Marketing group opens social media outlet in North Country

A blog for Berlin? Wiki for Whitefield?

You might see these and more if Katie Delahaye Paine, CEO of KDPaine & Partners, has anything to say about it.

KDPaine’s Berlin office has launched True North Conversations to provide expertise and services to organizations across the state that want to improve their marketing efforts by becoming active in blogs, wikis and other forms of social media.

“The world of marketing fundamentally changed with the introduction of blogging, RSS feeds, YouTube, Flickr, Second Life and other social media tools,” said Paine. “In today’s environment, businesses and organizations ignore social marketing at their peril. New Hampshire businesses, and particularly those in the North Country, should be on the leading edge of marketing developments, and we want to help them get there. Because we’ve been monitoring and measuring social media for a decade and have been blogging for four years, we know what works and what doesn’t work. It’s time we shared that expertise with our neighbors throughout the Granite State.”

Paine, a noted blogger and frequent lecturer on the subject of social media, and Berlin-native Melinda Pinard will oversee a team of experts at True North Conversations.

The group has already started a blog on behalf of Coos County,, the impetus of which arose from a recent survey with North Country residents about their perceptions of Coos County and its future.

“The goal today is to be there when people are Googling for information. So if someone in Connecticut is searching for ‘the best fishing in New England,’ we want to make sure that Coos County is on the first page of their search results,” explained Paine.

She also said social media tools have advantages over other forms of communication in that the message “reaches consumers when they are looking for you” as opposed to less-targeted approaches that are omnipresent and more likely to be tuned out.

Some may see a North Country base of operations as a disadvantage to a marketing firm, but Paine sees many advantages.

“We decided last year to expand into the North Country for a number of reasons. We couldn’t find enough people on the Seacoast and the land prices there were too expensive. There are also some tax incentives when locating a business in Coos County,” said Paine.

And as for talent, Paine said there is plenty. “Many people who live in Coos County are 30-somethings who love the atmosphere and climate of the North Country.”

Right now, True North Conversations employs about 20 people, but Paine said she hopes that number will increase to around 40 by the end of the year. Thinking even further out, Paine said she has a goal of having about 15,000-square-feet of office space in the North Country by 2010, with about 200 employees. — CINDY KIBBE

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