InsightsPOSTED January 12, 2015

5 Qs: Centennial College’s Barry Waite

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Visual content

APEXers are asking five questions about the year it’s been and what individuals are looking forward to in 2015. This week we begin with APEX industry partner…

Barry Waite

Barry Waite
Chair, School of Communications, Media & Design
Centennial College
@toronto_pr_guy

1. What is the biggest surprise/change you’ve seen in the communications/PR industry in the past year?

“I think one of the biggest trends has been the explosion in visual content. Communicators often focus on words. More and more the focus is on how do you tell a story using a multi-platform approach where often words aren’t even used. The huge popularity of Pinterest, Snapchat and Instagram reflects this trend. And while Facebook may continue to be the social media marketers’ first choice, visual content dominates there as well.

In our PR program at Centennial College we’ve added a new focus on visual storytelling to the curriculum.”

2. Who is the true disrupter or game changer in your opinion? Why?

“I’m going to focus on a local hero – Dave Meslin (@meslin). Dave describes himself as “community choreographer” who is working at the grassroots level to create a better Toronto.

What impresses me about Dave is the way he uses social media and old-fashioned public relations to get people engaged on a variety of subjects. He has tackled everything from visual pollution (billboards on the 401) to taking down old fences to open up neighbourhoods. His latest initiative, #2forTO, is the perfect example of how social media can be used for social good.”

3. What app or technology do you rely on most day-to-day? Why?

“I could not live without Twitter. With Twitter, I’m plugged into everything I need to know, from breaking news headlines to what’s the hottest trend in social media and PR to what’s happening in the halls at Centennial College. Plus my Twitterstream is always filled with interesting and provocative content that helps me learn something new every single day.”

4. What don’t you want to see carried over in 2015?

“Honestly I could deal without knowing which Game of Thrones character or reincarnated historical figure my friends are on Facebook. It seems there’s a new character personality quiz everyday. I will admit I did the “What Downton Abbey character are you?” quiz. I got the scheming butler Thomas. I’m only a little like him.”

5. What are you most excited about for 2015?

“I am really excited about the Pan Am Games. I think it is an incredible opportunity to showcase our city and to see some amazing competition. Plus Centennial PR students will be volunteering with the PR and social media teams at the Games, which I think will be a once in a lifetime experience for our students. I can’t wait!”

These five questions with Barry Waite were compiled by Linda Andross, managing partner, APEX PR/ruckus digital. Follow her on Twitter.