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!
BEST ORGANIZATION TO SUPPORT
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.
BEST BUSINESS NEWS
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!!!!
BEST BUSINESS ADVICE
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!
BEST LOCAL PRODUCT
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.
BEST VERMONT STORE
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!
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.
BEST FINANCIAL ADVISER
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!