Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Social Media - Grow with It...

So, times are tough and they don't seem to be getting better. How ridiculously annoying for everyone! I mean, how can you not get down when you work your butt off to have two days off to cram in all the things you possibly can that you learn from all the new ways we are learning things. What about sleeping? Visit friends? And all the never ending items on the growing To Do List? I don't know about you, but sometimes I really, really, really feel -> this close to losing it!


Well, the only thing you can do during tough times is to be proactive and NOT just "wait it out." This is your chance to learn, grow, develop more contacts, learn new skills, etc. My backup skill is gardening and I am waiting for that call to come and someone to say, "Hi Miss Vermont PR Mama, we are the Government Organization of Environmentally Sustainable Bail-out Package Revamping the National Food Crisis Committee and you have been selected to receive a subsidy to start a heady, hippie, farm growing produce for Vermonters and we chose you because of your fabulous PR skills." But, until the government can figure out what to call the committee and who can head it up that isn't being charged with tax fraud I will have to focus my energies on other efforts during this "tough times." And I suggest you do as well...

Last week I was invited to present on a fantastic panel at CCTV's Media Maven Luncheon to a group of non-profit leaders on Communication Strategies for Touch Times, specifically the biggest buzz and raddest rave, social media. Myself, owner of Rachel Carter PR, along with Liz Schlegal of Foundline, Dr. Elaine Young the Champlain College Marketing Professor and Blogger, and Patricia Aroujo a savvy E-Entrepreneur sat on the panel and dished out some advice.

I highly suggest checking out the video of the luncheon and hearing all of the great advice firsthand. While this is aimed at non-profits, there is extremely valuable and pertinent information for small businesses as well:

I offer five tips in summation of this panel discussion:

1.) Collaborate!!!
2.) Understand that you can't be everything to everyone or you're no one to none and really apply it to your business or organization. Believe us, you are NEVER the exception.
3.) Using social media is NOT a quick fix and in this day and age, quick fixes are done, so get to work and stop complaining about the good old days, they just move farther away.
4.) Change your story at all times for every audience. You do it when you are telling the same story to your son and then to your mother-in-law - you make it pertinent to them. Now, do the same thing with the messages that come from your business or organization. There just isn't any other way and shameless self promotion is a hubris sin of the past regardless of how "good" it is.
5.) Stop thinking re-actively! While things are slow, this is the PERFECT time to shift your marketing to being proactive because while proactive works the best, it is very time consuming, so implement it now!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Vermont Business Award Opportunity

The Burlington Business and Professional Women’s (BPW) organization seeks young professional women and men between the ages of 21 and 35 to participate in the 2009 Young Careerist program on Wednesday, February 11 at 5:30 p.m. at the Best Western Windjammer Conference Center in South Burlington, Vermont.

Held on an annual basis at the local, state and national levels of BPW, the Young Careerist Program recognizes the accomplishments of young, upcoming leaders and provides them with professional development skills and opportunities. Established in 1964, the national Young Careerist Program involves a competitive selection process within local organizations and state federations, resulting in the selection of a Young Careerist to represent each state federation at the BPW/USA annual National Conference. During the program, candidates participate in interviews with a group of judges and present a four-minute speech to the Burlington BPW membership and guests. They are judged in the following areas: written and biographical information, judges’ interview, ability to help others achieve, group interaction and prepared speeches on specific topics.

To be eligible to participate in the program, candidates must either live or work in the greater Burlington area, have worked in their current profession for at least a year, be familiar with BPW, and support the national BPW legislative platform statement.

For more information please visit www.burlingtonbpw.org. To participate in the program, contact Jennifer Nachbur at 802-238-6110 or Jennifer.Nachbur@uvm.edu.

I participated last year and was not only named the Burlington Young Careerist, but also the Vermont Young Careerist! Great opportunity for young professionals - check it out!!!