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VOL. 128 | NO. 187 | Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Next Step for Harris is Consulting Venture

By Andy Meek

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After stints as a digital media coordinator and technical writer for a handful of companies, Nicole Harris has decided to launch a digital media consulting business to pursue the work she loves full time – while also filling a need she keeps seeing go unaddressed.

HARRIS

Her new venture is Carver Communications, and through it she plans to offer digital media services to local businesses, focusing especially on small businesses and nonprofits.

Her goal is to offer both instruction and management in digital media tools, especially for clients that don’t have the time or resources to handle it on their own.

She’ll also offer live event coverage via Twitter, a tool that helped her own career prospects after losing her job in 2011. Using a camera and the ability to craft her personal brand in short bursts of 140 characters at a time, Harris has blogged and tweeted obsessively – her word – and used her passion for social media to make connections and land work with clients.

Her site, nictheditor.com, presents a portfolio of work that includes news photography and news stories she’s written. She embraced journalism after losing her job in 2011 working as a technical writer for Accredo – with journalism being a kind of natural fit for Harris, who’s the daughter of an English and reading teacher.

Writing has always been one of her favorite pursuits, so it was at that point she went back to her alma mater of the University of Memphis and enrolled in journalism classes.

“After I enrolled at the University of Memphis, social media just became my thing,” she said.

Recently, she’s worked as a digital media coordinator for The Westin Memphis Beale Street Hotel before stepping out on her own. The name she’s chosen for her venture, whose website is http://carver-communications.com, is in honor of her father, George Washington Carver Harris.

“I see so many companies do it right and so many that do it not quite right, so I want to help teach people,” Harris said about her interest in digital media. “I’ll manage it, but I also want to help with strategy, with an ongoing game plan. A lot of times, you’ll see small businesses question the value of social media because they say, ‘Well, we don’t see any engagement. We can’t see the return on investment.’ Well, if you start engaging, the ROI will come.”

Harris said her company’s digital media efforts will include two main areas of focus – strategy and instruction. She’ll help organizations figure out what they need to do, then work with them on the best way to get it done.

Harris said Carver Communications also will offer social media workshops to organizations. Other services will include, but not be limited to, employee training, targeted digital media efforts and helping craft written guides.

One thing Harris said small businesses can do right now, if they don’t already, is use digital media to talk to their customers.

“And that also means not just telling them, but you’re listening to them,” she said. “Even if people aren’t talking about you. If you see someone post about having a bad day, you can easily surprise them with something like, ‘We hope you have a better day and we’d love to see you soon.”

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