A Step Into Social Media For Lehigh Valley CVB


Lehighvalleylogo Last week I had the pleasure of speaking to the members of the Lehigh Valley (PA) Convention and Visitors Bureau about one of my favorite topics .. social media marketing. What a beautiful part of the country! Next time the Crayola Factory is on my to see list along with a visit to the vineyards. Yes, girlfriend, there are vineyards a short drive from Philly.

The CVB is stepping into the world of social media and Web 2.0 with RSS, podcasts including a walking tour and a soon to launch blog. We discussed putting their wonderful photos of the area on Flickr as well as live blogging events.

Present a new idea to a group of people .. you never really know who might get it and take it steps further. Or who may think you are totally daft. When reporter, Jeanne Bonner, Of The Morning Call, talked with one of the workshop participants, Dave Fooks she discovered that he had a bloggy light bulb moment. David is responsible for the Kutztown Festival, an event that celebrates Pennsylvania Dutch folklife.

After the session Dave did a bit of search hunting and found, much to his surprise, that there were many people talking about the festival. He "got" that there is an untapped opportunity to build community with people who are passionate about the festival. Way to go Dave! I'm thinking that this quote from Dave would make a great bumper sticker (smile).

This blog thingÂ… My God! It's incredible! - Dave Fooks

Jeanne also spoke with Randall Forte, of the Lehigh Valley Arts Council, who was concerned what to do if he received a negative comment about a local arts event that he had blog about but that he did not produce. Good question. I dropped this comment -

In addition to increased SEO lift, customer service support and viral word of mouth, through a deeper understanding of the people who make up the heart of the brand .. employees and customers .. relationships are frequently build that influence purchase behavior e.g., sales.

In response to Randall Forte's concern about negative comments, it is never comfortable hearing that a customer is unhappy with your product. However, positively critical feedback should be considered a 'gift' from a customer who has taken the time to express an opinion that many others may have as well. 

In Randall's example, the producer of the event would surely want to know about that comment; I would encourage the producer to respond to the comment .. to tell his/her side of the story. Next I would encourage the producer to launch a blog to carry on the conversation on his/her home turf. For as Dave Fooks learned, people are talking about your organization .. even if you are not part of the conversation.

Special thanks to the Bureau's president Michael Stershic and to Tracey Werner, Director of Public Relations for their warm hospitality. Also to my BBF Sybil Stershic who set the wheels in motion.

Pink_boa Toss of a pink boa to all of the great people who were open and interested to learn about a new way to conduct marketing and business. It is indeed the Age of Conversation!


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Posted by: Michael on Oct 15, 2007 8:10:09 AM

Philly sounds beautiful. Anyway, I think managers, owners and basically anybody who is in charge of an organization shouldn't be afraid of negative comments. Aside from the fact that you can't please everybody (it took me a long time to understand this), negative feedback is merely an instrument for improvement. We should all think of it as a nudge from above saying that we are capable of doing greater things with what we already have.

Posted by: jen_chan, writer SureFireWealth.com on Oct 16, 2007 9:06:42 AM

No time for blogging and I was wondering if you knew of a good blogging service?

I'm looking for people who are passionate about the Green movement and would be open to learning about the products I'm promoting that encourages people to switch their cleaning products to Green Products.

I have no idea what people charge to do this and I would prefer a woman's point of view.

Any help would be appreciated!

Please send any comments to [email protected]


Posted by: Nicole on Oct 16, 2007 1:03:01 PM

Toby, it was great to have you here in the Lehigh Valley. And thanks for a wonderful workshop on social media. As always, I learn so much from you! Now we'll have to get you back here for a purely social visit.

Posted by: Sybil on Oct 17, 2007 12:14:22 PM

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