Event Re-cap: The Art of Storytelling ft. Melanie Coulson

melanie coulsonWho said algorithms were only for computers! On January 29, 2015, Melanie Coulson delved into the magic algorithm of storytelling (Click here to view her presentation). As an award-winning journalist and currently United Way Ottawa’s Director of Communications and Content, Melanie is a wizard with words and her advice to Girl Geek Dinner Ottawa’s audience was to MAKE MAGIC!

The magic of storytelling is: compelling content = conversions ($$)

The algorithm for compelling content is: CC = UA + GS + D x S

Understand your audience (UA)

Create a bond with your audience. Know their voice and preferred channel of communication. Are you writing for women over age 60 who are retired and care about helping puppies and children in need? Or are you writing for a man in his mid-30s who is career-driven, lives a fast-paced life and doesn’t have children?

Tell a great story (GS)

A great story starts with a message then immediately hooks in the reader. Nowadays, digital audiences are fickle and have short attention span. Focus your energy on the lead which should be 25 words or less. The internet waters are full of fish so how is your message going to rise above the current. You should also find great characters. You might be thinking “but we sell hard drives, how can we create or find a character when we sell simple hard drives.” There’s most likely someone in your network who has experienced a devastating computer crash and lost all of their files and hard work. They then decided to purchase one of your hard drives and now feel secure and protected from future crashes. No matter how simple or diverse your product or campaign, map out all the potential story angles and find that character. And don’t forget about the setting; the atmosphere in which you want to tell your story. What emotion do you want readers or viewers to feel and how will the setting create that emotion.

Decide how to tell your story (D)

This is where direction and planning come into play. Create a content team. Declare a managing editor. Use tools such as an editorial calendar in an excel sheet or on a white board in the boardroom. Build a story around everything you do. Anything that your company does internally or in the community, create a story. Develop strong visuals such as photos or video. No stone left unturned.

Share your story (S)

Social media now gives storytellers more power than ever before. Share your story on every social network you can and ask for your community’s support. Use tools such as Storify and Buzzfeed. Use crowd sourcing as a way to generate stories with impact, a human touch. Make sure every story has a purpose, a call to action. Without this, readers won’t know what to do next or where to go.

In the spirit of storytelling, Melanie has reached out to the GGDOttawa community for their support for a mini-campaign to help sheltered girls aged 12-20 have access to wifi so they can search for jobs and look for permanent housing. Until February 28, we have an opportunity to make a difference in another girl’s life. Please click here to join the Bring Wifi to Evelyn House campaign.

Thank you to our event door prize sponsor CanvasPop and congratulations to our three winners.

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Join us for our next event Wednesday February 25, 2015 featuring Allison Malloy, Software Engineer at Kongsberg Gallium, who will present about drones used in commercial situations such as Amazon.com using drones to deliver packages, and agriculture, law enforcement, underwater exploration, as well as defence/military.

#GGDOttawa February 2015 Event: Drones

You may have heard Amazon.com using drones to deliver packages or the Canadian military using drones in battle, or law enforcement using drones as tactical tools.

Unmanned vehicles, a.k.a. drones, are used today in more ways than we might realize.

Allison MalloyAllison Malloy, software engineer at Kongsberg Gallium, joins us Wednesday, February 25th to discuss how drones are used in commercial situations (like Amazon.com) as well as agriculture, law enforcement, underwater exploration, and in defence/military sectors.

Allison is a software engineer turned project manager with a Bachelor of Applied Science and a Masters of Systems and Computer Engineering.  She ‘stumbled’ into the defence industry 13 years ago and hasn’t looked back. Allison will share with us her own work on the command and control aspects of drone usage; her work in the Canadian defence industry; and how those two worlds intersect with other better known technology fields such as web development, graphic design, and video gaming.

Event details:

When: Wednesday February 25, 2015

Where: Fox and Feather Pub (283 Elgin Street – 3rd floor private room)

Time: Doors open at 5:30 p.m. | Event starts at 6:00 p.m. (including food order) | Ends at 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $10.00 (does not include meals and drinks)

CLICK HERE to reserve your spot!

Thank you to our community partner:

Ottawa Digital Marketing Meetup

Thank you to our door prize sponsors:

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Jan 29th Event: The Art of Storytelling

melanie coulsonMelanie Coulson, United Way Ottawa’s Director, Communications and Content, has been telling stories since she was about two years old. She turned this passion for characters, setting and plot into a profession. Melanie (@mel_coulson) has more than 15 years experience as an award-winning senior-level journalist in the country’s top newsrooms. She has worked in digital media since 1999 – she was globeandmail.com‘s first hire as the news organization shaped what would become its online operation. She continues her love for delivering good stories about the lives changed by United Way Ottawa; and teaches digital journalism at Carleton University’s School of Journalism and Communication.

Join us on Thursday, January 29th as Melanie discusses how
understanding your audience will allow you to create compelling content that begs to be shared. She will delve into the United Way’s digital content strategy and how they use online media to engage donors and show how they are changing lives. As a former journalist, Melanie believes no stone should be left unturned – so come with your questions!

Event details:

When: Thursday January 29, 2015

Where: Black Tomato (11 George Street, Ottawa)

Time: Doors open at 5:30 p.m. | Event starts at 6:00 p.m. (including food order) and ends at 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $10.00 (does not include meals and drinks)

CLICK HERE to reserve your spot!

 

Event Recap: How to Measure Success in Social Media

Do you know how to gather the right data to help you achieve your business goals? Are you looking for new ways to measure social media success?

On November 26, Shawna Tregunna, founder of ReSoMe (Relevant Social Media), helped answer these questions and showed attendees how to maximize readily accessible data to measure success in social media activities.

When developing a measurement strategy, it’s important to answer what makes a great metric. Two factors should be considered: what type of measurement is relevant to the success of the business and does the measurement provide actionable insights.

Once you determine how to measure your social media data, next step is figuring out what you have to compare the data to in order for it to be purposeful for the business.

Shawna provided a great model explaining the marketing sales funnel and its customer touch points the buyer journey:

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Here are four key metrics to help measure the success of your funnel:

  • Number of opportunities in your funnel and the rate at which you are acquiring these opportunities – or arrival rate.
  • The total possible value of every deal in your funnel or total funnel value.
  • Average amount of time prospects are in the sales funnel until they are acquired.
  • Average percentage of closes that your team effectively navigates through your funnel.

Shawna advises to not make the mistake of front-loading your sales funnel hoping that it will result in more sales. Take the “Groupon effect” as an example. Offering a truck load of special offers or discounts that attracts volume may not be viable if you don’t have a solid grasp on how your business is currently performing. The key is to making sure your prospects are qualified leads and you’re capable of nurturing them through the sales process and maximizing the impact points in which the leads encounter. Impact points represent the impact on the ability of your business to make money. Every impact point has the ability to make or lose money. For example, employees fall under Cost Centre, but by enabling and encouraging employees on social media, this is an opportunity to turn a cost into a profit.

Impact Points

Profit Centre Savings Centre Cost Centre
Acquisitions

Retention

Up-sell

Cross-sell

User-generated content

Referrals

Support Centre

Advertising

Employees

Another method to maximize social media data is integrating with your CRM (customer relationship module). By including customer social media information, you can tie online actions to specific clients within the sales process. Facebook ads also allow you to customize your target audience by email. If your clients email is associated with their Facebook profile, you can create targeted ads and messaging just for clients or prospects.

Shawna capped off the presentation with suggestions for free tools that can help you track and measure:

  • Analytics.twitter.com – shows interests of followers, location and influencers.
  • Klout – good tool to measure influencers. More than 30 or 40 Klout score represents good/notable standing.
  • Riffle – tells you which tools your competition is using, your ratio of posts (new posts, retweets and replies – are you just pushing content or engaging on a regular basis), and top hashtags.
  • Alexa – learn how your website is ranked via traffic, but ensure you understand your business goals to understand purpose of traffic. Can also provide you with competitive analysis. If social media is driving traffic to your website, what’s your activity compared to your competitors?
  • Moz link data – measures the quality of inbound links. For example, when you Google search cars in Ottawa, who ranks first? Google takes linking into consideration when ranking search results. How can social media help influence your ranking? Maximize influencers and audience engagement so they direct traffic to your website.

Click here to view Shawna’s presentation Accessible Metrics that Matter. You can also check out our hashtag feed to read what attendees shared and check out our event photos on Facebook.

Don’t forget to save the date! Our next Girl Geek Dinner Ottawa event will be January 29, 2015 featuring Melanie Coulson about how charitable giving is now hi-tech. Stay tuned for more details!

On behalf of the GGDOttawa Organizing Team, have a safe and happy holiday! 

How to Measure Success in Social Media: Magic of Data

Shawna TregunnaShawna Tregunna is the founder of ReSoMe (Relevant Social Media) a social media centric online marketing agency.  She specializes in community management and engagement outsourcing, content creation and creative design.  Her company’s specialized teams bring brands to life online.

Shawna’s goal is to help businesses and professionals successfully integrate social media into their marketing mix. She widely proclaims that the magic is in the data! She is a firm believer in trends, demographics, statistics and patterns, and with her research team, has developed systems and processes that use the data to find accessible target markets online.

Join us on Wednesday, November 26th as Shawna delves into the magic of data and shows our members how to maximize readily accessible data to measure success in social media activities.

Event details:

When: Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Where: Maxwell’s Bistro (340 Elgin St – upstairs)

Time: Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Event starts at 6:00 p.m. (including food order)

Event ends at 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $10.00 (does not include meals and drinks)

CLICK HERE to reserve your spot!

Thank you to our sponsor:

nac

 

 

(Re-published) #GGDOttawa presents: Tales & Stories of Search in Canada #SEO2014

Did you know the World Wide Web turned 25 this year? In 1990, Archie (founded by two Canadians) was the first Internet Search Engine to launch and now there are thousands of Search Engines at our disposal. The most popular Search Engine in Canada is Google; also known as Google Canada (or Google.ca). Do you ever wonder what happens behind the Search Box?

Join us on April 24, 2014 for tales & stories about Search in Canada and the technical side of #SEO2014. Attendees are encouraged to bring a laptop, tablet or mobile device to take part in live searching and hands-on application!

Attendees will also learn:

  • What is Search Engine Optimization, really?
  • Why is Canadian Search (SEO) different?
  • How Search Works
  • Demystifying the Search Results
  • Ranking, Clicks & Conversions

About the presenter:

HelenFaber2000X2000Helen Faber (@helenfaber) is the Founder & President (a.k.a. Search Detective) of WebFuel, a Search Results Agency based in Ottawa.

During her career, Helen has worn many hats. Helen is a former Educator, Web Solutions Integrator turned Entrepreneur. She was an early adopter of the Internet (mid 90’s) and on the scene even before Google.

Ten years ago, she founded WebFuel and in 2009, she launched the Ottawa Search & Digital Marketing Meetup. Helen also co-founded iSisters in 2001, a Canadian charity which garnered attention on the front page of the Ottawa Citizen’s Technology section. Currently, she sits on the Algonquin Advertising & Marketing Communication Advisory Board. While she doesn’t really consider herself a geek, her friends & family do.

Event details:

When: Thursday, April 24, 2014

Where: Black Tomato (11 George Street)

Time: Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Event starts at 6:00 p.m. (including food order)

Event ends at 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $10.00 (does not include meals and drinks)

GGDOttawa Season Social June 25

girl geek dinner ottawa, geekfest, ggdottawa

Calling all Girl Geeks! You’re invited to our Season Social (a.k.a. last event of the season) for a night of fun, food and networking!

Join us for a Geek-fest on Wednesday, June 25 to mix and mingle with your fellow Girl Geeks and past speakers, and take part in some geeky games and activities! Did you miss an event and topic you wanted to learn about? This is a great opportunity to connect again or for the first time with past speakers and learn more about their expertise. Unlike past events, we will provide food instead of ordering individually from the menu. If you register and have dietary restrictions or preferences, please email us at info@girlgeekdinnersottawa.com. And as always, we will have amazing door prizes!

Seats are limited, register now! 

When: Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Where: Maxwell’s Bistro (340 Elgin St.)

Time: Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Thanks to our door prize sponsors!

nac

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NEW DATE! GGD Ottawa presents: SuperSHEroes of Tech, March 19

On Wednesday, March 19, Girl Geek Dinners Ottawa welcomes long-time member Diana Cantú to discuss the SuperSHEroes of Tech! Diana will discuss the unsung ‘sheroes’ of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) and introduce members to some of history’s women pioneers and leaders.

Diana CantuDiana describes herself as a woman who “works in high-tech and grew up in a world where Linda Lovelace is better known than Ada Lovelace.” By sharing stories and reconquering our history, she feels that women can look forward to a future where we are all just PEOPLE in tech.

Diana is a career technology evangelist, currently responsible for international business development at Newtec, a Belgian satellite broadband infrastructure company. A specialist in the intersection of art, culture, and new technology, her professional background features a mix of tech and the arts including: pioneer satellite broadband networks (for digital broadcasting, IPTV, digital cinema, and distance learning), a 3D technology company in Montreal, running an arts-oriented graphic design practice in NYC, commercial and non-profit art galleries… and even a small opera company.

As an enthusiastic long time social media “netizen”, she is found blogging, Tweeting, networking and hanging out online in a variety of places — cataloged here: www.about.me/dianacantu. Her passions span geek culture, street & graffiti art, travel, hacking (the creative/good kind), languages, food, wine, technology, dance, social media, 3D, social justice, mentoring, all things nerdy, and art.

Event details:

When: Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Where:  Fox and Feather Pub (283 Elgin St., upstairs)

Time: Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Event starts at 6:00 p.m. (including food order)

Event ends at 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $10.00 (does not include meals and drinks)

CLICK HERE to reserve your spot.

 

Thank you to our door prize sponsors!

nac

canvaspop

January 15 Event: The Internet – Privacy, Identity, Reputation and You!

The internet is more and more a part of our everyday lives. Email, web browsing, location-based services, social media—these are all powerful tools for work and play, but they also offer unprecedented opportunity for abuse. Privacy law and best practices are evolving rapidly. On Wednesday, January 15th, we kick off the new year with privacy scholar Dr. Jennifer Barrigar (@jennbarrigar) as she discusses developments in online privacy — asking (and answering) some thought-provoking questions.

  • Did you know it would take (by recent estimates) 72 days per year to minimally review policy privacies/user agreements the average individual interacts with on an ongoing basis?
  • Do you know when/how/why/whether employers, insurance companies, governments have the right to use information you post on social media against you?
  • Is the “stupid user” to blame when their privacy is violated?

Bring your questions and concerns for a lively Q&A discussion!

Dr. Jennifer BarrigarDr. Jennifer Barrigar (LL.D, University of Ottawa) is a longtime scholar and writer on reputation as a means of surveilling and shaping people’s identities online, as well as the law’s treatment of reputation—online and off.  Dr. Barrigar has lectured and written on these issues for more than a decade, throughout the rapid evolution of social media and increasing online surveillance. For several years she served as Legal Counsel at Canada’s Privacy Commission where she participated in the initial application and interpretation of Canada’s 2001 private sector privacy act (PIPEDA) and international standards for privacy and data protection. She has also taught law courses at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University.  She holds an LL.M.degree from the University of Ottawa, an LL.B. from Dalhousie University, and an Honours B.A. from Carleton University. Learn more about Dr. Barrigar at http://reputableblog.org

 

Event details:

When: Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Where:  Johnny Farina Restaurant (216 Elgin Street)

Time: Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Event starts at 6:00 p.m. (including food order)

Event ends at 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $10.00 (does not include meals and drinks)

CLICK HERE to reserve your spot.

 

Thank you to our door prize sponsors!

nac

canvaspop

SugarLandMedia

Event Recap: Data for #MentalHealth, Nov. 20, 2013

1472099_368812726588188_1368693414_nOn November 20th, Girl Geek Dinners Ottawa wrapped up the 2013 season with guest speaker Shelley McKay. Shelley is a strategic consultant who is leading a pilot project that will use social media, analytics and predictive models using keywords and phrases associated with known risk factors, to identify youth suicidal behaviours/ideations at the earliest possible point. Shelley launched this project after her daughter tried to take her own life and subsequently experienced first hand how fractured our health care system is when it comes to youth mental health.

What Shelley is proposing with her pilot project is to utilize existing government monitoring tools to monitor social media channels for our at-risk youth. The program, she explained, can process 85,000 word a minute. A minute!! And it’s able to place context to the key words being processed. Meaning, the program knows the difference between someone saying they are going to “bomb a city” and a comment such as “that show was the bomb!” In the context of monitoring our youth, the program can analyze their mood, track mood trends and language patterns so parents, schools and hospital can take a proactive care approach rather than a reactive one. This is the first goal of the project. The second goal, Shelley explains, is to reduce the pressure on our region’s emergency rooms by proactively identifying youth in crisis and directing them to appropriate treatment.

Now as a marketer, you might be asking how it is possible to monitor people with our current privacy laws. Attendees asked just that. This, of course, is one of the hurdles that Shelley is currently taking on. Partnered with SAS, a leading company in ‘big data’, Shelley and her team are working with our government, schools, hospitals, such as The Royal Ottawa, and health officials to make this project concept a reality.

If you’d like to learn more about Shelley’s project, give her a tweet: @McKayShelley.

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Thank you again to our door prize sponsors! 

canvaspop

nac

SugarLandMedia

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