Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Disney's Approach to Quality Service - Madison WI

This is my first use of the Google Search Stories application. I have see it posted and blogged about but @chrisuschan from just Tweeted it and I couldn't help myself. With an upcoming event, I will explore ways I can use this to promote my event or fun things to do.

I think the only hard work might be in thinking up the right search questions to tell your story. You might want to do some preliminary searches to prepare. I created this one in about 5 minutes.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Cousins Subs puts social media in the sandwich

A few months back, I had the notion to Tweet about interviewing any business in Wisconsin who was using social media.  I got a couple of responses including Cousins Subs. The headquarters is in Menomonee Falls, just a straight shot east from Madison. I spoke with Justin McCoy, senior marketing manager.  They have only been using social media about 1 1/2 years but have gone slow, listening first, planning and building a strategy.

The most useful tools have been Facebook for overall brand conversations and Twitter for a news and conversation stream. It was refreshing to talk with Justin, who seems to have put in a lot of thinking time and assessment before putting his toe in the water. Even with that, he says he spends only about 20% of this time on social media related activities. Keeping a couple of extra tabs open - one for Twitter and one for Facebook - keeps him very responsive to his audience. 

I was surprised that they haven't used video more, seems like a natural connection. But Justin assures me they plan to do more video on their Youtube Channel in 2010. 

Here are a few questions I asked Justin:

1. How do you measure success in social media?

2. What advice do you have for businesses just getting started?

Be sure and follow Cousins Subs on Twitter (@cousinssubs)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Catching Up: What is the status of Madison's application for Google Fiber?

Catching Up: What is the status of Madison's application for Google Fiber?: "Q: What is the status of Madison's efforts to get Google Fiber?

A: The application which serves as Madison's bid for a $97 million high-speed Google fiber-optic network was due March 26, and Google has not offered a definite schedule of when applicants can expect to hear back, said Preston Austin, a leader in efforts to bring the network to Madison. He said it's expected that Google will make selections this year."

Wendy's Note: This is a worthy cause and effort especially because of how those in rural areas could benefit from the 'halo' effect of faster connection speeds in Madison. As someone living in rural Lodi area, at the end of a mile long road with no hope of ever having cable, this gets me excited about the opportunity. Follow progress on In the picture: Marivic Valencia ( is a tech savy public relations and social media consultant who supports this initiative.

Friday, June 18, 2010

A mission to NBC15 Madison for TV interview

"When you want to learn something about social media who do you turn to? When Christine Bellport of NBC Channel 15 in Madison wanted to get to the people in the know about social media and the upcoming Chris Brogan presentation on this subject they called in the ‘A Team’. That is Jan Moen, Executive Director of Accelerate Madison, Mark Anderson begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     end_of_the_skype_highlighting, on the Social Media Team at American Family Insurance (and board member on the Madison SMC) and Wendy Soucie, Co-Manager of the Social Media Breakfast Madison and chair-elect for Madison SMC."

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

5 Tips on how to stuff a social media themed swag bag

YouTube - How to stuff a swag bag with Nate Towne Madison SMC

Stuff We All Get (SWAG) is an art. Nate Towne is known as @fancy_lad on Twitter and holds a day job as PR Manager at Shine Advertising in Madison. He is the perfect spokesperson to teach us all how to really enhance your next event with great giveaways. Check out this video where he explains how each item fits for the upcoming Social Media: An Evening with Chris Brogan event by (seats still available) June 21, 2010 at 5:30 pm.

If you can't make the presentation, don't worry, you could still meet Chris by attending the Brogan After Dark After Party hosted by the Social Media Club of Madison where you can RSVP for this FREE party.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Social media leaders anxious to ask Chris Brogan questions at June event

Social media leaders anxious to ask Chris Brogan questions at June event: "With the exciting news that Chris Brogan (social media consultant, strategist, blogger and thought leader) is coming to Madison on June 21, the city is a buzz of excitement and questions."

Here are some questions from inquiring minds. What questions would you ask Chris Brogan if you could?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Xeesm …making a difference

Xeesm …making a difference: "Social Business Application provider finds millions of social presences from your customers and partners.
Xeesm lets you find your customers in the social web with SocialFinder and stores it into a unique ‘Social Address Book’."

Wendy's Note: I recently became a Xeesm Business Partner. This tool can be used for a variety of things. Luckily for me, I have been in the BETA test program for almost 1 year. You can simply use the free social link aggregator. Or you could add the social address book for your contacts as a new way to stay focused when you want to contact prospects and clients.

I have moved up to the Social CRM product - Xeesm - Edge that I now use to manage opportunities as they progress. Xeesm allows you to use social touch points to stay in contact with clients you might not see as often, engage those you want and need to know better, and be much more efficient as a sales and business development person to reach out in a less intrusive manner than a cold call. In fact, I don't think I will make one of those again.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

National Trails Day celebrated on the Lodi WI segment of the Ice Age Trail

Lodi, WI was host again this year to a National Trails Day® (NTD) event - The Mammoth Fun Run and Walk (5K and 10K).  The National Trails Day theme this year is "Find Your Happy Place." In the Scenic Lodi Valley, the Ice Age Trail (IAT) for many is exactly that kind of happy place - to hike, run, walk, go birding and just enjoy the outdoors.

National Trails Day is a National Event
The first Saturday in June is National Trails Day® (NTD).  This is the American Hiking Society's signature trail awareness program, which was created to inspire the public and trail enthusiasts nationwide to seek out their favorite trails to discover, learn about, and celebrate trails while participating in educational exhibits, trail dedications, gear demonstrations, instructional workshops and trail work projects.

Lodi makes it unique
Organized this year by Joanna Fanney of the Lodi Chapter of the Ice Age Trail Alliance, local volunteers turned out in force to help support this very family friendly event. The event itself has been going on for at least 7 years, at least since the establishment of Wisconsin's Lodi Chapter of the IAT.  It is our local way of celebrating NTD on this day, but the Chapter is quite active in running monthly full moon hikes, birding hikes and we even host a Monday Morning Hike Group that meets weekly to travel in the local area for breakfast and a hike.

At first it was a modest hike and I remember the hot muggy day in June as well since the horse flies that were out in force. In recent years, with the addition of the 5K and 10K, run it has grown even more popular. Several of the participants I interviewed indicated that ran it last year, and undaunted by the hills came back for the fun and the scenery.

Making it family friendly
This is a donations only event and we hope it continues so that as many people as possible can enjoy with their families and friends without any barriers related to costs.  The sponsors were very generous this year as well.  I know of a few because even I won a door prize.  Mine included water bottles from REI and the Lodi Medical Clinic, tasty Slack Jams and Jellies, and corn from Lodi Canning.  I did have some envy for the first place finishers who won a coffee mug and treats.

Volunteers and members are key
The IAT this year is working hard to grow to 5,000 members and diversify the member in all categories but especially to attract a younger audience. An event like this brings out all sorts of volunteers. I found families filling up water bottles for the participants, high school students setting up cones, college students escorting the runners, seniors helping with registration, local retirees helping with water on the trail, kids making signs, local business owners cooking brats, athletes taking on the challenging hills. Yes, a little something for everyone in Lodi.

Experience through videos
One way you might consider promoting your own events during National Trails Day or everyday is with a video of the preparation before, during and after the event. Check out the videos we put together of this local event and see for yourself how the event went. Mark your calendar for National Trails Day, June 4 2011, and find an event near you so you too can volunteer, participate or just come and watch with a cup of coffee. If there isn't one, consider creating one yourself.

Volunteer video

Race video

If you search Youtube for National Trails Day you can find some other very interesting events across the country that took place on Saturday.What did you do for National Trails Day?