Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

PMG Seeks Entry Level PR Associate

September 10, 2010

PMG Public Relations is looking for the next member of our growing team.  This assistant account executive will be supporting two PMG associates on existing client accounts.  Duties would include: building media lists, pitching story ideas to journalists, assisting in execution of social media tactical plans, writing press releases, etc.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • a degree in communication, journalism, and/or marketing
  • have completed an internship in public relations or a related field
  • have experience using social media tools
  • is a competent writer
  • is a self starter
  • is an all-around nice person

Salary range: 30 – 35K based on experience.
PMG offers a competitive benefits plan including: health plan, three weeks paid vacation, paid time off for community service, seasons pass to local ski resort and more.

PMG is a boutique PR firm located in Burlington, Vermont working with socially responsible clients. Please email a resume and cover letter to jobs@peoplemakinggood.com. NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE.

Please do not apply if you do not have a strong interest in pursuing public relations as your career.

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Welcome Tom Kupfer!

July 22, 2010

We’re really excited to welcome Tom Kupfer as a PMGer.  Tom started at PMG two weeks ago and has hit the ground running.

Tom was previously employed by Okemo Mountain Resort as communications coordinator and at Liberty Sports Magazine as a contributing editor.  He holds a Masters of Science in Communication from Drexel University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Fordham University.

Hold on Cobbler’s Kids…

July 15, 2010

I have been know to say (often), “The cobbler’s children have no shoes” when it comes to the work that we do on PMG’s behalf.

As we work on our client’s behalves, our own brand takes a back seat. While that is certainly necessary at times, it is hard to grow your business and scale appropriately when you don’t give your own brand some loving attention.

We have re-jiggered how partners at PMG work on the business of PMG in the past few weeks to make the organization more efficient and effective for our clients. So far, we have seen some immediate results in the earned media we have been achieving for clients and from a less chaotic system. This has allowed us to take a hard look at what we’re doing to promote ourselves as well.

Over the next few weeks, you’ll see PMG become one of, well, PMG’s clients. We will actually start to practice what we preach and share the results – bad and good – along the way.

In keeping with how one of my clients ends many of his emails (I like it!)…

Onward!
Nicole

Note to the Cobbler’s Kids: I called Zappos and your shoes are on the way!

Welcome, Interns…

April 19, 2010

It’s quite amusing to me that there is such a sudden outcry and debate over the fairness and legality of internships. Point blank: if I (and many others) didn’t have the opportunity to intern, there would probably be no Iza the PR Gal… it would be more like Iza the cook, or Iza the electrician (I was an “apprentice” with my dad throughout breaks in college), or even Iza the lifeguard going on almost a decade.  Ahem…

Although I loved and respected waitressing, lifeguarding and working alongside my father because I learned in all of these instances, I can wholeheartedly now admit that those things seem uncanny in my path of life.  The most important point however, is that I would never be able to realize this unless the businesses that took me in as an intern took the chance of teaching me the ways of their businesses.

So think about this: A professor makes a profit because you pay them to teach you. Why then, does a business owner suddenly have to pay an intern (aka student—all the same) when they are completely inexperienced and sometimes tough to deal with?

Not to sound like a broken record, but everyone has struggled in this tough economy and if many small businesses had to pay cash to inexperienced interns and dedicate their valuable, productive time—I believe that they would simply decide to not even deal with internship programs and this would be a disservice to the future workforce.

Bureaucracy has gotten in the way of the basic point of internships: to learn if a certain field of work is compatible with a student’s future ambitions. Even if you are a college graduate with a degree, it’s not like a business owner forced you to take the internship, you chose that path to learn. The piece below is taken from the Employment and Training Administration Advisory System from the U.S. department of Labor, included in the New York Times article, The Unpaid Intern, Legal or Not by Steven Greenhouse.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has developed the six factors below to evaluate whether a worker is a trainee or an employee for purposes of the FLSA:

1. The training, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to what would be given in a vocational school or academic educational instruction;
2. The training is for the benefit of the trainees;
3. The trainees do not displace regular employees, but work under their close observation;
4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the trainees, and on occasion the employer’s operations may actually be impeded;
5. The trainees are not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the training period; and
6. The employer and the trainees understand that the trainees are not entitled to wages for the time spent in training.

As stated in the article (I’m also not denying that some employers might take advantage of interns as a supplement to hiring a full staff, because I have heard horror stories from friends along the way), these six factors seem hard to misinterpret by the average person.

I believe that unpaid internships are completely fair, and students need to be prepared to sacrifice their few months and, simply, suck it up. Apprenticeships, internships, whatever you want to call it, have been around since the beginning of time. You signed up for it! As for employers, don’t make your interns get you coffee or clean your bathrooms because if you do—I can positively say: FAIL.

I’d love to know: What do you think of internships? Did you have a bad or good experience? What could have made it better?

South By

February 26, 2010

I am headed to Austin for SXSW in two short weeks. When talking to a client and friend who is also attending, I was corrected and told that “people in the know do not call it South by Southwest, rather South By.”

Ok. Clearly I have a lot to learn, this being my first time to South By, and not just about what to call the event!

Here’s what I am scheduled to do (scheduled to change without notice and often!). In addition I will be part of the PR and media focused Tweetup with Sarah Evans and PitchEngine’s Jason Kintzler. I am really excited to hear many a social media rock stars speak and share what they have learned, but my real interest in going is network with others who do what I do and learn from them.

If you are going, drop me a line or connect with me on Twitter. If you have been to “South by” before and can share some tips – bring it! I’ll be sure to post a blog upon my return about the trip highlights.

Hey! We’re looking for YOU!

January 30, 2010

PMG is, once again, hiring.  We are looking for talented public relations professionals for the following full-time, salaried positions:

  • Assistant Account Executive (AAE): Entry-level position. The ideal candidate will have a degree in communications, public relations or similar and have completed an internship with a PR firm or similar.  A good understanding of social media and strong writing skills are essential. This is a growth position.
  • Account Executive (AE): Two plus year’s agency or in-house public relations experience.   The ideal candidate will have strong media relations skills and an excellent understanding of social media.  Strong project management and client relations abilities are mandatory.

Think you have what we are looking for?  Send us your resume, cover letter and salary requirements to jobs(at)peoplemakinggood.com.

NO PHONE CALLS, please.

Have You Thanked Your Mentor Today?

January 22, 2010

Often times, saying “thank you” to people in your life that have made a difference falls off the plate.  We have the best intentions to call or write them to say, “Hey, thanks! You really have helped me on my path.”

Fortunately, days like today, Thank Your Mentor Day, has us take pause to think about who our mentors are and thank them.  From the associates at PMG, we offer the following words of THANKS:

From Alicia DeMartini

Throughout my college career, there are a handful of professors that stand out amongst the rest as influencers, teachers, friends, listeners, and mentors. However, for Thank Your Mentor Day, I would like to thank my former professor Jim Ellefson. I took his Reading and Writing in the Wilderness class in the fall of 2008. The class focused on reading literature of the environment and the outside world, as well as intensive writing and journaling to explore our own passions and expand our abilities as writers. I have never had a class that encouraged more free discussion and student interaction, in a truly comfortable and open setting. Jim took us on various hikes and outdoor adventures, as well as opened his home to us for a communal (and absolutely delicious!) dinner of homemade garlic bread and minestrone soup. I immediately felt like I belonged. It was visible on my and my fellow students’ faces the effect that these sessions had on us. Jim encouraged me to share my writing, as well as my dreams and fears, and gave never-ending support and encouragement. A year and a half later, I still look back on those experiences as moments that truly shaped and developed who I am today. For that I thank him!

From Elizabeth Hagwood

As most people who grew up in good families know, parents always seem to top the list of role models in one’s life. Mine is no different, and since I’m a momma’s girl, my mom has played a significant role in my life.  I grew up in a military family and moved around every couple years, and my parents (especially my mom) always was able to make the best of it and never complained.  She always put HER dreams to the side to support my dad’s dream of flying (he was a Marine aviator) and her kids.  She was always there to encourage us, whether it be at a swim meet, piano recital or science fair, and to lend a giving hand (or, in some cases, a firm hand).  Now, my parents have retired, and my mom is finally able to live her dream of quitting the corporate world and moving away from the suburbs – they live on a farm and take care of many chickens, fifteen goats, and two dogs, and oh, play with clay for a living (alright, she’s a potter now).  Hmm, maybe that’s why I not only went to the same college as her, but also ended up in the same general career field as her (amidst all her career changes)…

From Izabela Socha

Mentor, hero, best friend— they all ring the same sort of bell in my ears. A great, passionate, determined sister or brother can make a monumental difference in your life. They drag you out of that deep hole you dug yourself into, but will also give you a piece of their mind to keep you in line. My mentor in life is my best friend and sister, Daria. Her determination for her personal career and vibrant life, in general, has inspired me to directly do the same with mine.

She has “shown me the ropes” of what needs to be done to get what you want, when you want it without hurting others in your way by giving your all and giving it with a certain sense and degree of passion.  Her positive reinforcement for my seemingly far away dreams has made me the person I am today and continue in becoming everyday.

From Alex Benepe

My mother has been a solid mentor in my life. She is a very steady, consistent, and calm person, who believes strongly in education. She taught High School for many years and is now a counselor at a University, and she has always encouraged and helped me to succeed in my own studies and projects.

One outlook she taught me that I will always remember is “Doors open and close for a reason,” which means that you should not be disheartened by rejection, and instead look at it as an opportunity for moving in a new direction.

From Nicole Ravlin

When I started my career I thought I would actively need to seek out a mentor.  For me finding this person was more organic – something I would have never thought. I was under the impression that I needed to have a structured conversation and define the relationship.  My mentors have come into my life, as bosses, and have evolved into mentors over the course of years after I had time to really appreciate what they were bringing to the table of my professional career.

For me, I am lucky to have two such individuals in my life, whether they know it or not!  Peter Giles is my former employer. While I worked for Peter, I was greatly impressed with his skill as a publicist and his natural ease with clients. However, Peter did not become a mentor to me until long after I departed Giles Communications and started PMG. It was then that I looked back on my days at Giles and was able to fully appreciate all that Peter did for the firm and why he made the decisions he did. Peter and I have talked from time to time and he has always offered me great advice and has been one of my biggest cheerleaders. I consider him often as we work to build and better PMG and treasure the advice he has given, and I hope, will continue to give!

My second mentor is Reggie Cooper.  Again, my appreciation for what and who Reggie is took some time and reflection. From managing financials to management of associates and learning how to deal with tricky situations with grace, the lessons that I learned from Coop (as I fondly think of him), have stuck with me. I am honored to consider him a dear friend and my mentor.

PMG works with icouldbe.org, an online mentoring program connecting high school students from at-risk communities with mentors from across the country, cultivating the students’ potential career interests, post-secondary educational opportunities and overall future goals.  January is National Mentoring Month.  If you have one hour that you can spare per week, please consider signing up to mentor a child. The beauty of the icouldbe program is, the mentoring takes place online only – so you can mentor from home, work, the beach, wherever is convenient.

Have a mentoring story or want to thank your mentor? We’d love to hear it!

PMG’s Lunch Adventure

August 12, 2009

Hello everyone, my name is Chris Garafola and I’m honored to say I’m one of PMG’s new PR Interns. I’ve only been working here for about a month and I’m already amazed at how much I’ve learned. Having the opportunity to have a hands-on learning experience is invaluable. Currently, I’m a senior at The University of Vermont and I’m majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing.

Sometimes we PMG’ers like to get together and grab a nice lunch on the town. However, since there are so many great places to eat, deciding on where to have lunch is difficult. After a few suggestions were made, my fellow Intern Joe and I decided that today would be a great day for a burger—and that’s how our lunch adventure began.

Burlington, Vermont is known to many for its rolling green mountains and Lake Champlain. Yes, it’s even reported to be the stomping grounds of Champ the iconic lake monster. Almost anyone who has heard of Burlington has also more-than- likely heard of Church Street. The cobblestoned street is the center of Burlington’s energy. Everything from nightclubs, restaurants, live music and a cone of the highly acclaimed Ben and Jerry’s can be found here. However, nestled just a couple blocks away on North Street lays a hidden treasure—and I’m not talking about gold. I’m talking about burgers! Or more notably the best burger in Vermont!

This is truly a diamond in the rough. The Shopping Bag is located in what some claim to be a “rough neighborhood”. From the outside, The Shopping Bag looked uninspiring and didn’t seem like a place worthy of “Vermont’s best Hamburger.” However, after one of my roommates ate there the day prior and described it as, “the most delicious burger I’ve ever eaten!” I felt destined to try this burger. Not to mention, Joe the intern accompanying me also happens to be one of my best friends (this is when you say “awww… how cute”).

After we mustered up enough courage to enter the store we realized it wasn’t all that bad. We found out that we needed to see the cashier after deciding what we wanted to order. After we paid, Joe and I were given a scrap piece of paper that said “Scibec Sizzler”. From there, we were informed to give this scrap paper to the grill cook. My first impression of the grill cook was that of intimidation. He was a big man who had an angry look on his face. In other words, if you were ever in a fight, you would want him on your side. However, that didn’t phase me because for some reason I saw a little twinkle in his eye which said, “I may look mean but I make a meaner burger” Once the cook grabbed our slips he disappeared in the back for a little while. At first I was confused. I didn’t know whether he was going on his break or the two swipes of Old Spice I applied in the morning didn’t do the trick. I soon learned neither was the case because he returned with two of the biggest beef patties I’ve ever seen in my life. They keep the patties in the back cooler, almost as if the burger was a brick of gold and the back was a bank vault.At this point, I arrived at the realization that I was in for the most intense burger I’ve ever eaten.

While waiting for the mammoth burger to cook I decided to wander around the store. So I’m in my own little world humming Foreigner’s Cold as Ice (I had just heard it on the radio, and you know how that goes), when I came upon an attractive poster. The poster read, “Food Network, 50 States, 50 Burgers” and on it was the best ranked burgers from each state—and guess who made the list for Vermont? If you guessed our very own Shopping Bag—you guessed right! Not only was this burger hyped up by my friends, it was given national acclaim in a praised and respected magazine. My standards were rising higher and higher as the burger sizzled on the grill. Once the half pound burger was complete (and by complete I mean grilled and topped with: dill pickles, bacon, red onion, lettuce, tomato, toasted sesame seed bun, Montreal seasoning, three slices of American cheese, mustard, ketchup and mayo) it was time to eat.

Joe and I arrived back at PMG to eat our massive burgers. The once paper bags that were holding our Sizzlers now looked like see through plastic bags from all the grease that seeped through. However, it was all worth it because this burger was A M A Z I N G! Every bite I took created a juicy mouthful of flavors that wrapped around my tongue like a kid eating his first Popsicle. I was literarily in culinary heaven. Every ingredient and topping on the burger complemented each other perfectly. The experience was great and the burger was delicious. Granted it took me 17 minutes to completely finish eating it, but it was well worth it and I plan on making an excursion back to the Shopping Bag soon for round two.

Just one more thing, if you’re planning on getting a Sizzler, plan your day ahead of time. After you eat one of these bad boys you’re not going to want to strap on the old roller blades or hit the gym. Instead, you may want to lie down and watch VH1 I love the 80s while your food coma subdues.

Don’t Talk to Me!

April 29, 2009

Social media done well includes three things:

  1. Contribute to the conversation. Sure, there is a lot to be learned by reading tweets from others, but chances are you have nuggets of information that others would find incredibly valuable. Why not contribute your thoughts?
  2. Listen to your customers, critics, competitors, brand evangelists… really to everyone who has something to say about your company, brands and you! Chances are you will learn something, and better yet, you may be able to get ahead of issues.
  3. Engage. As a marketer it is easy to blast messages at your fan or follower base. This is not engagement. Engagement requires a give and take – kind of like a good relationship. If you are listening it is easy to react and engage.

It is pretty simple stuff. But, somewhere along the way we became comfortable with talking at and to rather than with people. Said that way, social media can really bring us back to basics—if you want to do it well. And with the global community that we now have access to thanks to the internet, our conversations have more reach.

Bottom line: don’t forget that social media is a conversation and requires interaction. Kind of like a dance, sometimes you lead and I follow. Other times, I lead and you follow.

Also, taking a step back and perhaps sending a note card to contacts from time to time, rather than an email, might set you apart from the crowd. A total retro move, I know, but I can guarantee you won’t get lost in the stream!

The “…ations” of Our Business

March 27, 2009

When did the occupation of public relations become so confusing to people?  When I graduated from college, I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication.  My studies were concentrated in public relations.  I understood this to mean that my job would be to communicate a business’ message to the public: directly, through the media, and if needed and depending on the company I worked for, lobbying.

Today, there seems to be some question as to what this practice entails.  Is it just effective writing? Is it a robust database to help your clients get traction in the media? Is it throwing a press release on the wire? Is it lobbying a bill on the Hill? Is it working with investors of a business to get the company’s messaging across? Is it social media?

The truth is, effective PR firms and people know how to do all of that, and in most cases, do much of it well.   The business of public relATIONS is all about communicATION. And in today’s world that means communication to many types of people across multiple channels.  The multiple channel piece of the equation is key.

From bloggers to national broadcast television placements, it is all important and beneficial. In fact, some of the smaller, less “glamorous” placements can do more for your bottom line.   Consider the reach an outlet has AND how respected they are.  A very targeted blog about a specific subject may get your client more traction than a mainstream newspaper placement.  Think podcasters are important to target? You bet! Leave no stone unturned and achieve better results.

Bottom line: relate and communicate information effectively across all channels. That is what today’s PR is all about.