New Hampshire Social Media Breakfast Recap

During the latest New Hampshire Social Media Breakfast held at Rick’s Pond View and sponsored by CustomScoop, the topic of the morning was focused on Government 2.0 – how utilities and municipalities are using social media to communicate and connect with customers and the public. Some of the speakers of the day included Martin Murray from Public Service of New Hampshire (PSNH) and John Daly of The Boston Police Department who both spoke and shared how their organizations are adopting social media technologies.

I was especially interested in the presentation by Martin Murray who handles media relations for PSNH – better known as @PSNH on Twitter.

With the ice storm that hit on December 11, 2008, the word quickly got out that @PSNH was on Twitter and followers increased by 1,700% as customers were seeking answers and comfort in knowing that others were dealing with similar situations and that @PSNH was listening and responding.

As a customer of PSNH, I was very impressed with the organization’s use of Twitter to communicate with its customers during one of the biggest ice storms in the company’s history. The treacherous storm knocked out power to more than 320,000 residents across the state – including mine – for six very long days.

I also found it interesting that, along with Twitter, PSNH has also adopted other social media tools to engage with and communicate with customers – using Flickr and YouTube to share pictures and videos, as well as setting up a Facebook fan page.

In the video clip below, Martin sums up how the customer experience has changed significantly with PSNH’s adoption of Twitter. Instead of private one-to-one phone conversations with a customer, PSNH is now able to share and include others in those discussions publicly – getting more information out to more people.

PSNH video:

John Daly and The Boston Police Department (BPD), known as @Boston_Police on Twitter, are also not strangers to social media. They were the first city police department to have a blog and with their Text a Tip program, people can text their anonymous tips. It wasn’t until recently that John decided to get the BPD onto Twitter to use it as a public information tool.

Check out the video below where John talks about how they are utilizing Twitter, as well as their plans for integrating it into their 911 Center to use as an early warning detection system – cool stuff!

BPD video:

Both The Boston Police Department and PSNH saw an opportunity to improve communications with the adoption of social media technologies. The results have proved that it is indeed a smart move – doing so has helped both entities to connect with the public and their customers on a more personal level. They can now include customers in the discussions at hand – no other communications method can offer the same results.

P.S. – The next New Hampshire Social Media Breakfast is scheduled for April 17th at 8am.

Social Media + New York City + Fashion Week = Inside the Tents

We’ve been having a great time with our client Gift Girl – and we haven’t even launched yet! In addition to some fun pre-launch video interviews, Gift Girl has now teamed with My It Things to create Inside The Tents – an aggregated inside look from fashionista bloggers and reporters covering Mercedes Benz Fashion week in New York City, which kicks off tomorrow.

Combining social media technologies and fashion, Inside The Tents “was born to provide a fresh look into the very exclusive Bryant Park Tents during Mercedes Benz Fashion week. As more and more independent new media journalists are getting access into behind the scenes of the most fabulous fashion event of the season, they share with the world news and observations usually left to selected group of magazine editors.”

This unique effort aggregates feeds from various social media communities and applications such as Twitter, Flickr, live blogging and video streaming, “sometimes getting ahead of the traditional media to bring the latest trends to the fashion aficionados around the web.”

If you can’t be there live for this to-die-for fashion event, be sure to follow Inside the Tents for everything fashion coming out of Bryant Park in this coming week. Tecchies may find it of interest as well – it should be fun to see social media in action outside of the traditional business world.

Join us August 4 to Kick Off Boston Restaurant Week

Join us and our client Constant Contact as we gear up for Boston’s Restaurant Week. On August 4, Constant Contact joins in the festivities by hosting a free seminar to educate Boston-area restaurant owners on the power of email marketing. Various Boston restaurants will share their email marketing success stories, including FinaleRialto, Masa and more.

Also open to the public – and useful for any small business owner who desires to learn more about email marketing – the workshop will demonstrate how easy it is to design and execute email campaigns to drive customer loyalty and interaction, increase sales and build long lasting, positive reputations. Participants will learn best practices for  building a quality list, increasing email open rates, encouraging readers to take action, and analyzing click-behavior to improve results.

Boston’s Restaurant Week features 3-course lunches and dinners for $20.08 and $33.08 respectively, at more  than 200 restaurants in and around Boston.  Bring your appetites August 10 through August 15, 2008  & August 17 through August 22, 2008.

Visit the unofficial guide to restaurant week for more details.

The  Power of Email Marketing: Restaurant Edition
Boston  Public Library
700 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts
August  4, 2008, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Click here to register

Please join us at POPSignal Thursday: Wii’d Love to Meet

PerkettPR will be sponsoring POPSignal’s Boston event Thursday night at Tequila Rain. There, we’ll be mingling with clients, VCs, reporters, bloggers and social media friends from various backgrounds. Please stop by our table to say hello and light up the night (yes, we’ll be the ones glowing in the dark again), or come challenge us to a game of Wii, where we’ll be introducing our new client, Slingpage, and offering additional private beta invitations. (The first 500 went like hotcakes today after TechCrunch offered them in a pre-launch post.

We’re also continuing our trend of on site interviews – we’re interested in turning the camera on reporters, bloggers and entrepreneurs. Have a new technology to tout? Opinions on the social media landscape? Insights on the future of tech? Please share them with us and we’ll feature them here post-party. We look forward to seeing Boston’s best!

Thanks to Brian Balfour and Jay Meattle for organizing the event.

Mzinga and the Power of Community

Grant Robertson from interviews Aaron Strout (VP of New Media) from Mzinga at SXSW 2008. Aaron talks about how Mzinga helps customers leverage the power of community with their enterprise-class, white-label social media platform.

SXSW 2008: Mzinga from Download Squad on Vimeo.