Home 2019 March
Marketing Tips

Courtesy of Andrew Schulkind, Target Marketing

The goal of content marketing is, of course, to win new business. More precisely, it’s to win new business in a manner that is sustainable and profitable — you can’t spend $2 to earn $1. Below are thoughts on how to create content that will power a successful, high-ROI content marketing program.

Get to know your audience and their interests. Don’t assume you know – ask! And once you’ve asked, don’t assume the answer never changes. The goal is to create content that addresses the topics they love with answers to questions they have. And that’s a whole lot easier to do if you’re not guessing about what they want.

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Marketing Tips

Courtesy of Tereza Litsa, www.searchenginewatch.com

Content marketing is changing. Here’s how to make sure that your content marketing strategy is still relevant in 2019.

Marketing is changing. Traditional promotional methods are not as successful as they used to be. How can you make sure that your content marketing strategy is not staying behind?

It’s the perfect time to start thinking ahead to adjust your plans for the next 12 months.

Here are seven tips to get you thinking of what you need to improve in 2019.

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Daily News

HOLYOKE — Accounting Today, a leading publication in the certified public accounting industry, has named Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. a regional leader in its top-100 listing in the March issue.

Accounting Today’s annual ranking surveys the largest practices in both tax and accounting in 10 major geographic regions across the country. It employs a host of benchmarking data to evaluate the firms’ growth strategies, service areas, and specific client niches. MBK was recognized as a top firm in the New England region.

“MBK is dedicated to our belief in the power and potential of Western Massachusetts,” said Managing Partner James Barrett. “We are very proud to have this local commitment recognized on a national level. Our staff works very hard to provide excellent service to our clients as well as resources and information to business owners and decision makers in our marketplace.”

Daily News

FLORENCE — Florence Bank has named Susan Seaver its Community Support Award winner for 2019. Seaver, a mortgage loan originator, joined Florence Bank in May 2014 and has 30 years of banking experience. 

The Community Support Award was established by the bank in 1997 as a means of formally recognizing employees who are active participants in community events and donate their personal and professional time to local not-for-profit organizations.

Each year, the award recipient has the opportunity to select a not-for-profit organization of his or her choice, and the bank makes a donation to that organization. At Seaver’s recommendation, Florence Bank will make a donation to the Michael J. Dias Foundation of Ludlow, which has a mission to help those who are battling the disease of addiction.

Seaver is an active member of the community service committee at the Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley, and serves as a designated financial counselor for the Way Finders organization, working to confront homelessness in communities throughout Western Mass. She also volunteers as a classroom reader in support of the Link to Libraries organization in East Longmeadow and is an avid supporter of the Michael J. Dias Foundation.

“Sue is the ideal choice for the Community Support Award,” said John Heaps Jr., president and CEO of Florence Bank. “Her positive energy, commitment to numerous local nonprofit organizations, and dedication to helping those in need within our community is exemplary.”

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Medical Center (HMC) announced the promotion of John Kovalchik to director of ACO Operations. 

With extensive experience leading healthcare-management initiatives (most recently as manager of the Center for Behavioral Health at HMC), Kovalchik is well-positioned to bring the facility to the next level by improving quality of care, meeting measurable benchmarks, accurately reflecting the hospital’s population’s health risks, and maintaining lower overall healthcare costs — all mandates of value-based ACO models, said Spiros Hatiras, president and CEO of Holyoke Medical Center and Valley Health Systems Inc.

“We are thrilled to welcome John to this key role,” Hatiras said. “John brings a wealth of experience to this position and an enthusiasm for integrating the management of patient care and cost-saving initiatives which are vital to our community.”

ACOs, or accountable-care organizations, are provider-led organizations that support new federal and state initiatives to shift from the previous model of fee-for-service healthcare to a value-based system that puts more of the risk on the provider, Kovalchik explained. The overall goals of ACOs are to improve quality of care and patient health outcomes by meeting measurable benchmarks, ensuring patients are accessing healthcare at the appropriate levels, and controlling the overall costs of healthcare by working within population-based models.

In his new position, Kovalchik is overseeing management initiatives for the two ACOs in which HMC participates. The first is through a unique partnership with UMass Memorial Medical Center, involving 50,000 lives split among seven hospitals, four federally qualified health centers, and several private physicians’ offices, covering Central and Western Mass. The second is a statewide ACO participating in a major new demonstration to support a value-based restructuring of MassHealth’s healthcare delivery and payment system. For this initiative, HMC partners with the Boston Accountable Care Organization and BMC Healthnet Plan to form an ACO named the BMC Healthnet Plan Community Alliance. 

Kovalchik is also overseeing HMC’s $750,000 CHART grant from the Health Policy Commission, which provides medication-assisted treatment to patients struggling with opiate addiction with the goal of preventing recidivism and “helping patients to survive and thrive,” he said.

“System change is very exciting, and this is all in the service of providing great and more efficient healthcare,” said Kovalchik, who holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Connecticut with a focus on healthcare administration, and has directed clinical programming and served in management roles at several local organizations. In his previous role as manager of Behavioral Health at HMC, he participated in ACO planning discussions and sees his new position as a natural transition.

“A significant portion of our patients fall into one of the public-payer buckets [Medicare and MassHealth]. We have a great team of dedicated nurses, patient navigators, quality/analytic professionals, community health workers, and physicians helping these patient populations on a daily basis,” he said. “We also help people with housing, nutrition, obesity, food insecurity … we’re trying to get people to the right levels of care at the right time, and control the ever-rising costs of healthcare.”

Daily News

HOLYOKE — The Students on the Autism Spectrum Club at Holyoke Community College and the HCC Admissions office will host an open house on Thursday, April 4 for prospective students on the autism spectrum, along with their parents, teachers, guidance counselors, and other support persons. 

Members of the club will lead campus tours, and Admissions staff will hold information sessions on academic programs and HCC support programs.

The open house will run from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the PeoplesBank Conference Room (301/303) of the HCC Kittredge Center for Business & Workforce Development on the main campus at 303 Homestead Ave.

Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP to hcc.edu/sasopenhouse. For  more information, e-mail Bryn Nowell in the HCC Admissions office at [email protected].

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The law firm of Doherty, Wallace, Pillsbury and Murphy, P.C. announced that attorneys Stefan Sjoberg and Talia Landry have recently joined the firm.

Both were born and raised in Western Mass. and are graduates of Western New England University School of Law. Sjoberg’s practice encompasses business law, estate planning, probate litigation, and taxation. Landry’s practice includes estate planning and elder law, personal injury, and commercial litigation.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Hundreds of high-school seniors will spend the morning at Holyoke Community College (HCC) on Thursday, April 4 for the 13th annual Credit for Life Fair, an interactive event designed to help young people develop financial-literacy skills and learn the basics of money management. 

The fair will run from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the gymnasium of HCC’s Bartley Center for Athletics & Recreation. During a brief orientation, Gary Rome, owner of Gary Rome Hyundai, will offer remarks about the importance of financial literacy from a business owner’s point of view. 

This is the 10th year HCC has hosted this event, which is organized by a committee of financial experts from banks and other agencies in the Pioneer Valley, including Holyoke Credit Union, bankESB, Loan Depot, Mount Holyoke College, United Bank, PeoplesBank, and Lambert & Pryor Insurance. 

Participating schools include Holyoke High School (North and South), Easthampton High School, South Hadley High School, West Springfield High School, Agawam High School, Granby High School, Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School, Lower Pioneer Valley Educational Cooperative, and Mount Tom Academy, an alternative high school on the HCC campus.

“We are expecting approximately 500 students as well as about 80 volunteers to help them navigate the fair,” said Barbara Baran, marketing officer for Holyoke Credit Union and coordinator of the Credit for Life Fair. “Every year our goal is to give students a great financial learning experience that will stay with them for many years to come. They learn about credit and credit scores, the importance of saving money, how hard their parents have to work to support them, and much, much more.”

Rather than imparting this wisdom through lectures, Credit for Life attendees are given a scenario in which they are 25 years old and have a job, a salary, and debt. They then proceed from booth to booth, where they are required to make financial decisions on essential elements such as housing, food, transportation, and insurance, ultimately trying to balance their budgets and live within their means.

Daily News

LONGMEADOW — Bay Path University recently announced it is one of 48 colleges and universities to be awarded a grant from Truth Initiative to adopt a 100% tobacco-free or smoke-free campus policy. The effort is part of a national movement among students, faculty, and administrators to address smoking and tobacco use at college campuses throughout the U.S.

“We are truly excited to make Bay Path University a safe, healthy, and productive environment,” said Michael Giampietro, vice president for Finance & Administrative Services. “The health benefits of reducing second-hand smoke exposure are invaluable and could also help students prepare for the workforce, where smoke-free policies are already the norm.”

Ninety-nine percent of all smokers start smoking before the age of 26, making college campuses a critical part in the fight against youth tobacco use. Since 2015, the Truth Initiative Tobacco-Free College Program, in partnership with CVS Health, has awarded more than $1.8 million in funding to 154 colleges and universities to prevent young adults from starting tobacco use, help tobacco smokers quit, and reduce everyone’s exposure to secondhand smoke. 

“Our goal is to make campus environments healthier places to live, work, and learn,” said Robin Koval, CEO and president of the Truth Initiative. “We are proud to continue to build relationships and provide grants to minority-serving institutions, HBCUs [historically black colleges and universities], women’s colleges, and community colleges to give them the tools to go tobacco-free and be the generation that ends smoking.”

Bay Path University’s efforts are part of a growing trend to clean the air on campuses. Currently, more than 2,342 higher-education institutions in the U.S. have gone smoke- or tobacco-free.

“The grant from Truth Initiative has set us up for success, and I’m positive we can achieve our goals,” said Giampietro.