Claiming This Spot

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Unplug. Recharge. Repeat.

Cell phones allow us to interact with each other whenever we want. But how often has your phone been a tool in creating a negative experience in your life? For example, the number of times I’ve had a relationship-altering argument by text with a significant other or friend is too many to describe. I can’t be the only one though. So I think this question is worth asking yourself: “What would my life be right now if it wasn’t for the negative experiences I’ve had resulting from using my phone?”

The more I use my phone, the more questions I have. Knowing the facts about whether a phone is detrimental or essential to everyday live has become a topic of interest lately. Especially over controversy over the approaching National Day of Unplugging. The National Post sums this up nicely.

Keep it charged: The case against the well-intentioned but misguided National Day of Unplugging

This story brought a different spin to a topic that at the surface would seem like a positive call to action. Step away from your phone and social networks, then feel instantly better.

For people like myself, trouble wouldn’t be far away if I couldn’t check my email. As I sometimes like to say: emails make the world go round. There’s more to unplugging than simply being unavailable or unable to do your job (and maybe keep it) without a portable method of global communication.

I came up with angles that I think should be explored further:

  • Would employers consider allowing employees to take moderated days in their schedules to unplug?
  • Which interaction is more efficient: face-to-face or digital?
  • How to maximize the productivity of your phone without clutter.
  • Does unplugging from phones for a day increase well-being or induce more stress?
  • The link between cell phones and depression.

What are your opinions on National Day of Unplugging? Are you participating this year? Comment below (or not, if you’re unplugging).

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Bay of Quinte Media Pitch & Ideas

Placement is fast approaching and it’s time to get my head in the game. I will be starting placement at Bay of Quinte Tourism in a few short weeks so I thought I’d do more research on where I should be pitching stories to promote regionally, provincially, and nationally.

  1. Good Times Magazine: Canada’s Magazine for Successful Retirement
  2. Canadian Living
  3. Outdoor Canada


Topics to Consider

Good Times magazine would be ideal to promote areas like Brighton, ON as a retirement community with much to offer. The Bay of Quinte can highlight local attractions, statistics, and profiles of residents who have moved to the area.

The wine industry in Prince Edward County is growing through improved promotion of the wineries and the variety of wines that wineries are offering. It could be worthwhile to pitch a feature article to Canadian Living to promote the Bay of Quinte wine regions. The link above for Canadian Living features a list of the best places to do a wine-tasting in Canada, and Prince Edward County made the list. This was likely not pitched, but the viewers are more aware of the wine industry so they would be open to specific information for the wineries.

Outdoor Canada is the largest fishing and outdoors magazine in Canada. Continuing to create interest for this magazine is crucial. Highlighting the freshwater fishing, arenas, and various locations in the area would help to promote the outdoors industry in the area.

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The Writer Behind the Words

Ever listened to your favourite speaker and thought, “They really know what they’re talking about?” What about that insightful article you read on the trendiest technology? You ended up getting into some heated debates with friends on which gadget is better based on the author’s opinion. And exactly how excited were you when you found out your favourite band posted these new lyrics that they say they wrote and the song ended up being a number one single? Chances are you shared it to all of your social platforms and created your own bass line for it in your head.

What if it was all a lie?

Ghostwriting is a controversial subject in many industries, and there is both acceptance and distrust of ghostwriters because of the many controversies involving companies that lack transparency. It is a legitimate practice through an agreement with the ghostwriter and client, usually through a monetary transaction. However, ghostwriting isn’t always easy to find (well, that is the point isn’t it?). There are various forms of ghostwriting:

  • Anonymous letters (e.g. from CEOs)
  • Using their ideas and words
  • Using their ideas, your words
  • Using your ideas, your words (Demian Farnworth)

I came across an example of ghostwriting during some research. Turns out The Diary of Anne Frank is a type of ghostwriting. The book is only based off of Anne Frank’s diary entries from the Second World War. Her father, Otto Frank, gathered the diary entries and reorganized and edited some entries to make the story clearer. He left his name off of the final draft when it was sentGhostwriter to the publishers.

I love this example because in this case the ghostwriter has some first-hand credibility to have finished this book on behalf of his daughter, which makes it emotional and not the typical feeling of deception since Anne Frank did not write some of it. Considering how popular and sensitive this classic book is, I believe this is an acceptable form of ghostwriting even though the book has sold so many copies over the years, but also because he only changed minor details and the order of the entries.

There are negatives to ghostwriting, of course. Ted Sorensen, the ghostwriter for President John F. Kennedy, wrote almost everything that Kennedy said. Kennedy had many famous quotes and speeches that Sorensen actually wrote. This initially raised a lot of concerns from the public because they loved Kennedy because of his words, which ended up not being his own. Dr. David Gruder, Phd and DECP talks about the ethics of this case from a few viewpoints.

I wouldn’t be surprised if ghostwriting became more popular in the years to come. It is one thing to have the Public Relations team write a speech for an executive for a company gala, a practice that is done as often as breathing. But if a company was not able to hire a PR team or didn’t have the time or skill on staff to write one, I don’t see why that work can’t be outsourced and then the credit is given to the executive like it would have if the PR team had written it. If you’re going to do a job, you might as well get it done right. Then at least some of your more expensive resources (employees) are freed up to do what they do best.

I’m interested in hearing any other examples of ghostwriting that you know of. Comment with your viewpoints, of which are always appreciated here.

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The Newbie’s Guide to Working Your Network

Stress-induced graduates are facing the reality that getting a job is harder than walking across a stage, grabbing a piece of paper, and posing for seemingly hundreds of photos after the fact. We are told continuously “It’s all about who you know”. If you don’t know anyone, you won’t get a job. My network has graciously given me sound pieces of advice on how to conduct myself so I can build my network, and experience has helped me learn the true value of a first impression.

When I first entered the Loyalist College Public Relations post-graduate program, I thought I had the rare knowledge of what is expected of me when I enter the workforce. This is primarily because of the professionals I already knew in different industries. Unfortunately, there are many graduates less fortunate to have learned how to transition from a student to a professional. Therefore, the information I’ve retained the most in the last 2 semesters is how to dress the part, act the part, and BE the part so that you can network more effectively.

Giving respect to others and not just trying to earn respect is a skill I think many graduates are unaware of while networking. I went into the Belleville Emerging Leaders event in October with the mindset that I was going to practice meeting people and make the most of it, and I was pleasantly surprised by some of the connections I made. Networking opportunities have helped give me time to practice the minute details — in my experience a firm handshake, listening, and dressing appropriately go a long way.

These ideas were confirmed when I traveled to Gothenburg, Sweden this past December to present the 2016 World Floorball Championships at the International Floorball Federation (IFF) General Assembly. I met people that were seemingly beyond me with their impressive careers and success. The IFF and country delegates were thrilled that Canada was hosting a World Championship and were eager to hear more. However, when I got to know them and their causes and affiliations before explaining mine, there was a connection made that exceeded just rhyming off what I was doing 6100 kilometers from home. Doing the research and dressing appropriately, learning some Swedish words and customs (like needing to have a firm handshake) were the catalysts.

Starting to sound similar when applying for a job, doesn’t it?

Don’t sweat it if you’re not comfortable meeting new people. However, it may be worth the extra effort to create these opportunities for yourself, because I do believe that it’s (almost) all about who you know. The “almost” implying that you should be prepared to have the skills to back up your resume when you’re networking.