Hotel Online  Special Report

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 Fastest Growing Outdoor Activity in U.S. Attracts
Flocks of Youth to Georgia Competition
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Event for young birders draws 100 participants who identify over 200 species
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ATLANTA, June 20, 2007 - Softscribe Inc., a technology public relations firm focused on driving sales for companies targeting vertical markets, today announced its sponsorship of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ second annual Youth Birding Competition.  Twenty-four teams of 100 young people ages six to 17 from all over Georgia participated in the 24-hour event on April 28 and 29, which coincided with the peak of spring bird migration.  The teams competed from 6:00 p.m. Saturday to 6:00 p.m. Sunday evening, when the birders reported their results during a banquet and celebration at the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center near Mansfield, Georgia, 40 miles east of Atlanta.
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“So many children spend the day with their heads down, thumbing their ipods, text messaging or glued to some other type of electronic media.  Falling in love with nature will broaden their worlds, enrich their lives and help balance the social media environment of their youth,” said Julie Squires, vice president of Softscribe Inc. and a birder and volunteer at the event.  Softscribe Inc. donated five copies of the popular reference book, The Sibley Guide to Birds by David Allen Sibley (ISBN 0-679-45122-6) as prizes.  Michael Squires, president of Softscribe Inc., also volunteered.

The combination of outdoor physical activity and cognitive exercise is essentially why birding has become one of the fastest growing recreational activities in the nation, notes Tim Keyes, Georgia DNR wildlife biologist in charge of the Youth Birding Competition, who started the event two years ago.  Keyes cited a survey by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that states 51.3 million Americans report they now watch birds, with more taking it up all the time.  “And that represents people from all age groups,” he said.  Keyes pointed out that his motivation for launching the Georgia Youth Birding Competition was frustration with being the youngest person at birding events. “Then, about three years ago in Cape May, New Jersey, I was competing in the World Series of birding.  What impressed me the most was the number of kids also competing; there were about 20 youth teams. That’s when it struck me that I should start this in Georgia.” Keyes secured grant funding for the event. Other supporters include The Environmental Resources Network, Inc. (T.E.R.N.), DNR/WRD, Georgia Ornithological Society (GOS), Atlanta Audubon Society, Eagle Optics and Droll Yankee bird feeders.
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Julie Keyser-Squires and Michael Squires with Softscribe Inc., sponsors of and volunteers at the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ second annual Youth Birding Competition. 
Catharine Kuchar, executive director of the Atlanta Audubon Society and a volunteer at the birding event, agrees that birding is growing in popularity across all areas and age spectrums, but notes that the activity also contributes vital information to the world of science.  “Birds have always been indicators of what’s happening in the natural world,” she said,  “and by observing them and any changes in their habitat, birders have created a type of ‘citizen science’ where everyone can be involved in helping to preserve wildlife and its surroundings.”

For more information on the Youth Birding Competition and how to participate in the 2008 competition, contact Tim Keyes: (478) 994-1438 or Tim_Keyes@dnr.state.ga.us .

View photos:  http://301url.com/YouthBirdingFlickrPhotos
Listen to a Podcast:  http://301url.com/YouthBirding

About Softscribe® Inc.
Founded in 1999, Softscribe Inc. practices true public relations, not just publicity, to help technology companies targeting vertical markets drive sales and solidify their brands. The company does this through integrating traditional one-to-one-marketing public relations with the imaginative use of emerging media with an emphasis on keyword optimized writing, media and influencer relationships, and a focus on relevant messaging strategy.  Softscribe’s clients include Aptech Computer Systems, Inc., Gold Key Solutions, Government Futures, JDA Software Group, Inc., Newmarket International, NORTHWIND, The Rainmaker Group and many other leading technology and service companies.  For more information please visit http://www.softscribe®inc.com

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Media Contact:
Julie Keyser-Squires, APR
Softscribe Inc.
Julie@softscribeinc.com
(404)256-5512
http://www.softscribeinc.com
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Also See: Softscribe Inc. Spins Off Keyword Research, Website Optimization as Standalone Products; Hoteliers can increase online bookings. Clients JDA, Aptech deploy new keywords, optimized Web pages to boost search engine visibility, increase sales / June 2007
Softscribe® Inc. Wins Two New Clients; MEGA International, The Rainmaker Group Boost Visibility, Growth / September 2006
How a Flattening World Impacts Hoteliers / John Burns, Julie Keyser-Squires and Michael Squires / July 2006
Softscribe Inc. Launches College Intern Program; Adam Travis, business major at Georgia State University, tapped as first intern / June 2006
Softscribe Inc. Sponsors Georgia’s First Youth Birding Competition; Team Event for Teens Develops Professional Abilities: People Skills, Goal Achievement, Respect for Nature / May 2006
Five Tips for Driving Sales through Search Engine Optimized Public Relations Writing / Polly Wade / February 2006
Customer Stories Drive Sales and Reduce Marketing Costs / Julie Keyser-Squires / January 2006
Leading Tech Vendors Drive Sales with Online PR / Softscribe Adds Online PR Product to Fuel Technology Clients’ Sales Growth; Debuts New Website / November 2005


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