I am speaking this weekend at the LERN 2008 conference. LERN (Learning Resources Network) is an international association of lifelong learning programming, offering information and resources to providers of lifelong learning programs. People who attend the LERN conferences are those run business classes, conferences, contract training, continuing education, leisure learning, community education, and certificate programs. Interestingly, summer camps can fall into this category. LERN focuses on practical, how-to information on marketing, needs assessment, customer service, program development, pricing, promotion, budgeting, etc. I have never been disappointing with the quality of material LERN puts out and the exceptional conference they run. Their tag line has been, “information that works” and it truly is. If you have not attended a LERN workshop or conference, go directly to their site and get the next one on your calendar.
Yesterday I was speaking to a room full of people involved in summer camp programming and only one had heard of the American Camp Association. This is not uncommon because department on campus who run continuing ed programs are often separate from parks and recreation programming or camp programming. There also can be a lot of movement in these positions so they are frequently bringing in people who have not been working in the summer camp industry. Clearly the ACA has more work to do to get the word out to this segment of summer programmers.
One resource I am recommending to EVERYONE in the LERN organization at the confernece this weekend is Marketing Over Coffee with Chris Penn and John Wall. LERN has an outstanding history of old media marketing and they are working hard to move their members into the world of social media marketing. Marketing Over Coffee is a podcast that can be listened to on your computer or downloaded to your mp3 player. John Wall and Chris Penn understand the importance of the LERN motto “information that works” and they deliver that weekly.
What resources or tips to you have to people new to social media marketing?