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Maximize your Memories (Creative Tools for Documenting your Trip)

March 12, 2013
Looking to “upgrade” the memories you make on your upcoming trip? Here are some creative tips to digitally and traditionally keep your vacations alive long after you’ve landed. Face it, “plain vanilla” photo albums are so 15 minutes ago!

If you like to take photos:
Use Flickr! Flickr is one of the most popular photo sharing applications. It allows you to upload photos through your phone, the web, or your email. You can add tags, your location, as well as people to your photos, to help remember the specific moment. Once you upload your photos to Flickr you can then easily share them on Facebook, Twitter, or your blog. While on Flickr you can see others photos that have been uploaded of the place you’re visiting, which can give you ideas of where to see next.

If you like to write:
Keep a blog! You can create a free online blog using sites like WordPress and Blogger. This way you can document your daily activities while on the trip as well as your personal feelings and insights. Your blog can then be shared with your friends through Facebook or Twitter. Get into a routine of doing this as often as possible, maybe each night when you are back at your hotel before going to bed.

If you like to take a piece of the place with you:
Collect mementos! Keep everything you can from the place you are visiting. And not just the obvious things that you can get at the gift shop like post cards and mugs, but real stuff that represents your specific trip. These can be tickets from a show you went to, a brochure about the hotel, your bus or subway card, anything and everything that you want to remember. Take all of these things when you get home and put them in a scrapbook or make a collage!

If you want to do a combination of all of the above:
Use Trip Journal! Trip Journal is the perfect travel application for when you want to document your upcoming trip all in one place! With Google Earth integration, Trip Journal allows friends and family to easily see your traveling routes, waypoints for visited destinations — including address and location, full screen photos, videos, comments and notes, as your journey unfolds. Once you return from your trip, you can always go back and access your memories in the archive.

What’s your favorite way to document your trips and vacations, so that you will always have the memories when you get home?

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How Non-Profits Can Profit from all the Tools in the Marketing Tool Box

February 20, 2013
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, the blogosphere — the list of social and digital platforms grows every day. And with this growth comes the belief among marketers that each will be the future savior of the brand, company, and product or in our case, the non-profit. Conventional wisdom — demonstrated by the tremendous numbers of eyeballs and viewers these vehicles attract — is that each entity can navigate the new landscape and leverage some or all of what is available.

We've taken the plunge at Mitch-Stuart, Inc. and believe we're laying the foundation for our future in this arena.

No doubt you should get involved in the social-digital media "space" — but there is a caveat. We were speaking with a friend recently who is the Director of New Media for a large, well-known multi-national ad agency. His specialty is social-digital experiences.

With everyone looking to him and his "bag of new tricks" as the proverbial silver bullet for a renewed and revitalized success for their brand or product, his honest response was:

"I'm just a ‘new tool in the tool box.’ We still need to be doing traditional marketing activities with traditional media IN CONCERT WITH a social-digital media effort. We are not a stand-alone function who will save the day. We can add new dimension, new ways of reaching our target audiences — but we work best when we all work together."

At Mitch-Stuart, Inc. — we're successfully doing traditional marketing — with the added power of social and digital efforts — and here are some of the benefits we are seeing.

Facebook — In mere months we've designed a page that serves as a sounding board for ideas such as contests and photo displays and we now have a presence in this "must-have" medium. We also use Facebook to link to our newly created blog and highlight news of the company.

Twitter — In 140 characters or less, every day we tweet out news of interest to potential customers and clients. We have seen our followers grow, re-tweet, favorite our comments and we reciprocate to other like-minded "tweeters" in the travel/non-profit space. We're not only generating buzz about our company, but of industry news and trends.

YouTube — Here is a situation where we are exploring to find the best way to use the platform. We recommend strategizing the best way to use each of the tools to reach your audience and tell your story.

Blog — The Mitch-Stuart blog you are reading provides a place for us to demonstrate our expertise as well as give "shout-outs" to great clients with great stories to tell. We see our posts linked to other companies and do the same for theirs. Our blog also helps to provide us with ideas for direct mail, publicity and our upcoming newsletter. It also gives us the opportunity to comment on timely topics and start conversations with readers.

Stay tuned, there's a lot more to come!

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