Charleston Newspapers to hold free digital marketing seminar

A free seminar slated for Thursday in Charleston will allow small business owners and entrepreneurs learn about effective digital marketing and social media strategies from some of the best in the business in the area.

Charleston Newspapers' first “Making Money with Digital Media” seminar will take place from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday at the company's offices at 1001 Virginia St. E.

John Kelly, vice president and advertising director at Charleston Newspapers, said Wisconsin-based Guarantee Digital is working with Charleston Newspapers to help develop digital marketing strategies for small- to medium-sized businesses that will be discussed at the seminar.

“What's happening right now is there's so much going on with the Internet as far as advertising and how to do it properly,” Kelly said. “Most small and medium sized businesses don't have time. They have to run their own businesses; they don't have time to learn about Twitter and different types of social media and understand what a 300 by 250 is, what behavioral targeting is, those kinds of things. At the three-hour seminar we're doing for free, they can come in and get an idea of what digital advertising is all about.”

Featured panelists at the free event include George Manahan, president of The Manahan Group, one of West Virginia's largest and most successful advertising and public relations firms; Jim Strawn, director of marketing for Highland Hospital; Anthony Gilmer, marketing coordinator and air service development coordinator for Yeager Airport; and Erin Adkins, community development director for YMCA.

Attendees will receive complimentary breakfast and parking at the seminar. Kelly said those attending will receive a free business reputation audit, which helps businesses identify what their online reputation is and develop ways to improve it.

“If you don't know what people are saying about you on the Web, you're in a world of hurt,” Kelly said. “If your service is terrible, if your food is bad and you don't know it, you can't address it and you're not going to be in business for much longer. So we're doing a free reputation analysis for everybody that attends and the reputation management piece is going to be something we sell as we go down the road.”

Kelly said digital reputation audits will be one of many services offered by a digital marketing agency soon to be launched by Charleston Newspapers. The agency, Charleston Newspapers Digital, will launch sometime this week, Kelly said.

Kelly said seating at Thursday's seminar is limited to 60 people. Interested individuals can register for the seminar online at

Contact writer Marcus Constantino at 304-348-1796 or Follow him at

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