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Open House at Spin Games

Published by Christina on January 12, 2015, in Case Studies, General, Recent Projects, Social Media, Startups

NCET STYLE –

And since we’re in gaming, a few games will be on-hand for your entertainment. Winners will receive gift certificates to Squeeze In, Campo and Coffeebar Reno

From NCET – Reno startup, Spin Games, is at the forefront of new gaming technology. Its core technology was developed to address the need for mobile technology for the $200 million for-wager industry; Spin Games is also using that same technology to build applications for the $3 billion social gaming industry. (Yes, you read that right – the social gaming, non-wager gaming industry is much larger than the for-wager industry!)

Join us at Tech Wednesday on January 14 for a look at Spin Games’ new office space at 100 Washington Street. Hear how this small, local company is revolutionizing gaming with HTML5-based technology that is transforming the way gaming content is delivered. Spin Games has created such technologies as (MIG) Multi-player Interactive Gaming TM, multi-level progressives, and new applications that allow players to use their own mobile devices to play community-based games for-wager or social gaming. Don’t miss this opportunity to meet the mathematicians, programmers, engineers, graphic artists and the local team that brings these games to life. (Spin Games also has a creative center in Bangkok, Thailand.)

Company President Kent Young will share his perspective on the future of gaming and discuss how casinos are evolving to embrace mobile gaming. He has worked in the industry for more than 25 years and is affectionately known as the “penny slot guy” for his role in bringing the popular games to the U.S. market. His expertise in finding new niches in which to evolve is the driving force behind Spin Games. Learn more about Spin Games at spingames.net Register today – Wednesday, January 14, 2015, 5:30 > 7:30 * $15 – NCET members
* $25 – non-members
* $10 – Children under 18 accompanied by parent or adult guardian NCET events have been selling out! RSVP early so you don’t miss this great event. NCET members receive substantial discounts on NCET events and your membership pays for itself quickly. Join NCET now and save! Spin Games Reno
100 Washington St.,
Reno, NV 89501, USA.

The fine print:

  • We encourage you to pay in advance as there’s a $10 service charge if you pay at the door.
  • No-shows will be charged the full amount of the reservation unless cancelled at least 48 hours before the event.

For more information, contact NCET at (775) 453-0130 or info@NCET.org

 

Ready for the Pitch? Or Just Another Press Release?

Published by Christina on December 4, 2014, in Career Advice, Case Studies, General, Grammar, Social Media, Startups

I stumbled upon this article a few days ago and it resonated with me on so many levels. I hope you feel the same after reading. I’m astounded that when it comes to PR we are still plugging away utilizing old school tactics. Guess what, they work – as long as you work also.

Kate Finley is going to give you a few tips and I will add my two cents by stating that if your intent is to obtain more positive press coverage in 2015, be sure to print this blog and put it on display in your office. To boot, visit another blog from a hip new agency in my hometown http://theabbiagency.com/top-5-tips-writing-perfect-press-release/ and check out their top five tips to writing a press release (beware, you may crave a cupcake after you absorb the sample press release). The synergy between the two is astounding!

One last thought, don’t worry if you’ve already made a few mistakes, we all do. I was guilty of one myself this past fall. Buck-up, take responsibility for your efforts, strive to reach a new level within your media relationships and don’t fret about the past. What’s done is done. Onward.

Kate Finley is founder and CEO of Belle Communications, an integrated communications agency in Columbus, Ohio specializing in PR, social media and content marketing for food, restaurant and startup brands. A version of this article originally appeared on Muck Rack, a service that enables you to find journalists by searching their bios, tweets and articles, and pitch them to get more press.

11 reasons why journalists don’t reply to your pitches

Don’t automatically blame the arrogant reporter for ignoring your pitch. Instead, assume the problem lies on your end. You might be surprised at the ROI of your attitude change.
By Kate Finley | Posted: December 2, 2014
No matter how long you’ve been in PR, there are times when you feel like you pitch into an abyss of silence and rejection. The lack of replies causes you to feel insecure. You question your ability to get coverage for your client.The good news: The lack of a reply almost never means a journalist hates you. Take that off your list. Often no response simply calls for assessing your pitch and making needed adjustments. 

To increase your odds of a reply, use this list of often-overlooked mistakes:

1. You have the wrong contact. Even if you worked with the journalist recently, she could be on vacation. Her publication could have shifted coverage or moved to a different outlet. Her job in her media outlet could have changed. Even after you consult Muck Rack, it’s better to be sure before you send that pitch. Call the receptionist or newsroom to ask if so-and-so is still the correct contact for what you’re pitching. Warning: Don’t ask for “the person who covers news.” You may get stuck with a gatekeeper who promises you he’ll “pass your information on,” i.e., a dead end.

2. You didn’t research. It’s essential to conduct due diligence before pitching a story. I can’t tell you how many pitches I’ve gotten that had nothing to do with our business blog. Warning: Great writing won’t save your pitch if it goes to the wrong inbox.

3. Your pitch is too long. Journalists are very busy. For every relevant pitch they receive, dozens or hundreds of pitches miss the mark and get deleted. Get to the point right away by answering these questions: Is my news tailored to this outlet and its editorial preferences? Is my news unique and interesting? Is my news time-sensitive? Does it have a clear call to action?

4. Your email subject line was misleading or uninteresting. Keep your subject line short enough for mobile. Capture attention right away and don’t mislead. Warning: If you try to use trickery like adding “Re:” or “Fwd:” before your subject line, you risk being pegged as a spammer. You can count on that journalist promptly deleting your emails.

5. You didn’t offer a compelling story. Just because you’ve been asked to “place” a news release doesn’t mean journalists want to cover it. Home in on the story. Humanize your pitch as much as possible. Consider moving beyond the simple facts. Propose potential story ideas.

6. You didn’t create a sense of urgency. This seems basic, but it’s very easy to forget a call-to-action (CTA) in your pitch. You don’t just want the journalist to consider it. Get the idea across that this pitch is on a time-sensitive event or issue. It’s important for her to consider it now.

7. You waited too long to follow up. This trips pitchers often. Don’t wait weeks to follow up. Send your pitch; wait a few days to re-pitch; be sure to add value with each contact. Warning: If you wait too long, your pitch will be forgotten. You’ll have missed a prime opportunity.

8. You didn’t follow up. I’ve heard reporters say that if you don’t get a reply, they’re not interested and there’s no need to follow up. My experience has been quite different. Journalists are busy. Pitches rarely get picked up on the first contact and follow-up is necessary in most cases. If your research has convinced you your idea is a perfect fit, follow up. Be ready to explain WHY.

9. You didn’t allow enough lead-time. It’s November and you have a fabulous New Year’s idea for a national publication. Even better, you see a perfect opportunity in the publication’s editorial calendar. The problem? Lead-time. Particularly when you work with national media, allow four to six months. Check editorial close dates before you pitch. If you pitched without enough lead-time, point out the error in your follow-up email and offer an idea for months later.

10. You pitched like you were selling something. I see this often; it still makes me angry. PR is not advertising. Your pitch must be descriptive, compelling and persuasive, not pushy, self-promotional or obnoxious. Your pitch should be about the reporter and her publication’s needs, not your own.

11. The reporter just isn’t interested in your story . This item is last on my list intentionally. In my experience, if you craft a well-researched, tailored pitch and follow the above steps, you’ll get a reply.

It may not be the reply you hoped for. Often you’ll get a quick reply thanking you for your idea and explaining that it can’t be covered now, but they will keep you in mind. It’s still a no but it’s a reply, which allows you some closure.

A good pitch is a pitch treated as a piece of art created for the journalist you contact. It should inspire an appreciative response, even if she doesn’t cover your story. Pitches like these result in positive, high-quality, mutually beneficial relationships with journalists.

 

Here’s How a Thank You Goes a Long Way

Published by Christina on September 24, 2014, in Career Advice, Case Studies, Charitable Giving, General

Would you like to be a gracious recipient of funds, support and camaraderie? Take a tip from Shannon Skarrit, Director of Membership & Outreach for the Tahoe Rim Trail Association.

After a great celebration at Coffeebar on Monday, Sept. 22 (see prior post) – I, along with a few others, received the following notes the following day:

Hello Everyone,

I can’t say THANK YOU enough for all of your help yesterday as we hosted the 33 Year Celebration event at Coffeebar. Working with you all made the event go so smooth, fun and successful! I’ve received some great emails from people who attended last night expressing their thanks for such a great event! I have YOU to thank! You all had great attitudes and came ready to pitch in and help wherever you were needed. Special events can often times be stressful, but I must say that yesterday I didn’t feel any stress because I knew I could count on each one of you. No matter the challenge, you stepped up to it! So, thank you for all you do and WHO you are!

I hope you all had a fun night as well and were able to catch up with old and new friends! I hope to see many of you at our Annual Meeting on October 8 where we’ll celebrate together again!

My deepest gratitude & thanks,

Shannon

Nevada 150 Official Event

Nevada 150 Official Event, Monday, September 22 @ 4:30 Coffeebar Reno

 

Greg & Christina,

Thank you again for a wonderful evening last night. Greg, your staff were delightful to work with and were such gracious hosts! We had over 60 of our top volunteers, donors and partners join us for this fun celebration and your venue was ideal for such an occasion.Thank you as well for the donated gift cards and coffee for our thank you bags!

And thank you Christina for helping us expand our presence in the Reno area! I think this event was perfect for our Reno donors, partners and sponsors-right in their neighborhood. I was blown away by the 60 people who came and enjoyed a fun evening with us who were also so enthusiastic about the TRTA. This event truly brought old and new friends/partners together. Thank you!

With gratitude,

Shannon

 

Coffeebar Supports the Tahoe Rim Trail Challenge

 

Tahoe Rim Trail Association Salutes Tahoe Rim Trail Challenge Sponsors at Official Nevada Sesquicentennial Anniversary Celebration

Published by Christina on September 16, 2014, in Case Studies, Charitable Giving, General, Recent Projects, Social Media

Coffeebar Reno and Sunshine Tahoe are pleased to host this celebration for the Tahoe Rim Trail Association (TRTA), their Trail Challengers and the sponsors that have helped to ensure the success of this new and rewarding program.  

Nevada 150 Official Event

Nevada 150 Official Event, Monday, September 22 @ 4:30 Coffeebar Reno

This year over 2,300 miles were traveled by the 452 Trail Challenge members on the 165-mile Tahoe Rim Trail. Sixteen sponsors helped make the Tahoe Rim Trail Challenge possible these past two years, and on Monday, September 22, 2014 these sponsors will be celebrated as well as the thirty-third anniversary of the Tahoe Rim Trail Association (TRTA). Members, sponsors and those interested in learning more about the TRTA are invited to join us for this fun evening.

The Tahoe Rim Trail Association in partnership with Sunshine Tahoe and Coffeebar, are hosting a night to honor supporters, showcase a historical display of the thirty-three year history of the Tahoe Rim Trail and the Association that made it happen, and share a brief state of the trail address. This celebration, which is also an official event of the Nevada Sesquicentennial Anniversary Celebration, will be held Sept. 22 at Coffeebar Reno, 682 Mount Rose St., Reno at 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. with light food and drinks. Please RSVP today, as we want to make sure you are in the loop and able to enjoy all that the party has to offer. Register Now.

The Tahoe Trail Rim Challenge is a family-friendly outdoor adventure which encourages enthusiasts of all levels to get out and enjoy the lush beauty of the Tahoe Rim Trail while supporting the maintenance of the trail through membership. Participants who join will receive special web access to download select maps and hike descriptions which lead to special places along the Tahoe Rim Trail. The program welcomes hikers, bikers, equestrians, individuals, families, teams, hiking groups and corporations who want to get outdoors and help sustain the trail. The cost to join is $55 for individuals and $85 for families (includes 2 participants). Team rates are also available. Existing TRTA members and additional family members can enroll for only $20. In addition to the special maps and hikes participants will receive online web features for tracking and sharing their challenge, a sporty tech T-shirt, invitations to special Where’s McLeod? Giveaway Days and a one-year TRTA membership.

Tahoe Rim Trail

ABOUT THE TAHOE RIM TRAIL ASSOCIATION (TRTA)

Established in 1981, the Tahoe Rim Trail Association is a membership-supported organization that maintains, enhances and promotes the Tahoe Rim Trail, a trail like no other™ The 165-mile,single-track trail is open to hikers, equestrians, and mountain bikers. The trail encompasses the ridge tops of the Lake Tahoe Basin, crossing six counties, and two states. The Tahoe Rim Trail overlaps with approximately fifty miles of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail.  Programs offered include in-depth backcountry skills trainings, hiking programs and rewarding volunteer opportunities. The TRTA annually recruits, trains and manages approximately 1,000 volunteers who contribute more than 17,000 hours to support TRTA’s mission. Volunteer efforts, individual and corporate donations and grant funding make TRTA’s annual stewardship work and more than one hundred free public offerings possible. Visit http://www.tahoerimtrail.org to learn more or contact TRTA’s Shannon Skarritt, shannons@tahoerimtrail.org, (775) 298-4490.

2014 Trail Challenge Sponsors – We Salute You

CA Technologies, KPS|3, REI, NV Energy, KOLO 8 News Now, Squeeze In (Reno, Sparks & Truckee), North American Embroidery, Coffeebar Reno & Truckee, Desert Research Institute DRI, Nicole Cheslock Communications, Tahoe Mountain Sports, YESCO Outdoor Media, Spin Games, Hometown Health, Tahoe Trail Bar

 

 

KOLO 8 News Now Took the Reigns for the Tahoe Rim Trail Challenge on Saturday, Aug. 23

Published by Christina on August 22, 2014, in Case Studies, Charitable Giving, General, Recent Projects

KOLO 8 NEWS NOW ON THE TAHOE RIM TRAIL

Where’s McLeod? Giveaway Day

Your favorite news team hits the trail with you!

The Tahoe Rim Trail Association’s next, Where’s McLeod? Giveaway Day” made headlines with KOLO 8 News Now!

Doug Tepe, KOLO Eight News Now and "Red" Petra Keller's Tahoe Rim Trail Token Horse

Reno’s regional news station has stepped up to this year’s challenge and enjoyed the trail with their news crew and Trail Challengers alike! On Saturday, Aug 23 KOLO 8 News Now was on the trail ready to catch Trail Challengers in action!

Those that found McLeod on the trail and received a cool Tahoe Rim Trail Trail Challenge tech hat from KOLO 8.

2014 TAHOE RIM TRAIL CHALLENGE
There’s still time to join the 2014 Tahoe Rim Trail Challenge. Participants have until December 31, 2014 to explore six pristine locations selected as part of the 2014 Tahoe Rim Trail Challenge. Upon registration, Trail Challenge members will receive direct access to 6 downloadable maps and hike descriptions as well as a one-year membership to the TRTA. Members will also receive a Tahoe Rim Trail Challenge tech T-shirt which will help spread awareness about the Tahoe Rim Trail. Tahoe Rim Trail Challenge membership is $55 for individuals, $85 for families. Discounted team rates are also available. Existing TRTA members can enroll for just $20. To begin the challenge and to register visit: www.tahoerimtrail.org.
The 2014 Tahoe Rim Trail Challenge is made possible from individual and corporate sponsorship support including: NV Energy, CA Technologies, REI, Desert Research Institute, KPS3, KOLO8 News Now, Wells Fargo, Hometown Health, Sunshine Tahoe, NC Communications, Squeeze In, Tahoe Trail Bar, Coffeebar, North American Embroidery, YESCO Outdoor Media, Spin Games and Tahoe Mountain Sports.

 

Squeeze In Hosts Successful Tahoe Rim Trail Challenge Giveaway Day

Published by Christina on July 7, 2014, in Career Advice, Case Studies, Charitable Giving, General, Recent Projects

On Saturday, July 12 Squeeze In Hosted the Tahoe Rim Trail Assn.

Trail Challenge @ Tahoe Rim Trail Carson Pass / Showers Lake

I’m pleased to announced Squeeze In celebrated their second annual Tahoe Rim Trail Association (TRTA) Trail Challenge Giveaway. Three generations of the Squeeze In family were on the trail Saturday, July 12 as part of “Where’s McLeod Giveaway Day?”. Did you attend? If so, load up those photos. If you weren’t on the trail that day and eager to know what you missed? A generous complimentary breakfast certificate for each and every one of our Trail Challengers.

Not yet a member? Not to worry. Tahoe Rim Trail Challenge membership is $55 for individuals, $85 for families. Team rates are also available. Existing TRTA members can enroll for just $20. To begin the challenge and to register visit: www.tahoerimtrail.org.  My two cents, register now and don’t miss out on our next giveaway day.

As per usual, the trail always provides a surprise. From a hunt for McLeod to a beautiful horse and a who lot of smiles – who wouldn’t want to miss out on so much fun?

The 2nd Annual Tahoe Rim Trail Challenge continues to build momentum as over 350 hikers, bikers and equestrians and five large Reno-Tahoe base corporations engage their employees in the 2014 Tahoe Rim Trail Challenge. The program, now in its second year, has inspired both novice and seasoned trail users from the Reno-Tahoe, Sacramento and Bay areas to begin tackling small sections of the Tahoe Rim Trails through six single day hikes along the 165-mile Tahoe Rim Trail. Participants socialize by sharing their on-the-trail experiences, trail stories, pictures and blogging on the interactive, Tahoe Rim Trail Community; an online social media platform which is part of the Tahoe Rim Trail Association’s (TRTA) website.

Can’t make it to this giveaway day, don’t worry – there’s more.  Along with quite a few special surprises from our fantastic sponsors.

  • Saturday, July 19 – –Site #1
  • Saturday, August 9 – Site #3
  • Saturday, August 23 – Site #5
  • Saturday, September 13- Site #2
  • Saturday, September 27 – Site #1

    Please Practice Leave No Trace

    • Plan Ahead and Prepare
    • Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
    • Dispose of Waste Properly

    Trailhead & Parking

    • $5 Parking Fee per vehicle
    • Trailhead kiosk
    • Restroom Facilities
    • Bear safe trash receptacles

    Pet Friendly Notes

    Please keep your dog on a leash within the developed facilities, including the day use areas and trailheads. Please pickup or bury your pet’s waste as you would your own.

    Seasons Accessible

    Trail and parking lot are open all year. Note that the facilities are seasonal.

    For Current Trail Conditions please visit: http://tahoerimtrail.org and click on the icon.

    Be Considerate of Other Visitors

    • Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
    • Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail.
    • Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock.
    • Take breaks to the side of trail and allow other visitors to pass
    • Let nature’s sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.
    • Leave What You Find
    • Minimize Campfire Impacts
    • Respect Wildlife
    • Be Considerate of Other Visitors

    The Tahoe Rim Trail Association is a proud Non-Profit Organization Member of Leave No Trace.

    The 2014 Tahoe Rim Trail Challenge is made possible from individual and corporate sponsorship support including: NV Energy, CA Technologies, REI, Desert Research Institute, KPS3, KOLO 8, Reno Gazette Journal, Wells Fargo, Hometown Health, Sunshine Tahoe, NC Communications, Squeeze In, Tahoe Trail Bar, Coffeebar, North American Embroidery, YESCO Outdoor Media and Tahoe Mountain Sports.

    # # #

    ABOUT THE TAHOE RIM TRAIL ASSOCIATION (TRTA)

    Established in 1981, TRTA is a membership-supported organization that maintains and enhances the Tahoe Rim Trail, a trail like no other™. TRTA exists to practice and inspire stewardship, promote access to the beauty of the Lake Tahoe region and sustain the Tahoe Rim Trail system. This mission is accomplished through two overarching programs: Trail Operations and Trail Use. Both programs offer in-depth trainings and rewarding volunteer opportunities. TRTA recruits, trains and manages approximately 1,000 volunteers who contribute more than 17,000 hours annually to support TRTA’s mission. Volunteer efforts, individual and corporate donations and grant funding make TRTA’s annual stewardship work and more than one hundred free public offerings possible. Visit http://www.tahoerimtrail.org.

     

     

     

    SAVE MONDAY SEPT. 22 AND CELEBRATE THE TAHOE RIM TRAIL

    Published by Christina on June 18, 2014, in Career Advice, Case Studies, Charitable Giving, General, Recent Projects, Social Media

    On Monday, September 22 at Coffeebar Reno the Tahoe Rim Trail Association will celebrate 33 years of Tahoe Rim Trail Stewardship

     

     

    Nevada 150 Official Event

     

    Official Nevada 150 Event, Celebrating 33 years of the Tahoe Rim Trail

    Recognized as an “Official Event” as a part of Nevada’s Sesquicentennial Celebration, Sunshine Tahoe and Coffeebar Reno are hosting a party in honor of the Tahoe Rim Trail Associations volunteers, donors, sponsors, supporters and Trail Challengers. The semi-private event is slated for Monday, September 22 @ Coffeebar Reno from 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Mingle with three decades of trail builders, maintainers, Trail Challenge sponsors.

    DO YOU LOVE A GOOD CHALLENGE?

    Are you ready to get outside?

    Enroll now for access to Tahoe’s Premiere trail program, the Tahoe Rim Trail Challenge. As a member you are going to enjoy endless adventures, suprising comraderei on the trail, an annual membership to the Tahoe Rim Trail Association (TRTA)  and a super cool t-shirt (literally, it’s a tech-t so it will keep you cool and the design is simply that – cool).

     

    Being a member is also a lovely gift for friends and family, come out on a sponsor giveaway day and we’ll take photos and provide a complimentary gift to you for being a part of a program. The Tahoe Rim Trail Challenge (TRTC) not only encourages a healthy lifestyle and safe terrain for outdoor adventures, this program helps sustain the Tahoe Rim Trail Association. Now entering its 33rd year, with government funding down close to 70%, this is a great opportunity for all of us to help take care of the Tahoe Rim Trail and have a great time while doing so.

    About the 2014 Tahoe Rim Trail Challenge
    We invite you to take on Tahoe’s next big challenge, and explore some of the best pieces the165-mile Tahoe Rim Trail has to offer!

    As part of the Tahoe Rim Trail Challenge, we have selected six premier destinations along the trail, which highlight something unique to Lake Tahoe: Amazing panoramic vistas, alpine lakes and creeks, wildflower-infused meadows, lush waterfalls, unique geology, rich history & much more! Depending upon the trail and season, you can hike, bike, and ride horseback, ski or snowshoe to complete each challenge site all in one year.

    New this year! Tahoe Rim Trail Challengers have the option of completing your challenge as either a Trail Blazer or Trail Explorer! Trail Blazers will head out and explore six short (2-6 miles) easy treks while our Trail Explorers are challenged with going the extra mile and can explore (6-12 miles) longer and moderate treks that take you further along the Tahoe Rim Trail!

    It’s all up to you and how much of a challenge you’re looking for this year. Completing any or all of the challenges makes you a 2014 Tahoe Rim Trail Challenge winner!

    TELL ME MORE

    Where’s McLeod? Giveaway Days

    Have you seen trail mascot, McLeod the Marmot along the Tahoe Rim Trail? This summer, he too, will be taking on the Tahoe Rim Trail Challenge and will make a special appearance at each of our six Where’s McLeod? Giveaway Days! Various Saturday’s this summer the TRTA and our sponsors will be with McLeod passing out cool surprises from our sponsors and cheering you on as you take on each of your six challenge treks. Grab your friends and family and see if you can find McLeod and get your picture taken with him. BE SURE TO WEAR YOUR TRTC T-SHIRT TO ALL GIVEAWAY DAYS!

    So, how does it work?

    1. To start, you will need to enroll in the Tahoe Rim Trail Challenge as an individual, family or a member of a team. (Team rates are available.)

    2. Once you enroll, click on Join the Tahoe Rim Trail Community at the upper left of this page to begin accessing the six maps and hike descriptions of the Tahoe Rim Trail Challenge and to start sharing your experiences and photos.

    3. Once you’ve Joined the Tahoe Rim Trail Community Once you’re logged in, you can then start sharing your experiences and photos or edit your profile.

    Quick Access for Tahoe Rim Trail Challengers:

    To easily access these features of the Tahoe Rim Trail Challenge, login to the Tahoe Rim Trail Community and click on any one of these links to access maps, track your challenge and to run team leader reports.

    Tahoe Rim Trail Challenge Highlights

    • Who: You and your friends, family, hiking parters, colleagues or go solo.  After all, it’s your adventure.
    • What:  Hike, bike or ride your horse to six premier destination chosen for the 2014 Tahoe Rim Trail Challenge
    • Where: Six day-hike locations varying in length from 2-12 miles which all lead you to spectacular views and sites located along the 165-mile Tahoe Rim Trail.
    • When: Anytime between January 1-December 31, 2014 (snowshoeing encouraged)
    • Cost:  $55 individual $85 family. $20 for current TRTA members and additional family members. Group rates available.

    What do I receive when join the 2014 Tahoe Rim Trail Challenge?

    • A 1-year Tahoe Rim Trail Association membership.
    • Tahoe Rim Trail Challenge tech t-shirt to sport while on the trail.
    • Access to members-only WebPages and features to download maps and hike descriptions.
    • A place to share your photos and use an online tracking system to record your challenge.
    • An opportunity to enhance your health and well being.
    • Meet new friends and trail enthusiasts.
    • All participants will receive special invitations to our on the trail Where’s McLeod? Giveaway Days this summer! Stay tuned!

     

     

     

    The TRTA would like to thank our 2014 Tahoe Rim Trail Challenge Sponsors for your wonderful support.

    PRESENTING SPONSORS

    RGJ logo160x121 NV Energy logo160x121 REI logo large jpeg

    CA Technologies Logo 160x121KPS3100x100

    MAJOR MEDIA SPONSOR

     

    GENEROUS PROGRAM SPONSORS

    Sunshine Tahoe200x100SqueezeIn150X100Nicole Cheslock200x100 Hometown HealthTahoe Trail Bar Logo150x100

    THOUGHTFUL IN-KIND SPONSORS

    Would you like to become a 2014 Tahoe Rim Trail Challenge Sponsor? Contact Shannon at the Tahoe Rim Trail Association at 775-298-4485 or info@tahoerimtrail.org for more information. Christina promises to spoil you rotten.

     

     

     

     

    Keywords Are It!

    Published by Christina on January 3, 2014, in Career Advice, Case Studies, General, Grammar, Social Media

    I absolutely love this piece by Titus Hoskins, Hostway  Web Resources or http://www.hostway.com

    Seven Powerful and Useful Keyword Marketing Tools

    By Titus Hoskins

    After years of running Web sites and earning a full-time online income, I am constantly reminded that it all comes down to keywords. Actually, it all comes down to obtaining top rankings for your profitable keywords in the search engines, mainly Google.

    And that statement has to be refined even further, it’s all about obtaining top keyword rankings and keeping them at the top. You must consistently keep your keywords in the top spots on that all important first page of SERPs since your keyword rankings can make or break your online marketing.

    If you’re targeting extremely competitive and profitable keywords you will have your work cut out for you; unless you have tons of money to buy your way (links) into the top spots, expect to spend months if not years, getting to those top listings. Google has frowned upon link buying and has taken steps to fight it, but this practice is still widespread throughout the Web.

    Most beginning and honest Webmasters want to take the proper route and earn those top rankings by providing good quality content that Web users will actually find helpful and useful. They build those links the natural way by offering viral link bait in the form of videos, ebooks, articles, reports… all branded with backlinks to their sites.

    Gradually over time, these links will build up and your keyword rankings will go up in the search engines. People will find your content and bookmark it in all the social bookmark sites like Digg, Facebook, MySpace… and your rankings will climb even faster.

    However, since keyword marketing has become extremely competitive, you do need a little help with achieving those top rankings. Over the years I have tested and used many keyword tools and I have listed some of the best ones below. (Just Google to find links to these tools and programs.)

    1. Internet Success Spider

    One of the first keyword tools I ever used was The Internet Success Spider by Neil Shearing which is now free. The Spider is a very simple, yet powerful keyword tool because it shows you the major players in your keyword niche. It slowly works in the background to give you valuable information on your keywords. I realized very quickly, with marketing (like most things in life) that information is what separates the losers from the winners.

    2. Keyword Elite

    Later, I tried and am still using Keyword Elite by Brad Callen, it remains one of the best keyword research tools on the market. I can directly link many of my keyword successes to my early use of this tool.

    Brad Callen simply creates some of the best marketing tools for online Webmasters and marketers. KE is no exception. It will do some very comprehensive keyword research for you and let you easily arrange that information. Keyword Elite has earned a well deserved reputation as a very useful marketing tool.

    3. Brainstorm It — Site Build It

    Another, perhaps even more powerful keyword tool is Brainstorm It! which is offered through the Site Build It marketing/hosting system run by Ken Evoy. This is a powerful keyword analyzer and finder, which is now in its third version.

    SBI run by Ken Evoy creates many tools for Webmasters, and Brainstorm It, Version 3 is simply one of the best. This keyword tool will do both vertical and lateral keyword research to give the most comprehensive array of information for your marketing online. Only negative, you only get so many Wordtracker credits and you have to pay extra when those run out. Actually, Wordtracker should be at the top of any keyword tool list, but I have mainly used it in conjunction with other programs like Brainstorm It.

    4. Google Keyword Tool

    Then again, there is Google’s own keyword system run through its AdWords program. Like everything Google does, this keyword tool can be very helpful especially for the novice online marketer.

    5. MSN Commercial Intention Of Keywords

    Not to be outdone, another helpful tool is Microsoft’s Online Commercial Intention tool, which tells the probability your chosen keyword has a commercial value to it.

    6. SEOBook Online Keyword Tool

    For very quick keyword references, I like using Aaron Wall’s keyword tool on his SEOBook site. It’s quick and gives very good stats for your chosen keywords.

    7.SEOQuake

    Still yet another SEO (sort of related to keywords) is the SeoQuake Toolbar, which you can run on Firefox. It will slow down your browser but it will cough up valuable information about your site and more importantly, it will give you valuable information on your competitors’ sites. One feature that I find very helpful is the SEM Rank and SEM Price, which tells you how much your Search Engine keyword traffic is worth.

    Plus, you must not ignore your Web site stats and traffic logs for they can supply you with your most valuable keyword information regarding your site. Closely examine which keyword phrases are bringing in the traffic and/or sales. Develop these keywords with your marketing, especially any “long tail” keyword phrases visitors are using to find your site or products. These longer keyword phrases have proven to be the most profitable because many times consumers using these phrases already have their minds made up on what they’re going to buy.

    Why Am I Using All These Keyword Tools?

    Simply because obtaining and keeping top rankings for my chosen keywords is my livelihood. Unless I can keep that focused traffic coming from these keywords via the search engines; it’s game over. Therefore, I use all the tools and information I can gather in order to keep those keywords at the top.

    Google is always changing, you really have to stay on your game if you want to keep your keywords at the top. It all boils down to producing quality content Web surfers need and want. The SEO pretty much takes care of itself as long as you keep promoting your keywords with good viral branded content like videos, articles, ebooks, PDF reports… and you must mix up your online link building to include links from such places as Facebook, Digg, Google Bookmarks, MySpace… I have always used the free “AddThis” button to all my important content and this has resulted in 100’s of free links that your visitors will build for you!

    I also believe you have to be careful when using viral articles to vary your anchor text (clickable part of a link) so that you don’t have the same keyword phrase repeated hundreds of times across the Web. Just use different versions of your keyword phrase and if you can, get those keyword links in the body of the article, as near to the top of the page as you can. This will make your link building look much more natural in the eyes of the search engines, especially Google.

    Overall, you must have hundreds, if not thousands of keywords that you’re targeting with your marketing. You must constantly keep building links for those keywords from related sites on the Web. Sometimes it is helpful to truly view your keywords as organic, something that keeps growing naturally on its own. But you must first build a solid foundation with good quality content and then keep nurturing those keywords with good quality link bait so that others will bookmark, recommend and link to your keyword content.

    Over the years, if there is anything I have learned about keywords which always holds true, it is this: you must be persistent. You must keep at it–building links, building content– it will usually take months, if not years, to get those top rankings for very competitive keywords, and it will take some further work to consistently keep those keywords in the top positions. But you will quickly learn keywords are well worth it since they can easily make or break your marketing.

    About The Author

    The author is a full-time online marketer who has numerous Web sites. For the latest Web marketing tools try: BizwareMagic.com. If you liked the article above, why not try this Free 7 Day Marketing Course here: http://www.marketingtoolguide.com.

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    What is your Heart Stone?

    Published by Christina on September 17, 2013, in Career Advice, Case Studies, Recent Projects

    What is your heart stone?

    For the past seven years I have had the absolute pleasure of attending a very special event, Trails & Vistas. As an experienced marketer, I still have difficulty explaining the event. Those of you that have attended Trails & Vistas often say the same when you leave the trail, all you know is that you are encouraged to “let go” of daily life and “check-in” to nature.

    This year’s journey included a special devotion to heart stones. Every attendee was invited to open a vessel, look at the heart shaped stone inside that’s settled in the sand. Then everyone looked even further as each heart had a very small colored stone inside. We were asked to remember the color of this tiny stone, close our eyes and hold the heart stone close to our own heart.

    We all received different colors and for different reasons, none of which I can explain. As we closed our eyes and held our individual stone to our heart, the definition of the color of the stone was read aloud – the silence was deafening.

    Purple means protection and purification, blue means mood uplifting, orange means courage and vitality, yellow means optimism, green means prosperity, pink means love and gentleness. As the colors continued to be read, I was surrounded by tears, smiles and a whirlwind of emotion. When my color was read aloud, I immediately knew it WAS the right stone for me and I’m confident I wasn’t alone.

    As we proceeded, I was excited and exhilarated and I couldn’t wait to share the color of my stone to my husband. When we shared our different colors and their individual meaning, they each made perfect sense in our life as it is today.

    I wouldn’t say it changed me or even made me a different person, quite honestly, it was the contrary. The experience reminded me of exactly who I am, and I intend to stay like this.

    Please remember, all well-intended efforts start from the heart… so why not allow them to end with your heart as well?

    edited by: Maura Connor

    Trails and Vistas

    Published by Christina on June 10, 2009, in Case Studies, Recent Projects

    Trails and Vistas is incredibly dear to my heart.   I hold the Marketing Chair on the Board of Directors. Executive Director Nancy Lopez passionately leads the organization, with strong support from InnerRhythms Dance Theatre, Truckee Donner Land Trust and Arts for the Schools.

    I began working with the Nancy in spring of 2008.  The event had already experienced four successful years, with the 2007 art hike celebrating a complete sell-out.  Our goals, at that time, were to produce another sell-out event, enhance overall marketing, conduct research on event attendees and build a “working” event plan and cultivate additional sponsors and donors.

    2008 Successes

    • Created marketing overview
    • Developed and utilized tactical event plan
    • Captured a research snap shot, 10% of attendees (both qualitative and quantitative)
    • Built a new PowerPoint presentation for Nancy, filled with facts and data on Trails and Vistas and its attendees
    • EVENT SELL OUT, 2nd year in a row

    2009 Updates and Goals

    • Addition of adult-only hikes (based on research requests)
    • Upgraded marketing overview, with emarketing in the works
    • Enhanced tactical event plan
    • Diversified board with new fundraising function
    • Added more functionality to website
    • Anticipating another sell-out event