Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia to Hold Second Epic Summer Quest

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Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia to Hold Second Epic Summer Quest

(SAVANNAH, GA) This July, Girl Scouts from around the country will once again travel to historic Savannah for an adventure unlike any other. Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia (GSHG) is hosting QuestFest, a weekend of fun adventure, challenges and entertainment from July 12-15, in the historic home of Girl Scouting. Last year, there was over 1,000 Girl Scouts in attendance.

The “Quest” in QuestFest stands for the main event – a scavenger hunt of epic proportion through the Historic District of Savannah. Teams of 10-15 will set out once again in search of an experience, rather than an item. Using a smartphone app, teams will choose from a list of challenges, and submit a photo or video via the QuestFest app as evidence of their accomplishment. Whether they’re competing for fun or aiming to earn a cash prize, all teams will participate in a massive “Quest” to find items, do good deeds and give back to the community. Our rousing weekend of fun and friends will also include additional events like a movie night, a dinner cruise down the Savannah River, an unforgettable Bridging Ceremony, a ghost tour (on Friday the 13th!), a Girl Scout expo and a live concert at the Savannah Civic Center.

GSHG Chief Executive Officer Sue Else and a participating Girl Scout from the Savannah area are available to share exciting news about QuestFest 2018, and how this event allows girls to showcase her inner G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader) TM.

How to Handle Telephone Hold Times in Your Business

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How to Handle Telephone Hold Times in Your Business
By Rik LaSpisa

Prior to the 1950’s, making a phone call without the assistance of an operator was unheard of. In order to make a call you had to wait on hold until an operator connected you to your party. After the introduction of the North American Numbering Plan in the United States, and similar systems in Europe, we have been able to direct dial anyone we wish to call.

Despite this, waiting on hold is still very much a part of our lives. Time magazine reports that a survey commissioned by TalkTo found that Americans spend 13 hours per year on hold. Being on hold is now an unwelcome interruption during most customer service calls. Here are some considerations to ensure your customers remain on the line.

Live Answer vs Auto Attendant

Ideally, you will answers all calls live, however, not every business can do this. If you use an auto attendant, make sure your customers can reach a person after one or two menus. This will improve their opinion of your customer service.

Music on Hold

Hold music has the benefit of easing a customer’s frustration while also making their wait-time seem shorter. Pick hold music that reflects your brand, is relatable to your customers, and is updated regularly. Be aware that you cannot use a radio station or streaming music service for your hold music. You will be required to comply with ASCAP regulations and possibly pay licensing fees. Your phone system may come with pre-programmed hold music, however music that is too simple and generic may not keep your customers on the line.

Messages on Hold

Hold messages offer you an opportunity to educate new and existing customers about products, services, and specials. Surveys have shown that 88% of callers prefer messages on hold to any other hold option, with 16–20% of those callers making a purchase based on those messages. Utilizing hold messages can be appropriate for any business that provides goods or services to customers at their home or business, in store, through phone orders, or online. You can arrange to have custom messages on hold created for your business through your phone system provider.

What not to do

Having a hold strategy is important, but some businesses place their customers on hold to complete silence. According to recent surveys, 55% of callers placed on a silent hold hung up. You should also avoid using the ubiquitous “your call is important to us” message. This will challenge your credibility if customers experience long hold times. Finally, don’t interrupt your music on hold with messages. If you wish to use a combination of messages and music, make sure your messages play during a transition.

Remember, being kept on hold is an annoying inconvenience for customers. Whether you need to look up information related to their account, toggle between another call, or transfer them to another party, try to keep their time on hold as brief and productive as possible.

Rik LaSpisa Speros

Rik LaSpisa is the Director of Sales at Speros, a full-service technology company headquartered in Savannah. For more information, please visit speros.com

Kids & Pros Announces Fourth Annual Football Camps in Savannah

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Kids & Pros Announces Fourth Annual Football Camps in Savannah

(SAVANNAH, GA) The fourth annual Kids & Pros No-Contact Football Camps will be held at two locations in the Savannah area. The first camp will be held on Monday, July 23 and Tuesday, July 24 at Calvary Day School, located at 4625 Waters Ave, Savannah, GA 31404. The second camp will be held on Wednesday, July 25 and Thursday, July 26 at Pooler Recreation Park, located at 900 S Rogers St, Pooler, GA 31322.

Kids & Pros, started by NFL alumni Bobby Butler and Buddy Curry in 2002, is a 501©3 nonprofit grounded in five core life principles called Game Changers for Life: Sportsmanship, Teamwork, Integrity, Perseverance and Excellence.

The coaches (one for every 10 kids) include former NFL players, college players and local high school and youth coaches. Kids & Pros offers the only free, character-based, non-contact football skills camp in the area. Founder and executive director Buddy Curry, a former Atlanta Falcons player, will be on hand to share coaching tips and encourage players’ motivation.

“We have designated two locations in Savannah this year to make the camps more accessible and to reach more kids,” said Curry. “Our goals are for the kids to improve their football skills, practice safer playing methods on the field, strengthen their character, gain self-confidence and become better positioned for long-term success.”

Kids & Pros highlights on-the-field football instruction as the program teaches football fundamentals and safety techniques and integrates the Game Changers for Life in each component of the clinic. It also offers players guidance on proper nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices.

The camps run from 6-9 p.m. each day and are open to kids of all skill levels from ages 7-13. In addition to three hours of instruction each day, a Parent Info Session will be held the first day of each camp from 6:20-7:20 pm.

Sponsors for this year’s camp include Chatham Orthopedics, J.C. Lewis Ford, GenCapital, The Dewitt Tilton Group, Byrd Cookie Company, Neurological & Spine Institute, Memorial Health University Medical Center, SunTrust Bank, Oliver Maner, LLP, Hussey Gay Bell, Walmart and Enviro Vac Industrial Services.

For more information on Kids & Pros, visit https://www.kidsandpros.com.

ABOUT KIDS & PROS
Kids & Pros, Inc. is a non-profit organization, started in 2002 by former Atlanta Falcons Bobby Butler and Buddy Curry to teach character and skills through athletics. Kids and Pros will celebrate its 17th Summer Camp season, providing weekly youth football camps, clinics and football safety training across the country including: Lee County, GA, Houston County, GA, Birmingham, AL, Louisville, KY, Lynchburg, VA, Stafford, VA, Huntsville, AL, Chantilly, VA, Hampton, GA, Bozeman, MT, Charlotte, NC, Knoxville, TN, Chattanooga, TN, Norcross, GA, Coweta County, GA, Danville, VA, Canton, NC, Bluffton, SC, Savannah, GA, Sylva, NC, Chastain Park, GA. For more information on Kids & Pros, Inc., please log onto our website at www.kidsandpros.com, follow us on twitter @kidsandpros, or connect with us on Facebook at Kids & Pros, Inc.

CONTACT
Buddy Curry
Executive Director
404-849-8314
buddy@kidsandpros.com

Everything You Need to Know about the GDPR

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Everything You Need to Know about the GDPR
by Charles Bowen

Charles Bowen

Charles Bowen of The Bowen Law Group

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) recently went into effect across the European Union (EU). The GDPR is a data privacy law that gives citizens of the EU far more control over their personal data and requires businesses to keep all such data private, safe and protected.

This law was passed in response to the Cambridge Analytica scandal in which the private personal data of millions of people was sold to England’s “Leave the EU” campaign and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016.

Any company that collects data on people who live in the EU must follow the new regulations, no matter where the company is based. That means that if you own a company in Savannah but sell to a European customer, you are subject to the new GDPR privacy rules.

To better ensure privacy and protection, companies must now procure their customer’s actual consent in order to store their personal information. This request for consent must be clear and written in plain language (rather than buried in 50 pages of terms and conditions).

Any company that does not obtain this explicit consent may only store a customer’s personal data if they can prove they have a “lawful basis” for doing so such as a contract or other legal obligation.

What this means in practical terms is businesses will have to pay a lot more attention to the security of their customers’ personal data and they will not be allowed to hold onto it for any longer than necessary. Also, anyone can ask for their personal information to be deleted from a company’s servers at any time.

Any company found to be in violation of these new rules will face huge financial penalties. Large companies can be fined up to 4 percent of their annual global sales, which can run into billions of dollars. Even small companies can be fined up to $23.5 million.

The GDPR was designed to protect consumers due to the large number of cyber attacks and data leaks over the past few years. And despite the fact it is a European law, given the global reach of the internet, it has been estimated that 92 percent of American businesses will be affected.

There currently are no plans to expand the provisions of GDPR to the United States, but many experts believe that given the almost daily occurrence of large scale data hacks, it’s only a matter of time until such protections are extended worldwide. It will be interesting to see how effective the EU’s monitoring of the GDPR is over the next several months and how aggressively violators are prosecuted.

It seems clear, however, that data breaches and mishandling of personal customer information will be a lot costlier.

Despite the effort it will take to understand, implement and enforce the GDPR, it is hard to deny some type of action must be taken. Anyone who has ever shopped for a product on Amazon and then immediately seen an ad for the same product on Facebook knows how creepy and invasive the internet’s targeted advertising technology can be.

The National Security Agency can use that same system to seamlessly track almost anyone in the United States, and political firms such as Cambridge Analytica can use it to secretly single out political subgroups and sell that data.

Hopefully, the GDPR is a good start in restoring a bit of privacy to the worldwide web, but it’s just the first step of a long process.

Charles Bowenis a business attorney who focuses on commercial, banking and manufacturing law and also offers comprehensive mediation services. He may be contacted at 912.544.2050 or cbowen@thebowenlawgroup.com

How to Make Your Website GDPR Compliant

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How to Make Your Website GDPR Compliant
By Lauren Dingus, Director of Web and Social Media Department

Lauren Dingus of Speros

Lauren Dingus of Speros

 

With data security becoming more and more of a concern, the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) being implemented in the European Union is sure to become the precedent for other countries, like the United States.

Your company can use GDPR as an advantage by becoming compliant with these regulations as soon as possible. By adopting these regulations, you will show your customers that you value their privacy and security. In turn, your customers will trust you. Here are a few quick ways you can get ahead of the competition.

Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions
You want to make sure you have an updated privacy policy. Your privacy policy needs to clearly lay out how you are acquiring data from users, where the data is being stored, how long you intend to keep the data, how users can view the information you’ve stored, and how the user can have the data removed from your systems. Along with your privacy policy, your website should also include its terms and conditions for users on the site. This should briefly outline how users are allowed to interact with your site.

Easy Opt-in and Opt-out
Your website visitors need to be able to opt-out just as easily as the opted in. Normally you have your users subscribe their email as your opt-in option. Opting out should be just as simple. For example, if you are sending your users email marketing, have a link at the bottom where they can choose to opt-out. You can include this link in your privacy policy as well.

SSL Certificate
A Single Socket Layer, or SSL certificate, is a small file that you put into your website. It makes all your content secure between servers, can help your Google search engine optimization (SEO), and help build trust with your customers. The SSL certificate provides the “padlock” symbol that you often see in web browsers and the “https://” in front of your domain name. When your customers see this, they know that your website is secure.

IP Tracking
If your website uses IP tracking that provides you with identifiable details about your visitors, then you need to make it known in your privacy policy. This data is different than what is collected with Google Analytics and is considered personal data.

RE-Marketing
Re-marketing is when a website uses cookies to track your online activity and serve you ads based on your online activity. For example, if you’re on a website that sells a product and then you later log onto Facebook and see an ad from that site, it used cookies to track your information. You must make website visitors aware of this in your privacy policy.

Cookies
Advertising the use of and the acceptance of using cookies is law. It needs to be clear immediately on the website for the user to be able to accept or deny the use of cookies. In addition, it needs to be outlined in your privacy policy that you use cookies and what you use them for.

Social media advertising
If you plan on using email addresses for social media marketing lists you must make users aware. They have to willingly opt into the social media marketing and you must provide them with an easy method to opt-out.

Website forms
Input forms on your website cannot have prefilled form fields. This is considered implied consent. Your forms must be clear and allow your website visitors to give explicit consent for each type of processing. The user must give their consent freely for everything they are opting into.

Online payments
If your website uses a payment gateway like PayPal, your own website may be collecting personal data from the transactions made. You must make sure your website has an SSL certificate to ensure your users it is safe. You need to make it clear in your privacy policy that what information is being collected. If the information is being stored, then you need to make it clear how long the information will be stored, and if the user wants the information removed you must do so.

Data breaches
Lastly, you must notify users of any data breach that takes place within 72 hours. Furthermore, if the breach puts users’ freedoms and rights at risk, then the Information Commissioners Office website must also be notified.

Ultimately you want to get ahead of the competition and comply with the regulations of GDPR as it will quickly become the standard. By doing so you will build trust with your customers and build your company’s reputation as a trusted source.

Lauren Dingusis the Director of Web and Social Media Department at Speros, responsible for the website development division including high-end graphic design, integrated functionality and security components. For information, contact Dingus at ldingus@speros.comor 912.790.5117.

Oglethorpe Driving Club Hosts Coffee and Cars at Bethesda Academy

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Oglethorpe Driving Club Hosts Coffee and Cars at Bethesda Academy

ODC Scholarship Drive Benefits Bethesda Academy

(SAVANNAH, GA) For the third year in a row, The Oglethorpe Driving Club (ODC) announces plans to relocate their monthly “Cars and Coffee” meeting to Bethesda Academy, 9520 Ferguson Avenue, Savannah, GA 31406, on July 7th from 7 a.m. – 11 a.m. (rain or shine) to benefit their scholarship drive.

On display will be the finest examples of classic, vintage and exotic cars from Savannah and surrounding areas. Donations will be accepted at the event from attendees, there will be a minimum $10.00 registration fee for participants with vehicles on display. All proceeds to benefit Bethesda Academy. Over the last two years, ODC has provided several fully funded scholarships for deserving Bethesda students.

“We are an odd mixture of collectors, racers, and just plain motorheads dedicated to our cars, but we also feel an obligation to give back to the community,” said Michael Shortt of the ODC. “One of our founding members and his brother were adopted from Bethesda, so it is a special place to all of us.”

The ODC was formed in Savannah in 2006 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first United States Grand Prix, which was held in Savannah on November 26, 1908. It’s a 50 member cadre of sports car owners and enthusiasts dedicated to the use and enjoyment of sports cars and auto racing, ODC meetings typically host over 150 cars.

In addition to monthly “Cars and Coffee” meetings, the organization honors its predecessor, the Savannah Automobile Club of 1904, by sponsoring racing competitions, rallies, advanced driving courses, Savannah Speed Classic, the area’s largest Toy Drive each Christmas season and other social events. The ODC also works actively to advance the sport of motor racing in Savannah and to preserve Savannah’s illustrious auto racing heritage.

For more information about this event, visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/186856591591/

ABOUT BETHESDA ACADEMY
Founded in 1740, Bethesda Academy is the oldest child-care institution in the United States. Now it is a private boarding and day school for young men in grades six through twelve and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The 650-acre campus features a variety of athletic teams, a wildlife management and organic farming program and STEM curriculum. Through its “Lead The Way” initiative, students have access to exclusive integrated learning and leadership opportunities. For more information, visit www.bethesdaacademy.org or call 912.644.4376.

MEDIA CONTACT
Cynthia Wright
Carriage Trade PR
Cecilia Russo Marketing
cynthia.wright@carriagetradepr.com
912.856.9075