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Marblehead – April 15, 2009 – The Marblehead Chamber of Commerce hosted a Business Breakfast Forum “Web 2.0 – PR Tactics You Can Use Now,” presented by Janet Swaysland. The well-attended forum  focused on Social Media, online conversation and participation, and the power shift from companies to consumers.

Janet Swaysland is a co-founder and partner at Beeline Labs, a marketing strategy firm that helps organizations integrate social media principles into business programs and practices. According to Swaysland, there is a new balance of power and consumers are more in control these days. “Seventy-eight percent of consumers trust the advice of other consumers,” said Swaysland, who encouraged the audience to trust one another and each other. To a small business, it means huge new opportunities to get your business noticed, get new customers, and better understand what the customers you already have really like or don’t like about what you offer.

Swaysland offered suggestions on how to help grow your business by engaging people online. The first step is to “social modify” your website and take a fresh look at it.  Then find out where your customers are and be present there. Make sure to “activate your advocates” by using word of mouth techniques and encourage your customers to write reviews and comments. Swaysland also advised connecting both online and offline, reminding the audience that “more online connections are driving offline get-togethers.” Lastly, “listen, learn, adapt and repeat” – keep searching and try something new.

The seemingly overwhelming number of popular methods currently in use online (including Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Ning, Plaxo and Spoke) prompted one audience member to ask, “How do you let this not take over your life?” Swaysland replied that she herself “dabbles” and uses some online tools as searching resources but reminded the audience that “you don’t have to do everything, just do something consistently.” Swaysland drove her point home with a Power Point presentation that highlighted actual website content of some local businesses and how they do or do not effectively incorporate many of the tactics and suggestions mentioned in the Forum.

Throughout the presentation, as well as during a question and answer session following the forum, the audience was able to address Swaysland with their own questions and comments on many of the topics and tools presented in the Forum.

For more infomation about Web 2.0, please visit Beeline Labs at:, or email Janet Swaysland at:

For more information about the Marblehead Chamber Business Breakfast Forums, please visit: or