Summer camp helps businesses get social

24 Aug 2009

A day-long event, held by online PR firm Simply Zesty and running in Dublin this Friday, 27 August, is an ‘everything you wanted to know about social media but were afraid to ask’ sessions to help SME get the most out of blogging and services like Twiter, Bebo and Facebook.

Businesses, for whom the phrase ‘social media’ is nothing more than a buzzword, will have the opportunity to talk to experts on the topic including Philip Macartney, head of sales for Bebo Ireland and Conall McDevitt, managing director of Weber Shandwick Northern Ireland.

“The event is aimed at both local businesses who may want to start experimenting with social media to engage with their customers, as well as ‘traditional’ marketers who specifically want to learn more about online PR and social media, to expand their skills-base and offering to clients,” explained Simply Zesty co-founder Lauren Fisher.

“Social media allows for an entirely new way to engage and communicate with your customers. You have to be willing to have a conversation with your customers and offer them something that is going to enhance their experience online.

“Social networks are not a direct sales channel and if you treat them as such, you’ll probably achieve nothing more than annoying quite a few people. You have to give people a reason to want to talk to you and if you do this right, you will be able to reach your customers on a level not previously possible with traditional media channels.

“If you do it right, it doesn’t need to be scary!”

Simply Zesty’s other co-founder and speaker at the Summer Camp is chef Niall Harbison, co-founder of UK Dragon’s Den featured, which went on to become

Harbison is a an avid blogger and Twitterer, mixing social media with TV and radio appearance to promote his video cooking site.

He will also be joined by Alastair McDermott, technical director of, a consultancy and training business focused on online marketing. McDermott will be talking about his specialist areas including search engine optimization.

The day-long event costs €99 per person and includes training from 1pm until 6pm as well as a BBQ and refreshments afterwards at the networking event.

More details can be found on