Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Power of the Open House

When done right, an open house or even a series of open houses can really help in publicizing an event or concept, without having to rely on the media and by targeting people directly. To exemplify this, I give you a case study on Lund Family Center:

Lund Family Center is an organization that has been in the community for 118 years and its services have evolved to meet emerging community needs over that time.
Today, Lund Family Center offers a comprehensive treatment program for pregnant or parenting young women with substance abuse and/or mental health issues and their children; Vermont's oldest and largest private non-profit adoption agency; and a comprehensive family resource as a Parent/Child Center.

Many people in the greater Burlington area only think of Lund as the maternity home they were familiar with when growing up and many more are unaware of the comprehensive services the organization offers. The most common response Lund gets when someone visits is, "wow, we had no idea that you do so much and that you are having that big of an impact!".

Taking that into consideration, when Lund celebrated their momentous occasion of moving back into their expanded and completely transformed residential building at 76 Glen Road in Burlington last fall, they needed to look long and hard at how to share that knowledge with a community that gets news and information from a variety of sources, many of whom will never have the opportunity to actually step foot in Lund Family Center. While their roots at this site go back to 1890, Lund bid farewell to the 1960s maternity home building design and officially opened a new chapter by designing a space that meets the treatment needs of the families they are serving today and the families they plan to serve in the future. The new building enhances their ability to provide services to children and families and expands the capacity to annually help create new beginnings for an additional 25 Vermont children and their families, serving more than 80 children and their families each year.

So, this fall, Lund implemented a series of open houses - for board members, supporters, neighbors, community members, businesses, and all other folks they have in their wide network of contacts. I learned about it as I helped provide some PR services for Lund a few years back when I worked at an agency to help publicize the contribution they received from Senator Jefford's to be able to reach their capital campaign to begin the renovations. I went to one of these open houses last week and while I was amazed at the beautiful job they did with the renovations, I was equally impressed with how well the mothers and expectant mothers did with organizing the tour and lunch and fall of the people who attended to learn more about Lund Family Center.

In my professional opinion, I'd say open houses are back in! Plan far in advance, be creative about what is at your open house, and network with your networks!

And in addition - Congratulations Lund - you are great addition to the greater Burlington community!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Potential Work & Technological Explanations

Are you a one person business stressed by the insecure financial times?

Are you a business person stressed by the emergence of all the new media/social networking/online marketing terminology?

I have found two websites referred to me by two well-respected professionals that I would like to pass on to you:

The first one is This is a website that offers freelance, contract, temp, and consulting short term work in the Greater Burlington area, hence the name Solo Gig. It has a pretty broad spectrum of potential work and looks promising for a lot of folks. So, if you are finding work turning up a bit short or need to have one or a few extra part-time/short term "gigs" that stay (for the most part) within the self-employed tax structure, definitely check out from time to time to keep your options open.

Second, do the terms RSS feed, Facebook, Twitter, SEO, an metatag make you shudder in lack of comprehension? Fear the unknown no longer!!! Check out the website Common Craft is a website that simply provides explanation. Explanation in very simple, non-technology jargon helping you make sense of phishing, twittering, and googling. Give it a try - - and remember to be patient in learning anything new!

Good luck all!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tears of Hope

Were shed last night - I have never been prouder to be an American than I was last night watching both John McCain and President Obama give their speeches. Thank you.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I wish I was not so insanely busy today and could spend time browsing the internet and following the election. But, in order to embrace my freedom that I hold so near and dear to my heart, I must continue the PR work for my Vermont clients and meet their deadlines. But, I did sneak away to go vote and had a little bit of time to reflect and feel that energy that is whipping around at the dusk of change for this country. Several of my friends have posted very though provoking blogs and have been feeling this sense of freedom that is swirling about this election.

I myself have some very strong opinions of this country and of politics in general and over my 32 years of life my sentiments have gone very quickly from optimistic to pessimistic to angry to sad. Seeing the results tonight one way or the other will not give me a sense of hope. Unfortunately I think this country is in a much deeper despair than one person can affect, but I will cross my fingers that it is a start - a start to at least bringing the focus back to the people who live in this country because things are bad.

I think of how I started my business almost two years ago. I did it for one primary reason and dozens of secondary reasons. The primary reason was to have as much control over my destiny as possible because what I saw when it was in the hands of others was sickening - everything from jobs to wages to benefits to expectations to taxes to a washout of the American Dream I spent my childhood dreaming about.

Of course if it wasn't for the glimmer of the American Dream that remained, I would not have been able to start my own business. I simply hope this election will be the beginning of some major shifts in the way this country operates and can start to replace despair with hope in people everywhere - from sea to shining sea.