Monday, November 29, 2010

Rachel Carter PR Blog Transformed

Hello! This blog as we know it has now merged into the homepage of Vermont public relations firm, Rachel Carter PR. In always striving to build upon trends in the industry and combining it with my own intuition, I have made the homepage of Rachel Carter PR into a Vermont News Feed for professional and amateur media alike to subscribe. I am also the new co-author of VERMONT: An Explorer's Guide and will be blogging about my adventures researching the book on the brand new Vermont Vibes Blog location.

Please check them out:

Thank you always for your support! Check out the full news story here.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Did People REALLY Think I Disappeared?

No, No, No! I rested, reflected, rejuvenated, and then began manifesting once again...

If I tried to stay on top of all the trends, how could I make what works for my business meaningful to my audience? Then I'd be a trendhopper, not a trendsetter. As long as neither is a trendstealer - I have watched a whole lot of that going 'round with social media. I even stopped telling businesses to "spy" because social media very quickly went from fun and engaging to really crazy. I mean you can watch people's "friendships" on Facebook - by what and where they correspond with other people. That is just creepy, never mind a feeding ground for all sorts of passive aggressive behavior.

Plus I'm sick of racking up friends - it's like high school online. That's not where I need to spend my time in networking. Or going to events and trying to talk to as many people as possible. I have been focusing on going to events and not talking to more than three people, but with those three have really engaging and substantial conversations.

I have learned in my time away from blogging and reassessing my business, brand, and target audience, the following values are most important to me - both personally and professionally:

Vision, Reality, Ethics, Courage & Loyalty

Get Ready Vermont - Rachel Carter PR's Got a Brand New Bag

Stay Tuned...
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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Internet is a Factor in Decreased Empathy

While just listening to On Point - my favorite public radio program - the topic dealt with the internet and wired lifestyle and the brain. The guests drew a couple of deep conclusions that actually verbalize something I have been wondering about for a while now.

Why, of late, are there less and less people able to put themselves in another's shoes and be empathetic as to why someone does something and how they react to others? This is a question I have been grappling with in both my personal and professional lives and I think I found the answer:

The constant, quick, and self serving way in which we communicate with the internet and mobile devices driving our world is leading to a decrease in empathy of others - the ability to put oneself in another's shoes and have an understanding beyond our own personal needs.

Yes, yourself should come first - your health and well-being. But that does not mean that our own personal needs come above everyone else's. Everything is relevant to each individual and the ability to comprehend that has gone missing. And now I think I know why.

Taking my own advice, I am relaxing on the internet use this summer and focusing on my own health and well-being first. Therefore I will not be writing my blogs and will have minimal Rachel Carter PR activity on Twitter and Facebook. I am planning for some major shifts in business in the fall and look forward to sharing at that time. In the meantime, I am still an operating business and will be in the fall as well. I am not taking my summer off, but am limiting certain activities to focus on my health and well-being, analytical process, and empathy to the plight of human existence. To do this I know I need to greatly limit such time consuming internet use and now, thanks to On Point, I know not only that what I am doing is right, but why I am doing it - my brain needs to keep working and not succumb to de-evolution.

Enjoy the summer, and if I can offer any advice - when wondering why someone does something - try putting yourself in their shoes and get out of your own bubble.

See you in the fall...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Basic Publicity Tips for a Tour or Series of Events

I am often asked to consult and/or implement in this area and as my schedule continues to be insanely busy and I am committed to my own well being this summer and taking some time for myself and The Mitch, I thought these tips might be helpful. I will also be speaking on this in more detail at the Women Business Owner's (WBON) Conference this Thursday in Burlington - it's not too late to register -

~ Write a short (no more than 2-3 sentences) description of the tour and mission

~ Write a press release (no more than 4-5 short paragraphs) that is written with the most pertinent information first - who, what, where, when, how, why - in that order

~ Have the press release or the information in the press release available somewhere online and always share the direct link to that information in any correspondence

~ If already on Facebook, create a fan page or an event or both, if not already using Facebook this won't work

~ If already on Linked In, post to your profile, if not already using Linked In this won't work

~ Create a Twitter account for the tour (several months in advance) and begin building relationships with others in the path or the tour, who are sympathetic to the cause, or interested in the issue - build relationships with individuals, groups, associations, companies, amateur, and professional media

~ Determine the professional and amateur media (traditional and social) in each town along the tour and individually send them the short description (aka pitch) over a month in advance

~ Submit as an event to any applicable newspaper or online media calendar listings/event postings over a month in advance

~ Follow up with another individual note and the press release - always linking to where it can be found online 2-3 weeks in advance

~ Contact sympathetic/interested people/organizations with link to online press release and ask them to help you promote 2-3 weeks in advance

~ Contact local TV stations and ask to cover and send a copy of the press release with the link 1 week in advance

~ Call the appropriate daily newspaper and ask to cover 1 week in advance

~ Follow up with interested media/organizations with a post tour/event press release and some GREAT PHOTOS that help tell the story

Happy to have additional suggestions as this is just a basic start - please comment!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bookmark These Travel Sites

The New York Post calls it a "Facebook for Travelers." I call it an excellent transition for a travel writer using the online media industry to create a much more powerful tool than Trip Advisor to create interest and relationship driven travel idea sharing and trip planning. The travel writer being Ed Wetschler and the website he founded that has created the buzz is Tripatini.
Check it out!

And another travel writer who has grasped new media with a terrific force is Kaleel Sakakeeny with a corporation simply entitled New Media Travel. The crux of his creation is all in the video with Travel Video Postcards - an ingenious way to combine the integrity of travel reporting with the necessity of advertising to pay the bills for a valuable travel industry service.
Chck it out too!

I am short today because I am really on a mission to really accomplish my life mission by not just being a slave to my computer and because I need to practice shorter posts to meed the demand of today's attention spans.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Hampton Inn

I love the Hampton Inn. I know I am supposed to support small business, but I also support well run business. And the Hampton Inn folks have done it right. Whenever they went through their last renovation, they didn't just focus on the amenities and decor, but the entire way they do business. And I'll tell you one thing - they own the hippie tour market - and we are a target market that spends money. Plus, we're older than we used to be and prefer the comforts of one couple per room rather than stuffing as many people as we can into a space.

I have stayed at the Hampton Inn Albany repeatedly for shows and one of my favorite experiences there is how cool the parking attendants are. They enjoy the hippie party that comes to town and make the process of parking in a chained hotel lot safe and fun for everyone. At the Hampton Inn Boston I recall enjoying the late night after show celebrating and instead of getting a knock on the door and being yelled at for the noise, getting a call at 1 am and politely being asked if we'd like to move to a more comfortable room - on a floor with all the other show peeps.

Most recently I stayed at the Hampton Inn Rutland for snoe.down and was blown away. The Mitch and I had booked one of the suites months before along with the additional adjoining room so we could enjoy a fun space for ourselves and other friends staying at the Hampton Inn. The room was sweet - and we enjoyed putting our personal touch on the room as we often do when traveling for shows. The beds are amazing and can be bought through their ingenious Hampton Inn Home Collection. I found this link to other marketing and amenity improvements they have made - - as my interest is much more on their customer service than anything else.

So, the jam band music scene is comprised of hippies and music loving folks who travel around to see their favorite band. Many have been doing this for years and so as we age, we have come to expect certain things and in our own right, are discerning travelers. The Hampton Inn's fantastic breakfast, 24 hour coffee and tea, complimentary WiFi, awesome bathrooms and beds, and decor that is white, silver, and clean looking instead of creepy all lead to a very pleasant experience. Considering the fact that traveling for shows is indeed that, we spend more time at the hotel than other pockets of guests. Yes, we enjoy good restaurants and when there is one attached to the hotel, we would much rather eat there than waste the time leaving when we have such a short amount of time to spend with our closest friends who often don't live in the same area. And so we pre-party and post-party in the hotel which could be of concern in some establishments, but the Hampton Inn seems to cater to it.

The staff at every Hampton Inn I have been to is professional and friendly and never, ever are condescending or judgmental to the interesting cast of characters who take over their hotel for the weekend. And what prompted me to even write this getting-too-long post was a man named Dave Searles, the Manager on Duty at the Hampton Inn Rutland. The first night he patrolled the halls all night long and was the friendliest "night watchman" I have ever seen. He smiled at everyone and was very polite if he had to knock on a door. He spent time talking to anyone who wanted to chat and many did - we're a chatty bunch! Because he was so kind, everyone respected him and there was only one complaint all night.

How do I know this? Because the next morning, everyone had a note under their door stating things such as, "We were pleased to welcome a good number of guests who went to the concert last night. Understandably some of the positive feelings generated at the concert made their way back to the hotel, and some of our guests took that opportunity to continue them with their guests. Some well into the wee hours."

He went on to let us know how appreciative he and the hotel was at the peaceful manner in which everyone was able to communicate and that everyone "was very understanding and cooperative" with his efforts at "maintaining the peace." He then went on to say, "I want you all to know what a good time that I had throughout the shift speaking with many of you, sharing stories and comments back and forth, etc." He then wished us all safe travels and hoped we would consider the Hampton Inn again.

Dave - you betcha!

Friday, April 2, 2010

New Farmstead Dairy Equipment Company Opens in South Royalton, Vermont

Bob-White Systems Offers Micro-Dairy Technology, Equipment, & Service

Local, safe, organic, pasteurized, farm fresh milk can now be produced locally on Vermont farmsteads, homesteads, and micro-dairy farms using the technology, equipment, and services provided by Bob-White Systems.

Bob-White Systems is bringing the cows back home in Vermont and beyond by creating the equipment and technology for micro-dairy operations to produce locally pasteurized milk that can be sustained by the communities in which the micro-dairy farmer lives. Localvore homesteaders and small scale slow food producers can now milk two to four cows making safe, delicious milk that can be sold at local farmer’s markets, stores, restaurants, and throughout the community – keeping Vermont milk close to home while generating a viable mix to the growing localvore and slow food community and economy in Vermont with farm fresh milk!

In 2006, innovative Vermont dairy farmer, Steven Judge, started a micro-dairy farm on a hillside pasture in Royalton in a barn he built for four Jersey cows.

“Pasteurization equipment is expensive and very difficult to support with only a few cows. This is one reason why the local, micro-dairy milk produced in Vermont is raw, non-pasteurized milk,” Judge explains. “For small farms to be able to choose to pasteurize their milk, they must have it picked up by tanker trucks and shipped to large milk processing facilities – with only one actually being in Vermont. There it is mixed with the milk from many other farms making it challenging to really know where your milk comes from. And this is why folks say to produce milk in Vermont if you have one cow, you may as well have a hundred - the labor and costs are the same...”

…Until now that is.

Judge and his company, Bob-White Systems, are offering farmstead dairies the opportunity to “craft” local milk and for the past four years have been developing “micro” low impact pasteurizers and bulk tanks that provide the gentle pumping and minimal heat necessary to produce safe milk without compromising milk’s delicate flavor and nutritional value. From this technology, additional equipment, such as portable milking machines and vacuum pumps, and other farmstead dairy related equipment (including technology for small batch cheese production) has been created.

The Bob-White Systems farmstead dairy vision does not conclude with the technology and equipment…

“We also offer the service and consulting necessary for customers to learn how to use the equipment and also on how to bring the milk to market,” comments Judge. “As the Vermont micro-dairy supplier, one of the most inspiring elements of this work is to help farmstead and homestead farmers generate a business opportunity in their local communities. Soon farmer’s markets, country stores, and restaurants will have the opportunity to offer local milk along with eggs, produce, meats, and other Vermont products.”

Bob-White Systems is located at 228 Chelsea Street in South Royalton which opened in March with a small showroom of the equipment and online at

Why the name Bob-White Systems? “We’re the John Deere of the farmstead dairy industry,” grins Judge. “You can find Bob-White Systems on Facebook and Twitter by searching for FarmsteadDairy and help us spread the word!”

About Bob-White Systems

Bob-White Systems is bringing the cows back home by creating the technology, manufacturing the equipment, and generating the knowledge for the local, farmstead, and homestead production of pure, farm fresh milk. Located in South Royalton, Vermont, Bob-White Systems is committed to making it possible for every small or rural community to enjoy safe, fresh, and delicious milk produced by local, micro dairy farms. By designing, equipping, and helping to manage small micro dairy operations, Bob-White Systems reduces dairy start-up and operating costs, helps farmers enjoy more profits, and enables communities to produce and purchase their own local milk. More information is available at and at and