Monday, January 31, 2011

The Dangers of Multitasking

Every single one of you who are reading this blog entry right now are probably feeling stressed and overworked.  As anyone in the workforce can tell you, the demands on our time are rising while our ability to get things done seems to be shrinking,  I don't know about the rest of you, but my to do list sort of makes me want to cry.

My point is this: in this environment, all of us multitask.  How many times have you say through a meeting and responded to E-mail while taking notes?  How many times have you tried to work on three different projects at once?

Of course, this is frequently necessary - but multitasking too much presents its own productivity challenges.  Some forms of mutlitasking can be flat out dangerous (5500 people a year die as a result of phone use while driving), but other forms aren't much better.

For starters, odds are that you cannot do as good of a job doing many things at the same time as you can by just doing one.  Studies have found that multitasking results in a decreased quality of work in the workplace.  One University of Michigan study found that, by constantly switching back and forth between two tasks, productivity is actually decreased by 20-40%.  Another study by the University of California at Irvine found that the average worker takes 25 minutes to recover from an interruption (phone call or E-mail) and resume their original work. As of 2007, one estimate said that multitasking can cost the United States economy $650 billion in lost productivity.

Multitasking is an understandable reaction by a busy and stressed workforce.  But research indicates that multitasking only decreases productivity.  What does this mean?  Work on one thing and block out all other distractions.

I believe that the phrase "easier said than done" has never made more sense!

Daily Briefing, 1/31/2010

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

Gracedale, the Northampton County nursing home, drew four bids for its proposed sale, with bid ranging falling between $32.5 and $37.5 million.

The ongoing revolution in Egypt is having ramifications in the U.S. and on U.S. citizens, as the state department is now assisting U.S. citizens in leaving the country.  The Obama administration has begun to quietly plan for an Egypt without Mubarak, perhaps as a sign that they expect the revolution to ultimately push him from power.  Oil prices are also on the rise on fears that the ongoing turmoil in Egypt will affect the region's stability.  In other national news, home prices have sunk again, with a new survey indicating declines in all 28 major metropolitan areas of the U.S.

Oh, and are you enjoy all the snow?  What do you feel about ice?  The latest weather forecast is predicting 1-2 inches of snow, starting Tuesday morning, before dropping half an inch of ice by Wednesday morning.

That's it for now!  Have a great day, and we'll be back later.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Guest Briefing: Trash for Thought

Hello everyone!  We have a guest blog post today, courtesy of Sustainable Waste Solutions.  There is some very fascinating information in here...I had no idea that we generated 250 million tons of trash annually!  Anyway, check out some of the interesting facts below.

Trash for Thought
Our society has seen a surge in the “Green” industry. Individuals are more cognizant of the options available for a Green lifestyle—from the food we consume, the clothes we wear to the homes we build. Naturally, companies are more conscientious as well, and are choosing solutions to enhance the long-term well being of our environment. One area in which companies and institutions have focused on being sustainable is their process of disposing waste.

Trash Be Gone
In 2008, Americans generated about 250 million tons of trash and recycled and composted 83 million tons of this material. Over the last few decades, the generation, recycling, composting, and disposal of municipal solid waste (MSW) have changed substantially. While solid waste generation has increased, from 3.66 to 4.50 pounds per person per day between 1980 and 2008, the recycling rate has also increased—from less than 10 % of MSW generated in 1980 to over 33 % in 2008. (source: EPA Facts and Figures, 2008)

Sustainable Approach
Currently, over 30 percent of MSW generated in the United States is recycled annually. What happens to the 70%? The majority of MSW that is not recycled is typically sent to landfills after it is collected. Another alternative – an environmentally and economically sustainable alternative—is converting waste to renewable energy. In 2008, about 32 million tons of materials, or 12.7%, were combusted for energy recovery (source: EPA Facts and Figures, 2008). This approach reduces the waste stream, which reduces the creation of new landfills. Disposal of waste to a landfill has decreased from 89% of the amount generated in 1980 to 54% of MSW in 2008 (source: EPA Facts and Figures, 2008). In addition to reducing volume, Energy-from-Waste (EfW) can convert water into steam to fuel heating systems or power turbines that generate electricity.

Trash to Treasure
Sustainable Waste Solutions (SWS), an environmentally green recycling and solid waste services company, is the first landfill-free waste company in our region. The company’s mission is to help corporations, industries and institutions reuse, recycle, compost or convert trash to renewable energy. SWS provides a landfill-free alternative for recycling, waste transportation, and disposal to companies of all sizes and across a broad range of industries throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania, the Lehigh Valley and Delaware. Using a state-of-the-art EfW resource recovery facility, SWS generates enough electricity from waste to power tens of thousands of homes per day in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Daily Briefing, 1/28/2010

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

The Bethlehem Area School District has proposed a 9.27% property tax increase in its initial budget.
National Penn banks reported a profit for the 2nd straight quarter.  Musikfest is expanding to Bethlehem's South Side, but keeping most of its Center City stages after a sponsorship from the Downtown Bethlehem Association.  The Northampton County election commission was supposed to meet to review Gracedale petition signatures, but that meeting was postponed until Monday.  In local news, four have announced that they are running for Lehigh County Judge, with State Representative Doug Reichley saying he is considering a bid.

President Obama will be in Pennsylvania next week - the exact location has yet to be announced.

A major report on the U.S. economy is expected to come out today, with economists predicting a 3.5% increase in the GDP.  Jay Carney, Vice President Biden's Communications Director, will be President Obama's new press secretary.
Some products like laundry detergent and paper towels will see price increases as a result of an increase in the costs of raw materials.  Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN) has announced that he will not run for President.

That's it for now!  Have a great weekend, and we'll see you Monday!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Job Openings - Discover Lehigh Valley and Northampton Community College

If you are a Chamber Member, we are happy to help you advertise any job opening. Please E-mail a description and contact information to Mike Schlossberg at We publish job openings every Thursday and are happy to help you find the talent that you are looking for!

Discover Lehigh Valley

Discover Lehigh Valley is looking for a full-time Interactive Marketing Assistant.

Responsibilities include:

- updating content and images for using WordPress CMS;

- maintaining and managing image library;

- assisting in management of PPC, SEO, and e-mail marketing campaigns;

- researching new technologies;

- monthly analysis and reporting;

- managing office technologies including computers, network, mail server, audio/visual equipment;

- writing for Lehigh Valley InSite blog;

- answering phones.


- knowledge of Lehigh Valley and tourism experience desired, not required;

- 1 – 2 years related work experience;

- undergraduate degree in marketing, technology, or communications preferred;

- proficient in basic HTML, Photoshop, Google Analytics and content management software;

- excellent writing and problem-solving skills;

- self-starter who can work as a member of a team;

- ability to multi-task and stay organized.

Interested candidates should submit resume, cover letter and salary requirements to No phone calls.

Northampton Community College

Full Time Tenure Track Psychology Position
Tenure-track teaching faculty position in Psychology at our Monroe Campus in Tannersville, PA for Fall 2011. Primary responsibility will be to teach first and second year psychology courses. Other responsibilities include advising students, college service, and professional development…

Full-Time Tenure Track Hospitality Management Faculty
Full-time tenure track faculty position beginning Fall 2011 teaching at our Southside Bethlehem campus. Primary workload includes teaching a variety of hospitality classes involving both lecture and lab. Will teach a minimum of five courses per semester of required and elective courses in the Hotel/Restaurant Management program in at least two of the following areas: hotel operations, food and...

Full time Tenure Track Faculty, Architecture
Full-time tenure track faculty position beginning fall 2011 teaching at both Main and Southside Bethlehem campuses. Primary workload includes teaching introductory and advanced level classes across disciplines of Architecture, Interiors with specific experience in both Architecture and Building materials. Other responsibilities include advising students (50-60/semester), college service …

Full Time Media Services Coordinator
Northampton Community College is seeking a dynamic, customer service oriented person for the position of Full-time Media Services Coordinator. This is a salaried position including a competitive benefits package. Requirements for this position include a flexible schedule, availability for evening and weekend events, audio and video production, equipment maintenance and installation, trouble...

Mechanical Instructor
PT - days. Teaching types of components and fasteners; tool usage; operation and servicing of basic components and assemblies such as belts, chains, gear drives, bearing, seals, and coupling; component application to achieving different types of motion in automation and robotic manipulators. Also the operation, diagnostics, repair, and modification of automation with emphasis on advanced mechanical...

French Language Instructor (Non-credit)
Seeking part-time non-credit instructor to teach French I and II Thursday evenings beginning 2/3/11.

OSHA Instructor
PT - days. Need expertise in industrial maintenance and/or construction industry. OSHA authorized instructor for Construction Industry Outreach Training. OSHA authorized instructor for General Industry Outreach Training.
Disability Services Specialist
PT 12 month positions, 24-29 hrs/wk (4 days per week), serving both the Monroe and Bethlehem campuses. Provide reasonable accommodations, educational support and academic advising to students with disabilities.

Fitness Instructor MONROE County
NCC’s Monroe campus is seeking fitness instructors for non-credit classes during the spring 2011 semester. Weeknight classes. For questions, please call 570-688-0836. NCC is EEO/AA

Head Women's Volleyball Coach
Immediate PT opening for a Head Women’s Volleyball Coach. This position will coordinate all aspects of a women’s collegiate volleyball program, including practice and game preparation, recruiting and academic monitoring. Northampton is a member of Region XIX of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), one of the most competitive junior college conferences in the country.

Please visit our website at for more information.

Business Matters - want to be in the audience?

We officially kicked off a brand new season of Business Matters yesterday, as we taped our first shows of the year.  We had three very entertaining and informative shows that were filmed:

  • Civility in American Politics
  • Medical Malpractice & Tort Reform
  • The Wikileaks Scandal: Is It Good for America?
Better yet, we are now starting to film with a live audience.  As a member of the audience, you get a behind the scenes look at how the show operates and get a chance to ask questions to our panelists.  It was the first time I'd had the privelage of seeing a show taped with a live audience, and I have to say, there was a real energy in the crowd.  This is a great chance to participate in an already highly interactive show.

Anyway, we are looking to film against next week and would love to have you join us!  The show will be taped on Wednesday, February 2, 9am - 11:30am.  If you want to be there, we'd love to have you.  Next week's three topics are:
  • The Castle Doctrine in Pennsylvania
  • Should liquor sales be privatized in Pennsylvania?
  • An interview with all four Lehigh Valley State Senators.
If you want to be in the audience for the show, E-mail me at

Daily Briefing, 1/27/2010

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

Hector Nemes has resigned as the Director of the Bethlehem Parking Authority, apparently under pressure from Mayor John Callahan.  In Allentown, Mayor Ed Pawlowski has signed an ordinance officially giving health benefits to same-sex couples.

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives had an exceptionally contentious meeting of the Rules Committee yesterday, resulting in changes that Democrats charge will make it more difficult for them to amend and introduce legislation.

CNNMoney runs an interesting story on the dangers currently facing state workers, noting that tens of thousands are facing job losses.  The federal deficit is widening, with a new report noting that the 2011 deficit should reach $1.5 trillion.

We have three Chamber events today (all of which are still on at the moment): a LeBEAM luncheon on Building A Sales Culture, an Allentown Chamber of Commerce Luncheon featuring the Allentown School District Superintendent, Dr. Gerald Zahorchak, and a mixer at Allentown Symphony Hall with the Lehigh Valley Easy Pages.

Update, 6:50am:  The Dr. Zahorchak event has been cancelled.
Update, 8:00am:  The Todd Cohen/LeBEAM event has been postponed.

That's it for now - be safe out there, and we'll see you later!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Professional Development on a budget (OR, for free!)

More and more I have found that the greatest resource challenge for a small business isn't money: its time.  Every small business, particularly in this economy, is being challenged to do more with less - less employees, less resources, less customers and less time.  As a result, it is often difficult for a small business owner to be able to receive adequate professional development.

What's the solution?  In what arena's is professional development available that is either low-cost/free and on-demand?  Here are a few ideas:

1.  Blogs:  There are many blogs out there (like this one) that give out professional development advice at no charge.  The information is usual general and can be applied to your particular business.  An easy way to search for blogs is to use Google's Blog Search.

2.  Webinars:  There are many organizations (The Chamber included) that hold free webinars on a "freemium" based model.  These webinars are free to attend and the company holding them hopes that you will take better advantage of their services at a later date.  In the meanwhile, you can certainly view these webinars (either live or on-demand) at a later date.  Try googling "Webinars" and your particular area of interest to get more information.

3.  eBooks:  These are just what they sound like - books that are available in electronic format.  They aren't necessarily free - many times only a chapter or two are available, but you should keep an eye out for these.  Since they are electronic, their content is frequently more up to date than their print counterparts.

4.  Mentors:  There are plenty of business leaders in the Valley that are interested and more than willing to mentor others.  Many of us have been fortunate enough to find unofficial mentors over the years that have proven invaluable to our professional development - that being said, sometimes its easier to try and make a more formal approach.  Organizations like the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) or The Chamber can help you find a mentor if you are interested.

So, what do you think?  Did that cover some of the free options?  How do you keep yourself growing as a professional?

Daily Briefing, 1/26/2011

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

Good news appears to be on the way in Bethlehem, with the Sands apparently looking to restart work on its previously planned events center and mall.  Despite collecting 23,000 signatures, the Election Commission in Northampton County voted 3-2 against putting the sale of Gracedale as a referendum on the ballot, saying that it would likely violate the County's Home Rule Charter.  In Pen Argyl, the School District voted to raise taxes by 2.8%.  The Borough of Nazareth is exploring the possibility of regionalizing its police department.

In state-wide news, Governor Corbett has released his government reform plan.

President Obama delivered his State of the Union address yesterday, calling for a more civil debate and touching on many themes.  Two Republicans gave responses: Congressman Paul Ryan (R-OH) gave the official response, while Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann gave the Tea Party response.

We held our Annual Economic Outlook event yesterday - it was attended by about 700 people.  Here is the coverage in the Morning CallExpress-Times, and on WFMZ.  You can also check out a review of the tweets from the event.  To summarize though: the news is good.  2011 is expected to be a better year.

We have two Chamber events today: first, the Phillipsburg Area Chamber of Commerce is installing their new board.  We also have a seminar on marketing to Latinos.  These events are both still on despite the weather forecasts.

That's it for now!  Have a great day, and we'll see you later.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Daily Briefing, 1/25/2010

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

Snow is, in fact, on the way - six inches or more for the Valley is inbound by Thursday.  PPL is reporting record electricity usage as a result of the freezing weather.  Good news for Lehigh Valley International Airport, which reported a 12% traffic increase in 2010.  Northampton County has put a $50,000 grant to the Butterfly House on hold. The house is a post-prison transitional center for woman.  In the East Penn School District, the district is looking to raise taxes above the state-allowed rate.

Former Governor Ed Rendell is reportedly close to signing a deal with MSNBC to become a political analyst.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is predicting that the economy will grow at a faster rate than previous anticipated.  Controversy continues in Chicago, where Mayorial candidate and former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel was thrown off the ballot after having been found to not be a Chicago resident.

That's it for now.  We will not have a second entry today, as we will be at our annual Economic Outlook Luncheon.  This is one of the biggest Chamber events of the year, so make sure to get there if you can.  We'll be reviewing the economy of the US and the Valley, and here's a sneak peak:  there is actually good news to report!  If you can't make the event but want to know what's happening, you can follow us live on Twitter at #ChamberEO.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Jobs: Good news on the way?

We touched on this earlier today, but it has some very good economic news in it so I thought it was worth reviewing again.  According to a survey of economists conducted by the National Association of Business Economists, good news is on the way.  Among the highlights:

  • The hiring outlook for businesses is at a 12-year high.
  • 42% of companies surveyed said they expect to hire more workers - an increase of 13% over last year.
  • 62% of economists surveyed said they believe GDP growth will be in 2-3% - a moderate to high growth. 1 in 5 expect a 3-4% growth.
  • A "slight majority" of those surveyed said they expect the tax cuts passed by Congress last year to help improve sales - 45% said it would make no difference.
For a more in-depth survey, check out the public summary.

Buy Lehigh Valley Business Expo

We have one of our major Chamber events coming up - our annual Buy Lehigh Valley Business Expo (formerly known as Trade Fair).  As the name implies, this is a business expo, featuring +120 vendors and at least 2,000 individuals who walk through to see what Lehigh Valley businesses they should be doing business with.  The event itself will be March 16, 9am - 4pm at Northampton Community College.

Jack's Glass was kind enough to write up their thoughts on the event, and we wanted to share them with you.  See below:
Jack's Glass has participated in countless Chamber Expos and is looking forward to this year's, as well.

Participating in the Buy Lehigh Valley Expo allows us to bring "our shop" directly to Chamber members and guests by displaying products that potential customers might not realize we carry.

-In addition to immediate sales, we reap the benefits of contacts we make at the Expo throughout the year as the need for our products arise.

- This forum allows attendees the chance to see and touch some of our products that may be difficult for them to imagine otherwise.

- In a fun atmosphere, we can expand upon the friendships and acquaintances we form at other Chamber functions throughout the year.

- To make the most of our Expo investment, we invite all of our business contacts to attend through email blasts and leaving fliers when making sales calls. Advertising "show specials" is another good way to increase attendance.  Typically, we will see at least 20 to 30 people at the show, who may not have known about the Chamber and would not have attended otherwise. Each exhibitor bringing in 20 to 30 new faces would result in several thousand potential customers, in addition to the several thousand who already attend.

Daily Briefing, 1/24/2011

Good morning everyone, and a happy Monday to you all.  Here is today's Daily Briefing.  

Here's something to be proud of: a new survey ranks the Lehigh Valley as the state's top region for green jobs.

In neighboring Berks County, the nominees to replace Senator Mike O'Pake (D-11) have been picked.  Republicans have selected the Berks County Register of Wills, Larry Medaglia, while the Democrats have nominated former County Commissioner Judy Schwank.  The Morning Call runs a story on school vouchers in Pennsylvania, which Republicans will be fighting for in the coming days.

President Obama is set to deliver his State of the Union address tomorrow - the address is expected to push the President's agenda to the center of the political spectrum.  Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI), chairman of the House Budget committee, will give the GOP response.  Some good national news: a new survey of economists shows that more hiring is expected in the first six months of 2011 - in fact, the hiring outlook for the next six months is at a twelve year high.

That's it for now!  We'll be back later today.  Have a good one!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Daily Briefing, 1/21/2011

Good morning everyone!  Here is your Daily Briefing on this snowy Friday.

In Northampton County, the County Elections Board is set to meet to review the +23,000 signatures filed by Gracedale supporters who are seeking to stop the sale of the county nursing home.  In Macungie, Borough Officials and the Police Department have reached a tentative contract agreement.  In school district news, the Bangor Area School District is facing a $2.4 million budget gap.  In the Catasauqua Area School District, a new teacher's contract provides for raises while increasing teacher contributions to their health care plan.  The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation held their annual meeting yesterday, electing Don Bernhard of PPL as their new chair.  Congrats to Joe Brake, Vice President of Coca-Cola Bottling of the Lehigh Valley, who is the new President of the Pennsylvania Beverage Association.  And congrats to Wegmans as well, as the company was ranked #3 on the list of top 500 companies to work for.

Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has left the hospital and is moving to a Houston rehabilitation facility.  Paul Volcker, head of the Economic Recovery Advisory Board, is stepping down.  He will be replaced by Jeffrey Emmelt of General Electric.  Senator Pat Toomey will be introducing legislation that requires that interest on the federal debt be paid if the government does not raise the debt ceiling.

No events today - the snow took care of that one!

Anyway, that's it for now.  Have a great day, and be safe out there!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Job Openings - Oral Dynamics, AFC First & Northampton Community College

If you are a Chamber Member, we are happy to help you advertise any job opening. Please E-mail a description and contact information to Mike Schlossberg at We publish job openings every Thursday and are happy to help you find the talent that you are looking for!

Oral Dynamics, Inc
Dental Assistant
We are looking for a full time dental assistant.  Experience required. X-ray certification a MUST.  We are a high-end Cosmetic/General practice located in Allentown. We are seeking a positive, upbeat person, willing to learn and willing to advance her/his career. Please fax resume to:  610-435-5143 or email:

New Career Opportunities in Energy Efficiency at
AFC First Financial Corporation, Allentown, PA


AFC First Financial Corporation, headquartered in the AFC First Energy Center in suburban Allentown, PA, is a private financial institution found in 1947. In 1999 the company shifted its lending focus primarily to loans to homeowners for energy efficiency and renewable energy home improvements and has become a nationally recognized leader in these programs. It operates its EnergyLoan program nationally through a network over 3,000 Approved Contractors and sponsors including manufacturers and utilities. AFC First manages and administers many state and regional lending programs including Pennsylvania's Keystone Home Energy Loan Program in cooperation with the PA Treasury, DEP and PHFA, the Connecticut Solar Lease Program , and new and growing state energy efficiency lending programs in Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Kentucky, Iowa, Arizona, Ohio and others. AFC First has also partnered with Lehigh Carbon Community College to create the Green Energy Training Center, a state of the art classroom and web production training facility located a the AFC First Energy Center. We are seeking dynamic, creative and friendly individuals to join us in a collegial, flexible and exciting environment. Please send resumes to Peter Krajsa, CEO at 

Please click the link for additional information of each opened position listed above

Northampton Community College
Please visit our website at for additional information

Full-time tenure track faculty position beginning Fall 2011 teaching at our Southside Bethlehem campus. Primary workload includes teaching a variety of hospitality classes involving both lecture and lab. Will teach a minimum of five courses per semester of required and elective courses in the Hotel/Restaurant Management program in at least two of the following areas: hotel operations, food and...
Full-time tenure track faculty position beginning Fall 2011 teaching at both Main and Southside Bethlehem campuses. Primary workload includes teaching introductory and advanced level classes across disciplines of Architecture, Interiors with specific experience in both Architecture and Building materials. Other responsibilities include advising students (50-60/semester), college service …

PT – Needed for students with disabilities at the Monroe Campus in Tannersville. Must be able to start on January 18, 2011. Day, evening and weekend opportunities are available. Pay range from $8.00 - $12.00/hr, depending on educational background.
Seeking part-time non-credit instructor to teach French I and II Thursday evenings beginning 2/3/11.

Seeking adjunct clinical faculty to guide, instruct and supervise nursing students in a variety of clinical settings. Opportunities are available in maternity and mental health.

Teach one section of Digital Photography on Monday and Wednesdays, 6 - 8:50 pm, January 18 through May 9, 2011. This course is an introduction to digital photography using Apple computers, digital SLR cameras, and a variety of software and peripheral devices. The course presents an overview of best practices of digital photo capture (camera work), file organization, image manipulation, and …

Teach one section of Package Design on Tuesday and Thursday, 3:30 - 5:30pm, January 18 through May 9, 2011. Bachelors degree required, Masters degree preferred, in graphic design, package design, or related field; working knowledge of best practices of 3-D package design, processes and techniques – both hand work and digital; strong knowledge of Adobe CS5 Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign …

PT - days. Teaching types of components and fasteners; tool usage; operation and servicing of basic components and assemblies such as belts, chains, gear drives, bearing, seals, and coupling; component application to achieving different types of motion in automation and robotic manipulators. Also the operation, diagnostics, repair, and modification of automation with emphasis on advanced …

PT - days. Need expertise in industrial maintenance and/or construction industry. OSHA authorized instructor for Construction Industry Outreach Training. OSHA authorized instructor for General Industry Outreach Training.
PT - Must have previous table games teaching experience in the following subjects: Blackjack, Poker, Craps, Roulette and Baccarat. Must be able to train in AT LEAST TWO of the previous games. Starting Winter 2011.

PT 12 month positions, 24-29 hrs/wk (4 days per week), serving both the Monroe and Bethlehem campuses. Provide reasonable accommodations, educational support and academic advising to students with disabilities.

Seeking instructors with areas of expertise in Genealogy and SAT test preparation at the Pike/Wayne Center in Hawley for Spring 2011. Classes are scheduled on Saturdays.

Seeking instructors with areas of expertise in GED Preparation and Adult Basic Education at the Pike/Wayne Center in Hawley for Spring 2011. Day, evening, and weekend opportunities available.

NCC’s Monroe campus is seeking fitness instructors for non-credit classes during the spring 2011 semester. Weeknight classes. For questions, please call 570-688-0836. NCC is EEO/AA.

How bad (comparatively) is traffic in the Lehigh Valley?

We've reported on this in the past and thought it was worth reporting on again: what is traffic like in the Lehigh Valley and in America?

A new report by the Texas Transportation Institute sheds some light on the issue.  What is interesting, at least to me, is that the report does seem to give some tentative confirmation of a national economic recovery.  According to the report, after a decline for the past two years in overall traffic levels (one attributed to the recession), traffic rose again in 2009 and even more so in 2010.  Some bullet points, taken directly from the press release.

  • Congestion costs continue to rise: measured in constant 2009 dollars, the cost of congestion has risen from $24 billion in 1982 to $115 billion in 2009.
  • The total amount of wasted fuel in 2009 topped 3.9 billion gallons – equal to 130 days of flow in the Alaska Pipeline.
  • Cost to the average commuter: $808 in 2009, compared to an inflation-adjusted $351 in 1982.
  • Yearly peak delay for the average commuter was 34 hours in 2009, up from 14 hours in 1982.
Yipes.  Now, the big question: how did traffic rank in the Lehigh Valley?  According to the report's specific section on the Allentown-Bethlehem area:
  • 8,438,000 excess gallons of fuel are waisted by traffic congestion.
  • 9,998,000 hours are wasted.
  • Congestion costs the area roughly $65 million.
  • We have the 74th worst traffic delay in America (out of 439).


Daily Briefing, 1/20/2011

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

In Bethlehem, city officials borrowed from other city funds in order to make its payroll, despite making an earlier promise to avoid doing so.  Lehigh Valley home sales have stabilized over the past three months, with basically the same amount of sales occurring at the same time last year; prices, also remain the same.  Lafayette Ambassador Bank had good news to report, with its profit margins nearly doubling in 2010.  In Allentown, same-sex benefits were approved for many city employees, with the legal technicalities holding up the approval of the benefits for some of the city's unions.  In Allentown, the School District approved a preliminary budget that raises taxes by 6%.

The House of Representatives yesterday repealed President Obama's Health Care law by a 245-189 vote.  The bill now goes to the Senate, where Majority Leader Harry Read has said it will not get a vote.

That's it for now!  Have a great day, and we'll be back later.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Declining state revenues - 2011 may be the worst year yet

On the heels of Governor Corbett's swearing-in comes this depressing information: 2011 may be the worst year yet when it comes to state revenues.

There are a few reasons for this.  First, though economic recovery does continue, it couldn't happen fast enough for revenue-starved states.  Revenue projects are still down significantly; according to the above article, down 6.5% this year when compared with 2008. Even though the economy appears to be recovering, it always takes states longer to catch up with recessions.  Additionally, stimulus funding goes away this year - and that leaves a massive hole in many state budgets.

The results?  The possibility of additional tax increases and more painful spending cuts.  In Pennsylvania, we are already facing a possible $4 billion deficit.  Governor Corbett has pledged that he will not raise taxes, leading to the possibility of additional cuts.  Pennsylvania's rainy day fund has already been depleted, so that is out of the question.

If it's any consolation, the problems are wide-spread.  According to a survey of 35 states by the National Conference of State Legislatures, states have a combined deficit of $82 billion.  Some of those deficits are monstrous beyond comprehension; $19 billion in California, $15 billion in Illinois and $10.5 billion in neighboring New Jersey.

Regardless, we have a problem, as does almost every state in the Country.  What remains to be seen is how we will solve it.

Daily Briefing, 1/19/2011

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

In Northampton County, the Coalition for Alzheimer Families say they have collected more than enough signatures to put the issue of selling Gracedale on the ballot as a referendum in the upcoming primary.

It is now official: Governor Tom Corbett was sworn in yesterday.  Locally, local officials obviously differ on their reactions to the Governor's swearing-in.  In the wake of the Governor's resignation as Attorney General, his top deputy, William Ryan Jr., has become the new Acting Attorney General.  Senator Bob Casey has requested more funding for an anti-gang initiatives along the Route 222 corridor, a request that is strongly supported by local officials.

Mayors from across the Valley are in Washington, D.C. at the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting to discuss the various problems and possible solutions that they face.  President Obama is meeting with Chinese President Jianto - a state dinner and bilateral talks will be held.  President Obama has also announced a review of federal regulations in an effort to encourage job growth and creation. Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) is expected to officially announce his retirement later today.

Also, you may have seen this in the Morning Call or the Express-Times, but seven Chamber staffers have been promoted in the wake of Marta Gabriel's departure for Senator Pat Toomey's offices.  No replacement will be hired and the end result will be a savings to The Chamber budget.

We have one Chamber event today: the East Penn & Western Lehigh Chambers of Commerce are having a joint lunch, featuring a municipal update.

That's it for now!  Have a great day, and we'll be back later.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Social Media Question Sites

One of the latest trends that seems to be increasing in the Social Media world are question sites.  Also referred to as "knowledge organization" Social Media, these sites allow users to ask questions and give answers.  Question and answer sites have always been around in some form or other, but there has been a marked increase of them of late.  Below are four Social Media sites that utilize this question and answer form.

1.  Quora:  The newest entrant to the Social Media Q&A world.  Quora is relatively new (it only moved away from invitation only a little while ago).  The website is simple enough--users can ask questions and get answers.  There are also features that allow users to "upvote" or "downvote" answers to questions.  You can also follow certain people - this gives you a chance to follow someone's expertise if you really value what they have to say.    

2.  Also a Q&A site, but more stripped down.  It allows you to create a profile or ask questions anonymously and then direct others to your question via E-mail/Social Networks.  It's more casual than Quora.    

3.  Facebook Questions:  I'm not sure if should even be discussing this, because Facebook Questions is still not available to everyone in the United States yet.  That being said, when it does become available to all you can expect it to be big.  Like Quora, it allows the asking & answering of questions, based on an individuals profile or their categories of interest.  Of course, the biggest difference is that this is actually plugged into your Facebook profile--which allows for a much broader integration with your real life.  Any service connected to Facebook and your social graph automatically has a massive leg up on the competition.

4.  LinkedIn Answers:  Connected to your LinkedIn profile and obviously business focused.  However, whereas Facebook/Formspring questions are largely answered based on the individual, the format of LinkedIn Questions & Answers is more topic-oriented - meaning you can ask questions and get answers in your industry, and not by person.

So, has anyone out there used these sites to learn more in your business or personal life?  Any success/horror stories to share?  We want to hear!

Daily Briefing, 1/18/2011

Good morning everyone!  Welcome to another snowy and icy day.  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

A variety of celebrations honoring Dr. Martin Luther King occurred throughout the Valley yesterday.  In Allentown, a statue honoring Dr. King and Coretta Scott King was unveiled at 4th and Union Streets.  Governor-elect Corbett becomes Governor today.  WFMZ runs a story reflecting on Governor Rendell's legacy.   The House of Representatives will begin debate on a repeal of health care reform today, with a vote likely occurring tomorrow.  And, for you small businesses out there:  CNNMoney runs a story on six new tax breaks that are available to you.

We have one Chamber event today: the monthly Women's Business Council luncheon, "A New Year, a New You."  The event is still on today.

That's it for now! We have more later.  See you then!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Guest Blog Entry: Line of Sight

Hello everyone!  Today's Guest Blog Entry comes to us courtesy of Todd Cohen.  Todd will be speaking at an upcoming LeBEAM event on building a sales culture in your company.

As always, if you are a Chamber member and interested in writing a guest blog entry, just contact me at  Enjoy!

Can you see revenue?  Can you see profits?

Seriously – regardless of what job you do – you must be able to be able to specifically and absolutely trace what you do to the client saying “yes” and signing a deal.  This is the true essence of building a Sales Culture and creating amazing virtual teams.
In other words, you must have a “line of sight” to the deal!

I have said and written many times that the most basic element of a sales culture is that “everyone is in sales.” It’s true – everything we do and every interaction is a selling situation. You have the amazing and exciting opportunity to make what you do a vital part of the sales campaign – or not.

In the organization, we all have a job to do, and ultimately it all has an eventual and downstream effect on the client making a purchase and revenue being delivered to your company! No one can or should sit in a silo and profess any lack of interest or understanding of how the role that he or she plays in the creation of business and profits. If you embrace this, then it is easy to see what you do can actually accelerate the sales campaign in many ways.

For example, if you are in finance, you have the chance to work with the sales team and the client to create terms that are acceptable to both parties and close the deal.  If you are in marketing, you are in an exquisite position to see and listen to the clients and produce products and services that they will buy!
So, take a breath, and ask yourself – “can I see the revenue”?

Interns? Interns? We LOVE interns!

Like any good business, we are constantly searching for interns.  With four offices and about 27 people on staff, we have quite a few openings.  If you or anyone you know is interested in having an internship at the The Chamber, check out the listings below!

Allentown Initiatives Intern:
The Allentown Chamber of Commerce is an association of businesses and individuals having partnered together with the Chamber for the purpose of stimulating economic activity within City of Allentown. It is the Council's mission to create, maintain and expand an environment conducive to the economic growth and benefit both the Council's members and the City of Allentown as a whole.

An intern in this position would assist with in planning and executing activities and events to further the growth and development of Downtown Allentown.

Contact Person:          Miriam Huertas,
                                    Phone: 610-841-5808, Fax: 610-437-4907

Regional Chamber Intern:
The Chamber is widely recognized for its commitment to regionalization, its progressive philosophy of establishing partnerships with other like-minded organizations and its ability to continually provide members with relevant tools necessary for them to compete and succeed in this ever-evolving economy.  An internship position in this position would include:

Coordination of Regional Chamber board meeting items
Event planning assistance
Create flyers for various Chamber events
Compile historic statistics and create Excel reports
Outbound phone calls to members or potential vendors for events
Basic office duties including photocopying, typing meeting minutes, etc.
Attend Chamber events; some evenings possible

Contact Person:          Ellie Passman,
                                    Phone: 610-841-5806, Fax: 610-437-4907

Downtown Bethlehem Intern:
This exciting internship will provide the student with many unique opportunities not available in the average office setting. The Bethlehem office of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce works directly with the City of Bethlehem on their marketing and community redevelopment initiatives. With the economy slowing down individuals’ spending downtown, our new marketing initiatives are vital and particularly exciting to our merchants. The intern will not only network with members of the City’s administration, but with owners of small and large businesses in the greater Bethlehem area. The experiences and relationships gained through this unpaid internship will certainly equip any student with desirable professional qualities and set them apart in an ever-increasing difficult job market.

Upbeat, energetic, willing to meet new people and take on new projects.
Majoring or minoring in Marketing, Communications, Business Administration or a related field.
Have a strong computer background, including the use of Office and the willingness/adaptability to learn new programs.
Must have a drivers license and own transportation.
Able to work at least 4 hours, but no more than 12 hours per week for part time, and no more than 35 hours per week for a full time internship position. May be asked, but not required to attend events in the evenings.

Contact Person:          Samantha Schwartz,
                                    Phone: 610-841-5831, Fax: 610-758-9533

Marketing and Member Relations Intern:
Marketing and Member Relations are the drivers behind growth and forward movement of an organization.  Learn about these components of the business world from an insider's perspective and get a leg up on your competition!  Aspects of this position include database management, event planning, advertising, public relations and networking with the Lehigh Valley business community.

This position requires the following qualities:

·         Upbeat, energetic, willing to meet new people and take on new projects.

·         Majoring or minoring in Marketing, Communications, Business Administration or a related field.

·         Willingness/adaptability to learn new programs and have new experiences.

·         Must have a drivers license and own transportation.

·         Able to work at least 4 hours, but no more than 12 hours per week for part time, and no more than 35 hours per week for a full time internship position. May be asked, but not required to attend events in the evenings.

Contact Person:          Melody Gardner,
                                    Phone: 610-841-5862, Fax: 610-758-9533

Government Relations Intern:
The Government Relations Division of the Chamber is the voice of Lehigh Valley businesses in government. We address issues of concern to business on the local, state and federal levels. We take proactive measures to ensure that government considers business objectives and viewpoints. We keep members informed of relevant issues through our newsletters, and committee and council meetings.

The best candidate for this position has a good working knowledge of current Lehigh Valley leaders, legislators and upcoming legislation.  You must display a high level of professionalism, have excellent interpersonal skills and top-notch personal presentation.  Intermediate knowledge of Microsoft Office programs is a must (Word, Excel, etc.) and internet search skills are preferred.

Contact Person:          Melody Gardner,
                                    Phone: 610-841-5862, Fax: 610-758-9533

Daily Briefing, 1/14/2011

Good morning everyone!  Here is your Friday Daily Briefing,

Renew Lehigh Valley and the Lehigh Valley Research Consortium held a State of the Lehigh Valley event yesterday, releasing a massive report on the Valley and showing that the region continues to struggle to get out of the recession.  Bad news in Bethlehem, as weather has delayed repairs to the city's ice rink, closing it until the fall.  In Slatington, Borough Council increased taxes by 10%, but less than originally thought.

The Morning Call runs a story on the transition from Governor Rendell to Governor Corbett, noting that as many as 26 economic development projects in the Valley may lose funding.

A new survey is predicting depressing news: home foreclosures in 2011 should top the 2010 record and reach 1.2 million.

We have one Chamber event today: a First Aid, CPR & AED training.

That's it for now!  We'll be back later.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

State of the Lehigh Valley

I just left the State of the Lehigh Valley event, hosted by Renew Lehigh Valley and the Lehigh Valley Research Consortium.  It was a truly fascinating event, attended by what appeared to be about 200 people.  The event highlighted and discussed a report, conducted by the LVRC, regarding the Lehigh Valley.  It covered numerous different areas.

The ones of most interest to Chamber members, I'm sure, was the state of the economy and unemployment in the Valley.  I don't have the exact figures off-hand, but I can give you some interesting tidbits as it pertains to trends.  Until about 2009, the Lehigh Valley typically had lower unemployment than the state, Mid-Atlantic region, and country.  That changed in 2009, when the Valley's unemployment became worse than all of those other cohorts.  The same held true for the overall employment picture.  At least one panelist, Don Bernhard of PPL, commented that he expects economic development to become more difficult in Pennsylvania, as New Jersey has become much stronger competition.

From a crime perspective, crime continues to decrease across the nation and in the Valley.  Thankfully, Valley-wide crime is lower than national crime.

From a perspective of health care: health care satisfaction ratings correlated with income.  The better your income, the greater your satisfaction with the region's health care.

In terms of poverty (and this statistic was chilling), the percentage of students eligible for free and low-cost school lunches increased from 2004 - 2010 in all seventeen of the Lehigh Valley's school districts.  Of course, poverty is correlated with a variety of negative statistics, including educational attainment.

Incidentally, check the unofficial Twitter hashtag, #statelv, for a multi-person summary of tweets from the event.

What about you?  Were you there?  What do you think is the State of the Lehigh Valley?

Job Opening - Allentown School District

If you are a Chamber Member, we are happy to help you advertise any job opening. Please E-mail a description and contact information to Mike Schlossberg at We publish job openings every Thursday and are happy to help you find the talent that you are looking for!

Turnaround Officer

The Allentown School District in Allentown, PA, an urban school district of approximately 18,000 students with a projected $233,000,000 budget for 2010-2011 is seeking a Turnaround Officer, a 12-month position to be filled as soon as possible. 

Requirements:  Bachelor’s Degree and 3-5 years work experience required.  Demonstrated, successful experience in school or organizational turnaround preferred.  Master's Degree in Business Administration or practical business leadership experience preferred.  Focused experience in organizational change management, and/or project management experience with a focus on measuring and driving performance preferred.  Ability to communicate and collaborate with all district employees and community partners.  Satisfactory work record & criminal/child abuse clearances (Acts 34, 114, and 151).  To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.  The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.  Additional or alternatives to the above qualifications as the Chief Turnaround Officer may determine appropriate and acceptable.  

Application:  Send a detailed cover letter, complete resume, administrative application, and three recent letters of recommendation, and criminal/child abuse clearances (Acts 34, 114, and 151) to Rita D. Perez, Director of Human Capital Management and Talent Development, Allentown School District, 31 South Penn Street, Allentown, PA 18102.  Screening will begin January 18, 2010.

Daily Briefing, 1/13/2010

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing on what was a slow, snowy news day yesterday.

In West Easton, Mayor Gross vetoed the Borough's budget, only to rescind when the Borough agreed to take a closer look at its spending.  Pennsylvania's AdultBasic Program, which provides health insurance to more than 40,000 low-income adults, appears set to end in the end of February, when the program runs out of money.  Governor-elect Corbett's office has said the program is unsustainable.  State Senators Anthony Williams and Jeff Piccola have introduced a plan to bring school vouchers to Pennsylvania.

In national news, President Obama spoke at a Tuscon memorial service in honor of the victim's of this weekend's shooting.  He also revealed some very good news: Congresswoman Giffords opened her eyes for the first time since the shooting.  More good news: AIG has announced that it expects to pay back the U.S. government the last of the money that it owes for the 2008 bailout.

We have one Chamber event today: a seminar on how to market your business' sale, promotion or initiative through Social Media.

That's it for now!  Have a great day, and we'll see you later.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Five business networking tips

Business networking is what we are all about at The Chamber.  Yes, we spend quite a bit of time talking about the power of Social Media - but for the fast majority of you, Social Media can act as a supplement to everything that you do in the real world.  At the end of the day, despite all of our technological advances, face to face networking still matters a great deal.

Anyway, here are five great networking tips that can hopefully help you in the real world:

1)  Stop thinking about the $$:  When you meet someone at a mixer or event, you can't just look at them as if they are a dollar sign.  Instead, look at someone you are just meeting as an opportunity to build a relationship.  That means helping them...not just selling to them.  By following this principle, the opportunity to sell will naturally arise.

2)  How can you be a leader?:  Attending events is great.  But, if you want to go the extra mile, find a way to become a leader in an organization that you care about or have an interest in.  This will give you more exposure, more speaking opportunities and more credibility - and this, in turn, will result in enhanced networking.

3)  Repeat, repeat, repeat:  I've spoken with my share of individuals who go to a networking event, get no results, and leave frustrated.  Business networking doesn't work like that - it takes time and patience to succeed!  In order to really get results from networking, you have to practice - and you have to go to more than just a couple of events.

4)  Be other-minded:  One of the things we talk about at this blog is how Social Media needs to be other-focused.  You cannot just talk about yourself - you have to show how you can provide value to others.  Business networking works the exact same way.  Don't just talk about your own business - ask about others. Who knows?  A great opportunity may be waiting for you.

5)  Follow-up is key:  Say you go to a mixer and get ten business cards.  You put them in your Outlooks contact file and then...nothing.  That isn't effective.  When you make contact with someone, make sure you follow up!  Shoot them an E-mail and say it was nice to meet you (and reference something that you talked about, if you can).  Add them as a connection on LinkedIn.  Pass their name along to someone in your company who is responsible for relationship building.  Whatever you do, don't just let that business card sit there.  That won't do any good!

BONUS:  Take advantage of your Chamber Membership!  We have plenty of free and low-cost events that can help you expose your business to countless members of the Lehigh Valley community.  Make sure that you are taking full advantage of these opportunities!

So, what do you think?  What else are we missing?

Social Media: Changing the way we communicate

It's a day late, but this op-ed, authored by myself, was published in the Morning Call yesterday.  There were two central points about the op-ed:
1)  Social Media is closing the age gap.  The fastest growing age cohorts of Social Media use are those older than 50.
2)  To borrow a phrase from Thomas Friedman, Social Media has flattened communications across the world

Anyway, the op-ed is below.  Your comments or questions are appreciated, as always!

Daily Briefing, 1/12/2010

Good morning everyone!  I hope you are all enjoying this snowy Wednesday.  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

Most parts of the Valley got at least three inches of snow, but you can expect to see a windy day today.  The Lehigh County Government Center will now have metal detectors at its main entrance.  In Allentown, Mayor Pawlowski apparently outsourced city work in violation of a 1998 city ordinance.  The Bethlehem Area School District appears set to end its bond swaps - at a price of $6 million.  In Bethlehem, the Celtic Cultural Alliance is going to sponsor a St. Patrick's Day parade this year.  In Easton, City Council appears set to approve of same-sex partner benefits.

In state-wide news, the state legislature is considering a plan to tighten its own accounts in an effort to save money.  Wine kiosks should be back online across the state, possibly as soon as next week.  In Allegheny County, fresh on the heels of his gubenatorial race loss, Dan Onorato will not run for reelection as Allegheny County Executive and instead run for state-wide office again.

After months of rumors, its finally official: Verizon will be offering the iPhone, with retail sales starting February 10 and pre-orders opening February 3.

We have no Chamber events today - the snow took care of that one!

So, that's it for now - we should be back later today.  Be safe out there!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Daily Briefing, 1/11/2011

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

Northampton County voted against funding the Lehigh Valley Health Board yesterday.  A preliminary budget has been proposed for the Saucon Valley School Board - the initial budget would raise taxes by 1.57%, though possible cuts could completely eliminate a tax hike.  For the Bethlehem Area School District, that their preliminary budget raises taxes 14%.

President Obama will travel to Tuscon tomorrow to speak at a memorial service for Saturday's shootings.  Former Majority Leader Tom Delay has been sentenced to three years in prison and ten years probation for conspiring to launder corporate money into political donations.

We have two Chamber events today: a Speed Networking event with the Greater Northern Chamber of Commerce & Ambassadors and a Business & Commerce Association of Forks luncheon with a Forks Township update.

That's it for now!  We'll be back with more later.

Monday, January 10, 2011

This Week With(out) Tony - LeBEAM Helps You Sell!

Hello everyone!  In today's This Week With(out) Tony, Marlyn Kissner and Carol Ritter talk about an outstanding upcoming event with the LeBEAM Chamber. Author Todd Cohen will speak about his book and give advice on how to build a sales culture in your company.


Daily Briefing, 1/10/2011

Hello again everyone, and we hope you had a great weekend...despite the Eagles loss.  Anyway, here is today's Daily Briefing.

More snow is on the way for tomorrow, though there are no predictions as of yet for the totals.  Good news for the Bethlehem Sands, which saw revenues increase in 2010, thanks in no small part to the addition of tables games.  If you drive much, you've likely seen this: gas prices have increased an average of nine cents over the past three weeks.

Here is the latest roundup on the ongoing tragedy in Tuscon.  Congresswoman Giffords is responding to simple commands and doctor's were cautiously optimistic about her changes for survival.  President Obama has called for a national moment of silence to honor the victims of those killed in the attacks on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.  Jared Lee Loughner has been formally charged with murder and attempted murder for the shootings.  Congresswoman Giffords.  Congressman Robert Brady (D-PA) is introducing legislation that would make it a crime to use words or images that could threaten violence against a federal official.  All legislation pending in the House of Representatives has been postponed this week.

That's it for now - have a great day, and we'll see you later.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Guest Blog Entry: The Hand is Mightier Than The Mouth

Hello everyone!  We have another guest blog post for you all - this one from Paula Young of Social Marketing Strategy 101.  Paula will be leading a Southern Lehigh Chamber of Commerce Webinar on using SEO to enhance your local presence on the internet.  The webinar itself will be on January 20 at 11:00am - to register, click on the link there or E-mail Marlyn Kissner at  Below is a preview of what she'll be talking about.  Enjoy!

The crazy world of internet marketing, advertising and relationship building has so many people confused and uncertain whether or not it’s too late to jump into this massive tidal wave that is Search Engine Ranking and Social Media Marketing that my opinion is, it’s never too late to boost your business’ reputation online, or any place for that matter.

Long gone are the water cooler days when company employees discussed tips and personal reviews of places they visited and businesses they would recommend. In fact, face-to-face recommendations are almost unheard of in today’s social arena. With applications like Facebook and Twitter (to name just two) social interactions aren’t really social at all. They are quite impersonal, but deliver much more of an impactful message much, much faster and longer lasting than the old-fashioned word-of-mouth comments or reviews.

Also long gone are the days when you visited a business, liked (or didn’t like) your experience, then you’d have to hurry home to call a friend to tell them about it. Now, you can just pop on your smartphone and can send your review instantly not only to your friend, but to your friend’s friends and even the entire world with a multitude of platforms that all link together with just one click. Scary isn’t it?

Social Media Marketing and the entire presence on the web is changing so drastically from day to day. If you think your computer is outdated in 3 years, so will some internet platforms! Twitter didn’t exist a few years ago and Facebook certainly wasn't as popular as it is today. In fact, Time Magazine just named Mark Zuckerberg their “Person of the Year 2010”. Really.

My Space used to be the social giant but was gobbled up by Facebook and Google might soon succumb to the same demise.

A very young and successful internet marketer who was recently featured on Nightline, used YouTube to take a tongue cleaning product viral with his humorous video campaigns. He came up with this idea while not paying attention in class while a student at BYU. Class was going on, but he was surfing the internet. He stated that “if you made a class about internet marketing, every semester the entire text would change”.

So, if your business is not on the internet, even in some small way, there is always time to catch the next wave! Just don’t be afraid of the water, take some lessons, and jump in!

Paula Di Marco Young
Social Marketing Strategy 101, LLC
176 Lilac Drive
Allentown, PA 18104
p: 215.262.1499
f: 610.530.9492