Thursday, November 22, 2007

Business Conference at Topnotch

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 disposable camera, which certainly doesn't do the place justice, but we were busy at the conference and I took these while finishing Harry Potter on a private patio outside the lobby. If anyone reading this is planning a conference, large or small in the near future, especially one for Vermonters - bring 'em to Topnotch - there's something special about doing "work" in a place many people who bring money to this state spend their money.

I always enjoy attending WBON events so I can catch up with those women who are also friends in my personal life. Danielle Livellara is one! Danielle is a financial advisor with Smith Barney and was also a speaker at the conference (the theme was the financial side of running a small business). Danielle is smart and with-it and always gives me great advice and knowledge I need since I am a publicist, NOT a financial analyst! She doesn't have a direct website to link to, but if anyone wants to schedule a free consultation with a trusty gal, call Danielle at 802-652-6074!

Danielle's good friend and woman I have met before at these events is Jen Stanley, owner of Stanley Technical Services. Jen is a technical writer who I hope to work with soon! I write publicity materials. Jen writes all the big stuff that no one wants to write - annual reports, manuals, catalogs, and all that stuff that technical folks need to make into English for everyday folks to understand. Her website is - check her out! Here I even have a conference shot of myself, Jen, and Danielle!

My roommate while staying at Topnotch in absolutely fabulous rooms I must say was Carrie McDougall, owner of Cultural Crossroads, a wonderful travel service for people to go on worldwide tours that include access and private tours to some of the most renowned historic and cultural locations across the globe. You must at least check out her website to see what some of these tours are - - and share with friends you think would be interested!!!

I also spent some time chatting with my new bookkeeper, Diana Jones of Double Entry Bookkeeping, who I scheduled a meeting with the very next week. I can purchase QuickBooks through Diana and she will give me a tutorial and help me set it up for my public relations business and will help me prepare my taxes! Double whammy!! Maybe that's why it's Double Entry? Either way, if you or someone is in need of such services, I highly recommend Diana. The website is

Happy Thanksgiving all!!!

Thursday, November 8, 2007


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 problem
2.) Can offer useful tips
3.) Identifies a trend

It 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 popular lifestyles or recreation.

Trends can be local, regional, or national and using trends can help a local item of news become newsworthy on a national level and vice versa. It is important to note trends have nothing to do with what you wish a trend to be, it is what the existing trends are and using them to your advantage - a great opportunity to get creative!

Here are some trend resources - both for talking about trends and for you to browse to discover trends yourself:

- National Consumer Trends:

- Vermont Trends:

Any trends out there people would like to comment about?