Wednesday, May 15, 2013

May Newsletter

Time Management & Balanced Schedules

Being a Young Professional also means you are most likely involved in numerous activities both professionally and personally.  It is important each of us acknowledge our time management skills to incorporate a more balanced and stress free life.  Take a moment to reflect on what you do and how you approach your full-plate.  Do you find you are over extended at times, or don’t have enough time for something or someone?  

Here are a few tips on how to improve productivity and reduce your stress level, creating a more balanced life (provided by the Mayo Clinic):

  • Plan each day.
  • Prioritize your tasks.
  • Say no to nonessential tasks.
  • Delegate.
  • Take the time you need to do a quality job.
  • Limit distractions.
  • Break large, time consuming tasks into smaller ones.
  • Evaluate how you're spending your time.
  • Get plenty of sleep, eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.
  • Take a break when needed.

Developing A Social Media Calendar & Helpful Tools

The total number of social media users is growing each year, and more people are engaging with your brand by the day.  Some rely on social media to find out the most accurate and up-to-date information about your event.  That’s a frightening thought if you don’t have a schedule in place for reaching your guest with the information they desire, while remaining efficient and relatable.

If you’re new to social media, start out slow and focus on one or two outlets first.  Once you’re comfortable with those, expand to other outlets.  Start following similar brands to track what content they post and what type of engagement and interaction they are receiving.  But, keep in mind, what works for them might not work as well for you.  Remain unique and exclusive to your followers.

Not sure how to build a social media schedule or where to start?  Start by determining the following and make sure you think about these when you develop each post:

  • Content:  what type of content do you want to post?  Photos, links, videos, promotions, fill in the blanks, polls
  • Goal:  What are you trying to accomplish through social media?
  • Audience(s):  Who are your fans? Who do you want to reach?
  • Brand Messages: What message do you want to get across to your followers?  How does social media support and convey your brand?

Items you might also consider: How frequently do you want to post?  How unique should the information be? What reoccurring content would you like to post each month?

Below are some unique content suggestions that you might consider integrating into your campaign.

  • New Ride at Noon – Guests look forward to the thrilling rides they don’t want to miss, feature a new ride coming to your event and give it a catchy name.
  • Fill in the Blank – Encourage users engage and interact on your page while researching what they look forward to most.
  • Newsletter – Have your newsletter post to your social media outlets to reach those that might not know your newsletter exists and increase your newsletter database.
  • Entertainment Announcement – Make a big deal about the exciting, and costly, entertainment coming to your event.
  • Fun Food Friday – People love food, especially fun and unique food, feature the new food that will be available at your event and tag the concessionaire if they have a page.
  • Sponsor & Media Highlight – Tag your sponsors and media pages in posts and thank them their partnership; improves working relationship & reaches their fans.
  • Poll of the Month – Produce a poll that might have answers to help you understand your social media audience; what day they plan to attend, which food they like best, etc. This can help gear promotions and other posts.

When building a calendar, start with your five basic headers:
  • Posting Date & Time
  • Social Media Outlet(s)
  • Message
  • Link
  • Insights/Results

You can put these in an Excel spreadsheet or Word document to stay organized and as a reference in the future.

There are many free social media content management systems out there that will simultaneously post to Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn and more.  These dashboards are easy to use and allow posts to be scheduled in advance to improve efficiency while streamlining your social media marketing needs.  They allow you to track engagement and monitor your outlets from one location.  Do some research on which system best fits your needs, but here are a few systems to get you started: HootSuite, Gremln, BufferApp, MediaFunnel.

Take time to research systems, but start planning and organizing your content for your fans and followers NOW!

YPI VIP Highlight

Steve Richo
Noise New Media
Nashville, Tennessee

Steve Richo moved to Nashville from Connecticut in 2006.  He was involved in telecom and network operations prior to entering the business.  He worked at various record labels on Music Row before founding Noise New Media in April of 2008, with Mark O'Shea.

In the day-to-day operations, Richo's work consists of being the social media strategist for many fairs, festivals and rodeos across the United States.  He also oversees all aspects of technical and visual developments.  Noise New Media started working in the fair industry after acquiring their first client: The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.  The 2013 Rodeo Houston will mark the fifth year of collaboration between the organizations.  Richo has attended The Big E in West Springfield, Massachusetts  since he was three years old and says it is his favorite time of year. 

Richo's interests include baseball, specifically the New York Yankees, classic cars, any and all live music in Nashville and traveling.  After visiting Australia in 2012, for the first time, Richo is seeking more time for international travel.

Mentor Spotlight

Michele Ruby
Oregon Ag Fest
Salem, Oregon

How long have you been in the Fair Industry?
I've been in my role as Executive Director of Oregon Ag Fest for 5 years, but have served on boards, as a volunteer, and/or as a fair exhibitor my entire life.

What's the best lesson you have learned in the industry / or the hardest?

  • Best lesson: Flexibility is KING!
  • Hardest lesson: Expect the unexpected, no matter how much you plan, unforeseen incidences will happen.

What's your favorite fair food?
Dairy Woman's Soft Serve Vanilla Ice Cream with HOT FUDGE!

What do you feel is the biggest change / challenge you have faced?
We are 100% funded by private dollars, so with increased expenses and board decisions to make the event more family-friendly since the 2008 economic downturn, translating to free parking and children 12 & under admitted for free, we've had to get VERY creative in our partnerships to cover expenses with the decreased gate revenue; which we've accomplish every year since 2008.

What question would you ask a mentor?
How to achieve balance to fair season? I struggle with that.

If you could give one piece of advice what would that be?
Be kind to others. Always. No exceptions. 

What’s the one thing during the fair you can’t live without?
Good pair of sneakers and a fully charged walkie talkie.

What's your advice on handling failure?
Learn from it. Life's greatest adversities are often more meaningful and useful to the future than successes. 

What’s your favorite quote?
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” - Thomas A. Edison

Who is your role model / mentor?
I actually have several. The most influential is my mom. I saw her, from an early age, manage work, family, volunteerism and our farm with grace, patience and precision. If she was born in my era, I'm pretty sure she could be the first female President. 

YPI Updates
  • YPI Steering Committee is seeking new members from Zones 1, 3, 5 and 7.  For more information and how to apply, CLICK HERE.
  • Food from Fairs will feed the Hungry through the Dream Big Food Drive in 2013.  For more information and how to get involved, CLICK HERE.
  • Join the YPI Facebook Discussion Group to connect with other YPI members, CLICK HERE.
  • Tell us what you want to see featured in the YPI Newsletter, CLICK HERE.