Savor Gettysburg Food Tours: As Authentic as it Gets

Straight from the vine…

One of the biggest buzz words right now is “authentic.”

According to Merriam-Webster, “authentic” is defined as “real or genuine; not copied or false; true and accurate.”

Chances are, whatever your field of work, the concept of authenticity has touched or reshaped your work because it’s being driven by consumer demand. (To delve deeper, check out communications agency Cohn & Wolfe’s recent study examining the relationships between consumers and authentic brands.)

I think one of the most significant markets where authenticity counts is the food industry. Studies show that more consumers care about where and how their foods are grown and made, whether they are organic, pasture-raised, cage-free, and local. (Click here for a recent Forbes’ article detailing 2017 food trends, with “Sustainability” as #5.)

So, being a foodie myself, and spending a good deal of time writing about food, I want to shine a spotlight on a friend who is doing an amazing job creating fun, authentic food tours and experiences. Continue reading

Instagram for Artists

Social media is intertwined with our daily lives, personally and professionally. For freelancers or those of us who are self-employed, social media is a fantastic way to share the stories behind our work, to network with others, and promote our work to a wider audience.

The rise of Instagram and its beautiful, visual platform, presents the perfect opportunity for artists of all types to promote their works. It’s visual storytelling at its best. That’s why I’ve created a two-part class “Instagram for Artists” offered through the Adams County Arts Council, Gettysburg, PA.


Continue reading

Small Businesses Struggle with Technology

ID-100127146Even with the marketing muscle of social media campaigns such as “Buy Local” and “Small Business Saturday,” a recent survey found that America’s small businesses are severely struggling to keep up with technology trends. The Score Association, a nonprofit organization based in Herndon, VA that partners with the U.S. Small Business Administration, released a number of eye-opening statistics in early January:

  • Only 51% of small businesses have websites, despite the fact that 97% of consumers regularly search for products and services online

Analyzing the 51% of small business who currently have websites:

  • 82% are not utilizing social media
  • 93% of the websites are not compatible with mobile devices
  • 27% did not include a phone number on their website
  • 68% did not include an email address within their contact information

Researchers at Score found that many small business owners are dismissing their web and social media presence because they feel as though they don’t have time to develop these resources, according to an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. However, the same study finds compelling reasons for small businesses to devote the time and energy into improving their virtual presence:

  • 91% of consumers have visited a store based upon a positive online experience
  • 96% of consumers surveyed research products or services on their mobile device
  • 73% of mobile searches trigger calls, store visits and sales

Small business owners always account for at least half of the attendance at my social media workshops. It is so rewarding to provide them with the tools they need to succeed on-line! I’m excited to announce several upcoming classes at Gettysburg’s Adams County Arts Council, along with a new location—the PA Guild of Craftsmen, Center for American Craft, Lancaster. Here are the class descriptions, locations, dates and links for more information… hope to see you there! The Art of Social Media

  • Wednesdays, January 21 – February 11, 6:30-8:30pm (a 4-class series)
  • Adams County Arts Council, Gettysburg PA
  • Communication today is multi-faceted. Whether you’re communicating for business or pleasure, in this class you’ll learn to navigate social media channels, select the “best fits” for you, and enjoy connecting with friends, colleagues, and/or customers. Includes how to set up a website or blog with WordPress, plus Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, and Snapfish for photo storage.

The Art of Social Media will also be offered as a weekend workshop:

And for those of you who like to plan ahead… Facebook 101 (10am-12pm) & Twitter 101 (1-3pm):

  • Saturday, August 22
  • Center for American Craft, Lancaster PA
  • Brush up on your skills by taking one class or both!
  • Small businesses account for one of the fastest-growing segments of social media due to its free availability and effectiveness.
  • Facebook 101 is a 2-hour workshop. Learn how to best utilize a media staple—Facebook—to showcase your arts/crafts or small business. The session will provide practical tips and helpful how-to’s, geared towards developing and maintaining a Facebook business page—often thought of as a mini-website. Time for personal Q&As is included during the class.
  • Twitter 101 is the focus of the afternoon session, designed to help you develop a comfort level and strategies for tweeting like a pro! This session allows time for your personal Q&As.

With Teens in Mind

Image courtesy of Ambro /

Image courtesy of Ambro /

By Karen Hendricks

Welcome to “Gettysburg Social!” This column examines the latest social media trends and was first published in Celebrate Gettysburg magazine, March/April 2014. 

Ninety-five percent of American teens have access to the Internet and 78 percent own a cell phone—two reasons that social media use continues to soar among teenagers. According to the Pew Research Center, 81 percent of online teens use social media. What can adults do to help teens stay safe and maintain a healthy perspective?

Arm yourself with the e-facts

  • Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the top three social media sites used by teens. All three require users to be at least 13 years old.
  • Sixty percent of teens use privacy settings on Facebook, meaning only friends can see their posts and photos. That means 40 percent grant public access to their photos and information.
  • Ninety-two percent use their real names on the profiles they use most often; 91 percent post photos of themselves.

Set e-rules

Social media can be accessed on cell phones, computers, iPods and other devices. Set usage limits and make sure teens maintain a balance of “real life,” studying, sports/activities, family time and socializing with friends vs. “screen time.” This may not win you a “mother-of-the-year” award!

Be e-savvy

Talk to teens about boundaries, privacy and safety. Topics for discussion include location-enabled services, privacy settings, appropriate language and examples of cyberbullying.

Limit e-photos

Photo-sharing can be a wonderful aspect of social media, especially for teens’ friends or family in faraway places. But talk about the permanence of viral photos and stay on top of a trend that spirals out of control for many teens: posting “selfies.”

Look at the big e-picture

Social media use can impact future college and job applications. Help teens understand that their actions, online or otherwise, have consequences that reach beyond their teenage years.

Show e-love

One last statistic: 72 percent of parents say they do not get involved in their teens’ social media use because they are “overwhelmed by technology,” and they just hope for the best.

To see previous Gettysburg Social columns, click here.

Karen Hendricks, the mother of three teens, owns Hendricks Communications, a Gettysburg-based firm specializing in PR, marketing and related services such as social media. She also teaches social media classes regularly at the Adams County Arts Council.

“Buy Local” this Holiday Season


Hobbit House Pottery by Jack Handshaw – created locally in Fairfield, Adams County

By Karen Hendricks

One of the most current, effective marketing strategies for small business owners, across all types, is the “buy local” approach. And it’s not only working in favor of business owners; consumers are identifying with the movement, supporting and appreciating the local flair only small businesses can provide.

Several key principles fuel successful “buy local” marketing campaigns:

  • People care about their communities. Shopping in local businesses directly supports that community and adds to its economic vitality. Many successful “buy local” campaigns build on this theme so that consumers understand and appreciate the power of local spending versus supporting national “big box” retailers.
  • Consumers appreciate local flavor. Carrying the above notion a step further, many consumers see the value in purchasing unique, locally-created items versus mass-produced items.
  • There’s strength in numbers. Small business owners who band together for collective “buy local” marketing campaigns stand a better chance of generating buzz and traffic. Downtown merchant associations and farmers’ market associations are just two examples of group approaches.

Here in Gettysburg, PA, the Adams County Arts Council is following the “buy local” trend by offering their Holiday Art Show & Sale, now through December 30. The collective works of 44 local artists and artisans is on display–showcasing a wide variety of wearable art, wall art, functional art such as pottery and glassware, and so much more.

And what better time, than the holiday season, to support local artists? Not only do shoppers support their creative neighbors, but the recipients on their gift lists are receiving handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gift items for a truly personal touch.

Take a tour of the Adams County Arts Council’s show, highlighting local talent–click any image below to open a slideshow. I am honored to be a part of such an incredible show by exhibiting several pieces of photography!

More information:

Perfect for last-minute gift-giving as well as thoughtful, “buy local” purchases… The Adams County Arts Council’s Holiday Art Show & Sale is open:

  • Sat, Dec 21 – 10-2
  • Mon, Dec 23 – 9-6
  • Tues, Dec 24 – 9-12
  • Mon, Dec 30 – 9-12
  • (Closed Dec. 25-29 and 31)
  • Location: 125 South Washington Street, Gettysburg PA 17325
  • Phone: 717-334-5006
  • Website:

Social Media Use Expands to Nearly 3 in 4 Adults

By Karen Hendricks

Seniors Social Media

72% of American adults now use some form of social media, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center. Among the fastest-growing demographic group are those in the 65+ age category, tripling their presence on social networking sites during the last four years from 13% to 43%. As The Washington Post recently summarized, “Your grandma is three times as likely to use a social networking site now as in 2009.”

I can attest to this personally, having taught several rounds of “The Art of Social Media,” a “social media 101” series through a local arts council. The majority of my class attendees are those in the 55+ category, although there have consistently been a smattering of younger and middle-age attendees as well.

It’s always interesting to hear attendees’ motivation for signing up for the workshops, a four-week series totaling eight hours of instruction on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and other forms of social media. The most consistent answer I receive is, “I’ve been resistant to social media–I thought it was a fad–but now that I realize it’s here to stay, I want to learn it.” That answer comes from people of all ages!

But the most common response from older attendees is “I want to communicate with my grandchildren and connect with them on Facebook (or Twitter).” And it’s so thrilling to hear their success stories, as they begin connecting with their grandchildren, sharing photos and communicating via new methods!

What are some additional reasons people want to learn about social media? Here are some more responses I often hear during my classes:

  • I’ve had a fear of computers but I’m ready to tackle social media now
  • As long as you show me how to keep my profiles and photos private, viewed by friends only, I’m ready for social media
  • I’ve tried to learn about social media myself, but it’s been too hard
  • I want to learn about social media so I can use it for my business
  • I need to establish a LinkedIn profile for my career
  • I already know a little bit about social media, but I definitely need to expand my knowledge

If you’d like to join in the next session of The Art of Social Media, offered Wednesday evenings in September at the Adams County Arts Council, Gettysburg, PA, click here for online registration or call the arts council at 717-334-5006. If your September calendar is already busy, please note the 4-week session is being offered on Wednesday evenings in October as well.

To read more from the August 5, 2013 Pew Research report on social media use, click here.

Springtime Tweets

By Karen Hendricks

Welcome to “Gettysburg Social.” Highlighting Gettysburg and Adams County businesses, this bi-monthly column examines the latest social media trends. First published in Celebrate Gettysburg magazine, March/April 2013.

RobinThe first robins of spring are appearing, but we’re exploring “tweets” via technology. The social media site Twitter records about 340 million tweets per day.* By “tweet,” we mean “message.” And by “message,” we mean “short and sweet,” as in 140 characters. Twitter describes its messages as “bursts of information.”

With more than 200 million users*, the social media site is similar to Facebook in that you create a profile, write a short description or bio, upload a photo, start following people/businesses, and then receive a news feed in real time. If you like fast-paced news and information, this is the social media platform for you.

Businesses are finding value in monitoring tweets (aka marketing data) and interacting directly with consumers. From a consumer standpoint, following favorite brands allows you behind-the-scenes info plus access to special discounts and offers. Photos, videos and links enhance brief tweets.

Quite a few Adams County businesses are utilizing Twitter. In keeping with a springtime theme, here are a few fresh-picked recommendations:

Twitter bird

Hollabaugh Bros Inc.: Follow this popular Biglerville market’s tweets to find out which farm-fresh fruits and veggies are in season.

Highwater Grill: Food trucks are Twitter’s bread and butter.  Fans can follow this local gourmet food truck to discover what’s on the menu and its daily whereabouts (Lincoln Square or Rec Park?).

Philadelphia Flower Show: Although it’s not an Adams County business, this powerhouse of a flower show makes for an excellent daytrip, and by following them, you gain an insider’s view plus ticketing discounts.

To check out more Gettysburg and Adams County businesses, follow me @KarenHendricks9 and click on my “Lists,” where you’ll find 40+ area businesses gathered into “The Burg & Beyond.” Don’t forget to follow Celebrate Gettysburg as well!

* Source: Twitter

Do you know of other businesses doing a great job on Twitter?  Whether they are locally, nationally or internationally-based, feel free to share your “picks” by commenting below!

And join me, for “The Art of Social Media,” a 4-course series, held in partnership with the Adams County Arts Council, every Wednesday evening in April from 7-9 pm. We’ll explore Twitter along with the basic “pillars” of social media. Sign up online or by calling 717-334-5006. Just a handful of openings remain!