Team work does the dream work

We all have various memories from past team projects done in University. Some are real nightmares, others, a true image of success. I guess this is why most of us end up stressing out when we hear the teacher announcing a team project to come. Within the Digital Content Creation Class, I realized that there are many aspects to this subject that were unknown to me. Therefor the idea of a team project was a great opportunity to meet students from various backgrounds and get to learn from them! Throughout the class, I quickly realized that even though I am an ACTIVE consumer of social media and digital content – actually CREATING that content is a world of its own.

Coming up with the buyer persona within the Java U project was eye opening. I had been to various marketing pitches within university competitions but had never worked on them. I had seen those buyer personas before but didn’t know much on the process of creating one. I felt like tying in the social YOUdia which Scott had thought us in class was key to truly understanding your audience. It’s basically where it all starts and as Mark Schaefer details in one of his blog posts, it “gives you the information and perspective you need to make objective decisions about how to craft your marketing messages”.

The Smart goal was another aspect of the Java U project that was key to my learning within CBUS 111 course. Many of us have heard of the Smart goal within university classes but the true purpose of it can be vague for certain. I believe it actually makes you accountable and gives you something much more concrete to strive for than only your business vision. Also, the hydrate marketing blog does state something interesting which is that “SMART Goals are also a great way of getting yourself mentally prepared for what’s ahead”. It definitely helps to manage your expectations! I was pleased to have had the chance to work on this portion of the project and to benefit from 3 other minds who were able to challenge me and give feedback on the Smart Goal objective that I had set for Java U.

Growth and comfort do not coexist. This definitely applies to my experience within Scott’s Digital Content Creation class. An inspiring, challenging, and rewarding experience!


Thank you!





By Lorne Price

Ideas flying, feeding off one another, getting inspired and thinking of a dozen other ideas after hearing someone else’s. I LOVE a good brainstorm, especially after a few cups of Java U coffee.

When the idea of working on the final CBUS 111 project came up, I was very excited. The idea of sharing ideas and feeding off of the other talented people in the class seemed like an additional learning experience. The people in the class come from different backgrounds and have all had different experiences which I was confident would enrich the experience.

I must admit, I was concerned with the idea of working together without meeting in person but it all worked out fine. Right from the get go, the team jelled and got right into the task of building a brand re-launch digital content strategy for Java U.

We started with the persona. It evolved pretty easily with everyone on the team contributing and circling around similar ideas. We were on the same page. We all appeared enthusiastic about implementing all that we had learned in the previous weeks. We agreed that we needed to have a conversation with the Java U audience and make sure we came off as authentic. We agreed to make our communications, regardless of format, tell a story. Inspired by the blog written by Norm MacDonald we come out strong with two social media posts that were fun and to the point.

A blog was also part of our strategy. The intention of the blog was to tell a story and not pitch anything to our audience. As a thought leader, we made some observations on trends in the coffee industry and casually implemented Java U into it by introducing the concept of 5 a 7.

Each member of the team left the first meeting choosing one specific part of the project to massage and the result is a cohesive digital content plan for Java U.

Our last meeting before presenting was to ensure we covered the six questions; Who, What When, Where, Why and How. Thanks Simon Sinek!

Overall the Java U project was a great exercise that allowed us, as a team, to apply the best practices we learned in Digital Content Creation.

Thanks Scott Cross!



A team and coffee, what a perfect match!

By Maria Orsina

You know that feeling you get when the professor gives you the course outline and you noticed group project. Yes anxiety! Your thoughts race, who will I work with, will we all know what to do. And, don’t you hope we all do our part and get along.
Ok, how did it end? The project was on Java U café. Groups were chosen for us, we knew exactly what to do, great team effort, and all members of the group were awesome! We submitted a great presentation, if we can say so ourselves. As in any business goal set, there needs the participation of all team members to achieve the best results. And, if you add a group project meet at Java U, for a great cup of coffee, isn’t that the perfect match. You noticed right, I just created a great content creation for Java U.
Let’s talk about what I have learnt with the Java U project. I discovered that being true and authentic to your product or service, marketing departments would know how to align their marketing strategies adhered to the right audience. As Simon Sinek states, “Authenticity is more than speaking. Authenticity is also about doing. Every decision we make says something about who we are.” Therefore, Java U remaining authentic to who they are, communicating, creating content of such image, with the continuous practice, will keep their target audience loyal.
Using social media posts as a marketing campaign is an excellent way to promote your brand. Knowing your target audience and their digital habits, you can understand the methods of engagement required to keep your customers and attract new. Create and grow your community by also using hashtags. Hashtags are a great marketing tool to track consumer comments, questions, and can provide good info on what works, and what does not.
The group project was a great experience, affirming the knowledge obtained throughout the Content Creation class. I have learnt that authenticity is key in choosing the right marketing strategies to deliver your message, and in writing influential content for your target audience.
And, while you work together as team, enjoying a good cup of coffee is always a great idea!

Wait! I don’t know everything?

By Christine Prysunka

The JavaU final project for CBUS 111.  I must admit, when Scott said, “and your final project will be a group one!” I slightly cringed and said to myself “great!” in a rather sarcastic tone.  I thought, I can do this on my own – it will be easier, faster, more efficient – blah blah blah… Then we received the outline for the final project and I remember thinking – “what the hell is a buyer persona?”

So, when the time came for him to announce our group mates and for us to settle into our breakout rooms, I realized that I was actually grateful to have two other minds in this with me to collaborate with; people who knew what a buyer persona was.

I ended up learning a lot from my classmates, one of which was how you create a buyer persona.  Then, how do you build your social media strategy around them.  It also gave me a much clearer understanding of how to create the content that went along with this magical person we were supposed to be selling JavaU coffee too.

One of the items that was important to our buyer persona was a company who was engaged on social and encouraged their customers to be a “part of the conversation”.  So, employing the B 2 C method I went ahead and created the content specifically with her buying behaviour in mind.

Campaigns were created that were a call to action but also encouraged her to be a part of the JavaU community, while not breaking the bank.

When it came to choosing the target platforms, this was research based with age ranges in mind.  This then assisted in specific content targeting that was best suited to each platform.  Each piece of content was created with “small bites” and photos to compliment each piece of content.

When it all came together, the JavaU project was one done with the buyer in the fore front, and multiple digital platform approach behind it.  I feel like as a group we presented something that JavaU could utilize in their strategy to marketing themselves.

Throughout this entire course I have learned the value of getting to know your customer in and out and how creating the right content is going to sell your brand.


By Lorne Price

Follow the rules or break the rules? We are all looking for an edge and a way to stand out regardless of our job or industry.

With a matter of fact sense of humor and great business instincts, Seth Godin offers an interesting and refreshing perspective.

With the volume of information available to us, we are all faced with a time crunch. Emails. Social Media. Meetings. Pod casts. We are bombarded with information from every angle. We all struggle with choosing what to read while fearing that we may miss something. I will convince you why Seth Godin’s blog is the one to choose if you had to choose just one.

A concise, witty and sometimes quirky approach to each and every day, American author and former dot com business executive Seth Godin offers a fresh approach to your job, to business and to life in general.

Godin’s blog is frequent with a post almost each and every day. They are short in length but they are concise, pack a punch and are chalk full of wisdom and wit.

As a business blog with a focus on marketing Godin’s appeal is in his ability to address the subjects many of us are faced with all the time. From abandoning worry and facing change to telling stories Godin offers approaches that are simple and obvious once presented to us.


How Simon Sinek can help you avoid burn out

By Maria Orsina

It’s been quoted by Confucius “Choose a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life”. Ok, what does this mean? Does this mean that you can devote 80 hours plus per week on a job, and never burn out?

The answer is yes.

Burnout doesn’t just exhaust a person’s mind and body. It’s the spirit that suffers the most. Employees who spend long hours at a job can begin to lose their passion.  However, when the job is in line to why we do it, the passion will never be lost no matter the hard work. Simon Sinek says it well, “Happiness comes from WHAT we do. Fulfillment comes from WHY we do it. Fulfillment comes when our work connects directly to our WHY”.

Simon would want you to wake up every single day feeling inspired, safe at work, and fulfilled at the end of the day. Wouldn’t you want this feeling, always? Reading, listening to Simon in your daily routine will help you achieve this in your life, and as quoted above, as if you never work a day in your life.

Been working in the corporate world for many years now, leading teams to achieve their highest potential, and always being very passionate to the culture and vision of the company. Though my work was about the #s, the Why was continuously being fulfilled by developing others and seeing them grow within the organization. I had understood that the Why that gets me up in the morning was that I was building meaning into my life, by inspiring others to be best they can be.

Then, the culture changed.

Those long hours began to feel very burdensome. Though the core value on commitment to client results was to absolutely be met, other company’s core values on respect and integrity, teamwork and collaboration, were constantly being neglected. When a corporate environment care way more about the $ than their employees, leaders who are to motivate their teams to achieve these goals, begin to feel demotivated themselves, and ultimately, risk burn out. For suddenly, your vision is no longer in line with the company you work for. This happens when your WHY is put into question.

Let Simon Sinek guide you to continuously live a fulfilled life. Discover your WHY, write it down, say it out loud, so it resonates, and never stop searching for that job that matches your WHY, and remember, change is good, so don’t be afraid to change that job, to build meaning back into your life.


Where does a blogging noob begin?

By Christine Prysunka

You start with Mark Schaefer’s blog {grow}.  It’s exactly the place to learn or expand upon your blogging skills.  I don’t come from a marketing background, in fact my career has mainly been in the human service, non-profit sector.   So, starting on the path into the world of blogging can be scary, challenging and just overall – “what the hell am I doing”?!  Putting my thoughts onto screen for the world to see? – “you’ve got to be kidding me”.  But what I’ve learnt so far by reading {grow}, is that it’s never too late to dive in.

There are a lot of marketing blogs out there, but {grow} tends to take a different angle and brings interesting points of view, no matter what your profession; which I can appreciate being someone who is new to the space.  I’m not interested in reading the same thing over and over again, but I also don’t have the time to scour blog after blog for different topics.  The fact that it’s a “one stop shop” is the perfect reason to keep coming back.  Just landing on the homepage of {grow} and skimming the headlines will show a person just how much diversely new content is published weekly.

After familiarizing yourself with the platform, you will start to notice that not only does Mark do most of the blogging, but often times he has guest bloggers or members of the community take a turn, which I personally enjoy.  What I really appreciate about this is all the different approach’s and perspectives on various content.  As someone who aspires to potentially step out of the non-profit world and one day venture into a more marketing focused position, I have found so many relevant posts that make me stop, think and get excited over so much potential in this new and exciting realm.

{grow} possess the perfect philosophy for anyone starting out in the blogging space.  When asking yourself, what are you looking to gain out of following a blogger?  {grow} asks you to ask yourself, what are you looking to grow instead.   I really related to that thought and this is why I plan to keep reading and absorbing all the content the site has to offer.

I encourage any other aspiring bloggers to check out Mark’s blog, you can find the link here: