#cdnpoli: Mike Hudema, Stephen Lautens, PM this month’s top influencers

Since the House of Commons returned just over two weeks ago, a lot has happened in the world of Canadian politics both inside and outside of Parliament.

We tracked the #cdnpoli hashtag between September 15 and 28 to see exactly what was most important to Canadians when it came to Canadian politics.

The array of topics was certainly interesting. As you can see in the chart below, no topic accounted for more than 5.5 per cent of tweets while a total of eight accounted for three or more per cent.


The push for an inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women drew the largest share, followed closely by discussion of MP Paul Calandra’s responses during question period.

Interestingly, the potential mission in Iraq – which is what Calandra was being asked about in QP — was the next-most popular topic.

Both the development of Canadian oilsands and the Climate March held at the UN Climate Summit appeared among the top topics. A significant portion of this was driven by Greenpeace activist Mike Hudema, who was by far the most influential twitter handle for the #cndpoli hashtag during the period.


Mr. Hudema also had the most-retweeted tweet during the period, which you can see below.

The next top influencer was writer/lawyer Stephen Lautens, who mostly tweeted about the Prime Minister’s appearance at the UN General Assembly.

Several other top tweets also referenced the speech.

The Prime Minister’s own handle was the next top influencer.

He was retweeted for the visit of Ukrainian PM Petro Poroshenko, and the signing of the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement.

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State of the Media: Sales of local U.S. TV stations jump 205% in 2013, while digital employment rises


The Pew Research Center released its State of the News Media 2014 report yesterday, unleashing a barrage of data regarding the condition of the U.S. media machine in areas such as audience, economics, news investment and ownership.

We’ve broken down some of the most interesting findings below:

Employment/news investment

While full-time newsroom jobs at U.S. newspapers fell by 2,600 in 2012 (the most recent year figures are available), one key highlight from 2013 was the growth of editorial positions at digital news outlets such as Buzzfeed (added 170 last year), Gawker (whose staff swelled to around 130), Mashable (which hired former New York Times editor Jim Roberts), and Yahoo (which hired several journalists from the NYT).

Staffing levels at local TV stations were classified as “stable”.


Sales of local U.S. television stations jumped a staggering 205 per cent year-over-year in 2013, with the total value of these transactions sitting at $8.8 billion (a 367-per-cent jump from 2012). Sinclair Broadcast Group was the biggest buyer, snapping up 63 stations and bringing its total roster to 167 TV stations in 77 markets.

The value of local TV acquisitions in the U.S. in 2013 was the largest since 2006, when nearly $20 billion in transactions took place.



Maybe the most significant development on the newspaper side is that the Newspaper Association of America has ceased publishing its quarterly reports on ad revenue (it will release a full-year report within the next few weeks). The most recent figures available, from 2012, aren’t encouraging: Ad revenue dropped 52 per cent from 2003 to 2012, to $22 billion.

According to the Pew report, publishing leviathan Gannett reported a six-per-cent decline in ad revenues in 2013.


The U.S. cable network audience between the big three channels MSNBC, CNN and Fox News dropped a combined 11 per cent to around 3 million. MSNBC suffered the biggest drop, hemorrhaging 24-per-cent of its prime-time audience in just one year.

Many of those viewers could have shifted preferences to local TV, which saw an overall increase in viewership across the board in 2013 (after years of declines). Local morning news viewership was up 6.3 per cent, and network news program viewership (at big networks like ABC, CBS and NBC) was also up slightly.

Growth was also identified in the realm of online radio. According to Pew, the percentage of Americans who listen to online radio in their cars jumped to 21 per cent (compared to 17 per cent in 2012).

Finally, digital native outlets continued to see success from an audience perspective, with sites like Buzzfeed drawing numbers comparable to well-established, legacy news sites such as the Washington Post.

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Five ways media monitoring & analysis before a campaign can increase ROI

Campaigns take a lot of time, money, and effort to create, so it’s only natural to want them to be successful!

We all want to get the best return on investment (ROI) possible, and though there’s no way to guarantee that, you can definitely increase the odds of success by using media monitoring before a campaign:


It helps determine if your campaign idea fits your market

Monitor keywords related to the theme of your campaign in both conventional and social media. Is your audience using these keywords? What’s the sentiment around their keyword usage?

You may decide that your idea actually isn’t the best for reaching your target demographic, but don’t worry — you can also use media monitoring to find even better ideas, if need be.

If your idea isn’t a good fit, change it up

By monitoring keywords related to your industry you can evaluate the most common themes or topics mentioned alongside those keywords. If you’re an energy company, maybe you discover your target audience is raving about the newest green energy solution — that’s valuable intelligence that can help focus your campaign, thus (in theory) increasing your ROI.

It allows you to identify influencers

By monitoring social media and news sources you can identify your industry’s prime influencers. For good or ill, these are the people who are likely talking about your brand the most, so it’s important to keep an eye on what they’re saying and with whom else they’re interacting.

Media monitoring will find your influencers, give you a firm understanding of their positioning with regard to your industry or brand, and allow you to determine more effective messaging strategies.

It tells you which channels are better for your audience

Monitoring and analysis can also help identify which channels and news sources your audience consumes the most, and which ones discuss your industry/brand the most. Once you have a better understanding of all this, you’ll know which media outlets or journalists you should target for your campaign.

By using media monitoring and analysis this way, you can ensure your budget is being used to gain the most impressions, clicks, and earned media possible.

You can see what your competitors are up to 

What kind of campaigns are they doing? How are they being received? Are they achieving a higher share of voice than you? See how their followers and influencers are responding to their campaigns, and use that information to your advantage.

By monitoring what your competitor is doing, you can easily modify your campaign to be more effective with your target audience — which, essentially, is the same as theirs.

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Amazing Race Canada (S2, E12): A strong finish for Ottawa (and #CongratsMickeyandPete)

***Spolier Alert***

Season 2 of the Amazing Race Canada finished strong, with the season finale being the most tweeted episode ever.

Compared to last year’s finale, last night’s episode saw an amazing 97.1% increase in Twitter activity and a 179% increase from the semi-final episode.


Natalie Spooner and Meghan Mikkelson negotiate rapids on the Ottawa River, courtesy of local rafting outfitter OWL Rafting.

Mickey Henry & Pete Schmalz, who didn’t win a single leg during the race, were able to beat favourites Natalie Spooner & Meaghan Mikkelson when it really counted – and, not surprisingly, saw a dramatic increase in social media mentions.

The hashtag #CongratsMickeyandPete, which went out after Mickey & Pete won the race, was the most successful hashtag for the Amazing Race Canada to date. It accounted for 12.6% of all tweets last night and Mickey & Pete were mentioned in 32.8% of all tweets.

Not to be outdone, gold medal Olympians Spooner & Mikkelson, who ended up winning Petro-Canada’s Fuel Your Favorite Team award as the most popular team, had the second-most total mentions with 23.6%.

Ryan Steele & Rob Goddard, who finished 3rd overall, were mentioned in 4.7% of all tweets.

But the big winner of The Amazing Race Canada was the show itself, the sponsors, and especially tourism-related companies and organizations.

The City of Ottawa and Ottawa-based tourist destinations were big winners during the finale.

Parliament Hill (The Library of Parliament), National Gallery of Canada, the Museum of Nature, and the Diefenbunker were each extensively tweeted about. Viewers used hashtags throughout the show’s various tasks to refer to a specific challenge or roadblock.

Those tweeting during the finale used hashtags such as #Diefenbunker, #PaintingsFromTheRace, and #ItsRightThere.

Top 10 most tweeted hastags during the finale:

  • #RaceCDA 56.3%
  • #CongratsMickeyAndPete 12.6%
  • #AfterTheRace 9.4%
  • #AmazingRaceCanada 4.9
  • #NoPantsNoProblem 3.4%
  • #Ottawa 2.0%
  • #PaintingsFromTheRace 1.9%
  • #MickeyAndPete 1.7% 
  • #Diefenbunker 1.3%
  • #ItsRightThere 0.7%

Both Ontario. Yours to Discover and Ottawa Tourism were tweeting and retweeting during the finale, and encouraging people to visit various Ottawa locations.

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Scottish referendum: Social media, pollsters and Andy Murray

The prognosticators for today’s Scottish independence referendum are probably as anxious as the people of Great Britain – after all, the science of polling has been under siege lately as our society and its news sources have become more fragmented.


Andy Murray wraps himself in the Union Jack after winning a tennis match. (AFP photo)

Another dimension is added with the advent of social media, where emotion and a greatly accelerated news cycle can strongly influence public opinion.

Add the proliferation of mobile technology, call blocking, and the growing trend of moving away from land-lines — the traditional communication channel for pollsters collecting information — and for pollsters, predicting outcomes has become exponentially harder.

When people relied on only a few news sources, opinions were more predictable and less volatile.

As an example, just before polls opened today, British (sorry, Scottish) tennis star Andy Murray tweeted his support for the Yes vote:

What effect will this have on the vote? Is this simply preaching to supporters of the Yes side? And how will it influence the undecided?

Social media does influence opinion, but it can also be deceiving if not analyzed correctly.

During the 2011 general Canadian election, we observed that those who supported the NDP on Twitter outnumbered the Conservatives. But the Conservatives ended up winning the election (despite the NDP’s very strong showing).

We live in a very fragmented society. Ironcially, it could be even more fragmented with a “Yes” vote today.

Stay tuned.

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Amazing Race Canada (S2,E11): Spooner, Mikkelson, ice cream and hometown pride

*** Spoiler Alert ***

Season 2 of the of The Amazing Race Canada has been very successful so far, and if that trend continues the season finale will likely be the most successful episode to date.

New Brunswick

Mickey and Pete at the Hopewell Rocks, in New Brunswick.

This week’s episode saw a dramatic 25.7% increase in Twitter activity on the day of the airing compared to last week’s successful and entertaining episode 10, and compared to last year’s semi-finals episode activity was up 40.4%.

As mentioned in last week’s post, episode location typically has a dramatic effect on viewer social media interaction. Viewers look forward to the following week’s destination, and the trailer after the show can noticeably drive social media activity.

The hashtags #NewBrunswick (Episode 11′s location) and #Ottawa (the upcoming season finale location) were both in the top 10 for most-mentioned hashtags during episode 11. #NewBrunswick was mentioned in 2.8% of all tweets, and #Ottawa was mentioned in 2.4% of all tweets.

Furthermore, Ottawa was the second-most active location for twitter activity.

Toronto 23.5%
Ottawa 8.4%
Winnipeg 8.0%
Vancouver 5.6%
Calgary 5.5%

Both New Brunswick and Ottawa Tourism were very active on Twitter, which again demonstrates that The Amazing Race Canada offers an ideal platform to promote tourism.

And not only did Natalie Spooner & Meaghan Mikkelson win the leg, but they were also (once again) the most popular team on Twitter. They were mentioned in 25.3% of all tweets:

25.3% Natalie Spooner & Meaghan Mikkelson (won)
9.5% Sukhi & Jinder Atwal (eliminated)
7.7% Mickey Henry & Pete Schmalz (2nd)
6.2% Ryan Steele & Rob Goddard (3rd)

Finally, show sponsor Dairy Queen were mentioned in a very impressive 5.2% of all tweets. They were featured in one of the roadblocks and many comments either expressed cravings for their product, or were disappointed that the product placement took away from the New Brunswick location.

Air Canada’s #ACWinTheWorld contest continues to do well, and was mentioned in 2.8% of all tweets during the show.

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TIFF 2014: Robert Downey Jr. wows the crowd on Twitter

[Which films and actors were the most tweeted at TIFF 2014? Find out here!]

While Benedict Cumberbatch was wowing viewers inside the theater at TIFF 2014, it was Robert Downey Jr. who was drawing an audience outside on the red carpet.

We analyzed over 250,000 TIFF tweets between September 4 and 14 and RDJ had nearly three times as many retweets as anyone else.


Mr. Iron Man himself also accounted for the top eight tweets and nine of the top ten. Only a tweet from Once Upon a Time’s Lana Parrilla broke his streak:

RDJ was in Toronto promoting his new film, The Judge, with Robert Duvall. Maybe not coincidentally, The Judge was the most-mentioned film during the festival, of which its star accounted for almost three-quarters of its mentions.


Our pre-festival favourite, Clouds of Sils Maria, dropped to fourth, beat out by People’s Choice winner Imitation Game and Still Alice.

The top tweet from Downey Jr. was actually a farewell photo featuring his wife and son.

He also posted pictures of himself licking actor Vincent D’Onofrio and downing a drink on the red carpet.

TIFF’s own handle had the second most retweets, followed by Variety and Warner Bros Pictures.

Other top stars included the aforementioned Parrilla and Clouds of Sils Maria star, Chloë Moretz.

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Michael Geist: When is it OK to share copyrighted material internally?

BACKGROUND: Finance Canada was recently taken to Federal Court by an Ottawa news agency after the outlet claimed copyright violation by the department, alleging that staff emailed two news articles internally.

Michael Geist: MediaMiser board member

University of Ottawa professor and Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law Michael Geist. (image supplied)

Finance Canada, for its part, responded that the articles “were emailed for non-commercial, research purpose and used fairly.”

In light of cases like this, it’s sometimes hard to know what the average Canadian should do if they want to share an article internally for research purposes — especially if they don’t want to step on any legal landmines.

We asked University of Ottawa professor and Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law Michael Geist to explain:

MM: Is there a gap in knowledge when it comes to copyright law among Canadians?

MG: There’s certainly often a gap. That stems from those who aren’t aware, but also because there are real uncertainties about where the law falls on these issues. This case is a clear example of that: you have a provider who feels there has been an infringement and is seeking compensation, but you’ve also got a department who is responding in kind and believes that both on contractual and copyright grounds, they’re operating within the law.

Sometimes the law isn’t clear-cut. But even when it is clear-cut, you get differing opinions on how to interpret it.

MM: So can a user share a full copy of a story if it is for research purposes?

MG: This is an unsatisfying answer, but it depends. If you’re not under any contractual restrictions (from your subscription agreement), then I think the answer is that yes (it is OK). The dissemination of a single article for those purposes is likely to fall within the “fair dealing” exception.

Where things get more complicated is when there is a contract… that creates express limits on what they’re able to do with those articles. In that case the potential violation is not a copyright violation per se, but a breach of contract.

MM: How does a typical reader or subscriber know they’re under a contract?

MG: There certainly will be cases where someone isn’t aware of limitations that might exist. And if you’re an organization subject to limitations and providing access to users, you’d likely want to provide users with knowledge about what they’re entitled to do with the information.

But bear in mind these contracts are themselves still subject to the law. It may be that some contracts seek to override the law, and there is still debate amongst some on whether you can do that.

MM: When does it start to get really risky for those sharing content internally? Is there a rule of thumb in terms of the number of articles you can pass around?

MG: If a large number of articles all come from one source, it could impact the fair dealing analysis. But if we’re talking about one-off incidental copying of articles the fair dealing argument may still be quite compelling.

MM: How much impact does commercial vs. non-commercial use have?

MG: If you’re trying to argue that the copying was fair dealing, then there is a six-factor test that has been established by the Supreme Court of Canada to determine whether or not the use is more or less fair.

So commercial use is one of the factors, but contrary to what some have tried to suggest, it’s not disqualifying: it’s not the case that just because someone is (copying) for commercial purposes, that they have no opportunity at all to make a fair dealing claim.

(Please see this link, under the heading “Fairness of the dealing,” for a full list and explanation of the six factors that help determine fair dealing).

MM: What can people do to ensure they’re on the right side of the law at all times?

MG: If you’re regularly sending stuff around, and are subject to contractual limits, then you’ve got a number of options: You can get a site license that allows you to disseminate or distribute on a broader basis. You can also obtain a collective license that covers a wide range of materials from different copyright collectives. Or… you can just go to the copyright holder for permission to distribute that particular piece.

MM: Do you think we’ll see more of these types of legal actions as some media outlets become more and more cash-strapped?

MG: We might. I do think that as we see publications move toward pay walls and metering, they may find ways to enforce that—or at least send a few timely reminders that this is their business model, and they’re going to use the means available to them to try to enforce it.

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Amazing Race Canada (S2,E10): Everyone loves PEI

**Spoiler Alert**

As predicted in last week’s post, there was an increase in the social media activity for this week’s episode of the Amazing Race Canada.

This was largely thanks to strong activity from those on Prince Edward Island itself (where last night’s episode took place), but also people across Canada talking about PEI.


Natalie Spooner and Meghan Mikkelson strip mussels off their ropes during a particularly smelly challenge.











This week’s episode saw a 15.8% increase in Twitter interaction from last week. Other than Toronto, Charlottetown and the rest of PEI were the most active regions with 10.4% of all tweets in which the location could be confirmed.

This once again highlights the strength of Amazing Race Canada’s hometown appeal to viewers.

Hashtags such as #anneofgreengables, #Charlottetown, and #PEI were used throughout the episode. The hashtag #PEI was also used in 12.8% of all tweets, demonstrating the affinity viewers have for the Island and its citizens.

Top Five Cities (Percentage of known tweets)

  • Toronto 20.5%
  • Charlottetown/PEI 10.4%
  • Winnipeg 8.2%
  • Calgary 7.0%
  • Ottawa 5.1%

This episode will definitely pay off in spades for Tourism PEI, as the show has quickly become a fantastic marketing platform for the Canadian tourism industry.

Besides the picturesque location and challenging tasks The Amazing Race Canada’s penchant for great storylines continues, whether that involves viewers cheering for Canadian Olympians Natalie Spooner & Meaghan Mikkelson, underdogs Ryan Steele & Rob Goddard, or this year’s comic relief team Mickey Henry & Pete Schmalz.

Every protagonist needs an antagonist, however, and Sukhi and Jinder seem to have embraced this persona somewhat. Once again, The Amazing Race Canada focused on Sukhi and Jinder trying to deceive fellow competitors. Though the ploy on Natalie and Meghan failed, Sukhi and Jinder still ended up winning the leg.

But the majority of support still goes to fan favorites, starting with Natalie & Meaghan:

Percentage of Twitter mentions:

  • 26.1% Natalie Spooner & Meaghan Mikkelson (2nd)
  • 10.3% Sukhi & Jinder Atwal (1st)
  • 6.4% Mickey Henry & Pete Schmalz (3rd)
  • 4.7% Ryan Steele & Rob Goddard (4th)
  • 1.9% Alain Chanoine & Audrey Tousignant-Maurice (Eliminated)

As for corporate sponsors, once again, Air Canada’s #ACWinTheWorld contest continues to be a success. Air Canada was the most tweeted brand, being mentioned in 3.7% of all tweets for this episode.

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TIFF 2014: Clouds of Sils Maria and Kristen Stewart lead the buzz

The Toronto International Film Festival debuts today as Hollywood and international film stars descend on Toronto and a number of high profile films will be shown over the next week and a half.

We’ve tracked the festival the previous two years and we’d thought we’d take a look at the 2014 version., monitoring both #TIFF and #TIFF14 on Twitter to see what people are most excited about.

We’ve noted before that TIFF tweets tend to be predominantly Canadian, which is still the same this year. Of tweets with locations, just less than 72 per cent came from Canda, while just less than 14 came from the US.


Toronto, not surprisingly, was the top city, accounting for almost 47 per cent of tweets with a location. Los Angeles was a distant, distant second with 3 per cent and New York had 2.2 per cent.


Clouds of Sils Maria, starring Kristen Stewart, Juliette Binoche and Chloe Moretz, has generated by far the most buzz of any film at the festival so far.


Stewart herself has generated some good buzz for her performance in the film.

She was by far the most mentioned actor while Binoche also appeared in the top ten. tiff2014stars.png Bill Murray, who stars in the film St. Vincent also got some buzz and was the second most-mentioned actor:

And, finally, Julianne Moore may be up for this year’s Benedict Cumberbatch award, starring in both the second and third most mentioned movies, Still Alice and Maps to the Stars. Moore herself, though, was just the sixth most-mentioned actor.

With the festival just kicking off, stay tuned as we see how the festival progresses.

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