The poll question posed in our last e-newsletter inquired as to how much time you spend checking your e-mail or browsing the Internet in a typical day. The results? A close call between 3-6 hours and less than one, which both did and didn’t surprise me, as I thought more of you would have responded in the 3-6 hour category.
Because my job requires me to work at a computer most of the day, I am used to the constant barrage of e-mail, Internet and social media opportunities presented to me on a daily basis. Not only can I find out about a store, company, product, etc. by visiting its website, there also are opportunities to sign up for newsletters, read a blog, follow them on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.
While I admit to being dependent on the Internet and e-mail to a large degree, I am still skeptical about the rampant use of social media in a professional context. While I like that it’s an option, I don’t want it to become the only option or to feel like I’m missing out on something because I don’t have the time to read every blog or Twitter post. How do you pick and choose?
You choose what you read by the value it presents to you. With the small amount of time that you have to dedicate to the Internet each day, why not make it work for you?
With that said, have you become a Facebook fan yet? We’ve jumped on the bandwagon, but want to make sure that it’s helpful to you. So check us out, become a fan and let me know what YOU want to read from us.
After all, your time is money and we all need more time!
Ruth Ann Steenburgh
Director of Retail Operations
What makes your store unique?
We have two stores at the Virginia Aquarium — Fiddler’s Cove is dedicated to all things salt marsh-related, keeping in touch with the building where it is located; Water’s Edge emphasizes the open ocean and the Chesapeake Bay. Our Aquarium’s theme is tracing the Chesapeake Bay, so we have a large campus with two buildings connected by a nature trail.
The Water’s Edge store has recently been relocated and built so that the exit for the aquarium goes through the store and the store itself has been designed to actually look like part of the exhibit space. Overhead are 155 swimming Lucite fish, the spinner racks are designed to look like seaweed and the wind chime fixture is a piling.
What is your retail background?
I worked for three years in Hawaii as a department manager and buyer for Sears, seven years as a store manager for a chain of local department stores in Virginia Beach and 25 years as the Retail Operations Director for the Virginia Aquarium.
What is the most popular product you sell?
Right now it is a plush version of our aquarium mascot “Sandy the Sea Turtle.”
What trade shows do you attend?
The biggest trade show I go to is the January Gift Show in Atlanta, followed by The Gathering in Orlando, the Museum Store Association Show and the New York Gift Show in August. I have attended a few smaller ones like the Smoky Mountain Gift Show in Sevierville, Tenn. and the Ocean City Show, but not on a regular basis.
What social media applications do
you find most beneficial to
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