Vol 1, #34, Nov. 3, 2009
Email Link Print Page
November 3 , 2009


Nokia, Rogers Wireless offer smarter way to text
Random House Canada launches new online initiative
Tweet without feeling like a twit
Examiner.com expanding into Canada
T4G doubles down on strategic interactive marketing
Philanthropy meets mobile technology
Unique online promotional offering in time for the holidays
Feed Blaster brings your ads to millions of screens in minutes
Bus travel made easy online
Amazon.ca launches home and garden store

Nokia, Rogers Wireless offer smarter way to text

Texting-happy Canadians can now rejoice with the arrival of the Nokia Surge, available exclusively at Rogers Wireless.  Nokia’s newest quick messaging phone in Canada allows users to keep in touch and in style whether using instant messaging, text or email, sending multimedia messages, OVI Share, or updating their favourite social media networks.

It is uniquely designed to help set the Surge apart from the crowd.  Its full slide-and-hide QWERTY keyboard makes typing easy and allows for quick messaging on the go.  Users can also access school, work and personal accounts from one device in the palm of their hand. 

In addition to its messaging and email capabilities, the Nokia Surge offers a powerful browsing experience that lets users see their online content just like they do on a PC.  Also, flash support allows users to view most sites in full HTML and video comes to life thanks to the colour display, clear and crisp graphics and auto screen rotation. 

The Nokia Surge has a Symbian S60 FP2 operating system that makes multitasking on its 2.4-inch display easier than ever.  Multi-taskers will love how they can have IM running in the background while composing a message, watching a video or playing music at the same time.

“This phone is ideal for socially-connected consumers who are looking for a great email solution on their mobile device.  The full QWERTY keyboard and 3G provide users with the ease of use and speed they crave,” said Richard White, General Manager, Nokia Canada.  “This is the first quick messaging device of its kind to hit the market – it is aimed at youth and is a great example of how Nokia is able to bring sophisticated mobile features to the masses at affordable price points.” Top of Page

Randon House Canada launches new online initiative

Today from 6 to 7 p.m., Random House of Canada invites avid readers to join a unique interactive live-streamed video event from the comfort of their computers with Lansens, who will read from her book and chat with readers about her recently published book, A wife's Tale, from her computer in California.

"Live online video now offers us powerful, new ways to connect with and engage with book readers," says Lisa Charters, Senior Vice President, Director, Digital Marketing at Random House of Canada. "Up until recently, most live video streaming or webcasting has pretty much been one-way. Our online live video event will be highly interactive with multi-view video streaming that will connect author Lori Lansens in California with readers from across Canada and with participants at a private VIP event in Toronto." Top of Page

Tweet without feeling like a twit

As social media becomes embedded in the online community, professional communicators are adding these new tools to their communication strategies. But understanding how the tools work does not necessarily translate to when they work best in different organizations. Gain insight into web 2.0 language and the opportunities to apply social media effectively in your organization at the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Western Canada Conference taking place in Banff, Alberta this November.

"With social media experts like Steve Crescenzo and Allan Jenkins sharing their insights on social media, delegates have access to high profile, international speakers, while enjoying the cost-savings of attending this informal - and affordable - conference," says Shauna Lowry, ABC*, Chair, IABC Canada Western Region. "This is IABC's only Canadian conference in 2009, and it has a tradition of excellence that is evident again this year."

The IABC Canada Western Region Conference, Ranges to the Ridge: Guiding our audiences through the communications experience, is taking place November 8 - 10, 2009 at the Banff Park Lodge Resort Hotel and Conference Centre in Banff National Park. In addition to sessions on social media, delegates will hear from Maple Leaf Foods following their response to the Listeria outbreak, learn crisis response and recovery challenges using the Hurricane Katrina experience as a model, and discover new ways to communicate effectively to a multi-generational workplace, as well as a number of other featured sessions designed for today's communication challenges.

The conference also features the Silver Leaf Gala, celebrating the 2009 winners of the national IABC Silver Leaf Awards and the two recipients of the prestigious Master Communicator Award - Ivan Muzychka, ABC*, Associate Director (Communications), for Memorial University of Newfoundland and Jennifer Wah, ABC*, Principal Consultant for Forwards Communications Inc., of Vancouver, BC. The IABC Master Communicator designation is the association's highest honour in Canada, recognizing outstanding service and leadership in IABC, and thoughtful leadership in the communications profession. Top of Page

Examiner.com expands into Canada

Experts Across Canada Join Examiner.com Examiner.com, the insider source for everything local, will be expanding to Canada, via the launch of Examiner.com Canada today. Examiner.com Canada will provide localized content - ranging from breaking news to arts & entertainment to sports - to people in Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver. Examiner.com Canada will also offer national content for residents not living in one of its five initial markets.

"Examiner.com Canada will provide Canadians with an unparalleled resource for local information, enabling them to further engage in their communities," said Rick Blair, CEO of Examiner.com. "What's more, Examiner.com Canada will provide a showcase for Canadian writers and experts, allowing them to build their audience and provide valuable insights to Examiner readers across the country."

Examiner.com Canada is actively recruiting Canadians who are passionate about their interests and areas of expertise, expecting to have over 100 active writers and photographers when the expansion launches. Each contributor for Examiner.com is vetted to ensure they are qualified to provide localized content on their chosen topic and are given extensive training - free of charge - from Examiner.com. Writer training covers how to write for the Web, including the use of publishing tools, optimizing content for search engine pick-up and effective attribution among others.

"As an avid follower of Canadian music, from the Barenaked Ladies to the up-and-coming Dinosaur Bones, I appreciate having a forum to share my thoughts, ideas and news on a topic that interests me," said Jason Chu, Canadian Music Examiner. "In just the first two months I have been an Examiner, I have seen my following rise from a dozen or so, to hundreds of readers, demonstrating that many of my fellow Canadians share in my passion."

Examiner.com Canada is the first international foray for Examiner.com, which currently has over 20,000 Examiners writing for more than 160 markets. In 2010, Examiner.com will be launching in the United Kingdom and other countries. Top of Page

T4G doubles down on strategic interactive marketing

T4G Limited, a leading national provider of project-based technology services, is delighted to welcome Andrew Keyes, co-founder of the innovative new media marketing firm Armantus Inc., as its newest Principal Consultant.

Under terms of the deal, Mr. Keyes has agreed to merge Armantus operations and serve existing clients under the T4G banner.

"Andrew has dedicated his career to new media communications and has earned international recognition for innovative online advertising and web site development," said T4G President Geoff Flood. "His skills are a great complement to the services and products we offer, adding even greater value to our clients."

Mr. Keyes began his advertising career more than 20 years ago, and has been working in new media since 1995. He is the co-founder of AIMS, the Association of Internet Marketing and Sales. He has developed and led numerous online initiatives for some of the biggest and best known Canadian institutions, including TD Canada Trust, Sympatico, TELUS and the Government of Ontario.

"I have always believed you don't simply advertise on the Internet - you initiate a dialogue," said Mr. Keyes. "Over the last few months, I have worked with the T4G team on joint projects and this company certainly 'gets it.' When the opportunity arose to join a firm with a much broader service offering, I immediately recognized the potential benefit to Armantus clients in areas such as business intelligence, content service, user experience and much more."

Corporations are increasingly allocating more of their marketing budgets to online initiatives as they realize the media is not only able to deliver strong return on investment, but their target audience is spending more time online. Reaching the online consumer will be a critical part of the marketing mix moving forward, and Mr. Keyes will ensure that T4G clients are well served in this area.

As a Principal Consultant, Mr. Keyes' role is to provide thought leadership and business development in the area of strategic Internet marketing across verticals like retail, financial services, healthcare, tourism & hospitality and telecommunications. Top of Page

Philanthropy meets mobile technology

One of Canada’s leading mobile marketing solutions companies, Zipstripe Corp., today announced its collaboration with Mobile Giving Foundation Canada to launch text message charitable donations in Canada. Zipstripe has been selected as one of the initial application service providers in Canada.

“This Canadian service will allow cell phone users to securely and easily donate within a matter of seconds, making it easier for individuals to contribute to the charity of their choice,” said Andrew D’Amico, Zipstripe Corporation.

Mobile phone users will soon be able to send a text message with a keyword (e.g. AIDS or HEART) enabling them to donate to a particular charity. Users receive a confirmation message almost immediately – asking them to confirm and reply “Yes” – after which the donor receives a second message thanking them for their donation.

A charge reflecting the donation amount is added to the cell phone customer’s monthly bill. The Mobile Giving Foundation then remits the funds to the selected charitable organization shortly thereafter. The advantage of mobile giving is that 100% of the contribution goes to the user’s charity. Currently, charities can choose to receive a $5 or $10 donation from potential donors.

“We believe Zipstripe is an ideal partner because of their extensive knowledge and experience working with non-profit organizations in the past,” said Jim Manis, Chairman and CEO, Mobile Giving Foundation.

Over the last year, Zipstripe has worked closely with non-profit organizations to run mobile programs raising funds for clients such as UNICEF, Make A Wish Foundation, Amnesty International and the Sunnybrook Foundation.
Top of Page

Unique online promotional offering just in time for the holidays

Marketingbytes Strategic Communications Inc. today announced the launch of http://www.corporatecalendars.ca, a website from which companies can order custom promotional calendars.

Corporatecalendars.ca allows companies to supply their own original digital photography for placement in a 4.75” x 4.75” desktop, 8” x 16” wall, or 18” x 24” poster calendar. Companies are free to choose images that will build strong connections between their offerings and their clients. “A realtor might choose pictures of the homes in their geographic sales area, a renovation company might choose before and after images of projects, or a manufacturer might choose images of their production line in order to show the quality of their work,” explained Allen Haslinger of Corporatecalendars.ca. “Because these are custom calendars, companies are free to be as creative as they want when selecting images.”

For companies that are unable to supply their own images, corporatecalendars.ca offers a professional photography service. “We have good relationships with professional photographers in a number of locations, so we can easily arrange for an onsite photo shoot if needed,” said Haslinger.”

Other options for those companies without suitable images are corproatecalendars.ca’s custom theme or limited edition theme calendars. For a custom theme calendar, corporatecalendars.ca will supply images that fit a company’s request; for example, a water theme for a plumbing company.

Once a company chooses its images, corporatecalendars.ca offers photo effects and even photo retouching to add depth, drama, and interest. Corporatecalendar.ca’s graphic artists can add painterly effects or monochromatic tints to create visual interest. For images that need more of a makeover, corporatecalendars.ca offers a photo retouching services.
Top of Page

Feed Blaster brings your ads to millions in minutes

The number of web sites offering news and information using feeds is exploding. A feed is a regularly updated summary of web content, along with links to full versions of that content.

When you subscribe to a given website's feed by using a feed reader, you'll receive a summary of new content from that website right on your screen or in a software feed reader.

Many websites are using feeds to publish their latest information right to thousands of users within minutes. Soon everyone will be using them. This makes feeds the ideal place to advertise.

More and more people are subscribing to feeds every day and there are millions who are already subscribed. Thus, your ad will reach a very broad range of potential customers with each use of Feed Blaster.

Feed Blaster is the first and only submitter that can submit your ads to thousands of feeds within a few minutes. Top of Page

Bus travel made easy online

With Quebec Transport Minister Julie Boulet and Tourism Minister Nicole Ménard on hand, the Association des propriétaires d'autobus du Québec (APAQ) today launched espacebus.ca, the only portal dedicated to group travel by coach and public transportation by bus in Quebec.

Espacebus.ca allows Web-users to plan travel to destinations throughout Quebec. Whether their search concerns group travel, intercity transport, paratransit or rural transport, espacebus.ca provides access to a full range of information about schedules, depots, routes, terms of use, fares and Quebec tourism packages.

Espacebus.ca is the outgrowth of a partnership between the Association des propriétaires d'autobus du Québec and the provincial transport and tourism ministries. "We are very proud of this portal, which we hope will help to increase the customer base for public transportation and contribute to government efforts to reduce fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions," noted Mr. Romain Girard, vice-president of APAQ.

Espacebus.ca, in association with Quebec tour operators, has now made available the entire offering concerning group travel by motorcoach, a tourism sector whose activities currently do not appear on the Web.

The portal offers a search engine that allows users to quickly locate the information they are looking for. Results are ranked in order of relevance and link to the pages concerned.

By combining mapping functions and images of the products on offer, esapcebus.ca enables travellers to view a range of options concerning their stay. Whether their projected trip is for golf, skiing, culture, entertainment, or family activities, travellers can quickly select a package based on one of the 12 themes offered on the portal.

The process of searching for packages has been remarkably streamlined, meaning that at a single mouse-click, travellers can access a tailor-made package that fits their needs and interests.

Notwithstanding the numerous package proposals already on offer at espacebus.ca, group travel organizers such as corporate social clubs, convention planners, field trip and after-school activity organizers can also transmit a call for bids to wholesalers and tour operators listed on the portal in order to obtain a stay, an outing or a group travel package that is more fully adapted to their needs.

As Mr. Girard emphasized, espacebus.ca is the clearing house par excellence for presenting Quebec to tour groups made up of travellers from Quebecer and abroad.

Now, for the first time in Quebec, there is a single window for the offering in public transportation by bus. Thanks to leading-edge technology that integrates both a powerful search engine and exhaustive databases, espacebus.ca is able to respond to any request for information.

Web-users will now be able to develop a travel itinerary that does not require the use of a car. They can locate all the relevant information required to contact depots, intercity transportation companies, paratransit organizations and rural public transportation organizations. Likewise, this portal helps to build visibility for public transportation among communities and represents an important tool in outlying areas, where the public is sometimes unfamiliar with public transportation services.

Espacebus.ca is the showcase for public transportation by bus in Quebec. What is more, it represents the only virtual single window to permit interconnection between different modes of passenger transportation. Thanks to espacebus.ca, the bus is, more than ever, a safe, credible, efficient and reliable alternative to the car. Top of Page

Amazon.ca launches home and garden store

Yesterday, Amazon.ca announced the launch of its new Home & Garden Store - a single online shopping destination for thousands of products for around the home. In addition to browsing a vast selection of books, music, DVDs, consumer electronics, software and video games, Amazon.ca customers can now shop for a variety of products for around the home, including cookware, small appliances, cleaning supplies, storage, grilling tools and many more.

"We're excited to offer our Canadian customers a huge selection, great prices and the convenience of Amazon.ca's unique shopping experience," said John Nemeth, senior manager of Amazon.ca. "With the launch of the Home & Garden Store, customers across Canada can find everything they need for holiday entertaining without leaving the comfort and convenience of their own home."

The Amazon.ca Home & Garden Store carries a variety of leading brands, including Cuisinart, KitchenAid, Sunbeam, Hoover, Black & Decker, Bissell, George Foreman and hundreds more. The Home & Garden Store also features editorial reviews, customer reviews and ratings. Customers will also have access to bestseller lists, new and future product releases, and kids and family products.

Additionally, customers will continue to enjoy the benefits of shopping at Amazon.ca including FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $39, industry-leading prices and the convenience of shopping from home. Top of Page