Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Free Ice Cream At Jeni's Dublin Tomorrow!


Found this on Facebook and wanted to spread the news!

Columbus favorite ice cream, as voted by Columbus Alive's Best of 2009, has opened a new store. The shop is located in historic downtown Dublin at 1 Bridge Street - on the corner of W. Bridge and S. High.

To celebrate, tomorrow from 5p - 11p Jeni's in Dublin is giving away a free small scoop of ice cream!!!


Kona Stout is made with Russian Imperial Stout, a dark, rich stout with Stauf's freshly roasted Kona coffee steeped in organic, grassfed cream.  Sounds tasty!

Check out Jeni's blog - salty carmel here.

Enjoy your ice cream!

New and Exciting Opportunities Are Just on The Horizon

As I solely take the wheel of columbus imPRessions I've decided to drive into new territory. Over the last few weeks I have spent quite a bit of time networking with a handful of my social media contacts.  Getting out and meeting with these people has been inspiring and educational.

I'm excited by the number of new opportunities that are coming my way.  Some of these opportunities I would have never imagined just a couple months ago.

You've already heard about TasteCasters.  I've eaten and tweeted my way into locally own establishments with more TasteCasting events on the calendar.  This has been a great way to meet new people, help local establishments and exercise my PR skills.  Founder, Dan Harris has asked that I assist him with PR releases and act as spokesperson when he is not available.

Currently a few more exciting adventures are in the works and over the next couple months I just might be able to tell you what those are.  For now here are some hints:  A non-profit summit, an expo spokesperson, a possible "featured" column, and training opportunities.

The road is wide open and I'm ready to roll!

Monday, March 30, 2009

A Year in Retrospect - Happy Birthday columbus imPRessions!

This week marks the official birthday of columbus imPRessions. Even though the blog imPRessions started in February '08, columbus imPRessions the business wasn't actually born until April 1, 08. 

As birthday #1 approaches I reflect back on why the journey began, occurrences that happened over the year, and the evolution that has emerged.  What an amazing year it has been!  

As if fate was leading me, a year ago the unthinkable happened.  I was working at a job I enjoyed for a mission I loved when unexpectedly I was asked to leave the organization.  Not because of poor work performance but because I had a blog - imPRessions.  imPRessions was a blog a co-worker and I started on our own time to learn more about social media and to express our personal thoughts and opinions about the marketing and PR world.   I'm not sure if my boss at the time did not understand social media, was jealous, or felt threatened, but regardless of her reasoning I was forced to resign my position.  

After the initial shock I decided this was a moment of a life-time.  Instead of wallowing in self pity I decided to turn a bad situation into a great opportunity.  My co-worker and I decided to actually turn our blog imPRessions into a business - columbus imPRessions, a small marketing and communication business primarily serving small businesses, trade associations and non-profit organizations.  

With the help of social networking and the creation of a solid brand, columbus imPRessions became a successful business.  Our client base steadily increased over the months which lead to an extensive number of  brand marketing and PR projects that our client's valued. Things were looking prosperous!  

Then came the fall of the economy and after the first couple months in '09 activities started to slow down.  Because of the instability, my business partner decided it was time to pursue other more secure opportunities and left the business.  Now a year later I am the sole proprietor of columbus imPRessions.

There have been quite a few changes this past year.  But with every change has come adventure, understanding, growth and evolution.  I quickly began to understand that while I may not be able to control each situation, I do have the power to decide how I will handle anything that comes my way. Instead of becoming a victim of circumstance I decided to take some tough situations and turn them into positive occasions. It is through these occasions that I am continually growing both professionally and personally.  Every day is an adventure when you own your own business and I appreciate each thrill.  I have met so many remarkable people over the year and look forward to meeting many more friends, contacts, colleagues and clients.  As I enter my sophomore year, I realize this could be a tough one, especially with the economy, but I am ready for the challenge. 

columbus imPRessions is evolving and while I don't have a crystal ball to tell me where I will be next year at this time, I do know that I am 100% committed to columbus imPRessions, my current clients and my future clients.  I look forward to sharing more experiences, thoughts and opinions as together we create a distinct imPRession.

Friday, March 27, 2009

American Idol Trading Cards

Just like baseball cards, American Idol fans can soon collect American Idol trading cards. That's right, a five pack of cards will be popping up in stores beginning April 21st.   One hundred and thirty eight cards in all and some of the selections will include:
  • Autographed cards from the past season contestants
  • Makeover cards with before and after shots
  • Fan Favorites
  • Almost An Idol Cards
Apparently, they wanted to create something that was interactive with their brand and the fans. Actually I'm surprised by the old-fashioned approach.  Idol is supposed to be the trend-setter, shaping the times.  This seems too much of a throwback to me.  I'm surprised they didn't come up with a more viral and social media approach to enhance the brand and create fan interaction.  Instead, why didn't they create virtual trading cards and plaster them all over Facebook, Twitter and Ning and have fans campaign and vote for their favorites. 

Anyway, check out Randy and Paula's mug shots, I mean trading cards.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Granting Wishes Touching Lives

Thanks to PR Sarah Evans, yesterday I came across the an organization I wasn't aware of. Sarah added a Design-Her Gal to her Facebook page.  I thought it was cute, it caught my attention and I checked out the site. Through their site, I found the Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation.

Being involved with a wish granting organization in the past, I was thrilled to learn that Making Memories granted wishes too.  Except this wonderful organization grants wishes to women with metastatic breast cancer.  Their mission is to provide these women with an opportunity to have a dream or wish fulfilled by providing a special time of "Making Memories" together with their family.

Making Memories needs help granting their weekly wishes.  Some ways to help are through the Pink Envelope Project, Brides Against Breast Cancer, or Diamond for Dreams to name a few.  For more information on their fundraising programs click here.

Another way to help is through the cause marketing promotion with Design-Her Gals.  Create a gal avatar and start shopping.  A portion of the proceeds goes to raising funds to grant wishes. I shared my avatar on Facebook.  Check her out here.

Just spreading the word and creating awareness for another great organization.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Earth Hour Saturday - More Cities Need to Represent!

Watching the Weather Channel I saw a promotion for Earth Hour.  World Wildlife Fund is asking individuals, businesses and organizations around the world to turn off their lights for one hour this Saturday to show support for Earth Hour.  Make your statement of concern for climate change and support going green by turning off your lights for one hour this Saturday, March 28, 2009 at 8:30 p.m. your local time. (similar to New Year's Eve)

Currently about 200 US cities are participating.  Unfortunately Columbus and Cleveland have yet to sign up.  The only major cities in Ohio signed up are Cincinnati and Toldeo.  You can sign up your city here.  Over 2,500 cities in 84 countries are signed up to participate.

For more information on Earth Hour click here.

Follow Earth Hour on Twitter here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Hopefully Lance Will Be Recovered For The Pelotonia Tour

Yesterday the ultimate cyclist, Lance Armstrong, injured himself in a bike accident.  At a bike race in Spain, Lance fell and fractured his collarbone and will have to undergo surgery.

Because of the injury the world is already buzzing whether or not he will race in the July Tour de France. Central Ohio is most likely wondering if he will be able to participate in the Pelotonia Tour in late August.

The Pelotonia Tour is the first Columbus to Athens charity ride for cancer research.  Lance is suppose to serve as honorary chairman as well as ride in the Tour.  He is expected to start the trip riding from Columbus to Athens.  Over the next five years event organizer's hope to raise $40 million for cancer research at OSU James Cancer Hospital.  They are on their way with a $12.5 million donation from NetJets.

Let's hope Lance makes a speedy recovery so he can participate in the Pelotonia Tour and continue biking his way across the world for cancer awareness. 

Monday, March 23, 2009

I Kin' (and I did) Make My Own Dunkin' Donut

Chocolate Cake Stick Donut with Cappuccino Cream, White Icing and Hershey Chocolate Shavings
It's like having your coffee and donut in one taste!

Why am I marketing my donut and why did I make one?  It's because Dunkin' Donuts is looking for a new donut creation and they are asking the public to pitch in.  Now through April 7, 2009 you can enter the "Create Dunkin's Next Donut" contest.  If they pick your donut it will not only be sold in participating stores across the country, it will win you $12,000.  Not bad for creating a virtual viccitelli (that's a donut from Campania, Italy where they drink plenty of cappuccino).  

You can check the gallery of other donuts and enter the contest here.

Appropriately, the winner will be announced on National Donut Day - June 5, 2009.

A fun and smart way to work Internet marketing!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

MEDIA ADVISORY: TASTECASTING LAUNCHED CREATING UNIQUE WAY TO MARKET

Contact:  Dan Harris, Founder

     TasteCasting

     p: 740.881.0417| e: harrishammer@mac.com


CENTRAL OHIO’S MOST SOCIALLY NETWORKED USES VARIOUS SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS TO PROMOTE LOCAL AREA RESTAURANTS

(COLUMBUS, OHIO) Let the tweeting begin! Last week TasteCasting was launched creating the newest way to utilize social networking.  The idea combines great people and good food to benefit the many food and drink establishments in our area.


TasteCasting is a group of socially networked people that enjoy connecting and meeting with others over food and drink.  Team members taste, tweet, and then repeat, broadcasting the experience across their social media platforms.


Establishments looking to spread the word about a grand opening, new product, new menu, or special offer, can use TasteCasting to increase awareness through the team of socially connected Bloggers, Twitters, You Tuber’s, Facebook and Flickr users, resulting in more traffic to their website and their restaurant.  In return, the establishment provides a complimentary tasting and tour.  Currently there is no charge to restaurants and there is no compensation for tasters.


Quote from Dan Harris: “The socially networked, and social media savvy are already meeting online, and attending a number of events held by Columbus TechLife, Tweetups and meetups.” says Dan Harris, Founder of TasteCasting. “TasteCasting is a way to get networked people meeting in person, learning about the establishments, the food, the owners, their passions and then the team broadcasts to thousands across their personal networks through blogs, twitter, video and photos.”


Last week Tastecasting events were held at the Suisse Shop Bakery, 2119 Polaris Parkway www.thesuisseshop.com and Katzinger’s Deli, 475 South Third Street www.katzingers.com.


Quote from Darlene Jones, Suisse Shop: "TasteCasting introduced us to 10 new potential customers in-person during the tasting and through those in attendance our message, images of our bakery, and our products will be twittered, put on Facebook and shared across the various social network platforms," explains Darlene Jones, Owner of The Suisse Shop Bakery.  "What is so exciting for us is thousands of the tasters' friends, family, followers, and connections may come to visit or refer others to us and they may become loyal customers and fans of our bakery."


Quote from Diana Katzinger: "As a business, the use of social media has become so important.  That's why Katzinger's was thrilled to host the TasteCasting team for a cheese and wine pairing.  We not only gained potentially a dozen new customers, we reached thousand of people we could never reach before because of strong social media connections."


About TasteCasting:  At TasteCasting, we view this social media effort and our purpose as a way to help restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries and other food service businesses grow their business. We have a growing team of socially connected networkers in Columbus, but will soon invite socially networked and social media savvy people in other cities to start teams as well.  For more information on TasteCasting or to request a tasting, visit our site at www.tastecasting.com.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Wine and Cheese Pairing Is As Perfect As The TasteCasters and Katzingers Pairing

Last Night was TasteCaster event number two. This time at Katzinger's Deli in German Village. We were treated to five different pairings:

  1. La Tur from Piedmont, Italy - a bloomy-surface-ripened cheese paired with Il Follo "Cuvee Rustot" Brut Procecco, NV from Italy

  2. Cave Aged Gruyere - a semi-hard cheese paired with 2006 The Furst Riesling from France

  3. Serena, Three Sisters - a hard cheese paired with 2007 Mason "Pomelo" Savignon Blanc from Napa Valley (definitely my favorite)

  4. Grayson, Meadow Creek Farms - a washed-rind paired with 2007 Eola Hills Pinot Noir from Oregon

  5. Cashel Blue, Neal's Yard - a blue cheese paired with 2007 Reginato "Celestina" from Argentina

The event was delicious, information and fun. Wendy Hunsinger, Specialty Food Manager from Katzinger's really knew how to make both the wine and cheese taste so much better when complimenting each other.

Katzinger's offers various tastings like this to the public. For more information visit their website. In fact, next Wednesday they are hosting a Meat Maddness and Beer Tasting featuring Columbus' own Elevator Beers for just $23.95.

As a Tweet-deal, Katzingers is also offering 10% off all the cheeses that we tasted last night now through Easter. Just give them your Twitter name at the register. If you don't have one, tell them @cbusimpressions sent you!

Here are a few photos from last night.














First Day of Spring - Get Your Free Ice Cream

Rita's is celebrating the first day of spring with free ice cream!!  This marks year 17 for the celebration.  Visit a participating Rita's between noon and 10 p.m. today.  Yum!

Powell, Ohio just opened a new store.

Find a location nearest you here.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Suisse Shop TasteCasting Event Delicious Success! #Suisse

Last night the TasteCasters were invited to the Suisse Shop Bakery for the first TasteCasters event. I met some really incredible people - TasteCaster members, as well as owners, Darlene and Herb Jones and their daughter, Elizabeth Jones who is the General Manager and cake artist.

We sampled over 17 different types of cupcakes - well, 17 types were available. I had bites of five different kinds - Chocolate Mouse, Buckeye, Boston Cream Pie, Red Velvet, and Italian Cassatta. All were incredibly delicious!! While we ate, we Twittered, took videos and photos to share with our social network platforms creating awareness for the family run business.

Specializing in European pastries and confections, and making everything from scratch, I would definitely recommend the Suisse Shop Bakery for any pastry needs. Marvelously delectable, I can see why the Suisse Shop Bakery has won numerous awards, which include awards from The Knot and Columbus Monthly Best Of!

Special Twitter promotion - stop in the Suisse Shop Bakery (Polaris Parkway, Columbus, OH) buy five cupcakes and get the sixth free if you give your @ Twitter name. Don't have one, you can use mine - @cbusimpressions.

Some photos from the night. You can see more photos here.













Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tonight's The First TasteCasters Event (#CbusTasters)


I recently joined TasteCasters. TasterCasters is a group of socially networked people that enjoy connecting and meeting with others over food and drink. We taste, tweet, and then repeat. Broadcasting our experience across our social media platforms.

As social media grows, so does the unique ways in which to market your business. TasteCasters helps market various establishments. Business helping business. If an establishment is looking to spread the word about a grand opening, new product, new menu or special offer, TasteCasting can help increase awareness by driving traffic to the web site, and encouraging people to visit the establishment to experience for themselves.

If an establishment is interested in hosting a TasteCasting all you need to do is invite as many TasteCasting members, (currently 22), you'd like to a tasting and tour. In return, each TasteCasting member in attendance will broadcast their event, at no cost, to Facebook friends, Twitter followers and LinkedIn connections. Members will also post photos, videos, comments about the establishment and food at the event on their blogs, Flickr, Youtube and Viddler accounts. Establishments also receive a landing page on the Tastecasting website.

Tonight's TasteCasting is at the Suisse Shope off of Polaris Parkway. We are going to sample cupcakes and other goodies. Watch for my tweets and Facebook status updates starting around 7:30 pm. Tomorrow I will post about the experience.

If you want to see everyone's Twitter comments during the TasteCasting follow along here #CbusTasters and #Suisse.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Going Green (Actually Clear) This St. Patty's Day

St. Patty's day is all about the green - wearing green (if not you'll get pinched), green shamrocks, green parades and green beer.

But now in these eco-conscious times, St. Patrick's Day is a great time to think about green in another way -  going green for the environment.

This St. Patrick's Day I wanted to create awareness for something green that's actually clear. Hmmmm.

Let me start with this fact.  Did you know that an estimated 1.1 BILLION people worldwide have NO access to clean drinking water.  Since all living creatures need water to survive that is a scary statistic.

But thanks to PUR and P&G there is hope.  PUR has developed PUR packet.  A PUR packet is a packet of powder that makes potentially deadly water drinkable.  Click here to see how this great product works.

1 packet = 10 cents 1 packet = 10 liters of clean water

Through the Children's Safe Drinking Water Program you can help for as little as $1.00!!

$1.00 gives a child clean water for 50 days $30.00 give a family clean water for a year

Join me this St. Patty's Day in going clear.  It only took a $7.50 donation (through the Greater Cincinnati Foundation) to give a child clean water for an entire year!!  Such a small donation that is making such a huge impact.  You can make a donation here.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Diabetic Friendly Logo

Last night I had a bowl of the new Kellogg's Special K Blueberry cereal.  Yes, I like cereal for dinner, call me crazy.


Looking at the new product box I noticed a logo I've never seen before - Diabetic friendly.  I've seen products with the American Heart Association stamp of approval, but never anything for Diabetes.

My curiosity lead me to a Google search and I came across this.  Looks like Kellogg's, with the guidelines of ADA, is going diabetic friendly and the new logo is a marker for easier identification.

Great idea.  Brand recognition for causes and healthy choices will make shopping for products even easier.  I would also bet sales will increase.  With Diabetes in my family I am more cautious in my food choices and Kellogg's found a great way to market to me.


Getting Married? Ever Heard of I DO Foundation?

The wedding planning season is in full swing.  Brides-to-be are trying on dresses, going to bridal shows, sampling cake and looking at all types of floral arrangements.  

Today's post offers something new to consider when planning your wedding.  Why not add a charitable component to your special day.

About seven years ago the I Do Foundation was born.  Their mission is to help engaged couples bring a charitable focus to their marriage. Their goal is to share the joy and wealth of wedding celebrations with effective nonprofit organizations by providing a variety of donation options and wedding services to help engaged couples make charitable giving a part of their wedding.

Brides and grooms to be, or vendors in the bridal industry this one is for you.  Consider giving the I Do Foundation a try.  You will all be making a happy day even more special - the fondant on the wedding cake.

To see who I Do supports click here.
To become a partner organization click here.
The site is also a great resource for couples planning a wedding.  For tips, ideas and recommendations click here.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Did This SNL Spoof Actually Increase Yogurt Sales?

To hear video without music you'll have to turn site music off - music is in the ReverbNation Box located at bottom right hand column.


Sure the spoof is not an ad. But SNL's skit, featuring Kristen Wiig, has copied some of the ad's lines verbatim. Imitation is flattery and in this case, profitable.  Since the series of spoofs, Activia yogurt has continued to fly off grocery store shelves and profits continue to grow.

Perhaps SNL is creating product awareness to a untapped target market, or because the skit is just so darn funny people remember it and pay more attention when they see the actual commercial.  Or maybe because of the laughter created by the spoof, the product now drums up positive feelings and they want to buy it.

Whatever the reason may be, I hope SNL continues this series of spoofs.  Kristen Wiig make a hilarious Jamie Lee Curtis!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Highly Recommend Lunch and Learn Sessions

The Social Media For Business People Lunch and Learn session was great. Even though I've been using social media for over a year, I learned how to better focus as well as how to enhance my social media practices. Some subtle, yet important changes will be made soon, especially on my Linked In page.

Have a LinkedIn Page? Want to link? Check out my page LinkedIn page here.

Lunch and Learn - Social Media for Business People

Today I am attending my first Lunch and Learn session.  You can never stop learning, right.

This session is called Social Media for Business People.  Owning a business today you must be kept up to date on the newest social media practices whether it is for marketing, collaborating, public relations, recruiting, or sales.

columbus imPRessions was born because of social media.  columbus imPRessions will continue to grow because of social media.

Looking forward to a great learning session over lunch.  I believe there are still seats left if interested.  Click here for details.  

Can't wait to share some of the points I learned. 

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Non-Profit Inventory

As a former director of Brand Marketing and Development Programs in the non-profit industry, one of my main responsibilities was to create fundraising and development programs while overseeing brand compliance.

In order to strike corporate/business interest in the organization we had to establish a consistent and professional brand, not only for the organization, but for each fundraising program that we built.  But that wasn't enough.  We also had to create some sort of inventory, a tangible benefit to the corporation/business.

Corporations and business alike get involved with a non-profit for many reasons.  They like to give back to their community, they like to engage employees through involvement, and they like to get a little something back in return.

Non-profits have more to offer than they realize.  Some benefits that were created for sponsors, usually because of an event or corporate giving program, were:
  1. Media Mentions - Securing media sponsor(s) early on so the title/presenting sponsor can be mentioned in PSAs.
  2. Brand placement - positioning the corporate/business logo on everything from invitations and brochures to signage and website.
  3. Unique Visitors - Using your website unique visitor count can be a huge selling point. Monitor your web analytics and use them as a benefit to the donor.  That's the number of times their brand will have additional exposure.
Now with social media a new lot of inventory benefits are available:
  1. Facebook - By creating a Facebook page for the organization or event and including the sponsor logo you can use number of fans to the page as inventory.
  2. Twitter - By posting a tweet on Twitter about the sponsor involvement you can use the number of followers to your profile as inventory.
  3. You Tube - By adding a video on You Tube with the sponsor logo you can add number of views to the video as inventory.
The benefit possibilities are endless if you just think "beyond the box". 

If your non-profit needs assistance in creating consistent, successful development programs for your organization columbus imPRessions can help.  Email michele@columbusimpressions.com 

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Fiber One Avatar

Out of curiosity yesterday I created a Fiber One Avatar and played the Fiber Friend Face Off. As a new social marketing promotion, General Mills cereal, Fiber One, created a virtual game show where each day you log in, pick five fiber filled items off the pantry, and try to pick more fiber than your opponent.  

What do you get (other than the satisfaction of beating your avatar competitor)?  A chance to win fabulous prizes.  If you come back every day through April 11th you are automatically entered into the sweepstakes to win a luxury spa getaway in Arizona or other smaller but nice prizes.  A spa getaway in Arizona sounds pretty great to me!

What does General Mills Fiber One get?  A database filled with emails to send future product information and promotions, awareness, free publicity (I am posting this at no cost which will also post to my Twitter, Facebook, Alltop and many blog community sites), and potential new customers.  They entice you with a $1.00 coupon.

Fun promotion and so I thought I would share.  As a side note, a couple weeks ago I purchased Fiber One's Creamy Nonfat Yogurt.  I have to say it is very good and the Key Lime flavor rocks!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Benihana Columbus Now Open

Just came back from my walk with the dog and picked up the mail.  Nothing but a bunch of junk except for the Benihana postcard.  The restaurant is now open at Polaris Fashion Place.  Our family information must have been included in their market research so we received a post card. The card let's us know they are open and also gives us a special promotional offer.  If we buy three entrees before April 23rd we receive one complimentary entree.  Good deal.  

Good deal for Benihana too.  We will definitely use the offer so for one free meal they are getting three paying meals.  Also, Benihana used the card to draw recipients to their web site building up unique visitors.  In order to get the free meal you have to go to their site (looks to be a hidden page) and print out the certificate.  To get the certificate we had to input our contact info and email.

Looks like more Benihana marketing will come our way.  Hey, at least we get a free meal out of it!

Business Helping Business

The other week I was introduced to Business Helping Business.  A very cool grassroots concept, website and daily eblast that works to bring businesses together, large or small, in cooperation rather than competition. In these economic times we all need to pull together to survive and succeed and this movement works to do just that.

How do you join the movement?  Go to the website and subscribe to the daily email.  You will soon start receiving a list of Needs and Haves.  This email is compiled from people all over the world who either need assistance or have something to offer.  You can give to the greater good with no strings attached, search for a need, barter, and who knows you might even make a few dollars down the road.  

If you want to list a Need or Have just visit the Business Helping Business website.  Last week I submitted a Have.  I listed the In-Kind Connection - my complimentary site that helps connect donors and non-profits with procurement items or awareness.  Within a couple days my Have was listed on the eblast and I immediately heard from a handful of companies and non-profits looking for assistance in making a connection.  I'm happy to report that a connection was made and a company who has some extra product will be donating it for a goody bag!  Success!

What goes around comes around, so why not throw a little good karma out there.  Sign up for the Business Helping Business eblast.  It will come back threefold!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Columbus' First Restaurant Week

Starting today and running through this week Columbus is holding its first ever Restaurant Week hosted by Dine Originals.

Forty-two independent restaurants have come together to create special fixed price menu ranging from $15-$30 (not including tax and tip).  Menus promise to be unique and exciting and reservations are strongly suggested.

Some of my favorite that are on the list of participating restaurants:

Barcelona
The Burgundy Room Short North
Due Amici
Elevator Brewery & Draught Haus
Figilo Wood Fired Pizza
Katzinger's Delicatessen
Luce Enoteca
Maca Cafe
Tony's Italian
Vino Vino Restaurant & Winebar

To see all of the other delicious restaurants participating click here.

So why have a Restaurant Week?  To celebrate, support and promote locally owned and operated independent restaurants by providing unique dining experiences for its patrons.  Also, to help stimulate the Columbus economy!

If you're going out to eat this week, why not support one of our own.


Brown Bag Marketing and a Free Burrito

This Sunday's Dispatch included a Chipotle brown paper bag.  

The bag simply says - "How 'Bout A Burrito?"
Bring in this bag by March 21st and we'll fill it with one of our giant, gourmet burritos FREE!
Chipotle

Looks like Chipotle is doing this in select markets across the country. A quick Google search showed that they recently did this in the Dayton, OH and Phoenix, AZ markets.  Possibly a new market research study?

This is great marketing for so many reasons:
  1. It had to be cheap - small lunch size brown paper bags (for 32 packs of 500 it only cost $12.60 each through Fetpak Inc.)
  2. Printing in black ink is very inexpensive
  3. Visitors getting a free burrito will most likely purchase other items - drink, chips and guac, or other food entrees
  4. Creates awareness for Chipotle
  5. Putting brown bag in paper is cheaper than paying a mail house to deliver promotional piece

Office Max is another brown bag marketer offering 15% off of everything in the larger brown shopping bag in the past.

The amazing realization for me though was when I pulled the bag out of the paper I immediately knew it was Chipotle even though the Chipotle logo was hidden by the fold in the bag.  Now that is great brand recognition!

Hope you found yours in the paper before you threw it in the recycling pile.  Enjoy!  All those calories don't seem as bad when you are eating for free!  Hey @CherylHarrison, maybe we can use the bags when we meet for lunch this week!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Looking for a New Job? Get Your Resume Printed for FREE

I learned some great info from one of my Linked In groups that I had to pass along.

Tuesday, March 10th FedEx Office is providing free resume printing.  During "FedEx Free Resume Printing Day" you can get 25 copies of your resume printed for free at any of its 1,600 locations across the country.

The Details:
  • 25 one-sided black and white copies on resume quality paper
  • Valid only one day - March 10, 2009
  • Orders must be placed and picked up in store
  • Resumes can be submitted on paper or digital file
  • Find a FedEx Office location near you here
There is time over the weekend to update your resume and get it ready for Tuesday's free print day.

Good luck!!

MaJelly

Yesterday I spent a good bit of the day social networking, you know reaching out to friends on Facebook, Tweeting on Twitter and joining a new social networking group - MaJelly.

You can see toward the bottom of the right hand column of my site I have a new banner for MaJelly.  MaJelly is a central social network for Columbus, Ohio.  Various social networking groups are tied into MaJelly making social networking a little more organized - a hub of sorts. 

There are existing groups you can join - I joined Wired PR Pros and Columbus TweetUp.  You can also create your own social network (powered by Ning).  Ning gives you the platform to easily create a social networking group.  Could be great for parent social networkers, non-profits social networkers, anyone.  I might even consider moving In-Kind Connection over to Ning.  If I do, you'll be the first to know.

For now, check out my MaJelly Profile.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

FeedBurner and Google Created Changes For My Twitterfeed

With the acquisition of FeedBurner by Google changes on RSS feeds are being made.  I found that out the hard way when all of a sudden my Twitterfeed stopped working.  With fingers crossed I think I figured it out.  

According to the Google Adsense for Feeds blog . . .

On February 28th, if you have not moved your feeds to a Google Account, the traffic to your feeds will not be cut off or terminated, but you will not be able to view or manage your feeds until you have moved to a Google Account

You can get more info here.

Now hopefully, this post will directly feed to my Twitter profile - fingers crossed.

It's Twitterriffic! Just ask GMA, Skittles, @8101Harris and columbus imPRessions

Twitter, it's all over the place!  

Yesterday Good Morning America announced during a segment that they will now be using Twitter for next week's special series "GMA Goes Big".  Their "tweets" will be clues hinting where they are.  They also have a link to their twitter profile right on their web homepage.

Last week Skittles created an interweb where their chatter is an overlay of Twitter.  This overlay captures every "tweet" (good or bad) that is being communicated over Twitter.  Make a "tweet" about Skittles and it immediately shows up on their Twitter interweb, very innovative.

columbus imPRessions uses Twitter daily.  Twitter has been very successful in pitching story ideas to the media, helping non-profit organizations with feeds from In-kind Connection, directing more unique visitors to our site through twitterfeed, as well as finding new clients. The project for Baby The Planet Expo came via Twitter.

Yesterday I had a great meeting with Dan Harris or @8101Harris.  Dan is coming up with great ideas using the social networking world.  Can't wait to get involved with Taste Casting - a unique tool to help local restaurants using Twitter.  If it wasn't for Twitter I most likely would not have met @8101Harris.

Now I can "tweet" anytime and anywhere because I just installed Twitterberry on my Blackberry.  Twitter is twitteriffic!  You just need to think "beyond the box" a little to make it work. "Beyond the box", that's columbus imPRessions approach.  You can follow columbus imPRessions on twitter here.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Girl Scout Cookies Are Here!

Today my Girl Scout Cookies arrived.  Oh how I love those thin mints!  As I enjoy almost half a sleeve, yikes, I am inspired to write about the recent restructure of the Girl Scout brand.

Girl Scouts is 97 years old.  Over the years girls worked to earn badges, wore polyester vests camped and sold cookies.  The cookies are still in but almost everything else is out.  Because enrollment keeps dropping every year, the Girls Scouts are changing their brand image and trying to become cool.

Going hi-tech, troops are into blogging and life on-line. Going hip, teen troops are being led my college students instead of moms. Going curriculum, badges are gone and journeys are in focusing on teamwork and making a difference.  Going fashionable, polyester has been replaced with hip t-shirts, hoodies and hats.  Going multi-cultural troops are twinning - video conferencing with troops in other countries.

Being true who they are girl scouts will still camp, sing and sell cookies.  Leaders of troops can select which new options they would like to incorporate into their troop.

Only time will tell if these brand changes will start to increase enrollment.  Hats off to Girl Scouts for embracing the times and changing their structure to meet the needs of today's girl.

Keep selling those cookies.  I'm off to finish the rest of my thin mint sleeve. Yum!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Can Pinocchio Make Your Kid Eat Healthier?


The USDA recently partnered with Walt Disney Studio Home Entertainment to launch a series of new public service announcements motivating moms to encourage proper nutrition and more physical activity for their children.

By using Pinocchio in the "Bright Futures" campaign, PSAs will highlight the importance of a balance between good nutrition and keeping active in order to reduce childhood obesity and increase the number of fruit and vegetable intake in children. According to the Ad Council, less than 25% of all adolescents eat the daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables.

Key messaging in the PSAs will direct moms to www.mypyramid.gov to use the food pyramid as an effective tool when making food selections.  Last year the food pyramid was given a makeover.   You can compare new and old food pyramid's below.

Before you compare I have just one question . . . .
If a child lies and says they ate their broccoli when they really fed it to the dog will their nose grow big too? 








Monday, March 2, 2009

Baby The Planet Expo Info

Today I am going to distribute the first Baby The Planet Expo press release and wanted to give all my social media friends the first glance.

March 2, 2009

Contact: Michele Savoldi, columbus imPRessions

                 740.816.3251 or michele@columbusimpressions.com

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Baby the Planet Expo, first Mom and Mom-to-be Targeted Green Show in Central Ohio,

 Chosen as a Featured Event in Columbus Parent Magazine EXPO

 

(Columbus, OH) -   Baby the Planet Expo, a premier family green event, announced today that it will be a feature of the Columbus Parent Magazine EXPO, a quality family experience attracting 30,000 attendees on May 2-3, 2009 at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

 

"Columbus Parent Magazine EXPO is thrilled to have Baby the Planet as part of our event this year. With so many families trying to become more eco-friendly, having green products and services at the EXPO is a benefit to all the kids and parents who attend the show,” states Staci Perkins, Editor of Columbus Parent Magazine.

 

As the first mom and mom-to-be targeted green event in the area, Baby the Planet Expo will bring local and national products, services and education to families looking to take those first steps in living a greener lifestyle or add to what they are already doing to improve the environment. 

 

“It can be overwhelming for parents and parents-to-be to learn and find resources to help them live a more sustainable lifestyle.  After hearing from so many women that they wish they could discover more about green living in one place, the idea of the expo was formed,” states event spokeswoman Michele Savoldi. The expo is focused on providing attendees with one new thing that will assist them with living a more sustainable lifestyle.  Interactive educational sessions will be offered on both days of the event.

 

A portion of the event’s proceeds will go to The Leave No Child Inside Central Ohio Collaborative, a non-profit dedicated to connecting kids with the outdoors as a way to improve their health, academic performance and happiness.

 

Current expo partners include sponsors The CW on WWHO-TV, American Canvas, Addison’s Compass, Itsabelly and Rain Brothers joined by the following exhibitors:

 

Camp Fire USA Central Ohio Council

Center for Humane Options in Childbirth Experiences  

Down the Garden Path 

Good to Go Eco 

Intuitive Concepts, Inc. 

The Leave No Child INSIDE Central Ohio Collaborative   

Long Mountain Designs 

Miessence Organics
Whole Foods 

 

Baby the Planet Expo has a limited number of sponsorships and exhibitor spaces still available for those companies and associations who want to connect their important message with families.  Event information is located on the event Web site at www.babytheplanetexpo.com. 

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Free Dunkin Donuts Coffee Delivered To Your House!

Too good not to spread the word.  When I saw this they only had their new dark roast left. There still is time to get your free sample.  Click on the widget below.

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