Month: July 2014

Join us for a #soCapOtt Twwetup on Friday, July 25th!

As you may know, the Social Capital Conference is the conference to learn, share insights and become inspired by a community of social media practitioners passionate about community-building in a digital age.

It’s also a great way to meet new people and put a real-life face to the names of the people you’ve been connecting with online pre-conference.

For these reasons we’re organizing a pre-conference #SoCapOtt TweetUp on the eve of the conference on Friday, July 25th!

When: Friday, July 25th  from 6:30 – 9:30 pm

Where: “spin” Kitchen and Bar at the Ottawa Marriott Hotel, 100 Kent Street, Ottawa

Registervia Eventbrite

We hope to see you there!

Registered for SoCapOtt? And don’t forget, there’s still time to purchase your ticket for the conference itself. We have a fabulous lineup of speakers this year. Don’t miss out! 

How Selfish is Your Communication?

Our speakers are sharing great content with us leading up to the conference. Today’s post is from Chris Gostling who will be presenting a session called How Selfish is your Communication? SoCap is coming up fast – get your tickets soon!

Chris Gostling is an award winning Creative Director & CEO of Momentum Visual Inc., a Toronto based strategic marketing firm focused on helping brands express themselves. Chris has developed a straight-forward approach to qualifying the language and communication practices we use to avoid these selfish pitfalls, better understand our audiences, and ultimately get what we need to say, said. Following his Social Capital Conference session, attendees will be able to qualify any audience for their communication needs, craft their messaging in a relevant way for this audience, and build confidence in their ability to present an idea to anyone. 

Why you should buy your tickets to Social Capital ASAP!

Last Thursday afternoon, we announced that Friday July 11 would be a one-day early bird encore sale of tickets. Unfortunately, something very unexpected came up and the ticket sale didn’t happen as planned. But, at 12:00pm Monday,  July 14 until Wednesday, July 16 at 12:00pm, we’re going to make the early bird price available for 48 hours!

That means you get $70 off the price of a full conference pass if you buy in those two days. This is the last chance you’ll have to get such a great price for your ticket to Social Capital!

The Social Capital Conference is the brain-child of Lara Wellman, but I’ve been involved from the minute she asked me if I would help three and a half years ago. The two of us (along with many others who have helped over the years) have put a great deal of work into this conference and it has truly been a labour of love. We believed that Ottawa needed a social media conference. We believed that we had more than enough expertise in the Ottawa area (and Toronto and Montreal) to create a truly great learning experience for attendees. We believed that the Ottawa community would band together and support such an undertaking.

In every way, these beliefs have been proven true over and over. As we prepare for our fourth conference, Lara and I have reached the very difficult decision to make this our final year running the conference. We don’t know if the conference will live on with new owners/organizers yet, but we know that the time is right for us to move on.

We want to thank each and every one of you who have been involved in organizing, volunteering, or who have attended since 2011. Your support and encouragement and fandom have meant so much to us. It’s a bittersweet decision because we love #SoCapOtt so much. However, we’re really looking forward to what will come next for Wellman Wilson Consulting as we transition away from running the conference.

If you want to join us for this final year of the conference, make sure you buy your ticket now!

We hope we see you there!

~Karen (& Lara) 

Ottawa Marriott Hotel – SoCap Hospitality in Downtown Ottawa

If you are travelling to the Social Capital Conference from out of town, the Ottawa Marriott Hotel is pleased to offer conference attendees a special group rate of $109 CAD per night! This rate is good for Friday night, Saturday night or for both nights.

Why choose the Ottawa Marriott Hotel?

Other than the fantastic rate the hotel is offering attendees, the Ottawa Marriott Hotel is located in the best possible location – in downtown Ottawa, near Parliament Hill and the Supreme Court of Canada and within walking distance of the National Gallery of Canada, the Byward Market and the Rideau Centre, so you can just leave your car parked in the hotel’s convenient underground parking and tour downtown Ottawa on foot.

The Ottawa Marriott Hotel is a leading choice for travellers to the Ottawa area because of the location and because of its amenities – including an indoor pool. A quick online search of reviews of the hotel will tell you that the rooms are spotless and that the staff is always friendly and attentive. All rooms come with complimentary in-room Wi-Fi and many of the rooms are renovated and some of them even offer a picturesque view of the city!

The hotel also has a full service restaurant as well as a Starbucks on-site (so you can stay in your pajamas to grab that early morning latte); and there are plenty of other restaurants and coffee shops within a short walking distance.

The Ottawa Marriott really is the perfect spot to stay while in town, not just because it is a simple cab ride to Social Capital, but because afterward you will be able to tour downtown Ottawa and see all that this great city has to offer – from the Changing of the Guard to the picturesque beauty of the Rideau Canal.

For more information on the Ottawa Marriott Hotel, visit their website and be sure to take advantage of the special Social Capital rate while you can: 

There is no Muse

Our speakers are sharing great content with us leading up to the conference. Today’s post is from Karen Green who will be presenting a session called Beyond the Blog: Tips for Transitioning to Professional Writing Online. SoCap is coming up fast – get your tickets soon!

You know what they call a freelance writer who waits for inspiration to hit before they put words down on paper?


The truth about writing for a living is that, in order to make a living, you actually have to write: on demand, on a schedule, whether you feel like it or not. Being a freelance writer is not a romantic, or noble, or often, even a creative profession. But it is a job, and like most other jobs, you gain success when you can handle its demands with professional acumen regardless of any outside influences, including the desire – or lack thereof – to do the job in the first place.

Inspiration is great when it arrives ahead of a fast-approaching deadline, but writing for a living is often like creating a cauldron full of stone soup – sometimes you start out with nothing, but if you do your job right, you could end up with something substantial.

I spent a year as an op-ed columnist for, and in that time, learned the true art of stone-soup writing. Tasked often with writing about subject matter I had just been introduced to yet had to spin into something worthy of a reader’s attention on a very short timeline, the only muse I could possibly rely on was a strong cup of coffee and the hope that runny noses had cleared in time to send both of my kids to school for the day. Sure, I had practiced this kind of writing during my previous decade as a creative copywriter at a record company, but the pressure to write compelling, shareable and SEO-attuned pieces is huge these days. Not only did I have to write engaging and intelligent articles – on demand, about new and sometimes odd subjects – but I had to ensure that each piece met the performance expectations of my editor as well. In my previous life, I may have been required to write great liner notes, but I wasn’t responsible for guaranteeing their consumption. Writing professionally online comes with layers of expectations, and you really can’t blame a muse for not wanting the gig.

So you’re on your own.

In the end, the only way to write is to get to it – hands on keyboard, seat in chair. And the thing to remember is, hey, you’re good at this, right? It’s your job, yes, but it’s also your gift. As a professional writer, you can turn words into ideas, ideas into compelling, totally shareable and CEO-compliant articles, even when you don’t feel like it. The other thing to remember is that, like the cauldron of soup that began with one measly stone, words beget words, ideas beget ideas, until the page is full and the deadline is met.

And hey, that stone soup can often turn out to be pretty darn tasty.

Karen Green is a writer and an award-winning blogger. Karen was able to leverage the momentum of her social media presence to transition out of the corporate world and into a successful freelance career. In her Social Capital Conference session attendees will gain a better understanding of themselves as writers, and have a better understanding of what it takes to become a professional writer in today’s landscape, and whether or not that is an avenue they truly want to peruse. 

#SoCapOtt Twitter Chat Thursday, July 10th

The Social Capital Conference is quickly approaching and we’re anxious to get the conversation started ahead of time! Join us this Thursday, July 10th at 1:30 p.m. for our next #Socapott Twitter chat! We’re going to be talking about a variety of social media topics based on this year’s sessions. You won’t want to miss out on this informative chat!

What: Social Capital Conference Twitter Chat

When: Thursday, July 10th from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Where: On Twitter of course!

Who: You (please join us!) and your hosts @LSSocialEngage and @TracyRedefined

Why: To bring together some of the industry’s most engaging adventurers for an hour of discussion on social media.

How: Follow your hosts @LSSocialEngage and @TracyRedefined. Use the hashtag #socapott to contribute to the discussion.Use the hashtag #socapott to contribute to the discussion. You can also use a Twitter client like Tweetchat, Tweetdeck, HootSuite, TweetGrid, Nurph, etc., to make following the chat stream easier.

If you’ve never participated in a Twitter chat before, here are some great tips on why you should.

Twitter Chats for Beginners, Brands and Businesses

Our speakers are sharing great content with us leading up to the conference. Today’s post is from Vanessa Chiasson who will be presenting a session called Twitter Chats for Beginners, Brands and Businesses. Socap is coming up fast – get your tickets soon!

Does participating in a Twitter chat make you feel, well, like a bit of a twit? You’re not alone! It can be intimidating to jump into a new community and it’s easy to feel like you’re in over your head. But Twitter chats are tremendously valuable to businesses and brands. Done well, Twitter chats help your brand stand out as a relevant, modern, witty, and personable force to be reckoned with. You can make new networking contacts, enhance your reputation, and even attract new potential customers. If you’re wondering where to start, here are some suggestions to help point you in the right direction.

Pick a fun topic

Who doesn’t love toasted baguette and melted Brie? Or have an opinion about Montreal versus New York bagels – let alone New York versus Chicago pizza? #Foodiechats (don’t forget the “s”) happens every Monday night at 8pm EST and is the most delicious chat around. The participants are welcoming, the pace isn’t too fast, and the subject matter will have you reaching for your apron and whisk. No matter what your business or brand, you’ll feel right at home in #Foodiechats.

Learn a lot

Got that coffee ready? Then dive into #blogchat – one of the oldest and biggest of all Twitter chats. Alternating between personal and business blogging topics, this weekly chat (Sunday, 9pm EST) moves fast but it’s totally okay for newbies to throw out questions. The last chat of the month is “Open Mic” and all questions and topics are welcomed to be discussed.

Show off your personality

Who says being a little bit kooky isn’t good for business? People love connecting with vibrant personalities on Twitter and #NUTS is a great way to do that. Every Tuesday at 3:30pm EST, the “Not-so-Usual-Therapy-Session” examines the world of food, travel, and adventure with a decidedly humorous bent. As an added benefit for new participants, you can preview the questions in advance at

Be an industry leader

Believe it or not, there are Twitter chats for just about every industry. Participate in yours consistently and before long you’ll be the person everyone turns to for answers. Here are just three examples:

If you’re in health care, try #hcsm: the healthcare communication community chats about communication and marketing practices by healthcare organizations (Sunday 10:00pmEST).

#SportsPRChat: brings together sports, public relations and media professionals, professors and students, Tuesdays at 9pmEST.

#solosmalllaw: a chat for solo and small firm attorneies to network and learn about legal marketing, legal practice and technology. Thursdays at 9pmEST

Bonus Tips!

Introduce yourself – telling people where you are tweeting from and what you do for a living will help you make instant connections within the chat.

Don’t be shy – retweet interesting comments, offer up your own opinions, and tell people why you like (or don’t!) their chat answers.

Keep tweets short and sweet – you want to allow room for others to comment on what you say.

Don’t take yourself too seriously – be polite and professional, of course, but also relaxed and casual. There’s nothing wrong with two lawyers or accountants firming up a new relationship by waxing on about the wonders of taco food trucks.

Ease up on the self-promotion – unless your recent blog post is extremely relevant to the question being asked, hold off on sharing it. And forget about selling anything under any circumstances – this is neither the time nor the place.

Have you made a particularly strong connection with some participants? Do more than follow them – make a note of their names and give them a shoutout on Friday Follow (#FF).

You don’t need a ton of followers or much social media experience to excel in Twitter chats. With a bit of practice and patience, you’ll be a Twitter chat pro in no time!

Vanessa Chiasson has been hosting Twitter chats for 2 years, including the hugely popular #girlstravel, which attracts a loyal community of participants from around the world and regularly achieves several million timeline impressions. In her Social Capital Conference session, Vanessa will walk beginners through the basics of participating in a Twitter chat and explain how it can help enhance a personal or business brand. And for those looking to expand their social media presence, Vanessa will explain all the logistics behind setting up your own successful Twitter chat – from drafting questions, choosing an ideal topic and time, connecting with your audience, attracting sponsors, monitoring hashtag use, and more. 

#SoCapOtt – A Haiku

Our speakers are sharing great content with us leading up to the conference. Today’s post is from Joe Boughner who will be presenting a session called Delivering Delight on Both Sides of the Screen: A new approach to audience engagement through social media. SoCap is coming up fast – get your tickets soon!

#SoCapOtt – A Haiku

Engagement, delight
What can it all even mean?
Let’s define, shall we?

Joe Boughner is a seasoned communications executive with almost 15 years of experience in the industry. Drawing on experiences working with major Canadian brands, Joe’s session will present a framework for defining audience personas and mapping their interactions with your organizations with a particular focus on needs, wants and opportunities to deliver, complete with a measurement framework for defining success. 

A Capital Opportunity – Legal Change and Business Culture

Our speakers are sharing great content with us leading up to the conference. Today’s post is from Ariadni Athanassiadis who will be presenting a session called Capital Changes: Shifting the Legal Landscape in e-Marketing, Privacy & Intellectual Property. SoCap is coming up fast – get your tickets soon!

I read recently a short article in Forbes contributed by Victor Hwang entitled “Your Secret Weapon in Business: Culture”. This article includes a brief interview with Bill Tobin, a consultant in organizational development who explains that:

[C]ulture encompasses a people’s whole way of life. It includes our learned ways and habituated patterns.  It starts with our beliefs, which then influence how we think and act. Culture incorporates a common “language” to communicate those beliefs and thinking.

One of the interesting and inescapable aspects of culture is that when you strip it back to its essence, it is about how we engage in our relationships, whether they are of the moment, for a time, or lifelong. The way we communicate keeps changing, but fundamentally we care about the quality of our communication with each other.

The recent legal developments that I will be speaking about at Social Capital 2014 are directed to facilitating and guiding behaviors in our economic relationships with one another. The new regime for addressing spam, misleading advertizing and invasions of privacy under CASL is a response to e-communication behaviors that have been impacting our ability to choose who we engage with, and what we direct our energies to.

Trademarks and copyrights, on the other hand, are tools used globally for communicating ideas, who we are and what we have to offer. While the changes to the legal frameworks for using these tools are responsive to digital and international commercial realities, it is unclear what influence they will have on the economic behaviors that impact the lives of individuals and communities.

At a high level, talking about these legal changes presents not only an opportunity to adapt your e-marketing practices, but more to the point, an opportunity to get back to relationship basics in an evolving business culture. I invite you to come out to Social Capital 2014, learn about the new legal language you have to work with and then continue to make your contribution to that culture.

Ariadni Athanassiadis is an attorney advising entrepreneurs and professionals about their opportunities to make their expertise, innovations and creativity work for their enterprises and the communities they serve. Her Social Capital Conference session will focus on understanding the basic requirements of the new Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation; understanding the growing range of branding elements that may be protected as trademarks under anticipated legislative changes; and conducting an initial audit of e-marketing practices to take the new legislative changes into account.