Client News

Blueplate PR shares all the latest news and media recognition from our clients.


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A Gift of Good Land: Bluebird Hill Farm Announces Essay Contest for Aspiring Organic Farmers

The owner of the Bennett, NC,  farm will award

full ownership to the winning couple.

farmhouse-lavender

Norma Burns, owner and operator of Bluebird Hill Farm in Bennett, NC, is holding a 200-word essay contest to award full ownership of her picturesque, 12.88-acre USDA Certified Organic farm in Bennett, NC, to a couple of aspiring farmers. The topic for the 200-word essay is: Why We Want to Own and Operate Bluebird Hill Farm. The deadline for entries is June 1, 2017.

1-monarda-barn“To me, there’s no better calling in life than raising organic food,” said Burns, an award-winning architect-turned-farmer. “I’m looking for a like-minded couple who have experience and training in organic farming and are willing and able to put in the long days and hard work that farming requires. The only thing they don’t have is an actual farm. I want to make it possible for these new farmers to get started.”

After nearly 18 years of running Bluebird Hill Farm — growing herbs, 3-aerial-view_2specialty vegetables, cut flowers, native plants, value-added farm crafts, and food products – Burns is ready to move back to Raleigh and into a more urban lifestyle. But she wants to leave her beloved farm in the care of a “committed couple of any description with the life experience and physical stamina that active farming requires,” she said. And she’s insisting on a committed couple because “experience has shown that Bluebird Hill Farm can’t be operated successfully by a single individual.”

The winning couple will receive the Certificate of Title, free and clear, to Bluebird Hill Farm, which, according to Burns, has been estimated to be worth $450,000. The property is also subject to an agricultural conservation easement.

2-aerial-view_1Calling her essay contest “A Gift of Good Land,” in homage to American novelist, poet, and environmental activist Wendell Berry, Burns has established a website dedicated to the contest – www.essaybluebirdhillfarm.com — that explains all the details about the prize, including the eligibility requirements, entry fee, and how to enter.

Burns will not be involved in the selection process, she noted. Instead, a panel of judges consisting of one attorney, one conservationist, and one agricultural professional will choose the winning couple.

Aspiring farmers and others can learn more about Bluebird Hill Farm and see a gallery of photos on its Facebook page — www.facebook.com/pg/BluebirdHillFarmNC. The essay contest winners will be announced on the Facebook page on June 30th.

“When my late husband [NCSU Professor Bob Burns] and I purchased the farm, it was a derelict property,” Burns said, “a barn without a roof, a neglected house, and abandoned gardens. After nearly 18 years of work, love, and care, the farm has become what we envisioned it to be. It would mean so much to me to see it in the care of someone committed to its continued improvement.”

For more information on Bluebird Hill Farm’s Essay Contest, visit www.essaybluebirdhillfarm.com.

GARLIC, HERBS, FLOWERS copyAbout Bluebird Hill Farm:

Owned and operated by Norma DeCamp Burns, Bluebird Hill is a small USDA Certified Organic farm that specializes in growing herbs, specialty vegetables, cut flowers, native plants, value-added farm crafts and food products. The farm incorporates the principles of permaculture to maximize the use of space in its raised beds. Burns grows many types of fruits and vegetables, emphasizing diversity and quality over quantity. The farm is located in Bennett, NC.

 


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Thunderfoot Press Hires Blueplate PR To Promote New Premiere Title, Midland Club

 

thund-press-logoThunderfoot Press, a small publishing house in Orange County, NC, has commissioned Blueplate PR of Raleigh to market and promote its premiere title, Midland Club, a new murder mystery by Mark Spano with particular social relevance.

“November 8, 2016, marked the beginning of a surge in hate crimes in this country, including crimes directed at our LGBT citizens,” said Blueplate PR owner Kim Weiss. “The first time I read Midland Club, which is set in 1958, the relevance jumped off the page at me.

mc-cover_sm“Fear of that heinous type of crime informs how the book’s main character, Rich St. Pierre, responds to the death of a friend – a gay black man. Everyone in the mid-western city believes it was suicide. Rich knows better. I’m deeply honored to work with Thunderfoot Press to promote this gripping and relevant page-turner, which will remind readers of the best in noir filmmaking.”

Blueplate PR is a boutique public relations firm Weiss founded 2004. Since then she has promoted a variety of book genres, including business, fiction, humor, young adult fantasy, and supernatural. An award-winning journalist and former magazine editor, Weiss also ghostwrote and edited The Bridge Builders, a memoir of master landscape architect Richard C. Bell’s life and work. For more information, visit www.blueplatepr.net.

Thunderfoot Press has published five works of fiction and a memoir by author and filmmaker Mark Spano.

Advance/review copies in paperback and digital editions are available by contacting Kim Weiss by phone (919.819.0064) or email: blueplatepr@gmail.com. The book is available for purchase in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon.


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A Small Jewel…Flawlessly Smooth and Realistic…An Engaging Work of Noir Fiction

mc-cover_smCritics and readers alike praise Mark Spano’s Midland Club.

(Chapel Hill, NC) — Thunderfoot Press author Mark Spano’s new 120-page book, Midland Club, officially released just one month ago, is already receiving rave reviews from critics and readers and remains ranked at 4.3 stars out of five among Amazon Customer Reviews.

“I’m stunned and humbled by the favorable critical responses to Midland Club,” Spano said recently. “What, though, is of greater consequence is that the book has struck a chord with its readers. That is surely every writer’s ambition.”

Set in 1958 in a Midwestern town, Midland Club is a 120-page mystery novel about corruption, lies, and murder. The protagonist, Rich St. Pierre, is compelled to expose the truth about a friend’s death knowing he’s risking his own life in the process. The protagonist is a gay white man and a member of a highly respected family. The deceased is a gay black man.

The premise intrigued two reviewers with Gaybook Reviews.com. One described the book as “a small jewel…melancholic, lyric, flawlessly smooth and realistic… an excellent piece of gay fiction of exceptional quality.”

The other reviewer called the book “a dark and cynical tale that reads like a film noir classic,” adding: “The beauty of Midland Club is the telling of the tale, rather than the answer to the mystery…There’s a bit of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil amidst the melancholy and I highly recommend this book.”

Mark Spano admits that he set Midland Club in his old neighborhood in his hometown, Kansas City, MO. But in his book, he refers to the location only as “a Midwestern city.” Yet one Amazon reader, also a Kansas City native, said he immediately recognized the city’s “repressive social strictures of decades ago, designed to prevent the intersections of ethnicity, class, and forbidden love at the heart of this tale of passion and loss.” Spano “can be proud of his story,” he wrote, “as it perfectly captures that place and time to create an engaging work of noir fiction. It kept me reading non-stop until the end, meriting this hearty recommendation.”

Another reader echoed that sentiment, adding, “This book is more than just a murder mystery. It speaks to the human condition.”

Midland Club is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. Review copies are available by emailing publicist Kim Weiss of Blueplate PR: blueplatepr@gmail.com.

About The Author:

MARK SPANO is a filmmaker and author of five works of fiction and a memoir. As a filmmaker, his work includes The Quality of Light: A Biography of Claude Howell and the definitive documentary on Sicily, “Reimagining Sicily.” He holds advanced degrees from Marymount University of Virginia and the American University in Washington, D.C., and now resides in rural Orange County, North Carolina. (Headshot available on request.) For more information: blog.markspano.com.


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Extended Opportunity: “PR on a Platter” Package for 2017

A public relations opportunity for small businesses with big PR goals (exposure), big PR dreams (media coverage), and not-so-big 2017 PR budgets.

What’s included on the Platter?

o   Professional press releases that are written by a former newspaper and magazine editor on all the news your firm generates (new projects, completed projects, awards, new hires, etc., etc.) You’ll be surprised how much news you have to report.)

o   Manual press release distribution to relevant media sources, both online and traditional.

o   Project submissions to appropriate online journals, e-zines, and blogs to immediately raise your Internet presence (very important since we all “Google” information now – including potential clients’ searches for architects)

o   A limited number of direct pitches to appropriate media sources.

o   An experienced and committed PR professional who delivers results.

Since 2004, Blueplate PR’s message has been simple: “Get a lot for a little.”  With the new “PR on a Platter” package, we continue to deliver on this concept:

For a flat-fee of $500 per month (with a commitment of six months or more), you’ll enjoy Blueplate PR’s “no billable hours, no surprises” promise and achieve the PR results you need from a professional public relations expert with a track record for securing tons of media attention for her clients.

So – ready to Order Up?

Call or text Kim Weiss today at 919.819.0064or email blueplatepr@gmail.com.

 

NOTE: This offer expires February 17, 2017, is available for new and returning clients, and requires at least a 6-month commitment, payable on or before the first day of each month.


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Chapel Hill Architect Arielle Condoret Schechter Receives “Best of Houzz” Honors Second Year In A Row

Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA

Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA

From among remodeling and design professionals throughout North America and around the world.

 Architect Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, of Chapel Hill, NC, has won a “Best Of Houzz 2017” award in the Customer Service category for the second year in a row.

Over 40 million monthly users that comprise the Houzz community chose Schechter and the other winners from among more than one million active home building, remodeling, and design industry professionals.

Best Of Houzz honors are awarded annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service, and Photography. The Customer Service honor is based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews that a professional receives. (Click here to see Schechter’s reviews.) A “Best Of Houzz 2017” badge now appears on Schechter’s Houzz profile, along with the 2016 badge and a 2015 “Recommended on Houzz” honor.

According to Lisa Hausman, vice president of industry marketing, “These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area. Each of these businesses was singled out for recognition by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts for helping to turn their home improvement dreams into reality.”

Founder and principal of Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, Architect, the architect is perhaps best known for her modern, Net Zero Passive residential designs and her new Micropolis Houses® collection of modern, sustainable “tiny home” plans.

To see Schechter’s Houzz page, click here. For more information on her firm, visit www.acsarchitect.com.

About Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA:

Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA, is a licensed, registered architect based in Chapel Hill, NC, who specializes in modernist, energy-efficient buildings with a focus on passive houses, NET ZERO houses, and her new Micropolis Houses® collection of tiny house designs. She is a lifelong environmentalist and animal advocate who was riding on the green design train long before it became mainstream. She lives in a modern, sustainable house she designed in Chapel Hill with her husband, Arnie, and an assortment of foster animals. For more information: www.acsarchitect.com

About Houzz:

Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, online or from a mobile device connecting millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community empowered by technology, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin, Sydney, Moscow and Tokyo. Houzz and the Houzz logo are registered trademarks of Houzz Inc. worldwide. For more information, visit houzz.com.

 

MEDIA CONTACT:


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Blueplate PR Announces Special, Limited Time “PR On A Platter” Package for 2017

pr-on-a-platter-logo
Blueplate PRa boutique public relations agency in downtown Raleigh, is launching a new PR package today for architects who have big PR goals (exposure), big PR dreams (lots of exposure), and not-so-big 2017 PR budgets.

What’s included in the “PR On A Platter” package? 
  • Professional press releases, written by a former newspaper and magazine editor, on all the news your firm generates (new projects, completed projects, awards, new hires, etc., etc. You’ll be surprised by how much news you generate!).
  • Manual press release distribution to relevant media sources. (The media hate “e-blasts.” This is not that.)
  • Hand-picked submissions to appropriate online journals, e-zines, and blogs to raise your Internet presence immediately (very important since potential clients and media sources “Google” information today).
  • Professional pitches to traditional media: newspapers, magazines, television and radio. (The number is limited.)
  • An experienced and committed PR professional who actually knows your industry and delivers results.

Why is this a great deal for you?
Well, if you want all of that exposure for you and your work,
“PR On A Platter” will save you endless hours of…


…Chasing the right reporters who cover your industry and may be interested in your news.
…Waiting for return calls from deadline-driven journalists who don’t even know you’ve left many, many, many messages.
…Staring at the screen of your smartphone for weeks, waiting for reporters to get back to you.
…Wondering why your competitors keep getting “ink” and tons of new leads from the same journalists and reporters you’ve been trying to attract.

Since 2004, Blueplate PR’s message has been simple:

Get a lot for a little.” With our “PR On A Platter” package, we continue to deliver on this promise.
So… what’s it going to cost? Very little, actually. 

For a flat-fee of $700 per month (with a recurring commitment of six months or more), you’ll enjoy our “no billable hours, no surprises” promise and achieve the PR results you want from a professional public relations expert with a track record of securing tons of media attention for her clients.

blueplate-fb-page-image

So – ready to Order Up?
 Call Kim Weiss today at 919.819.0064,
or email her: blueplatpr@gmail.com.

   *NOTE: This offer expires January 31, 2017, is available only for new clients and requires at least a 6-month commitment, payable on the first of each month.


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Murder, Corruption, and The Unthinkable in The 1950s Heartland Suddenly Resonate Today…

fiction/mystery/gay literature

Thunderfoot Press announces its premier title, “Midland Club.”

December 12,  2016 (Chapel Hill, NC) — Since November 8th, LGBTQ citizens have come to fear a surge in hate crimes after reports of homophobic attacks, some verbal, some physical. Sadly, the potential is evident.

But in 1958, that potential was a frightening certainty, especially in Midwestern cities where homosexuals were considered “perverts” and “degenerates” and law officers ignored assaults on them – law officers not unlike the fictitious Sheriff Pat Brundy, who quickly pronounced the death of an old, gay, black man as suicide. No investigation. Case closed.

In Midland Club, a new murder mystery by Mark Spano, one man refuses to believe Puce Bordeaux’s death was suicide, despite Sheriff Brundy’s assertion. That man is Rich St. Pierre, a member of the wealthy, white First Family of the town who was locked up, along with Puce, after a raid on a dive where the town’s otherwise hidden homosexuals hung out. He’s certain that Puce, the quiet, genteel “Negro” who served as a waiter in the exclusive Midland Club for decades, was killed. He’s certain that the subsequent death of Puce’s priest, Monsignor Corliss, was murder.

Ostracized by his influential family, Rich St. Pierre also knows that his own life will be in grave danger if he attempts to prove his assumptions by unraveling the town’s secrets, lies, and corruption.

fiction/mystery/gay literature

Author Mark Spano

“I set this book in the neighborhood of my childhood,” said Spano, a gay man who knew life before the Stonewall riots of 1969. “I came of age in the era of gay liberation. My story is a glimpse back at how it used to be.”

Published by Thunderfoot Press, Spano’s 120-page book is a quick page-turner that suddenly stops the reader in his or her tracks with such moments as art dealer and self-described “queen” Luther Beaumont’s drunken rant on human instincts:

“We were taught that the only two instincts we humans have are self-preservation and species preservation.

“That is not so. There are more than those. The third instinct is just as primitive but has somehow been ignored by all these research people as being part of the human creature. It’s the preservation by the tribe of those things beautiful about the tribe. That’s why we’re decorators and designers and art dealers. While the rest of the world is cranking out babies like there’s no tomorrow, queers are at home saving what’s beautiful in the world so there’ll be something to look at or listen to tomorrow.”

Midland Club has all the elements of a good mystery: vibrant characters, a familiar setting, and a plot in which the solution to the mystery is ultimately revealed. Beyond a good mystery, it also addresses the pain of one gay man, alone in a town that despises him. And if the reader is paying attention, that pain foreshadows the conclusion.


Review copies of Midland Club are available by contacting

publicist Kim Weiss at Blueplate PR: blueplatepr@gmail.com.

Paperback and Kindle editions are available for purchase on Amazon.


About The Author:

MARK SPANO is the author of five works of fiction and a memoir. As a filmmaker, his work includes The Quality of Light: A Biography of Claude Howell and the definitive documentary on Sicily, “Reimagining Sicily.” He holds advanced degrees from Marymount University of Virginia and the American University in Washington, D.C., and now resides in rural Orange County, North Carolina.

Media Contact:

Kim Weiss, Blueplate PR

919.819.0064; blueplatepr@gmail.com