Stage & Theatre
Return on Networking – the ROI of Social Media PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Monday, 10 June 2013 08:23
By: Marsha Friedman

I was never a fan of the cocktail party-variety networking scene. I will never be one to dart around a room shoving business cards into people’s hands. I prefer meaningful conversations with people, getting to know them and vice versa.

But social media networking? That’s something different altogether. Done right, it’s never a hit-and-run. Rather, it consists of building relationships over months and even years by sharing information – both professional and personal – through posts, comments and responding to questions in various online communities.

What’s the return on investment, the ROI, for putting that kind of time into social media? Actually, it’s called the RON – the “return on networking.”

And for me, it’s huge.

I’ve been on Facebook for five years; I also have Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn accounts, among others. All totaled, I’m now approaching 100,000 friends, followers and connections. Those followers expose my name and message to their audiences every time they “like” one of my posts or share one of my links. Recently, someone re-tweeted something I’d shared on Twitter – he had 130,000 followers! That’s a potential audience of 130,000 people I likely would have never reached otherwise.

Talk about exposure!

Who knows how many of those people may someday become my clients? Who cares? I’ll still consider the exposure a good return on networking. Here’s why.

The RON of social media isn’t always tangible, not immediately, anyway. By establishing a continued presence online through regularly sharing content of use to my followers, I’m building my platform and my reputation as an expert. That grows in surprising ways – and it lives in surprising places.

A recent case in point: Late last year, I got a call from a prominent New York City hair stylist, the director of a salon in one of that city’s premier department stores. He wanted to talk about some publicity needs and what my company could do to help him.

When I asked how he got my name, he explained he’d written some books over the years with a co-author, and she’d heard me at a speaking engagement.

Well, that made sense. Speaking at conferences is still a great way to get your name out while also building credibility.

But the next thing he said came as a complete surprise.

“So, then I contacted the corporate office (of the department store chain) and asked what PR agency they would recommend.” And they recommended me and my company!

I don’t know a soul in the corporate offices of that high-end retail chain. I can only guess they learned of me through social media.

Just being on Twitter or Google+ isn’t enough, of course. You have to make a diligent effort to regularly post content that people find valuable, including links to informative articles, tips relevant to your topic, and/or informed insights on topics in the news.

You also have to “be a human,” as our lead social media strategist, Jeni Hinojosa, likes to say. She and our other social media producers encourage clients to send photos when they go on vacation, celebrate milestones or engage in hobbies. Posting those photos with a comment adds a personal touch that allows followers to connect on a more emotional level.

Our social media producers also make sure clients’ personalities shine in their posts, showing their sense of humor and letting followers in on the other things they care about, whether it’s victims of a natural disaster or a favorite charity.

Interaction is equally important. Strive to respond to every comment or question posted on your networking sites. Interacting is engaging, and people who are engaged tend to be happy followers. The more you take part in conversations via comments and responses, the more lively and visible your presence becomes.

The RON includes increased traffic to your website; increased trust in your brand and what you’re selling; and greater word of mouth than you could ever hope for by attending a cocktail party or even a speaking engagement.

About Marsha Friedman

Marsha Friedman is a 23-year veteran of the public relations industry. She is the CEO of EMSI Public Relations (www.emsincorporated.com), a national firm that provides PR strategy and publicity services to corporations, entertainers, authors and professional firms. Marsha is the author of Celebritize Yourself and she can also be heard weekly on her Blog Talk Radio Show, EMSI’s PR Insider every Thursday at 3:00 PM EST. Follow her on Twitter: @marshafriedman.

 
Partnering to EMPOWER to assist Winnie's Place PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Heidi Lubben   
Friday, 07 June 2013 12:26
Asbury United Methodist Church is hosting a "Partnering to EmPOWER" fundraising event for Winnie's Place on Tuesday, October 15th.  The team putting together the event is looking for vendors who would be interested in participating in this worthy cause. Booth fees are $15 for sales people and $25 for those providing a service (ALL booth fees will go to Winnie's Place). Vendors will also agree to donate 9% of their sales to Winnies Place, which corresponds to the statistic that every 9 seconds, a woman is abused. Interested vendors are asked to contact Heidi Lubben at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more details. Marketing packets for vendors will be available June 15th. The deadline for returning a signed vendor agreement is August 20th.

 
Announcing Two New Quad City Ballet Board Members! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Ballet Quad Cities   
Thursday, 06 June 2013 13:38

WELCOME

Tim Heim

Senior VP of  Sales & Marketing, Innkeeper Hospitality Services, LLP

&

Kristin McDaniel

Chief Marketing Executive, Royal Neighbors of America

 

They join current Board Members:

Frank Mitvalski, Board President, Califf & Harper

 

Jane Bahls, Secretary, Freelance Writer

 

Marty Kurtz, Treasurer, The Planning Center

 

Linda Bowers, LinguiSystems

 

Chad Ervin, US Bank

 

Suni Leinart, Vital Support Systems

 

Carol Ann Watkins, Arts Supporter

 
Diary of a Worm, a Spider and a Fly opens June 15 at The Old Creamery Theatre! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Shelley Klimes   
Thursday, 06 June 2013 09:10
Amana –Join The Old Creamery Theatre for Young Audiences and follow the adventures of Worm, Spider and Fly from their first day of school through the last as they learn to dream big in this show filled with music and fun for all! Diary of a Worm, a Spider and a Fly opens June 15 on the Main Stage in Amana and runs through June 29.

The cast consists of Lou Petrucci, Beau Wilson, Hannah Spina, Jackie McCall, Lisa Crosby Wipperling and Eddie Skaggs. Directed by Sean McCall, Diary of a Worm, a Spider and a Fly was written by Joan Cushing.

Shows are at 1 p.m. on Saturdays, June 15, 22 and 29. Special weekday matinees are at 10 a.m. on Tuesday June 18, Thursday June 20, Wednesday June 26 and Thursday June 27. Tickets are $8.50 per person. Some weekday matinees are sold out so please call ahead to reserve your seats today. Diary of a Worm, a Spider and a Fly is sponsored by Scheels with Kiss Country 96.5 as the media sponsor.

The Old Creamery Theatre Company is a not-for-profit professional theatre founded in 1971 in Garrison, Iowa. The company is celebrating 42 years of bringing live, professional theatre to the people of Iowa and the Midwest.

 
Why Do Knitting and Crochet Continue to Hook So Many Fans? PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Wednesday, 05 June 2013 07:36
Yarn Crafter Shares 4 Unexpected Benefits

The idea of “DIY” is definitely in vogue, bringing an upswing in popularity of knitting and crocheting, and there’s no sign interest will wane anytime soon, says lifelong craftswoman Betty Hechtman.

“Pinterest and Etsy are two of the hottest websites online today, and they’re brimming with hand-knitted items, from socks and scarves to purses and pretty much anything that can be made from yarn,” says Hechtman, author of “Yarn to Go,” (www.BettyHechtman.com), the first in a new cozy mystery series scheduled for publication in July by Berkley Prime Crime Books.

“The hand-knitted caps and sweaters that might have embarrassed us as kids are now a hip expression of artistry,” she says. “Young adults appreciate originality and craftsmanship, and they’re an innovative bunch. They’re doing amazing things with yarn!”

Surprisingly, she notes, crocheting is even more popular than knitting. It’s No. 3 on the top 10 U.S. crafts list compiled by the Craft and Hobby Association, with 17.4 million devotees. Knitting comes in at No. 9 with 13 million needle fans.

“What’s interesting is people say they’re drawn to yarn crafts because of the creativity,” Hechtman says, citing a Craft Yarn Council survey of more than 5,000 knitters. “But once they get into it, they say they realize it also helps with stress.”

That’s just one of the unexpected benefits of time spent knitting and crocheting. Hechtman cites four more:

• Knitting (and crochet) actually produce beneficial physical changes! Spend enough time with your needles or a hook and yarn, and you can strengthen your immune system, lower your blood pressure, and change your brain chemistry to reduce stress hormones and increase the natural “happy” neurotransmitters, serotonin and dopamine. These findings were reported last year at an “academic study day” in England on the therapeutic benefits of knitting.

• It won’t leave you feeling groggy in the morning. Having trouble sleeping? Instead of reaching for a pill, pick up a yarn project an hour or so before bedtime. The calming repetition of knitting or crocheting slows restless, racing thoughts and helps us transition from busy day to quiet, restful night.

• Keep your hands out of trouble. Are you trying to quit smoking and don’t know what to do with yourself? How about biting your nails? Have you become obsessed with checking your social media? Crocheting or knitting keeps hands busy – and out of trouble – while you’re traveling, waiting at the doctor’s office or sitting at your kid’s soccer game. And, unlike smoking, nail-biting and wasting time on Facebook, the result of knitting and crocheting is a positive one.

• Make new friends. An internet survey of 3,500 knitters found 90 percent made new friends through the craft. One of the beautiful aspects of yarn work is that you can do it alone or in a group. In fact, the opportunities to socialize seem to be driving the strong interest from young adults, who meet at bars, Starbucks and office lunchrooms for a good stitch session, according to the yarn council. People who are alone much of the time are more prone to depression and other mental health issues, getting together for a knit with friends is good for you!

About Betty Hechtman

Betty Hechtman is the author of “Yarn to Go,” the first book in the Berkley Prime Crime Yarn Retreat mystery series, as well as the author of the best-selling Berkley Prime Crime Crochet  mystery series. The eighth book, “For Better or Worsted,” comes out in November.  She has also written newspaper and magazine pieces, short stories and screenplays as well as a children’s culinary mystery. She has a bachelor of fine arts degree and has been active in handicrafts since she was a small child. Hechtman divides her time between Los Angeles and Chicago.

 
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