Archive for the ‘Belleville’ Tag

What I’ve Been Up to Lately

Marketing Cobblers Shoes


I’ve grown fond of a saying recently: “The cobbler’s children have no shoes.”

Meaning: The shoe maker is so busy making shoes to earn a living that he has no time to make free shoes for his kids (or something along those lines).

Me, I’ve been doing just the same and this poor blog has had no posts. I’ve been so busy whipping up marketing strategies, doing SEO, writing blog posts, attending sales meetings, etc. etc. that I have had no time to create blog posts for my own blog! Such is the very fun life of working at a marketing firm.

Evidence of my actions is spread around the internet. I appeared on the Loyalist PR blog, show up frequently on the Belleville Chamber Chat Facebook Page and am always chatting with locals on Twitter and Facebook.

It really has been a whirlwind of adventure these past few months… and that’s just the beginning!


Master Twitter in 3 Easy Steps

Want to join, or already joined Twitter but feel overwhelmed?  Here is a quick guide to get you started:


1)      Ditch for HootSuite– is clunky,  unorganized and makes it hard to find topics of interest. Instead, start using an app that allows you to customize your Twitter experience, all from one window.


So. Simple.




2)      Create topic searches: Using keyword searches in HootSuite/TweetDeck allows you to see what interests you. Like popcorn? Have a “popcorn” search set up and you will see any discussions about popcorn in your feed.


3)      Use Twitter Share/HootBar/ Buffer– These allow you to Tweet straight  from a webpage you are viewing. No more copying a URL and pasting it into Twitter.

I spend a lot of time on Twitter, yet unless I need to do some account maintenance, I am never on  Use these tools to make Twitter easy!

Communication Methods are a-Changin’



In the past I blogged about social media and its usefulness in our society (herehere and here) and a few events this past week have underscored its important role in our society.

At the News Canada Networking Breakfast our guest speaker, Martin Waxman of Energi PR gave a presentation to the audience about the “new PR” aka social media.  As president of the CPRS (Canadian Public Relations Society) he knows what he is talking about, and he realizes that communication has shifted towards social media.  Firms, organizations and individuals will have to engage in social media or risk losing their voice.

The following evening, the Spring Quinte Tweet Up was held, and it underscored the impact social media can have on the community.  Without any traditional media, posters or advertising the Tweet Up drew over 60 visitors in two hours.

Only Facebook, Twitter and word of mouth were used.  A grass roots event drew a large crowd to a local pub which created networking opportunities and helped the local economy.

Social media is here and they are only growing bigger.  These are only two local examples of their impact, and many companies and celebrities thrive due to their strategic use of social media.

Facebook and Twitter are the two main examples, but in five years they could easily be replaced.  However, this innovation and change is the great aspect of social media.

If you, or your company, is shy about using social media or think it is useless, think again.  Feel free to contact me or comment and I’ll gladly introduce you to the wonders of social media.

Forget your nerves and just give the presentation!

As Loyalist College and Loyalist PR gears up for our Community Workshops it is amazing to see the nervousness and among people when you say you are going to give a presentation. As I have heard many times, some people fear presentations more than death. Seriously.

Since I barely have Shame, I do not really get how people get so nervous about presentations.  If you give a great one, people will love you.  If you give a bad one, people will be bored.  So you bore a bunch of people and then keep living your life.  At least that is how I think anyways.

One thing that helps is practice.  I remember being taught to practice early on in September, and I thought “how does that really help?” but it really does work.  I find that practice helps you remember and memorize the presentation.  If your nerves start to creep up, you at least have the practices to fall back on.

Getting nervous about presenting is all about over-thinking what is going to happen. It is okay to be nervous.  But get used to them and deliver the best presentation you can.

Creatively Rebuilding Downtown Belleville

My first blog post dealt with the problem of Belleville’s Downtown. Five months later, the Loyalist PR crew tried to tackle the problem, albeit in a different manner.

Divided into 8 groups we creatively came up with ideas to solve the problem. How did we get creative? Some groups painted their solution, others wrote a poem and some scoured magazines to make a collage.

Despite the different mediums used, the messages remained the same:

1) Keep it clean: Belleville needs to keep the streets clean and work on adding trees, flowers to improve the downtown landscape

2) Keep it clean: Belleville needs to get rid of the criminal drug use and prostitution, as was mention in all groups

3) Build it and they will come:  The downtown lacks any great retail stores, there is no hook.  It also lacks any middle class night scene, which would create traffic downtown and drive away the illegal trade happening.

4) Enforcement: Security and police need to enforce the area in order to make the improvements last

5) Work together:  Downtown merchants, citizens and councillors need to work together as a community.  Are the businesses rivals? Yes.  But  that  shouldn’t stop them from promoting each other.  Working together will make the downtown better which will improve traffic and increase sales.

If downtown enacts these improvements and sticks with them, it is sure to succeed.

While playing with play-doh, paint, scissors and glue might seem like child’s play, it spurned our creativity and created an easy way to revitalize downtown Belleville.

Rebuilding Downtown Belleville

Downtown Bellville- Canadian Mosaic

Having moved from London to Belleville, there is a noticeable difference between each downtown. Downtown London has managed to stay vibrant and to stay away from a bad reputation.  Many students flock to downtown London during the night to visit the popular bars and eateries.  During the summer, when all the students have left, the downtown hosts many festivals and events to draw the permanent residents away from the Wal-Marts and Costcos.

In contrast, Downtown Belleville has a bad reputation and lacks energy.  Rediscover Downtown is a good name for a campaign as most people I talk to see the downtown as a place to be avoided.  Even discussions on Twitter focus on the bad reputation of the core.  The main obstacle for the downtown is to shed its negative image and to build a positive image in the minds of Bellevillians.

Belleville Police are key to reviving the downtown.

First, Belleville needs to make a concerted effort between business and law enforcement.  Residents, students and tourists will not go downtown if they do not feel safe. Law enforcement needs to be visible to everyone in the community. The police need to be walking the side walks, patrolling on bikes and patrolling in their cruisers. If policing is visible then people will avoid doing criminal acts and people will feel comfortable walking around during the day and night.  My hometown of Simcoe, ON established a police detachment in its core to begin the process of repairing its bad reputation.  Belleville has a detachment close on Dundas East yet it lacks the visibility because it not smack in the middle of downtown.

The next issue I see is this common sighting in Downtown:

Belleville businesses need to make a better effort to cater towards citizens.  Most businesses are only open until five or six which means anybody who works won’t shop there. By the time they get off work and try to go downtown the shops are closed.  In addition, most shops have limited hours on the weekends. No matter how good a store is, no matter how unique a store is, no one will shop there if the store is closed when they have time off.  Belleville businesses are closed during the hours when most people shop.  There is a reason the box stores stay open late (Walmart stays open untill 11pm!) and stay open during the weekends: working families shop during those times.

Belleville is trying to improve its downtown and from what I have read it is getting better.  The possible closing of City Hotel could be a huge reputation boost to the core; however, I think the City Hotel is a landmark and the new owners

City- Hotel, Downtown Belleville, from Google Maps

should use its name in a positive way.  Turn a black eye into a proud establishment and create a centerpiece for the downtown. The City Hotel could symbolize the entire  rebuilding effort. Having a vibrant core will take a few years but I think Belleville is taking the correct path to success.

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