How the Vermont Vibes Blog Got Famous...
Burlington Free Press (with syndication to outlets such as USA Today and Treehugger.com), 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 - http://VermontVibes.Blogspot.com - 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.