Communications Professional – Your message. Clearly. 

My Top 5 Albums of 2012

Published on December 8, 2012, by

I’m an albums guy. Always on the lookout for a new collection of tunes to accompany me on streetcars and in laundromats, on patios and in living rooms. Here are five full-lengths that struck a chord in 2012:     1. There’s No Leaving Now – The Tallest Man on Earth Tallest Man’s Sometimes The Blues is Just a Passing Bird was my favourite album of 2010. It was the combination of intricate picking and unabashedly folk-informed  (yet somehow boldly original) vocals that first caught my attention. On his latest release, There’s No Leaving Now, those elements are here in spades. I’m pretty sure I fell in love with it the moment I heard the opening guitar line on To Just Grow Away. Though musically speaking this album is exactly a departure for the Swede songwriter, the songwriting is better than ever and the fragile arrangements provide a perfect backdrop for the unmistakable vocals. Add to that his ability to paint gripping scenarios using only a handful of everyday words (Like a rain, to help a river / But a river so hard to please / But I’ve grown to see the diamonds / You’ve thrown in just for me), and

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My Top 20 Songs of 2012

Published on November 29, 2012, by

Arranged in order of a good mix-tape, not in order of preference: 1.    Carry Me Home – Hey Rosetta! Definitely the catchiest thing I’ve heard yet from the St. John’s band, and a strong candidate for song of the year. It’s a cliché-free Christmas song (a miracle!) that speaks to the longing for home. At the moment, I can’t think of a Canadian band writing better music.   2.    Change the Sheets – Kathleen Edwards Ahhhhh……… when that guitar part opens up the song you know something special is about to happen. And happen it does. Pulsing bass and drums grab your attention, a swooping guitar line courtesy of Bon Iver reminds you who’s producing, and then Kathleen’s Cranberries-like My looooooove completely takes over. It’s a perfect opening that leads into a break-up mission statement of a chorus: Change this feeling under my feet / Change the sheets and then change me. For my money, it’s her strongest song to date.   3.    Walt Grace’s Submarine Test, January 1967 – John Mayer Never thought I’d recommend a John Mayer song, but it’s hard to deny that this is a seriously good piece of songwriting. Melodic and laid back, the arrangement

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Personal Branding: 5 Considerations For Embracing The Web

Published on October 29, 2012, by

From damaging comments to compromising photos, the web can be a scary place. And while it’s probably scarier for those who remember a time before it, it can still be intimidating for newer generations. So what if you – like me – aspire to create a personal brand but have some hesitations about broadcasting your professional self to the world? Fear not, it’s easier than you think to craft and control your online impression. Here are five areas to keep in mind:   1. Tidying Up Before you play host, you should always clean your place. The same is true for online branding. Make a list of every digital trace you can think of, from Facebook to forums, and delete anything you wouldn’t want your mother to see. Tidy up your timeline and tighten your privacy settings. If you use certain social media platforms as strictly social, that’s fine, but keep them out of the public realm. Wouldn’t want to have to answer for frosh week during an interview. 2. Burying Pages The ugly truth is that removing unwanted content from other sites is almost impossible, especially when they are owned by Mr. Zuck. Managing your online reputation can be tricky,

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What The Higgs Boson Can Teach Us About Communication

Published on September 21, 2012, by

We are on the brink of discovering the most fundamental building block of nature – a discovery that would shed light on what happened during the first second of the Big Bang, and on why particles have mass. This search for the Higgs Boson – also referred to as the ‘God Particle’ – has captivated the world of particle physics and science generally. Originally proposed by Peter Higgs in 1964, the narrowing of the 40+ year search for this proposed elementary particle has enormous implications for how we understand our universe and how we approach physics for years to come. So why does nobody seem to care? OK, that’s an exaggeration. There is a good deal of buzz surrounding this pending breakthrough, but nothing to rival the alarms that sound when Prince Henry shows his less flattering side, or when a splashy story – like, say, that of Michael Bryant’s recent tell-all – grabs the attention of local news outlets for weeks at a time. What role does communication play in this fight for attention? Does the nature of how stories are communicated to the public relate directly to their relative popularity? Or are some issues just inherently less sexy than other? Science is often criticized with failing to

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An Old-World Corp Finds New-World Relevance: CBC Radio Goes Digital

Published on July 23, 2012, by

I remember car rides with my mom when she would hush me every time the introductory chimes of the hourly news sounded. Or waking up to the sounds of a choral concert on Sunday mornings. In our middle-class, southwestern Ontario household, CBC was like 2% milk – it was always just there. Fast-forward 20 years: the rules of the game have been re-written (and re-written). The heyday of the crown corp has long passed, and only those institutions that embrace the digital environment and the culture of ‘free’ seem to stand any chance of surviving. To the relief of many, CBC Radio seems to have made it through the 21st century gauntlet only to come out leaner and meaner on the other side. Not only has the “ceeb” stuck by it’s mandate in the 1991 Broadcasting Act to ‘be predominantly and distinctively Canadian,’ it has taken another part of the act to heart: ‘to be available throughout Canada by the most appropriate and efficient means.’ While CBC Radio still offers a range of (current! diverse! awesome!) programs on the old school airwaves, from hip-hoper Buck 65 spinning up-and-comers every afternoon on The Drive to internationally-known Canadian musicians walking us through their influences on This Is My

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