Speaking at Build Your Buzz Workshop with Empowerment Group

That niche vertical or hyperlocal news site that covers your community can be just as valuable as the big newspaper or local TV spot, I told an audience of nearly 20 as a panelist during an Entrepreneurship Week session hosted by the Empowerment Group last month.

The Kensington-based nonprofit who mission is “building a better Philadelphia by spurring economic growth,” hosted the week-long session of events — panels and lectures, workshops and happy hours — for small business owners and those interested in venturing down that path.

For the session on April 7, I joined a panel called ‘Build Your Own Buzz’ that was additionally manned by Alex Mulcahy, the founder of the popular, sustainability-focused GRID Magazine, Jim Sofran, an executive with Chicago-based Groupon and Deni Kasrel, a local marketing agent.

We each took five to 10 minutes to talk about our organization and rough advice for entrepreneurs who want to get attention for their venture. There on behalf of NEast Philly, I pitched the value of connecting with the growing topical and geographically-focused blogs and independent sites — because of their loyal followings, authenticity, cost efficiency and locality.

Those in the audience varied from web developers to budding restaurateurs and tour guides. For each, I said, there are niche sites that would have audiences interested in their work, and there’s no better way of connecting there than developing one’s own content, perhaps by way of social media to start.

See other photos from the week here.