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22 Mar 2012

April 2012 Newsletter

April 2012 Newsletter


Pinterest & Blogs for Business by Josh Wade

Click here to RSVP and pay for this meeting by Friday, March 30th.

Join us as Josh Wade from Nectar Tasting Room discusses Pinterest & Blogs for Business.

April 6, 2012
7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
Herak Club Room at Gonzaga's McCarthey Athletic Center
801 N. Cincinnati, Spokane, WA 99201

Parking is free for MarCom meetings in the lot south of the Herak room on the Gonzaga campus.

Meeting fee details: The meeting fee, which covers breakfast, is $15 for members at the door, $25 for non-members, $5 for student members and $15 for student non-members. (Only full-time students qualify for reduced rates. School I.D. is checked at the door.)



Pinterest – “The Recommendation Engine”

We’ve been prompted to like it, tweet it, bookmark it, and even +1 it. Now, we’d like you to pin it. At our April meeting, Josh Wade of Nectar Tasting Room and Wine Blog will present Pinterest and Blogs for Business – just two of his many adept endeavors. Before our next meeting, be sure to join Pinterest, and come ready with your questions about how to use it as a business tool. Pinterest is growing exponentially each day, but the owners keep membership “invite-only,” so be prepared to wait a day or two for your account to activate.

Having used social bookmarking sites, mostly Delicious, I was curious as to what the big deal is with Pinterest. At first glance – pretty pictures. Members’ bookmarked content is displayed in categories and in a timeline with a pinned image as the first piece of information viewed. Who knew photos and a more casual Pin and Board setting would make all the difference? With automatic ties to Facebook profiles and Twitter feeds, Pinterest seems to be the more social social bookmarking site. I agree with Mashable’s Stephanie Buck, however, that the ability to make some private Boards would be useful. Delicious and others give you that choice.

Pinterest started as a place to share tastes, primarily fashion among women. It stays true to that model, but now, much more is sampled than only womens’ fashion. A favorite Board I have encountered is Ryan Stemkoski’s Packaging, though I suppose I’m a bit of a packaging nerd. Someone even pinned a RESCUE! trap and a another user’s homemade wasp trap has hundreds of repins. Regardless of your industry or service, there is much benefit to leveraging Pinterest. According to Mashable and this infographic, Pinterest generates more referral traffic than Twitter and drives more traffic than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn combined. It can be used as a research tool and tracked with Google Analytics. And for the haters, there’s even Pinterest Bingo to poke fun at what your friends pin to their boards.

Whatever your passion, I hope you find a fun place to share it with others on Pinterest, and I hope you enjoy learning how to leverage it for business at our next meeting.

Alyssa Ando
MarCom President



Join us April 24th at 5 p.m. at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox to celebrate the marketing and communications achievements of the past year.

RSVP here to reserve your spot for this event.



There is still time to get your organization noticed at the 2012 Spark Awards by sponsoring this year’s awards. Your organization will be recognized among the best and brightest in marketing and communications and you have the opportunity to provide logo items to all the attendees. Your support of MarCom will help fund our internship program, providing three area students with internships this summer. Click here to view the list of the sponsorship levels. Donations are also accepted.

Contact Crystal Schaeffer-Flynn, Fundraising Chair for more information 509-242-8291 or



Gatekeeper Employees' Impact on PR

Cheryl-Anne Millsap
Freelance Journalist/Photographer

When my husband’s mother died recently and we had to catch a last minute cross-country flight for her funeral, we stepped right into the chaos of the United Airlines/Continental Airlines merger.

Arriving in Denver we discovered our flight was critically oversold and one of us would no longer have a seat. While I worked with agents to get that ticket corrected, the gate agent mistakenly gave away our other three seats. Pressed for time, my husband flew out while my daughters and I stayed behind to work out the rest of the details.

Initially, I got nowhere. Each person I talked to pointed to someone else’s mistake. Finally, when they realized we were flying as a family to attend the funeral of a close relative, and that due to the mix-up three of us were likely to miss that funeral, everyone stopped passing the buck and started working together to make the best of a very bad situation. They found us seats on a flight the next morning, gave us meal vouchers for four meals each and put us up in a hotel. Ultimately, my daughters and I arrived at our destination a day late but still in time for the funeral. And, in addition to an apology from almost everyone involved, the three of us were given a full-fare refund for that leg of the trip.

The trip wasn’t just a traveler’s worst-case scenario, it was a potential public relations nightmare. I sent only one tweet, commenting on the fact that the merger wasn’t exactly seamless and I posted a photo of my daughters playing Solitaire while we were stuck in Denver. But I have read dozens of blistering posts by unhappy passengers who were also affected by the merger. And they’re still coming in.

I’m not a business coach or corporate relationships consultant, but you don’t have to be to understand the vital importance of gatekeeper encounters.

As a travel journalist I translate my travel experiences – through my filter – to my readers. But it doesn’t matter how much I loved a certain hotel, city or museum, if the people who follow me there aren’t treated with the same courtesy. They won’t go away happy and chances are, in today’s “leave a comment” world, they won’t be silent about their unhappiness.

Public relations professionals create and broadcast the positive public image of an entity or product. And while it is often the gatekeeper employees who directly control the satisfaction or dissatisfaction of the consumer, the PR department has to deal with the larger effects of that satisfaction or dissatisfaction. If a client or consumer leaves unhappy they aren’t going to hold it against the representative they spoke to. More than likely they’ll hold it against the entire company. Most of us know someone who refuses to buy certain products, eat at certain restaurants or even read specific magazines or newspapers because of some unresolved grudge.

In my case, a bad situation was prevented from getting worse when the first person stopped talking to me and actually listened to what I had to say. And then brought in more people to listen and help find a solution. Oh, I was still frustrated by the circumstances, but I was placated by the quick effort to make things right.

Sometimes the most immediate and effective public relations work is done by “first responder” employees, those who have to deal with the public before calling in supervisors and managers. When they understand the importance of listening and then projecting the message that the company cares, the PR specialist’s job is easier and everyone – especially the customer – wins.

Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a freelance writer based in Spokane, Washington. In addition to her Home Planet, Treasure Hunting and CAMera: Travel and Photo blogs, her essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of "Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons" and can be reached at



J. Craig Sweat began his career as a professional photographer in 1978 with a focus on journalism and location work. His partner, Tony Roslund, is a third-generation professional photographer who recently ran his own commercial studio in downtown Spokane. With complementary skills and a shared creative approach, Craig and Tony operate a fully equipped, 3,000-square-foot studio featuring the latest in digital production technology, controlled lighting, and a complete set-building shop. An extensive list of long-term local, regional, and national clients from a wide range of industries points not only to J. Craig Sweat Photography’s ability to deliver inventive, high-quality imagery; it also shows a commitment to help clients achieve their business and institutional goals—and, more important, to work strategically to help them succeed.



The most interesting information comes from children, for they tell all they know and then stop. - Mark Twain