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RachelCarterPR

RachelCarterPR
Professional public relations tips and discussion blog
Articles: 1, 2

Articles

Marketing Tips Courtesy of the North Star Lodge
2008-06-03 07:10:00
I have written about the most unfortunate experience I have ever encountered regarding customer service and discrimination with the North Star Lodge in Killington, Vermont in several different ways. My other two popular blogs - Vermont Vibes and Vermont Music both share different angles of this terrible experience of entering a contest, being scammed for a timeshare ploy by the company using the entries as sales leads, falling for it, and then treated with rudeness, turned away from the actual tour, and discriminated against because of youthful appearance and casual dress - hey it's Vermont and I am a good Avon customer! Please check out these blogs for the story and my further investigation into the North Star Lodge owned in part by a previous timeshare fraud, under the subsidiary of RCI aka Endless Vacation Rentals - the Enron of timeshares, utilizing the elusive and untraceable Summit Vacation Corp. - a professional scam group based in Pittsfield, Mass. If someone knows more,...
More About: Marketing , Marketing Tips , Tips
Quick Non-Media Tips
2008-05-28 04:54:00
Moving is one daunting task! My blogging has become thirdary lately after running my Vermont PR biz and moving to the Charlotte farmhouse. But...I have a few tips I wanted to share for those looking to beef up their presence to their various audiences.~ Become an Expert - Not just in your field of work, but take a hobby or two and get active and involved in organizations and events surrounding your hobbies. Not only will it help with your association marketing, but you can find opportunities to get quoted by the press and included in media opportunities that help paint a more three dimensional picture of who you really are. Like my recent memory lane trip of my junior prom in this past Saturday's Burlington Free Press. ~ Be a Speaker - Volunteer to speak for a group you belong to or a group who could benefit from hearing some tips you have to share. Research conferences related to your field and contact organizers about sitting on panel discussion boards. Be sure to plan far...
More About: Media , Tips , Quick
So, You Think You Have A Story Idea?
2008-05-15 21:17:00
Great! That means you are starting to think like a PR pro! The first thing you have to do with your story idea is think about who it would be of interest to. And, please - ask a trusted colleague or two who would be interested in knowing about your story idea. (hint: Do not ask people who always tell you what you want to hear - they are good friends, but not good business consultants)Next, once you have an idea about what audience is going to be interested in your story idea, think about how those audiences get information. And don't only think about media like daily newspapers and TV. What music do they listen to and will they get that from a radio station or satellite? What niche magazines might they read? What types of newsletters do they subscribe to? Where do they live and what local media outlets reach them? What organizations do they belong to and communicate with? What websites do they frequent? What important people do they take stock in?Lots of questions to an...
More About: Story , Idea
Tips on Setting Up a New Office
2008-05-08 18:53:00
So, you have moved offices like me? It can be such a process! It's also a time to start fresh. Here are a few tips on some of the most useful things I have learned (and am still learning):1.) Tell everyone! This way it's easier to schedule meetings farther away than normal because you simply cannot do it all!2.) Google search yourself and change your address and phone number on all sites you are listed at. This is also a good time to update other business information and changes as well.3.) Check prices and best solutions for your phone and internet. A move is a good time to get rid of stuff that didn't work so hot and go with something better! I found the cell phone as a business phone had run its course and was wayyyyy too expensive. So, I dropped my minutes to the lowest level and got a business line - tax deductible in toto baby! I also found that Champlain Valley Telecom rocks!!! Comcast was a rip-off with crappy service. I went through Kris Merchant and he actua...
More About: Office , Tips
Rachel Carter PR Is MOVING!!!
2008-04-29 02:53:00
Check it!Rachel Carter PR is officially moving it's Vermont headquarters, operations, and offices to Charlotte, Vermont. The Burlington-based public relations agency/firm is now and forever more known as the Charlotte-based Vermont public relations extravaganza. Ok, Ok, I am being silly, that is because I am moving and am on that verge of cracking up that I think everyone hits when moving!But, the truth, reality, and awesomeness is I am moving my home and office to Charlotte in a fabulous old farmhouse on a dead end, dirt road. Rachel Carter PR will be located in a large, working office with space for stuff, intern, working, and mailings as well as a comfortable inside meeting area and meeting lounge on a second floor porch. Meetings at the farmhouse are a must where complimentary sun tea is always on tap.Everyone please make note - the new contact information is as follows:Rachel Carter PR564 Garen RoadSuite 4Charlotte, VT 05445802-425-4886rachel@rachelcarterpr.co m
More About: Moving
Vermont Public Relations Internship
2008-04-18 17:10:00
Calling Motivated Interns!!!I am looking for an intern for Fall 2008 for my Vermont public relations agency! The summer internship position is filled and I am now searching for someone to fill the fall slot (or whole year)! PS - My internships rock! Here's the scoop:Offering:- Flexible hours- Relaxed home office environment- Networking - for this I will cover the intern's expenses (internship is unpaid)- Opportunity to work on PR accounts in various capacities - mostly writing, research, brainstorming, and helping with execution of various PR programs- Rachel Carter PR email account- Woman business owner firsthand experience, PR agency firsthand experience, skills and knowledge for intern to apply directly to work, life, and realityWhat I am looking for:- College student majoring in Public Relations or related field who is extremely driven and outgoing and who has REAL LIFE experience ? travel, social skills beyond the college bubble, variety of friends, variety of jobs, etc. -...
More About: Internship
Boost Your Internet Presence (for free)
2008-04-11 03:03:00
Want more links to come up about you on the internet? Want your potential customers to see your name more than once when they search? Want to come across as bigger than you really are? Here's your free tips for just that!1.) First, google search yourself and see what's out there. Then google search they major keywords people would use to find your business, product, or service.2.) This should open up a whole can of worms of directories and website you can look into to see if they accept free listings (most do, you just have to look for the fine print).3.) Search your competition - see where they are listed and list yourself too!4.) List yourself on the Yellow Pages websites, submit your website to the free search engines at Google and Yahoo, and make sure you are listed in your state's business directory and any member organization directories you belong to.5.) Join social networking sites like My Space, Linked In, and Facebook.Want to know every tip there is? Go to www.GotCl...
More About: Internet , Free , Presence , Boost
National Recognicio
2008-04-04 20:37:00
Hey folks - check it out! My Rachel Carter PR Blog has been ranked as 83rd out of 1,295 marketing blogs from Blogger.com!http://www.blogged.com/direct ory/business/marketing - check out the link for some other great marketing blogs!Also - I was recently interviewed by a PBS blogger on the Front Porch Forum for a national article. Check it out at http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2008/04/dig ging_deeperfront_porch_foru.htmlOf course, I told many positive things about the Front Porch Forum - like how I have contacted my newest neighborhood and have received six emails from new neighbors inviting me over and answering some questions I asked. But there is negativity in the Old North End and I was referring to that, not the Front Porch Forum - the forum is great! If you are not a member in your Greater Burlington, Vermont community - you certainly should be! Join today at www.frontporchforum.org.
More About: National
Quadrify It...
2008-03-31 17:16:00
If you are a business in Vermont (or Eastern New York), of any sort, you should immediately go to this site - www.CelebrateChamplain.org. As you hopefully know, 2009 marks Vermont's Quadracentenial Celebration and everyone is getting in on the action. And that is exactly why you should too. In marketing, you don't want to be the one who doesn't play.If you are in Vermont and your business can somehow be tied to the history of Lake Champlain, the land around Lake Champlain, or the people connected to any of the areas over the past 400 years, than you more than qualify to quadrify!You can already see how much fun it is going to be to quadricize everything (i.e. fun marketing words), so as a Vermont PR professional, I urge you to find a way to tie in your business...~ Offer a Quadrific discount~ Make a Quadspific product~ Share your history in your marketing materials~ Tell your quadcentric story~ If you run events, sign up to quadrify your events and benefit from the mass marke...
End of March Events Worth Checking Out
2008-03-21 16:55:00
Progressive Sale at Tootsie's and Progressive Art at Candles & CreationsAs my favorite band says, "Break outside of your cathedral." And I share that advice for the coming of Spring!Break outside of your cathedral and trade in your winter-ick shoes for some fun spring shoe fashions at Tootsie's on College Street in Burlington during their "progressive" sale this March ! The sale starts Thursday, March 27th and runs through the weekend. Prices start at 40% off and go down to 70% off on Sunday, March 30th. Best prices at the end, best selection at the beginning. And if you didn't know, they give the best pedicures in town (so I've heard)!With the money you save on shoes, wrap up your March by heading over to Candles & Creations in the Blue Mall anytime between now and March 30th to get your tickets for the Kimberlee Forney Art Benefit Event being held on the 30th at 5 pm to benefit Prevent Child Abuse Vermont and raise awareness about Traumatic Brain Injury. Tickets enter you...
More About: Events , Worth
Former Mentee Follows in Footsteps
2008-03-13 02:14:00
When I graduated from Marist College back in 1998 with my degree in public relations, I moved to Nashville, Tennessee to spread my wings and prove my independence to whoever cared (um, myself?). My PR experience at that point consisted of the classes I took in college and the internship I had at the Dutchess County Girl Scout Council (site seems to be disabled) in Poughkeepsie, New York.While I searched and applied for entry level PR jobs, I started to learn of the judgment that is deeply passed on those of us from the North. I didn't really think it existed since I had never been south of Washington DC before and when folks up North think of folks down South, we pretty much think of cool accents and grits. But, while I continued to not get called for first interviews for the many vacant public relations and marketing jobs at the vast array of companies, I naively learned that going to college in New York was a weakness in the Nashville job market. Luckily, Nashville has the 5t...
3 Tips
2008-03-06 22:09:00
Think you have news? Do you want to get your news to the press so they can share with your audiences? Good. You are thinking in terms of public relations. Now, you have to determine if your news is newsworthy. Here is how:1. Does your news solve a problem?2. Does your news offer useful tips?3. Does your news identify a trend?If it does not do one of these three things (and we're talking 100% here, not "it could if you looked at it this way") it is not newsworthy!Now, I am not talking about small company announcements, etc. that are being included in specific areas of a business publication. I am talking about trying to get a feature story written. So, if your news doesn't do one of the three items above - don't despair! Do some background work and research and find a way for your news to do one of those three things - then you'll have something editors want to know about!
More About: Tips
New Media News and Plugs
2008-02-29 19:53:00
Happy Leap Year Friday all! It's been a busy bee month of Vermont PR work at Rachel Carter PR. Lots of exciting things in the works for my clients and lots of positivity floating around which is refreshing and invigorating. I thought I'd take a moment to plug a few folks on the new media, multimedia, and media tools front. So, for those of you needing to design or enhance a website and actually want the web developers to help you market it, or for those of you looking to enhance your multimedia visibility through blogging, podcasts, video, and other fun and interactive web stuff, here are come folks you need to be in the 411 with!As Seen In VT - TV: Down in the Mad River Valley, these video guru folks are doing it right and if you have something worth video capture (which most people do), you should check out this site - www.AsSeenInVT.tv. Jump on the video bandwagon before it becomes the new hit means on transportation after the hybrid.Note: I also just learned from these f...
More About: News , Media , New Media
A Young Careerist Goes Red
2008-02-16 01:44:00
I would like to start by saying "Thank You" you to Caisil Weldon for nominating me as a Business and Professional Women Young Careerist candidate. I would also like to acknowledge Caisil myself for the amazing work she has been conducting in regards to women's health, in particular heart disease.Caisil is the woman behind the Vermont Chapter of the American Heart Association's 2nd Annual Go Red For Women Luncheon - a fundraising event featuring a silent auction, educational activities, and survivor stories to raise awareness and funds for heart disease - a disease that leads the charts on America's top killer list - and one that can be very much prevented if one takes precautions and understands and acts upon warning signs.The luncheon is this coming Thursday, February 21st at the Sheraton in Burlington and will be attended by almost 400 women, all who are asked to dress in red to help bring color and attention to this deadly disease. I will most certainly be attending and deep...
PR = Patient Rendezvousing
2008-02-09 01:11:00
Well, by definition it means public relations, but I think public relations is a long term rendezvous with patience. Patience while you wait for someone to agree to move ahead with public relations strategy. Patience while you get press materials together so you can actually reach out to the press. Patience while you try and try again to make contact with members of the press. Patience while you wait to hear back from them. Patience while you wait to watch the fruit of your efforts finally reap the benefits. And they do, and when they do it is magnificent. And they will continue to do so long after the work is complete. I understand this, but unless a client has had experience with full blown public relations efforts before, they do not grasp the concept of public relations being a rendezvous with patience. This is seriously the biggest stress in being a public relations professional, or at least in my experience. And, I wouldn't even consider patience to be one of my personal stre...
More About: Patient
PR Tip - Magazine Collaboration
2008-01-30 19:05:00
Time for a new PR tip and what better than something I am actively participating in right now?! Be friends with people who make magazines! And that doesn't mean just to pitch your stories! I think one of the coolest things about being in public relations is the ability to be a resource for the media regarding all the stuff you know about. For instance, I have my clients, yes, but I also know lots about Vermont music and Vermont travel and tourism - for these areas I have even created other blogs - Vermont Music and Vermont Vibes. With my blog knowledge, I write an article in the Green Living Journal and I write a column in the Healthy Hippie Magazine based on my Vermont Vibes blog. I share music knowledge with State of Mind Music Magazine and Burlington knowledge with Best of Burlington Magazine.I don't do this for specific clients at all - how shady! I do this first because it is fun and second because it positions myself and Rachel Carter PR as a resource for the media, f...
More About: Collaboration
My New Website!
2008-01-22 00:15:00
Extra Extra - Read All About It!!I have just updated my Rachel Carter PR website at www.rachelcarterpr.com. Please check it out! I first created the website in May of 2007, after starting my public relations consulting business at the very end of 2006. In July I registered my company name, Rachel Carter PR, with the State of Vermont and since then have been on the road to really creating a public relations agency in Vermont. My services have expended and become more clarified - both to myself and the different audiences I work with. I am specifically carving a niche for myself working with Vermont clients, both with in and out of state promotions. I also have varied services for small to large businesses so I can work with start up companies and local businesses helping them get their story out as well as implementing public relations components for medium and larger sized companies.And, it will continue to change as I move forward in running my Vermont public relations firm. ...
More About: Website
RachelCarterPR's Best of 2007
2008-01-14 02:09:00
2007 was my first full year of running my own public relations agency in Vermont and I couldn't have done it without the help of quite a few others. As a way of offering some thanks and giving my favorite of kudos to others, I have invented my own Best of 2007 list of recipients!Here goes:~ Best Computer Doctor: All Systems Repair - They are simply the best. The work they do is great and their customer service can't be beat. I don't think I could have gone on at times without them. Viruses, infiltrations, dirtiness, and all else that plagues my sweet little laptop - All Systems Repair keeps my home office in operation. And, they are fair. Check them out in Winooski at www.allsyst.com.~ Best Place for a Business Lunch: New Moon Cafe - Located in Downtown Burlington, New Moon Cafe is another new business of 2007 and definitely a fantastic place for any kind of lunch. I have been using if for all of my lunch meetings and love it! It's healthy "fast food" - so yum, so classy,...
The New Year Check In
2008-01-05 18:26:00
Happy New Year ! I am glad to be back to some more consistent blogging in 2008. That is not a resolution, just a fact - the holidays sure are crazy - even when you make focused efforts to keep them low key. I got to relax with family in the Berkshires - where I am originally from and enjoy some craziness with college friends and moe.rons in New York City - fabulous! My New Year's resolutions every year are the same - not any resolution, just a re-focused effort to continue on my life path which is helping people think out of the box and see, feel, and experience things they may have not otherwise without my energy and presence. I've been doing this my whole life, it was just in the past several years that I fully recognized that as my path. And last year that path was able to culminate into complete direction with starting my own public relations business, RachelCarterPR, because now my personal and professional life are in sync and that creates a much more powerful energy th...
More About: Check
Good Press, Bad Press
2007-12-19 18:37:00
Can bad press be good press?I think so. One of the main purposes in using public relations is to generate awareness. And, in this day and age, people are even more in tune with creating their own opinions than ever. Trusting the press isn't the first thing they do when they read a story. In fact, if something negative is written, it may have the opposite effect - people take it as positive because they mistrust the press!So, if you have something negative written about you:1. DON'T stress and freak out.2. DON'T contact the writer/paper and yell at them!3. DO contact the writer and thank them for writing and offer a time to meet and give them more information.4. DO share the story with friends, supporters, etc. and ask for their feedback. Perhaps encourage them to write a letter to the editor.5. DO include that writer/paper in further PR correspondence.6. DO use it as a learning experience about what the public wants to hear and how information is interpretted - THAT is the p...
More About: Press , Good
Burlington's Old North End
2007-12-06 22:30:00
Burlington's Old North End has always been endearing to my heart, and many others who choose to reside and/or do business there. When I first moved to Vermont in the spring of 2000, I moved into the Old North End in an apartment I lived in for seven years. Just recently I moved to launch my public relations business (with a more suitable office space and opportunity for expense consolidation) to yet another area of the North End - closer to the core.When I first learned about it in Seven Days, I joined The Front Porch Forum. The Forum, which really fosters a valuable online avenue for neighbors to communicate, is where I found out about the newly created Old North End Arts and Business Network. I immediately sent in my $25 one year membership fee, excited about the opportunity to get my business and personal passions involved in the community I live in! Prior to this networking opportunity, my "North End" involvement includes power walking through the neighborhoods, meeting Me...
A PR Pet Peeve
2007-12-02 22:19:00
I love what I do. I love being able to help people share their business, experience and energy with their targeted audiences. I also take my profession seriously and feel it is very important to work with clients to find what is newsworthy and timely to talk to media about. I shun clients from engagement in "shameless self promotion" since the key of public relations, in my opinion, is to find what is newsworthy and share it with the media without expectations and with respect of their busy jobs. My ultimate goal is for a media contact to cover a client's news in a timely manner, but even more important is to build solid relationships with media contacts. I have worked hard to cultivate good, trustworthy relationships with media contacts so they feel they can call me to get information, regardless of who my clients are and so when I contact them, it is for a reason that they or their audiences may have some interest in. I understand that media folks are busy, working on deadl...
Business Conference at Topnotch
2007-11-22 16:33:00
I have been slacking on the blog front - my apologies! But, this Thanksgiving morning, before I power walk, make pies, and head off to dinner, I thought about what I am thankful for - and my success thus far at opening my own public relations business is certainly at the forefront. With that thought I'd like to bring you all back a few weeks to the Women Business Owner's Network (WBON) Fall Conference I attended and offer some thanks to the women I most associated with at the conference by giving a few other small business shout-outs!First, I'll say the conference was held at Topnotch Resort in Stowe. What a fantastic location! I don't frequent Stowe often; it is a bit swanky for my tastes. My skiing also stays at Bolton Valley, Smuggler's Notch , or Sugarbush (where my pass is this year!) And I always thought Topnotch was just another over-priced "resort" in Stowe. I relent - this place was worth it and I should learn to not judge! I managed to take a few pics with my d...
More About: Sine
Trends
2007-11-08 19:24:00
When I first started studying public relations, I quickly learned what I consider to be the three cardinal rules of PR in what makes something newsworthy and if it can't fit into one of these three categories, then leave it and move onto the next thing. The "news" that someone wishes to promote can be considered news and therefore "pitched" in some manner if:1.) It solves a problem2.) Can offer useful tips3.) Identifies a trendIt is with trends I want to touch upon this week. It is imperative in the marketing world to keep up with trends. Trends allow you to tie your product, service, idea, "news" into the larger picture by connecting it somehow to a trend, which is what makes it newsworthy to the media.Some examples would be relating a product to a certain season or a way of life, such as being green. Or, offering a service and tying it in to a similar service popular on the national level. Or, positioning an event with a well known movement. Or, connecting a concept to popu...
New Magazine in Vermont!
2007-10-30 00:46:00
And its GREEN!!!I feel like such a reporter today instead of a Vermont public relations practitioner. Coming very soon to a newsstand near you is the Central and Northern Vermont edition of the Green Living Journal. Yippee!! The magazine is being published by Vermont magazine industry veteran, Ellen Shapiro, most recently seen as an account manager at Vermont Woman magazine.Green Living Journal is "a practical journal to friends of the environment." There are currently editions in Southern Vermont and Southern Oregon, and now Central and Northern Vermont with Ellen as the Publisher! The magazine operates as a whole with structure and general content publishing "news you can use" articles on organic gardening, green building, health, eco-careers, outdoors, socially responsible investing, eco-notes, Q&A, book reviews, and environmental issue topics. But, the magazines are independently published so they are tailored to the specific geographic regions they reach which allows cont...
More About: Magazine , Mont
Constant Contact
2007-10-19 03:15:00
Yes, in marketing, of course people should have "constant contact" with constituents. What I am talking about, and actually wondering about as well, are email marketing programs such as Constant Contact , a company that provides such services as newsletter distribution and other email based communication programs.I highly recommend such programs for newsletter distribution, however, in my direct business, that is not something I currently offer. I may, if I sign up with an email program like Constant Contact. I heard about Constant Contact at the latest monthly luncheon for the Burlington Chapter of the Women Business Owner's Network - one of my favorite self employed business activities and organization I might add. Every time I go to a WBON event, I learn such valuable and helpful information for operating my independent public relations agency - RachelCarterPR. (I've decided I like the one word identity.)Anyway, the reason I am interested in a potential email marketing prog...
Bartering
2007-10-13 02:06:00
I like the concept. I do. Work for someone and trade for something you need. The key word in that sentence is need. It's a lot like coupons.The concept of coupons is good. Be diligent, clip coupons, create a shopping list of things you need and then use the coupons against those things on your list and save money. But, how many people see coupons for things they might like, or might want to try, a might use down the road and how many people end up buying those things simply because they have a coupon?? I mean, seriously, isn't that the point of coupons? Yes! They are not there to save you money! They are a marketing strategy to get you to buy things!! And, in my opinion, a very good one.And, yes, even as a public relations and marketing consultant in Vermont, I too fall prey! When I moved to my new apartment to help consolidate expenses for starting my own business, I got the relocation coupons. One was a 10% off Home Depot. So, of course I went to Home Depot to buy ...
More About: Erin
Media Lists
2007-10-05 17:17:00
Good media relationships, understanding the concept of what is newsworthy, long term media campaign planning, and synchronizing publicity efforts between print, broadcast, an online outlets are what I consider to be the four most important factors in a successful public relations campaign. If one of those four are not working, than the other three really will not be able to make up for it. Hence what I try to tell clients and prospective clients - public relations is NOT a quick fix or a magic wand.But there is a major backbone to public relations that if not in proper alignment can significantly hinder a public relations campaign - even if all four of these components are in place. That is accurate, working media lists. There are a few ways to keep media lists and anyone handling any part of public relations work probably does one of these three things:1.) Keep an ongoing contact list of your media contacts.2.) Search on the internet for email addresses and contact names and in...
More About: Media , Lists , A list
The By-Liner
2007-09-28 06:43:00
My latest PR insider tip for those who slyly read my blogs for good ideas yet don't post comments (please - that's all I ask!) - I have a super secret public relations industry tip. Why I give these out, I don't know. I guess it's to position myself as a resource and show I am an honest and trustworthy PR professional in Vermont. A by-lined article is what my secret of the week is. It is an article written by you or someone of vast knowledge in your organization on a topic of interest to the public you are trying to reach. It IS NOT an article written by you on what you want the public to know about your company. For example, if you are a health related organization and you would like consumers to know more about you and your services, then you would write an article for the local papers in those communities on some useful tips or advice that the paper editors (yes, you should contact them first) would like their readers to know more about. You only mention you and your o...
Web Centric Marketing
2007-09-20 07:53:00
What does this mean? Another fancy marketing term used to lure in the un-marketing savvy client? Maybe, but sometimes marketing folks create marketing terms for things so they can say what might take a paragraph to say in three little words. Isn't that one of the reasons people need help with marketing in the first place? Doh! Yes, even I have been a bit Simpsonized - a-ha! There is a marketing term right there! Is it easier to say:a.) I've been Simpsonized?OR...b.) I now say things that are often said on the Simpsons because I live in the state where the American public decided the Simpsons live?Sooo - what is web centric? (Comments would be cool here since there haven't been any in a while and my tracking devices show that people are indeed reading my blogs!)Web centric is providing marketing services based on...yes! The Web! That means your website must be the focus and all other marketing umbrella items swirl around the website. And, here is a BIG, dirty, industry ...
More About: Marketing
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