Bonnie Zink

Knowledge mobilization, writing, and social media top the discussion list.

Bonnie Zink - Knowledge mobilization, writing, and social media top the discussion list.

Do you need help?

BZ_Logo_143Are you struggling with the hectic pace of your workload?

Do you dream of cloning yourself so you can meet your goals?

Are thoughts of hiring an assistant distracting you?

Then, I have great news for you! I have room for new clients and invite you to join this very exclusive club.

Why hire a freelance contractor? 

Freelance contractors actually save you time and money. Hiring a freelance contractor makes sense for your productivity and your budget!

  • Freelance contractors are experts at what they do and have the expertise to efficiently accomplish the work you need done.
  • Freelance contractors free up your team to concentrate on the work that is part of their job.
  • Freelance contractors help you craft quality documents and publications that allow you to shine in print and online.
  • Freelance contractors help you with your bottom line as they do not require benefits, physical space, or resources.

Expertise:

Together, we’ll move your knowledge so that it is positioned to affect positive social change. I will put over 20 years of experience to work for you. I specialize in:

  • developing knowledge mobilization (#KMb) strategies and putting them into action
  • modern and traditional marketing and communications techniques
  • editing, researching, and writing (traditional publications and digital communications)
  • social media training and management
  • and a whole lot more!

I invite you to check out my CV summary, visit me on the web, connect with me on Twitter, hangout with me on Google Plus, or become part of my network on LinkedIn.

I am interested in helping you tell your story!

What’s next?

Let’s talk! Feel free to contact me at bonnie@bonniezink.com.

Figuring the why before the how of social media for academic researchers

This is the first in a series of postings meant to help you figure out a social media strategy that works for you.

BZ_social_Social media works. It is a powerful communication tool that will help you reach your goals. The magic happens once you understand what those goals are and creating a plan that will get you there. Businesses want to connect with their clients and increase sales. Community organizations work to increase donations and amplify their message. Government representatives want to connect with voters and listen to their constituents. Individuals want to connect with like-minded people and find out what’s happening in the world.

The drivers of online activity are different for everyone. This series is meant to help researchers and academics figure out what their goals are, develop a strategy to help them reach those goals, and carry out an evaluation plan that will tell them what works and what doesn’t. What should researchers be doing online? Does being social in the digital space really help? How do you mobilize your knowledge effectively? What sort of connections should you be making? Where do you start?

Let’s start at the beginning

You have a Twitter account and Facebook page. Your blog is ready to go live. Now what? Before you press send on the tweet, post to your Facebook page, or set your thoughts free on your blog, we need to think through your social media goals. Why are you in the digital space? What do hope to achieve? How do you know if the platforms you use and the content you share are performing successfully?

 
Figuring out the answer to these questions is not any different than the process you use to develop a communications or knowledge mobilization plan. You all ready know how to develop the plan, but are you ready to put it into action?

 
Step One: Self Assessment
Let’s figure out what factors impact your social activity. The first question to ponder is: What resources are available to you?

  • How much time do you have to actively engage in social media? Creating social profiles without being active on the platform hurts you rather than helps you. If you are going to create a Twitter presence, your followers deserve your attention. If you are going to spend the time to develop a Facebook page, your fans deserve to have a conversation with you. If you are going to send your thoughts and perspective into the world through a blog, your readers deserve quality posts that are developed to be interactive. Be sure you have time to acknowledge excellence within your network, share your insights, get to know your followers, and engage in a meaningful way.
  • Which social media networks are you familiar with? Do you have a Facebook profile, hangout on Google Plus, tweet about your work, blog about your achievements, share photos of your team, engage in conversations on LinkedIn? Think about the social platforms you personally use and how they might work together with those that your institution uses. It is important to think about your audience. Who are they? Where do they hang out online? Once you figure this out, go to where they are active. Each social network is different and those differences deserve to be celebrated and engaged with.
  • What type of content do you have access to and what content do you need to produce? Social media is all about sharing and accessing valuable content. Visuals are popular on most social media platforms and shared more than text-based pieces. Photos, websites, news articles, publications, videos, and infographics are examples of sharable content. It is time to take stock of what you already have and what you need to create. Can you turn that research report into an infographic that is easily shared and understood by your audience? Does your website house reports and publications that are of interest to your community? Are there topics you wish to explore? Do you have content available to share or do you need to create it?
  • Who will monitor what is being said on social media and track the social activity of your content? Think about who will manage the implementation of your strategy and the tools they will use to do so. Will you rely on Twitter statistics alone? Will you manage conversations and activity through a third party software like Hootsuite? Even though many of the tools that you will use are free of charge or low cost, the time it takes to implement your strategy effectively is not. Be sure to clearly account for the time you and your team will spend listening to online conversations, developing and sharing content, and thinking about the strategy that lies behind your online activity.

Understanding what you want to accomplish and how you will accomplish it is key to a successful social media strategy. Figuring out what resources are available to you, the most appropriate platforms, and your capacity for social media activity will help you make decisions that will become central to overall strategy.

We will further explore developing your social and digital strategy in future posts. Until then, please leave your thoughts and ask questions in the comment area below.

  • What social media platforms do you use?
  • Are your digital activities successful?
  • What works for you and what doesn’t? Why?

 

August 2014 #KMbChat: Community Knowledge Exchange

researchimpactResearchImpact-RéseauImpactRecherche (@researchimpact) is pleased to host the August 28, 2014 #KMbChat. We will tweet about Community Knowledge Exchange with @CKXdotorg in advance of their CKX Summit in November.

On August 28, 2014, we will join knowledge mobilizers from around the globe to explore issues of community-community knowledge exchange and compare and contrast those to community-campus knowledge exchange.

Charge up your twitter and join the conversation on Thursday August 28, 2014 at noon Eastern.

Find out more about the November 2014 CKX Summit.

PARTNERBAR (2)


#KMbChat LogoHave you missed a previous #KMbChat? Download transcripts of your favourite #KMbChat’s.

Find out more about joining a Tweetchat!

Do you have questions about this or past #KMbChats? Contact me at bonnie@bonniezink.com.

July 2014 #KMbChat – #EngagedResearch and #KMb

#KMbChat LogoKnowledge mobilization does not slow down over the summer and neither does #KMbChat. Knowledge mobilizers from across the world gathered around #KMbChat, knowledge mobilization (#KMb), and #EngagedResearch on Twitter during our July 24, 2014 chat to discuss a recently published paper, Engaging Evaluation Research: Reflecting on the process of sexual assault/domestic violence protocol evaluation research (open access article).

Authors Anne Bergen and Mavis Morton guided knowledge mobilizers through a discussion that focused on community engagement that brought together a complex partnership to conceptualize, design, conduct, and communicate evaluation research on one community’s sexual assault and domestic violence (SADV Protocol. Participants discussed many topics that included:

  • the benefits of clarifying partner risks and benefits to better enable engaged research
  • enabling #KMb through promoting diversity
  • managing the shared decision making process – the challenges and benefits
  • training of academic and non-academic, community-based research partners

Let’s Keep the Conversation Going!

Download the July 2014 #KMbChat transcript (PDF) and let us know about your experiences with #EngagedResearch and #KMb.


July 2014 (noon EST) #KMbChat: #Engaged Research and #KMb

About the moderators

  • Dr. Anne Bergen (@Anne_Bergen) is a knowledge mobilization and evaluation consultant who helps individuals and organizations transform knowledge into action. Learn more at KnowledgetoAction.ca.
  • Dr. Mavis Morton (@mortmave) is an association professor in the department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Guelph. Her previous work includes 25 years with rural and urban community partners engaging in research, education, protocol development, advocacy, and service coordination on issues related to violence against and their children and other social justice issues.

More About #KMbChat

  • Have you missed a #KMbChat? Check out our archive page.
  • Are you researching social media as a knowledge mobilization tool? #KMbChat data is available to you. Email Bonnie Zink for more information.
  • Are you interested in moderating a future #KMbChat or have an idea about a future chat topic? Contact me and we’ll make it happen.

Five years as a #PWAC er

PWAC_5yearPinFive years is not an insignificant amount of time. It acts as a benchmark when we think about setting goals in our lives and careers. We complete undergraduate studies and enter the work force in five years. We can accomplish a lot in five years. The days, weeks, and months tick by at a rate that is faster than most of us like, especially when we enjoy what we do, how we do it, and why we do it.

I joined a professional writers organization five years ago. My hope was that I’d connect with like-minded writers, learn from them, and enjoy a creative and professional community that would help me reach my goals. My end goal was to become a working professional writer and, I’m proud to say, my hope became my reality.

What is PWAC?

The Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC) is a national organization that serves Canadian non-fiction freelance writers across the country. PWAC works to:

  • Promote the value, rights and interests of professional writers
  • Deliver resources and professional development opportunities to Canadian writers
  • Provide a critical bridge to connect writers with client (and with each other)

Who joins PWAC?

Professional writers of all shapes, sizes, and levels of experience make up the growing membership of PWAC. Over 600 freelance professionals from across Canada enjoy the benefits of this professional association. Many have magazine and newspaper backgrounds, some are published authors of books, and others have moved from writing to teaching about writing. All of PWAC’s members are established professionals who maintain that a PWAC membership provides them with the most value for membership dollars.

Why join PWAC?

Whether a beginning freelance writer or a seasoned professional, PWAC membership helps all writers reach their goals. PWAC membership offers:

  • Invaluable peer support that includes learning from each other, sharing of experiences – both positive and negative, and the opportunity to network with other writers
  • A press card that affords access to industry events, museums, and research
  • Discounts on health, home, dental and auto insurance as well as memberships with other writing organizations
  • Marketing and promotional opportunities
  • Access to professional development opportunities at low or no cost

Five years ago I held dear the hope of becoming a working professional writer. Over the course of these five years I have enjoyed many more benefits of my professional level membership:

  • Access to other professional writers who are enjoying a successful freelance lifestyle
  • Increased exposure as a professional writer
  • Access to a supportive and encouraging community that freely shares their experiences and many members willing to mentor me while I established expertise
  • The opportunity to lead Saskatchewan based members of PWAC as their interim President and member at large
  • The opportunity to help other writers establish themselves in the Saskatchewan market
  • The honour of helping to set PWAC’s agenda by participating in the annual general meeting as a voting member

As I look back on these past five years, I believe that my success as a working writer is directly due to my professional PWAC membership.

  • I learned from the experts and connected with mentors who genuinely wanted to help me succeed at my craft.
  • I developed the essential skills that freelancers need to build success.
  • I became more aware of my own talents and expertise and how sharing them could help other beginning writers.
  • I improved my writing.
  • I gained the confidence I needed to succeed as a freelance writer.

How to become a member of PWAC.

Are you interested in joining PWAC? Point your mouse over here and discover what membership level you are entitled to. Membership levels include:

  • Professional members (those currently working as a paid writer) enjoy access to all the benefits of PWAC, can hold chapter and national board of directors’ positions, and attend the annual general meeting as a voting member
  • Associate members (good choice for those re-entering the world of freelance) enjoy full access to PWAC benefits, but cannot hold chapter and national board of directors’ positions or attend the annual general meeting as a voting member
  • Student members (those currently in school full-time or within one year of graduation) access some of PWAC benefits at a reduced rate and, like associate members, cannot hold chapter and national board of director’s position or be delegates at the annual general meeting

Begin your journey to living the life you dream of by working to become a professional writer who loves what you do, why you do it, and how you do it.

Thank you to all the PWAC ers who have helped me along my journey to becoming a working professional writer. (You know who you are!)

Effective Knowledge Mobilization Strategies for Summer

#KMbChat LogoMany of us are well into our summer schedules and the June 26, 2014 #KMbChat helped you share what you plan to do during over the slower summer months to mobilize your knowledge

Knowledge mobilizers discussed their best strategies summer strategies. Participants pondered the worst summer strategies. Everyone joined the conversation about how to continue their work during a time when colleagues, community partners, and policy makers are away on holidays.

How do you mobilize your knowledge over the summer?

June 26, 2014 (noon EST): Effective Knowledge Mobilization Strategies for Summer

Have you missed a #KMbChat? Check out our archive page.

Are you researching social media as a knowledge mobilization tool? #KMbChat data is available to you. Email Bonnie Zink for more information.

Are you interested in moderating a future #KMbChat or have an idea about a future chat topic? Contact me and we’ll make it happen.

Combining traditional methods with new techniques is where the real fun begins!

I first embarked on a new professional adventure in 2006 – I became a knowledge mobilizer. I worked to help researchers tell their story and connect to those who could use their knowledge to affect positive social change. It was then that I also discovered the magic of the digital age and began using it to reach professional goals. Digital communications helped me connect with knowledge mobilizers around the globe, many of whom I had not met until the 2014 Canadian Knowledge Mobilization Forum (#CKF14) delivered them to my doorstep on June 9 and 10, 2014.

Much has changed since 2006, but “what I do” has remained constant – I tell stories. In today’s increasingly digital world, I continue to help people tell their stories, but “how I do it” has evolved and changed. My knowledge mobilization toolbox includes both traditional and new media tools that often work together to get a message heard. Combining traditional methods with new techniques (in person forum and Twitter) is where the real fun begins!

#CKF14

The Institute of Knowledge Mobilization brought knowledge mobilizers from across the globe to discuss putting research into action. We benefited from a mix of inspirational speakers, informative breakout sessions, and valuable networking opportunities. Founded in 2012, this forum provides a space for knowledge mobilizers, creators, and users to come together to discuss key questions about our industry as they evolve and change. More information about #CKF14 speakers and topics is available on the website.

#CKF14 and Twitter

Top 10 Tweeters #CKF14Nearly 100 participants networked, collaborated, and shared their experiences with one another, but #CKF14’s reach went well beyond Saskatoon’s Park Town Hotel. Through the magic of Twitter, 67 participants shared insights and knowledge with people around the globe by including #CKF14 (the conference hashtag) in over 300 tweets and re-tweets.

 

Tweets shared resources, photos, and quotes from the speakers. “Tweeting is like passing notes in class. They are informative and fun!” said one participant. Another participant noted that “Tweets continue the conversation well beyond the confines of the room. Sharing knowledge is what we are all about!” Tweets continue to be shared and commented on one week after the forum closed!

World Cafe

The forum connected knowledge mobilizers and researchers with government representatives, corporate innovators, and their contemporaries. Rob Norris, Saskatchewan MLA for the Saskatoon Greystone constituency and Minster of Advanced Education, joined Colleen Christensen, Chair of #CKF14 and National Research Council Industrial Technology Advisor, and Peter Levesque,President of the Institute for Knowledge Mobilization, in welcoming everyone to the forum. Norris’ message about innovation was then shared with Tweeters around the globe. It really is all about the people!

Rob_Colleen_Peter

peoplematter

 

By the close of this two-day forum, our knowledge mobilization tool boxes bulged! We returned to our desks with new ideas, new relationships, and expanded knowledge. We learned:

  • The value of real life connections
  • The innovative nature of communities
  • Best practices and overcoming challenges in mobilizing knowledge
  • Innovative uses of video, storytelling, and art in mobilizing knowledge
  • The value of including youth in building healthy communities
  • The importance of providing a space for engagement, both digitally and through forums like this one

The tweet that best sums up the #CKF14 experience wrapped what we do and why do it into one short TwitBite:

 

KMbactoflove

Let’s continue the conversation!

  1. What did you learn at #CKF14?
  2. Have you put what you learned at #CKF14 into practice? Do you plan to?
  3. How has Twitter changed the way you share knowledge from events you attend?
  4. What are your favourite tweets from the #CKF14 Twitter stream?

The presentations and other material from #CKF14 sessions are being shared on the Institute for Knowledge Mobilization blog as they become available.

FUZE Conference 2014: Inspiring action – The power of community

FUZE2014Quality professional development opportunities are important to helping professionals  offer value to their clients or their employers. We must continue to learn and grow.

I am lucky enough to live in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where world-class marketing and knowledge mobilization experts live, work, and play. It is my privilege to access their experience and knowledge by making more of an effort to take part in learning opportunities right here at home. The 2014 FUZE Conference is one such opportunity.

Let me tell you about it…

What is FUZE?

FUZE is the result of a collaboration between two of Saskatchewan’s best professional organizations: the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), with a growing membership of 139 Saskatoon based business communicators, and the Saskatchewan Professional Marketing Association (SPMA), which boasts a growing membership of over 100 Saskatchewan marketers and creatives. In its second year, the FUZE Conference brought together 180 of Saskatchewan’s marketers, communicators, creatives, and thinkers to inspire each other, share their experiences, and to learn from the marketing industry’s world class experts.

Where and When?

Saskatoon is no longer the quiet oasis of western Canada. It is has grown into an active centre for business and community where families live, work, and play in a booming city with a small town feel. As more and more businesses begin to set up shop, the need for professional story tellers also increases. On April 2, 2014 creatives from all over Saskatchewan gathered at the Delta Bessbourough Hotel in Saskatoon to learn from the experts and each other.

Why?

Story tellers gather together to inspire, share, and learn from each other. Success stories. We share our experiences and discuss the challenges we face in helping businesses, researchers, and others clients tell their stories in an increasingly digital world and work to get their messages heard in a very noisy digital space. We do this by gathering together and IABC (Saskatoon) and SPMA have made it all that much easier to gather in Saskatoon by bringing a world-class conference to our very own back yarn. FUZE conference 2014 offered us the opportunity to mingle with each other, create connections that matter with accomplished professionals, and learn from the experts.

What did I learn?

The 2014 FUZE Conference explored effective ways to engage audiences and create community advocates. Four international speakers and a panel of successful Saskatchewan entrepreneurs shared their successes, discussed the challenges faced along their journey to success, and showed us the indisputable benefits of connecting to people and tapping into the power community.

  • Maureen “Mo” Douglas, owner of Mobilize Strategies
    • Hugging the Angry Mob: An Enlightened Approached to Community Engagement” delivered tips and processes that effectively engage community, even if members of the target community are resistant to a new plan or idea. Douglas drew on her experiences gained by working on several high-profile projects, including the Vancouver and Sochi winter Olympic games. She emphasized the importance of communication, transparency, and follow through. Her SHARE concerns and engage with RESPECT philosophies give values for positive engagement that we can all carry out right away.
  • Leanne Bellegarde, Director of Aboriginal Strategy with PotashCorp
    • “The Future of Aboriginal Relations: Engaging Saskatchewan’s Fastest Growing Population” showed participants the value in engaging Saskatchewan’s Aboriginal population. Ms. Bellgarde provided insights into building valuable relationships with Aboriginal communities and the benefits of engaging with and investing in these communities. She drew on recent examples from PotashCorps’ own highly successful Aboriginal engagement and community investment initiatives to show the power of community in action.
  • Khayyam Wakil, Chief Belief Officer of Thynk Taynk (Twitter)
    • “Video Killed the Marketing Star. The Content Revolution” showed participants how multimedia elements are revolutionizing the way brands and companies engage with their customers. Marketers are now making use of innovative technologies, like 360 video, to get their message heard in an increasingly noisy and fast paced digital world. Customers are now producing their own video content as a way to let their voices and opinions be heard. This two-way conversation is the new way we engage with each other. Video helps us tell our stories, share our concerns, and connect with each other. It is the power of video that drives innovative marketing strategies across the world.
  • Aaron James Draplin, Owner of Draplin Design Co.
    • “Tall Tales from a Large Man” shared the value of doing what you love. In Draplin’s case, graphic design is his first love. Draplin shared stories from his own experience as a freelance graphic designer, how his line of Field Notes Brand came to be and continues to be successful, and his freebie Friday philosophy. He has worked with clients both big and small, which include designs for Red Wing Farms (owned by John Hughes, film maker), Target, and Barack Obama. Draplin shared his experiences through expert storytelling. He put the power of good storytelling to work and engaged this audience from start to finish.
  • A panel of local experts that included:
    • “Saskatchewan Entrepreneurs: A Panel of Changemakers”Bryan McCrea from 3twenty Modular;Natasha and Elysia Vandenurk from Three Farmers Camelina Oil; and Kendal Netmaker from Neechi Gear
    • These Saskatchewan entrepreneurs shared their stories. They not only spoke about their success, but addressed many of the challenges they faced along their own unique journeys. Each panellist told us how they developed and implemented marketing strategies that were not always successful. They spoke about their marketing challenges, missed opportunities, and the community support they received while starting, building, and managing their businesses.

Looking for more on FUZE Conference 2014? Other participants have shared their experiences:

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