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Where were you when a period became a dot?

Steve Hatcher

Steve Hatcher

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Updated: October 29, 2011 12:40AM

I’ve got to admit that I’m way behind the technology curve and have been for some time. Why, I even remember refusing to add voice mail to the telephone because Chamber members deserved to be greeted and attended to by a real person, not impersonal voicemail. Now, I’ll be the first to brag on our quality website and tout the number of hits we get, but I also know that I should surround myself with those who have cutting edge technology skills and know how to reach out to an ever-changing marketplace.

My associate, Angie Hibben, just returned from the Institute for Organization Management, a think tank conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce where she learned that we’re right on target in our social media marketing capabilities using Facebook , LinkedIn and Twitter. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with many chambers and certainly not the case with some of our business members. So, how do you know if social media is right for your business, and how do you put yourself in play without having a social media expert on staff?

We’re fortunate here in the Fox Valley to have premier trainers and training facilities standing by and ready to turn you into a social media expert. Waubonsee Community College offers several courses through the Illinois Small Business Development Center. “Marketing for Small Business” will be offered on Sept. 21 and Nov. 3, “Social Media Marketing for Business” will be offered July 21, Oct. 4 and Nov. 10 and “Google for Business” will be offered Oct. 20. Harriet Parker is the coordinator of the SBDC and can be reached at 630-906-4143.

The Dunham School of Business at Aurora University is another resource not to be overlooked. Charles Edwards is the director of the Dunham School and can be reached at 630-844-3847 or

Here at the Oswego Chamber we’ll be offering a seminar on LinkedIn with Dee Reinhardt, marketing and social media coordinator of the Kane County Department of Employment Education, on Aug. 17 from 7 to 9:30 a.m. at AmericInn, 1050 Douglas Road, Oswego. The cost is $5 for Chamber members and $10 for nonmembers. Call the Chamber office at 630-554-3505 for information or to register.

Chamber member Brian Basilico of B2b Interactive Marketing can help you set up landing pages on Facebook for your business, teach you about blogging, YouTube and other online marketing venues. Visit his website at or email him at Also, member PJ Elizondo of Premier Mailing Services can help you learn about mobile media text marketing. Contact him at or visit

Feel free to follow the Chamber from time to time on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to keep up with events, new members and other information. All the links are at

Regardless of my reluctance to embrace new technology, I know that keeping current is more than just a matter of survival. To paraphrase a cartoon I recently saw, “Can you remember when we were smarter than our telephones?”

Steve Hatcher is the executive director of the Oswego Chamber of Commerce. He can be reached at

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