Friday, October 24, 2008

Just How Do I Get All That Press?

Everyone has been asking me this question recently. People keep saying, "I see you everywhere!" It's strategically placed news folks! I take items that are newsworthy regarding my businesses - business launch, website launch, other related business activities (i.e. blogs, board appointments, etc.), recognitions and awards, new employee, etc. and I space out the news I send to the press. For instance three of those things could happen at one time. Instead of sending it all at once, I break it out into separate news items and send them several months apart from each other. I also time it for when I can take on business and inquiries. In addition, I seek out opportunities that can be press worthy and I continue to have updated photos to tell these different stories.

I also play the see and be seen game. People need to see your face to place two and two together ad I definitely allocate time for networking and career enhancement events. These events are always good for learning, as no one knows it all, and they are good for connecting and reconnecting. People get frustrated with networking events saying they don't transcribe into business - not directly for the most part, but the do abstractly and PR my friends is one abstract business!

Hope everyone is doing ok making it through financial stresses and taking time out for themselves! I am cutting off at noon today and going hiking and wildlife viewing with my sweet fiance. Providing public relations services in Vermont can take a break!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Document Strategy

The term document strategy seems to be one of those marketing terms that sounds strategic but yet doesn't really say anything. The office solution company, IKON calls it document efficiency. That's a little better, but still not very clear.

I'll help clear it up - wasting less paper and IKON has products and services to help companies do that. I was recently contacted by IKON to attend a sales/informational luncheon to learn about this concept and how IKON can help manage this problem. In my world of small businesses, document strategy is a foreign concept to me - not an issue and not a concern. My business was green at the get go - I work electronically, heck, I don't even print invoices. And I am conscious about how I dispose of my e-waste. I work at my home, keep meetings on a schedule so I only drive once or twice a week, and grow much of my own food. My carbon footprint is pretty low. Oh, and I just spent the weekend weatherproofing my house.

While I may not be the target market for such a luncheon, there are definitely businesses out there who are the target market - can I say The State of Vermont, insurance companies, utility companies, health care organizations, communications companies and everyone else that sends way too much junk/repeat mail? Unfortunately the process of "document strategy" can be costly and can cause some pretty hefty structural unraveling and that doesn't help the dwindling middle class worker.

The smart thing that IKON has going for them is their ability to offer the cost savings strategy - showing that it will probably cost up front, but the long term savings greatly outweigh the upfront costs. If only these bureaucratic organizations actually had to be held accountable for their carbon footprint - hopefully that day is not too far off.

Interested in attending the luncheon or letting others know?

What: IKON Environmental Show
When: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 from 10-3
Where: UVM Davis Center (A LEEDS certified building)
How: Register with Eric Thompson -

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Rachel Carter PR Advice on the Economy

In my best mobster voice..."Forgaaht abowwt it."

Disclaimer - I am NOT an economist, financial planner, or algebra teacher, I am a Vermont woman business owner.

But seriously, stressing out, raising your blood pressure, or acting out in some financially rash manner is not only stupid, it is bad for all the other small business owners out there. Continue about your business, keep the flow going, and remember the media LOVE a frenzy!!!!

A good rule of thumb on the PR side of life is when the media are all bugging out - don't pester national media about stuff they don't care about when they are all caught up in something else. This is the same rule of thumb as don't launch a campaign during the holidays unless it directly relates to the holidays and don't try to get coverage about an event taking place right before an election.

But for small business owners in Vermont and other similar places, your local media are plugging along just like anyone else. I should know! After attending the fantastic Key For Women Financial Forum this morning with the most awesome former press secretary, Dee Dee Myers, I went about my business delivering press kits for Candles & Creations to local media outlets. Operating as normal. Not running around like the morning shows are making the country out to be.

If there are a few items in your business that need to be re-evaluated due to the financial situation in this country, fine. Set them aside until things chill and take this time to work on some other proactive areas of your business that never make their was into the regular To-Do list. You will be surprised at how productive this can be!

And, in the meantime, if you weren't at the Key For Women Financial Forum this morning or if you were and didn't get a copy of Dee Dee Myers' book, "Why Women Should Rule the World," visit the site, get a copy, and then read it!!! Her speech today was ridiculously inspiring and so right on with everything! It was also so right on with my previous post about the event, I simply had to get a picture with my new role model after she signed my copy of the book. I also share a picture of her speaking and of all the press that were there today - so cool! See? The Vermont press are much more interested in Dee Dee Myers speaking at an event than the stupid financial hullabaloo.

My apologies for the fuzzy pictures, my camera was obviously made by men.

Friday, October 3, 2008

5 Free & Quick Ways to Promote Your Business

1.) Google search your competition and post yourself everywhere you see them posted.

2.) Identify a trend, set of tips, and/or a solution to a problem and how your business relates to it. Write a press release and/or by-lined article on it and send to business magazines, journals, and websites.

3.) Send an email blast to your friends and good contacts telling them something new or that they might not know about your business and ask them to share with people in their networks.

4.) Offer to do a speech/presentation or be on a panel on a topic you are an expert on to an organization that reaches your target audience.

5.) Join your local Front Porch Forum and let your neighbors know who you are and what your business is! (

These tips brought to you by Vermont public relations chick - Rachel Carter ( Check out my Charlotte Farmhouse office!!