A Family’s Tale of Success…Sound View Inn, Greenport, New York

jpegLast August, with the peaceful Long Island Sound as our backdrop, I sat down with Ellen Wiederlight and Rachel Murphy, managers of the Sound View Inn and Sound View Restaurant and talked about the 77-year history of the resort and its owner, their 104-year-young father, Jack Levin.

Rachel and Ellen’s stories gave Hamptons Creative Group a poignant look into a business that has left its mark on a small town, and into the life of Jack Levin, a gifted businessman, generous community spirit, and devoted family man.

I was entranced with the stories, abundant with love and dedication for the family, their history, and the great relationships built through generations.  We’re grateful for Ellen and Rachel’s willingness to invite us to hear their family’s story, and honored to share it with our readers.  We hope you will enjoy their story as much as we were privileged to take a walk down memory lane with them!

***

jpeg-1Walk into the Sound View Inn on any given morning and you’ll find Jack Levin eating breakfast, enjoying a stunning view of the Long Island Sound, and greeting patrons and new customers alike. At 104, Jack shows the same type of fierce attention and love for his resort that he had at the beginning of his journey in 1935.

Today, Jack’s properties include the Sound View Inn and Restaurant and the Terrace Colony Cottages. 77 years ago, however, Jack Levin leased from the town a square concession stand on the east end of the Greenport public beach. Appropriately named Jack’s Shack, the concession stand soon became the hottest hang out on the North Fork, serving up burgers, hot dogs, hand cut French fries and shakes all summer long to the devoted crowds.

jpeg-2In 1952, with his wife Donna by his side, Jack built the Sound Shore Motel, one mile east of Jack’s Shack and next door to the Sound View Restaurant. Together, they established one of the most popular family destinations on the North Fork.

Since 1952 the Sound View Inn has stood as an iconic landmark for the town of Greenport. Small and unassuming, the inn and restaurant have
been the destination spot for first, second, and
now third generations!  What once started as a beachside shack has become a booming business…and a family affair!

Jack’s daughter Ellen Wiederlight was born into this whirlwind hotel life. Her first crib was a dresser drawer in the Sound View Inn. When she was five, she helped pick up Coke bottles littered around the Inn’s bushes for the deposit. As she grew older, Ellen did everything from collect the linens to bussing tables at the restaurant.

Today, Ellen is the manager of the Sound View Inn and it’s still hard to tell where Ellen’s work ends and her personal life begins—the two are intertwined in an indistinguishable manner.

“It’s not a job, it’s not work,” Ellen says. “It’s life … and it’s all good.”

jpeg-3This mindset seems to run in the Levin gene pool. Ellen’s sister, Rachel Murphy, has been managing the Sound View Restaurant since 1980 with a similar mentality.

“It’s a lifestyle,” Rachel says. “I love working with my staff and I love the people part of it.”

And for these two sisters, it’s the people part of it that makes coming into the inn and restaurant everyday not seem like work.

“The best part about this job is watching people be happy,” Ellen says.

The Levin family has been fortunate to experience generations of families coming through both the inn and restaurant. The same couples who vacationed there in the 1960’s are now bringing their grandchildren and enjoying the same vibrant memories—building sandcastles on the beach, climbing on the rocks, watching brilliant sunsets from their back porch and eating world class seafood caught right outside their room.

“We have a special relationship with the regulars,” Ellen says. “Families who come back every year and enjoy themselves.”

“I have people my age coming in and they walk in [the restaurant] with a smile and I go, ‘You came here when you were a little kid didn’t you?’” Rachel says. “And they go ‘Yeah! We’re back!’”

***

jpeg-4In 2011, Suffolk County and Southold Town honored Jack for his preservation work.  A plaque now sits at the center of Arshamomaque Preserve commemorating him as a visionary businessman.

But Jack Levin does not need a plaque to be remembered by the people of Greenport—his role as a community man has already stood the test of time. Even though his concession stopped selling their burgers and shakes over 30 years ago, many locals still refer to the Town beach as Jack’s Shack beach. Generation after generation has come through the Sound View Inn and Sound View Restaurant and Inn Families, enjoying the view, the beach, and the dedicated and personable Levin family.

pngSound View Inn

Sound View Restaurant

 

 

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Hamptons Creative Group Voted “Best of the Best”

We received exciting news last week! Dan’s Paper (an East End institution since 1960) voted Hamptons Creative Group Best in Public Relations- Gold Medal Level- in the South Fork of Long Island’s East End. 

Dan’s “Best of the Best” awards has been celebrating the crème de la crème of East End for more than 25 years. The winners were determined by Dan’s Paper, readers and online visitors at danshamptons.com.

The award came as wonderful surprise for the team at HCG and we can’t wait to accept the award in November.

We are proud to be serving such a vibrant community of like-minded businesses, solopreneurs, cultural and charitable organizations, and thrilled to receive such a time-honored award. Congratulations to all our fellow “Best of the Best” award winners!

 

 

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Five Reasons Why No One is Re-Tweeting You

You have killer content, a decent number of followers and a regular posting schedule. So why is no one on Twitter re-tweeting you?

It might be tempting to concentrate only on the content but re-tweeting is an essential part of Twitter. While there are whole reports done on what type language is most often re-tweeted and what the most popular day for re-tweeting is( turns out it’s Friday night), it’s important for small businesses to start with the basics before diving into the analytics. Here are five reasons why no on is re-tweeting your tweets:

  • Your Egg Hasn’t Hatched— If you are still using the default egg as your twitter avatar, your first order of business is to change it to a relevant photo. ASAP. Using the egg avatar comes across as lazy, or worse, makes you look like a spammer. No matter what the content is, people won’t want to re-tweet either way.
  • Poor Grammar— If your tweets are littered with spelling mistakes and punctuation errors, don’t expect your followers to share with their own friends.
  • Ignoring Trending Topics— Granted there are some very bizarre trending topics (#robotpickuplines?), trending tweets are a great way to up your exposure and stream your content to thousands of people.
  • Bad Manners— Mom always said to mind your P’s and Q’s and it turns out the rule applies in the Twitter world as well as the real world. If you have a small number of followers re-tweeting your work, tweet back at them saying thanks for the RT! It’s not only building a friendly community but it will also encourage other people to follow suit and re-tweet as well.
  • Anti-Social—If you want followers to re-tweet your work, be prepared to re-tweet theirs as well. It shows that you are not a self-centered tweeter and are willing to help other people get their message out as well.
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Oh the Places We Wish to Go

This month’s guest blogger is Megan Miller, blogger extraordinaire and  catalog photography sample coordinator at a home furnishing and decor company. Her blog, Meg Goes to Market is a lifestyle blog featuring all of Megan’s passions: from places she wants to go to fashion trends to recipes to how she’s decorating her home. 

Today she shares her travel wish list; a hopeful itinerary of some of the world’s most stunning attractions. 

For Hamptons Creative Group, we’ve spent the better part of the summer traveling (unfortunately not to any of Meg’s destinations).  There is nothing we love more then hitting the road and meeting so many new and wonderful clients while exploring a new place. Hopefully one day  business will take us to one of these amazing places on Megan’s wish list! 

Let’s Get Away…
I’ve been experiencing a major case of wanderlust recently and I have found myself constantly dreaming about flying off to some far off location!

                              Marble Cave in Chile

 Ka Pao, Thailand

Bokod, Hungary

Surreal architecture….Brussels

Passage to the Sea, Isle of Crete, Greece

 

 

Tell us, what is your vacation wish list? 

 

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Four New Facebook Features You Need to Know

It seems like every few weeks Facebook is changing up their features. While usually the changes are obvious to spot (the new timeline), often Facebook users can go months without realizing new features.

Here are four new Facebook changes your company needs to know in order to keep up with the social media world.

Editable Comments

It’s happened to us all. We’re browsing through our Facebook wall, looking at recent posts, leave a comment and then have instant commenter’s regret. Maybe we spelled something atrociously, or said something inappropriate by accident. Until now, the only thing we were allowed to do was delete the comment and start all over again. No longer! Facebook will now allow you to edit your comments after posting them. Simply hover over the little pencil icon that appears when you hover over your comment, and you will see an additional “edit” drop-down option.

Get More Post Views The Hard Way

Due to changes Facebook recently made in the algorithm that decides which posts people who “like” you will see, only about 16% of your followers will actually see a given post on average. To combat this, you need to get your followers to change a setting in relation to your page. All they need to do is hover over the “liked” button on your page, and then click the “show in news feed” option. Once they do this, all of your posts will be visible. We recommend publishing the occasional post that reads something like this:

Unfortunately, only about 10% of you will see this post because of Facebook’s new update for pages. In order to see all of our posts, make sure to click/hover over the ‘Liked’ button above & activate the ‘show in news feed’ option.

You can apply the same action to any other pages you want to continue to keep updated on. Make sure to share this post wherever you can on Facebook so your friends are able to do the same.

Get More Post Views The Easy Way

Facebook knows that they have changed how many people are able to view your posts organically, and so they have introduced Promoted Posts, which allows you to pay to have your posts stuck in front of everyone’s eyeballs. This feature is only available to brands with 400 “likes” or more, so you might be too small to take advantage of this feature, but if you’ve got the followers and the scratch, this is an easy way to make sure that your messaging has the most impact.

I Have A Facebook Email Address?

Without alerting anyone, Facebook changed user’s listed emails to one ending in @facebook.com. This either resulted in listing your Facebook email where there was none, or hid your already listed emails and replaced them. Though Facebook email accounts were announced way back in 2010, they haven’t been adopted by many and this latest action is seen as a blatant attempt to get the service some more traction. Luckily, it’s easy to fix. Simply navigate to your profile, click “Update info,” scroll down to “Contact Info” and click “Edit.” Here you can choose who you want to share each of your email address’s with and to the right of that choose whether you want your email to show up in your timeline.

[By Sam George from Solamar Agency]

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Rare Lobster Dies in Captivity

The unusual calico lobster discovered two weeks ago at Stuart’s Seafood Market has died in captivity.

Appropriately named Spotty by the owner’s son, the East Hampton market came across the unusual calico crustacean amidst their 3,000-pound shipment from Nova Scotia. Calico’s are found approximately 1 in 30 million, and is the second most rare type of lobster after the white lobster.

“We did our best to keep Spotty happy and healthy for the time she was with us,” Stuart’s owner Charlotte Sasso said. “Many people enjoyed coming to see her. Animal curiosities are so fascinating and spark an interest in science for kids as well as adults.”

While it’s too bad the lobster never reached its intended home at the Riverhead Aquarium, we’re glad so many people were able to enjoy such a rare animal.

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1 in 30 Million—Rare Lobster Found at Local Market

Spotty, a rare calico lobster. Photo Credit: Charlotte Sasso.

Most people would rather see a lobster on their plate than on display at an aquarium. But most lobsters aren’t like Spotty, a rare, orange and yellow calico lobster discovered at Stuart’s Seafood Market.

The East Hampton market came across the unusual crustacean amidst their 3,000-pound shipment from Nova Scotia. What makes this lobster so special? Calico’s are found approximately 1 in 30 million, and is the second most rare type of lobster after the white lobster.

Charlotte and Bruce Sasso, owners of the market, contacted the Riverhead Aquarium and are waiting to hear whether they will put the invertebrate on display. Until then, Spotty (nicknamed by Charlotte’s son Dante) will be staying at Stuart’s Market.

We love how such a rare and interesting discovery was made right in our backyard. Amidst the commonplace and the ordinary, you can find something truly unexpected and original.  At Hampton’s Creative Group we hope to deliver that same originality—whether it’s connecting businesses with clients, designing websites, or promoting events we vow never to approach a situation in a conventional matter.  While HCG may not be 1 in 30 million like Spotty, we think our business ideals are pretty rare as well.

Rare Calico Lobster Escapes Dinner Plate [East Hampton Patch]

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How to Find Your Next PR Client

The process of finding clients may seem like a daunting task at times. How do you even begin to go about attracting them in the first place? Cold Calls? Social media? Networking? Well turns out the process can be surprisingly informal according to publishing professional, Linda Jay Geldens.  Here are her tips for landing your next PR client.

“You Need Me!”

I once attended a computer conference. The Apple Computer internal newsletter  was prominently featured on a table at the back of the room.  A quick scan of the newsletter revealed that the text was riddled with errors.

I went home and circled all the mistakes in red, then made an appointment to talk with the newsletter’s editor.  That day, in an uncharacteristically brash tone, I simply said, “You need me!” as I slid the heavily edited newsletter onto his desk.

The upshot:  He hired me immediately, my name was on the masthead as copy editor, and I worked in that freelance gig for over a year.

An On-target Referral

This next example is a case of a wonderfully on-target client referral from a third party who had great intuition.  Recently I collaborated on a book, where I was a contributing writer, copy editor, back cover copywriter and press release writer.

How did the author and I meet?  Through a “virtual introduction” by another writer who knew both of us.   The author and I hit it off immediately, and have been off and running ever since.

That author asked me to find 10 or more multiple marriers, a man or woman who has been married and divorced three or more times, to answer a detailed questionnaire we had drawn up for the book, and then to write up case studies for each interviewee.

Just Ask 

One of my best clients is an innovative training company in San Francisco.  I met the client when the CEO was the speaker at a women’s group I attended.  Her team had brought their marketing materials to display.

Once again, I was convinced my writing and editing skills could improve their message.  So I asked the CEO at the end of her speech to send me a sample project the following week that I could work on.  That was the beginning of a beautiful client relationship that continues to this day!

I’ve found clients by:

  • Sending tactful, humorous emails about mistakes I’ve seen on websites, and offering to proofread the material before it goes live.
  • Posting opinions on interest group sites on LinkedIn.
  • Sending queries to people who announce on Facebook that they are writing books.
  • Volunteering to write PR material for groups whose causes I care about.

The right PR clients for you are out there—it just takes a bit of creative thinking to find them.

[Published originally on Publicityhound.net.]
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R.I.P Google+?

Is Google’s social networking site a failure?

It’s been almost a year since Google+ became live, and whether or not you’re an avid user, most can agree Google’s social network has not been the giant success people were predicting 12 months ago.

Although Google+ uses seamless integration of e-mail, YouTube and G-chat, statistics at the one year mark show Google+ is having a hard time competing with other social network giants in terms of average time spent on the site. Check out this cool infographic from Tom Sizer-James at Browser Media and decide for yourself how much time your company should put into the social media platform.

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5 Essential Tips for Online Marketing

In the last few years, marketing has became a drastically different playing field. The digital world has created type of mass media marketing that has made many old-school marketing practices obsolete. As business consultant Jeff Bullas says, “marketing rules are changing,” and the importance of optimizing your companies online presence is paramount.  Here are five great tips from Bullas’ website Jeffbullas.com on how to up your online marketing game.

1. Search Engine Optimization

It boils down to this: If people think you’re important, so will Google. This perplexes many webmasters and online marketers, since they wonder how people will consider them important when people use search engines to find things online in the first place. How are you important if you’re invisible in the search engines to start with?

And how does Google know people think you’re important any­way? For one, they know because people link to you, and Google fol­lows those links to index and rank web pages. And thanks to services such as

  1. Google Toolbar
  2. Google Analytics
  3. Feedburner
  4. Google Reader
  5. Gmail and other applications that keep you logged-in to your Google account

Google has an enormous amount of usage data that shows what people actually spend time doing online. So, there’s that. But how do you kick it off? To get people to link to you and generally pay attention in the first place, you have to start thinking about authority in a different sense.

2. Amplify Your Message through Social Media

The Top 5 Social Media channels to consider using depending on your target markets are

  1. Facebook (80%),
  2. Twitter (66%),
  3. YouTube (55%),
  4. LinkedIn (49%) and
  5. Blogs (43%).

Also consider using multiple social media channels as it amplifies your  message and gives it the best chance to go viral.

3. Design Your Website To Enhance Your Brand and Authority

If you want to look professional then the website has to give your brand an image that can in a lot of cases make you look bigger than your competitors because they are sloppy with their website design. Do not overlook this.

4. Build Your Subscriber List RSS for Your Blog, Email and for your e-Newsletter

Offer a variety of ways for people to subscribe at different locations on your website and blog such as at the top, the bottom and on the side panel (make it as easy as possible)

  • Subscribe via RSS
  • Subscribe via email

5. Have a Great Headline For Your Content

Did you know that on average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. This is the secret to the power of the headline, and why it so highly determines the effectiveness of the entire piece. Here are some headline types and examples:

  • Get What You Want (In Health, Wealth, Relationships, Time and Lifestyle) eg.. The Secret To Getting More Money For Your Property !
  • Crystal Ball and History eg.. 10 Predictions on the Future of Social Media
  • Problems and Fears eg … Get Rid of Your Debt Once and For All
  • Fact, Fiction, Truth and Lies example.. Little Known Ways To Make Money On The Stock Exchange
  • How To, Tricks Of The Trade. such as..  How To Plan The Ultimate Holiday
  • Best and Worst  eg The 10 Worst Mistakes Made by Bloggers
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