Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Free social media class for local businesses

    Local business owners can learn the importance of social media through SMILE, Social Media for Inter-community Leaders’ Excellence, a free class at 10 a.m. Monday, July 16 at the St. Landry Parish Visitor Information Center, I-49 exit 23. Dionne Davis-Green of UL Lafayette will teach the two-hour class, which is designed to show the business value of Facebook and various social media.
    Davis-Green is part of the Business Supporting Faculty in the Department of Management at UL’s B. I. Moody College of Business Administration. A St. Landry Parish native and current resident, she researches and promotes social media’s benefits for local businesses.
     Last March, Davis-Green was co-chair of the Louisiana Business Challenge, a competition in which Beau Chene High School seniors beat more than 60 other teams to win the BP-sponsored event. The BCHS students claimed more than $19,000 in scholarship money.
    Students Kathryn Knott, Lainey Latiolais, Amy Stelly and Byron Stelly devised a three-part plan to improve tourism in St. Landry Parish. The results include SMILE and the plan’s second part, SPICE, St. Landry Parish Internship for Community Enhancement.
    The students developed an internship program for local high school and college students to work with businesses in developing social media sites and promotional videos. Applications for the internships, which begin in August, can be found at the St. Landry Parish Tourist Commission web site, www.cajuntravel.com.
    The final part of the team’s program is a series of five trails, which highlight the parish’s hot spots for tourists interested in art and culture, historic locations, business and industry, recreation, food and lodging.
    Seating is limited for the July 16 SMILE class. Reserve a spot by Friday, July 13 by e-mailing info@cajuntravel.com.  For more information, call the St. Landry Parish Tourist Commission at (337) 948-8004.

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