New Features For LinkedIn Company Pages [September 2020]

In an effort to respond to the massive changes brought about by COVID-19 to our work life, such as an increase in working from home and an increase in virtual events, LinkedIn has rolled out a couple of new features for administrators of Company Pages. Let’s go over them today.

Create Events

Company page admins now have the ability to create events. If you’ve ever created an event on Facebook the interface in the photo above will look pretty familiar. I think this is a great addition by LinkedIn. It will be very useful for the promotion of corporate events, launch events, online conferences and webinars.

New Detailed Follower Insights

With this new feature, you can now see, profile by profile, who’s following your company page. Before this update, you could only see a total number of followers and demographic breakdowns. On the topic of LinkedIn demographics, it’s worth pointing out that they offer a lot of useful insights and data. You can see where most of your followers are located, for example.

This is useful if you have to concern yourself with an audience that’s based in multiple time zones. You can schedule posts to be posted at optimal times in your most populated time zones. In addition to location, you can also sort demographics by job function, seniority and company.


Connect with me on LinkedIn! I post regular video updates, where I share marketing tips and insights and more.

Professional Development During a Pandemic

It’s become clear that for the next little while, networking events and conferences featuring live speakers which you can see standing in front of you, are not going to be returning anytime soon.

So what can you do to continue with professional development during this time?

Here is what I’ve been doing.

  1.  I’ve been listening to a lot more podcasts. Over the past few months, I’ve subscribed to all kinds of marketing, business, travel, and design podcasts. I then download them to my phone, making them available offline and I head to the park with my portable Bluetooth speaker and binge on two or three podcast episodes, taking notes and moving forward with that new information.
  2. I’ve added business and marketing videos to my YouTube subscriptions. With YouTube, you have to be careful because it can be a bit of a distraction especially with those recommended videos. You intend to watch the video about marketing your business and suddenly you’re watching a video that is completely unrelated. However, I have been pretty disciplined with my viewing habits and have been able to work in some more marketing-focused videos into my scheduled watch time.
  3. I’ve started posting multiple videos to my LinkedIn profile. The videos cover mostly marketing and business topics. This has helped me dust off my video production skills while also allowing me to become more comfortable speaking on camera, which is a skill that is becoming more and more important in our new virtual world. Connect with me on LinkedIn if you want to be alerted the next time I publish a video.

What are you doing to develop yourself as a professional during this pandemic?

Six Tips For Working From Home

My last traditional office job ended in the summer of 2013. Since then, I’ve been working from home. Here are the things I’ve learned that keep me productive.

Absorb Natural Light: Position your desk or work station by a window, the bigger the better. Avoid basements or poorly lit rooms. Being able to look out a window and see daylight will help boost your energy levels. This is especially important during the winter months.

Avoid Clutter: Keep your desk clear. Get rid of extra papers, files, knick-knacks and other distractions. Stick to the bare essentials: Laptop, Mouse, Notebook, Speaker, coffee or glass of water. Nothing more. A clear desk = a clear mind.

Set A Routine: Try to get some repetition going in your days. If you have tasks that are required on a daily basis, consider pencilling those in as your morning work to-dos. Even if they are quick, easy to complete tasks, getting through them to start your day helps you to build momentum for the rest of the day’s duties while giving you a sense of accomplishment for promptly getting these daily tasks out of the way.

Break Up Your Day With Exercise: If you have a bit of flexibility and don’t need do be on call at your desk for the full 9 to 5, consider a midday workout. Often times, I like to do some work in the morning, pause for lunch and then head to the gym for a workout in the early afternoon. I then get back to work afterwards.

Change Your Location When Necessary: There are some days where your energy and concentration levels aren’t where they need to be. These are the days where it’s good to leave your home. The change of environment helps boost productivity, as you are heading out with a “I’m going to work” mindset. If you are lucky enough to have a back yard or a large balcony, that can sometimes be enough of a change in environment to get you back on track. I most often elect to visit a coffee shop or a library. There are some terrific libraries around the world that offer wonderful amenities for the remote worker.

Embrace Flexibility: If you are lucky enough to have some flexibility in your schedule, try working at unorthodox hours. I have found some of my most productive work is completed in the evening hours between 6-10PM. I’ve been able to salvage many days were I felt sluggish during the traditional working hours, only to then catch a rush of productivity in the evening.

These six tips have helped me stay productive and disciplined, wherever my home has happened to be. Hopefully this list can be of use to you.

Quick Design Tip: Create Better Presentations by Using Canva and Unsplash

This article was first published on my LinkedIn profile. 

Improve the quality of your PowerPoint presentations by using Canva templates and enhancing them with images from Unsplash.com.

Canva’s Presentations library offers many free templates that you can use to build your presentation. They’re great to use because they combine good design with vibrant images.

Finding good images that relate to your presentation can sometimes be a challenge. A lot of stock photography is pretty bland.

That’s where Unsplash comes in.

Unsplash provides free, high-resolution images that you can use for whatever you like.

The website is searchable and categorizes images into different collections. This allows you to track down images related to the theme of your presentation.

Download your favourite images from Unsplash and then upload them into your Canva workspace. The drag and drop nature of Canva makes it easy to insert your images.

This method is faster and easier to use than traditional PowerPoint software. The finished product is also much more pleasing to the eye.

Make your next business presentation stand out by combining these two resources.

My Latest Video for Today’s Renovators

This is the latest video I’ve put together for the Ottawa based Today’s Renovators.

In a recent post, I showcased the first Today’s Renovator’s video I produced and talked about the do-it-yourself approach I take when making these simple kind of videos. ‚ The same process was used in this video, as well as a few of the same shots.‚ This latest video also includes footage from sites across the city‚ as well as a quick look at the Today’s Renovators‚ showroom‚ on Bank street.

Check Out My Latest Video – Home Renovation by Today’s Renovators


This past week, I was able to complete a video project I had been working on throughout November. You can see view it at the top of this page.

Working with Today’s Renovators, an Ottawa-based company, I shot and produced a video that showcased a home they’ve just renovated and are planning to flip.

You can read more about Today’s Renovators and the work they did on this 1950s home by clicking here.

From a video production perspective, this was my first time shooting a home renovation project. I used a lot of pans and tilts and made sure to keep the pace of the video elevated, with a new shot every few seconds. I also made use of the Ken Burns effect where video shots hadn’t turned out as well as I would have liked.

Lighting, as always, is very important in video. I made sure to bring a lighting kit with me to help the home look its best on camera. I feel it really payed off on the shots of the renovated hardwood floor.

After visiting the site and getting all my shots, I interviewed the co-owner of Today’s Renovators, audio only, and had him take me through all the work they did at the home. I parsed the 12 minute interview down to a quick and crisp two minutes and matched the audio up with the corresponding video shots, room by room.

I then visited freemusicarchive.org and found an appropriate piece of background music, added some simple graphics that featured the company logo and the video was complete.

With basic gear and a DIY attitude, I was able to put together a video that the client was more than satisfied with. Here’s a list of everything I used:

  • DSLR camera (any camera that shoots HD video would work these days)
  • $40 tripod (From Amazon)
  • Four construction lights from Home Depot ($15 each)
  • A shotgun microphone ($40 from China on Amazon)
  • A sound recorder ($90)

Overall, a fun project, with positive feedback early on. Looking forward to doing more of this kind of stuff.


If you or your organization have questions about DIY video, don’t hesitate to contact me.

At the Ottawa International Animation Festival

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Every September, for five days, Ottawa becomes the centre of the animation universe as the Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) takes over downtown.

Aside from mainstream stuff, like The Simpsons and Family Guy, I don’t really consider myself very knowledgeable when it comes to animation. I discovered this festival, because I worked here, in the run up to and during the 2012 edition of the festival, as the festival’s media relations coordinator.

This year, I’m contributing in a reduced role, as the public address announcer for the competition screenings.

The OIAF is a special festival. It brings together a fascinating and friendly group of people from all around the world who are exceptionally creative and love to have fun. The majority of the films screened here are a labour of love for the animators. They don’t do it for the money or to become famous, they do it because it’s what they love.

Having worked for this festival in 2012, I can tell you that it’s a massive undertaking for the organizers. The event lasts five days, but takes a full year’s worth of preparation. A lot of people put in a lot of hard work and long hours to make this event a success. Their hard work makes this special event come to reality.

The short competitions are the festival’s signature event and offer some mind-blowing stuff. The animation on display is, funny, perverse, depressing and mind-bending all at once. The animation community features a diverse group of characters, creating bold films that go far beyond what we see in The Simpsons, Family Guy and the like.

Here’s a few videos that I liked to give you a taste of what this festival offers up.

I am alone and my head is on fire
David OReilly
This short film was made on an ipad app, McLaren’s Workshop App


Grand Central Diary
By London Squared Productions

Ketsujiru Juke [NSFW]
By Sawako Kabuki


I’m no film critic, so I won’t write any reviews. If you’re a film buff or‚ into reviews and film discussion, check out my buddy’s blog, The Cinemablographer, an Ottawa movie head who reviews just about everything.

 

The Ottawa International Animation Festival runs from September 18th to the 22nd. Visit animationfestival.ca for details and schedules.

Canada Council for the Arts’ New Website

Council_screengrabSince late March, I’ve been working with The Canada Council for the Arts web team, as we prepared to launch a new website. My small‚ contribution to this giant project has been some graphic design work and the editing of artist images to ensure that they display properly on our responsive site.

On June 4th, the new website went live, you can take a look by clicking here.

I don’t have any formal training in graphic design (my background is more in PR/Comms/Media Relations), so the last two months have served as a Photoshop bootcamp for me. I had previously taught myself enough about Photoshop, Illustrator and the like to be somewhat competent with the programs, but these last two months have really helped me become much more comfortable with the software. I can now work through tasks pretty quickly.

It’s definitely a skill set that will serve me going forward. The ability to come up with some respectable designs can really help enhance a social media or publicity campaign.

There are graphics and icons which I created throughout the new site. Here’s a few:

Inter-Arts-ColourBlocks-v2 Corporate-Scorecard-icon-2

Final-Reports-Arrow-Block-3

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall, the feedback we’ve received on Twitter has been pretty positive.

 

 

To find out more about the website redesign, check out this blog entry on the Canada Council Blog, which explains how we got to this fresh new look.

Work Stuff: Ottawa’s Latin American Film Festival is Almost Here

This week at work, the majority of my efforts went towards preparing for the press conference for the Latin American Film Festival. Held at the Embassy of Cuba, the event was a success, as we garnered media coverage from multiple Ottawa media outlets.

Here’s the press release I drafted up, some photos of the event and some of the coverage we got in the local media.

CFI Launches 17th annual Festival of Latin American Cinema

OTTAWA (March 15, 2013)‚ €œ The Canadian Film Institute (CFI) is proud to present the 17th annual‚ Latin American Film Festival, running on select dates from‚ March 21st to April 7th. The 2013 edition of the Festival features 16 films from 15 Latin American nations. All films are Ottawa premieres and all are presented in their original language with English subtitles.

Award-winning films being screened for the first time in Ottawa include:‚ O Palhaƒ§o‚ (The Clown), a comedy-drama starring and directed by Selton Mello, which was Brazil’s entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar at this year’s Academy Awards,‚ Infancia Clandestina‚ (Clandestine Childhood), an Argentinian film set in that country’s troubled 1970s, and 7 Cajas (7 Boxes), a Paraguayan movie which has been screened at festivals around the world including the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

“The 17th edition of our Latin American Film Festival is one of the strongest ever, says CFI Executive Director‚ Tom McSorley, who founded the Festival in 1997. “It features several multiple award-winners, and has a range and diversity of tones €œ comedy, satire, drama, tragedy‚  €œ‚  that makes a festival experience so rich and unique. We are also thrilled to have two filmmakers attending the Festival to present their work:‚ Andrea Martinez Crowther, from Mexico, and Julio‚ Ponce Palmieri, from Guatemala.

Each screening will take place at the Auditorium at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa. Tickets are $12 for the general public and $8 for CFI members, seniors, and students. CFI members are also eligible to purchase Five-Film Passports for $35. All tickets can be purchased on-site each night of the Festival starting on March 21st, including advance tickets for all films. Visit‚ www.cfi-icf.ca‚ for complete listings.

For 17 years, the CFI has brought the Latin American Film Festival to Ottawa as part of its dedication to filmmakers worldwide, giving Canadian audiences ongoing opportunities to celebrate the art of film. The Latin American Film Festival is presented in collaboration with the‚ Group of Latin American Ambassadors‚ in Ottawa (GRULA).

The Canadian Film Institute (CFI) was incorporated in 1935 as a federally-chartered, non- governmental, non-profit cultural organization. It is the oldest film institution in Canada and the second oldest film institute in the world. More information can be found online at‚ www.cfi-icf.ca.

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