Marketing workshop Harrisonburg, Virginia

The right channels. The right time. The marketing that works for YOU.

June 4th, 6th, 25th, and 27th 2019 at the JMU Ice House Room 117
8:30am-10:00am (with networking time until 10:30am)

Not a Friend of Downtown yet? Learn more here.

Workshop Speaker Bios:

Andrea Dono, Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance

Andrea Dono is the executive director of Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance, a nonprofit downtown revitalization that markets historic downtown Harrisonburg, offers business assistance, hosts events, and helps beautify the district. In the last few years, HDR has worked on small business retention and grant programs with partners through Retail Renaissance, Bricks & Clicks, the façade enhancement grant program, and the Destination Downtown grant program. While HDR is laser focused on helping downtown businesses grow and attract customers, the organization believes that a strong regional economy benefits all. Learn more at or contact Andrea at (especially if you want to relocate or expand your regional business downtown).

Allison Dugan, Valley SBDC

Allison Dugan has served the Valley SBDC as a Business Advisor and has been recently promoted to Assistant Director.  Allison started her work with the SBDC as the Program Manager for “What’s Cooking – The Business of Food,” a community-wide initiative to celebrate food-related businesses and entrepreneurs in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. She is a Growth Wheel Certified Business Advisor on the SBDC team with a special focus on helping clients with Marketing Strategy. She is a NASBITE Certified Global Business Professional with knowledge in trade and export. Allison currently serves as a BOLD Leadership Mentor with the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce and began her term on the Board of Trustees as Treasurer with the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society in 2019. Learn more at or contact her at or 540-568-3227.

Karen Lawrence, KLCreative Media

Karen Lawrence is a writer, publicist, and media consultant to small businesses, entrepreneurs, and nonprofits. She developed her company’s hands-on approach to outsourced marketing following years in the public and private sector, where she realized smaller organizations and business could benefit from targeted assistance in determining how and where to tell their story most effectively. The KLCreative Media method utilizes solid communications tools like email newsletters, social media, website content, outreach, media releases, and in-house training to build a company’s brand identity among customers, stakeholders, employees, and in the community. In addition to her communications and management experience, Karen is a former Army officer, a published author, a past nonprofit board president, and an active volunteer in community development projects. Visit or contact Karen at, 540.466.0059 for more information.

Christine Schmidt, Social Bug Digital Media

Christine Schmidt is the founder, owner & operator of Social Bug Digital Media. She is a JMU Alumni (Class of 2011) and a Baltimore native who moved to Virginia in 2012. Christine has been passionate about building a safer and productive digital world for business owners, non-profits and charities since 2012. Christine specializes in digital marketing, website design & development as well as search engine optimization. Christine has been fortunate to work with a handful of local businesses as well as some industry leaders from Adobe, Oracle, Cisco, and SAP. Learn more at or contact her at or 443.850.3517.

Jeslyn Stiles, Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance

Jeslyn Stiles is a JMU School of Art, Design, and Art History alumni who is most well-known for going unexpectedly viral in 2011 with her Tumblr blog, “Cats That Look Like Ron Swanson.” Before joining the HDR team as Director of Marketing in March 2019, she spent four years working as a digital and content marketer in Northern Virginia, where she has discovered a passion for the small business community. Jeslyn will be starting her MBA program at JMU in August and is excited to be back in her hometown, getting to know the Harrisonburg small business community. If you’re a small business in downtown Harrisonburg, keep Jeslyn in the loop with your events, promotions, and news! Email her at

Workshop Agendas, Notes, and Resources:

Day 1: All About Your Customers

Download agenda PDF

Download slides PDF

Session Notes: Download PDF

Jon Schallert – 9 Steps to Developing a Great Unique Positioning Statement (Download PDF)

Virginia Tourism Corporation
It has tourism tax dollars for municipalities, grants, and ways you can market your business (often for free) on their website and directory listing. – check our their research and grants link – look for ways you can get included in listings and blog features

Session Notes: Download PDF

Canva, Adobe Spark, BeFunky – free design tools for marketing content assets
Hootsuite, Buffer, Hubspot – marketing automation software (all have free features, but Hootsuite is generally regarded as the best and makes the most sense for most small businesses)
MailChimp and Constant Contact – email marketing tools. MailChimp is free for up to 2,000 subscribers.
Hubspot blog, Content Marketing Institute, Social Media Examiner – great resources to keep on top of changes in social media algorithms and marketing practices

Day 3: Right Channels at the Right Time

Download agenda PDF

Download slides PDF

Session Notes: Download PDF

Content planning calendar spreadsheet: Download Excel

Session Notes: Download PDF

Press release resource: Hubspot template

Review software resources from Christine:
As promised… Review software I like and have worked with. There are TONS out there but make sure you are being a savy consumer and keeping an eye out for softwares that limit based on utilization and # of messages. It’s very easy to see texting get out of hand and they charge a premium per message.
    1. Review Lead: *Disclaimer, I am a certified partner with them because they are my favorite. Affordable, both email and text are billed separately so you don’t have to have both. I‘ll show you what my cost is to on-board you if you’re interested on the 16th. Nice analytics, nice integrations with web + social. Their website is here:
All 3 can be used very differently and if this is a conversation you’d like to have, we will pick based on your website, client base and how you communicate with your clients now.

Members-Only Facebook Group: