Amazing Race Canada (S2,E7): Lest We Forget

**Spoiler Alert!**

Once again, The Amazing Race Canada left the confines of Canada for an overseas destination. This time instead of heading to an Asian country, teams travelled east to Normandy, France.

Normandy

Most teams got emotional when touring the Canadian D-Day cemetery, and at the end of the leg after meeting Canadian WW2 veteran Jim Parks.

Like all Amazing Race episodes, roadblocks are typically designed to either show a unique cultural element or promote a sponsor’s product. But the show had to be extra sensitive about how it approached this leg, since it focused on the Canadian D-Day military cemetery at Bény-sur-Mer and the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings at Juno Beach and elsewhere.

This sensitivity also had to be extended to social media, or the show risked being perceived as exploiting something sacred to most Canadians — namely, the sacrifices of Canadian World War 2 veterans.

The show’s official Twitter account, contestants, and host Jon Montgomery set the tone with tweets touching upon their experiences at Juno and Bény-sur-Mer.

The Juno Beach Centre Twitter account also tweeted during the episode, receiving 4.1 per cent of all tweets mentioning the show. This is extremely high for any group or organization featured on the show.

The impact of Bény-sur-Mer, Juno, and D-Day veteran Jim Parks, who greeted contestants at the Pit Stop, was expressed by viewers on Twitter.

Almost all the comments were respectful and many viewers expressed gratitude and pride about being Canadian.

Jim Parks was mentioned in eight per cent of tweets, with nearly every tweet personally thanking him for his sacrifice.

During the episode ARC also promoted the hashtag #OurCanadianHeroes, and it ended up representing an incredible 26.1 per cent of all tweets. This is definitely the most influential promoted hashtag on The Amazing Race Canada to date.

Overall the show saw a 55.3 per cent increase from last year, but a decrease from last week of 13.9 per cent. However, the post show last week have skewed these results somewhat: If comments from the post show are removed, this week’s show featured a decrease of just 5.8 per cent.

In many ways, the Amazing Race Canada is the ultimate travel brochure for all things Canadian. There’s nothing wrong with educating Canadians on sacrifices made on Juno Beach, and if approached properly, social media can have a role to play if done with tact.

The Amazing Race Canada did a great job achieving this balance. In fact, the episode prompted curiosity and questions from one of my children on the significance and sacrifices made by Canadians and other Allied soldiers on June 6, 1944 in Normandy, France.

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How social monitoring can help before, during, and after a PR crisis

With millions of people using social media each day, the chances of a PR crisis going viral are exponentially higher than they used to be: news and stories can now spread like wildfire.

That’s why social media monitoring has become so valuable, and can be your first line of defence in many ways when faced with a burgeoning PR crisis:

Early intervention

By implementing a strong social media monitoring strategy, choosing the right keywords, and consistently monitoring your account (or having someone do it for you), it’s possible to stop a crisis before you lose control.

Social media

Social monitoring allows you to potentially identify small issues that may, one day, become larger ones. You can address feedback and complaints, reach out to people personally, and ultimately gain a better understanding of how your brand is perceived.

All of these combined offer great ways to improve your chances of avoiding a social media blowout.

Find key influencers

Imagine this: you’re in the middle of a PR crisis, and the issue is still buzzing on social media. You want to know who is speaking out most frequently, who has the most followers, and who is consistently being retweeted/shared. You want to know who are the influencers of the issue, and why they’re keeping the issue alive.

Social media monitoring tools allow users to identify these influencers, so organizations can then develop a social/PR strategy to approach them and (hopefully) resolve the issue.

By keeping an eye on your influencers, you’re bound to find people advocating on behalf of your brand as well. You can then reach out to your positive influencers and harness the power of positive brand advocacy to rebuild your brand image.

Keep your finger on the pulse of popular opinion

You may know the issue, but do you know the full impact it’s having on your brand? By using social media monitoring, you can get a better handle on popular opinion – both good and bad. This gives a much more insightful understanding of the situation, and how it could be potentially rectified.

Monitor your success

Has the problem and negative attention died down? Are people beginning to speak more positively about your brand again? Do your followers feel you’ve offered an impactful solution?

After you’ve implemented your recovery strategy, social media monitoring can help you gauge your success and offers insights into how to further improve your brand image.

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From the media database: Our top 5 Weird Al Yankovic fansites

After many years of polka-fying and injecting humour into America’s biggest hits, Weird Al Yankovic  released his 14th album, Mandatory Fun, this summer. It debuted at number one on the Billboard Chart in July.

Weird Al Yankovic released his 14th album at the top of the billboard charts in July.

Weird Al Yankovic released his 14th album at the top of the billboard charts in July.

Fans are now petitioning for Weird Al to perform at the Super Bowl.

In the spirit of supporting Weird Al and his mélange of comedic music, we’ve reached into MediaMiser’s media intelligence database to showcase Weird Al’s biggest fan sites!

Top 5 Weird Al fansites & blogs

1.   World of Weird Al Yankovic (1,521 average daily visitors)

“The almost official ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic forum featuring Ask Bermuda and lots of fans.”

2.   Al Yankovic blog (582 average daily visitors)

Blog by the weird man himself. Hasn’t been updated since last year, but it’s still popular.

3.   Al-oholics Anonymous! (313 average daily visitors)

Facts, interviews, merchandise. This site has it all.

4.  Yankovic! (121 average daily visitors)
“The first parody page that is completely devoted to the funniest singer in the whole stinkin’ world”

5.  Crash course in Weird Al (27 average daily visitors)

 Fan site aimed a new Weird Al fans.

And we’re sure Weird Al will continue to expand his fandom with his latest release, Word Crimes.

Stay tuned for an infographic from MediaMiser analyzing the social media success of Weird Al’s eight days of releases from this past summer!

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Amazing Race Canada (S2:E6): Tell a great story and shoot five-hole

**SPOILER ALERT!**

One constant if you want a hit TV show, a good blog post, or even meaningful analysis is to tell a compelling story.

This is what makes Season 2 of The Amazing Race Canada so successful. The storyline and storytelling has matured from Season 1, and the social media analysis confirms this.

Social media activity was up 87.9 per cent year-over-year from last year’s Episode 6, and 25.7 per cent week-over-week. It was the fourth-most successful episode in the show’s history, at least so far.

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Parry Sound boy and Amazing Race Canada contestant Mickey Henry squares off with the Winnipeg Jets mascot, Mick E. Moose, at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the first time, The Amazing Race Canada ran a post-episode show meant to catch up with eliminated competitors and get their perspective on other teams, unknown storylines of the show, and so on.

This helped boost overall social media activity. Posts about the post-episode show, hosted by TSN’s James Duthie, represented 8.5 per cent of the episode’s activity.

The idea of reintroducing eliminated contestants also helps reengage viewers who may have been fans of eliminated teams. It helps draw them back into the show and, by extension, the social conversation (Cormac and Nicole were the most popular of the eliminated teams, receiving the most mentions at 16.6 per cent).

This week’s episode in Winnipeg, Manitoba, featured the Royal Canadian Mint, Canadian Museum of Human Rights, pierogi stuffing, and singing at a music bar, Whiskey Dix. But was the visit to the MTS Centre, home of the Winnipeg Jets, that set up one of the best storylines in the show’s history.

Gold medal hockey Olympians Natalie Spooner and Meaghan Mikkelson passed up a Fast Forward — which would have allowed them to win this week’s leg — so they could show off their hockey prowess in a shinny-related roadblock.

What unfolded next was worthy of a Greek tragedy. After successfully shooting four pucks into targets in four tries, it took them over 50 additional shots to hit the fifth (the dreaded five-hole) and complete the task. The stumble allowed two teams to pass them, including the eventual leg winners Pierre and Michel Forget (who used an express pass given to them by — you guessed it — Spooner and Mikkelson).

The ice duo received 24 per cent of all Twitter mentions — most of which were overwhelmingly positive or sympathetic.

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Rex Harrington, above, and teammate Bob Hope were eliminated after Rex stumbled on stage.

Rex & Bob, who were eliminated (again somewhat ironically) after ex-ballet star Harringon stumbled during a performance event, ended up receiving 11.9 per cent of all Twitter mentions.

Organizations also did a good job engaging this week: Tourism Winnipeg, the Canadian Mint, the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, the Winnipeg Jets, and Whiskey Dix all engaged on Twitter and all were mentioned.

Corporate sponsors Air Canada and Petro-Canada have implemented contests that include viewers and make them part of the show. Air Canada allows viewers to win flights through its “Win the World” contest, and Petro-Canada sponsors a poll encouraging viewers to vote for their favourite contestants.

Again, this helps to further enhance the storyline and keep viewers engaged.

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Four ways to engage your audience, regardless of medium

No matter which company or organization you’re involved with, every communications plan requires different channels to be effective.

Though these channels may be used differently, if you stick to the following four tips, you’re more likely to engage your audience no matter which medium you’re using:

audience

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ask questions and give answers

Whether you’re blogging, tweeting or Instagramming, make sure to ask your audience relevant questions. They’ll appreciate having an open forum to voice their opinions, and you’ll appreciate the value of their insights. Should your audience have any questions, make sure to provide a well-thought-out, personalized answer.

This type of engagement is key for creating a tight-knit community of advocates for you or your brand, and could result in some great new ideas!

Be entertaining

Give a new insight on an industry problem, provide innovative ideas, think outside the box, use graphics! These are all ways you can use entertainment to provide another level of value, regardless of the medium.

Entertaining content is more likely to be shared, and more likely to engage people whom may not have been a part of your initial audience.

Be relevant

Make sure when you’re engaging with — or creating content for — your audience, you stay relevant. Use current examples, share recent articles, and reference current events. No one want to engage with a person or a brand who uses or references old, stale content.

Be accessible

Taking everything else into consideration, make sure there’s always a way for your members of your audience to contact you. Make your information available in a public forum, and make sure that when people in your audience have engaged, that you respond quickly.

This shows, above, all that you’re truly interested in your audience and their contributions. And it will ultimately pay off in the long run when your audience is quick to reciprocate with you.

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S2, E5: Amazing Race Canada Strikes Social Media Gold in the Yukon

This week The Amazing Race Canada traveled back to Canada — after, for the first time ever, leaving the country to travel to Hong Kong and Macau, China – where contestants took on the great outdoors of the Yukon.

As in Episode 5 of season 1, there was a shift in the game.

ARC week 5

Alain Chanoine, one of the winners of this week’s leg, bikes a trail in the Yukon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the first time, Natalie Spooner & Meaghan Mikkelson did not finish first in this leg of the race. And also for the first time, they were also edged out on Twitter activity by Nicole & Cormac Foster.

The Fosters, who actively engage on Twitter during every show, have seen their Twitter influence rise every week and have begun developing a loyal following.

Team Foster were mentioned in 15.3 per cent of all tweets this week, and Spooner & Mikkelson were mentioned in 14.5 per cent of all tweets.

And just like Episode 5 of season 1, which saw the elimination of Hal Johnson & Joanne McLeod (better known as Team Bodybreak), there was an outpouring of sympathy and disappointment for Nicole & Cormac when they were eliminated at the end of week’s episode.

The show saw a 17-per-cent increase in activity from last week’s episode. Eerily similar to last season’s Episode 5 (which recorded the third-highest activity of the entire season last year), this year’s Episode 5 was very close in social media activity — approximately half a percentage difference, in fact.

And it was wasn’t just tied to buzz around Team Foster, either: The Yukon story line and unique roadblock challenges also generated activity, with the most popular roadblock being the biathlon event with 3.9 per cent of all mentions.

Mickey Henry and Pete Schmalz are quickly developing into the Jet Black & Dave Schram of this year’s Amazing Race, with their one-liners and laid-back approach.

During the campsite challenge Mickey & Pete jokingly hit on Nicole, which elicited a response from Cormac that quickly prompted responses on Twitter.

 

Other contestants are also making an impact.

Rex Harrington & Bob Hope continue to be popular with 7.9 per cent of all tweets, Sukhi Atwal & Jinder Atwal continue to grow their activity with 5.9 per cent.

The winners of the leg, Alain Chanoine & Audrey Tousignant-Maurice, surprisingly only had 1.3 per cent of total mentions. Ryan Steele & Rob Goddard and Pierre & Michel Forget had less than one per cent of all mentions.

As mentioned in last week’s posting, familiarity and local activity from Canadian tourism groups often adds to the show’s social media traffic.

This seemed to be missing when the teams left for China. Travel Yukon engaged during the show and received 1.9% of all mentions compared to no travel related tweets from Hong Kong and Macau.

Air Canada once again was the top brand with 4.8% of all mentions.

The show also seemed to have success with its promoted hashtags this week, as in the case of #nevergiveupnicole:

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Amazing Race Canada Season 2, Episode 4: Show experiments with detour hashtags

Spoiler Alert!!!!

Both the location and the detours may change, but both the success of the race and Natalie Spooner & Meaghan Mikkelson‘s winning ways remain a constant theme to season 2.

Episode 4 started by ferrying contestants from Hong Kong to Macau, China, where the first detour consisted of contestants bungee jumping off a building.

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The Amazing Race Canada‘s further integration of Twitter, real-time engagement with viewers, and the use of hashtags was brought to a new level last night.

During the bungee jumping detour, the show promoted the hashtag #CautionPeopleFalling. It was the first time The Amazing Race Canada promoted an individual detour with a hashtag.

Only 2.2% of viewer interactions discussing the bungee jump contained the hashtag, but since it was the first time the show has ever done this, it’s possible that viewers were caught off-guard.

As other detour-related hashtags were publicized during last night’s episode, such as #stampit and #stompit, viewers began including those hashtags in their tweets with more regularity.

Overall detour hastags were included in 3.8% of all Amazing Race Canada tweets for the episode, which may have had a positive effect on viewer social media interaction.

During the show Amazing Race Canada tweeted the hashtag #HarshingOurMellow, which was in reference to Mickey Henry & Pete Schmalz‘s surfer-dude-like response to Sukhi & Jinder Atwal‘s ongoing frustration during a detour.

The tweet received 26 retweets, 44 favorites, and was referenced 31 times — once again, demonstrating the importance of Twitter to televised events.

Overall the episode saw a 2.7% increase in social media activity from the previous week, and a whopping 53% increase from last year’s 4th leg. However, the timing of last year’s civic holiday could have contributed to this.

This is all good news for The Amazing Race Canada, and they should continue to leverage social media and look for creative ways to leverage social chatter.

Also, like last week, Air Canada continued to engage on social media during the show in a positive way. The airline was mentioned in almost 5% of all tweets. The Air Canada “Win The World” contest is extremely popular and will likely to continue that popularity as the season progresses.

Once again, Spooner & Mikkelson led all contestants in twitter activity with mentions in 22.8% of all tweets, up more than 4% from last week. It’s apparent that their popularity, already high at the show’s beginning, has only improved after winning so many legs of the race.

Rex Harrington & Bob Hope still remained popular at 7.3%, followed the brother and sister team of Sukhi & Jinder Atwal at 7.2%. While not all were positive comments, hey did a great job engaging with viewers during the show and are developing a following.

Next it was Cormac & Nicole Foster at 4.7%, followed by Mickey Henry & Pete Schmalz at 4.4% (an increase from last week).

Ryan Steele & Rob Goddard were next at 1.7%, and finally Pierre & Michel Forget and Alain Chanoine & Audrey Tousignant-Maurice both were under 1%.

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Top Twitter influencers of San Diego Comic-Con

Every year, San Diego Comic-Con brings thousands of fans and fandoms together to celebrate comics, art, and many other aspects of pop culture.

Though the conference wrapped up this past Sunday, we monitored #SDCC since the beginning of the conference (collecting more than 1,254,581 tweets in the process). We used our SaaS analysis software to determine who, and what, had the most influence on #SDCC this weekend.

We’ve sorted our findings into the following categories: Influence by number of tweets, influence by retweet ratio, and the top mentioned hashtags of the conference.

Top influencers by number of tweets:

Top influencers by retweet ratio (original tweets to retweets):

Most mentioned hashtags:

Most mentioned hashtags of San Diego ComiCon

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Well, this happened: We’ve been acquired by Innodata!

It is an exciting day at MediaMiser – we’re proud to announce we have been acquired by Innodata!

Together we’re planning to accomplish great things in the world of media monitoring and analysis.

Where to start? First off, if you’re reading this: thank you. Whether you’re one of our wonderful clients, employees, family members or friends we thank you for helping make this day happen.

FinalLogo

Thirteen years ago we had a great idea to make media analysis easier. Now a teenaged company with thousands of happy subscribers, we’re ready to take our ideas to new markets with the help of Innodata’s digital expertise and global reach.

MediaMiser

But the more things change, the more they stay the same: we’ll continue operating under the MediaMiser banner, and our amazing staff at Ottawa HQ will continue working on cutting-edge software and providing the best customer service in our industry.

We’d like to thank our entire team for creating a great place to come to work every day: Paul, Shirley, Pragya, Stephanie, Lindsay, Jen H, Sophie, David K, Arlene, Derek, Greg, Jeff, Peggy, Tiffany, Carolyn, Jen W, David N, Evan, Gillian, Jared, Jim, Lucas, Mark, Scott, Brigitte, Céline, Chris, Don, Ian, Jasmine, Jen E, Lisa, Yan, Brad, Ryan, Hannah, Hao, Devin, Samer, Sarah, Stefan, Victoria, Katie, Sheena, Sara, Paige and Kasper.

And a big high-five to everyone, past and present, who helped us along the way! You know who you are.

Finally, thanks to our banks and advisers: RBC Technology Banking, Business Development Bank of Canada, Finalta Capital, Welch LLP, Software Equity Group, LaBarge Weinstein, and our kids’ piggy banks (we promise to pay back every penny).

To read the full press release, click here.

To the future!

Brett Serjeantson, CEO

Martin Lyster, COO

Chris Morrison, President

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How Amazing Race Canada contestants use Twitter to promote their personal brand

When it comes to promoting your personal brand, it’s easy to get caught up in hectic, overly-complicated strategies.

We understand that you want to make a great impression, especially when it comes to promoting yourself on social media such as Twitter. That’s why we’ve boiled it down to three fundamental branding principles: engage, surprise, and delight!

Engage

If you take anything from this, remember that to be successful in social activities (both online and off), you need to engage people. Join discussions about topics in which you’re interested, ask questions of industry leaders, or even pose questions to your followers. People are more likely to engage with you if you engage with them.

Nat Spooner and Meaghan Mikkelson from The Amazing Race Canada are a good example of a pair constantly and consistently engaging their fans by asking and answering questions:

Surprise

Another way to use Twitter to promote your personal brand is to do something unexpected. Followers are more likely to take notice when they’re surprised or see something out-of-the-norm. Think outside the box for ways to increase positive attention associated with your personal brand.

Give your followers something unique and personal, something that lets them know more about you in an unexpected way.

Rex Harrington of The Amazing Race Canada does an excellent job of this by providing tiny peeks into his life, and his extensive dance career in this amazing “Throwback Thursday” (#TBT) post:

Delight

No one wants to feel their time is being wasted with boring updates, or that they’re not important. That’s why it’s important to make sure that everyone has a positive and enlightening experience with your brand.

Again with an Amazing Race Canada example, Natalie Spooner delighted one of her followers by wishing her a happy birthday. It’s a small gesture but one that can have a big impact, and encompasses all of the Engage, Surprise, and Delight principles.

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