Story last updated at 1/23/2013 - 2:07 pm
Since 1948 Alaska Litho has been primarily a print shop, that is, until Jenny Fremlin joined the team. Fremlin has a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication as well as a masters and a doctorate in media psychology. That background has led the shop into new offerings for local entrepreneurs.
So Alaska Litho is bookended: on one side there's an original Heidelberg printing press (manufactured using engineering designs from the 1800s), and on the other, an expert in social media (Fremlin).
She started with the company in 2004, working on prepress tasks. She took a hiatus for her graduate work, returning to the company in the fall of 2011, right when the company decided to add a media services division. The target of the media seminars, Fremlin said, are businesses, which comprise the majority of the company's clients. The seminars are designed and created to assist their clients and other businesses in expanding their tool boxes.
"We started the media service to help our clients branch out into other forms of media," Fremlin said. "So it's mainly targeted to our clients, but these media seminars are open to the public but still business-focused."
Last winter Alaska Litho taught six monthly seminars on individual topics. This winter the seminars are divided into sets of two. For example, the first of two in November focused on website psychology.
"What usability is, search engine optimization, how we read online, why that is, how to make content so that people understand that easier," Fremlin said.
The second one dug more into what a content management system is, and taught participants how to make updates and changes to a website.
Last week was the first of this month's two-part series, called, "Social Media: Today, Tomorrow and Beyond." The second seminar, to be held on Jan. 24, will focus specifically on Facebook. Fremlin gave the example of local tourism business as candidates who could utilize what she will be teaching.
"When you don't have your own marketing department and you want to do it yourself without taking up all of your time," Fremlin said, is a reason you might be interested in this Facebook class.
Though many users of Facebook learn the ropes on their own, it changes all the time. It can be confusing, Fremlin admitted, which is why she subscribes to handfuls of electronic news alerts. She reviews them daily.
"(I) summarize what's new, technology, marketing, app development," Fremlin said. "One specific to social media."
Fremlin said that Facebook constantly updates their features to try and be more useful.
"But it seems like the user controls always move," she said. "You have to go to different places to find privacy settings. Facebook says they're trying to make it easier. I guess they're testing out different options."
The Facebook seminar will involve hands-on activities. Participants will be grouped into teams.
"I'll do demos on screens, and then have the groups do their own activities, similar to what I did: writing posts, commenting on each others' page, learning how to start photo albums, create events, and it will move into things like creating advertising campaigns and 'insights,'" she said, which is Facebook's equivalent to analytics, a user tracking tool. These insights are only available for business Facebook pages, not personal ones.
The class will also focus on how to create event listings, how to share events, and will focus on administration panels. The panel participants can have different levels of roles or authority, which Fremlin will describe in the seminar.
Thinking forward, Fremlin said that Alaska Litho will be introducing a mobile app. It will be called, "Postcards from Alaska." The app will allow clients to use a mobile device to send a postcard order to the company. Customers will be able to choose their own photos, or from an "Alaska Gallery," as well as include personal messages on the back of the cards. The company will then print and mail the orders.
"I love to learn," she said. "I like that it never ends. There's always something new."
The seminars are held between 9 and 11:30 a.m. at the Goldbelt Hotel. Registration is $95 per person. To register visit www.aklitho.com.
Amanda Compton is the staff writer for the Capital City Weekly. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.