Friday, December 17, 2010

Do you understand your credit card bills?

Take Consumer Action's Survey's now and let them know:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/creditcards2010

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Postion Announcement: Communications/Membership Manager

December 7, 2010

Communications/Membership Manager


The Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition (MCRC), the “voice for Maryland consumers,” is seeking a full-time/part-time Communications/Membership manager. MCRC, a statewide, nonprofit advocacy organization, works to promote consumer rights and fairness in the marketplace.


Responsibilities

  • Develop overall communications plan for MCRC including press, social media, and web communications
  • Garner press coverage for MCRC research and policy work through calls, meetings, and discussions with statewide media
  • Organize press events for MCRC
  • Proof-read and copy-edit MCRC materials
  • Lay-out and design basic MCRC materials
  • Develop and implement dissemination strategy for education and policy materials
  • Coordinate with graphic designer and printer on materials with more complicated layouts
  • Track MCRC media hits and update press book
  • Develop and employ existing methods for interacting with members across the state, including the use of action alerts and advocacy emails
  • Maintain and update the Coalition’s website, blog, Facebook, and Twitter accounts
  • Track MCRC’s social media presence and develop strategies to increase traffic
  • Work with contractors on video production
  • Solicit and document consumer and member experiences for MCRC policy work
  • Plan annual membership meeting
  • Update membership database
  • Write and design quarterly newsletter
  • Attend quarterly board meetings, special and annual events
  • Assist with office administrative duties as needed

Qualifications

Required:

  • Bachelor of Arts or Journalism degree
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills
  • Experience with social media and Web marketing campaigns
  • Knowledge of Maryland press corps, particularly reporters who cover the Maryland General Assembly
  • Experience with Google Analytics and/or other audience measurement tools
  • Experience managing and using a CRM or contact database
  • Proficiency in Word and Excel and ability to learn media database technology

Preferred:

  • Experience working in journalism or as a communications associate with nonprofit organizations
  • Experience with membership databases such as Democracy in Action
  • Experience with design programs, shooting and editing video and taking good quality photos

Salary and Benefits:

Salary is commensurate with experience. MCRC provides excellent benefits including workers’ compensation and paid vacation. This position is currently a part-time position but may expand to a full-time position, contingent on funding.


To Apply:

Please send a cover letter, resume, writing sample (500 words or less), salary requirements and desire for a full-time or part-time position by December 18:

Marceline White, Executive Director, MCRC at marcelineawhite@gmail.com

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Monday, December 6, 2010

Watch out for holiday scams

New York Times: The Internet security firm McAfee recently released a list of the online scamsthat consumers should be aware of this holiday season.

“As people jump online to look for deals on gifts and travel, it’s important to recognize common scams to safeguard against theft during the busy season ahead,” Dave Marcus, director of security research for McAfee Labs, said in a statement. Read more here.


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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

FTC Issues Final Rule to Protect Struggling Homeowners from Mortgage Relief Scams

Homeowners will be protected by a new Federal Trade Commission rule that bans providers of mortgage foreclosure rescue and loan modification services from collecting fees until homeowners have a written offer from their lender or servicer that they decide is acceptable.

"At a time when many Americans are struggling to pay their mortgages, peddlers of so-called mortgage relief services have taken hundreds of millions of dollars from hundreds of thousands of homeowners without ever delivering results," FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said. "By banning providers of these services from collecting fees until the customer is satisfied with the results, this rule will protect consumers from being victimized by these scams."

Read more here.

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The Arbitration War

New York Times: ... This is the latest in the arbitration war — a battle over whether the United States will increasingly have a privatized system of justice that bars people from enforcing rights in court and, if so, what will be considered fair in that system. It would be grossly unfair for the court to let the corporation get away with what it wants to in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion — a case that involves a small amount of money and a huge principle.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/27/opinion/27sat1.html?_r=1&emc=tnt&tntemail1=y

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Consumers urged to beware when trying to comparison shop for a mattress

MCRC board member Eric Friedman on News4 discussing the ways mattress retailers make it hard to compare prices.

For more tips on mattress shopping from Montgomery County, click here.

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