A close shave: marketing and politics indistinguishable

Gillette has stepped boldly into the socio-political minefields of #MeToo, bullying, spousal abuse and male self-absorption

A close shave: marketing and politics indistinguishableIt’s tempting to take the recent’s ‘controversy’ over the Gillette shaving company’s new advertising campaign at something less than face value. For starters, controversy itself is no longer the conversational cutting edge it once was. In this era of fake-versus-false news, universal short attention spans and ludicrous overstatement as the entry price for even being…

Using social media to make connections with customers

Ernest Barbaric of Ernest Media talks about adopting an agnostic and agile approach

Using social media to make connections with customersErnest Barbaric is a digital marketing strategist at Ernest Media, lead designer and instructor for digital marketing strategy at the Canadian Marketing Association and founder of the Social Media for Business program at Calgary's Mount Royal University. What's your feel about how businesses today have used social media to better their bottom line? Barbaric: Social…

Hockey carnivores versus the whipping boys

Why would anyone get their garters in a tangle over a hockey tournament held for a television network?

Hockey carnivores versus the whipping boysThere are about 5.5 million people in Finland. It’s the most sparsely populated nation in the European Union, with most of its inhabitants shivering away in the southern tier of the nation. The Finns also eat less red meat than the people of other developed nations. But you’d think they were carnivores of the first…

Can we restore public trust in journalism?

Too many journalists tolerate peers who, through undisciplined abandonment of standards, undermine their craft’s credibility

Can we restore public trust in journalism?It’s long past time that journalists paid attention to the millions of Canadians who don’t trust the news the way we used to. Sure, we could have lost faith because of the #fakenews narrative that has flowed north across the border. Or from learning that many of the characters influencing public reaction to events on…

Breaking down barriers between retail employers and potential staff

Suzanne Sears of Best Retail Careers International specializes in social media recruitment that’s responsive and effective

Breaking down barriers between retail employers and potential staffSuzanne Sears is president of Best Retail Careers International. What do you do? Sears: I solve staffing problems for retailers. What is the biggest challenge facing retailers in finding staff? Sears: What retail leaders tell me most often is that they cannot find highly skilled staff willing to work at the prices they feel they’re…

The clear and present danger of climate change

Who best to convey this message of impending calamity in contemporary society?

The clear and present danger of climate changeWhat’s the best way to ensure that humanity gets the severity of our impending climate crisis and acts to forestall or prevent its full-scale onslaught? The question is particularly pertinent given that the science is well founded and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is well informed – even while the oil and…

Fred Jung’s incredible journey from Calgary to Hollywood

The Shatner Universe executive talks about developing entertainment projects and working with an icon, William Shatner

Fred Jung’s incredible journey from Calgary to HollywoodFred Jung is president of acquisitions and development of Shatner Universe LLC in North Hollywood. Can you explain your journey on how you got from Calgary to Los Angeles in your career? Jung: Boy, it really has been an incredible journey! Growing up in Calgary in the early ’70s, I was always intrigued with the entertainment…

Awareness fatigue weighing us all down, particularly millennials

They are the gatekeepers of so much change necessary to forge new norms of behaviour and social standards

Awareness fatigue weighing us all down, particularly millennialsI had a discussion with a bright young millennial in my family network last week and predictably learned something new. “I think I have awareness fatigue,” he said. “What?” I inquired. “Awareness fatigue, Mike. Too much knowledge of too much stuff that collectively is emotionally hard to carry.” Arguably, the syndrome currently includes: the whole…

Canadian Conservatives ensnared by the #MeToo movement

We’re supposed to be standard-bearers for traditional family values in western society. What happened?

Canadian Conservatives ensnared by the #MeToo movementWhen the #MeToo movement began to pick up steam last October, most of the men accused of sexual harassment and/or sexual assault were on the political left. As time goes by, more men on the political right are getting caught in this web, too. In particular, Canada’s right has faced a few recent instances of…

We need a new kind of weather forecast

More regular reporting on extreme weather patterns would help Canadians understand the real threat of climate change

We need a new kind of weather forecastThe tornadoes that recently hit the Ottawa area can’t be blamed specifically on global climate change. But they are consistent with the long-predicted pattern of increasingly frequent and severe extreme weather events, highlighted in the most recent report of the International Panel on Climate Change. Unfortunately, too many Canadians still don’t believe that human activity…

Put an end to the use of seclusion rooms for children

We need a national conversation about how Canadian schools can better deal with issues that lead to the use of such rooms

Put an end to the use of seclusion rooms for childrenI’ve often wondered why there’s very little public outcry when the media reports on the cruel use of seclusion rooms for kids with developmental disabilities and delays in schools across Canada. I’ve worked with kids born with developmental disabilities since I was 16 years old. I started out as a respite worker for families through…

Make social networking work for you

Social networking opens up a new avenue for those of us who were not born to be social butterflies

Make social networking work for youIs it just me or is everyone more interested in 'networking' these days? I've noticed a significant increase in 'join my network' requests from people I know, have known, or barely know through sites like LinkedIn. Everyone seems to be interested in connecting and exchanging contact information. Is social networking taking over the planet, or…

Building Internet walls to protect data could penalize users

There are billions of Internet users and every corporation has a virtual finger in the pie. But privacy laws differ widely

Building Internet walls to protect data could penalize usersGeneral data protection regulations (GDPR) sound like something that the average person needs to know nothing about. On the contrary, these rules affect us on a day-to-day basis. For the last 20 years, most jurisdictions have had similar requirements regarding corporations maintaining the privacy of their consumers’ data. The differences were more to do with…

What every business can learn from Alberta’s failures

Add value, diversify, take control of your destiny, do long-term planning and be fiscally responsible

What every business can learn from Alberta’s failuresIt should come as no surprise to anyone that the failure of the Alberta government over the past 40 years to protect the interest of its citizens has resulted in a province that’s up to its neck in debt. The woes of the province cost the Progressive Conservative Party its reputation, future generations their Heritage…

Social media is fully weaponized, open discourse be damned

The Eden-like public square was swiftly overrun by a cacophonic rabble dedicated to crushing ideas to which they’re opposed

Social media is fully weaponized, open discourse be damnedThe Internet may very well be the innovation that liberated access to ideas, but the social media it spawned is swiftly evolving into the jackboot that suppresses them. To put what’s happening today to an increasing number of editors into perspective – Ian Buruma of the New York Review of Books is just the latest…
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