Debbie Elicksen

Social Media Publicist. Content Creator. Transmedia Strategist. Public Relations.

February 26, 2015
by Debbie Elicksen

Dude, You’re Being Very Undude

You post something with a positive message, and someone you know makes a comment that is awkwardly inappropriate for the meaning of your post. It does not forward the conversation. Instead, it sucks the air out of it, like spraying puppies with Raid because he or she thinks they have fleas.

We’ve all seen it happen. We could have even been the culprit.

Dude, you’re being very undude when you do that.

Hijacking a seemingly positive or innocent post to spread thoughts of doom and gloom or spout off a political rant is what you might call friend-based trolling.

If the friend brings nothing but icky Debbie Downer crap to the yard and offers no positive value to your newsfeed, you probably should consider the big UF: UnFriending. But if the troll-y comments are not done every time and this friend actually provides some interesting conversations and imagery for the most part, just delete their comment. Most of the time they won’t even notice.

My “favorites” are when someone comments on a television or music video you posted and the person snootily responds that they never watched the show or heard of the artist and has no use for them or they “hate” that singer. Well, what the hell are you wasting my time for then? Did I ask for a hater’s opinion?

Whatever happened to what our mothers told us? “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

YOU are the master of your social media universe and you do not have to adjust your editorial direction to accommodate someone else’s drama, unless you choose to do so. In which case, the rest of us can hide your post from our Timelines.

Debbie Downer, SNL Character


February 16, 2015
by Debbie Elicksen

3 Rock Stars of Social Media

These 3 rock stars of social media epitomize what it means to be an every day influencer and thought leader.

Jon Mitch Jackson


Mitch Jackson is living proof that types of industry have no bearing on the success of social media. He podcasts, blogs, webcasts, articles, and created the Human.Social website to help others follow his footsteps of engagement.

He is a trial attorney who prioritizes in communications and his digital currency speaks for itself. Mitch’s professional accomplishments are too numerous to mention, but let’s just say, if you need a civil attorney in California, he’s the first guy you should call.

Get a full list of Mitch’s social sites here.


Kim Beasley









Kim Beasley knows a thing or two about using media to get noticed. She’s helped anyone from small businesses to large corporations to high profile individuals use digital media to push their business to the next level.

Get a full list of Kim’s social sites here.


Michael Q. Todd

Michael is a social media machine whose multi-purposed posts are one-size-fits-all. No matter who you are, where you live or work, you will find something valuable in his feeds.

Get a list of Michael’s social sites here.

January 27, 2015
by Debbie Elicksen

Media Thuggery



I don’t know about you, but whenever there is a mass or high profile shooting, after about five minutes of watching the news, I feel like having a shower.

The report goes on ad nauseam, dissecting every little detail of the perpetrator’s life, splashing his or her face and name into every nook and cranny of a newscast on every anchor desk, every hour, every day, until the next mass murder comes along.

We get that the editors and producers want to find out why and how it can happen. But after the umpteenth tragedy, it should be clear by now that there are no answers. Even if one can anticipate and pinpoint the actual date a crime is about to happen, there are no legal ways to stop someone from carrying out a nefarious act until they declare it.

But as a viewer, I, like the rest of you, do go through a period, and especially when the story has a personal connection, where I am consumed with the news. During those close-to-home times, it may not be 24/7 enough. We all felt that during 9-11, and probably most Canadians felt that during the recent Ottawa shooting on Parliament Hill.

But from the actual family of the victim’s perspective, the continuous reset of the story and the perpetrator is like a fresh assault with each name and image. It turns the media into the thug.

No Notoriety = No Media Thuggery

When CNN Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter interviewed the victim parents behind the website No Notoriety, the thought “it’s about time” ran through my head.

The gunmen behind mass shootings crave the notoriety. They even smile for the camera, if they are not cowardly enough to take themselves out alongside their victims. So the premise behind the website is:

We CHALLENGE THE MEDIA to stop the gratuitous use of the name and likeness of mass shooters thereby depriving these violent individuals the spotlight they so crave.

Lonnie Phillips, whose daughter was one of the dead from the Aurora theater shooting, wrote an opinion piece for Politico: The Killer I Refuse to Name. He is tired of seeing the media turning their children’s death into entertainment, which suspiciously seems to be all about ratings more than storytelling the news.

During Stelter’s broadcast, the question was thoughtfully asked: “As a journalist, do you want to be Walter Cronkite or TMZ?”

If we can clean up the Internet one post at a time, perhaps we can clean up the news one report at a time, by adhering to the suggested media protocol and thus end what shooting victims and their families might see as media thuggery.

January 24, 2015
by Debbie Elicksen

Tales of Mystery and Imagination


Screenshot 2015-01-24 at 2.01.17 PM

It’s an artist I hadn’t heard for years: The Alan Parsons Project. Although the sound is very Pink Floyd-like, the music has a unique and distinct quality about it. When the subject matter of the first album was about Edgar Allan Poe, I was sold.

While my sister was playing Tales of Mystery and Imagination as she took down the Christmas tree, it got me thinking about some things my generation (people in their fifties) may take for granted. Most of the people I’ve known throughout my life have read, at some time or another, Edgar Allan Poe. But has everyone since then? Perhaps, but even if you have, this post is going to be a treat.

Poe wrote ghoulish stories with such a flair, you felt as though you were in the room as his characters. You can find an assortment of his classics online, including books that now fall into the copyright-free zone (see your book apps for free downloads) or look for collector volumes when you’re out and about.

If you never read or watch anything else, then it must be The Tell-Tale Heart. It was Poe’s greatest classic, and one of his shorter reads. Every time your eyes lay on the pages, you are mesmerized and pulled into the scene, with your stomach clenching and heart palpitating.

Alan Parsons Project aptly brings a fun and mysterious twist to celebrate his most famous stories in song. Here are a couple of examples:

The Raven

The Tell-Tale Heart

Now in order to really experience Poe’s storytelling at its best is to see Vincent Price perform an adapted screenplay. There will never be an actor that personifies horror like Price did. Just hearing him recite the words of Poe is all you need to feel the experience. One might classify this genre as Shakespeareian Horror. Enjoy.

The Raven

The Tell-Tale Heart

January 12, 2015
by Debbie Elicksen

The Great Escape


“No medium has contributed more greatly than the film to the maintenance of the national morale during a period featured by revolution, riot, and political turmoil in other countries.” — William Hays, Motion Picture Producers and Distributors Association, 1934.

The Great Escape from all the societal ills has been, and always will be entertainment.

The Great Depression in the United States has been compared to the fallout of economic downfall of 2008, or The Great Recession. Banks failed, at least a quarter of the population was out of work, and relief measures helped to compound the misery.

Hollywood was the one saving grace in both eras. When things go to shit and when current circumstances make it difficult to see past the next day, this is when people need an escape the most. This is where film, music, books, and games step in.

A relief from reality was so important in the 1930s that the government offered assistance programs to artists so they would provide cheap or free entertainment for the masses to enjoy. Much of the film industry’s content was crafted towards escapism and to allow emotionally and physically spent adults to drift away for just a couple of hours into a land of luxury and romance, sprinkled with an element of heroism.

During World War II, the government instilled regulations and censorship to ensure its population could depict war in a positive light. Movies and theaters were used to foster the war effort. Theaters were actually used for collection sites for scrap metal used in factories that produced materials for war, and also a place to sell war bonds and donate blood.

It was also during WWII when the United Services Organization (USO) was born, where artists, such as Bob Hope, traveled abroad to cheer up the troops.

Directors filmed combat situations and created short documentaries to educate the public about the war.

Today, we still have Hollywood, and escapism includes a wide swath of movies that bring comic book superheros to life. We also have social media and online gaming that helps us connect in outstanding ways. For some, especially if they are isolated from theaters and population, the digital medium has given them a reason to wake up in the morning. They feel connected to humans across the globe and can enjoy free entertainment at any given moment of the day.

So when things go into the crapper: like the economy, your relationship, terrorism — it is entertainment that gets us through the day. It is why movie receipts are at an all-time high, why we still watch college football, the Super Bowl, and the Academy Awards in droves. It’s why we care whether Brad Pitt has shaved his locks or that Paul McCartney is singing with Kanye West. We care because we have to — or we’ll go insane.


January 4, 2015
by Debbie Elicksen

Social Media Picture Tagging Fail


If you have to tag all of your friends to see a random photograph on your Facebook wall (and it’s usually one you didn’t take yourself), you can classify it as a social media picture tagging fail. If you can’t gain a following or interest from an organic post, then you’re not doing it right.

Let’s use Facebook as an example. While everyone is not going to see your post in their Home feed, if what you’ve posted gets likes and shares, then it will reach more people, and if they like and share it and their friends like and share it — you don’t need to tag anyone on your post.

In fact, it’s damn annoying to have people continually post random things on other people’s walls that serve no other purpose other than to pump up their own social algorithms. Do it once, the post gets deleted. Do it three or more times, you get deleted.

There seems to be a number of people who feel the need to tag 50+ people in each of their Facebook posts. This is really a downgraded version of spam. It doesn’t matter how nice the photograph is. Chances are you have no reason to tag anyone on it except to get their attention. If you really like the picture, that’s okay. Keep it on your own wall.

If you just have to tag or you’ll die, try this. If you know that one person really likes muscle cars and you stumbled across a beautiful vintage shot of a 1955 Desoto, do tag that ONE person on a post, and say “Thought of you.” If anyone else is interested, they will join in the conversation.

Choose a couple DIFFERENT people a day, every couple of days to purposely check out their posts and like or comment on one that grabs your attention. Don’t do it if it is just for the sake of it. Be genuine. Social media has a way of spotlighting those who are being a phony. It’s the best way to embrace your social connections and maybe if you’re genuine and interesting enough, they’ll embrace you.

It is okay to tag someone with a relevant post or something you think will brighten their day — someone you might want to send positive energy to. It’s okay to tag someone in a post’s conversation — as long as you are either speaking with them or bringing them into the conversation because you think it might be something they want to see or be a part of.

Random group tags will soon turn you into a social pariah. There are people I genuinely like who I’ve had to eventually unfriend because they would not stop group tagging me on all of their posts.

Have an editorial guideline for your Facebook posts and in other social media. What do you want people to get out of your page? What’s in it for them? Are you sending a message to educate, lift, entertain, or celebrate something? If your post is interesting enough, people will share it. If it’s not, just keep positing until something clicks, then do it again — without the tag.

Post responsibly.

December 31, 2014
by Debbie Elicksen

Chris Hadfield’s Guide to Optimism


There is always going to be some sort of tragedy somewhere in the world, even in our own neighborhoods. There will be things that happen to which seem unlikely in the 21st century. There will be heartbreak, death, scandal, mistakes, and terrorism. We can allow it to weigh us down and drive us into a sense of hopelessness. Or we can use this as a launching board to be different — to BE the role model we want to see in others. To be the example of courage, caring, and community.

Just because it’s always been done that way doesn’t mean we have to do it the same way.

Just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t mean we have to follow suit.

Even if you think you’ve had the crappiest year of your life, if you take a look around, a real look around, you’ll see that your life is probably 10 times better than someone else’s. You’re allowed to be disappointed, mourn the loss of opportunity, get mad and scream to the sky, but then look to how you can make things better. Sometimes it’s just from changing your perspective.

This is where Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield comes in. He has had a unique view of the world: from outer space. You’ll remember his name from a video that went viral of him singing David Bowie’s Space Oddity.

Hadfield helps us put the world into perspective. As bad as things might be in certain places, what we’ve achieved as a human race has been no short of a miracle.

I can tell you first-hand that changing perspective works — and it is work in itself to do. When I discovered a cyberbully hellbent on destroying my business, after a period of mourning, depression, and screaming at the sky, I dusted myself off and quietly thanked him. He taught me how not to act on the Internet and through the process of regaining my composure, I discovered a book inside of me, which I penned to help others going through the same process. It seems as if no experience is an accident.

Optimism is the key to survival.

December 30, 2014
by Debbie Elicksen

Hollywood and the Digital Revolution


My $6.99 (Canadian) can be factored into the $19.8 million Sony made in the first four days of the digital release of “The Interview.” The studio would have earned $4.89 from my download. The idea of being able to watch a pay-per-view movie on YouTube, which meant I did not have to be hooked to a television or cable box, was something I kind of want more of. Hollywood and the digital revolution is in full swing, whether it wants to admit it or not.

We do see Hollywood taking advantage of digital media through a film’s shorter running time at a brick and mortar theater. This opens the door for Video On Demand, which can net a film more than double the earnings of what it makes in the movie house.

The steer towards digital media has taken a few different forms, thus far, and two of them involve the same actor.

Kevin Spacey stars in “House of Cards,” which airs exclusively on Netflix. It has been nominated for several award categories and won a few of them, including 2013 Emmys for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series and Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series, plus Robin Wright won a 2014 Golden Globe for Best Actress — Television Series Drama. Spacey also appears in Call of Duty Advanced Warfare video game.

We’ve seen a few examples of genius marketing in using transmedia to promote a television series or movie as in the two examples below.

Given the collective of creative minds and content creators, we can only imagine how Hollywood will begin to shape our digital future and entertainment experience. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait.

December 19, 2014
by Debbie Elicksen

Your App Sucks


My first mobile device was a tablet. It was also my first journey into the experience of apps. After all the commercials and blogs I had seen, I couldn’t wait to see this device wow me off the screen. Two years later, my app experience hasn’t changed.

After shopping in the app store for the most needed apps: Facebook, Gmail, YouTube, Google, etc., I started sifting through the categories and downloaded a ton of publishing, media, and creative content apps.

Having been a subscriber to the NFL Sunday Ticket, I couldn’t wait to open the Atlanta Falcons and the NFL apps. In stunned disbelief, I saw that they were the equivalent of a static website in mobile, except stickier in moving from tab to tab. So the only time I opened the NFL app was on game days to keep tabs on the other scores. was a much better user experience and even had/has interactive live play-by-play, where you can watch the ball move down the field. The NFL app has improved quite a bit by adding video, features, etc. Considering the innovation of the NFL and the NFL Network, I very much expect the app to be over the top.

Newspaper and other league apps were actually worse than the early NFL app. They had way less information than you would find on a website — a third-party basement blogger website. I deleted all of them. Radio, movie, and TV? Your app sucks. I am somewhat resentful of the time wasted in downloading them. The only news app that still exists on my tablet is Al Jazeera.

Then there are apps I loved using in the United States that will not operate in Canada. I’m talking about you, Pandora.

In 2013, there were 102.062 million apps downloaded worldwide, according to But only 90% of apps are downloaded once. That means once an app is downloaded, the user saw it didn’t meet their expectations of coolness or content, so they never visited it again.

Maybe we shouldn’t be too surprised about this. After all, few industries and schools have caught up to technology. So if you’re looking for something that gives you an interactive Angry Birds-type of experience, you’ve got to download a lot of toads before you find that prince of an app.

December 18, 2014
by Debbie Elicksen

Google+ Viral


Those Google+ experts were right, but they were also wrong.

While I do sing the merits of Google+, I don’t sing it by hating on other platforms and declaring that this is the only platform worthy of participating. That is the message that has flooded not only the Google+ stream for the past year or two, but our eardrums as the Plussers cite the ills of Facebook and chastise everyone from being in that platform and elsewhere.

As we say on LinkedIn: I’m an Open Networker.

Google+ is a tool, and a damn good one. It really helps you in the Google search engine. But after being on this platforms for a couple of years now, I do not see an exodus of my friends, family, business connections, and general acquaintances from Facebook. Judging from how many notifications I’ve had, there might be seven percent who have subsequently joined G+, and maybe one of them is active. Unlike a G+ snob, I’m not going to chastise them for that.

But to the G+ snobs’ credit, their main mission has been to clean up the Internet and create more valuable posts. We don’t need only Google+ for that. We could do that everywhere. However, many of these Plussers have huge followings and when they do post and share, it gets impressively circulated. Of course, a lot of those posts have been singing to the choir of Plussers by offering up hymns about Google+. Don’t get me wrong, there is a need for that and a few great individuals who have been wonderfully helpful to the Plus community in guiding them on how to write a proper post and get the most mileage out of the platform. It’s just when everybody was doing it, it got a tad boring.

For the rest of us who post the thought-provoking, nugget-filled, properly-crafted posts — we might get a couple of plus ones (likes) but for the most part we just hear crickets. There is no Google+ viral. What does go viral are those posts that irk many of the Plussers: the geek culture meme, a music video, or something outrageously stupid.

The Internet is our office, and just like a brick and mortar office, we need coffee breaks, lunch breaks, and sometimes we like to step away from the computer to unfuzz our eyes or allow our brains to relax before tackling another task. All work and no play is boring. If you can post the meat and still allow your personality to shine and people like your personality, that is a win. It is also a win when you can make someone smile, laugh, or feel emotion. A good Google+ page is to balance this content.

I should have written down the source (my bad) but it was from one of those LinkedIn Pulse articles, about what makes a post go viral. The author broke it down into four categories: a) the element of surprise, b) something cute, c) something creative, and d) something that taps into your emotions.

Guess what? That means silly memes, funny videos, a beautiful photograph, and music.

I have a TON of posts on Google+. The ones that have made the biggest splash have included those elements, specifically animals and music. The following are two personal examples.


This video generated wonderful discussions about the band, Christian rock, and even religion. There were spammers and haters, but I immediately deleted and blocked those authors.



This video was so awesome that you wanted to adopt this dog before the clip ended. It is still circulating like crazy.


As the original sharer of this post, you can see how many ripples were sent because it touched a chord with so many who watched it.

Take an inventory of the types of posts that seem to resonate with people in ALL of your platforms. You may find one size does not fit all. That said, those #ThrowbackThursday posts, beautiful images, inspiring quotes seem to cross all platforms. It’s just the coffee break we’ve all be looking for.


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