Friday, January 30, 2009

A Shout Out to Miss Vermont

Miss Vermont 2008, Ashley Wheeler, has certainly made a splash in raising awareness for the Miss Vermont Scholarship Organization this year!

Kudos Ashley for being the first Miss Vermont to win a Preliminary Talent Award and for being the Non-Finalist Talent Winner at the Miss America competition! I thought this would position her nicely for being a finalist, but not the case. Regardless, this is awesome for Vermont and awesome for Ashley!

Besides rocking out a fabulous rendition of "God Bless America" and taking home $6,000 in scholarship from the Miss America Pageant (making a total of $13,000 in college scholarship partnered with her Miss Vermont funds), Ashley wore a 100% eco-chic dress for the evening gown competition made by Vermonter, Tara Lynn. Personally this is one of the loveliest dresses I have ever seen.

The Miss Vermont Scholarship Organization as a whole has made tremendous strides in building the awareness and integrity of the program, due mostly to the fact that three passionate, dedicated, and talented former Miss Vermont's run the organization. Miss Vermont 2000, Hannah Nelson, was the force behind making Special Olympics Penguin Plunge such a phenomenal event and fundraiser when she took a job there after her reign as Miss Vermont 2000. Now the Director of Alumni Relations at Lyndon State College, Hannah has honed exceptional public relations skills and her efforts have had huge impact for the Miss Vermont.

Also an excellent recruiter, Hannah recruited me to be a judge in the Miss Vermont Pageant in 2005, the first year Ashley Wheeler competed in Miss Vermont. You've come a long way Ashley and you were amazing back then!

Congratulations Ashley - you certainly had the state rooting for you while you were competing in Miss America! And Good Luck in all of your endeavors!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Financial Fitness & Yoga for Women

I have had the pleasure of getting to know Smith Barney Financial Advisor, Danielle Livellara, for a few years now and am always extremely impressed by her presence, speaking skills, personality, and innovative marketing ideas. One of my first jobs when I moved to Burlington was in marketing at an insurance company and it always amazed me with the level of difficulty most agents met innovative marketing ideas. Danielle would have put them all to shame!

Association marketing is such a valuable skill and tactic, especially in the financial industry as people are far more willing to trust a friend or someone in their circle of interests than anyone else - no matter how good they are! This is not only something Danielle understands, but does with the utmost sincerity and integrity.

I encourage everyone who wishes to learn more about creating financial balance in their life and interested in yoga to sign up for Danielle Financial Fitness & Yoga class this coming Friday, January 30th from 6:00 - 7:30 at the Burlington YMCA. The cost is free and the seminar is followed by yoga; light snacks will be served. And please - share with a friend!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Rachel Carter PR Best of 2008!

It's time - the official Rachel Carter PR Best of 2008!!! This is my compilation of the best services, products, and people I have come across over the past year and I want to share with readers and followers of my blog!

The Annual Go Red For Women Luncheon
Held annually in February, the Go Red For Women Luncheon raises awareness for heart disease and stroke in women and offers a fantastic set-up for networking: women host tables at the luncheon itself which features speakers and survivor stories and is preceded by two hours of coffee and tea, a huge silent auction, workshops, and chit chat. I am hosting a table at this year's luncheon on February 19th as a result of attending the 2008 luncheon and the impact it had on me. If you haven't signed up yet I strongly urge you to do so!

VPR - Vermont Public Radio/VPR Classical
I listen to VPR Classical throughout the day in my office and VPR when driving to and from meetings and when working out so it would only make sense to offer financial support during their fundraising drive held in late fall. And without a doubt, VPR leads the way by providing exceptional news and commentary and proves that radio is alive, important, and beneficial.

Champlain Business Journal
I love all of the business publications in Vermont and as a PR person it is probably not a good idea to seem like I am playing favorites. However, the Champlain Business Journal deserves a mention for the great work they have done in revamping the look, feel, and content of their publication. They have created a better niche for themselves (the other pubs already have their niches well developed) and have become exceptional at covering a very wide spectrum of what is happening in the diverse business landscape that makes up Vermont - way to go!!!!

The Growth Coach
Mary Beth Quinn, the amazing woman behind The Growth Coach, is the only client I am including in this list and not because she is a client, but because of the presentations, newsletters, and conversations I have had with Mary Beth aside from out client work. Her advice and procedures are so right on I cannot honestly create this list without including The Growth Coach. If you need to develop your business in any way, I highly suggest taking a Growth Coach workshop.

Great Photographic Art of Vermont
There are a ton of photographers out there and each one charges more than the next. I wonder how this industry will survive with so much competition, such high prices, and with so many more people becoming skilled in handling much of their own photography. As a public relations professional, I deal with the importance and vitality of photography to tell a story on a daily basis, yet I have always had a difficult time finding a photographer to take good press shots at a reasonable price until now! Jonathan Hart of Great Photographic Art of Vermont is an exceptional commercial photographer with a whoppingly impressive client list, yet is more than happy to offer publicity rates for press shoots which are far less demanding and technical than other types of photo shoots and this is good news for people handling their own PR!

Honey Gardens
Right down the road from Rachel Carter PR, is the fantastic Honey Gardens. I am addicted to the raw honey, convinced that eating direct pollen from my backyard will help keep my allergies at bay. The mead was the biggest hit at my family Thanksgiving dinner and made for easy Christmas presents. And the syrups are a lifesaver when the winter colds set in. Next time you're heading down Route 7, definitely stop or check out their products at a variety of Vermont stores.

Spears Corner Store
This has changed a bit for me over the years based on where I spend my Vermont Vibing time and where I live, and as right now I live in Charlotte - specifically in East Charlotte - Spears Corner Store has blown any competition far away. Plus they hold the annual Tractor Parade! Not to mention I actually go in and hang out - just like a real Vermonter should! If you ever head out to visit Rachel Carter PR in the Charlotte Farmhouse, be sure you say hi to Carrie in Spears and pick up a local product!

And as everyone is concerned about money, recessions, finances, adding machines, calculators, etc., I will offer my top picks in the field of finances - a field I have absolutely no talent in...

Double Entry Bookkeeping
Without a doubt. The first business expense I invested in was hiring Diana Jones of Double Entry Bookkeeping. Taxes, financial organization advice, and Quickbooks training have all been invaluable to my business and Diana's style simply rocks!

Key Bank
Is there any doubt in any Vermont woman business owner's mind to bank with anyone else but Jeannie Lynch at the Taft Corners Key Bank? I think not. Jeannie brings you back to the days when your banker was your friend except in a day and age when women business owners drive the entrepreneur market.

UBS Financial Services
Tricia Senzel delivers financial information in a manner that equals having a pleasant lunch with the top editor of The Financial World for Dummies. And to a Gen Exer who dropped out of Trigonometry, there is nothing more important. Well, that and Tricia is sincerely trustworthy.

And there you have it - kudos to all and thank you all for playing your part in helping me create a fun and successful public relations business in Vermont!
Rock On!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Charlotte Farmhouse Makes Regional News!

Happy New Year Everyone! I am back from some much needed R&R and have already hit the ground running and was featured in a New England Cable News segment which aired yesterday - check it out:

Oh, my favorite band, tied with moe. of course.

I need to be quick, as I am still getting back up to speed and don't want to fall behind before 2009 has even started. But up next - Rachel Carter PR Best of 2008!!!!! Wahoo!