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Official Newsletter of the Eatonton-Putnam Chamber of Commerce


Volume 13, Issue 7

Institute for Organization Management, the professional development program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, is pleased to announce that Becky Needham, membership manager of the Eatonton-Putnam Chamber of Commerce, has graduated from the program and has received the recognition of IOM. Awarded to all graduates of the Institute program, the IOM graduate recognition signifies the individual’s completion of 96 hours of course instruction in nonprofit management. “Institute graduates are recognized across the country as leaders in their industries and organizations,” said Raymond P. Towle, IOM, CAE, the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s vice president of Institute for Organization Management. “These individuals have the knowledge, skills and dedication necessary to achieve professional and organizational success in the dynamic association and chamber industries.”

July 2013

How do you Choose the Right Social Media Tools?

Monday, July 8, the EatontonPutnam Chamber of Commerce and Eatonton Main Street hosted a Social Media Workshop led by Lauren Cleland, media specialist for the Georgia Department of Economic Development. Cleland has been named one of the top 100 tourism professionals on Twitter and maintains the state’s Explore Georgia social Explore Georgia’s Media Specialist Lauren Cleland and Classic Smith media sites. In 2012, GeorConstruction Owner Kerri Smith discuss social media. gia was ranked 21 out of the 50 states regarding online presence, but today it is ranked eighth, proving Cleland’s expertise. At the workshop, Cleland gave attendees tips regarding social media management for a business, and after the general presentation, she held private sessions with individuals who needed specific advice regarding their business’ social media platform(s). If you weren’t able to make it, read the tips below to revamp your social sites! Everyone is doing it, and so should you! Although your mom taught you not to go along with what everyone else is doing, joining a social media network is not something to avoid as a business. Businesses should get involved with sites their customers are using in order to reach them more effectively. The top three most popular social media sites are Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, but Cleland also uses Instagram,YouTube, Flickr, Google+, Trip Advisor, Wordpress, Four Square, Vine and more to market Georgia. Social media sites are large virtual platforms used to spread word of mouth, which is the most valuable type of promotion. Seventy percent of people trust online recommendations while only 14 trust advertisements. Eighty percent of people prefer to contact a brand through social media sites rather than completing an information request form on a website Continued on page 3...

The Putnam Greene Young Professionals held its kickoff event on June 18 at Bone Island Grill. PGYP will meet monthly for Sip n’ Bites at local restaurants to boost the economy, create new connections and to give back to the community through Pictured, David Collis, Brittany Moore and Sam Mcservice projects and opportunities. Gaughey catch up at Sip n’ Bites at Bone Island Grill.

Upcoming Events

Working on Wellness with Angie Ribbon Cutting

RSVP: 706-485-7701 | Tuesday, July 16: Sip n’ Bites, Putnam Greene Young Professionals monthly meeting from 5 to 8 p.m. Admission is the donation of a canned good for local food drives. Support, grow, lead and connect with young professionals from Putnam and Greene counties over food and drink specials. The meeting will be held at Bulldog Supper Club, located at 5900 Lake Oconee Parkway in Greensboro. For more information, contact Sarah Evans at or 404-597-6620. Wednesday, July 17: Networking @ Noon, sponsored by Saltamacchio’s Tang Soo Do Karate School from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Plaza Arts Center, $15 for Chamber Members, $25 for non-members. Agenda includes lunch, Chamber updates, sponsor presentation, table introductions, commercials and general networking. The Plaza Arts Center is located at 305 N. Madison Avenue in Eatonton. Friday, July 19: Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Lake Oconee Dentistry at 11 a.m. Join us in celebrating the new location at 1011 Parkside Main in Greensboro. Tuesday, July 30: Coffee Connections presentation by Georgia Department of Economic Development Tourism Department from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at Spillin the Beans. Connect over coffee with a representative of the Chamber board and staff along with fellow members while learning about important issues affecting our community. The guest speaker will be Rebekah Cline, tourism project manager, with the Historic Heartland Travel Association. Spillin the Beans is located at 646 Old Phoenix Road in Eatonton. Thursday, August 8: Business After Hours CoSponsored by Farmers & Merchants Bank and Rock Eagle 4-H Center from 5 to 7 p.m. The evening will feature food and beverage, door prizes and fun for everyone. The event will be held at the downtown Eatonton branch of Farmers & Merchants Bank at 100 South Madison Avenue in Eatonton. July 2013 / Page 2

Working on Wellness with Angie held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, June 7 to celebrate the grand opening at 103 Harmony Crossing in Eatonton. WOW offers weight loss consulting, wellness programs and diabetes education with programs ranging from one-on-one consulting that offer individualized plans and support to monthly group meetings for clients that offer education on living a healthy lifestyle. Healthy milkshakes and weight loss coffee and tea are available from 8 to 10 a.m., Monday through Thursday, as well as healthy treats such as pecan oil, chocolate covered almonds, healthy shake powder and cooking spices. Owner Angie Helmly is a walking testimony for her wellness programs. Angie’s own success with her two decade nursing career and 14 years as an educator, led her to help others by starting her own business. For more information, call 706-473-3501 or visit

Welcome! New Chamber Members “At Your Service’’ Catering & Country Kitchen Judy Leeson

706-485-5745 | 899 Harmony Road, Suite 8 & 9, Eatonton, GA 31024 A full service caterer and lunch buffet.

Golden Harvest Food Bank Shannon Jones

706-736-1199 | 3310 Commerce Drive, Augusta, GA 30909 Provides quality food and other grocery products to those in need.

Community Newcomers Suzanne Nilson

324 Rockville Springs Drive, Eatonton, GA 31024

David & Nancy Johnson

188 Rockville Springs Dive, Eatonton, GA 31024

Rev. James Stoltenberg, Lake Oconee Lutheran Church 1089 Lake Oconee Parkway, Eatonton, GA 31024 Welcome these newcomers by sending information about your business.

Lake Country Pharmacy and Compounding Center Ribbon Cutting Lake Country Pharmacy & Compounding Center held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, June 4 to celebrate the grand opening of the new pharmacy at 1110 Commerce Dr., Suite 110 in Greensboro. Lake Country Pharmacy offers retail prescription medications, health related over-the-counter items, specialty supplements and custom compounding. The business is owned by brothers Carey and Chris Vaughan, both pharmacists. A strong belief of the business is that service matters and serving customers and the community is a priority. Transferring prescriptions is made easy; just ask Lake Country Pharmacy and the rest will be handled. Most major insurance companies are accepted, allowing co-pays to usually stay the same. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. For more information, call 706-923-2933 or visit

Social Media Tools continued from page 1... or inquiring via email. An advantage of businesses using social media networks is that they can communicate with customers before, during and after they visit a business or use its product. Using a social networking site to contact businesses feels more personal to the customer because it is the same site he or she uses to connect with friends. Before moving forward with social media tactics, a business needs to first define its goals and audience. Knowing a business’ audience is crucial because it directly affects which social media platform is best to use. For example, Pinterest has a very large female demographic and research shows that women now make most household decisions and purchases. Pinterest drives more sales than any other social media network site and it’s a great social media option for businesses directed toward women. As a social media novice, Cleland recommends mastering one social media platform before creating multiple. The worst thing a business owner can do it create a social media page and abandon it. Once one platform is mastered, create another and begin juggling two networks. Although it is not necessary for a business to have every social media platform in existence, if a business has multiple platforms, managing them can be made easier by scheduling posts in advance through a website called Hootsuite for Twitter or through the Facebook page Activity Log which allows a page to write statuses and schedule them to be posted at a later date. Social media sites can be used for researching a business’ customer-base by posting fill-in-the-blank Facebook or Twitter statuses. For example, one of Cleland’s favorite statuses to post on the Explore Georgia Facebook page is, “If I could spend the weekend anywhere in Georgia it would be_______.” Posts such as this engage customer interaction as people comment back with their favorite aspects of a business. Through this, businesses discover what their audience finds most interesting and gain general feedback that will allow them to tailor their services to their customers’ wants and

Cleland meets with Katy Meeks from the Lodge on Lake Oconee.

needs; a fun and easy way to improve customer service. Review sites such as Trip Advisor and Yelp come highly recommended by Cleland for businesses to monitor. These sites exist for customers of all types to write reviews about their experience with a business and to rate its service. Cleland encourages businesses to monitor the comments by customers and to reply to both positive and negative remarks in order to show customers the importance placed on their satisfaction and the business’ desire to improve. Cleland suggests all business owners create a Google+ account because Google is now making it more difficult for a business to appear at the top of search engine results if it does not have a Google+ account. There is no need to maintain the Google+ account after creating it; its existence simply improves search engine optimization results for a business. For more information regarding how Cleland uses social media to market Georgia, email or follow one of the social media sites:, or July 2013 / Page 3

The Chamber Corner, July 2013 Presorted Standard U.S. Postage PAID Eatonton, GA Permit No. 6

706-485-7701 | fax 706-485-3277 PO Box 4088 | 305 N. Madison Avenue Eatonton, GA 31024

Chamber Staff: Roddie Anne Blackwell, President Becky Needham, Membership Manager Bonnie Simmons, Tourism Manager

Board of Directors: Lowell White, III, Chair Calvert & White Custom Homes Jay Gregory, Vice Chair Gregory Bridge Company Bryce McCuin, Treasurer 2JS Interactive Eric Arena Putnam County Charter School System

2013 Chamber Champions!

Terri Camp Rock Eagle 4-H Center Duncan Criscoe Crooked Pines Farm Rita Daniel Eatonton Chiropractic Center Carrie Dietrich Central Georgia Technical College Brandy Huskins Huskins Law Firm LLC Wes Lewis Georgia Power Company Brett Mauldin MarbleWorks, Inc. Cynthia Wallace Real Estate Agent


The Eatonton-Putnam Chamber of Commerce is committed to the promotion, enhancement and unity of the business community, and is vested in the development of Eatonton-Putnam County as a premiere tourist destination.

Strategic Goals:

1. Support Business & Community 2. Support Tourism


Growth, Prosperity & Unity

July 2013 Newsletter  

The Eatonton-Putnam Chamber of Commerce's newsletter for the month of July highlighting Chamber news.

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