Tweet You Say? Building your Brand as a Para-Athlete by Jan Ditchfield

I recently did a group presentation on the “how” to develop a personalized brand as a para-athlete using social media. What I took from the opportunity was that we aren’t having enough conversations about the “why”; as in why it is so important to be online and to claim your brand from the onset. As a para-athlete, your brand will play a key factor in sponsorship endorsements, media opportunities and raising awareness of your sport outside of traditional market spaces. If you are not online, you need to be. Social media is a huge part in the development of your brand. Like it or not, it’s here to stay and the online community you create can be the defining factor in how you are known in the public eye. Continue reading

The Art of Advertising by Jan Ditchfield

(This blog post is personal. They are my real thoughts. Mine and mine alone.)

Advertising is the art of making whole lies out of half truths.  ~Edgar A. Shoaff

It stands to reason that coming out of a Paralympic year we’d see an increase in mainstream advertising using persons with disabilities in commercials and print campaigns. This year my feeds were inundated with spots, ads and conversations about equality and mainstream recognition. Working in the world of para, you tend to seek out examples of this and get lost in the belief that if you are seeing it, then everyone must be; positive examples of persons with disabilities. What we tend to forget is that we have knowledge of this industry and the community which the average viewer doesn’t. We’re actively seeking out this information instead of waiting for it to be presented to us. The average viewer isn’t doing the same. We have knowledge on the backgrounds of the talent who have been cast. The average viewer doesn’t. It’s the average viewer that mainstream advertising is targeting, not those of us who are already converted. And when you step outside of our circle and look at the use of persons with a disability in marketing campaigns from that vantage point, you are greeted with a shockingly different perspective. Continue reading