Public Sector Marketing 2.0

What You Can Do About “The Social Dilemma”

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

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It takes a community to effectively spread evidence-based COVID-19 messaging

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

Over the past few months, I’ve been very much impressed with the COVID-19 related communications coming out of my local health unit, Ottawa Public Health (OPH). Their work on both Facebook and Twitter has been exceptional. Specifically, what really sets them apart from many other health organizations at the moment is the tone being used to convey important COVID-19 information.

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6 not-so-conventional tips for working from home

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

It’s been quite interesting reading the influx of posts about people adapting to their new reality of working from home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a consultant running my own business, I’ve been working primarily from home for over a decade now. About 80% of my work time is spent in my home office and the remainder at in-person client meetings, delivering speeches and running workshops.

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COVID-19 Commercials – A united message or simply a lack of creativity?

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

You’ve probably seen a few COVID-19 TV commercials by now, maybe even shed a few tears. Empty roads, parked airplanes, deserted cities, playgrounds with no kids, you name it. If the location once had people in it, it is now being shown as empty with some sombre piano music concurrently nourishing our auditory senses and reminding us what we are all missing.

The murky waters of government employment and political neutrality

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

The Government of Canada has a generally well-written Values and Ethics Code , which public servants must abide by. With every passing year, a particular element of this Code has become increasingly challenging to explain with absolute clarity and even more challenging to enforce, save for the most obvious cases.

Misinformation vs. Disinformation vs. Mal-information

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

Quite a bit of my consulting work lately has focused on helping clients counter false information spreading online. This sort of engagement can very quickly lead to rough and murky waters, especially if an organization does not arm itself with proper ongoing situational awareness tools in order to differentiate between the bad actors who are steering the narrative and the people unknowingly posting false information.

Joe Rogan, true crime, and the 2nd podcasting revolution

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

In 2007 I subscribed to and became a regular listener of my first podcast, Mitch Joel’s Six Pixels of Separation. Since that time, I have listened to thousands of others, spanning a variety of industries and delivery formats ( The Tim Ferris Show being one of my all-time favourites).

Basic Social Media Intelligence (SOCMINT) Tools To Help Fight Disinformation

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

Over the past year, I’ve had a significant increase in the number of client requests for custom consulting and/or training help relating to combating the spread of disinformation. I thought I’d share some recent slides (edited to remove any client sensitive information of course), where I provide some useful tools for any newbies to the field of OSINT / SOCMINT. But first, what the heck am I talking about? Disinformation is false information spread deliberately to deceive.

Šukran (thank you), Sharjah Government Media Bureau!

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

Last month I had the privilege of being invited by the Sharjah Government Media Bureau’s International Government Communication Centre (IGCC) to train government communications professionals in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

30 Tools and Tips to Speed Up Your Digital Workflow as a Government Communicator in 2018

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

Last week I delivered a presentation at the Conference Board of Canada’s Public Sector Social Media event in Ottawa where I deviated from my usual focus on overarching digital trends and strategy.

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How to Get That “Verified” Check Mark on Your Facebook Page

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

If you’re an organization that has had a Facebook Page up and running for a while now, you can probably attest to the fact that it’s not easy to keep up with the frequency of Facebook user interface changes. This applies even more so, to the newly revamped Facebook Business Manager , which by now should be you go-to starting point for managing your organization’s presence on this platform.

Why the Canadian Digital Service is a major milestone for Canada.

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

Over the course of the past two decades there have been numerous initiatives / movements relating to the Government of Canada and the digital space. I can see why it’s hard for people to get excited about yet another one. However, having worked a s a management consultant (specializing in the digital channel) with nearly every federal department, I’m convinced the Canadian Digital Service (CDS) is a legitimate major milestone.

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Fraudulent CRA Collections Office Call Confusion

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

Last week I had a brief scare that my wife and I had become the latest victims of identity theft, and worse, that it was my own fault. Luckily it was a false alarm, however determining so with full confidence proved to be quite the challenge. Chain of events: 9:30pm –>I receive a voicemail message from someone claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Collections Office.

International Government Communication Forum 2019 – Sharjah, UAE

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

A few weeks ago I was invited to speak at the International Government Communication Forum (IGCF) in Sharhaj, UAE, where this year’s theme was “behaviour change” One of the conference highlights for me was participating on a panel with Dr Abdullah Al-Maghlouth , Director- General of the Centre for Government Communication in Saudi Arabia; and Sir Craig Oliver , Director of Politics and Communications for the former UK Prime Minister David Cameron.

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Blocking Access to Social Media is now “Against Policy”

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

To the Canadian federal “govies” out there that may have missed the memo, a crucial policy instrument called PANDU took effect exactly one year ago (excluding section 6.1.3 , which kicked-in 7 months later). What is PANDU? PANDU stands for Policy on Acceptable Network and Device Use. It was developed by the Treasury Board Secretariat to replace the outdated Policy on The Use of Electronic Networks.

Global internet statistics for 2018

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

It’s that time of year again when digital stats aggregators update their numbers and various annual summary reports come out based on research conducted in the previous calendar year. Here are a few general highlights I put together recently after going through various reports. If you’re interested in the data sources, I covered my favourites in this blog post last year. Most have now come out with 2018 versions of their reports. General.

Integrating Social Data into Decision Making (5 Free Tools)

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

Having worked on numerous digital/social organizational strategies for the better part of the last decade, I find that I still occasionally run into organizational leaders that haven’t yet integrated social data into their decision making. At most of today’s marketing conferences and events, and in modern business literature, the bulk of attention is given to reaching and engaging with your audience on social media.

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Communicating change and tech disruption to citizens

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

A few months ago, I delivered a talk at the 2018 FWD50 Conference on the topic of “Communicating Change and Tech Disruption to Citizens” The official description was as follows: “Your role as communications and policy professionals in the public sector is growing with the need to improve transparency and accessibility, promote new and expanded digital services, safeguard reputation, and maintain public confidence.

Social Media Vigilantism – Have We Gone Too Far?

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

Over the course of the last few weeks there has been significant discussion about the very disturbing, derogatory and blatantly sexist #FHRITP trend. Let me point out from the get-go that I personally believe there is nothing about this trend that is excusable. It is wrong, period. I would however, like to discuss a hidden story here within the larger issue of sexual harassment.

When your employees go too far on social media…

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

I recently did some work for a client that involved looking into recent Canadian legal cases dealing with employees that have been either fired or reprimanded for their conduct on social media platforms. I ended up using some of these cases as examples in an internal training program I developed for employees on “responsible digital engagement” I thought I’d share a few of them with you today.

One week, two excellent events: #CbocSocial and #FWD50

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

This post features my key takeaways and notes from two events I attended earlier this month here in Ottawa. 1- Public Sector Social Media (#cbocsocial) – “ Where Canada’s social media leaders gather to discuss the most effective strategies for the most powerful media.”

Shame Cannot Survive Empathy

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

Over the years I have written many posts about the negative impact of online public shaming and cyber-bullying , as well as the major downsides to the global democratization and sharing of content. I’ve also read countless books (most recently Jon Ronson’s “ So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed “) and discussed this topic extensively with others.

Downsides to the global democratization and sharing of content

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

I remember delivering a speech in 2008 during the early days of Twitter in which I mentioned to the audience that this platform may soon be the world’s largest sample of live human thought (good and evil) and also the world’s largest real-time conversation database. I heard a few chuckles. Back then Twitter was typically dismissed as some new time-wasting glorified chat where self-obsessed people shared what they were doing at any given moment (e.g. drinking coffee).

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Death to “we are experiencing higher than normal call volume”.

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

Last week I finally found the time to dedicate an entire day to calling various home service providers and product brands with which I have been having issues with throughout the year. In most of the cases I had made a note to call as the issue arose, however other priorities kept creeping up. This was the day I was going to get it all done. I interacted with three companies and had three very different experiences.

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What your Facebook “Likes” can reveal about you

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

I recently came across the work of Stanford psychologist and social data researcher Michal Kosinski , who has developed a method to analyze people in minute detail based on their Facebook activity. He is currently a leading expert in psychometrics, a data-driven sub-branch of psychology. Most people by now are familiar with the term “ big data “, therefore I won’t go on explaining it here.

Time to stop pointing fingers at Facebook and take some responsibility ourselves.

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

As a consultant involved in the digital space for quite some time now, I have carefully observed the evolution of Facebook since its first year of operation. Since that time Mark Zuckerberg has taken the heat on numerous occasions for a variety of privacy-related issues. Remember Facebook Beacon and Facebook Lexicon ? What usually follows is a hopeless attempt by some people to start a “delete Facebook” movement instead of taking some time to do a little introspection. .

New Facebook Features and Why They Matter

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

Last week, Facebook held its annual F8 conference where Mark Zuckerberg and team typically set the direction for global digital technology. I mean that last part literally. What Facebook invests time and resources in tends to set the course for the entire digital ecosystem. The gargantuan social network is about to hit 2 billion monthly users with hundreds of thousands of developers actively creating applications for it.

Two Free Twitter Network Visualization Tools

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

Lately, my associates and I have been doing quite a bit of social network visualization research for clients, typically using raw social data and comprehensive, fee-based custom tools. While these are great for deep analysis and strategic planning, sometimes a simple free tool can do the trick if all you are looking for is quick high-level insights. I would like to point out two such tools today, both of which rely on the Twitter API. Hashtagify.

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How to Measure the Performance of your Government Social Media Initiative

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

This post is based on a comment I left on the following OECD blog post the other week : Measuring government impact in a social media world. One thing I like to do off the bat when working on social media performance reporting for my government clients, is to differentiate between three basic levels of reporting (inspired by some Altimeter Group research) depending on which level of the organization I am working with (using the Canadian federal government structure as an example).

The JianGate Twitter Universe Visualized

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

Ok I’ll admit it, while I’m usually very careful before jumping in with personal opinions during breaking news, I, like many others this week , let my emotions dictate what I typed regarding the Jian Ghomeshi fiasco. Very bad practice, I know, but human nonetheless. Sorry about that. What exactly did I do? I tweeted a message of support to Jian within hours of finding out he was fired from the C BC , and then a follow up message of support after I read his Facebook Post.

The bots are coming! Are you ready?

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

Last week we held our MARCOM Annual Conference (more on that in a future post) where I moderated a roundtable discussion on bots. I thought I ‘d share a few notes from my handout. Working Definitions (sometimes used interchangeably). Bot: A piece of software that is designed and created to automate the kinds of tasks we would usually do on our own such as making a reservation, adding an event to your calendar, opening a program or displaying a summary report (e.g.

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The need to disconnect, visualized.

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

The second I saw this, I knew I had to post this up. Thank you to my colleague Benedict Chia Bing Howe in Singapore for sharing this wonderful Thai ad. So what is it? A powerful advertisement depicting the growing trend of people letting technology manage their lives rather than the other way around.

Upcoming Public Sector Social Media Conference

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

The fall season here in Canada is always full of interesting conferences and events that I have the privilege of being invited to speak at or simply to attend. One of these in particular, is the Public Sector Social Media Conference put on by the reputable Conference Board of Canada.

Notes from the Digital Governance Forum (#DGF15)

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

Hey folks, so I got back from my 10-day Vipassana Meditation Retreat last week and must say i feel fully re-charged, super-positive and healthier than ever. Overall it was an absolutely life-changing experience. For any of you interested in finding out more about what it was like, I’d be more than happy to chat about it offline. In the meantime, I wanted to share my rough notes with you from the Digital Governance Forum , which I attended this past week here in Ottawa.

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Great “behind-the-scenes” progress in 2013, now let’s get creative!

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

Typically at this time of year I tend to write a few thoughts surrounding my hopes and expectations for digital engagement in the public sector sphere here in Canada. I must admit that I am quite optimistic about the next twelve months, given the amount of behind-the-scenes progress that has been made to date in various organizations in terms of setting up the necessary infrastructure that social channels require (primarily governance and hr related).

Stop Complaining about Lineups and Just Vote!

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

Dear “ frustrated advance poll voters ” in Canada. I really think that we should be treating the fact that there were such long lineups at some of the advance polling stations this weekend as great news. That’s nearly a 35% increase over the last federal election, and you were are part of it! The more people participate in the democratic process the better it works.

Can a mobile app save lives? Yes it can.

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

Over the last year I have had the privilege of working with a fair amount of health organizations wishing to enter the digital realm. As a result, I have performed quite a bit of research and literature review on the applicability of social media engagement and mobile technology in the public health field. The opportunities are of course tremendous, and most of the risks can be effectively mitigated through education/training as numerous proactive health organizations have demonstrated to date.

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Government 2.0 Expo Debrief

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

I started to write this post in a cab as I was heading back from the Gov 2.0 Expo in Washington D.C. last week. I remember my head was engulfed in new insights and ideas. I’ve been playing catch-up ever since but it was well worth the 3-day excursion.

Text Messaging vs. Mobile Instant Messaging

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

Over the course of the last year, I have noticed a rapidly rising organizational interest amongst my clients in using “text messaging” for communications purposes; specifically for opt-in notifications. The main reasons are quite obvious: 26.3% of Canadian households have no land-line (Convergence Consulting Group, 2014). The smartphone penetration rate is now at a staggering 63% in Canada (Ipsos, 2013). 96% of smartphone users text message (Acision, 2013).

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Disruptive digital forces in Kazakhstan

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

A few weeks ago I was invited to Astana, Kazakhstan by the United Nations Development Program to deliver a workshop on the latest strategic digital / social media marketing and communications best practices being used by the public sector here in Canada and around the globe. The audience was composed of about 40 Press Secretaries and Heads of Communications for the various Ministries in Kazakhstan.

What the Web Renewal (canada.ca) Initiative is missing

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

For those of you not familiar with what I am referring to, the Government of Canada (Goc) Web Renewal Initiative aims to streamline the GoC’s web presence through a single central website, Canada.ca . What exactly does that mean? “ Canada.ca features 15 user-centric themes based on the top information and tasks that visitors are looking for. The site is accessible and easy to use on any device.

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Gamification: Silly fad or important trend for marketers?

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

Almost two years ago now I wrote a blog post entitled “ Gamification can change behaviour. I have proof “ Since that time, I have become even more interested in this emerging trend and its potential applicability towards societal issues. Last spring, I decided to do some additional research on the topic and create a visual presentation derived from various materials available publicly on the web (both academic and commercial).

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A long overdue call to action on cyber-bullying

Public Sector Marketing 2.0

I watched Amanda Todd’s tragic video message today. Exactly one month and eight days after it was first posted and only five days after she committed suicide. Words can’t possibly express how it makes me feel. But that’s irrelevant anyway. What’s far more important than expressing our feelings and condolences in my opinion is what actions we take going forward. Amanda’s video wasn’t the first of its kind, nor is it going to be the last.