March 29, 2017

Kingston Diversity Works Symposium – Improving communication with newcomers in the age of social media

I was extremely pleased to be part of this year’s Diversity Works Symposium on March 28th, 2017, run by Kingston Employment Youth Services (KEYS). I ran a short breakout session: Improving communication with newcomers in the age of social media.

I wasn’t able to be in Kingston in person, so we did the session remotely. Many thanks to KEYS for being open to the idea of a remote presentation. As one participant tweeted, “Using tech to explain tech!”

Using meeting/webinar system, WebEx, I was projected onto a screen in the room, and a mic and camera were set up so I could see the participants and interact with them.

It worked and was a lot of fun. As always, there was much knowledge and experience in the room. In spite of beaming in remotely, we were able to have an interactive and engaging time together (many thanks to Ruth from KCHC for co-moderating in the room!). Hopefully some new local connections were made to share knowledge and ideas with each other.

Here’s what our focus was:

How do immigrants access information?

  • An overview of immigrants’ informaton needs and pathways
  • An overview of immigrants’ use of the internet – pre and post arrival
  • Major trends – summary of some earlier TRIEC research on marketing employment information to newcomers

How can we reach and serve them better?

  • The importance of trust & credibility in information provision
  • Look at information problems & overload from their perspective
  • It’s not all about technology
  • Go to the source, know your audience, importance of personalized information provision
  • Some promising practices in the sector


If you attended the session, I’d love to hear from you about what you found useful in the workshop, what more you’d like to know and anything you want to share.  Didn’t attend, but curious about the presentation or how a remote presentation went? Feel free to comment and let me know.

Workshop resources

Here are a number of workshop resources from the session, including slides, documents and links to additional reading and resources.

Presentation slides (for download and embedded for quick viewing) Improving communication with newcomers in the age of social media (PDF).

You may be interested in reading articles and podcast episodes on my site related to providing service online.

Additional documents (all in PDF format):

Articles for further reading:

Great examples of innovative agencies offering online and hybrid services across the country:

Here are just a few of the larger English language online social networks where newcomers share information and orientation:

Online security and encryption: