The Weather Network / MétéoMédia

It’s hard to blog when you’ve started a new job. Actually, consistent blogging is challenging, period. But enough excuses.

The Weather Network (MétéoMédia in Québec), where I started last month, has done something smart with its marketing communications department. It has linked PR, marketing, research and social together to engage and inform the millions of people who connect with this popular brand.

Canadians like talking about the rain, snow and temperatures, as you’ll see in our very active Facebook communities here and here. People also like our:

And then there`s our regional and national television broadcasts, examples of mainstream media`s continued dominance over digital. Social media is increasingly important but TV still attracts much of our attention and delivers big impressions, unique users, referrals, activation and growth. The metrics are clear and the opportunity is great to do interesting work at this media company.

As my learning curve levels out, I plan to post here more frequently.

Newspapers: Still Popular

I’m one of the more than 14.7 million Canadians reading newspapers. Many of whom likely didn’t know that the newspaper industry is thriving.

Prior to seeing this Toronto Star story about this surprisingly robust medium, I thought I might be out of touch and wasting time on broadsheets visa vis digital information sources. You see, I enjoy the feel of daily papers and I think there’s a physiological advantage to reading hard copy. I process the offline info differently; I might even retain it better.

That said, I of course get most of my news digitally and have learned to efficiently (mostly) embrace the rich, fragmented, hyperlinked reality of social media. There are, after all, many credible, purely digital news sources, some of them led by talented ex-journalists, who will ensure that online media continues to grow.

However, old media will also continue to thrive because newspapers have far more trained journalists skilled at researching and writing interesting stories. These writers and their papers are trusted. Also, many of these old media companies are effectively embracing the new. The result: even if people aren’t reading offline, they’re paying attention online.

At least that’s what I read on a website.

PodCamp Toronto

I enjoyed a great Saturday mingling with and learning from the smart and interesting group of people at PodCamp Toronto. PodCamp Toronto 2010 is a free unconference bringing together professionals and hobbyists to explore the cutting edge of new and social media.

The MakerCulture DIY experiment with open journalism is an intriguing project creating content and community through collaboration and dialogue. Wayne MacPhail, who presented with Western student Curtis File, feels that traditional news media aren’t capable of open journalism.

Agreed, old media gatekeepers are still figuring out social media and the blurry line separating authors and audience.

Next on my agenda was Communications in the New Social Media Ecosystem presented by Dave Fleet. Dave simplified his complex ecosystem deep-dive which he first posted in January. His integration message – owned, earned and unearned media working together – is of particular interest to me in light of my new job (I’ll post about this soon.)

Dave mentioned that Molson is doing a good job with the social media marketing ecosystem. Why? Molson has invested three years into SM, generates good content, responds well to feedback and senior leadership gets it. Partial proof of success:  paid media, earned media and owned media all support each other and deliver results such as thousands of community followers and loads of earned media coverage.

The hit of the day for me was The Social Web, Crisis, Response and Reputation Rejuvenation in the Automotive Industry delivered by GM’s  Chris Barger. He shared the trials, tribulations and successes of the beleaguered car company’s ongoing SM program to manage last year’s bankruptcy filing.

Highlights included the 25 to 75 ratio of talking to listening, respectively; community comes first; demonstrate change; small gestures will resonate; let advocates advocate; embrace key influencers; and reputation rejuvenation needs to be sustained. It’s always interesting hearing case studies about crisis management; Chris’ candid insights added to the compelling content.

Thanks to all the PodCamp organizers and sponsors for assembling a strong group of presenters. It’s always fun connecting with smart, talented people.