Strategic Relationship Engineering Both On & Offline
As we wrap up 2009, we wish to extend sincere holiday greetings to each of you. In addition we want to welcome new relationships; thank our stakeholders, clients and partners and generally give thanks to a very intriguing first six months.
Chalkboarder.com Client News
It’s been a very busy six weeks since we last released a chalkARTblast. We’re busy with some new clients and had to dive right in. Here’s some of the more intriguing things coming up on our calendar for the first quarter of 2010.
Filming “Deadly Claws” Aboard An Oregon Dungeness Crab Boat
We were approached by a Dungeness Crab fishing vessel the F/V Harvester sailing out of Coos Bay OR, to sail with them, blog about off-shore crab fishing and do some cooking dockside with the freshest Dungeness Crab you ever had. Well, one thing has led to another and its become a full-fledged video documentary. Now we’re planning (and writing the storyboard for) an hour long production for WebTV, telling the “farm to table” history of off-shore crabbing, the canneries and the danger. They’re going to put me to work as a deckhand in February catching crab for a day in the cold wet swells and then I’ll don a chef jacket and do some cooking at the cannery. The Captain states that this is twenty times more dangerous than “Deadliest Catch”. As an adventurer and complete extrovert, who is passionate about where our food comes from and cooking – its right up my alley.
I hope the Coast Guard Rescue stays close by!
Marsha Collier Requests Chalkboarder.com Research Collaboration
Marsha Collier, author of “eBay for Dummies”, with over 1 million copies in print worldwide and the top-selling eBay author, requested Chalkboarder.com’s assistance and collaboration through two methods.
Marsha has been commissioned to write a book due in June 2010 on Customer Service, with a chapter on restaurants. After reading our “10% of USA Restaurants Using Social Media” study (September, 2009), she requested us to redo the study in March 2010 for inclusion in the restaurant customer service chapter.
Additionally, Marsha and I are launching this next week a Twitter-based discussion on customer service. This discussion will be weekly on Tuesdays at 9 pm eastern – you can participate by following #custserv.
FohBoh.com Conference on Social Media
We’re still waiting for confirmation of this one – but Michael Atkinson, CEO of the largest social network, FohBoh.com, for the restaurant industry internationally, invited me to participate as a panelist in a conference sometime in 2010. If the conference is confirmed, I’ll be joining Guy Kawasaki and the founders of LinkedIn and Ning.com on-stage to discuss how the social web can and does impact the restaurant industry. I’m extremely humbled and flattered by the invitation and do hope the conference happens.
“Branded” – The Legacy Five Generation Montana Rancher
We’ve been in dialogue with the oldest cattle ranchers association in the USA, Montana Stock Growers Association, for a long time. I started this relationship in 2007 when we were talking about bringing a line to the national restaurant industry of natural Montana beef, raised and processed from birth to box in-state.
Over the past three months we’ve been in dialogue with them about their social media strategies. Again, one thing has led to another and now we are talking about another hour long documentary exploring “farm to table” and what it means to be a five-generation Montana rancher. More danger! The ranchers want to bring me and the filmmaker out during spring branding, put me on a horse, make me handle a rope and possibly make a few Rocky Mountain Oysters (yes, cutting). At the end, after documenting the history of Montana cattle ranching and exploring the myriad issues they face today we’ll do some cooking of beef.
We have much more news below…
Customer experience, satisfaction and loyalty are
built from the table up.
Your food, service, management and corporate identity meet the customer in the restaurant. So why wait until customers leave to measure their experience? Through Rewarding Feedback your customers can articulate specific experiences that are important to them. Rewarding Feedback allows your managers to “hear” what customers are saying while they are still seated and at the height of their dining experience.
The Oregon Truffle Festival
Seattle’s top food blogger and restaurant consultant, Traca Savadago (http://seattletallpoppy.blogpost.com) and I are headed out to the vineyards of Oregon at the end of January to blog the Oregon Truffle Festival. Willamette Valley Vineyards just seeded 16 acres of truffle spoor and Oregon truffles are rapidly edging out European truffles for reputation. Traca will be with the chefs in the kitchen over the two days while I am video-blogging the two day “Train Your Dog to Hunt Truffles” workshop.
We just started a year long relationship to handle all of Coffee Fest’s social media. As part of this, I’m seeking certification as a barista. Coffee Fest is the most respected tradeshow for the specialty coffee and tea industry internationally, with shows in Meadowlands NJ, Minneapolis and Seattle.
We’re launching an internationally comprehensive social media strategy for Coffee Fest, to increase attendance, exhibitors and overall show experience. A very intriguing part of this relationship is that we’ll be live web streaming the Barista Competitions at all three tradeshows! We decided to call this “bean-casting” (instead of sports-casting) the competitions. In addition, I’ll be speaking on the social web at each Coffee Fest Executive Summit during the tradeshows.
We’ve been working with Renaissance Gourmet (British Columbia, CAN) on clarifying their casually elegant lifestyle brand and market the past month and finding them sponsors. As part of this, we’re helping to create and develop a strategic brand/concept in WebTV, e-Books, blogging and other content. The market for Renaissance Gourmet is international female 25 to 55, with significant existing traffic (over 125,000 views per
month) coming from the USA, Australia, Canada and the UK. This project also involves international strategies in social media to grow viewership and further monetization of the brand.
Renaissance Gourmet offers casually elegant lifestyle advice, simply upscale gastronomy, travel, farm-to-table documentaries and just shot a pilot for a non-exclusive series on the Australian Lifestyle Podcast Network.
Challenge Issued to USA Restaurant Industry
We’ve tossed a challenge down to the restaurant industry in the USA. With 945,000 restaurant operations in the country, we think we’ve got a great challenge.
We asked the industry to put over 100 marathon runners into the 2011 Boston Marathon, each sponsored with over $1000 in pledges. The fund-raiser would benefit Share Our Strength, a twenty-five year nonprofit working to end childhood hunger domestically by 2015.
We caught the interest of Share Our Strength, which referred the challenge to its Great American Dine Out steering committee and other C-Level industry leaders. Really, all this is my effort to get myself running again J. Just teasing… I’ve been involved with Share Our Strength since 1994.
Strategic networking on behalf of Rewarding Feedback (Toronto, CAN) continues. We’ve introduced them to several potentials on both coasts of the USA and are waiting for the crush of the holiday chaos to end to close these deals. A very intriguing inquiry occurred from an 87 unit restaurant outfit with four brands from South Africa. It’s really tough to coordinate communication between North America and South Africa.
Event Mingle is a social web based community platform for trade shows. With extremely robust metric analytics and structure, it empowers tradeshows to largely expand the return on investment for both attendees and exhibitors participating. We’ve crafted a relationship with Event Mingle to introduce and refer them through our deep proprietary networks off line.
Great American Spice Company
Great American Spice Company is a large web-based retailer of spices. We’re spreading the word about them to consumers through a social media strategy.
Social Grub is a robust Facebook application for service industry businesses. This application has powerful back-office tools and empowers businesses to use the social web to offer promotions, coupons and broadcast of events and news both through smart-phones and personal computers. We’re in a mutual relationship with Social Grub, referring their product while they refer us.
Other News & Pursuits
In the first quarter of 2010, we’ll be combining our two identities (Chocorua Group and Chalkboarder.com) into one brand under the Chalkboarder.com logo and identity. We’ve asked a few diverse peers to provide us critique during this process.
We’re waiting for a yea/nay decision on a pitch we made a few weeks ago to the PR firm handling 1800 Tequila (a brand of Cuervo), 5WPR in New York City. This proposal laid out a six-month global social media strategy. The PR firm indicated to us they were taking the proposal to Cuervo and we’re standing by.
We’re in negotiations with a former client in KennebunkportMaine, Old Vines Wine Bar, to strategize and execute their social media.
We’re in negotiations with Wind Horse Coffee in MilwaukieOregon to strategize and execute their social media.
While there are other negotiations underway across North America and internationally, we just don’t feel comfortable yet sharing them.
Well, that’s all the news that we see fit to print this month. We’d like you to know that chalkARTblast will be distributed monthly from here on – distributed sometime right after the 15th of each month.
Peace On Earth and Goodwill To You!
Jeffrey J Kingman
Happy Holidays from Judith, Bill and Jennifer – partners.
chalkARTblast is produced and distributed by Chalkboarder.com
Copyright Ó2009 Chalkboarder.com LLC