Browsing articles tagged with " newsrooms"

MediJean: Canada needs an intelligent debate on medical marijuana

Oct 23, 2013   //   by admin   //   Blog  //  No Comments

Canadians deserve a smart conversation about medical marijuana’s future, says Anton Mattadeen of bio-pharma company MediJean. The company launched an online national debate on medical marijuana where Canadians coast-to-coast can participate.

The Medical Marijuana Debates invite the public, patients, doctors, law enforcement personnel and politicians to engage in a discussion on medical cannabis.

The Medical Marijuana Debates are being launched in conjunction with, part of the Quebecor Media network, the largest press group in Canada.

The Debates come at a timely moment for the country: Health Canada announced in June new regulations that will change the way Canadians access marijuana for medical purposes. These regulations require patients who need medical marijuana to receive a prescription from a doctor or nurse practitioner before having medical marijuana shipped directly to them from a Health Canada-approved Licensed Producer.

As of Oct. 1, Health Canada isn’t accepting new applications for Canadians to grow their own medical marijuana. The government will completely exit the medical marijuana business beginning April 1, 2014.

To learn more about the just-launched Debates, Digital Journal spoke to Anton Mattadeen, Chief Strategy Officer of MediJean, a company that recently won a special Research and Development exemption granted by Health Canada to grow medical marijuana for research and development purposes. We wanted to find out why a national discussion will be an integral step forward to teaching Canadians about a medicine often derided as a recreational hobby.

Digital Journal: What are the main facts Canadians should know about medical marijuana?

Anton Mattadeen: Canadians need to know this is going to be a legitimate industry. This is not a fly-by-night operation. And there is no one place to air a variety of ideas about medical marijuana and to have an intelligent conversation about this medicine.The Medical Marijuana Debates will serve up opinions that may shape other people’s opinions. When more people are talking about medical marijuana, it’s better for the whole industry.

Digital Journal: Has Canada talked enough about medical marijuana in the past decade? Do you see a gap in the discussion?

Anton Mattadeen: There’s been a lot of talk but not a conversation about medical marijuana. There hasn’t been a respectful sharing of ideas. Canadians need to realize medical marijuana is something that is going to affect everybody. And we need to have more cohesive voice discussing the topic.

Digital Journal: We’ve seen how the Medical Marijuana Debates has a wide range of voices sharing their opinions on the topic, from parents of sick children to MS patients. What does that variety of perspectives offer to readers?

Anton Mattadeen: Multiple perspectives demonstrate there’s an awful lot of expertise in this industry at all levels. Look at the patients of the old Health Canada Marihuana Medical Access Program – those folks developed lots of expertise and have a lot of information locked up in their head. We’ve also seen newly released scientific data adding layers of professionalism to this industry, along with tons of business acumen.The goal of this entire debate process is to get us to a place where no one feels uncomfortable about discussing medical marijuana. People have to realize marijuana can be a medical solution for people’s health as opposed to something used recreationally.

Digital Journal: What do The Medical Marijuana Debates offer to other countries who may be curious about how medical marijuana can affect their citizens?

Anton Mattadeen: It sets an example of how to create an intelligent conversation that benefits all participants. The new Health Canada regulations are much more progressive than other decisions made by governments around the world. Canada is taking a very responsible approach and no one is sticking their head in sand.

Digital Journal: How will Health Canada’s changes to its medical marijuana program affect Canadian patients?

Anton Mattadeen: It ensures patients get high-quality medicine. Let’s face the facts: The program now in place looks after just under 40,000 Canadians. The government admits through its own research that hundreds of thousands of Canadians have medical requirements and are self-medicating with marijuana because the program is very difficult to become part of. It’s very paper intensive. But the new program is simple and the patient discusses his or her ailment with the doctor, gets a prescription, and then a licensed producer can assure a high level of quality control.

I spoke to a brain injury victim who uses marijuana for neuropathic pain, but he’s never had the opportunity to become part of Health Canada’s old program. So he is getting his marijuana through black market channels. That helps him with pain but he never knows what he’s going to get. So he’s excited he can go to a licensed producer to get consistent medicine.

Digital Journal: Where do you hope medical marijuana in Canada will be five years from now?

Anton Mattadeen: I hope the stigma attached to the substance itself is pushed aside. One of the reasons I’m so happy about this debate process is that when people start talking about medical marijuana and digest information based on facts, those facts change a lot of opinions.This is the normal path for drug discovery; it’s something that may start off on the periphery but it evolves into medicine through research and science. The same stigma once existed around opium and now it’s commonplace to hear about its derivatives like morphine, or codeine. Who hasn’t used Tylenol?

Right now people spend lots of time dealing with misconceptions. It would be great in five years from now if a patient could walk into any health care practitioner’s office with a particular ailment and medical marijuana is one of the options openly addressed and offered. Medical marijuana is a benign substance that has great therapeutic value and it has never killed anyone via an overdose. It’s been put on this planet for a reason.

This article originally appeared on Digital Journal

Photo courtesy Anton Mattadeen

Future of Media Preview: Q&A with /newsroom’s Sabaa Quao

Mar 7, 2013   //   by admin   //   Media blog  //  1 Comment

by David Silverberg

In our final Future of Media preview Q&A, we spoke to Sabaa Quao, Chief Marketing Officer of Digital Journal Inc. and co-founder of /newsrooms. Quao has managed teams dedicated to the future of marketing and advertising, and he’ll join the decorated panel at the upcoming Future of Media discussion on March 14 in Toronto.

Quao boasts extensive marketing experiences, having helped launch of the Toronto Raptors and Playdium Entertainment, rebranded the CN Tower and the Directors Guild of Canada, and led special projects for Toronto International Film Festival Group, Nortel Networks, Roots, RBC Royal Bank, Levi’s, Bell Mobility, Rogers Communications, The Beer Store, GlaxoSmithKline, McCain Foods, Corona, Coca-Cola, and Jack Daniel’s.

In this interview, he discussed why brands should embrace “continuous marketing,” why analyzing marketing performance is now more important than ever and the major mistakes companies make in their content marketing initiatives:

You’ve worked in marketing and advertising for years, so explain how that world has changed over the past several years and what trends are emerging in this space, specifically in digital.

Quao: Marketing and advertising has always managed to keep at pace with or slightly ahead of “culture”. That was until the pace of technology outpaced the capacity for people and agencies to keep up. So the agencies, I think, have to pick their battles and stop claiming to be able to do it all. Not only does the claim ring hollow, some won’t recover from the failure when they try. Rather than go it alone, I think the best creative and marketing teams will learn to collaborate like mad. From those collaborations, the unique combinations that arise will pleasantly surprise the clients, their audiences, and event the agencies themselves.

The other emerging reality of agencyland and marketing outputs is the hell that arises from everything digital being measurable. There’s no escaping it. The verification of marketing performance is never, ever, ever going away. Deal with it. By no means am I implying that one should give in to everything being measured — the best creative directors and marketers are going to know when to ignore the numbers at the front end and still deliver the right results at the back end.

What brands are at the forefront of branded content or content marketing? What lessons can they teach other companies?

Quao: Coke and Red Bull are the two brands that come to mind. At the Coke end, their extremely well-articulated vision of content marketing is the most coherent I’ve seen and heard. Everyone can learn from that.

At the Red Bull end, the consistency of their adrenaline content is remarkable and the word that comes to mind is actually “patience.” There’s no trendy fast decision to “Hey, let’s have a guy jump from space”. There’s patience in nurturing relationships to eventually end up dominating the Dakar rally. This all points to the long view Red Bull has around their chosen content.

When it comes to analytics and ROI, how can brands best take advantage of branded content and social media campaigns and get the best bang for their buck? What should they be looking for after specific campaigns?

Quao: Every campaign offers the opportunity to learn something new. It’s always worth diving into the quirks and patterns that emerge from a completed campaign. The best bang for the buck then comes from doubling down on new directions. This is a remarkably consistent way for our /newsrooms team to find new audiences. The next campaign invariably adds communities and audiences to the mix whom we’d never known were relevant before until we looked at the sparks that emerged from a prior campaign.

Should brands become publishers? What type of brand is best suited in becoming a CNN for their product?

Quao: No, brands should not become publishers, it’s not their core business. At the same time, brands must realize that they have no choice but to publish. A paradox.

Rather than try to become CNN or BBC World News, brand should collaborate with entities that can operationally run that race. A generation ago, did brands build their own television or film studios? No, they did not. But the collaboration with television and film producers got brands credibly into many forms of branded content.

What’s the future of content marketing? It’s a buzz word today but where do you see it five years from now, say?

Quao: Content marketing won’t go away. I don’t think it’s a buzz word. However, it’s a subset of the more important wave called “continuous marketing”. The audience is always on, the social media channels are always always open.

As a result, there needs to be considerable thought put to finding ways for the marketing machine to never turn off. Content becomes one of the steady inputs, but the data crunching and testing, the perpetual co-creation, the software-driven responses and productions, and more are all going to be around too.

Explain the most common mistake by brands diving into social media and how they can avoid making this mistake again.

Quao: The most common mistake brands can make is to fall into the same tired and meaningless social media industry clichés. If I hear another social media flak advise brands to be authentic, I’m going to gag. Instead brands should have some courage to step into the darkness. Alone. They need to feel their way around, and come out of the darkness with something new to say and do. And some of it won’t work. These aren’t “mistakes”, it’s sometimes just stuff that didn’t work. Get over it. Move on. And the brand teams don’t always need to step out with something radical that the organization can’t sustain or absorb. There’s room for gentle and reasonable innovation.

The other mistake I sometimes hear is the notion that one must hand the brand over to the consumer because that’s what the consumer wants. Really? I don’t think a brand should ever entertain that thought. Instead, think like a platform. Hand over a framework or a sandbox that the consumer can step into and collaborate with. There’s a big difference, that’s not handing over the keys to the shop.

The upcoming Future of Media event will take place Thursday, March 14, 2013 at Toronto’s Drake Hotel Underground (1150 Queen Street West) at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m. and admission is free and open to the public. Note: Seating is limited so it will be first-come, first-served. Previous events have hit capacity very quickly so early arrival is highly recommended.

For other Future of Media Q&As, go to our interviews with:
Digiday’s Josh Sternberg
Buzzfeed’s Jonathan Perelman
Globe & Mail Steve Ladurantaye

Future of Media event to discuss & debate branded content with experts from Digiday, Globe & Mail and /newsrooms

Jan 29, 2013   //   by admin   //   Blog, Future of Media 2013  //  2 Comments


All-star panelists to delve into world of native advertising, brands as publishers, journalism’s role in sponsored content and where digital media is headed. Follow #FOM2013 on Twitter for updates

TORONTO — Digital Journal Inc. announced its next Future of Media event featuring some of the most influential leaders in media and branded content.

The event will take place March 14 in Toronto and will feature executives and leading experts from the Globe & Mail, Digiday, /newsrooms and the Custom Content Council.

Future of Media events are panel discussions that explore how current trends, technologies, business practices and social media innovation affect both the media industry and its audience. At this year’s event the focus will go beyond just media and look at marketing and advertising as well.

The upcoming Future of Media event will take place Thursday, March 14, 2013 at Toronto’s Drake Hotel Underground (1150 Queen Street West) at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m. and admission is free and open to the public. Note: Seating is limited so it will be first-come, first-served. Previous events have hit capacity very quickly so early arrival is highly recommended.

On the panel discussing the booming trend of branded content is: Josh Sternberg, reporter at digital media news outlet Digiday; Steve Ladurantaye, media reporter at the Globe & Mail; Sabaa Quao, Chief Marketing Officer of Digital Journal Inc. and co-founder of /newsrooms; and Joseph Barbieri, Founder & President of BESPOKE Group Inc. and Board member of the Custom Content Council. Future of Media discussions are must-see events for anyone interested in the rapidly changing landscape of media, the Web and digital technology. The March 14 event will focus particularly on a trend the digital media world is clamoring to talk about: brands as publishers.

The panel discussion will focus on the following topics:

  • What is the role of branded content (aka brand journalism or content marketing) in media?
  • How will branded content play a role in the future of media for both brands and media companies?
  • What do brands need to know as they make the transition into becoming publishers?
  • Should media companies and brands invest in branded content, and what are the pros and cons?
  • Does sponsored content create an unholy alliance between brands and media companies?
  • What role does everyone play in the branded content industry?
  • How will agencies, marketers, journalists, brands and media companies collaborate and compete?

These are just a few of the hot topics to be discussed at the Future of Media event in March. The event will feature a live panel discussion followed by a Q&A session. Future of Media will be covered live on Twitter via the hashtag #FOM2013 and questions will be taken via Facebook and Twitter to pose to panelists.

Future of Media 2013 Speaker Bio: Sabaa Quao

Jan 28, 2013   //   by admin   //   Future of Media 2013, Speaker Bios  //  1 Comment

Sabaa QuaoSabaa Quao is the Chief Marketing Officer of Digital Journal Inc. and co-founder of /newsrooms.

Quao is a creative director, business strategist, and career entrepreneur who has a passion for emerging platforms in the digital media and marketing space. From cloud-inspired business models, to bending (and sometimes breaking) Facebook, to building social media-driven transactions, Quao has managed teams dedicated to the future of marketing and advertising.

Quao founded and ran XCORPORATION for 10 years, an intense and accomplished communication and design firm in Canada. He eventually moved to London UK and tightened XCORPORATION’s focus around new brand and enterprise development

In addition, FILMINUTE is the International One-Minute Film Festival Quao founded with John Ketchum in 2005, based in London, Bucharest, and Toronto.

In London, Quao ran Capacity Networks, a media and entertainment IP commercialisation company formed from a merger between Helsinki and Oxford-based technology and software development companies.

With degrees in Communication and Design (OCAD), a B.Comm in Marketing (Concordia), and an Executive MBA (Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto), Quao brings a valuable left brain-right brain balance and approach to business problem solving. Creative and strategic discipline, combined with entrepreneurial instinct and activation leads to provocative business and marketing solutions.

Quao’s marketing and consulting portfolio includes the launch of the Toronto Raptors and Playdium Entertainment, the rebranding of the CN Tower and the Directors Guild of Canada, and special projects for Toronto International Film Festival Group, Nortel Networks, Roots, RBC Royal Bank, Levi’s, Bell Mobility, Rogers Communications, The Beer Store, GlaxoSmithKline, McCain Foods, Corona, Coca-Cola, and Jack Daniel’s.

Quao has a passion for building new brands and enterprise business units from scratch and he has done precisely that for a wide range of companies and continue to collaborate on projects of this nature internationally.

Follow him on Twitter at @xsabaa

‘Twitter for Newsrooms’ becomes official resource guide for journalists

Jun 27, 2011   //   by admin   //   Media blog  //  1 Comment

Twitter For Newsrooms

By Chris Hogg

Twitter today introduced a new portal for journalists called Twitter for Newsrooms. The resource is similar to Facebook for Journalists, in that it offers best-practice advice and tips on how reporters can use the social media outlet in their day-to-day job.

The information portal offers a number of sections relating to various journalistic tasks: reporting, engaging, publishing and a section called “extra.”

  1. Under the reporting section, journalists learn about using search to its fullest potential. You can learn about in-depth advanced searching techniques and finding sources; Tweetdeck and Twitter for Mac; mobile tips; and how to use Topsy to find older tweets.
  2. Under the engage section, users can learn how to use Twitter to connect with audiences, share news and build community. This section includes case studies, tips on how to brand your Twitter presence and a glossary.
  3. In the Publish section, journalists are given tips on everything from a toolkit called Web Intents, to a WordPress plugin for Twitter, to official display guidelines on using tweets in media, and an image gallery of Twitter logos.
  4. Finally, in the Extra section, Twitter provides links to blogs, support/help items, DMCA issues and Twitter in other languages.

While a lot of these tips may be familiar to Twitter veterans, Twitter for Newsrooms offers a wealth of information for journalists who are just starting out on the social platform.

What do you think about Twitter for Newsrooms?