Attending Social Media Week was a great experience. I got to hear people like Kirstine Stewart and Claudia Oshry AKA @girlwithnojob on Instagram. The session with Michael Landsberg stood out the most, as it made me think about not just social media, but what it means to be an influencer today. When I say influencer in this context, I mean it in the sense of being a powerful public figure that connects well with fans on a personal level. In today’s culture where everyone’s busy, 1:1 relationships with people you admire and respect can be rare, so that’s what I’d like to explore.
In 2009, Michael Landsberg interviewed an athlete named Stéphane Richerand and convinced him to acknowledge his experience with depression on-air. Once they both publicly confirmed they were dealing with mental health issues, emails started pouring into Michael’s inbox. People started confiding in Michael via email because they connected with him in the interview.
After hearing the mental health advocate speak at Western, I was keen to see Margaret Trudeau again at Indigo. Every seat was taken on the first floor at Indigo Manulife and even though she came to promote a self-help book for women, there were quite a few men present.
In her first bestselling book, Changing My Mind, she documented her bouts of depression, but showed no signs of unhappiness last night. Margaret was very giddy on stage, smiling as she spoke about every subject.
Let’s talk about one of the most underrated wardrobe staples: socks. Whether you choose to wear motorcycle boots or suede oxfords this fall, I recommend adding some kick-ass socks underneath!
For colourful options, look no further than Cole + Parker’s collection. Inspired by TOMS shoes, Cole + Parker’s co-founders designed a “One to Many” business model. 20% of sock sales are loaned to entrepreneurs through Kiva, a non-profit micro-financing organization.
The way I see it, Cole + Parker socks let you protect your pedicure while supporting a good cause. The socks are also a great stocking stuffer for anyone who loves to roll up their cuffs and express their vibrant personality.
Plus, it’s scientifically proven that dressing warmly and putting on socks at night can help you fall asleep. According to Men’s Health, “having cold feet…upsets the natural release of melatonin, a hormone related to a proper sleep-wake cycle.”
Cole + Parker’s clever style names target Gen Y and their team sent me the perfect pair for a digital marketer: hashtag socks! The brand’s official hashtag is #sockgame, as seen on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, where they often post photos of business casual attire. Talk about a relaxed work environment…
The company’s biggest recent news is that Holt Renfrew is selling their socks now! Alternatively, you can find Cole + Parker at Tom’s Place in Toronto or browse their online store.
When Margaret Trudeau visited Western today, she was introduced through a video narrated by George Stroumboulopoulos, an equally well-liked Canadian cultural icon. Margaret, a mental health advocate, was invited to Western for the Faculty of Health Sciences’ Distinguished Lecture series to talk about her experiences with bipolar disorder, which she discusses in her book Changing My Mind (2010).
Margaret began by saying that she acted like a “drama queen” as a child, who was “quick to cry, quick to laugh.” She first experienced minor bouts of depression when she moved out of her parents’ home during university, noting that she missed the balance once she began living on her own in a basement apartment.
Albeit briefly, Margaret mentioned that the pressure of being a public figure didn’t help her feel better because as the Prime Minister’s wife, she was always expected to be graceful and look good. “There’s nothing more humiliating than being locked up in a psych ward, especially when people who don’t even know you look up to you,” she said. Her position as Canada’s First Lady also contributed to her mood swings, as sometimes her social calendar was filled with fancy events, whereas other times she felt more isolated in Ottawa.
Noticed a lot of blue and white lately? It’s probably because The Hospital for Sick Children’s SickKids Foundation launched their ‘Doing the Happy’ campaign – a great way to jumpstart the joyful season that is summer.
The excitement surrounding the campaign validates Globe writer Simon Houpt’s observations about what made the KONY 2012 video go viral. “Everyone loves kids,” he wrote.
Influencer engagement has been all the rage for a few years now, but tapping recognizable Canadian media personalities provides a nationalistic undertone, which helps enlist support. Though I couldn’t help but notice a slant toward featuring broadcast journalists from Bell Media, it was refreshing to see actors such as Ashley Leggat, whom I hadn’t seen since Toronto’s production of Dirty Dancing.
Houpt also urged marketers not to underestimate people’s attention spans. I predict that the campaign’s combination of a fun premise, worthy cause and clean visuals will lead to many more views for their 4+ minute long video.
Doing the Happy isn’t the only neat thing SickKids is doing in the digital space. Cundari recently developed a fantastic iPhone app that engages young patients. Through gamification, the app encourages kids to fill out pain diaries and report which medications are working best.