Mark McKay

Breakfast with Amber Mac and Mathew Ingram (CNW)

If you live in Toronto and are in the communications game, chances are you might have heard about the breakfast event that CNW put on this morning. If you were there, thanks for coming out and making the event a success - I think there were almost 300 guests. If you missed it, you can still listen to an archived version of it here. Jay Goldman did a pretty good job of live blogging the event, and you can read his post here.

If you want to get a better idea of what you missed, check out the video below that Mark McKay made:

-Parker Mason

(Disclosure: As usual, this blog reflects my own thoughts and opinions and not necessarily those of my employer, CNW Group)

5 Gems from BlogCampaigning

Well, I've been tagged by Sharon in a great little meme first thrown out there by Collin Douma. The game is two come up with 5 great examples of social media use that our peers might not have noticed.

The rules are something like this:

  1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
  2. List five Social Media projects that deserve better exposure.
  3. Tag EIGHT {as many as you’d like} “Social Media / Digital Experts” at the end of your post and list their names.
  4. Let them know they’ve been tagged.
  5. Tag your post “Five Gems” so we can search for all of these great examples.

I'm also going to go ahead an tack on what I think should be a 6th, rule, and that is that we should all tag our posts (and examples) as 5gems on Delicious so that they are easy to find later.

1. The CNW Group Social Media release announcing the CNW Group Social Media Release - Although a bit self-referrential, I think that this is an excellent case study in how a Social Media Release can be effectively used. People left comments, bloggers embedded the video on their site (due to it being educational, rather than advertorial in nature) and one site even used the CNW logo provided with the release. (disclosure: I work for CNW, and worked directly on this).

2. Journalist Source -While they aren't using social media directly besides having their homepage built on Wordpress and using a Twitter account, they are providing a great service to writers (I'm thinking bloggers here) that might not necessairly have the kind of resources needed to research a story on their own and source experts.

3. MySpace - Look, I know that a lot of people don't care about MySpace anymore because it is just full of retina-burning designs and emo kids. But ever since I started a music blog a few months ago, I've been all over MySpace. It's where the cool stuff happens: the creative kids are on MySpace, designinging their own pages, seeing what they can do within the constraints of the site and promoting themselves. The boring kids are on Facebook, installing applications and de-tagging drunken photos of themselves.

4. I Like Totally Love It -My Blogcampaigning co-author Jens told me about this site a little while ago, and it is definitely worth checking out. I don't really know how to describe it, but they are kind of a social-voting site for products and things that you want, or I guess, things that you, like, totally love.

5. Movember - Growing moustaches for charity...what a great idea, and they've really used the online space to build traction for this. I participated last year, but I can already tell that it has grown alot since then. (if anyone is doing it this year, let me know and I'll sponsor you!).

I'm tagging Chris Clarke, Martin Waxman, Jessica Ayers, Michael Allison and Alecia O'Brien.


On Working With Mark McKay

There are a lot of creative people in this world, and there are a lot of reliable people in the world. There are far fewer people who are both creative AND reliable.

Mark Mckay is one of those people, and I recently had the good fortune of working with him on the video that accompanied CNW Group's announcement about the launch of the CNW Social Media Release (if you haven't seen the video, check it out now on the release here).

For those of you that don't know him, Mark McKay was the fellow that did the video for the 2nd mesh conference ("The Wacky World of Web 2.0"), and he also hosts his own online-TV show called "Happy Hour with Mark McKay. If you watch MTV Canada, you'll know that Mark has parlayed his online success into a regular gig television gig.

I've always thought he was entertaining, and knew that he was skilled at creating video content for the online space.

After working with him on this recent video project for CNW Group, I can also say that he is also incredibly reliable. When we first met to start the project, he gave me a time line of when he would have certain elements of the video ready, from a draft script to a rough version right through to the finished copy. We agreed on the timeline, and he kept right to it, delivering the final version when he said he would.

The only thing stopping me from recommending his services to other people is that I'm worried he'll get too busy, and that I won't get a chance to work with him again.

You can get in touch with him via Twitter, his website or his YouTube channel.

I've posted one of my favourite Mark McKay clips below.


The CNW Social Media Release!

Yeah, after a few months of wicked hard work from a whole bunch of different people, the CNW Group Social Media Release has arrived! If you're not sure what a Social Media Release is, check out this video that CNW commissioned the amazing Mark McKay to do: If you didn't get it from the video, one of the solid points about the CNW SMR is that everything is embeddable. That's how I got the above video into this blog post.

But what's up with the little round face?

He is CNW SMR - the lines coming out of his mouth represent a message, while the ear represents the comments. Essentially, he's a conversationalist, just like the CNW SMR.

It is also one of the first SMRs to truly offer comments on the body of the release. I'm not sure that everyone will go for this sort of thing, but I think that it is a fantastic idea. If one person has a comment (negative or positive) about your organizations announcement, chances are others will as well. With comments, that one person (or more than one person) can voice their opinion directly on the release, and you as a PR pro can also respond directly on the release. The advantage of being able to have an official reply in an offical place is obvious. (Oh yeah, these comments are RSS enabled as well, meaning that if you want to keep up to the conversation via RSS, you can)

In order to give you social media enthusiasts a better idea of how sweet the CNW SMR is, Todd Defren graciously allowed me to adapt a chart he created a few months ago that aimed to "untangle the various SMR offerings" from major wire services.

What else is cool about the CNW SMR? Well, you should check it out here and see for yourself (or check here for more CNW SMRs). You can also follow @CNWGroupSMR on Twitter to be updated when we issue new Social Media Releases on behalf of our clients.

The whole CNW team was awesome to work with on this project. Product Manger Duane Bayley has done a fantastic job (and if you have any questions, hit him up on Twitter) of working with the design team on getting all the elements right. CNW's in-house graphic designer Kelly also did an amazing job of creating all those little face icons that you see on the release (I've also got a lot of respect for Kelly for being so patient with me and all my last minute suggestions).

I'd also like to give props to Mark McKay for making the kick-ass video above - he was truly a pleasure to work with. And thanks again to Todd Defren (and the SHIFT Communications crew) for letting us adapt their chart and Brian Solis for being a decent enough guy to provide us with both a quote and a photo for our SMR.

So what do you think? Is the CNW SMR the kind of thing you think you would use? Why or why not? Any thoughts on the topic that you can muster up would be greatly appreciated!

Feel free to comment on the release, email me directly (parker dot mason at newswire dot ca) or find me on Twitter.


Disclosure: if it wasn't already obvious, I work for CNW Group. However, this is a personal blog and the views expressed on it may not reflect those of CNW Group. Basically, I'm going to say what I want here, event if what I want to say has a lot to do with my work. Hey, it is my life and my blog. And Jens' blog. And to a lesser extent these days, Espen's blog. But you get the idea. Does anyone even read disclosure statements these days?