Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Season of Giving

During the holiday season, it seems like food is always around. We're consistently trying our best to resist those large-quantity trays of unneeded holiday treats, making it hard to imagine what it’s like to feel truly hungry. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for millions of Americans who go hungry on a daily basis.

In an effort to jump start their own season of giving – and to fight this suffering – the 15 employees of OnMessage, a Dallas-based integrated ad agency, recently came together to build a Christmas Tree made of nearly 700 collected cans of food (roughly translates to 2,500 meals) to donate to the North Texas Food Bank (NTFB). 

Using their expertise as advertising/marketing professionals, OnMessage employees have gone above and beyond by using this Christmas Tree CANstruction event as a “kick-off” to a full viral campaign, “AJoyFULLHoliday,” to drive donations to the North Texas Food Bank Web site and raise awareness of how one can make a difference. The campaign kicked off earlier this month and will run through the end of the year.

We hope you’ll join OnMessage in providing A JoyFULL Holiday for someone in need - and spread the word. Check out the campaign’s promotional video and Fox 4 news clip below. You can also follow the campaign on Twitter @AJoyFULLHoliday.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Bull's Eye! Staying On Target With Company Messaging

It seems like we are constantly bombarded by brand messaging—Just Do It. Eat More Chicken. It’s enough to make businesses wonder, how do you stand out against all the chatter?

Jim O’Gara, president of Dallas-based integrated ad agency OnMessage, recently interviewed with “That Marketing Show” to discuss the importance of clear and concise messaging and telling your brand “story.”

A few of Jim’s take-home points are below. Click here to listen to the full podcast, with additional tips!

What’s your story? Do your employees, especially those dealing directly with customers, know how to tell your company’s story? Is it aligned with your current business strategy, service/product offerings?

Turn your typical marketing model on its head: Leading the attack with full-blown campaign tactics and execution before nailing down clear, laser-focused key messages for your company will earn you a one-way ticket to jumbled messaging, which can result in a significant amount of wasted sales and marketing dollars.

Hearing Voices: Every company needs to get close to the voice of its customer, routinely – not just during that initial, one-time focus group or interview. Your product/service needs to adapt as your customers and technology do….and when it does, your company “story”/message must be adjusted to reflect those changes, also.

Fancy Schmancy: Go beyond the elaborate logo and catchy tagline—these won’t matter at the end of the day if your message doesn’t resonate with your target audience.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Corgan employee shaves head in support of friend

With Thanksgiving coming up this Thursday, we thought this week's blog entry should focus on the spirit of giving. Earlier this month, our client Corgan Associates hosted an event that is definitely worth noting and shows the true spirit of giving.  Corgan employee, Karen Farmer, made an inspiring gesture for her childhood friend, Whitney Ness, who was recently diagnosed with cancer. Karen decided to show her support for her friend by sacrificing her own hair, but Karen took her idea one step further and devised a way to get her firm involved in this heart-warming gesture.

Karen asked her coworkers, colleagues and clients to pledge $25 for a chance to cut off a section of her hair. Within a week, Corgan's family of employees and contacts responded with donations totaling nearly $5,000 that will help subsidize Whitney’s medical costs.  Corgan’s weekly Friday Forum was chosen as the grand finale - the first 26 donors were given the chance to cut off a portion of Karen's hair. As a fitting closing to the ceremony, Whitney cut off the final section of hair, and Corgan President David Lind, shaved off Karen's head to complete her "new do."

The event gave us a peek into the corporate culture at Corgan and is just one of many examples of Corgan rallying behind its employees and the causes they undertake. The firm's team spirit and family-like environment is a great example for all of us, especially for those companies looking for ways to boost employee morale and strengthen employee bonds. 

Below, Karen stands next to Whitney before the hair cut starts. 

For the complete story, go to the Dallas Morning News NeighborsGo site:  To check out more photos and videos from the event, visit our Flickr page: or visit Corgan's YouTube channel:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

MileMeter on Fox Business News

Congrats to our client, Chris Gay, for a great interview that aired live today on Fox Business News.  Chris discussed how MileMeter works and all of the benefits of by-the-mile auto insurance.


Monday, November 2, 2009

PRSA Dallas' Drinks+Diversity Initiative Receives National Diversity Award

This year, our very own Leah Ekmark and Marie Powell (2009 PRSA Dallas Diversity co-chairs) created and launched PRSA Dallas' first, ongoing diversity program for the chapter.

Appropriately coined "Drinks+Diversity" (D+D), the informal, quarterly networking event was initiated to potentially expand the PRSA Dallas membership base and also raise awareness about the importance, and various meanings, of diversity.

Today, we heard from the PRSA National Diversity Committee that this initiative has earned the Dallas chapter a 2009 Diversity award! Along with the Orange County and Miami chapters, PRSA Dallas will be presented with the award at the National Assembly Luncheon in San Diego on November 7th. In addition, each winning chapter will receive a $250 reward to help advance its own diversity initiatives.

For those of you who haven't made it to a D+D happy hour yet, we invite you to join us for our next event, co-hosted by NuPros, at Elbow Room on Thursday, Nov. 5th beginning at 6 p.m. There, you will learn cutting-edge trends and tactics of diversity in communications from Shawn Williams, founder and publisher of Dallas South blog. Don’t miss out on this fun opportunity to network with your peers and other industry professionals in an informal, happy hour environment – all while learning more about diversity! View event details and RSVP via Twitter here: or contact

Past D+D event speakers include Tommy Thompson, president of iNSPIRE! and Cooper Smith, editor-in-chief and publisher of Gay List Daily.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

McCarthy wins #3 spot on Dallas Morning News Best in DFW: Top Workplaces list

Congratulations to McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.'s Texas Division for being honored as the number three best workplace in DFW by the Dallas Morning News.  The top two spots went to the Richards Group and Southwest Airlines.

McCarthy was recognized this afternoon at a luncheon hosted by the Dallas Morning News recognizing all of the companies selected for a Best in DFW: Top Workplaces award.

Created by The Dallas Morning News and its partner, Workplace Dynamics LLC, this is the inaugural  award. Companies eligible for participation included public or private companies, as well as for-profit and non-profit organizations with more than 50 employees in the DFW metroplex. The award seeks to recognize big and small companies and organizations that excel at creating a dynamic, supportive and inclusive workplace.  Each entry is judged based on an employee opinion survey.  All employees rate their employer in different categories such as business operations, values, policies and facilities.  

McCarthy adds this award to a growing list of other business and industry-based awards the firm has received, including most recently being named the 2009 Contractor of the Year by the Dallas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

Check out the Nov. 1 issue of The Dallas Morning News to see other award winners.

Friday, October 16, 2009

McCarthy's Texas Division Successfully Completes Wyly Theatre

Unless you've been hiding under a rock recently, you probably already know that this week was the official  grand opening week for the highly anticipated AT&T Performing Arts Center marked by numerous celebrations and community-wide events, to give the public a glimpse inside the new Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House and Dee & Charles Wyly Theatre.  Press from all over the world has flown in to get a glimpse of these two world-class facilities that have officially put Dallas on the map. According to Newsweek, "Lincoln Center is still the country's premier cultural complex, but it's getting competition from an ambitious project in—are you ready for it, New Yorkers?—Dallas."

Congratulations to our client, McCarthy Building Cos. - they were the general contractor for the Wyly Theatre.  The Wyly is the only "high-rise" theatre in the world that boasts many unique features that no other theatre can claim. To find out what those features are, check out one of the many articles that has been written about the Wyly.  Here is a great article to get you started.


C. Pharr & Co. Launches Web Site

After a long wait, C. Pharr & Co. officially launched its new Web site on Friday, Oct. 16th, and with that came that start of this blog.  Be sure to check back here for industry news, client updates, our thoughts on the latest industry trends and to learn more about upcoming business and industry events. And for those Twitter fanatics, for today's "Follow Friday" add the C. Pharr team to your network: @stuttle; @fahey222; @leahcpc.

Check back next week for our tips on what we learned at Dallas PRSA's annual Communications Summit.