October 9: Rebranding AWP to ForcesUnited – Research, Development & Rollout

The Alison South Marketing Group was charged with evaluating the brand of Augusta Warrior Project, an organization serving thousands of active and retired military and their families in Georgia and South Carolina. The organization cuts through red tape to connect this population with needed resources from medical care to housing. Over the past ten years, market confusion with their brand was increasing as more organizations emerged using similar names. The new brand was revealed August 30. Ron Turner, VP of Branding, and Cynthia South, President of Alison South Marketing will share their experience. When: Tuesday, October 9, 2018, from 11:45 to 1:15 Where: St. Andrews Richland County Library, 2916 Broad River Rd, Columbia, SC...

September 11: Building the BullStreet Brand

  Columbia’s downtown district has been buzzing the past few years with the rise of the BullStreet District. The “essence of the New Urban South,” BullStreet is already home to several thriving, local businesses. For September’s program, we’ll hear from BullStreet’s flagship occupants, including Scott Hall (chef and owner, Bone-In Barbeque), John Katz (president, Columbia Fireflies) and Graeme Moore (The Moore Company). Hear about their involvement and participation in the development of the BullStreet District, what their long-term goals are, how their companies are contributing to the neighborhood’s unique personality and offerings. A soon-to-be-announced City of Columbia official will also join the program! Join us for a delicious lunch provided by Bone-In Barbeque, one of BullStreet’s latest businesses. Acknowledging the significance of this date, we’re humbled to welcome friends and peers for a lunch program to celebrate Columbia’s strong sense of community and continued growth. Space is limited, so please register early! Chef Scott Hall A Midlands native who spent 10 years in some of New York City’s most prestigious kitchens, chef/owner Scott Hall of Bone-In Barbeque in the BullStreet District in downtown Columbia, S.C., has been featured in GQ and Smithsonian magazines as well as the Cooking Channel, Bravo and Travel Channel. John Katz The 2018 season marks John Katz‘s 26th year in Minor League Baseball and his 20th as a team’s top executive. The 2017 South Atlantic League General Manager of the Year currently serves as President of the Columbia Fireflies after serving as President of the Savannah Sand Gnats — a position he held from 2009-2015. Prior to his positions in Columbia and Savannah, Katz had operated professional sports venues...

August 7: Reinventing Local News in a Digital World

Guest Speaker: Rich O’Dell, president and general manager of WLTX Do you still pick up a newspaper? In the US, 93 percent of adults get at least some news online, and not always from traditional news organizations. 55 percent of U.S. households subscribe to at least one streaming service, and that number is growing quickly. Anyone with a smart phone can use social media to publish information via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or the hundreds of other apps. So where does that leave traditional TV news? What is their place in this world full of disruption? These are some of the many questions to be considered today in the communications world. Rich has a lot of experience navigating the transition to a full-on digital world. He joined WLTX in 1999 and has led the station to become the #1 digital source for news and information in the Columbia market.  Prior to Columbia, he was Manager of Programming & Production at WKYC-TV in Cleveland, Executive Producer at WCMH-TV in Columbus, OH, and Producer/Director at WDXR in Paducah, KY.  He has also been an announcer at five different radio stations. In January, Rich was inducted into the South Carolina Broadcasters Association’s Hall of Fame.  This September, he’ll be inducted into the Gold Circle of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. An Illinois native, he holds a degree in Radio/Television from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.   When: 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., Tuesday, August 7, 2018 Where: AARP South Carolina | 1201 Main Street | Suite 1720 | Columbia, SC 29201 Dress: Business attire Registration deadline: NOON on Monday, August 6...

June 26: Networking Cocktail Reception

Networking Cocktail Reception! Join us for a cocktail reception with live music courtesy Nahi Grūv, light hors d’oeuvres, and two complimentary drink tickets. It’s a great opportunity to network and meet communication professionals from across the state. This event is already included for Mini-conference attendees or $10 per person for those not already registered for the conference....

June 26: Stay Bright – IABC/SC Mini Conference

ENHANCE YOUR SKILLS THIS SUMMER Stay bright by sharpening your skills during our summer mini conference! You’ll hear from local communications professionals on topics such as best web practices, venturing out on your own, how social media can spotlight any agency and more. It’s a half-day event, and lunch will be provided. There will also be $300 worth of door prizes, so don’t miss it! We look forward to brightening up with you. Keynote: Trooper Bob and Captain Hughes will introduce you to why and how the South Carolina Highway Patrol (SCHP) started using social media. They’ll give you tips on what they’ve seen as successful posts, positive interaction with the community and what has helped with recruiting. Trooper Bob, South Carolina Highway Patrol Bio: Navy veteran Trooper Bob joined the SCHP in 1994, and became the spokesperson for the SCHP in 2012. Moving up the ranks through his career, he was recently promoted to lieutenant in February of this year. He holds many awards and honors, including several Trooper of the Year awards and the Top Cops Award. When he’s not on duty, he enjoys spending time with his family, cooking and playing the guitar.   Captain Kelley Hughes, South Carolina Highway Patrol Bio: Captain Hughes has been a state trooper with the SCHP for 27 years, and is currently the community relations and recruiting unit commander. Captain Hughes also works in the South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) Communications office as the spokesperson. Captain Hughes has 15 years of experience as a public information officer. He has received several awards, including the Trooper of the Year award....

May 1: Innovative Tourism Marketing for The Real Southern Hot Spot

Have you been hearing a lot more buzz about Columbia, SC lately? Well, you’re not the only one. Columbia hosted 14.7 million out-of-area visitors last year and the numbers are on the rise. Find out what Experience Columbia SC is doing to attract tourists to the region, including hosting press trips for travel writers, working with culinary, lifestyle and travel influencers, spreading the word on social media, promoting local artisans, businesses and products and forging innovative advertising partnerships – all wrapped up in a successful new tourism brand. Presenter: Kelly Barbrey, VP of Sales & Marketing for Experience Columbia SC Kelly Barbrey has worked for Experience Columbia SC (formerly the Midlands Authority for Conventions, Sports & Tourism) for 14 years. Prior to her move to Columbia, SC the Georgia native worked for the Athens GA Convention & Visitors Bureau for three years. Kelly holds a journalism degree from the University of Georgia and prior to her work in the destination marketing industry was associate editor for a business and lifestyle magazine in her hometown of Atlanta. Kelly and her husband Jonathan have two daughters, ages 10 and 7. Her stress releases include shopping for local finds, writing, running and enjoying a cold glass of Sauvignon Blanc…but not all at the same time. When: Tuesday, May 1, 2018 11:45 AM  – 1:15 PM Where: BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina 2501 Faraway Drive (I-20 at Alpine Road), Columbia, South Carolina 29219, USA Dress: Business attire Registration deadline: by NOON on Monday, April...