Writers Unbound, Seventh Annual Catskills Literary Festival, scheduled for April 26, has been postponed.
The program included:
12:30 p.m.—Poetry Reading hosted by Sharon Israel / Featured Poet Jared Daniel Fagen
1:30 p.m.—Publishing Panel moderated by Simona David / Group Discussion Addressing the Latest News and Trends in Publishing
Panelists include Leslie T. Sharpe (author and editor), Carrie Bradley Neves (editor), Andrew Flach (publisher, Hatherleigh Press), Brett Barry (publisher, Silver Hollow Audio)
2:00 p.m.—Keynote Address with Beth Lisick, author of the New York Times bestseller Everybody Into the Pool
3:00 p.m.— SPARK! with Lilly Golden and Lorrayne Bolger
The Roxbury SPARK!:Art and Literary Magazine is the student-run magazine of Roxbury Central School. In its sixth year, this publication showcases creative works of students in fifth through twelve grades, including paintings, drawings, photographs, poems, short stories, and even novellas and plays. SPARK! is produced by the students, for the students, to display, publish, and archive their work. The process of experimenting with writing, workshopping projects together and encouraging fellow student writers and artists makes the journey as meaningful as the final publication.
3:30 p.m.— New Release with Anique Sara Taylor, author of Where Space Bends (Finishing Line Press), forthcoming in 2020
4:00 p.m. — The Bounty of Books Raffle, with a prize of ten selected book titles, will be awarded (come early, tickets are limited!), and the winner of the Best Cover Contest will be announced.
Keynote Speaker Beth Lisick is a writer, actor, and the author of five books, including the New York Times bestseller Everybody Into the Pool. Her work has been published in various magazines and journals, including Best American Poetry. She co-founded San Francisco’s Porchlight storytelling series, traveled the country with the Sister Spit performance tours, and received a Creative Work Fund grant for a chapbook series with Creativity Explored, a San Francisco studio for artists with developmental disabilities. Beth has appeared in films that have screened at Cannes, Sundance, and the San Francisco International Film Festival. Her first novel Edie on the Green Screen was just published by 7.13 Books. Beth is a resident of Brooklyn and West Hurley. Her website is bethlisick.com.
The festival will be re-scheduled.
Learn more at writersinthemountains.org
Skiing at Plattekill Mountain (photo taken on Feb. 18, 2019)
Roxbury, New York
This year the Greater Roxbury Business Association (GRBA) celebrates its seventh anniversary. The organization was founded in the summer of 2012 by a group of entrepreneurs who identified the need for the Town of Roxbury to have its own coherent business group to promote local businesses in a cohesive fashion to ensure the economic vibrancy of our communities.
The founding of the organization coincided with the implementation of the Town’s current Comprehensive Plan, which was adopted in May 2013. The Plan identified a number of positive as well as negative elements that characterized the local economic climate.
Small town atmosphere and friendliness;
Historic rural environment;
Attractive Main Street with distinguished historical architecture;
Outdoor recreation opportunities, including hiking, skiing and golfing;
Air and water quality.
Hamlets are disconnected;
Lack of cohesiveness and coordination;
Lack of a common marketing plan for tourism activity, lack of economic development, lack of Main Street businesses;
Lack of incentives for retail and restaurants;
Not enough hotels.
The Esopus / Delaware Study, which was conducted around the same time, also identified a series of challenges: lack of business training, lack of social media expertise, lack of customer service skills, limited social infrastructure for youth, not enough promotion of cultural activities.
Since its founding in 2012, GRBA has made its mission to capitalize on the Town’s assets while at the same time address some of the shortcomings identified both in the Town’s Comprehensive Plan as well as The Esopus / Delaware Study. The first organizational task we set to accomplish was to increase awareness of existing businesses in the community; afterwards, we worked tirelessly to improve coordination and communication across the board to create a focused agenda and spearhead economic vibrancy within our town and throughout the region.
The overall vision for Roxbury as outlined in The Town’s Comprehensive Plan has been to maintain its historic character, ambiance and quiet lifestyle while expanding economic opportunities and increasing local businesses, particularly those “oriented to tourism so that the town is known as a historical, recreational, and cultural destination.”
The Greater Roxbury Business Association has positioned itself as the Town’s marketing arm while launching Visit Roxbury campaign to promote the Town and support its economic development. Over the past seven years, GRBA has increased the Town’s visibility through a series of initiatives, has provided business training opportunities for local business owners, and has coordinated tourism-related activities that make Roxbury a destination.
As this year marks GRBA’s seventh anniversary, the organization has been awarded a tourism grant that will make possible the acquisition of a new logo, the design and distribution of a rack card with map included, and the production of two guidebooks with itineraries that will help visitors explore the area. These are exciting developments that will make us stronger as a business community.
None of us could imagine Roxbury today without the Greater Roxbury Business Association. We’re looking forward to many more years to come.
Learn more at visitroxbury.com.
Content marketing is a critical component of digital marketing given its effectiveness in increasing brand awareness, engaging online communities, generating new leads, and increasing sales.
What makes content marketing effective is that people trust editorials more than they trust advertorials. In essence, content marketing is a form of marketing that focuses on creating, publishing and distributing creative content for a targeted audience to generate leads and sales while informing and entertaining. Traditional marketing focuses on pitching products and services, while content marketing focuses on publishing engaging content.
Although content marketing gained traction during the digital age, the practice is nothing new. In 1895 John Deere founded The Furrow, a magazine designed to educate farmers about the latest advancement in the field, and help them find solutions to their problems. The magazine continues to exist today, not just in print but in digital format as well; it has a large social media platform, and is published in several languages around the world. The magazine helped crystallize the John Deere brand, and grow its market.
Forms of content marketing include: how to guides, white papers, newsletters, presentations, blog posts, social media posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, product descriptions, reviews, testimonials, and others.
#GEInstaWalk is a clever example of content marketing which allows the company’s Instagram followers to take a peek into GE’s facilities where cutting-edge technology is being manufactured. Amazon’s Building Your Book for Kindle free e-book is another clever example designed as a free guide to creating and publishing e-books. This is a great tutorial during the consideration phase when aspiring authors are weighing in their options. An example you might be familiar with is the Phyllo Shells recipes on the back of the package – the recipe itself might be enticing enough to make one buy the product, or vice versa. This isn’t something unique to Phyllo Shells however; there are plenty of food brands that offer recipes on the back of their package. It’s an ingenious form of content marketing.
Two local examples that stand out are the Catskill Dream Team’s real estate blog, and The Roxbury Motel’s whimsical themed rooms as featured on social media. How to Buy a Home in One Year: A Step-by-Step Guide, for instance, educates prospective buyers, but it also builds expectations of a lifestyle, and that’s exactly what a real estate blog is about. The Roxbury Motel’s internationally renowned themed rooms also have stories to tell. Breakfast at Tiffany’s, for instance, designed as a tribute to Audrey Hepburn, has the walls stained to match Tiffany’s flagship store on 5th Avenue. The chandelier that hangs above the bed matches the mini chandelier in the Tiffany window at the opening of the movie when Audrey is eating a croissant and staring in the window. The owners of the motel confess that in their twenties they would go around Manhattan re-enacting scenes from the movie. The following Audrey/Truman Capote quote guided the design of the room: “Tiffany’s! Calms me down right away. The quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there. If I could find a real-life place that’d make me feel like Tiffany’s, then – then I’d buy some furniture and give the cat a name.” These fun facts shared on social media are bold examples of clever content marketing.
Moz identified four phases of content marketing, which one of them carrying out distinctive goals and types of content to pursue:
I. DISCOVERY PHASE
Goals: educate, increase brand awareness, generate interest
Type of Content (educational): blog posts, webinars, guides, videos, newsletters, presentations, tours
II. CONSIDERATION PHASE
Goals: direct customer acquisition
Type of Content (solutions): case studies, how to guides, demo videos, product descriptions, data sheets, recipes
III. CONVERSION PHASE
Goals: customer transactions
Type of Content (unique value proposition): product descriptions, reviews, testimonials, comparison charts, direct sales pitch, streamlined sales process
IV. RETENTION PHASE
Goals: retention of existing customers
Type of Content (help, support, advocacy): customer support, help documentation, insider tutorials, special offers, follow-ups
Here are a few steps to help you design your content strategy:
- Clarify your vision (three – five year plan)
- Define your audience (i.e., demographics, media consumption preferences, channels, what are they looking for, who do they follow, what are their wants and needs, etc.)
- Audit existing content (inventory, metrics, patterns, etc.)
- Set goals (meaningful, measurable, reasonable)
- Align your content style, tone and voice with your brand’s personality (set up guidelines)
- Documentation (governance rules and workflow)
- Content ideation, creation, promotion and distribution (team, tools and infrastructure)
- Analytics (metrics to evaluate success)
Depending on the size of your project, building an adequate infrastructure will help carry out the tactics and the execution of your content strategy, both creation and distribution. Often enough the work is outsourced to content strategists, writers, editors, and coordinators equipped with tools to designing and implementing an effective strategy.
In sum, content marketing works because:
- It provides valuable information;
- It provides entertainment;
- It sparks conversations that bring people together;
- It forms communities;
- It converts potential customers into actual customers;
- It creates loyalty;
- It establishes authority.
GREATER ROXBURY BUSINESS ASSOCIATION (GRBA) ANNOUNCES ITS 2019 BUSINESS WORKSHOPS SCHEDULE SPONSORED BY MARGARETVILLE TELEPHONE COMPANY (MTC):
- Run Your Business Smarter Not Harder with Mercedes Gonzalez / January 29, 5:30 – 7 pm;
- Effective Website and SEO with Susan Aleksejczyk / February 26, 5:30 – 7 pm;
- How to Leverage Content Marketing to Boost Reputation and Sales with Simona David / March 26, 5:30 – 7 pm;
- Grant Writing with Peg Ellsworth / April 30, 5:30 – 7 pm;
- Social Media for Small Business with Becky Tyre / May 28, 5:30 – 7 pm;
All workshops are tailored to small business owners and entrepreneurs who seek to grow their businesses by learning new skills and gaining expertise from leading business professionals in our community.
I. Run Your Business Smarter Not Harder with Mercedes Gonzalez / January 29, 5:30 – 7 pm
You have a business now what? How do you scale, how do you grow and most importantly how can you balance life and work? One of the mantras Mercedes Gonzalez believes in is “how do you work as little as possible for the most amount of money.”
The hour plus workshop will help you put a plan of action together to help you work smarter and not harder.
Mercedes Gonzalez has been considered a retail industry leader for over 20 years – having founded her own strategy and brand developing agency, Global Purchasing Companies, in New York City in 1998. She has traveled to over 50 trade shows every year in eight countries since then, establishing plans and strategies for retailers and emerging designers across the globe. Her debut book, Chronicles of a Fashion Buyer, is currently the number ONE new release on Amazon for fashion and textiles, and it has already sold out four times in the few months since its release. Mercedes is a preferred speaker at a multitude of regional and international fashion events including Miami Fashion Week, Jamaica Fashion Week, Asia Fashion Summit, and the Istanbul Textile Conference thanks to her “no-nonsense” reputation. She owns Just Shop Boutique, a designer discount store located in Arkville, NY.
II. Effective Website and SEO with Susan Aleksejczyk / February 26, 5:30 – 7 pm
Susan Aleksejczyk, designer and content developer for Catskill Muse, will review the best search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to improve search engine results for both new or existing websites. Susan will discuss the best website design and hosting options as well as compatibility with top search engines to help you get high rankings based on relevant searches.
Susan Aleksejczyk has built her career in the advertising and marketing industry. She was previously employed at a NYC marketing firm whose clients included big brands. Susan is currently the Sales and Marketing Coordinator for MTC. Her vast experience in various industries has allowed her to provide her clients with a unique perspective on their marketing and website needs. As owner of Catskill Muse, she concentrates her business on website design best practices and the latest in SEO techniques.
III. How to Leverage Content Marketing to Boost Reputation and Sales with Simona David / March 26, 5:30 – 7 pm
This workshop will expose participants to the benefits of content marketing such as increasing brand awareness and name recognition, attracting new leads and prospects, increasing sales, and retaining and expanding customer base through a series of case studies and best examples from the industry. Rather than making a direct sales pitch, content marketing engages the audience through valuable creative content, and establishes an emotional connection with the followers, who, in the words of Seth Godin, will become your “tribe.” Examples of content marketing include: how to guides, white papers, newsletters, presentations, blog posts, social media posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, product descriptions, reviews, testimonials, and others.
Simona David is a media consultant with over a decade of experience in the publishing and marketing industry. Ms. David has worked with lobbyists, award-winning advertising executives, travel and tourism professionals, artists, writers, entrepreneurs, and non-profit organizations. Her website is simonadavid.com.
IV. Grant Writing with Peg Ellsworth / April 30, 5:30 – 7 pm
This workshop will help equip participants with the tools needed to search and solicit grants from State, Federal and Local sources. Peg Ellsworth will discuss the basic dos and don’ts in soliciting grants and best practices for developing successful applications. She will also cover resources available from NY State as part of the Consolidated Funding Application for both businesses and not-for-profit organizations.
Peg Ellsworth is the Executive Director of the MARK Project, whose mission is to provide resources and help build the capacity of individuals, organizations, businesses and municipalities in the towns of Andes, Bovina, Middletown, Roxbury and Shandaken, and the Villages of Fleischmanns and Margaretville.
V. Social Media for Small Business with Becky Tyre / May 28, 5:30 – 7 pm
In this workshop Becky Tyre will explain the differences in each social media platform and show you some tips to make Facebook and Instagram work for your small business. Specifically, she will address Facebook Events, Page Layout, Hashtags, how frequently to post, how to reach a broader audience and gain more followers.
Becky Tyre is a writer, retail consultant @RetailDetails, contributing editor at Gifts & Decorative Accessories magazine and a shop local advocate. She lives in Roxbury, NY.
All workshops will be held at the MTC Building, 61 Academy Street, Margaretville, NY. To register, go to https://www.visitroxbury.com/business-workshops. Class fee is $25 for GRBA’s members, and $35 for non-members. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Greater Roxbury Business Association (GRBA) for the Town of Roxbury, NY is a community / grassroots organization comprised of business owners and self-employed individuals working to increase awareness of existing businesses in the community, and to build a more cohesive and prosperous business environment, to serve the hamlets of Roxbury, Grand Gorge and Denver. The GRBA receives technical assistance from the MARK Project — a 501 ( c ) (3) not-for-profit community and economic development organization. For more information, visit roxburybusinessassociation.com.