Tuesday, December 30, 2008

If You Build It, Will They Come?

I know many of CCG members are interested in social media, so through my day job -- as Communications Manager at the Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus -- I've teamed up with Network Solutions to arrange an event in January focusing on just that. Details are below:

Event Title: If You Build It, Will They Come? An exploration of social networks, including what's working now and how to build and nurture a community

When: January 14, 6-8 p.m.

Speakers: Two local bloggers who have achieved Blog Stardom...
Hear their story on how they succeeded... What Social Media tools they used for their success... What worked and what didn't... And learn how communities are created.

Where: Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus, 9601 Medical Center Drive, Rockville, MD. Building 3, Room 121. Building on far right when you enter campus from Medical Center Drive. FREE PARKING.

Find out more about this event or register to attend.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Twitter Primer from a PR Colleague

Anyone in PR, communications, marketing, or public affairs knows that social media is the "thing" right now. And within that realm falls Twitter, a tool that continues to confound many.

One of my favorite PR people, Sarah Morgan from MCS Public Relations, recently wrote a post titled Twitter: The Primer. Great info. Great links. Good for Twitter virgins or the more experienced. Go read it. (And keep an eye out for an announcement in late January about our February lunch on Social Media featuring our very own Denise Graveline of don't get caught.)

Oh, and have a great holiday!

-- Robin

Friday, December 19, 2008

Pimp This Job: Director of Communications and Marketing, Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce

The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business in the county, serving over 500 members as their advocate to government and the community to strengthen the local economy. If you have a passion for business and civic related issues, and you want to bring your writing and marketing savvy to a team of dedicated, hardworking professionals this opportunity may be for you.

The Director of Communications and Marketing creates and disseminates all messaging from the Chamber and supports staff with effective written and oral communications. You need to be able to thrive in a fast-paced, multi-tasking work environment, and enjoy working with a high-energy staff. The Chamber is a 501c6 business advocacy nonprofit membership organization with 60 Board of Directors and 9 staff.

Individual must be a self-starter with proven experience in mission-oriented message development and strategic communications. Must be member-services minded, organized, detail oriented and a problem solver. Public policy experience and knowledge of Montgomery County, Maryland issues preferred. Individual must be intellectually curious, possess superior verbal and written communications skills and be able to synthesize information quickly to produce summaries of that information for distribution. Ability to meet deadlines is critical. Ability to manage web-based, electronic communication is necessary. Individual must be energetic, outgoing, a team player and enjoy managing many projects at one time, primarily in an electronic environment.

Reporting relationships: Direct report to President and CEO. Direct Assist to Executive VP and VP Public Affairs. Supports Directors of Membership and Events, Programs and the Foundation.

Job responsibilities include:

-- Media Relations: Build and manage relationships with local media including web-based, print, television and radio. Secure coverage of events and strategic placement of quotes, editorials, letters to the editor opinion pieces and press releases.

-- Web-based Marketing and Communications: Manage marketing to and communications with the MCCC Membership, press and public through MCCC website and electronic communications.

-- Written Marketing and Communications: Manage content for website, press releases, speeches, interviews and event talking points for Chamber President, staff, Board Chair and Board members. Write persuasively consistent with the Chamber’s Vision 2030 economic development advocacy for print, broadcast or web posting. Create ‘Advertorials’ for The Business Gazette.

-- Event Broadcast and Visual Communications: Coordinate production of the COMCAST “Red Carpet” for each signature event. Work with other broadcast and visual media to cover events. Coordinate and secure all event photography for documentation, press and marketing uses.

-- Public Relations: Develop and execute strategy to promote Chamber programs and the newly formed Montgomery County Chamber Community Foundation.

-- Event Marketing, Scripts and Program Books: Produce scripts for the Chamber’s three signature events: Public Safety Awards, Annual Dinner, and Business Awards Dinner. Manage receipt of event program book content including program schedule, bios, program elements, ads, photographs, etc. Assist Director of Events to coordinate event production consultants, as needed. Create PowerPoint presentations for event broadcast.

-- Program Support: Create event program guide for annual Congressional Procurement Conference and Expo and event flyers for electronic and print distribution including: Prospective and New Member Orientations, Legislative Breakfast, Chamber After Hours, Golf and Tennis Tournaments, GovConNet, Eco Committee and Health and Wellness. Photograph guests at monthly committee meetings. Retain and update Board of Directors photographs and bios. Receive and retain business logos for sponsors and partners.

Candidates must submit 5 samples of their writing, promotion and advertising work. For more information, visit our website or call President and CEO Gigi Godwin at (301) 738-0015, ext. 208.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Social Media & Science and Health Communications

I just read a great blog post from Aimee Stern about a recent meeting for public information officers held by AAASEurekAlert! news service. Aimee shared some great highlights and lessons learned... and the information is helpful for PR and Comms folks in any industry, not just those spreading the word about science and health topics.

(By the way, for those who can't get enough of social media, CCG's February lunch will focus on this topic. So keep an eye out for notices about that lunch in early February. Our last SocMed lunch sold out within 24 hours.)

-- Robin

The 24-7 Work Environment

OK. So I'm on Twitter -- ID: rferrier -- and usually I'm good about following and participating in the conversations there. At least, I am during the week. While I'm at work. But I admit it: I haven't been on Twitter since last Friday. That's what? 4 days? I've just been a) extremely busy; and b) away from my desk a lot. And since I don't have a Blackberry (yes, you can gasp now... a PR / Comms person without a Blackberry), it's not easy for me to get Tweets when I'm not at my desk. (I'm truly old school when it comes to my cell phone.)

And all this got me thinking about the current 24-7 work environment. It's kind of expected, right? That we'll be online, accessible, tuned in, linked in, etc., 24-7? Or, at least, while we're awake...

And I'm not so sure it's a good thing. (Is it wrong of me to say that?) I need my down time to feel like I function effectively. I get good ideas when I'm away from my computer, hanging out with friends or running my dog in the park. I also recharge my batteries during that time so I can keep going.

But what do you all think? Is the 24-7 environment a good thing? And if you are connected all the time, do you think it hinders your creativity or your sanity? I need to know whether there are others out there like me... Let me know what you think and how you deal with the 24-7 demands on your time.

Monday, December 15, 2008

TCM Features Two of Our Own in Jan. Networking Event!!

I'm excited to announce that the Tech Council of Maryland is featuring two of our members in its upcoming networking event.

One is Denise Graveline, President, don't get caught. If you've attended any of our luncheons, you've invariably met this fiery redhead... as she's one of our "regulars." (Even better, I'm moderating her panel. So if you have any good questions you want me to ask her, send them my way.)

Second is Kate Perrin, CEO, PRofessional Solutions. She's another one you've met if you've attended lunches... she's not only a "regular," she's also on our Executive Board.

Here are the details if you're interested in registering to attend:

TCM Presents: Power Networking Tips, Trends and Techniques
WHEN: January 15, 2009 from 8 a.m. - noon
WHERE: Johns Hopkins University, Montgomery Campus, A & R Building, Room 106-110, 9601 Medical Center Drive, Rockville, MD 20850

DESCRIPTION: Whether you’ve been in business 20 years, 20 weeks or 20 minutes, building relationships through networking is one of the most important things that you can do to earn new business. Here's an opportunity to learn from four networking experts who will teach how to network more confidently and share NEW networking power tips, trends and techniques!

-- Kate Perrin, CEO, PRStaffing, will teach women in the audience the tips, trends and techniques for more effective networking in a male-dominated industry. The networking rules are different for women and Ms. Perrin will show you how to make the most of them!

-- Aaron Altscher is a small business expert who also learned networking from the best – Donald Trump. Mr. Altscher was a contestant on season six of NBC’s hit television series The Apprentice and will teach you how to stretch your networking comfort level and build solid relationships with easy-to-use networking tips, trends and techniques.

-- Denise Graveline, President, don't get caught - Creative Communications Consultant and Steve Radick, Associate, Booz Allen Hamilton and President Social Media Strategery, will teach you how to augment face-to-face networking with online networking through Social Media tools. Learn how to use Web 2.0 to follow-up with your new contacts and stay constantly connected.

Learn more about this event and register to attend.

-- Robin

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Holiday Madness... and Our Gift to You!

So the holidays are upon us, and party invites are rolling in... It seems every night a different organization is requesting my presence for cocktails and appetizers. And truth be told, with my work being "full steam ahead" and the fact that I've got evening meetings 1-2 a week for the next few weeks, I'm really not inclined to accept the invitations. Does that make me a bad networker? A bad PR person? I hope not!

So in light of how I crunched I feel this holiday season, CCG is giving its members the gift of time! We're not going to pry you away from your meetings, conferences, seminars, blogging, twittering, Facebook-ing, gift shopping, decorating, caroling, etc., etc., this month for a lunch, happy hour, or holiday party.

That said, we do encourage you to go and take the two+ hours you'd normally give us and do something for YOU. Get a massage or mani /pedi. Play video games at home or arcade games at ESPNZone. Just do something for YOU. You earned it! (And when someone asks you what you're doing, just tell them you're enjoying your holiday gift from CCG!)

Happy Holidays, and we'll see you in 2009!

-- Robin