In Salem, Mass., two Hobart and William Smith Colleges alums were featured in the local paper in two days. Tyson Goodridge ’94 was featured in the Salem News on Oct. 20, and Kate Longbotham Fox ’92 on Oct. 21.
Goodridge was featured as an entrepreneur who started Dialogue, and consults with businesses and organizations on how to use social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to their advantage.
He earned a B.A. in history from Hobart College. He was a member of the Hobart Student Association, participated in the student phonathon, and was a member of the Senior Gift Committee.
Fox graduated from William Smith College with a B.A. in English and was featured because she is the director of Destination Salem. According to the article, “Fox deals with everyone – from international tour operators to local psychics and restaurateurs – to ensure the city’s tourist offerings are well-marketed to the 800,000 annual visitors to Salem, 25 percent of whom descend on the ‘Witch City’ in October.”
The full articles about each follow.
Wenham-based company makes sense of social media
Ethan Forman • Staff writer • October 20, 2009
Tyson Goodridge of Wenham says he “cut his teeth” on social media while managing an online community for affluent consumers for a startup.
He did that job for three years just when social networking sites were taking off. When the economy tanked, Goodridge was laid off, but that led the 37-year-old father of two to start his own company, Dialogue.
Today he consults on how businesses and organizations like the Wenham Museum can use social networking sites to their advantage.
Define for older-economy folks, what is social media?
The big three players in the business are LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. If you strip away all the bells and whistles from these different companies, I think you will find a common theme to social media is relationships and content. What social media does is spread content through relationships.
Can you give an example of that?
A perfect example of this is a company like Comcast. They are a cable company and they use social media as a customer service tool. When someone’s cable is out, they’ll send a Tweet, and they will respond.
Define for me the big three social media sites?
LinkedIn is the professional network for your business relationships.
So what is Facebook?
Facebook, it started off as a very informal, social, friendlier, more informal version of a social network. Now, as you have seen in the last year, companies are figuring out, “Wait a second, if all these people are on Facebook, how can I connect with them in a way that doesn’t seem pushy?”
Can you do that?
The Wenham Museum was one of my clients, we set up a Facebook page for them, they have a couple hundred fans right now, but it’s a great way to instantly show pictures from the last “Toy Story” reading with all the kindergartners in the local schools.
What is Twitter? If I have Facebook, and I have LinkedIn, why do I need Twitter?
Twitter is a new, burgeoning technology, but much like Facebook, is a way to update people on what you are doing and what’s relevant to you and your following. The key thing to Twitter and the success of Twitter is they place a limit on it, 140 characters: You get to the point very quickly.
Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tourism chief frightfully busy – and loving it
Amanda McGregor • Staff writer • October 21, 2009
SALEM – Whether she’s scouting locations for television producers or meeting with the MBTA to review the schedule for extra Halloween trains, Kate Fox is always working behind the scenes.
As director of Destination Salem, Fox deals with everyone – from international tour operators to local psychics and restaurateurs – to ensure the city’s tourist offerings are well-marketed to the 800,000 annual visitors to Salem, 25 percent of whom descend on the “Witch City” in October.
“The job is all about producing information and helping people get here and understand what’s here,” said Fox.
October’s hectic pace was illustrated by her weekend of activities, including an interview and a live podcast with radio stations in Connecticut and New York. On Saturday, she spent the day assisting TV crews from the “Today” show who were filming footage around Salem for a segment set air the day before Halloween.
“No two days are the same,” said Fox, “and I like that.”
Each year, Fox’s office is charged with producing and distributing nearly 300,000 copies of the Salem Visitor and Travel Guide, as well as the Haunted Happenings guide. Destination Salem also operates the city’s popular tourism Web sites: Salem.org and HauntedHappenings.org, which together drew over a half-million unique hits in the past year.
Fox, 39, started at Destination Salem in 1998 and later left for five years before returning in 2007. Destination Salem’s annual budget is less than $300,000, funded through ad revenue from the tourism guides and a portion of the local option hotel/motel tax. Fox and project assistant Stacia Cooper run Destination Salem from City Hall.
Fox lives in Beverly with her husband, Matt, a local school principal, and their two sons, George, 8, and Nick, 5.
The Salem News caught up with Fox amid the swirl of October activity:
What do tourists expect of Salem?
I’ve had people call and they think Salem is like Sturbridge Village or Williamsburg – that you go through a gate and everyone is in costume and everything is right there. We try to show people that it’s a city so they come here with that expectation.
Who else contacts you?
People from all over the world, for all different reasons. … We get a lot of calls from brides and brides’ moms. It runs the gamut.
Strangest question you’ve fielded?
My favorite question, in a twisted way, was a call I got in my first month (on the job) in 1998: “What time do they feed the witches?” Isn’t that awful? It tells you how much information we need to share with people.
What are some of your duties?
A lot of distributing photos to media outlets. I just sent pictures to Australia and Argentina… I had a woman from Campeche, Mexico, here last week. She’s the new director of tourism there. She’s been on the job for three weeks and they sent her to Salem to see how we do it.
Is it all about Halloween?
There is always something going on, so we try to market year-round activities. We call it the Five Seasons of Salem: winter, spring, summer, fall and Haunted Happenings.
Challenges of your job?
It has its share of politics, and balancing the needs of different businesses and being objective and fair, especially when it’s about travel writers. Everyone wants editorial exposure.
How many businesses does Destination Salem work with?
More than 150 … and tourism spending in Salem last year was an estimated $54.6 million. October alone was $8.4 million.
Has Salem changed since you came aboard?
A lot. There are so many restaurants and so many more walking tours. There are two trolleys now instead of one, and the Salem Ferry. There more’s shopping. It’s a much deeper product now. There’s a lot more to do.
Your favorite thing about Salem?
It’s the city and all the characters and the people that make up the destination. It’s just a great place to promote and to work.
Given your job, do you like to dress in costume?
It sort of doesn’t feel appropriate to the job. I wear Halloween socks. That’s the extent of my fashion enthusiasm.