Harbor Fish Market & Grille to Host Next Social Media Breakfast Door County #SMBDC Wed, Dec 15

Social networking means “More honey in Door County, when DCBs create a hive mind.”

René Dubos

“In most human affairs, the idea is to think globally and act locally,” wrote Pulitzer Prize winning French humanist René Dubos in 1972. For more than four decades I have been following that directive in northeastern Wisconsin starting with the peninsula’s first Nordic Ski center in 1971 when that sport was just emerging.

We started a newspaper guide to ski trails in Door County back then, for a sport that no one but Al Johnson and I even knew existed. But, we printed 5,000 copies and delivered them to ski shops all over Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois… and the rest is history.

It’s much faster and easier to get news and information distributed now, but the tools have changed. Blogs, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are gaining an exponentially increasing number of users who spend more time online at home, in the office and on the road – using handheld devices for communication and navigation. These ever-changing Web tools are the focus of Kastner’s Social Media Breakfast Door County (SMBDC) events taking place at different venues on the 3rd Wednesday of each month.

On Wednesday, December 15 from 9 – 10:30 am, the Harbor Fish Market & Grille will host the latest SMBDC meeting at their Baileys Harbor location, with a free buffet breakfast for participants. The event will lead-off with an exploration of “Google’s View of the World,” beginning with why a Gmail business account is key to unlocking a wealth of free marketing resources. There will be a live online workshop demonstration of how to claim your free listing in “Google Places,” enhancing your map listing with photographs and videos. Further discussion will focus on the future of Web design when seen from a Smartphone’s perspective. The meetings are open-ended so a question and answer session is always included.

In November, more than 15 leaders from local not-for-profits met for an SMBDC gathering at Glas Coffeehouse to get an overview of how social media works in their organizations. It was agreed that a step-by-step approach would greatly benefit everyone starting to take up these new methods of marketing online. With that in mind, we will center the following meetings around each of the chapters of his free book on social media, “6 Steps to Becoming a Social Business.” The chapters include: Google, WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn and the book is available as a downloadable PDF.

The SMBDC meetings are free and open to the public, but an RSVP is requested out of consideration for the host and staff at the Harbor Fish Market & Grille. You can email stephen.kastner@smbdc.com or call 920.256.9449 with questions or to make a reservation.

Fox Valley’s New North Social Media Breakfast on “Tourism Industry” Features Stephen Kastner… on Panel of Experts, June 15

For more than a decade DesignWise Studios has been promoting Door County’s arts, natural beauty, quiet sports and cultural heritage through various online endeavors including Door County Style, Chefs and Compass Magazines with a strong emphasis on demonstrating the impact of social media.

“At first, there were just eight of us that decided to get together every month to talk about how we were using social media and what worked and what didn’t,” says Abby Gutowski, Public Relations Manager at the Weidert Group in Appleton. “Now, these monthly social media breakfasts have grown to where we have sponsors and 60 to 80 people attending each meeting.”

That was 15 months ago when the New North Social Media Breakfast group (or #nnsmb for those who wish to track it on Twitter) was just beginning. Now, these business learning opportunities have garnered a large following and take place in a variety of different public venues, alternating between Appleton and Green Bay each month. The meetings are true-to-form with “wired” attendees at all levels of experience, posting streaming updates to Facebook and Twitter on their laptops and smart phones while the breakfast meetings are underway.

Stephen J. Kastner

“This is the ‘new model’ in action,” says Stephen Kastner, marketing consultant with DesignWise.Net…works. “Social media is all about spawning and participating in an authentic conversation. It’s a one-to-one-to-many discussion, where clients expect to get direct responses from business leaders. Businesses that pay attention by listening and responding to the continuously flowing thought stream in social media, will be rewarded with meaningful relationships and powerful loyalties.”

Attending these breakfast groups could be more beneficial than earning an AACSB online MBA for your business or to help you create limitless room for advancement with your employer.

Kastner is one of a panel of four experts in the use of social media for marketing that will be speaking on the “Tourism Industry” – the topic of the next NNSMB, taking place in Appleton on Tuesday, June 15 from 8 – 9:30 am at the sponsoring Outagamie County Regional Airport’s (ATW) Public Safety Building.

Joining Kastner will be Kim Sipploa, Marketing Manager, ATW (@ATWairport), Trina Sankey, Senior Project Manager, Travel Guard (@TravelGuard and http://www.worldsunluckiesttraveler.com) and Dick Knapinski, Director of Corporate Communications, EAA (@EAAUpdate and http://www.eaa.org). They will explain how they utilize social media to connect with travelers, publicize events and increase revenue.

The New North Social Media Breakfast is provided to business professionals, both experienced and newcomers to social media, at no cost. Also, due to high interest, the New North Social Media Breakfast is implementing a new online RSVP system. To sign up for a breakfast, interested parties simply search “New North Social Media Breakfast” on EventBrite.com and order a free ticket.

The Breakfast was founded in March 2009 by Dana VanDen Heuvel of Marketing Savant in partnership with Weidert Group, Inc. and Element. The group, consisting of Fox Valley professionals, meets monthly to discuss how social media is impacting their businesses. More information can be found at The New North Social Media Breakfast Ning group at http://newnorthsmb.ning.com.

Earned Media vs Paid Media… But Beware of PR Puffery!

Using Press Releases for advertising purposes is considered earned media – but be careful to see that your PR is truly newsworthy.

Puff pieces” that have no valid news content will most likely be sent to the trash bin by any self-respecting news agency. However, if you have a special event, a workshop, a new publication, an expansion or if you have earned an award or honor, completed some advanced level of training – anything that might make up an authentic news story – then it deserves to be circulated in the media. A well-written press release should get picked up as news by all types of media including: print, TV and radio broadcasters, Web publications, bloggers as well as throughout numerous channels of social media.

Stephen J. Kastner
Stephen J. Kastner

Having been a professional photojournalist for the New York Times papers in Florida and having written hundreds of news columns and press releases for the print media for over three decades, I know how to write newsworthy stories. Maintaining an extensive set of media contacts and having professional experience helps me provide my clients with an advantage over their competitors who try to create do-it-yourself, in-house PR. Since we only create and distribute valid, newsworthy PR, we are known and respected by media “gatekeepers.”

Earned media vs paid media (advertising) may also include live appearances on radio, television and streaming Internet broadcasts, as well write-ups in letters to the editor, editorials, and polls. The bonus in using PR over paid advertising is not only the price (even if you hire a person to write it professionally, it’s usually cheaper by the square inch than a display ad of the same size), but the credibility factor. A news story is assumed to be truthful and not seen in the same light as an advertising pitch.

With the rapid evolution of social media wherein authentic “conversation” between friends has become the new advertising norm, the following comparisons between earned media and paid media may be valuable:

Earned media fosters customer engagement.
Paid media is based on the old-school, top-down method of tell-and-sell.

Earned media engenders conversation.
Paid media merely pushes information out.

Earned media conversations that foll0w …are organic.
Paid media, is merely sending out a marketing pitch and is often the mark of failure when trying to use that approach in social media .

Earned media enables interaction between the customer and the provider of goods or services.
Paid media offers a pitch to sell goods and services.

Earned media is targeted.
Paid media casts a wide net.

Earned media is distributed and often shared throughout numerous channels and if truly successful, may go viral.
Paid media is distributed over select and limited pathways.

Earned media is highly ranked by search engines and greatly benefits SEO.
Paid media is of low priority in search engine indexing and has a low impact on SEO.

Earned media is positive news coverage that you actively work to get.” – NHTSA

Please, contact me if you would like to learn more about how I can provide you with a means of generating effective earned media…

Walking the walk… from passive to active media design

Since I can no longer give advice that I am not applying directly to my own work, I have installed WordPress and am now proceeding to develop my own DesignWise.net social media consultation Website as an ongoing work-in-progress. Equipping my clients with the capacity to easily communicate is now fundamental to providing an effective and empowering marketing strategy. A recent New York Times article talks about the latest findings in a Forrester Research report…

Nearly a quarter of American adults who use the Internet are “creators,” Forrester says, which means that they “write blogs, upload original audio or video, or post stories online.”

I am recalling @Pistachio at the Montreal Webcom in November 2008, explaining one key value of Twitter to… “Surround you with motivating people” and “Flatten hierarchy.”

gulliver1

Now, it’s all about the rise of Lilliputians and the fall of Gullivers. Don Bartholomew, aka metricsman says, “Numerous studies have shown people don’t trust what they read in the media, they trust each other.  I believe it was Hauser and Katz who coined the term you are what you measure in 1998.”

The Forrester report mentioned above explains that, “half of online adults now belong to social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, a 46 percent growth rate year-over-year.” And explains further that adults 35 and older are now the fastest growing demographic group, “Four of five adults of all ages now use social media, including blogs, social networks and review sites, in some form at least monthly; half visit social networking sites.”

My own integrative design theories have expanded to include the impact of social media and content creation on what was formerly a studio art form – the creation of static HTML Websites. With the shift from passive to active media, I have become less a designer and more a coach, teaching my clients how to enter into the world of inbound advertising. As metricsman agrees, it is no longer effective to measure site traffic and impressions when there is a raging dialogue taking place in locations far too numerous to measure or evaluate. He offers a new model of measurement:

Exposure – to what degree have we created exposure to content and message?

Engagement – who, how and where are people interacting/engaging with our content?

Influence – the degree to which exposure and engagement have influenced perceptions and attitudes

Action – as a result of the PR/social media effort, what actions if any has the target taken?”

As this new “active media” continues define and refine itself, marketing and public relations is no longer about simply having a great Website… it’s about having a large social footprint and an active voice in the ongoing dialogue. It’s also about  listening as well as speaking, tracking what is being said about you, about your products and about your focal points.

In 2006 I started another shift in my own creative strategies, working to become a filmmaker and video journalist. It was apparent to me then and has now proven to be true, that video production is the emerging pathway to new media communications. I just completed the first stages of a client-funded documentary film-making project on Door County’s Midsummer’s Music Festival that is also simultaneously re purposed as social video marketing. You are invited to join in that conversation at my DesignWise Studios, filmmaker and video production Website.