A few years ago COMPUTER EXPLORERS Franchise Advisory Council was seeking a Public Relations firm. In our search we received proposals from some excellent firms. We were presented with the traditional PR program which included a monthly retainer for services. We had one problem. We believe that  COMPUTER EXPLORERS isn’t a traditional franchise so we were not interested in a traditional PR package. We like to think outside of the box and we wanted to design a unique PR program.  We were looking for something different from the traditional communications firm and we found it in Arment Dietrich! Read their newsletter F.A.D.S. Fight Against Destructive Spin

 As technology providers, we are constantly faced with the challenge of staying educated on the newest technology offerings. In July it was time to evaluate our program and  to incorporate a social media plan.  Our parents and educators are looking for information online, particularly via social networks. To develop the plan I took a trip to Chicago to work with @GiniDietrich and @TaynaFlynn for a full day workshop to design the COMPUTER EXPLORERS social media tool kit. Since I have visited the offices of Arment Dietrich before I knew the hardest part of the visit would be to walk the 66 steps up to the office. An extra bonus during my trip was to attend the Chicago Tweet Up and eat the most delicious cupcakes ever by Mari  @foiledcupcakes. A few of the cupcakes traveled back to Texas with me for the @CETeam.

News doesn’t come to a standstill during a recession and it’s unfortunate that franchises are cutting back their spending on PR. Today more than ever we need to find ways to connect and communicate in less traditional ways with our audience and work with PR firms whose business model incorporates social media. I am so pleased to see our franchisees working from the social media tool kit and you can find them on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Blogs building a strong COMPUTER EXPLORERS social media footprint!

I don’t mind the 66 steps up to the Arment Dietrich office but don’t ask me to visit them in the winter. They know I don’t do snow!