Apps that make your holiday shopping easier


With the holiday hustle and bustle, we all are looking for something that will help us make the holidays smoother and easier.   More and more Americans are using their smartphones and tablets to shop online or to find the best deals online or in a store. (more…)

The Economic Impact of Tourism on Alabama is Huge

Alabama Conference on Tourism

When you are trying to grow your business, I believe it’s very important to take any opportunity given to you to network, whether that opportunity is in the form of a local networking event or at a conference. The Alabama Governor’s Conference on Tourism was held in Birmingham last weekend, so, I took my own advice and decided to attend.  I have attended the conference before, and in fact, it’s been years since I have attended it.

The Alabama Travel Council and the Alabama Tourism Department partner every year and offer a conference that updates Convention and Visitor Bureau staff, Tourist Attraction operators, festival and events staff and tourism marketers on the state of tourism in Alabama. Gov. Kay Ivey spoke during the opening general session and praised the attendees for all they do to attract tourists to Alabama.

The tourism industry’s economic impact on the State of Alabama is $13B in revenue according to the Alabama Tourism Department. Alabama’s efforts around the world and marketing around the country have increased the number of foreign and domestic tourists coming to Alabama over the past few years.  The Alabama Department of Tourism works with a Birmingham ad agency to market the state all around the world. Agency representatives showed highlights from their public relations and ad campaigns.  I was especially fascinated by the campaigns the agency used to promote the state in New York City.  One promotion used virtual reality to let New Yorkers get a taste of what it was like to see Little River Canyon in Dekalb County Alabama up close and personal. There also was a campaign where the agency built a replica of the white sandy beaches along Alabama’s Gulf Coast and invited people in New York to experience what it was like to lounge on an Alabama beach. I saw that particular campaign on social media about a year or two ago and liked it so much that I shared the photo and article about the event.  The promotional event was a very clever move in my opinion.


What You Post, May Comeback to Haunt You


More and more people are using social media to express their personality and views on a number of social issues.  In fact according to Pew Research, seven in 10 Americans use one or more platforms to connect with people, engage with others and for entertainment.

Since the politically charged American elections in 2016, we have seen the usage of social media sky-rocket by people who use it to express their views on political and social issues.  Some have used platforms like Facebook and Twitter to persuade elected officials to vote one way or another on certain bills in state legislatures and in Congress.  Others have used these platforms to organize protests for or against issues they are passionate about. Never before in the history of our society have we had such immediate access to a way in which to mobilize people so effectively and quickly.  It’s like grassroots campaigning on steroids.  However, I would like to point out that on the flip side of this statement, and unlike in the past, people also have access to use these same social media platforms to ruin a brand or individual’s reputation at the drop of a hat.  It’s not just other people ruining reputations, individuals or brands also have had a hand in their own demise when they have made poor choices about what they post online. It almost always comes back to haunt them.


You’re an Entrepreneur Now What?

Coffee Meetings

It’s been two weeks since I left my full-time job as Director of Marketing and Communication for a business school at a university in Alabama in order to expand my freelance public relations firm.  Waking up that first day with my system in shock, I realized that I didn’t have to be at a certain place or office at a specific time. After coming to grips with that,  I thought, “okay, what do I do now?” Collecting my thoughts, I immediately announced in a Facebook live video on my personal page that I was expanding my business. Afterwards, I foolishly thought my phone was going to start ringing off the hook with people offering to hire me for projects. After all people know me right? They know my work and that I have been successful as a public relations practitioner for a long time? 

But my phone has not been ringing off the hook.