Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Unique solutions for your advertising-cliché needs

Hello ad clichés, my old friends. I've come to talk with you again. 

My war on advertising clichés has been hard fought and lost over the past decade, yet I soldier on even while knowing, inevitably, the day I retire from work will be filled with gifts emblazoned with the word "unique," as though my hatred of the word was some personal foible and not the war on creativity and humanity itself that I know it to be. 

This year, I provided to students a handy list of the words, phrases, and constructions to avoid when creating an ad. I challenge them, you, and the population of planet Earth - nay: the Universe - to never use any of these again in advertising or life. 

See you at the unique retirement party!
  1. Unique
  2. Solutions
  3. Something for everyone
  4. From (blank) to (blank), we have it all
  5. Whether you want (blank) or (blank)…
  6. A wide variety of...
  7. We are dedicated to...
  8. We believe...
  9. We aim to... 
  10. No matter the occasion...
  11. For all your (blank) needs.
  12. We provide you...
  13. We offer you...
  14. We cater to...
  15. (Blank)…since 1980; Since 1980, we’ve been...
  16. We are proud to...; Proud providers of...
  17. (Blank) is located in (blank)
  18. Can be found
  19. We promote...
  20. For people from all walks of life

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Everybody's talkin' about communications jobs, week of Jan. 13, 2013

1. Director of Communications and Marketing, Canadian Mennonite University

2. Communications Co-op Student, Devon

May 6, 2013 to end of August. This is a paid co-op communications position in Calgary. Employer will pay travel costs and assist with accommodations. The company is looking for a joint-degree student who is returning to school in the fall. If a second-year student is returning to the U of W in the fall to pick up courses, he or she would qualify.

3. Festival Manager, Winnipeg Fringe Festival

4. Internships for students with permanent physical disabilities, Shaw Media

5. Events and Volunteer Coordinator, Steinbach Arts Council

6. Manager, Community Relations, MPI

7. Events Coordinator, Manitoba Schizophrenia Society

8. Special Events Coordinator, Parkinson Society Manitoba

9. Global Marketing Associate, Momentum Healthware

10. Technical Writer, MacDon Industries

11. Marketing Proposal Coordinator, ft3

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Can Lore bring social networking to the classroom?

If you've ever wished that school could be more like Facebook, then Lore might be your new bff.

Lore is a new platform (the buzzword is "learning management system") that I've been testing in my Creative Communications classes this year; we did a quick rollout in advertising class last semester, and this semester I'm expanding it to public relations, work placement, and the advertising major.

If you'd like to visit last semester's ad class to have a look, go to: join.lore.com/A89X6W (you need the last six digits to join the class and sign in).

In essence, Lore is school in a Facebook environment without students having to “friend” instructors or worry about others seeing personal, non-scholarly information.

Teachers and students can use it to have discussions outside the physical classroom, and there’s a gradebook, calendar, document uploader, and Facebook-style timeline and newsfeed, where teachers and students can post information and have public discussions.

Students can upload their profiles and resumes, join “class communities,” and “groups,” message one another, and have coursework-related discussions among themselves inside and outside the class. As the network builds, grads can continue to participate in discussions, providing advice and mentoring to new students.

Key inspirations (from an instructor in my master’s program) for enhancing in-person instruction with online activities:
  • “Create dialogue and structure.”
  • “Give students more control.”
  • “Make your own online experiences.”
  • “Try something you’ve never tried before.”
  • “Impart a vision about what “distance education” can look like.”
  • “Find ways to increase dialogue, decrease structure, and increase autonomy.”
The only issue: I'd love a mobile app to go with the website, but I assume it's on its way. See you on the discussion board!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The 69 important online articles I read later on Instapaper in 2012

It's easy to tell the best or most-important online articles of the year: they're the ones I saved on Instapaper

Do yourself a favor and join the site, download the app, and start reading stuff later like Larsen does. Soon you too will be referring to yourself in the third person, losing your hair, and compiling your favorite online reads list on a year-end blog post. It's just that damn addictive. 

Education and teaching

Advertising and PR