Monday, December 14, 2009

Vermont Music & Entertainment Thanks

Over my three years in business, I have had the wonderful opportunities to work with a variety of music and entertainment related Vermont businesses and organizations. As a musician myself, it was been quite a treat to work with clients that touch a chord with such deep personal connections and I would like to take a moment to continue my advent of thanks and recognize some of these wonderful past clients:

The Green Mountain Opera Festival - Under the acclaimed artistic direction of Taras Kulish, the Green Mountain Opera Festival is celebrating their fifth year of professional opera in Vermont. I began working with the festival in their first year and it has been truly majestic watching the festival grow and awaken the operatic souls of Vermonters and Vermont enthusiasts near and far. Sponsored by the Green Mountain Cultural Center located at The Round Barn Farm in Waitsfield, Vermont, the Green Mountain Opera Festival offers a three week sojourn with events ranging from free classes and open rehearsals to magnificent Barre Opera House performances.

Nectar's Restaurant & Bar - The home to the first performances of my beloved band, Phish, I have worked with Nectar's in various capacities both before and after opening Rachel Carter PR. From their first renovation event where Governor Douglas posed for some great pictures enjoying gravy fries to helping owners with side film projects to helping them gain regional recognition as a premier music venue in Vermont and throughout the Northeast. One of the original owners after Nectar sold over 6 years ago, Damon Brink, is now a provoking political figure and is the state coordinator of the We the People Foundation.

Saint Michael's Playhouse - Greater Burlington’s professional summer theater, celebrates
live theater, nationally renowned Equity actors, and a professional theater internship
program and I was honored to help them boost regional PR efforts along with the talented folks at Shadow Productions. Now recognized as a 2009 Editor's Choice in the Yankee Magazine Travel Guide, Saint Michael's Playhouse continues to put on fully-staged professional New York caliber productions in a Vermont atmosphere and at Vermont prices.

Brandon Music - Vermont's Classical Music Haven is the North American headquarters of owner Stephen Sutton's British classical music record company, Divine Art Recordings Group. Located in Warren Kimble's former historic red barn studio and gallery, Brandon Music hosts the Divine Art CD Store, Harmony English Tea Room, a Vermont art gallery, and a gift shop selling a range of mainly English gifts and curios and collectible vintage china. Helping connect Brandon Music to Vermonters and watching them build their classical music haven has been inspirational - keep your eyes and ears open and when in Brandon, stop by for a cup of tea!

Such A Voice - Located in Vermont, but taught nationwide, is the voice over industry leader in cultivating voice over talent. Such A Voice is Tony Award Nominee, Dan Levine's voice over training and demo production company is the nationwide leader in launching voice over careers. I enjoy working with their fantastic staff as a consultant in a variety of areas and give them major kudos for their learning capacity and commitments.

Thank you everyone for enhancing my career with your talents! Stay tuned for year four of Rachel Carter PR with a significant focus on the voice, beginning with my commitment to Live from the Core™ sounding out across the nation from the Vermont voice studio of Shyla Nelson.

Friday, December 4, 2009

3 Years in Business & an Advent of Thanks

March 2003 - Began online dating and using the internet to make friends

March 2006 - Turned 30

September 2006 - Made the decision to leave the Vermont marketing agency world and began the four month fast track to figuring out what my new life would entail - did this by networking and meeting with anyone and everyone

December 2006 - Got my first client - G's Restaurant at The Sheraton in Burlington helping promote their Celebrity Chef Nights
AND spent my last days and month as an employee

January 2007 - National Life Group and The Inn at the Round Barn Farm signed on as clients

March 2007 - Began collaborations with Shark Interactive and began my first client work in social media with Green Mountain Power

April 2007 - Registered Rachel Carter PR with the state and opened a business banking account with the Key4Women program
AND met The Mitch!

May 2007 - Created and launched website -

June 2007 - Began 3 blogs (the Vermont Music Blog is now retired, but Vermont Vibes and this one are going strong!)

July 2007 - December 2007 - Business focus on marketing myself, building relationships, and networking

2008 - Business focus on establishing my accounting system and developing and experimenting with my brand

2009 - Continuing my branding experiment and honing my services based on client needs and my own time and energy levels


In honor of the first three years, I will spend the holiday season giving thanks and recognition to all those who helped me get to this point. Be sure to tweep with me on Twitter and fan with me on Facebook to keep tabs on all the gossip and buzz!!!

PS - In case you didn't know, The Mitch and I are engaged!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bravo Farewell Travels: Select Escapes

As my Generation X life deepens into my 30's, I plan my wedding where I'll be a bride at 35, and make plans to travel in my mature years instead of attempting to raise a family starting in my 40's (don't judge - I'm helping to promote a sustainable population). I am increasingly realizing the stars are aligning very nicely with my plans and the travel resources at my fingertips. The Mitch and I can't wait to begin our traveling days with our month long wedding tour of England and we both can't wait to finally see the world, not just look at it in picture books.

While picture books have planted the seeds, independent travel websites are foraging the new way into thoughtful and exploratory travel. Created by some of the world's best travel writers, the fall of traditional media has awakened an entrepreneurial spirit of a solid collection of travelers who previously made a living as travel writers.

Some of my favorite people, work, and interactions in my dozened career as a public relations professional in Vermont has been with a wonderful group of travel writers I have worked with in various capacities throughout the years and I absolutely love how I am now seeing them publishing their own terrific websites. What's even better is I am bookmarking these sites to be my most cherished resources when my traveling days begin - which is not too far in the future.

Suggestions to other Generation X travelers and globetrotters all around - find yourselves some favorite travel writers and follow them, connect with them - there is no better way to learn than from an honest third party endorser who has been there and has the intellect to talk about places, experiences, and cultures you have yet to see.

I previously wrote about Steve Jermanok's Active Travels and you can read my blog post here. And now I will writer about another favorite travel writer...

Susan Farewell has been a wonderful media contact for a once green PR chickadee and helped me understand how public relations can actually work and I will forever be grateful. I look forward to evolving media relationships as the lines of PR and journalism and merged into something very new as social media continues to power its way through the savvy, quick, and unforgiving yet compassionate consumer.

Susan's online travel magazine - elegantly entitled Farewell Travels: Select Escapes is a beautiful display of her work and skill at bringing you deep within the experience she is sharing. From romance to culinary, health to adventure, Select Escapes is easy to navigate, simple in design, yet comprehensive in information - exactly what a website should do yet it is uniquely Susan abound with friendliness, ease, and solid style. The added bonus of some exceptional video work makes this a website where you forget you are staring at a computer screen.

While over a cup of tea with a travel writer a few years ago, I mentioned The Mitch's and I's England wedding tour dream before we were even engaged and was told to rent a canal boat. And when I clicked under the romance tab on Susan's Select Escapes website - the first story I see is spending a week on a canal boat in France. In all my research I have done, the only two times a canal boat was mentioned was by travel writers - they are the best resources for travel, no questions asked. Forget those lengthy websites that weaken your eyesight and find yourself a few solid ones where you can actually - travel.

Worthwhile Travel Experiences and Destinations -
Authentic Active and Adventure Travel -
Organized Cultural Tours for Discerning Travelers -
Family Activities, Events, and Attractions in Northern Vermont -

Monday, November 16, 2009

Do's & Don'ts of Social Media

Much of what I have been teaching and training clients in as well as sharing with attendees at presentations can now be seen in so many business building resources. I was just glancing through the latest Business Vision magazine produced by Key Bank for small business and entrepreneur clients. It is identical to statements I have been making and have written about previously in this blog. Now you can see this information in language written directly from one of the country's most respected financial institutions for small business owners:

DO observe and read other social media sites.
This is what I mean by engaging - learn by examples of how others are doing it successfully.

DON'T blatantly promote your company on a social media site. At least 90% of your posts should be relevant to the conversation.
So all the idiots that post ridiculous spam comments on my blogs - knock it off! To those who actually comment on the post - keep it up!

DO use search engine optimization (SEO) to increase the traffic to your blog or website. SEO tools help you find keywords your prospects are using in search engines. Google offers a free SEO tool, and how-yo articles.
Don't worry about the expensive design updates to your website - it's most important you ask a web designer how they can market the website for you. For the short term, talk to a web marketer about optimizing your site. Two Vermont SEO marketers I suggest are Off the Page Creations and Performance Web Solutions.

DON'T give up. It takes time to build your site. Staying engaged in the social media scene increases your chances of opening doors to new opportunities.
In Rachel Carter PR words - "Chill." When you move to a new town, it takes time to make friends and build relationships. The same is true for social media because while it is online, it is also the most natural way of connecting since the old school livelihoods of neighborhoods. So be real and make some new friends!

Friday, November 6, 2009

5 Reasons Corporations are Failing at Social Media

I came across a fantastic blog post a few weeks ago and felt I needed to share it with my readings. Written by Amy Mengel from her blog Mengel Musings, the post - 5 Reasons Corporations are Failing at Social Media - conveys my thoughts exactly and exemplifies a lot of what I have been talking about at recent presentations.

Kudos Amy - always great to see other PR/social media peeps out there with similar philosophies and thanks for the great information!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Upcoming Open Houses!

Newsflash!!! With the chilly fall weather comes the season of open houses and I wanted to take a moment to suggest a few to blog readers...

The first is an official Burlington area Tweet-up and is taking place this Friday, October 30th from 8 to 9 am at the new, hip, and tweeterrific bakery, August First and is followed by an open house at Office Squared - the new co-working in Vermont workplace. After delicious treats at August First today I took a tour at Office Squared and highly suggest getting in touch with owner Jen Mincar to check out the opportunities to rent work space as needed - such a fantastic concept for all us home officed biz owners! Click here for the invite to the Tweet-up.

The second open house event takes place the following Friday, November 6th from 5 - 7:30 pm and is a great chance to tour the newly renovated suites at the Green Mountain Suites - formerly Hawthorne Suites - as well as enjoy complimentary beer, wine, and hors d'oeuvres around a colossal fireplace. For those of you who are part time business operations in Vermont, both of these open houses are great options for you to know about.

And, speaking of events, let's not forget the Wine & Swine event taking place on November 12th at Gardener's Supply in Williston - this one is in a category all of its own...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Attending Events!

Some people are extroverted and some people are not. Both types of people enjoy being entrepreneurs, however not both types of people enjoy attending events and doing the networking thing (or as I used to call it, cruising with intent). Here are my Vermont PR tips as to why attending events is important and how to maximize event attendance if you are not an extroverted person...

Why Event Attendance is Important:
1.) It is another form of marketing yourself; but just like using social networking and finding newsworthy items to use in news editorial, it's not direct marketing. Attending events are another place to help share your brand, not your services. In other words - share who you are as a person.
2.) Attending events keeps your presence in check and keeps you on people's radar.
3.) It is also important to understand that attending events is not to land business from giving out a business card. Attending events is to help build relationships and it is best to NOT talk about your business but to share positive news of others in the industry.

Tips on Attending (Especially if You Are Shy):
1.) Find an extroverted friend in a similar industry or with similar clients and hang out with them! DO NOT go with another shy person!
2.) Attend events that personally interest you - not just ones you think you have to attend.
3.) Look into the event before you go - who attends, what news surrounds the event, and what news surrounds those who attend. Then you will be prepared with some conversational pieces.
4.) Wear something that starts a conversation - a shirt with a message, a groovy scarf, a fun tie - don't try to just blend in, show a little bit of your personality with some form of flair which can be great conversation starters.

A recent event I attended was the Vermont Hospitality Council's Gala at The Essex. My fiance is a gem and actually enjoys attending work related events which turns many networking types of events into dates for us - it makes it much easier to be a person then than "Rachel Carter PR." Below are a few photos from the events. More photos can be seen on Facebook and for the 2009 award winner, please click here.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Collaboration: Apples to Ipods

Collaborations are increasingly becoming an integral component of successful public relations work - especially in a state like Vermont where relationships, transparency, and integrity own the way a company relates to the public.

In addition, collaborations relate very importantly to the newsworthiness of something. Pretend you are a furniture maker living in Northern Vermont who enjoys fishing. Which would be more meaningful to you?
a.) An article on the newest furniture polish and its eco-friendly attributes
b.) A blog post written as a first hand account by a guy from Southern Vermont who visited a Vermont resort for a fishing outing and took a furniture making class where he tried the newest furniture polish and then shared a link on his blog to its green attributes.
(please note the social media plug)

Anyway, here is a case study of sorts on a recent Vermont collaboration:

Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing wants more Vermonters and tourists alike visiting Vermont apple orchards.
Vermont Department of Agriculture wants more Vermonters and tourists alike visiting Vermont apple orchards.
Small Dog Electronics wants to continue to be known as the leader of Apple products both in Vermont and beyond.
Woodchuck Draft Cider wants more people (of legal age) to know about their product and to have appropriate settings to taste it.

The common denominators of Vermont, apples, and similar demographics made for a great opportunity for collaboration. Small Dog Electronics and Woodchuck Draft Cider sponsored the Vermont Tourism and Vermont Agriculture "Apples to Ipods" promotion where 20 or so wooden apples were distributed throughout apple orchards in Vermont and when someone finds a wooden apple, they trade it in for an Ipod. A kick-off event held on September 15th brought on a few more collaborators - the event was held at Shelburne Orchards and Shelburne Farms cheese was provided as a snack. People could pick apples, taste apple and cheese treats, chat with folks in the Vermont Tourism and Agriculture industries, and a Woodchuck Draft Cider tasting was held in a designated area. The event and entire Apples To Ipods promotion was low cost, responsibilities were spread across the collaborators, and the publicity not only came from different collaborators, but was far more newsworthy by involving multiple groups, rather than just one product or experience.

Here are some photos from the kick-off event...

And if they haven't all been found yet - keep looking and enjoy those apples!!! Mmmm.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Quick Tips from the Week's Presentations

Thank you so much to two well respected and great Vermont organizations for inviting me to present to their constituents this week!

The Vermont Women's Business Center assists women who are starting or growing their businesses by providing resources, training, and networking opportunities for women state-wide to achieve business success. What a great group of women business owners who shared with me some great ways they are already integrating social media into their PR - way to go ladies!

The Addison County Chamber of Commerce represents and works with area businesses to promote tourism activities and business to visitors AND residents. As a new member I look forward to more opportunities to network and collaborate with folks in Addison County and since the Charlotte Farmhouse is almost in Addison County and I have been Vermont Vibing there quite a lot recently, this is a new area I have been enjoying connecting with! Plus, they have a Facebook - be a fan!

Quick Tips from the 2 Presentations:

~ Take your target audience and break it into smaller groups based their interests
~ Associate yourself with where each of these groups gets information and understand it will be different for each group
~ Use social media as your PR people and have them share information with your target audiences
~ Relax - it takes time whether you rush or not.

Thanks again!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Green, Organic, Local

There are so many trends getting everyone into frenzies! Even with the new opportunities social media creates, the PR bandwagon still gathers steam among those whose marketing follows a reactive rather than proactive tract.

(Insider Tip: Even some of the best businesses follow a reactive tract - it's my charge to anyone who reads this blog to try to find ways to alter reactive marketing tactics and make them proactive ones - you will reduce headaches, save money, and feel better - but it does require CHANGE!)

For a few years now, folks everywhere - especially in Vermont - have been all fired up about about being green, being organic, and being local.

Before I say anything else, I want you to remember one of the primary rules in marketing - "You can't be everything to everyone or you will be nothing to no one." (This is Rachel Carter PR language so it makes sense and isn't all confused my marketing mumbo jumbo.)

Think about this statement in lines with being green, organic, local.

Now chill out.

Pick ONE! What is most important to you and your clients/customers? Being green? Being organic? Or being local? Pick one and stick to it and focus on marketing and practices in line with the one you pick and don't get all sidetracked with everything else.

And when you see media stories about the others? Stop jumping on bandwagons and focus on the goals specific to your business instead of changing them because of what everyone else is doing. Listen to your customers for feedback, not what you read everywhere else.

For me I choose local. I do not have an organic garden and I do not buy organic specific food. I do not buy all green products and I am not building a green house. I do what I can - have a compost, recycle what I can and reuse a ton, buy recycled printer paper, and keep arts and crafts scraps to make my own.

But the local trend is one I have personally believed in long before it was cool and that is what I focus more and more on without jumping off the deep end. I garden and grow a lot of my own food and put it up for the rest of the year. I only work with Vermont businesses and organizations. I am having a locally themed wedding. I travel locally. I support local businesses and I make decisions based on supporting local businesses.


I am not a high fashion PR-ista. I am a corporate hippie. Driving into downtown Burlington to get my hair cut is completely ridiculous. So I found a hairdresser nearby. And one with a fabulous name - The Best Little Hair House in Hinesburg. Owned and operated by Andrea White the Hair House is in Andrea's home on Richmond Road and the salon encompasses two rooms that unite Vermont farmhouse charm with hair fashion and products. It's perfect! I got six inches chopped off and re-styled to my liking the last time I went in, making my hair a bit more manageable for the fall. Andrea's manageable prices have got me much more willing to consider being more adventurous with my long hair and her skills and personality have me quite comfortable to discuss style options and see where we might go!

If you live or work in the Charlotte, Hinesburg, Huntington, Monkton areas and are committed to buying local - walk your walk into The Best Little Hair House in Hinesburg! To make an appointment call 802-482-2948.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Blog Promotion Case Study

How the Vermont Vibes Blog Got Famous...

Burlington Free Press (with syndication to outlets such as USA Today and, The Addison Eagle, The Charlotte Citizen, The Charlotte News, eight pages of Google hits, Pontiac Performance Magazine...

When I started my Vermont public relations business at the end of 2006, I did so in part because I wanted to freely explore the changing media landscape and see what I could do with it without the confines of working for an agency and having clients I did not personally chose on my own terms. So in the early spring of 2007, I started a few blogs - a Vermont music one which is now retired, this VT PR industry blog you are reading, and the Vermont Vibes Blog based on my already existent weekend jaunts around the state in my Pontiac Vibe - hence the name, although I was traversing the backroads of Vermont long before I had a Vibe. In fact friends of old will remember similar excursions in both high school and college.

I took the advice of other early bloggers and decided to write about my own personal interests - music, PR, and Vermont. I chose to do three because I was just starting my business so I had more time on my hands and because I wanted to test different blog/social media methods with the different blogs. Science experiment for the communication-minded.

The Vermont Vibes Blog - - has always been my favorite because it is so personal and as my life changed, it changed. I don't do quite as many traditional Vibing adventures as I did when I was single and first in a relationship. Now I am engaged and living at the "Charlotte Farmhouse" growing much of my own food and cooking like a chef. As my activities changed, so did those of the blog. As I head into Vermont wedding mode, the blog will evolve once again (get ready!).

It was interesting to get feedback (especially emails) from readers and learn how many people do indeed love the Vermont Vibes Blog. I learned that flatlanders who recently moved to Vermont found it an excellent way to connect with their new state and not feel so, well, flat. I learned as positive as I try to keep it, some of my friends really do not want to be on it. I learned my distant relatives use it as dinner conversation. I also learned (and continue to learn) the ins and outs of internet marketing and social media promotion and what applications have greatly increased the blog's internet presence.

As a PR professional, I know how powerful third party endorsements can be and spent a good year trying to connect with GM/Pontiac to get them to pay attention to what I was doing as it was a positive and free publicity effort to their benefit. Apparently they knew the Vibe was going down because they took quite a while to respond. But they finally did and hired local photographer, Andy Duback, to come out to Charlotte and do a photo shoot. The most recent Vermont Vibes post gives the insider's story to that photo shoot. I waited until the story came out in Pontiac Performance Magazine for a while and some of my favorite posts got passed by due to magazine deadlines and the LONG lead time of editorial. And when it came out I was wrapped up in one of my busiest Julys ever and decided to wait to promote the story until I could give it the attention it deserved.

At the end of August, I wrote and distributed a press release and a few weeks later, the stories started to come out. Between Burlington Free Press online syndications and the cover story on the Addison Eagle, not to mention hometown coverage in Charlotte, the Vermont Vibes Blog started to get quite a bit of traffic. And with that comes some trickle over traffic to this blog, especially from other interested marketing and PR folks, so I thought I'd let you all know how it came to be in my own version of a case study. Thankfully I don't have a boss to tell me I didn't do a case study right!

Thanks for reading both blogs and thank you everyone for your support. I really think social media is making the world a better place. Love and Light.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Presentation Tips

With all of the presentations I have been doing recently, I thought I would give some tips and insight into others doing presentations of their own. There are two reasons I love giving presentations and come across as a good presenter without too many flyaway nerves. The first is because I love what I am talking about. I love how social networking and media has revitalized public relations and I love sharing with folks in Vermont how they can more effectively market themselves. The second is because I was an honest drama queen in high school, trained singer and performer, and speech award winner back in my glory days. People who knew me then always wonder why I didn't continue with my singing and acting career - the truth is, I did. It's called owning and running a business and being in my own movie everyday. The presentations simply provide me with an outlet to perform.

That being said, I completely understand most people, unless they too were drama queens and kings in high school, find it completely frightening to give presentations. So, here are some tips to help try to calm your nerves:

1.) When speaking don't make eye contact until you are comfortable doing so, instead keep your gaze looking at the tops of people's heads - people will just think you are making eye contact with the person behind them and will pay attention more hoping that you will make eye contact with them.

2.) Have your technology set up well before and plan ahead so you are 100% sure it will be all set.

3.) Practice!!! Practice standing up, using hand gestures, moving your eyes and actually present and speak out load, not mumbling while looking over your notes around other people. If you are really brave, stand in front of a mirror.

4.) Pretend you are in a movie and everyone loves your character and is rooting for you to do a great job - I am not kidding - this works in all sorts of nerve-wracking situations!

5.) Add your personality into your presentation and plan an opener that shows your personality - it will help you relax and will help the audience relate to you and feel comfortable in your presence.

You Can Do It!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Social Media Presentations

Newsflash for folks interested in hiring me to present a workshop or speak on social media. I love doing it and have a blast presenting!

Presentations are tailored to each group and examples are created to be specific to your audience so folks attending can relate the presentation directly to their work. Unfortunately these are not a pro-bono service item and if interested, please contact me for availability and pricing.

Thank you!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sharing the Advice I Use with My Readers

This week I attended the WBON Burlington Chapter Luncheon at the always gracious Windjammer Conference Center in South Burlington. Most luncheon topics are one of the gals in the group giving a presentation on their area of expertise which members decide is either useful or not to their business and attend. This month was a bit different where members were all invited to give a brief speech and the topic I chose was to share some pieces of advice I got in the past that have been invaluable to my success in running my Vermont public relations business.

1.) In high school my mom said, "You are loud and you are assertive. People will either love you or hate you. You are not beige - beige is forgettable and you my dear, are not forgettable." Thanks Mom. This has helped me keep a level head and not take things personally and understand that dislike often stems from jealousy. This lesson has also been instrumental in marketing. You need to know who you are and how others perceive you - both as a person and as a product. This also streams into my number one marketing rule for any business - If you Try to Be Everything to Everyone, You are Nothing to No one.

2.) When preparing to leave my job working for The Man and tossing around the idea of starting a business or what else I might want to do, a very wise co-worker said to me, "Make a little time for networking and letting people know what you want and what you are looking for every day." I have done that every day ever since. Thanks lady!

3.) My traditional public relations background dating back to my undergraduate days at Marist College taught me the 80/20 rule - to spend 80% of my time on 20% of my media contacts. I have also learned this is true (thanks to mentors such as Mary Beth Quinn, The Growth Coach of Vermont) in getting business - 80% of time on 20% of prospects. Now that I am well into my third year of business, I have learned there is also an 80/80 rule - spend 80% of my time on where 80% of the money comes from.

4.) And because much of my success comes from my own mistakes along the way and I have not been following any sort of "how-to-run-your-own-business" manual along the way, I offer advice I learned for myself - you MUST say no and you MUST let it go.

Tenth grade attempt at being beige...

Peace Peeps! And don't forget to Fan me at Facebook and Follow me on Twitter!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Props to a Blog

One day I will transition from running my own Vermont public relations business to owning and marketing a property/business of some sort. When that time comes, I most certainly will be checking out the Vermont Lodging Properties Blog before anywhere else. I continue to drool over this blog from time to time at the amazing Vermont inns, homes, lodges, and bed and breakfasts I could potentially run. So as I prepare to embark for another multi-day recharge rocking out to my favorite band, Phish, I encourage folks to dream a little dream and check out The coolest thing about this website is it's a blog - excellent business model and way to use a blog most effectively!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

PR is So Exciting with Social Media Integration

While social media is putting PR in its place, it is also revitalizing PR into its new Golden Age! With the fantastic new Burlington Vermont Social Media Breakfast Group (#BTVSMB), PR, marketing, and social media professionals are coming together all over the state and are all realizing PR and social media are one in the same. I have written about the new emerging PR landscape since I started this blog in 2007, and now it is here! The PR landscape IS social media and it has revitalized most PR professionals I know - the sad decay of our previous chosen profession, which started being looked at as just plain slimy, is now forging the way in the new media ecosystem (as Pitch Engine pros call it). Most PR peeps I know (and ALL of the ones in Vermont), never went into the world of public relations because we wanted to be the sluts of corporate marketing. We went into it because we are "people people" - because we love telling stories; because we love helping people and know that the power of the story can be a HUGE help; because we love writing, talking, and overall communicating; because we love analyzing what makes people tick and how we can affect change with that. And social media has allowed us to do what we have been wanting to do all along - it's like we're all doing the PR Ra Ra dance - now is the time to rock out with a Vermont public relations professional!

A group of us recently got together for breakfast at the Charlotte Farmhouse (that's the home of my VT PR firm). This group - the Vermont Public Relations Group (VTPR) - is a Google Group for Vermont public relations industry professionals to share technology, concepts, job openings, and higher learning encompassing both traditional and social media. We meet on a semi-regular basis at member businesses.

The event was sponsored by Three Squares Café in Vergennes and featured workshops by Marketwire – a traditional and social media wire service with offices in Vermont and Great Photographic Art of Vermont – a commercial, advertising, and publicity photography studio located in Burlington.

Pictured here are Vermont PR professionals from the following Vermont companies: Kelliher Samets Volk, Killoran Communications, Smuggler’s Notch, National Life Group, Vermont Ski Areas Association, Filkorn Public Relations, Sona Iyengar Communications, writer Leslie Kilgore, and Rachel Carter PR. Photo credit is Great Photographic Art.

Not in attendance as they were preparing for the #BTVSMB was People Making Good (PMG), but they were there in spirit! Info on the #BTVSMB is available through hash tags on Twitter and kudos to Digalicious for creating this fantastic concept in #VT!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Tips on How I Survive Running a Business By Myself!

I don't know! I figure it out every day. So, here are a few of my latest tips:

~ Realize that things will NEVER slow down and accept it.
~ Make things STOP by shutting off everyone related to work and hang out with your loved ones.
~ Inform people in your personal life (when you are not stressed) that running a business as an entrepreneur is like nothing else and unfortunately sometimes plans have to be broken.
~ Take time to yourself in the morning.
~ SAY NO! Don't work with everyone, don't be everything to everyone, and don't feel bad about it.
~ Collaborate! Once you've got your start-up networking out of the way, actually build relationships and scratch backs when you can - yours will be scratched too. But you can't think about it "as I'll do this for you if you do this for me." It has to be a pay-it-forward concept.

Those are my tips.
Fan with me on Facebook.
Tweet with me on Twitter.
Visit me at the Charlotte Farmhouse:

Friday, July 17, 2009

Active Travels

There are a ton of travel related websites and more of them than not are hard-to-navigate travel directories with corporate money behind them so they are what show up in even the most creative of searches. This is great if you are looking for budget airfare or hotels, but what if you are a bit more adventurous? Are you the kind of person who equates travel to merely getting away or fully experiencing other cultures? Do you like to do what everyone else does or are you more creative in your endeavors? Perhaps you would prefer to know about how to explore and navigate British Columbia without a car as opposed to staying in a fancy hotel (and trying to find that elusive low cost) in Vancouver. Or maybe you'd like to go to South Africa for the 2010 World Cup instead of watching it on an airplane while traveling to Chicago. How about knowing what trails and huts to hike and stay at in Maine instead of just parking it at a campground. Yoga in Nicaragua? Sea kayaking with whales? A family experience in Costa Rica?

Steve Jermanok, a well traveled, well spoken, and long time friend of many Vermont PR folks has launched - a blog dedicated to giving expert advice to travelers, not tourists, on connecting with nature, people, and wildlife around the world while working up a sweat. The site is for anyone in halfway decent shape who yearns for an authentic and memorable travel experience outdoors, far away from the masses.

Steve's travels span the globe in a fun and adventurist manner very in sync with my own personal travel goals and his writing experience bounces from National Geographic Adventure and Budget Travel to The Boston Globe and Robb Report as well as being the author of 11 books. Steve pulls from this fantastic repertoire to share tips, ideas, and details with readers and also offers a Go Play! Forum where you can create your own adventure with Steve's help - such an innovative tool - I plan to use it for my England exploration active honeymoon (I shudder at an all-inclusive resort honeymoon - ick)!

Please check out and share with your friends - Rachel Carter PR approved and highly recommended! And kudos Steve - this is an awesome example of what writers are doing in this shifting media economy and it's inspiring to see!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Classical Music & Hard Cider

I have to do it - I have to take a blog moment to promote two of my clients because what they have going on is definitely newsworthy!!! And, I am so proud and want to thank some folks who are helping make it happen!

Brandon Music - Vermont's Classical Music Haven announced the official opening of the Harmony English Tea Room, the opening of their Vermont art gallery with the first exhibit being by Linda Durkee, and launched their new website - - all in the past two weeks!

Surrounded by gracious countryside just outside of the artistic downtown community of Brandon, Vermont, lies Brandon Music – Vermont’s Classical Music Haven. Brandon Music is the North American headquarters of owner Stephen Sutton’s British classical music record company, Divine Art Recordings Group. Located in Warren Kimble’s former historic red barn studio and gallery, Brandon Music hosts the Divine Art CD Store, Harmony English Tea Room, a Vermont art gallery, and a vintage collector’s corner. The Divine Art CD Store showcases a wide collection of contemporary to rare classical music from the Divine Art, Diversions, Metier, Athene, and Move record labels. Harmony English Tea Room – a chic English-style tearoom and music café – sells specialty British teas and coffees, tablewares, and vintage china and linens, and will schedule live music concerts and recorded music appreciation events as well as special themed events such as “tea-dances.” An art gallery showcases work by local artists and a collector’s corner is planned which will offer the sale of vintage and rare historic records while featuring a growing assortment of vintage collectibles and antiques. Brandon Music is open year round and more information is available at or by calling 802-465-4071.

Thanks to Stephanie and Mike Raccine of Off the Page Creations for creating such a fabulous website! Check them out at

Woodchuck Draft Cider is enhancing their Vermont presence starting by partnering with Vermont organizations and events and the next few weeks are getting quite busy - get a taste of the nation's best hard cider at these great Vermont events:

Stoweflake Hot Air Balloon Festival at Stoweflake Resort, July 10-12, 2009

“Veillée” (French Canadian Dinner) at the Vergennes Opera House, Friday, July 17, 2009

5th Annual Taste of Stowe Arts Festival at Stowe's Topnotch Field, July 24-26, 2009

One Glove: A Michael Jackson Tribute at Higher Ground, July 24, 2009 - Woodchuck is the presenter of this fantastic Seven Days event in remembrance of the nation's king of pop.

Woodchuck Draft Cider is a hard cider handcrafted with apples in Green Mountain Beverage’s state-of-the-art facility in Middlebury, Vermont. The original recipe, known as the popular Woodchuck Amber Cider, was created by current cider make, Greg Failing, in 1991 in Proctorsville, Vermont. The Woodchuck Draft Cider family has grown to include Granny Smith, 802 (Dark & Dry), Pear, and a brand new selection of Limited Releases to which Failing adds his personal touch to ensure exceptional quality and premium taste to Vermont’s award-winning hard cider. A naturally gluten-free beverage, Woodchuck Draft Cider is also a favorite in food pairings and a key ingredient in a variety of recipes. More information is available at and you can follow them on Twitter at

On days like this I love what I do!! Thanks to Brandon Music and Woodchuck Draft Cider for being such exceptional clients!