Monday, November 29, 2010

Rachel Carter PR Blog Transformed

Hello! This blog as we know it has now merged into the homepage of Vermont public relations firm, Rachel Carter PR. In always striving to build upon trends in the industry and combining it with my own intuition, I have made the homepage of Rachel Carter PR into a Vermont News Feed for professional and amateur media alike to subscribe. I am also the new co-author of VERMONT: An Explorer's Guide and will be blogging about my adventures researching the book on the brand new Vermont Vibes Blog location.

Please check them out:

Thank you always for your support! Check out the full news story here.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Did People REALLY Think I Disappeared?

No, No, No! I rested, reflected, rejuvenated, and then began manifesting once again...

If I tried to stay on top of all the trends, how could I make what works for my business meaningful to my audience? Then I'd be a trendhopper, not a trendsetter. As long as neither is a trendstealer - I have watched a whole lot of that going 'round with social media. I even stopped telling businesses to "spy" because social media very quickly went from fun and engaging to really crazy. I mean you can watch people's "friendships" on Facebook - by what and where they correspond with other people. That is just creepy, never mind a feeding ground for all sorts of passive aggressive behavior.

Plus I'm sick of racking up friends - it's like high school online. That's not where I need to spend my time in networking. Or going to events and trying to talk to as many people as possible. I have been focusing on going to events and not talking to more than three people, but with those three have really engaging and substantial conversations.

I have learned in my time away from blogging and reassessing my business, brand, and target audience, the following values are most important to me - both personally and professionally:

Vision, Reality, Ethics, Courage & Loyalty

Get Ready Vermont - Rachel Carter PR's Got a Brand New Bag

Stay Tuned...
Linked In

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Internet is a Factor in Decreased Empathy

While just listening to On Point - my favorite public radio program - the topic dealt with the internet and wired lifestyle and the brain. The guests drew a couple of deep conclusions that actually verbalize something I have been wondering about for a while now.

Why, of late, are there less and less people able to put themselves in another's shoes and be empathetic as to why someone does something and how they react to others? This is a question I have been grappling with in both my personal and professional lives and I think I found the answer:

The constant, quick, and self serving way in which we communicate with the internet and mobile devices driving our world is leading to a decrease in empathy of others - the ability to put oneself in another's shoes and have an understanding beyond our own personal needs.

Yes, yourself should come first - your health and well-being. But that does not mean that our own personal needs come above everyone else's. Everything is relevant to each individual and the ability to comprehend that has gone missing. And now I think I know why.

Taking my own advice, I am relaxing on the internet use this summer and focusing on my own health and well-being first. Therefore I will not be writing my blogs and will have minimal Rachel Carter PR activity on Twitter and Facebook. I am planning for some major shifts in business in the fall and look forward to sharing at that time. In the meantime, I am still an operating business and will be in the fall as well. I am not taking my summer off, but am limiting certain activities to focus on my health and well-being, analytical process, and empathy to the plight of human existence. To do this I know I need to greatly limit such time consuming internet use and now, thanks to On Point, I know not only that what I am doing is right, but why I am doing it - my brain needs to keep working and not succumb to de-evolution.

Enjoy the summer, and if I can offer any advice - when wondering why someone does something - try putting yourself in their shoes and get out of your own bubble.

See you in the fall...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Basic Publicity Tips for a Tour or Series of Events

I am often asked to consult and/or implement in this area and as my schedule continues to be insanely busy and I am committed to my own well being this summer and taking some time for myself and The Mitch, I thought these tips might be helpful. I will also be speaking on this in more detail at the Women Business Owner's (WBON) Conference this Thursday in Burlington - it's not too late to register -

~ Write a short (no more than 2-3 sentences) description of the tour and mission

~ Write a press release (no more than 4-5 short paragraphs) that is written with the most pertinent information first - who, what, where, when, how, why - in that order

~ Have the press release or the information in the press release available somewhere online and always share the direct link to that information in any correspondence

~ If already on Facebook, create a fan page or an event or both, if not already using Facebook this won't work

~ If already on Linked In, post to your profile, if not already using Linked In this won't work

~ Create a Twitter account for the tour (several months in advance) and begin building relationships with others in the path or the tour, who are sympathetic to the cause, or interested in the issue - build relationships with individuals, groups, associations, companies, amateur, and professional media

~ Determine the professional and amateur media (traditional and social) in each town along the tour and individually send them the short description (aka pitch) over a month in advance

~ Submit as an event to any applicable newspaper or online media calendar listings/event postings over a month in advance

~ Follow up with another individual note and the press release - always linking to where it can be found online 2-3 weeks in advance

~ Contact sympathetic/interested people/organizations with link to online press release and ask them to help you promote 2-3 weeks in advance

~ Contact local TV stations and ask to cover and send a copy of the press release with the link 1 week in advance

~ Call the appropriate daily newspaper and ask to cover 1 week in advance

~ Follow up with interested media/organizations with a post tour/event press release and some GREAT PHOTOS that help tell the story

Happy to have additional suggestions as this is just a basic start - please comment!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bookmark These Travel Sites

The New York Post calls it a "Facebook for Travelers." I call it an excellent transition for a travel writer using the online media industry to create a much more powerful tool than Trip Advisor to create interest and relationship driven travel idea sharing and trip planning. The travel writer being Ed Wetschler and the website he founded that has created the buzz is Tripatini.
Check it out!

And another travel writer who has grasped new media with a terrific force is Kaleel Sakakeeny with a corporation simply entitled New Media Travel. The crux of his creation is all in the video with Travel Video Postcards - an ingenious way to combine the integrity of travel reporting with the necessity of advertising to pay the bills for a valuable travel industry service.
Chck it out too!

I am short today because I am really on a mission to really accomplish my life mission by not just being a slave to my computer and because I need to practice shorter posts to meed the demand of today's attention spans.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Hampton Inn

I love the Hampton Inn. I know I am supposed to support small business, but I also support well run business. And the Hampton Inn folks have done it right. Whenever they went through their last renovation, they didn't just focus on the amenities and decor, but the entire way they do business. And I'll tell you one thing - they own the hippie tour market - and we are a target market that spends money. Plus, we're older than we used to be and prefer the comforts of one couple per room rather than stuffing as many people as we can into a space.

I have stayed at the Hampton Inn Albany repeatedly for shows and one of my favorite experiences there is how cool the parking attendants are. They enjoy the hippie party that comes to town and make the process of parking in a chained hotel lot safe and fun for everyone. At the Hampton Inn Boston I recall enjoying the late night after show celebrating and instead of getting a knock on the door and being yelled at for the noise, getting a call at 1 am and politely being asked if we'd like to move to a more comfortable room - on a floor with all the other show peeps.

Most recently I stayed at the Hampton Inn Rutland for snoe.down and was blown away. The Mitch and I had booked one of the suites months before along with the additional adjoining room so we could enjoy a fun space for ourselves and other friends staying at the Hampton Inn. The room was sweet - and we enjoyed putting our personal touch on the room as we often do when traveling for shows. The beds are amazing and can be bought through their ingenious Hampton Inn Home Collection. I found this link to other marketing and amenity improvements they have made - - as my interest is much more on their customer service than anything else.

So, the jam band music scene is comprised of hippies and music loving folks who travel around to see their favorite band. Many have been doing this for years and so as we age, we have come to expect certain things and in our own right, are discerning travelers. The Hampton Inn's fantastic breakfast, 24 hour coffee and tea, complimentary WiFi, awesome bathrooms and beds, and decor that is white, silver, and clean looking instead of creepy all lead to a very pleasant experience. Considering the fact that traveling for shows is indeed that, we spend more time at the hotel than other pockets of guests. Yes, we enjoy good restaurants and when there is one attached to the hotel, we would much rather eat there than waste the time leaving when we have such a short amount of time to spend with our closest friends who often don't live in the same area. And so we pre-party and post-party in the hotel which could be of concern in some establishments, but the Hampton Inn seems to cater to it.

The staff at every Hampton Inn I have been to is professional and friendly and never, ever are condescending or judgmental to the interesting cast of characters who take over their hotel for the weekend. And what prompted me to even write this getting-too-long post was a man named Dave Searles, the Manager on Duty at the Hampton Inn Rutland. The first night he patrolled the halls all night long and was the friendliest "night watchman" I have ever seen. He smiled at everyone and was very polite if he had to knock on a door. He spent time talking to anyone who wanted to chat and many did - we're a chatty bunch! Because he was so kind, everyone respected him and there was only one complaint all night.

How do I know this? Because the next morning, everyone had a note under their door stating things such as, "We were pleased to welcome a good number of guests who went to the concert last night. Understandably some of the positive feelings generated at the concert made their way back to the hotel, and some of our guests took that opportunity to continue them with their guests. Some well into the wee hours."

He went on to let us know how appreciative he and the hotel was at the peaceful manner in which everyone was able to communicate and that everyone "was very understanding and cooperative" with his efforts at "maintaining the peace." He then went on to say, "I want you all to know what a good time that I had throughout the shift speaking with many of you, sharing stories and comments back and forth, etc." He then wished us all safe travels and hoped we would consider the Hampton Inn again.

Dave - you betcha!

Friday, April 2, 2010

New Farmstead Dairy Equipment Company Opens in South Royalton, Vermont

Bob-White Systems Offers Micro-Dairy Technology, Equipment, & Service

Local, safe, organic, pasteurized, farm fresh milk can now be produced locally on Vermont farmsteads, homesteads, and micro-dairy farms using the technology, equipment, and services provided by Bob-White Systems.

Bob-White Systems is bringing the cows back home in Vermont and beyond by creating the equipment and technology for micro-dairy operations to produce locally pasteurized milk that can be sustained by the communities in which the micro-dairy farmer lives. Localvore homesteaders and small scale slow food producers can now milk two to four cows making safe, delicious milk that can be sold at local farmer’s markets, stores, restaurants, and throughout the community – keeping Vermont milk close to home while generating a viable mix to the growing localvore and slow food community and economy in Vermont with farm fresh milk!

In 2006, innovative Vermont dairy farmer, Steven Judge, started a micro-dairy farm on a hillside pasture in Royalton in a barn he built for four Jersey cows.

“Pasteurization equipment is expensive and very difficult to support with only a few cows. This is one reason why the local, micro-dairy milk produced in Vermont is raw, non-pasteurized milk,” Judge explains. “For small farms to be able to choose to pasteurize their milk, they must have it picked up by tanker trucks and shipped to large milk processing facilities – with only one actually being in Vermont. There it is mixed with the milk from many other farms making it challenging to really know where your milk comes from. And this is why folks say to produce milk in Vermont if you have one cow, you may as well have a hundred - the labor and costs are the same...”

…Until now that is.

Judge and his company, Bob-White Systems, are offering farmstead dairies the opportunity to “craft” local milk and for the past four years have been developing “micro” low impact pasteurizers and bulk tanks that provide the gentle pumping and minimal heat necessary to produce safe milk without compromising milk’s delicate flavor and nutritional value. From this technology, additional equipment, such as portable milking machines and vacuum pumps, and other farmstead dairy related equipment (including technology for small batch cheese production) has been created.

The Bob-White Systems farmstead dairy vision does not conclude with the technology and equipment…

“We also offer the service and consulting necessary for customers to learn how to use the equipment and also on how to bring the milk to market,” comments Judge. “As the Vermont micro-dairy supplier, one of the most inspiring elements of this work is to help farmstead and homestead farmers generate a business opportunity in their local communities. Soon farmer’s markets, country stores, and restaurants will have the opportunity to offer local milk along with eggs, produce, meats, and other Vermont products.”

Bob-White Systems is located at 228 Chelsea Street in South Royalton which opened in March with a small showroom of the equipment and online at

Why the name Bob-White Systems? “We’re the John Deere of the farmstead dairy industry,” grins Judge. “You can find Bob-White Systems on Facebook and Twitter by searching for FarmsteadDairy and help us spread the word!”

About Bob-White Systems

Bob-White Systems is bringing the cows back home by creating the technology, manufacturing the equipment, and generating the knowledge for the local, farmstead, and homestead production of pure, farm fresh milk. Located in South Royalton, Vermont, Bob-White Systems is committed to making it possible for every small or rural community to enjoy safe, fresh, and delicious milk produced by local, micro dairy farms. By designing, equipping, and helping to manage small micro dairy operations, Bob-White Systems reduces dairy start-up and operating costs, helps farmers enjoy more profits, and enables communities to produce and purchase their own local milk. More information is available at and at and

Thursday, March 25, 2010

New England Travel

There are a lot of websites out there about New England travel. But there is one that is simply the best. And that's because it is managed, edited, and written by a public relations trained journalist who takes great photos and travels for the complete experience, not the quick fix. Kim Knox Beckius has been writing about New England extensively for over a decade and has authored several related books such as Backroads of New England, The Everything Family Guide to New England, and The Everything Outdoor Wedding Book. She is also the author of's New England Travel Guide which has expanded is recent years from the website format to also include a blog, Twitter (@newenglandgirl), and Facebook ( The website features popular outlets including top events, deal sheet, trip planning, and seasonal highlights.

Please visit, bookmark, explore, and share the online gem of New England -

I have worked with Kim on behalf of various clients throughout the years and along the way we realized we both earned our public relations background at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY. We finally met in person at the Ski Vermont Media Reception at Mt. Snow on Woodchuck Day in February and are both looking forward to palling around at the Vermont Travel Industry Conference at which we are both speaking.

If you work in the travel industry in Vermont, I highly suggest attending this valuable, informational, and fun; educational networking event being held April 6-8, 2010 at Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa in Stowe, Vermont.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Product Quality Reduction - Bad Company

I have been keeping my eyes and ear peeled for seeing if my prediction would come true about everyone so focused on social media that the commitment to quality starts to slip and I have seen it in my own home with products I buy! Gasp.

I do not follow large national companies and their social media because my niche market is Vermont and I firmly believe in not stretching oneself too thin. Because of this I cannot say that these companies are more focused on social media than product quality, but I can say I have recently noticed some product quality reduction that I think they should be called out for. I think it has to to do with budgets and where to cut and cutting in product quality is the worst place to do it. Luckily Vermont is too small for companies to get away with this as much - yes another reason to buy local in Vermont!

Coast Soap
- Ok, what is up with the mini sized soap bars? I have been using Coast soap since my best friend in middle school showed me how to wipe it on your clothes dry as a fabulous perfume! Once high school was through and I started buying my own soap, I transitioned from wiping it dry on clothes to buying it as my one and only shower soap and this has not wavered to this day. Recently I have been noticing the bars go much quicker than they used to and because I stock up on everything, was able to compare an old bar to a new bar - half the size with no change in price of course! Do I really have to switch soaps after exercising brand loyalty of over 20 years?

Fiber One Granola Bars - In order to keep up high costs, you simply remove a bar from the box making the count go from 6 to 5? Is this for real? The first time I noticed this I thought it was a packaging glitch, however now I see it is not. Then I realized they only had 6 in them when the product was first launching (which I purchased as a result of their strong coupon positioning). Trick 'em, hook 'em, trick 'em again. With the exception of Kudos, granola bar boxes are supposed to be 6! No kudos here!

Laundry Detergent - There are too many companies to name, but what is up with this business of the dual washing power? This is definitely just a gimmick to make you pay full price for half a bottle. Seriously. This makes me get loud and obnoxious in the grocery store. Good thing I'm going tonight - watch out Mitchezzz...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My Hotel Description

Hotel and other Vermont hospitality descriptions are often the brunt of jokes at the presentations I give around the state because they all use the same language and try very, very hard to tell potential visitors how "sophisticatedly unparalleled" they are "amidst the valleys of the Green Mountains." Problem is everyone describes their property/experience the same way which has always been silly, but now with SEO (search engine optimization) driving web activity and subsequently everything that directs traffic to websites, this way of describing "discerning getaways of relaxation in the Vermont countryside" is downright detrimental to the way potential guests opt for a place to say. Standing out doesn't mean being the same as everyone else and with the takeover of social and interest driven decision making, describing a Vermont travel experience or stay with a bunch of fluffy adjectives is a thing of the past - you are long overdue for an overhaul!

Our sophisticated property is nestled in the Green Mountains offering elegant accommodations in our well appointed guest rooms and suites. Our understated luxury is perfectly complimented by our Regional American cuisine featuring an organic selection of local Vermont products. We have earned the Luxury Award of Four Diamonds for ten consecutive years and are called "the premier escape for romance and ambiance" by Real Travelers Don't Read Me Magazine. Our commitment to your relaxation and serenity can be found in our selection of travel packages on our website at

However you found us, thanks for finding! Whatever you are looking for, we have no idea if you'll find it at our Vermont mountain resort, but we do hope you will try. From Vermont skiing to Vermont country stores. From Vermont products to the freshest and most locally produced food in the country. We have the best bed and breakfasts, inns, hotels, resorts, and vacation rentals in the Northeast and while we may differ from our neighbors in room decor and amenities, we all agree there is no need to visit any state other than Vermont in the fall, winter, or summer. As for spring - come for the maple syrup, mud, Vermont artisans, and to get a taste of what the real Green Mountain are all about. Forget about our website - talk us up on Twitter (@Handle)! PS - we offer a create-your-own-travel-package on Facebook (link) because we know no one likes to be told what they should do.

Note: Top searched Google keywords in bold

Hmmm - wouldn't it be interesting to see how much attention that would actually get???

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Marketing VT to moe.rons Rutland Peeps!

Attention businesses in Rutland and Killington, Vermont!!!

In case you haven't heard, the awesome, fun, and rockin' band moe. is having their super rockin' winter/ski music festival snoe.down in Rutland/Killington this year March 26-28, 2010. This is the first year the festival will be in Vermont and it would be so very cool if that could continue. Check out the website for all the 411 -

I feel I am fully qualified to write this post to Rutland/Killington area businesses for the following reasons:

1.) I am a Vermont PR/marketing chick
2.) I recently presented on social media marketing to the Rutland Chamber of Commerce in January 2010
3.) I have been working in PR/marketing in Vermont since 2000
4.) I am a fifth generation Vermonter twice removed
5.) I am a huge moe.ron (fan of the band moe.)
6.) I have been to over 40 shows, including two of the past three snoe.down festivals
7.) The inflatable instrument band and message board I sometimes reference in marketing presentations are both a part of the moe. experience

So, pay heed businesses and check these insider tips!

1.) moe. is spelled moe.
2.) Fans of moe. are called moe.rons and that is how it is spelled
3.) moe. fans travel to see the music and hang out with their other moe.ron friends - this is called their
4.) moe.rons really like seeing welcome signs on area businesses when they travel into towns that say things like
"Welcome and moe.rons Welcome!"
5.) moe.rons range in ages from early 20's to 60's with the majority being in their 30's and 40's and they like to support the local communities they are visiting for shows
6.) They also like Vermont products
7.) I suggest making signs and welcoming moe.rons to visit your business featuring Vermont products
8.) Favorite products are local beer, local food products, local snacks, hearty yet healthy meals, local beer, fun things to do in the area after the festival is over
9.) Many will be staying in hotels in Rutland so they are close to the concert venue, but there are activities at Killington during the day all three days so offering shuttle services will be appreciated and help with traffic congestion
10.) Offer moe.rons coupons and area info books at their hotels - we like doing cool things in town, but don't have much time to seek them out as we are in town for the music!

And, have fun with us! moe.rons have great senses of humor, love rock and roll, have great appetites, and will spend money when extra steps are made to make us feel appreciated! We are a target market - own us!

One word of caution - police take heed to a nasty thing called the nitrous mafia which unfortunately follows certain bands around to prey on concert goers. It is an organized crime ring of non moe.rons selling nitrous oxide (laughing gas) after concerts in big party balloons and wholesale in hotel parking lots before and after shows. They will pay off police and business owners. All properties - hotels and after hours lots - should pay attention to this disgusting backlash to a very positive scene. Please understand it is organized crime, not just a couple of fans and they are responsible for a few deaths here and there although no one wants to outwardly report on it. I am - please pay attention!!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Social Media is Driving Me Insane!

This is probably in part why I haven't blogged in way too long! I have a Twitter headache, a Facebook bone ache, and a Flickr zit. I apologize to all the good folks I have been presenting to and instructing to look at my blog for good examples - good examples of being mad at social media! And thank you Dorset Custom Furniture for the Vermont public relations plug after I presented to the VT Wood Manufacturers Association at The McKernon Group in Brandon - I am digging this furniture, woodworking, custom kitchen, home renovating thing - maybe it's time for one of my own woodworking posts - I think I forgot to tell the woodworking folks I refinish wood furniture in my spare time! When I am not detoxing from social media crack that is!

Aurgh - so see? Miss "I-Like-To-Present-On-Social-Media-Too" has had it as well! I have been thinking about this post for a while and talking about it even longer, so getting to the point I go:

Ways to Stay Sane in the World of Social Media:

1.) Make plans with social networking friends to go out to dinner at great Vermont restaurants and plan a little drive with some good tunes to get there (hint: this is called Vermont Vibing). Start with me! The Mitch and I are seeking interesting people to have dinner dates with so we can discuss current affairs in Vermont and get our VPR pledge drive money's worth.

2.) Use social media to get good book ideas, visit a used book store, buy the book and read it far, far away from your computer, IPod, IPhone, Blackberry, and whatever other gadget I am not aware of because I stopped at the IPod.

3.) Never under estimate the power of the written planner and how much attention you get when you use it - excellent marketing tool.

4.) Use all of your social networks to tell people you are away and then do whatever you want and feel free from feeling like you are ignoring anyone.

5.) Connect with a few of your social media peeps, tweeps, and creeps and plan a party - not a "tweet-up" for the purpose of promoting business, brand, image, and not-promoting - a full on bash. And include me - I am ready to plan a party with all the folks I think are awesome on the internet - let's do it at a Vermont State Park!

And lastly - forget hiring me for a consultation - I want to MC your event!

Friday, January 15, 2010


I have had a crazed week of travel, presentations, trainings, and

So, very quickly, I must say I love what I do. I really love the clients I work with, the people I meet at presentations, the connections I create for people, and the funny people I work with and the relationships that develop.

Sometimes it is stressful. It always takes time. But, today especially while I am rather wiped out from my recent travels around the state - Charlotte to Stowe to Brandon to Rutland to South Royalton to Charlotte in two days - wow - I am feeling really great about what I do!

By the way if you are are business in the Rutland area - take my word for it - join the Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce. They are one of the most organized and committed to their members organizations I have come across. And they hire great speakers! heeheehee

Tips on joining Chambers - you must maximize their services by making the effort after you join - you get out what you put in, and they can be one of the best expenses you can make as a small business.

And if you're looking for fantastic branding, design, and videography/new media capabilities - check out Hen House Media - they have got it going on!

Cheerio from the office of Rachel Carter PR:

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

PR Trends in 2010

Happy 2010! Thanks for respecting my absence as I took some much needed time away from the grind. But, back and refreshed - ready to really let my voice shine through in 2010! I thought I would share a few of my public relations predictions for 2010 - what do you think?

In 2010:

1.) People are going to be so frantic about social media they are going to let basics like customer service, regular communication, and having a good product/service slip - so take heed now - SOCIAL MEDIA ISN'T EVERYTHING!

2.) That said, if you aren't adjusting your finances, work load, and staffing to incorporate social media then you are slipping!

3.) Paper is back and green can chill. E-everything is pointless - when everyone is doing it no one is paying attention. Incorporate some time for letters, cards, and regular newsletters again. Not everyone wants to spend every moment in front of the computer. Buy locally made greeting cards, work with a local designer to create a cool notepad for your business or a newsletter that is of interest to your audience - NOT something that promotes you. Two suggestions I have are Kate Youlen: Graphic Design Studio and Bleu Sky Creative.

4.) Connect with your inner core and take the time to meditate, breathe, listen to your inner voice, and focus on the energy around you. Interested in getting started? Shyla Nelson's Live From the Core is where it's at.

5.) Stop Jumping On Bandwagons!!! Yes, local is it, before that was green, organic and fair trade keep fighting for the forefront - focus on YOUR business and YOUR customers and YOUR strengths and weaknesses and STOP worrying about what everyone else is doing!