gentlemen.

Et, bien sur, d'autres gens sympatiques, dont on se souvient des visages le lendemain mais dont on a malheureusement oublié les noms. Quel défaut... Je me reprendrai à la prochaine YULBiz, promis.

Ah, merde! Je viens de me rendre compte que je suis partie avant de répondre à la Question du mois!

mardi 25 septembre 2007

Nouveau blogue québécois sur les relations publiques

Décidémment, mon mentor a du vent dans les voiles. L'autre jour, je vous ai parlé de son blogue sur l'Arizona. Voici qu'à peine quelques jours plus tard, Alain Charbonneau se lance dans l'aventure des blogues RP.

Le thème? Gestion de Crise 101. Ça promet. Et le connaissant, ça sera même surprenant, par moments. Alain n'a pas la langue dans sa poche.

Je vous invite à y faire un p'tit tour.

Blogue ici.

Podcasting seminar today : Leesa Barnes booklaunch

To celebrate the launch of her new book, Podcasting for Profit, Leesa Barnes is offering a live call, where she promises to answer questions about monetizing podcasting. She's also providing two chapters of her book for download.

Call in times are 2:30pm EDT or 10:00pm EDT.
Signing up requires you to submit your email address (Leesa assures us it is for internal use only) and a question about podcasting.

More information here.

Leesa Barnes is CEO of Toronto-based Caprica Interactive Marketing.

CNW et SNCR appuient l'évolution des médias sociaux au Canada

CNW et SNCR s'associent à Joseph Thornley et Third Tuesday, une série de rencontres mensuelles sur les médias sociaux qui se déroule à Toronto, Ottawa et, depuis un mois, Vancouver. Ayant assisté à des événements (gratuits) à Toronto et Vancouver, je peux vous dire qu'il s'en passe des choses au-delà de nos frontières. Des discussions intéressantes et des échanges dynamiques. La possibilité de réseauter avec des pairs. Et, toujours, des invités passionnants et passionnés.

Détails ici

... pour quand le Québec, vous dites? Il suffit de s'organiser, comme l'a fait le Rest of Canada. Joe m'indique qu'il serait très heureux qu'un chapitre de Third Tuesday soit lancé à Montréal.

Il nous faudrait une équipe de 5-6 afin d'assurer le succès de nos démarches. Si vous désirez contribuer à la réalisation de ce projet louable, je vous inviterais à communiquer avec moi.

La présence de conférenciers fait en sorte que la formule Third Tuesday diffère de celle d'autres initiatives, comme YULbiz et YULblog. Personnellement, j'assiste aux trois.

Et en attendant, faites donc un petit tour à Ottawa demain (mardi) pour le Third Tuesday du mois de septembre. Nos confrères ontariens reçoivent le Montréalais Mitch Joel.

Autrement, je vous invite à vous joindre à moi et les autres membres de YULbiz pour un p'tit verre au Café Mélies. On pourra trinquer au succès de Joe, Mitch et Third Tuesday. Ensemble, on trouvera une belle traduction. Voulez-vous?

vendredi 21 septembre 2007

Paparazzi anyone?

Lancé il y a un an, Scooplive propose aux internautes de profiter, littéralement, de leur nouveau statut de citoyen-journaliste, en vendant leurs clichés aux médias par le biais du service Internet.

Scooplive a été créé pour répondre à toutes ces questions de la manière la plus simple qui soit. Il s'agit tout simplement d'une place de marché qui a pour objectif d'améliorer la relation entre les particuliers et les professionnels des médias EN TOUTE TRANSPARENCE.

Le photographe participant doit s'engager à ne pas vendre ses photos ailleurs pendant une période de trois mois. Il doit également se conformer aux termes d'un code de déontologie (qui exclu les documents à caractères pornographiques, trop violents etc..) et à une ligne éditoriale (doit être considéré comme "suffisamment" intéressant).

Selon Le Figaro, les records de vente de revues 'people' ont été battus en 2007. Figaro va jusqu'à dire que : Vu le manque de scoops croustillants cet été, ce succès est déconcertant.

De quoi faire rêver les paparazzis amateurs, qui pourraient être tentés de faire du fric sur le dos de leurs vedettes préférés. Quel enfer pour le couple Cassel-Bellucci, pour ne pas parler de la pauvre Keira !

Et au Québec? Les stars peuvent respirer un peu mieux. Quiconque a déjà travaillé comme relationniste auprès de nos bien-aimés peut en attester : le star-système a du vent dans les voiles depuis des années, et une complicité entre stars et médias québécois règne. Dans un tel contexte, risquer de se faire 'blacklister' par Véro, Marc ou René/Céline, c'est un pensez-y-bien.

jeudi 20 septembre 2007

Blogue tout chaud - l'Arizona à votre portée

Mon mentor, un homme que je respecte énormément, se lance dans l'aventure des médias sociaux ce matin. Ancien journaliste et relationniste, Alain est non seulement très intéressant, il est super généreux avec moi. Chacune de nos rencontres est hautement édifiante et encourageante.

Nous nous sommes vus l'autre jour et il m'a parlé de son nouveau projet : passionné par la région, Alain devient accompagnateur pour Québécois cherchant à découvrir l'Arizona.

Pour souligner le lancement de cette nouvelle aventure, il vient de publier son premier billet. Il a choisi Mon blogue / Branchez-vous pour l'hébergement.

Vous trouverez son carnet, tout frais, tout neuf, dans mon blogroll et ici.

À suivre de près!

lundi 17 septembre 2007

Video of the day : Mr Rogers and authenticity

RSS feeds are wonderful things - so are Facebook apps for Google Reader. Thanks to that application, I was able to pick up on an important lesson Mitch Joel chose to share with his network. He picked it up through John Kinde's blog Humour Power.

In 1969, Fred Rogers of Mr. Rogers' Neighbourhood fame, appeared before a Senate Subcommittee to advocate the continued funding of children's educational programming. His speech is a powerful demonstration of the intense sway of authentic and transparent discourse.

I feel like Mr. Rogers in saying it, but just being yourself is fundamentally the best way to go. Passion for a cause is contagious.

It's worth reading John Kinde's blog posting before moving onto the video.

Blog here

Video here

Thank for finding this post and sharing it, Mitch.

"I feel the greatest gift we can give to anybody is the gift of our honest self." --- Fred Rogers

samedi 15 septembre 2007

Praise for Praized

Fanastic news for Praized, a young Montreal start-up run by YULBiz-er and YULBlog-ger Sylvain Carle and his colleagues : funding has arrived, in the form of Garage Technology Ventures. Sylvain had slipped a word in about this imminent announcement at last week's Geek Dinner. It's an exciting time.

Praized Media is a startup company working on a web-based application that will enable you to find and discover local places and merchants with help from people you can trust. It's also a tool that will structure local conversations within blogs and a new platform for local search providers to generate leads from the untapped social media market.

And why not? A little francophone media coverage here and here.

I'll be following Praized closely.

Félicitations, Sylvain! C'est bien mérité.

mercredi 12 septembre 2007

Article of the day : Facebook Marketing Primer

The now is gone blog offers up a good overview of Facebook for marketers, with links to other sources that I'm sure I'll get around to reading eventually. So much to read, so little time.

A little taste:

Facebook has some true marketing potential for some companies. The question is which companies, and what’s the right way to use Facebook?

Blog post here

Geek dinner digested

Last night's Geek Dinner was its usual successful self : a plethora of web 2.0 freaks (and I use the term affectionately) gathered around one very long table at Café Mélies chatting about this and that and iPhones and Facebook. There's that F word again.

Our guest of honour was CBC's favourite geek son and blogger, Tod-with-one-d Maffin and our charming host was, as usual, Mitch Joel. Between the two of them and their various speaking gigs, I think they have the globe covered. We should probably make the next Geek Dinner a fundraiser to cover their carbon emissions.

Had great conversations with :

Casey McKinnon & Rudy Jahchan - the Web's Third sexiest geeks and producers of Galacticast

Maki Papadopoulos - former Greek national team water-polo athlete

Marko Kulik - photographer, pet expert and improvised-taxi-driver extraordinaire

Michel Leblanc - the eternal man-on-a-mission, sporting a Calder sculpture t-shirt

Joe Thornley - all the way from across the border (the Ontario border) for the occasion

Sylvain Carle - with good reason to be excited about Praized

Robert Mendelson - who, at last report, was still trying to unload his Genesis tickets.

Any takers?

mardi 11 septembre 2007

Anita Roddick, R.I.P.

Anita Roddick, head of the Body Shop empire, passed away yesterday at the age of 64.

This lady knew a little something about branding, PR, and the importance of good corporate citizenship, I tell ya. And while her angelic aura became somewhat tainted over time, as her critics accused her of misrepresenting the extent to which her products were indeed environmentally friendly and attacked her for selling her empire to L'Oréal, I'd venture to say that, all in all, her public image remains quite strong to this day. It'll be interesting to see how her legacy will be defined in the coming days and years.

Quote from her obituary:

She regarded the fact that Body Shop had no marketing department as some sort of moral statement, yet with her as its public face it never needed one.

According to Wikipedia : By 2004, the Body Shop had 1980 stores, serving over 77 million customers throughout the world. The Body Shop was voted the second most trusted brand in the United Kingdom and 28th top brand in the world.

Obituary here

Audio of her last interview with the Daily Telegraph here

Wikipedia et les communications d'entreprise

Les eaux de Wikipedia sont parfois pénibles à naviguer. Il est facile pour les relationnistes de succomber à la tentation de s'en servir pour passer des messages clés. Certaines modifications apportées par les entreprises sont supprimées par la communauté qui considère qu'ils n'y font que de la pub.

Pour ma part, j'ai toujours conseillé à mes clients de surveiller, mais de se tenir relativement loin de Wikipedia et ce même avant l'arrivée de Wikiscanner. Je prône la transparence et propose qu'ils ne s'avancent pas à modifier quoi que ce soit au niveau des informations publiées, autre que d'ajouter des documents officiels et clairement corporatifs en hyperlien dans la section prévue. Et ce de façon très 'straight', sans ajouter de commentaires. Il s'agit des mêmes documents qui se retrouvent dans mes dossiers de presse : communiqués, fiches d'info, cartes, photos, biographies etc. Le logo de l'entreprise y est clairement. Les informations sont publiées ailleurs et sont donc publiques.

Et ça s'arrête là.

Pour ce qui en est d'informations erronées ou de propos diffamatoires, je propose à mes clients de passer par la section discussion de leur Wiki.

Question de transparence. Question de respect pour la philosophie, le protocole et la communauté Wikipedia.

C'est clair. Nous ne sommes plus à l'époque du 'push' marketing, et nous devons nous adapter en conséquence.

dimanche 9 septembre 2007

Miss Teen South Carolina grows a very long tail

It's the stuff of urban legends. Or National Enquirer headlines. Or PR nightmares.

Much to her dismay, I'm sure, Miss Teen South Carolina is sporting a long ... very long .. tail. As in the Chris Anderson variety. But does this go beyond a simple dim-lightbulb moment? My PR-sense is tingling, Spidey.

The clip of this beauty pageant contestant's faux pas (that's French for roadwreck) has not only hit You Tube with a vengeance, it has inspired dozens of satirical response videos and, I'm sure, a Saturday Night Live sketch. Not only is it buzzing loudly already, but thanks to the new realities of social media, it'll have a long life, coming up every time a prospective employer or eventual grandchild Googles the name Caitlin Upton (long life to Google!)

A small sampling of what's out there:

But what, beyond nervousness, was behind this horrific disaster? A lot of bad PR-style training with abusive use of key messages, I suspect. Can you hear the poor girl's coach whispering in her ear? Can you imagine the months of preparation, sleep deprivation, even torture by flash card, all in an effort to get her ready for this nerve-wracking Q&A national television moment? Did you notice the same spin giveaways I did?

Mention Iraq. Check.
Mention South Africa (?). Check.
Asian countries (is that a tsunami reference?) Check.
U.S. number one. Check.
U.S. can do no wrong. Check.
U.S. saviour of the world. Check.

I'm surprised she didn't mention children, puppy dogs or apple pie.

I suspect that when Miss South Carolina blanked out, rather than pull an answer out of the logical part of her brain, the prepwork kicked in and went into overdrive. She relived the flash cards and months of training like an unlucky parachutist whose life flashes in front of his eyes before he hits concrete. It all came tumbling, miserably, painfully, out.

To paraphrase the words of another infamous public speaker, in the name of practicing our love with women all over this country let's give this particular one a break, shall we? Not everyone is a born public speaker. We all know that it ranks up near, if not at, the top of lists of things people fear most in life. Those of us who actually enjoy it, and do it without blinking or hesitation at every possible opportunity, are probably missing some kind of gene in our double helix or something.

And the next time someone tells me that beauty pageants are more about personality than the swimsuit competition, I'll remember that despite the quality (or lack thereof) of her response, Caitlin still managed to place 3rd runner up. I bet the other 47 contestants were just thrilled about that.

I have to end this post with a link to my favourite PR-bashing clip, courtesy of Andy Dick. A work of brilliance, imho. Available here.

Hey. If you can't laugh at yourself ...

Keep smiling Caitlin.

samedi 8 septembre 2007

Blogroll adjustment : Fleet Street

Adjust your bookmarks : Dave Fleet's excellent blog has changed names .. and addresses.

You can now find him at Fleet Street PR (dot) com

A true gentleman (not to mention a mad marathoner), it's sweet of him to give me the credit for inspiring the rebranding of his blog, but combine that name with that accent and the choice is obvious.

Happy reading!

vendredi 7 septembre 2007

La rentrée

Bon, c'est officiel! Malgré les températures records et l'humidité, c'est la rentrée. Les clients me le disent, mes collègues me le disent. Il faudrait maintenant que mon corps le comprenne. Je suis toujours dans le beat relaxe qui est propre à Vancouver, mais j'en sors, tranquillement. Il le faut bien, un jour.

Une fin de semaine de travail avec bon mélange de plaisir en perspective. Quelle joie retrouver les amis autour d'une table lors de ces dernières belles soirées d'été, dans le jardin chez nous!

Tel qu'espéré, je ressens les vibrations de plus en plus frénétiques des médias sociaux à Montréal depuis mon retour. On en parle plus fréquemment qu'il y a même 3-4 mois. Les collègues m'approchent pour se renseigner. Même ceux qui, il y a de ça quelques mois seulement, étaient sur leurs gardes face à tout ce qui ressemblait à blogue/podcast/Facebook/ Twitter et al. ne semblent plus nier l'influence grandissante du phénomène et cherchent à en savoir plus.

On me solicite maintenant en tant que conférencière. Super, ça.

En parlant de conférenciers, Infopresse en fait venir un grand. Chris Anderson, auteur de l'incontournable The Long Tail, sera à Montréal le 9 octobre prochain.

Détails ici. Si vous avez les sous, ça vaut la peine.

Geek Dinner, Mitch Joel? On ne peut faire autrement que se croiser les doigts. Et merci d'avance, en passant, pour celui pour Tod Maffin - ça devrait être génial.

Article du jour : Caveat Facebook Emptor

O M. Moffitt - comme je compatise! Moi qui a reçu dernièrement un (ou deux) avertissement(s) anti-spam de la part de nos amis de Facebook (quand, en réalité, je tentais justement d'éviter toute accusation de spam en passant par les administrateurs de groupes intéressants avant de m'adresser directement à leurs membres, mais enfin).

Article intéressant élaborant quelques limites de Facebook - disponible ici

Comme le dit si bien M. Moffitt : Caveat Facebook Emptor - let the Facebook social networker beware, always have a back up plan and always know, you're not the one in charge when your on someone else's network - no matter how complimentary or influential you are.

jeudi 6 septembre 2007

Vidéo du jour : YULBiz

On se fait parler de nous!

Également disponible sur le site ici

lundi 3 septembre 2007

Article of the day : Facebook campaign prompts HSBC turnaround

HSBC has been forced to implement an embarrassing U-turn regarding its planned overdraft changes on graduate accounts, following a campaign spearheaded by social networking website Facebook.

Article here

dimanche 2 septembre 2007

Podsafe travels

So I'm on the prowl for good podsafe music for my client's podcast (launch date now early 2008). Primary criteria : quality, Canadian content. Have been pleasantly surprised by how open Canada's independent artists are to going podsafe. Should be a good mix. Can't wait to unveil the collection.

The hunt has been fun. But I tell ya : if only podcasting and iTunes had been around when I was in high school. I might have spread my suburban-bound wings beyond the Duran Duran and Wham that permeated my school like a festering sore and that I hated with a passion. (Why O Why wasn't I hanging around with the punk kids?) Chris Anderson is bang on.

But I'm indulging beyond our borders (how to resist?) and I have to say I'm blown away by Anji Bee's Chillout Music Podcast. Wow!

Stumbled on it tonight, surfing on the atmosphere69 site. What a voice this girl has! And her music selection has me in a veritable tizzy.

Life's good. Anji's got me feeling groovy.

Bee's singing is a perfect counterpoint, a blend of classic mid-century jazz-pop flow and a bit of '60s cool in a French or Brazilian sense -- some low-key scatting here, some warm, playful crooning there. -- Ned Raggett

Like having a cocktail of lovely tunes and honey poured directly into your ear. Well-chosen music, voice links that make you feel cosy inside, it all adds up to an essential weekly download. --
David McCandless, Good Podcast Guide, Nov 2006

samedi 1 septembre 2007

Video of the Day : Bloggers Beware

I was otherwise (very happily) occupied on August 16th, so missed this piece by the National. Thanks to CBC archives, it can be today's video of the day.

As PR professionals, we have a responsibility to provide counsel to our clients.

As Canadian citizens, we have a responsibility to speak up when we feel laws are unjust.

As a sympathizer of the underdog and supporter of freedom of speech for the ordinary man, I know which tone the letter I'm about to write to my M.P. is going to take.

Video here

Zeke's Gallery

Survey of the day : Blogging goes mainstream in U.S.

Mainstream. The rebel in me isn't thrilled by the idea, but the PR consultant in me certainly is.

According to a new survey by Synovate/Marketing Daily, blogging has officially gone mainstream. "8 out of 10 Americans know what a blog is and almost half have visited blogs." It would appear that what was once the purvey of a small subculture has hit the radar screen of Mr. and Mrs. Smith and their 2.3 children in the midwest.

But let's take a closer look at the stats, shall we?

80% of Americans have their own blogs

Huh? Was Tom Mularz, senior vice president at Synovate, misquoted? I'm really not buying this figure. Maybe 80% of lemmings want to sound like they hang with the cool kids, so say they have blogs. Maybe (and I'm stretching it) 80% of them stumbled on Blogger, chose and template, spent 2 minutes thinking about a title and typed test as a first (and last) entry. But there's no way 80% of people in America have blogs. According to Internet World Stats, although the United States ranks first in Internet usage, it does so with only a 69.7% penetration rate. Sorry folks.

Hmm .. credibility crash. Let's move on.

90% of those aged 25 to 34 know what a blog is

Was that a yes or no question? Or were they tested through a response? Still, this stat I can accept as semi-plausible.

65% of those aged 65 and over know what a blog is

This is presented as a negative. If it's true, I'd say that's not too bad, actually. Ten years ago, my then-55 year old mother (a.k.a. my barometer for this demographic) thought you hung up a cellphone by placing it upside down on the table, as it if the receiver were going into a cradle. That said, a decade later, she has a pretty good idea of what a blog is. Her profile? Urban, upper middle class, bilingual, educated, culturally and socially aware, reads the paper and watches the news nightly. Middle America? Maybe not so much.

78% of those aged 18 to 24 who are aware of blogs say they have visited a blog

Sounds right. The rest just think they know, I suppose.

45% of older Americans who are aware of blogs say they have visited a blog


46% of blog readers saying that they visit the same blogs regularly. 54% usually surf for new and different ones.

Which means, I suppose, that the majority of Americans are using blogs like they do the Internet : to surf. Google is God. RSS feeds need better PR.

More women than men are bloggers, with 20% of American women who have visited blogs having their own versus 14 % of men.

Now that's interesting. Is this a Venus/Mars thing? With blogging being driven by the same impulse as journal recording was 20 or 100 years ago? When I look around, there are many more male PR bloggers than female ones, although women overwhelmingly dominate the industry. Is this typical across the board? Are women using blogs for personal expression, leaving men to occupy the 'expert' space? Gloria Steinem wouldn't be pleased. I'm going to keep my eyes open.

Though the majority of blog readers (39%) view them less than once a month, another 28% visit them monthly, 15% visit them daily and 5% read them several times a day

There you go. That 39% probably visits a blog cited during an Oprah show or while googling some recipe for low-fat cranberry sauce. Do I sound like a geeky snob? Maybe. I'll do some introspective analysis and let you know.

43% of blog visitors indicated that they had noticed advertisements on blog websites, rising to 61% among those aged 18 to 24. Almost one-third of consumers have clicked on an ad while reading a blog

Oh god. Save us all. (That's the rebel in me speaking)

PR chick? She still maintains that good pr beats a pop-up ad any day.

13% of blog readers say they spend less time with other forms of media (newspapers, television, radio) since they’ve started following blogs

The conversation I had with a member of the Gazette staff the other day leads me to suspect that this figure is way higher in Canada.

When asked about the types of information they get from blogs, 65% said they get opinions, while 39% get news and 38% get entertainment. The main reason people read blogs? Almost half of those surveyed say it's because they find blogs entertaining, and another 26% read them to learn about specific hobbies or other areas they're interested in. 15% of blog readers say they do so for news

Perez Hilton is laughing all the way to the bank.

The study was conducted online with 1,000 adults in the US using Synovate eNation from July 30 to August 1 2007.

Ok well. There's your answer right there. Key words : conducted online. Not to mention the small sample. My credibility meter has suddenly gone flat.

The sad thing is that these stats are going to show up on Good Morning America and USA Today for mass consumption without proper analysis. Just goes to show you can make stats say just about anything.

About Synovate
Synovate, the market research arm of Aegis Group plc, generates consumer insights that drive competitive marketing solutions. The network provides clients with cohesive global support and a comprehensive suite of research solutions. Synovate employs over 5,700 staff in 118 cities across 52 countries. For more information on Synovate visit