A Marathon Day

You’d better sit back – this was a marathon day! I was out of the house at 7AM and landed in Richfield for a Richfield Rotary meeting featuring a presentation from the Neighborhood Development Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to working with entrepreneurs and community organizations to concentrate the power of micro-enterprise development around dynamic “hubs” of community revitalization, linking the energy of people to the vitality of places.

The organization has experienced tremendous results in four targeted neighborhoods: St. Paul’s East Side, Frogtown/Summit-University, North Minneapolis/Broadway and South Minneapolis/Lake Street. City Staff members Christine Costello and Karen Barton attended in addition to dedicated community members, Tom Rublein and David Gepner (Richfield Penn Central) as guests of the Rotary.

We were all keenly aware of the similarities between the communities that NDC-MN serves and are very interested in further discussions to continue the conversation in Richfield with hopes of supporting businesses during the 66th street reconstruction project and continued efforts to revitalize Penn Avenue.

Meanwhile…back at the Chamber I had the pleasure of meeting with Dan Randolph – “big cheese” over at Minnesota Interactive. MNI is the e-marketing partner for the Chamber and VisitRichfield. I cannot say enough good things about his company! The crew – Greg, James, Rachael and Nicole – are SO GOOD at what they do: specifically web design, email and social media management and search engine optimization.

SO GOOD, in fact, that since the merger of the VisitRichfield.com and RichfieldMNChamber.org websites, we’ve experienced a dramatic increase in website visits – from roughly 50-100 hits per month to over 2000 hits per month – and we’re just getting warmed up!

Let me tell you a little story about email.

I’ve spent a lot of time building a 21st century infrastructure at the Chamber in my 18 month tenure. I have been able to build a framework for communicating RCOC information with the world; however, it was just the framework. In February, MNI was able to take our email communications to next level. You may have noticed that we have increased email communications from one to three emails per week: Weekly Update, Business Connections and Events.

Increased email communications?! Yikes – you’d think that would be a bad idea; make some people mad, in fact. But, guess what – it hasn’t. We have only witnessed a handful of unsubscribes (a key indicator that people are not happy with your communications) and have actually gained subscribers!

Not only that, but open rates (how many people open the emails) and click-through rates (how many actually engage in the email and click links) are averaging 20-25%. Emails are sent to a list of over 800 contacts which translates to RCOC emails being opened close to 2300 times PER WEEK…and we’re just getting started!

Want some more good news? CAN YOU HANDLE IT?!

Social media has been ratcheted up, too. Content is focused on Chamber members, sharable posts, increasing likes and engagement. Have you noticed that the RCOC Facebook page has close to 3000 likes?! Sa-WEET!

The website final redesign has been implemented – it’s beautiful! The mobile app has been redesigned, too – just visit www.richfieldmnchamber.org on your mobile device to check it out!

All rolled up – enhanced e-marketing strategies mean more visibility for RCOC members which is good, good, good!

…and yes, it’s still Thursday.

Did you know that Old Country Buffet has undergone a facelift?! I learned all about it during a meeting with their field marketing representative, John Tuset this afternoon. Come and checkout everything they have to offer at their ribbon cutting event on April 24 and/or the next Rise & Shine Richfield event on May 13…my stomach is already grumbling!

….the Thursday marathon is coming to end and at the finish line….

A wonderful ribbon cutting event at BMO Harris bank – if you haven’t experienced their beautifully remodeled bank, you should check it out – very sleek and European. Congratulations to Nicole Krolikowski and the great team at BMO for completing this difficult process and for supporting the work of the RCOC and Richfield Community for well over 50 years!

…and now, the day is d-o-n-e!