Thursday, April 30, 2009

13 Days!

In merely 13 days, I'll be popping champagne corks and hee hawing in a kitchen with 4 others, while a separate group is in another room, wringing their hands, rubbing their own temples and dabbing away their sweat. It's changing of the guard time at PTA. Two years at the helm with a co-pilot (President) and our time is done. Yeehaw!

It's been a great learning experience because it's so much like a business. PTA is a national organization with rules, regulations, by-laws, codes, insurance, blah blah blah. I like that you have to market and advertise each program, every event. We worked hard on brand awareness and had several strategy planning and forecasting meetings. (As a community, we raise anywhere from $50K to $70K in a year. With budget cuts from the federal level slicing into the K-12 public schools, those funds raised are going to go even higher in the next two years... IF we keep doing what we're doing.)

I have learned, it's good to have these "coporatey things". Is truly in it for the kiddies. "Every Child, One Voice." What's not to like about that slogan? At our school of 529 elementary age kids, from k thru 6, we have a very wide range of demographics. The pendulum swings from one extreme to the other very easily. Fortunately... we have good people who are watching out for all children and we have more parents than most peer schools involved at some level.

So why the champagne? Its' a celebration! I'm movin' on. Done my time and had my fun and letting others play for a while. If you are a volunteer... you eff'n rock! Volunteering, on any level, is a commitment. It's hard to break away most of the time. Our lives are consuming on so many levels. Especially if you have kids. So I give a hat tip in your direction. Get involved at your school... it's needed and appreciated more than you know.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ready... Here We Go!

Today marks my first blog ... about how I am transitioning from the suburban mother of two, PTA President, serial volunteer... into a crazed social media enthusiast! And maybe I'll make a buck or two. Why is this happening now? How did this happen? As my 10 year old son explained, "It all started with Club Penguin."

He's right. I was fascinated that his little penguin character (JFC108 if you see us trolling around on your server) was "real time" communicating with other Penguins, even from Australia, the UK, Canada... So I spent some time on Club Penguin, playing games and earning coins for his penguin to furnish his igloo, while my son was at school. I loved the social aspect of it... I made some friends who I later found were parents too! LOL! We'd visit... at 10pm, once the kids were asleep and play eachother in Find Four for hours. lol... pathetic really, but it was sincerely fun. Since then, I graduated to MySpace, Facebook, Twitter (@AlexisCeule), Tumblr, etc... I adore these social networks for the very same reasons... the people, connecting and reconnecting and the technology is changing daily! It's a very exciting time to not only have a business, but really, to be ALIVE! We're very fortunate... very.

I am gearing up for another summer on the board of the Round Hill Bath & Tennis Club. I originally began listing out all of the duties I have taken on... but it looked really self absorbed and good grief, the list didn't stop. Remember... I'm a VOLUNTEER member on the Board. (party of my serial volunteer habit) Granted, most items I found were self inflicted, but when I believe in something, I stand behind it 100% and give it just as much. The Round Hill Bath & Tennis Club is nostalgic and a fabulous place for a family in the summer time. It's an old dairy barn that closed in the 1950's. The owner of the dairy farm, sold the property to a developer in the early 1960's. The developer wisely kept the barn and it became the hub of the community. Since then, 5 tennis courts have been built and a lovely pool and deck to enjoy the club in the warmer months. It's a lovely place, rich in tradition and loaded with memory making opportunities.

Getting the remainder of the Round Hill Board to use social media to update its members and attract new one's, is currently a struggle. (Good ol' boy syndrome) Getting them on facebook has been shot down... so my efforts to bring this little club into the year 2000 are going to be challenging. As most any objective outsider already knows... the times are always changing. Change with it or get bulldozed. The club's web site is Check it out at your leisure.

I'll keep you posted as to my new endeavor... a campaign of sorts, to begin social networking for favorite local companies that apparently have very little presence on the web at this time. I want to "represent" them on several social networks and give their brand name a boost in the outerspere of this new and exciting marketing and public relations builder.

I'm gathering data and enjoying blogs from social media Czars (they wouldn't call themselves that). So as this builds and progresses, I'll pass on what I've learned... to you.

"If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at, will change."