Mon, June 24, 2024

Teaching businesses the advantage of digital marketing

The Columbia County Chamber of Commerce is again offering a popular summer program to help businesses and non-profit organizations.

Called the Business Institute, it is a series of four classes, held once a month through the summer.

The June program, sponsored by SRP Federal Credit Union and Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, was “Telling Your Story Through Social Media.” It was led by Russell Lahodney, President and CEO of the Chamber, and David Bash of Osla Marketing and Augusta Podcasts.

“It is an opportunity to address hot topics in business for all of our members. And it is a way to rally together as a community and learn something new, take it back, and really make everyone, every business in the community better,” Madalyn Brantley, Director of Programs and Events for the Columbia County Chamber, told ABD.

Brantley said many people have been attending classes since the program began.

One of the repeat attendees was Doressa Hawes, Volunteer Program Manager at Golden Harvest Food Bank.

“It’s a great opportunity to learn more,” she said. “Like today, being able to learn how to story tell. I came to the AI (artificial intelligence) one which was very eye-opening. That one sparked my interest to learn more about AI because I was blown away about what can happen and what is going to take place with AI.”

She said lessons learned during the sessions are shared with staff and volunteers at Golden Harvest.

“I share everything that I’ve learned. I’ll share what it meant to me, the opportunities there are, and what I can do to better myself or our department,” she explained.

Brantley said the Chamber emails surveys to attendees who are asked what topics they would like to see the following year. Once topics are selected, it is easy to attract experts in each topic to lead the classes.

“Especially when you pick the right person,” she said. “They’re passionate about their topic. They know their stuff, and they want to share. Early mornings are a little hard, but we always have great speakers and they always say yes.”

ABD Publisher, Neil Gordon will be on the upcoming media panel in July. The classes are held at the Columbia County Performing Arts Center at 1000 Market Street in Evans. They run from 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. and include light refreshments. The next class will be on July 9. It will focus on creating an evergreen pipeline to attract new customers. The final session will be August 13.

The Business Institute is open to Chamber members and non-members. More information and registration are available at

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