Member Spotlight: Grapevine Communications

Grapevine Logo 2017

In good times business people want to advertise. In bad times they have to.

For 16 years, Grapevine Communications has been the Suncoast’s go-to agency for local businesses of all stripes to attract more customers, get more exposure and build a brand that resonates.

Grapevine -18018-InfoRelease-EblastThere’s a huge misconception about hiring an ad agency: Cost. With Grapevine, you select and control the amount you want to spend for the breadth of services you receive. Every project is touched with the same high-quality, results-oriented white glove service by the creative hands and minds of Grapevine’s longstanding core of 17 on-site professional writers, designers, web developers, digital strategists, account executives, and public relations experts. “Whether someone spends $500 or $5 million, we give them the same top-notch service,” said Grapevine Owner and President Allison Imre. “We hold ourselves accountable for each job we do.”

From doctors, dentists and dermatologists to self-storage facilities, sunshade manufacturers and surrogacy specialists – and everything in between – Grapevine gets to know the ins and outs of their clients’ industries. They then build strategic multi-media plans to not only target their clients’ specific audiences but reach them with a message that makes an impact.

As the region’s only full-service advertising agency, Grapevine is in the business of grabbing attention, creating awareness, and delivering on a promise of outstanding results. If you’re looking for Creativity, Strategy, and Accountability in your advertising, marketing, public relations, and social & digital media, it’s time to Grow with Grapevine.

“We’re not just your neighbors in the community, we’re your partner in ensuring a brighter future for your business.”

Advertisements

Member Tip: Posting Your Coupons

coupon

In the slow months of the summer, you’re probably asking yourself “how can I support our local small businesses in Sarasota?” The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce is partnering up with Sarasota County to promote our local businesses.

What we are encouraging you to do:

As a Chamber Member, you have the opportunity to post coupons and discounts to your business through our website. We have now partnered with Sarasota County to promote our Member Coupons/Discounts this to their 3,500+ employees! This is a great opportunity to gain exposure, reward your most loyal customers, and build up a consistent customer base by offering exclusive discounts on The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce’s website.

Don’t have a discount to offer? That’s okay, you can still be a part of this program by searching the discounts and utilizing Chamber members for products and services. Buy Local, Buy Chamber.

You can add coupons here!

Here are directions on how to Add a Coupon:

coupon 1

  • Type in your Username & Password to access the Members Only section and click LOGIN

coupon 2

  • On the Member Portal Home, select ADD A COUPON on the top right in the blue box

coupon 3

  • When on the ADD A COUPON page, select NEW COUPON in the bright blue box

coupon 4

  • After you select NEW COUPON, this form will appear. Fill out the information for your coupon and hit SAVE. (Note: You have two options for the Coupon Type.  You can select GENERAL, which allows anyone who visits the Chamber Website to access it or you can select MEMBER TO MEMBER COUPON, which is designated for Chamber Members only and requires you to be logged in to see. General Coupons are best to get the most exposure of your brand)

coupon 5

  • Once you hit SAVE, your coupon is live on the Chamber Website. You can always edit your coupon or delete it if need be. Otherwise, the coupon will disappear from the Chamber Website once the expiration date you set is up or if your membership is inactive

coupon 6

To see your Coupon and others, you can access it 3 different ways (Note: The Coupon will also appear on your directory listing in the Member Directory as well):

  • Select VIEW COUPONS AND DISCOUNTS on the Members Only portal when you hit ADD A COUPON

coupon 7

  • Select BUSINESS DIRECTORY on the top tabs and once you’re there, select COUPONS AND DISCOUNTS

coupon 8

  • Select MEMBERSHIP on the top tabs and from the drop down, go to MEMBER BENEFITS and then MEMBER2MEMBER DISCOUNTS

coupon 9

  • If you access the COUPONS AND DISCOUNTS page at any point, you will see the different ones listed by General and by Member To Member (if logged-in).  Simply click on the “Title” of the Coupon to see more details and directions!

coupon 10

coupon 11


In partnership with:

Sarasota County Logo

Sarasota Film Festival Celebrates 20 Years

This year we celebrate our 20th Anniversary of the Sarasota Film Festival.  The 10-day festival will showcase 90 features, 131 shorts and will take place in Downtown Sarasota from April 13 – 22, 2018.

SFF_SarasotaMagazine_970x250_new.png

Our In Conversation With series features in-depth interviews with Eric Stoltz whose award-winning feature Class Rank will open the SFF, Oscar-nominated Virginia Madsen, seasoned actor Steve Guttenberg and Academy Award-nominated director, producer and philanthropist Rory Kennedy.

The educational program will expand this year with the introduction of the 20 Hour Film Contest. As in our past festivals, we continue to provide programming of, by, and for students within the Sarasota-Manatee region.

This year’s special edition poster was designed by local Kelsey Hunt-Dolan, a graduate of New College of Florida.  The iconic statue of David, which serves as the city’s official symbol and the Roman numerals “XX” on the poster commemorates the 20 year anniversary of the festival.

For more information and tickets to the 20th Anniversary Sarasota Film Festival, please visit www.sarasotafilmfestival.com.

Where Our Delegation Stands

On January 9th, the Florida Legislature began it’s 2018 Regular Session. Much of what transpires over the next 60-days can have a significant impact on our region and on your business. From the bills to the budget, your elected officials are hard at work shaping next year’s path for the state of Florida. We want you to be tuned into what funding and legislation your local delegates are working on in Tallahassee this year.

Please click on the images to view a list of those current efforts:

 

1

2

3

4

5

 

 

Siesta Key Crystal Classic Opens This Weekend!

The Siesta Key Crystal Classic International Sand Sculpting Festival starts this weekend, November 10-13, 2017. The master sculptors, coming to us from all over the world, will create sand masterpieces, some over ten feet tall, and transform the always beautiful Siesta Beach into an outdoor art gallery. These renowned artists will produce spectacular, ephemeral works of art from just sand and water.

 

3-whatever-floats-your-boat
Siesta Key Crystal Classic, November 10-13

 

This year the festival will be open until 9 pm on Friday and Saturday nights with live music, lighted sculpture displays, and drinks from the party tent. Reverand Barry & The Funktastic Soul will be playing Friday night with One Night Rodeo taking the stage on Saturday night!

The festival also features live music all four days, a large shopping village, and a variety of food and drink vendors. Other activities include the “Quick Sand” speed sculpting competition, sand sculpting lessons & demos, an amateur competition, and The Learning Curve – Kid’s Art & Science Lab.

Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors 65+ and military personnel, $5 for children 5-17 and under 5 is free. See the full 2017 festival schedule on the website: www.siestakeycrystalclassic.com.


The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce is a proud in-kind sponsor of the Siesta Key Crystal Classic International Sand Sculpting Festival. 

4 BEGINNING TWITTER TIPS FOR BUSINESS

Twitter-art

From 2014-2015 the number of Twitter users grew by 50 million, and it’s estimated that close to 1/5 of Internet users have Twitter accounts. The average Twitter user follows 5 businesses so if you’re not trying to reach your customers on Twitter you’re missing an opportunity.

Twitter is easy enough to understand, just share something 140 characters or less. You can share links, images, or videos. Here are a few other tips for businesses just starting out on Twitter:

Use Hashtags

Twitter is as hard to follow as the ticker tape on a stock page. It’s a constant barrage of messaging, particularly for those accounts that follow a lot of people. Hashtags, or pound signs (#), help people search for the information they want.

Using an appropriate hashtag can expand your business’ reach and help potential customers find what they’re looking for. Employ one specific to your business and use hashtags that are relevant. For instance, Jake’s Jewelry Store might use all, or any, of the following hashtags in tweets with images of gifts for mom: #jakes, #mothersday, #gift.

You can also use popular hashtags of trending topics, when applicable, like #marchmadness or #50shadesofgrey.

Share Images

This tip applies to most of social media but Twitter will display images prominently in the stream so it’s a good way to get your followers’ attention.

Rise Above the Noise

Find ways to stand out from others who are merely posting articles they’ve written. Ask questions. Have conversations. Thank people for sharing your content.

One of the easiest ways to create loyal followers, at least initially, is through commenting on what they share – either by providing your own opinions or asking them follow-up questions.

Avoid sending out automated thank you messages to new followers. While the concept seems nice – thanking them for following you – they come off as exactly what they are, robotic. Plus many Twitter users don’t check their messages box because of a large number of these they receive.

In addition to finding customers and potential customers on Twitter, it’s good to connect with influencers in your industry or audience such as mommy bloggers or niche bloggers.

Follow the Golden Rule

To follow back or not to follow back. That is the question and the answer for business is follow back, or do unto others as you would like them to do to you.

There are exceptions to this rule.

Twitter will cap you at 5,000 following (people you follow) if your followers (number of people who follow you) are not fairly equal. For instance, if you followed 2,000 people but only 500 followed you, Twitter will not allow you to follow any more until those numbers get within (about) 200 of each other. Twitter won’t tell you the exact number that it takes but you will be limited until those follower numbers rise.

You also don’t want your followers and following number too far off of one another because:

  • If you are following too many people, and a relatively equal number is not following you back, it looks like you’re not sharing worthwhile information.

On the other hand,

  • If a lot of people are following you and you’re only following a handful, you look like a bit of a jerk. That’s okay for reality TV stars but people who are using Twitter for business should be a little more congenial.

You can manage your Twitter followers through tools like ManageFlitter, Followerwonk (a Moz app) or Friend or Follow. Many of these tools can help you tell which accounts are spambots or fake accounts or inactive accounts. (You don’t want to spend time engaging those.) They also help you isolate influencers in your area.

There are pages and pages of tips written on topics like Twitter for business but the best thing to keep in mind is your humanity. Don’t make it all about your business and be gracious. Find ways to connect with people on a more personal level and imagine every tweet you’re sending could be seen by your grandmother, unless you’re in the type of business you don’t want your grandmother to know about.


Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and Memberclicks.

Congratulations, Janet & Sharon as Ambassadors of the Quarter!

Congratulations, Janet Arena!

Janet Arena HeadshotJanet was born in Philadelphia.  Lived most of her youth on a farm in Bucks County. Went to Penn State—majored in business education. Very active in a service sorority, cheerleading, and the theater. Went on to Pittsburgh where she taught two years before going to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in East Africa where she taught business procedures to government employees. While there, she took the challenge of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro which she did in three days—19,340 feet (with no oxygen).

Came back to the U.S. where she taught at Suffolk Community College and Nassau Community College on Long Island. At the same time, she completed her Master’s Degree at Columbia University.

Janet moved to Connecticut where she accepted the position of Chairperson of the three high schools in Milford, CT. In 1979, she became President and co-owner of Stone Academy, a business and medical training post-secondary institute.

She moved to Florida in 2003. After working at various jobs throughout the area, she accepted the position in the Marketing Department at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. She is presently involved in various committees for four Chambers, ushers at seven venues, house manager at Venice Theater, serves on the Gala Committees for Goodwill, Save Our Seabirds and the American Cancer Society, works Meals on Wheels every Saturday; Vice President of the Penn State Alumni Association; Executive Committee member and treasurer for the Big Ten Alumni Group.


Congratulations, Sharon Litchfield!

 

Sharon Litchfield HeadshotSharon has lived in the Sarasota community for over 40 years and has been married to Andy for 32 years, with one son, Adam, both of which keep her grounded. They have two rescue dogs, Levi and Ziggy, who are inseparable and a joy every day. Sharon enjoys all activities that Sarasota provides, from walking the Ringling Bridge to exploring what downtown has to offer on a regular basis and all the festivals that Sarasota brings to our community. She loves traveling and exploring other areas outside Sarasota and look forward to many fun trips this summer.

Sharon will be celebrating 27 years at one of the finest private golf clubs in Sarasota, FL, home to the Champions TOUR from 1986 through 2001 as part of the PGA TOUR Golf Course Property Inc. clubs for over 17 years at TPC Prestancia in Sarasota.

Sharon’s involvement with The Chamber is extensive as she serves on three different councils within Thc Chamber: Chamber Ambassadors, Member Services & Small Business Support Council, and the Finance Committee.

In 2014, she returned to USFSM to pursue her Masters in Hospitality and Technology Leadership and graduated in April 2017. Her involvement in many fundraising charitable organizations over the past 25 years includes United Way, Susan G. Komen, MDA, BBBS, Southeastern Guide Dogs and Be The Match Foundation as a Registered Bone Marrow Donor.

Sharon’s philosophy that you need to give back to your community and give to those in need to have a meaningful life.


Congratulations, to both Janet & Sharon! We greatly appreciate the dedication that you give to The Chamber and to The Chamber Ambassadors’ program. Janet and Sharon’s longstanding commitment through The Chamber Ambassadors and other Chamber Programs, make them excellent representatives of The Chamber and its’ programs. Thank you & keep up the great work!

2016-chamber-chamberambassadorslogo-hz

For information on the Chamber Ambassadors program or to join, please contact Megan Neal or Craig McGonigal

Partnering to Build Your Business

The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce

1945 Fruitville Road | Sarasota, FL 34236

http://www.SarasotaChamber.com