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I find it important to go back to the basics from time-to-time in order to keep my foundation solid in the social media world.  To some, this article by Fluid Studio (http://bit.ly/c1tLmM) may seem rather elementary but even the “social media gurus” need to stop and remember the most basic groundwork.  Social media users need to remember a famous quote from Sherlock Holmes, “It’s elementary, my dear Watson.”

The first point in the article is a brief reminder that the time spent on social media should not be all about you.  It is a vital fact of the social media world that your followers, friends, and fans don’t want to read about you all the time.  I think this first fact ties in nicely with the third.  The phrase that stood out to me most when reading this point is “people lose interest.”  When boring, unrelated, and selfish information is posted people will distance themselves from your site.  Remember to keep things in perspective when posting and think about your audience.

Points two and seven on this list reminds of me of junior high school days.  Bullying is unacceptable online and in person.  Lines are often crossed in social media when opinions are voiced.  It is great to take a stand and voice your opinion but it is best to do it in a respectful, classy way.  “Be Nice” were the words used in the seventh point.  It really is a simple concept that is often forgotten about.  Kindness goes a long way in life and in social media.

I feel that it is vital to think about the simple things when using social media.  After all, how much use would social media be to you without a strong foundation?

Contact Information:

Kaitlin — kaitlin@infinityprintgroup.com or 309.663.5551

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Kool Pak Company has a great special on recyclable tote bags going on this week!

This non-woven polypropylene bag is great to carry any type of item in.  This bag features a 28″ strap, gusset, tear resistant material, is water repellent, and all seams are reinforced.  Its size is 16″ W x 12″ H x 6″ D.  With this special, there is a minimum order of 250.  There is no set-up charge with this offer.  Choose from 12 colors, including black, burgundy, pink, lime green,  forest green, navy, orange, red, royal blue, purple, teal, and athletic gold.  Each bag  costs $1.49!  This price includes a 1 color imprint.  Get up to 4 colors for only $1 more.  Get them now while they’re HOT.

For additional information or pricing contact Kaitlin.

kaitlin@infinityprintgroup.com or (309)663-5551

It’s time to feature another inspiring person in our community!  Today, we will be featuring Kim Wells of the Executive Director of Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence (CAEPV).  Here is her interview.

Question 1 – Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got involved with addressing domestic violence at the workplace.

When I was in graduate school in the mid-1980’s (intending to be a therapist),we were not taught about domestic violence at all.  Not even in marriage and family therapy classes.

Fast forward and I became the Director of Program Services for a service provider for homeless men, women, and families here in Central Illinois.  People were coming to us because of domestic violence and I thought it was important that my case management staff was educated about the issue, so I invited the director of the local domestic violence service organization to come and train us.  This was a time when it was not uncommon for the police to have the batterer or the victim come to stay with us “until they cooled off” rather than arresting someone.  It wasn’t 1994 yet – there was no Violence Against Women Act and the police did not have the tools and resources they do now.

Fast forward some more, and I became the Associate Executive Director of that organization – and that meant I was responsible for all of Client Services, Food Services, Reception Services, Volunteer Services, and also Human Resources.  And that meant (among many other things) training our employees to be safe.  So we trained on emergencies…we trained on what to do if a person with a gun wouldn’t leave…what to do if someone had a seizure…what to do with a drunk person…things that happened in the organization.

So – when I was asked if I wanted to apply to be the executive director of an organization with a goal of helping employers deal with domestic violence as a workplace issue, because it was sometimes a workplace safety issue, I thought, “Gosh that makes sense.”  I had never really “connected those dots” before.

Question 2 – What are your primary duties as the Executive Director at Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence (CAEPV)?

It is my job to provide leadership for the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence (CAEPV/ http://www.caepv.org) as the only national organization of its kind founded by business leaders and focused on the domestic violence and its impact on the workplace.

Our corporate members and affiliates reach over a million employees across the nation and around the world, and it is my job to make sure we are providing them the resources they need to address domestic violence as a workplace issue.

In addition, we work to provide information to the general public about this issue and provide technical assistance to a wide variety of partners.  We also assist people who call or email us with question–and those questions could be from the White House or from a high school student writing a paper.

Question 3 –What do you feel is the best way to address domestic violence at the workplace?

There is a system of Three R’s that we recommend to workplaces wishing to address domestic violence as a workplace issue (and this information is available on our website at http://www.caepv.org in the Six Steps to Creating a Workplace Program document.

  • Recognize – Recognize that domestic violence has an impact on your workplace and learn how to see potential signs in your employees or co-workers
  • Respond – Responding at work should always be in the context of behavior and performance.  The goal is not to violate an employee’s privacy, but rather be able to say (for example) “You are a valued team member.  There have been changes in your performance and you are missing your target goals and seem more distracted than usual.  Is there anything going on that I can help you with?”   The employee may not share anything, in which case you can remind him or her of the resources available and remind the employee that your door is always open.  And if the employee does share, you can move to the next “R” – Refer.

Responding to someone outside the workplace is a bit different.  For help with that, check out one of my blog posts about approaching someone you care about if you are concerned they may not be in a safe relationship.

  • Refer – Refer the employee to the resources within the workplace (such as EAP, HR, etc) that can assist them and also refer the employee to the community resources that can provide help.

There is actually a fourth “R” if a workplace gets really good – Reach Out.  Partner with the community and other employers.

A great example of “Reach Out” can be seen in the CAEPV members here in Central Illinois that meet on a regular basis, talk about what they are doing within their own workplaces, and learn from each other.  They also learn about local organizations and services and partner with them.  This is how “It’s Time to Talk Day” activities here in Central Illinois started.

Question 4 – This seems to be a topic that may make people uncomfortable when talking about, is there a way to make it a less difficult topic to discuss?

Domestic violence is probably one of the most uncomfortable topics that anyone ever has to think about or approach.

In February of 2008, the CDC released the most comprehensive US survey regarding intimate partner violence. CDC researchers asked adult participants in the 2005 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey if they would answer questions about intimate-partner violence. More than 70,000 Americans — just over half those asked — agreed. According to the CDC, 23.6% of women and 11.5% of men reported at least one lifetime episode of intimate-partner violence.

What does that mean?  It means that for a lot of people, domestic violence is a difficult subject because it is likely they 1) have experienced domestic violence in their childhood and no one else knows 2) are going through domestic violence now and no one else knows 3) are worried about someone they love going through domestic violence and no one knows.

But since it is unfortunately so common, the only way we can change things is by talking.  And talking.  And talking. Talking about things like:

  • “What does a healthy relationship look like?”
  • “How do you talk to your kids about healthy relationships before they start dating?”
  • “How do you talk to someone if you are concerned they might be in a relationship that isn’t good for them?”
  • “How would you know if your own relationship was not healthy?”
  • “How would an employer address domestic violence at work?”

And by starting to ask these simple questions…and giving people places to go for the answers, and ways to have the conversation, we can start to talk about it.  Because the truth is:

  • Domestic violence happens
  • Domestic violence happens here
  • Domestic violence happens to people like you and me
  • Domestic violence happens in workplaces like yours and mine
  • There are things you and I can do about this – whoever we are

Question 5 – If you could give one piece of advice to persons in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, what would it be?

It would tell anyone in a relationship that is not safe or not healthy that everyone has the right to be safe and secure in a relationship with people who love them.  And that if you need help, or just want to talk to someone, help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or www.thehotline.org.

Contact Information:

Kaitlin – kaitlin@infinityprintgroup.com or (309)663-5551

Kim Wells — kwells@caepv.org

http://www.caepv.org – Website

http://bit.ly/ajntu0 – Blog

http://bit.ly/c6TY79 — Facebook

A new twist is going to be added to the IPG blog every couple of weeks.   This  feature will premiere a short interview with various people from the community.  We hope to ask them 5 questions in order to get to know them and their organizations better.  It has been a pleasure having the opportunity to interview Pete Moore of The Baby Fold.  He is the marketing and PR specialist at The Baby Fold.  Here are the questions and answers from the interview.

Question 1 – Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you ended up working for The Baby Fold.

I am a communications junkie by trade, with and array of work experiences in radio, journalism, print, web development, podcasting, blogging, and other social media tools.  I came to The Baby Fold ( http://www.TheBabyFold.org ; http://Facebook.com/thebabyfold ; http://Twitter.com/thebabyfold ) six years ago when an opportunity to develop a new position in Marketing and Public Relations opened up.  Like many in our community, I knew that The Baby Fold did good work for children and families, but I couldn’t tell you exactly what it was that they did.  Now, I understand the agency to be a backbone for the most vulnerable children and families in our area.

Question 2 — What are you primary responsibilities at The Baby Fold?

I serve as Marketing and Public Relations Specialist for the agency.  In a nutshell, I develop and oversee most external communications for our organization.  I create and maintain everything from newsletters and program publications to direct mail appeals and fundraisers, to, most recently, our on-line giving program and social media outreach.  I am keyed-in on telling the success stories of those we serve and conveying our brand promise: we never give up on a child.

Question 3 – What services and programs does The Baby Fold offer?  Any upcoming events you would like to share?

The Baby Fold provides a spectrum of services for at-risk children and their families, including special needs and international adoption, foster care, special education, residential treatment, a wide variety of family and community services and family counseling.

Following Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, we take a child who may need essential basics—shelter, food, love—and help her to become the person she was always meant to be.  Many of these children would be in mental hospitals, on the street, or worse if it weren’t for the provision of The Baby Fold through the support of donors in our community.  We are also able to support our clients through the Festival of Trees (http://www.FestOfTrees.org ; http://Facebook.com/festoftrees ), a premier holiday event in Bloomington-Normal that brings in over $200,000 and 10,000 attendees every November.

Question 4 – How can people get involved or help The Baby Fold?  In what aspects of the organization need the most attention from the community? (e.g. foster care, adoption, educational services)

The best way to get involved with The Baby Fold is 1) to join our Facebook page ( http://Facebook.com/thebabyfold ) and 2) take a tour of our facilities on the 2nd Tuesday of the month.  Through those two actions, you’ll be connected in real-time to needs and opportunities within the agency and have a chance to explore your areas of interest.

We’ve found that volunteers and donors who get involved with our children experience great satisfaction in helping the neediest in our society. There are children waiting for loving homes, something you can help with through your donations, by providing foster care to a child, or even bringing a special needs or international child into your home permanently.  Get to know more about our organization and start asking questions.

Question 5 – What is one valuable life lesson you have learned from the work you do at The Baby Fold?

The MOST valuable lesson I’ve learned through my work with The Baby Fold is that our lives are not our own.  We are inextricably intertwined with those around us, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not.  To share our love, time, and resources with others is the natural response to the undeniable societal conditions of inequality and diversity.  I am appreciative to live in a community and work for an organization full of individuals who never give up on a child.

If you are interested in having your company interviewed for our blog, please feel free to contact Kaitlin.  This is a great way for people in the community to learn about you.

Contact Information:

Kaitlin — kaitlin@infinityprintgroup.com or (309)663-5551

Pete Moore — pmoore@thebabyfold.org or (309) 451-7204

Pete’s Twitter: @PeteHelps

Twitter: @thebabyfold

Pete’s Blog: http://www.Kneejerk.org

Meet Kaitlin

The newest member of the Infinity Print Group team started her journey today.  She took some time to answer a few questions so that all of you could get to know her.

  • Question 1. Tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Kaitlin Hinkle and I am currently a senior at Illinois State University.  I am from the small town of Teutopolis, Illinois.  My interests include golfing, wakeboarding, and watching the St. Louis Cardinals!

  • Question 2. What are you studying at ISU?

I am a marketing major and am also enrolled in the Professional Sales Institute.  I will be completing my undergrad work in December 2010.

  • Question 3. What is your role at IPG?

I have quite a diversified role at IPG.  I will be taking on the social media campaign, taking an active role in the blogging efforts, and also pursuing a sales role.

  • Question 4. What do you hope to accomplish at IPG?

My goal while being on-board at IPG is to contribute to the success of the company.  I hope to become well rounded in the sales cycle and also in social media marketing efforts.  I am excited to start my venture with IPG.

Contact Information:

(309)663-5551

kaitlin@infinityprintgroup.com

MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are all common words we hear on a daily basis.  It is a revolution that people used for personal use, but many businesses are starting to utilize these as marketing tools.  We recently met with Mark DeKeersgieter, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Integrity Technology Solutions.  He provided us with some useful statistics on social media marketing.  He said, “There are 60 million users on MySpace, 100 million plus Facebook users in the United States, 20 million Twitter users, and many using LinkedIn, social networking is becoming increasingly popular.”

Other of his statistics for these sites include:

MySpace:

  • 6% are ages 55 & up
  • 34% are ages 25-54
  • 60% are ages 24 & under

Facebook:

  • 9% are ages 55& up
  • 53% are ages 25-54
  • 34% are ages 24 & under

Twitter:

  • 20% are ages 55 & up
  • 64% are ages 25-54
  • 16% are ages 24 & under

LinkedIn:

  • 16% are ages 45 & up
  • 73% are ages 26-45
  • 11% are ages 25 & under

Numerous local businesses in the Bloomington-Normal area have also jumped on the bandwagon.  The new Normal Cornbelters baseball team already has 1,567 followers on Facebook.  That is an impressive number considering they have yet to start the season.  Another company that has many followers is the Beer Nuts Brand Snacks with 1,224 people who are Facebook users.  The Children’s Discovery Museum in the small town of Normal has 495 fans and Upper Limits attracted 410 friends on Facebook.  It has become apparent that  social media media is an effective way to promote your business.

To connect with Mark, see below:

Twitter:  http://kl.am/bMcY

Facebook: http://kl.am/bMcy

Integrity Technology Solutions Twitter: http://kl.am/bMdi

Integrity Technology Solutions Facebook: http://kl.am/bMdC

Integrity Technology Solutions Website: http://kl.am/bMj8

Imagine the pain and stress of losing a cell phone with all your contacts or losing your digital camera with priceless pictures!  Thousands of mobile devices are lost everyday never to be returned back to their owners.

Help your customers get back their mobile devices while having your logo prominently displayed as part of their cell phone wallpaper.

This product is currently available for iPhones only.  Customers that don’t have an iPhone can download ringtones as an alternative.  More cell phone models launching shortly.

For more information contact us at:

309-663-5551                       erik@infinityprintgroup.com