Archive for the ‘media’ Category

linkedinboxI opened up my LinkedIn page today to see 39 unread messages inviting me to like pages or attend events from companies and individuals I’ve never heard from before, let alone heard of.

It reminded me a bit of when I was first getting the Yelp community established here in Calgary. Part of the job was reaching out to local media about the events I was planning and cool local businesses I was finding.

Media and PR was not my background when I first started. During my newbie training, the PR team asked us to write a sample pitch. I thought a great story idea would be what one of Calgary’s local food critics thought about crowd-sourced review websites like Yelp and how they thought it was changing our local scene. Turns out, that’s not exactly what the PR team meant by a media pitch!

Once I learned about short and sweet pitching with specific details about what I was doing, I went to town getting the word out. I emailed EVERYONE I could find that I thought might sort of be interested in what I was doing.

Sometimes this approach worked, most of the time it didn’t. Though it’s a place to start when you aren’t really sure what you’re doing, I wouldn’t recommend it.

What did work was remembering that the people on the other side of my emails were real people. They literally had anywhere from dozens to hundreds of people emailing them the same way I did every single day.

I thought about how my eyes glazed over every time someone I didn’t know sent me something really random without ever having reached out to me before–and began to change my approach. Instead of cold emailing anyone I could find, I took a genuine interest in the stories and content people were putting out to the world. It took some extra work (and learning to love spreadsheets) on my part to help me keep track of everyone, but in the end, I learned that relationships make the world go round in terms of media too–and that genuine pitches to people I had spent the time following and getting to know became a win/win situation for both of us rather than just another email in the pile that would continue to go unread.

Whether you’re trying to get your word out through traditional media, local bloggers, online influencers or any other person in your network, doing your homework and building a connection with specific people will take you so much farther than random email and messages blasts–and it’s not as time-consuming as you might think. You don’t need to be their best friend, in fact, they’re likely to be suspicious if you do. But showing that you’ve read through their interests, seen some of their recent articles, followed a few of their recent tweets, etc. goes a long way in showing that what you’ve got to say could genuinely be of use to them.

So go on now and be a real person… Your networks will thank you for it!


Albertan companies find new and creative ways to incorporate digital media. Whether creating efficiencies by streamlining communication and operations, connecting markets, or cooking up campaigns to communicate with consumers, we’re doing it. And many of us are doing it well.

If you, or one of your friends, colleagues, family members, or random project you heard about last week have made an impact on your industry because of your use of technology, you’ll want to check out the Digital Alberta Awards.


  • Best in Social Media
  • Mobile Innovation
  • Best Digital Design
  • Best in Cross-Platform Content
  • Best In Financial Services
  • Best Social Impact
  • B2C Innovation
  • B2B Innovation
  • Best Digital Startup
  • Best in E-learning
  • Best in Gaming
  • Government 2.0
  • Best Use of Film, Animation or
    Special FX
  • Best Combined Hardware &
    Software Experience
  • Best Digital Advertising/Marketing
    or Design Agency
  • Student Digital Award

Deadline for submission: May 6th

Questions? Contact

Lisa Ostrikoff of BizBoxTV recently asked her friends on Facebook the following:

1970s: 70% said they had a great deal or fair amount of confidence in the Press/Media. Today, that number sits at 47%. What’s your take?

Well Lisa, I’ve thought a bit about it, and here’s what I think:

Gone are the days where traditional media is the only voice we have to listen to, or to rely on to put out our message.  I’ve heard this perspective before with regards to people having a message to deliver, but I’ve never really thought about it from the point of view of being the receiver with the power to filter what I’m consuming and just how fragmented information can get because of that.

As a heavy consumer of new media, I love the variety of viewpoints that are available to me on any given issue. However, because the choice of what to consume and which message to listen to is now mine, I feel a responsibility as a reader to seek out a balance of viewpoints and to attempt to keep my information the least skewed in any particular direction as possible.

Before the onus was on the broadcaster or the reporter to ensure a balanced representation of the facts.  But with the shift in power from traditional media controlling the message to everyone being able to weigh in on the conversation, we must also shoulder part of the responsibility of ensuring we’re getting all the facts and listening to at least a few different sides of every story before making up our minds.

With great power comes great responsibility.  And so if you are choosing to consume information in a similar fashion to the way I do, it’s up to you to also do your due diligence and make sure you’ve hunted down the facts on an issue before making up your mind.