By Kerry-Anne MacDougall
It’s no secret; I’m a social media fanatic. I plan and plot my tweets, updates, comments and replies. When I post an update, I check for comments obsessively and when I am offline for more than a few hours, I get a little edgy. Don’t judge me; you know what I’m talking about.
And if you’re anything like me, it was a good day when social media hit the workplace and became an acceptable and encouraged form of doing business. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are just a few of the sites organizations are using to get their message out these days. One snag, for the most part, expectations are completely out of whack.
Kerry-Anne MacDougall of Insight Marketing
Social media is simple; it’s networking-done online. Networking is not a quick fix, or a sure thing. It’s not always easy. Same goes for social media. Networking takes time and energy. It involves a fair amount of sharing and a ton of listening. Same goes for social media.
I’ll never forget my first networking mixer; I had just started my business. I walked in the room, ordered a glass of wine, ate a cube of cheese and ran back out the door. I was petrified! Everyone seemed to know each other already and be engaged in conversation. I left and felt so disappointed in myself. Next time, I tried a different approach. I walked in (again ordered the wine) and began a conversation with the lady in line next to me. We shook hands, introduced ourselves and I then began to ask her questions about her business. We carried on the conversation for a few minutes before she decided I just had to meet her friend who had some marketing questions. One thing led to another and by the end of the night I had met several new leads.
Once I took a step back and realized I wasn’t there to make a sale but to make conversation, things came pretty easy.
Now imagine if I had burst into the room and began telling anyone who would listen how great my business was, how they should hire me or check out my latest sale. No introductions, small talk or polite back-and-forth. I’m sure I would have quickly been identified as that salesperson everyone tries to duck.
If the only time you log on is to ‘flog your wares’, chances are you will not be successful in social media.
So what if all of this makes perfect sense to you but your employer isn’t buying it? They expect you to pump out a certain amount of tweets or updates every day and they want to see sales.
There are tons of workshops, lunch and learns and articles that can help shed some insight on the topic, and I encourage both you and your employer to educate yourselves together. Once you’re on the same page it becomes much easier to create and achieve your social media strategy.
Be realistic with social media. It’s just talking.
Kerry-Anne MacDougall owns Insight Marketing, a business all about marketing organizations in practical, affordable and effective ways. Kerry-Anne currently resides in Pisquid, PE…that’s right, Pis-quid.
By Kerry-Anne MacDougall It’s no secret; I’m a social media fanatic. I plan and plot my tweets, updates, comments and replies. When I post an update, I check for comments obsessively and when I am offline for more than a few hours, I get a little edgy. Don’t judge me; you know what I’m talking [...]
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Kiss that pup tent goodbye, and say hello to summer’s newest trend, glamping!
By Meredith Morrison
Until a few months ago, if you had asked me what ‘glamping’ was, I’d have told you that it must be something to do with plumbing or mechanics. Well, I was mistaken.
Gloriously, awesomely mistaken.
As it turns out, glamping is the combination of glamour and camping – two things you normally wouldn’t think go together, but in fact make a perfect pairing; like wine and chocolate. It’s everything you love about camping – falling asleep under the stars, roasting marshmallows, and Jiffy Pop – but with all the comforts of home, like bedding, linens, furniture, even electricity and toilets (halleluiah!). Beautifully furnished yurts and tipis replace cumbersome tents that reek of camping trips past. If MTV created a show called ‘Pimp My Tent,’ glamping would be the end result.
Dr. Paul's yurt at Cabot Shores
So you’ve got an idea of what glamping is all about, and you’re thinking ‘where can I get my glamp on?’ Well, folks, I’m sad to report that glamping sites on PEI are non-existent. The closest glamping site to PEI is Cabot Shores on Cape Breton Island. I chatted with the owner, Dr. Paul, to find out what he had to offer to a virgin glamper like myself. He has two glamping shelters – the yurt (pictured here) and tipi. Both are furnished, but electricity, bathroom facilities, wi-fi and laundry are in the main lodge (it’s close; I asked). Cabot Shores offers the best of both worlds, because you’re close to nature (actually, according to Dr. Paul, ‘you can’t miss nature – it’s in your face!’), but you have a bed to sleep on and walls to keep out the critters. First time glampers say it’s definitely an experience and the views are spectacular. I’m in!
Even though PEI may not have glamping sites, that doesn’t mean you can’t design your own. DIY glamping is a matter of trading up and using what you already have. Substitute the two-man pup tent for a large tent with standing room. Adding style can be as easy as using rugs as floor covering and adding a mattress in place of the standard sleeping bag. Throw in some accessories, such as pillows, comforters, and lanterns – even a sofa if there’s room – and you have the ultimate glamping pad. Many of these items are probably lying around the house, just looking for an excuse to be re-used, so give them a second life in your customized, tricked out glamp camp at any one of PEI’s gorgeous campsites.
The next time someone suggests camping, tell them about glamping – it’s camping that just makes sense.
Kiss that pup tent goodbye, and say hello to summer’s newest trend, glamping! By Meredith Morrison Until a few months ago, if you had asked me what ‘glamping’ was, I’d have told you that it must be something to do with plumbing or mechanics. Well, I was mistaken. Gloriously, awesomely mistaken. As it turns out, [...]
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By Meredith Morrison
Let’s face it – most of us don’t have the money or the vacation time to travel off Island this summer. But that doesn’t mean we’re not entitled to treat ourselves to a little R & R. No money and no vacation? No problem.
Ever since Brent Butt’s character on Corner Gas coined the term in 2005, ‘staycations’ has become a worldwide trend. A staycation is exactly what you think it is – a vacation at home. You can make it as grand or as simple as you want, but the general premise is to cut down or eliminate travel expenses that eat up the better part of a vacation budget. And since student loan payments, mortgages and jobs don’t magically disappear during the summer months (but how cool would it be if they did?), a staycation fits the budget – and our busy lifestyles – just fine.
Here are a few tips to get you into a staycation state of mind.
Break your routine. Seems simple enough, right? Actually, it might be harder than you think. If you’re home, you’re more likely to stick to what you know and you’ll find that a relaxing staycation will quickly turn into chores, make-work projects and other mundane tasks. Yes, they need to get done, but not during staycation time. Get out of the house and away from the distractions otherwise known as ‘life.’ They’ll still be there when you get back.
Go Offline. Only use your computer and cell phone for emergencies. You might be close to home, but you are still on vacation. You wouldn’t be calling or emailing work every ten minutes if you were on the other side of the world, would you? The same rules apply on a staycation, so disconnect and enjoy your time away from the office.
Be a tourist. Arm yourself with a map, a visitor’s guide and a budget and start planning. Visitor Information Centres have lots of information, so stop in for some free advice (free fits nicely into a staycationer’s budget). Once you’ve mapped out what you want to see and do, start planning day trips. Don’t stick too close to the itinerary, though – you might find other nearby locations you didn’t even know existed. Stay in the mindset that this is an adventure, and you’re game for anything!
Leave the homestead. Some Island accommodations offer discounted rates exclusive to Islanders. How awesome is that for staycationers? Hit up the front desk for the local view on where to eat, local entertainment, and attractions. Plus, this is PEI – one of the staff is likely related to your cousin’s brother’s friend’s sister’s uncle, so you’re bound to get great service.
Think about it – millions of tourists visit PEI each summer and rave about how fantastic it is, so why not take advantage of what the Island has to offer? Plan your staycation and discover the Island you don’t know!
Need some ideas to jump start the planning process? G! can help! Here are some recommendations for a relaxing and satisfying staycation.
This little seaport village is located on the shores of the Northumberland Strait, and it’s one of the ‘hidden gems’ of the Island. If you’re looking for some rest, romance and relaxation, then this is the place to do it. You can take in a show at the Victoria Playhouse, devour some homemade chocolaty treats at Island Chocolates, or simply stroll along the waterfront and take in the amazing view. It’s a little piece of paradise, and best of all, it’s just over 30 minutes either way from Charlottetown or Summerside.
Head to the western end of the Island, and you’ll find West Point. Most notably, you’ll find the West Point Lighthouse. Why does this make the list? Because you can sleep in the lighthouse! The lighthouse is not only an Inn, but it’s also home to the Lighthouse Museum. You can go straight to the top (if you’re afraid of heights, this may not be the most relaxing choice for you), stopping at each floor to get a feel for the history this nineteenth century lighthouse has to offer. There’s camping nearby at Cedar Dunes National Park, and remember to bring your bathing suit – the beach is fantastic!
If all you can spare for a staycation is a couple of hours, then head East, just past Souris to Basin Head Beach. Just a few hours soaking up the sun on this gorgeous white sand beach, and you’ll feel like a new person. Grab some friends, a Frisbee or the volleyball and have some summer fun in the ‘singing sands’ (it squeaks when you walk in it, hence it ‘sings!’).
By Meredith Morrison Let’s face it – most of us don’t have the money or the vacation time to travel off Island this summer. But that doesn’t mean we’re not entitled to treat ourselves to a little R & R. No money and no vacation? No problem. Ever since Brent Butt’s character on Corner Gas [...]
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