Tuesday, November 30, 2010

New Social Media Tool for Charities

With the constantly evolving realm of social media, PR execs are now charged with keeping up with the latest and greatest social media sites and tools.  Today's New York Times talks about the newest social media venture that the PR industry should take notice of. Jumo, created by a Facebook founder, launched today in an effort to connect people with nonprofits and charities. As stated in the NYT article, Jumo is aimed at doing the same thing for charities that Yelp did for restaurants and the retail business.

So, if you are tasked with handling community relations for your client or if you work for a nonprofit, or even if you're simply trying to spread the word about a cause you are personally vested in, this site is something you need to explore.  While there is no telling how successful this site will be, my hope is that it will create increased awareness for all those local charities out there that don't have the resources or deep pockets to generate awareness as well as increased donations for their causes. One thing is for certain, you don't want to get left behind in the next wave of social media tools. Our team is always trying to stay ahead of the curve, proactively looking for opportunities for our clients' next community outreach campaign - Jumo is just one more social media site we'll be researching.

This blog was contributed by Leah Ekmark. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

PR in the Postseason

Last month, the Texas Rangers made it to the World Series for the first time since the team’s inception 38 years ago. Okay, so I know this is old news, and don’t worry, I’m not going to rehash the entire goings-on of this year’s postseason.  In a nutshell, the Rangers lost in five games to the San Francisco Giants. While it was a hard loss for long-time Texas fans, we couldn’t stay sad for long since the loss came after a career season full of ups and more ups. So, why am I writing about this? It’s been over for a few weeks, after all.

As a PR student, what I realized while watching (mostly in disbelief) this postseason is how the 2010 Rangers squad must have been a PR practitioner’s dream. Think about it. The Rangers were the underdogs of the American League. And people love the underdog, especially in sports. This makes PR efforts a breeze, right? When the Rangers beat the Yankees in the American League finals, excitement roared across the nation. Why? Because, in general, people would much rather support the underdog. Support the little guy. Support the mom-and-pop store over the international big box. And since people love the underdogs, the media loves covering them.

Did that make this season a free ride for the Rangers’ folks in charge of media relations? As a PR pro, when your client is an underdog in the business world, you have to work much harder to get media attention for the client. But, when your client is the underdog in the sports world, media attention automatically follows. Your job is finished!

No, of course the job doesn’t end there, and I am not discrediting the Rangers’ PR crew. Just because the Rangers received a lot of media attention, does not mean their PR people just sat back and watched it happen. They still had to manage the attention and coordinate with a lot of reporters, camera crews and even bloggers, which can certainly be a difficult task. Plus, they also dealt with some negative media attention stemming from players’ personal issues and season-long changes in ownership and management. But, my point is that representing a team that the media itself is rooting for must be easier than representing one that the media or the community doesn’t support.

Now that the season is complete, uncertainty looms overhead. What will happen next year? Sure, it’s up to the team to determine how much media attention it will earn, but I have to think that the PR people behind the Rangers have another long, fun (hopefully drama-free) season ahead of them. Working for any organization with a large public following has to be a lot to handle, especially a successful sports team. In addition to added media attention, the Rangers now have a plethora of new bandwagon fans, maybe from younger generations who are reviving their baseball fandom. This creates an entirely new challenge for the PR people behind the organization.

No matter what happens I wish the team―and its behind-the-scenes support― good luck this next season—hopefully the Rangers will win the whole thing this year, even if it means giving up that the coveted underdog title while trying to stay on the front page and the center of the attention.

This blog was contributed by C. Pharr's fall intern, Carrie Rodgers. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Seeking Spring Intern

Addison-based C. Pharr & Company is seeking a dynamic intern for spring 2011 to assist with a variety of accounts ranging from real estate and construction services, to retail and healthcare. Junior and senior-level students studying journalism, public relations or marketing communications are encouraged to apply.

Candidate must be a resourceful self-starter with an understanding of media relations and AP style. Outstanding written and verbal communication skills, along with an eye for details and the ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment, are musts. This is a great opportunity to work in a client-focused team setting, interacting with all disciplines within the agency to gain real-world experience and view the collaborative nature of the agency environment.

To view a list of responsibilities, click here.

If interested, please send a cover letter and resume with current GPA to Vicky@PharrPR.com.

Friday, November 12, 2010

‘Tis the season… the charitable season

November and December are popular times for nonprofits and charitable organizations to ramp up their efforts in order to coincide with the holidays. Not only is this a great time of year to get personally involved with a cause you care about, it is an opportunity to evaluate how your for-profit clients are interacting with the community’s charitable organizations.

Cause marketing can be an essential part of any reputation management endeavor for a client. Donations in the form of time, services or money can be a positive way to build your client’s “character.” Adopting a nonprofit partner shows your employees, customers and everyone else that the company values more than just the bottom line.

When looking for your next cause marketing idea, keep these things in mind:
  • Pick something that makes sense—Find natural relationships between your client and a potential cause.  We could see the hypocrisy of Phillip Morris partnering with American Cancer Society, so seek out a nonprofit whose goals line up with your own. A local restaurant and The North Texas Food Bank? That sounds more like it.
  • Try it out—There’s no rule that you can’t make a one-time donation, or that you have to pick only one group to work with forever. Recently, the PRSA-affiliated networking group Dallas NuPros spent an afternoon serving lunch at The Salvation Army. No formal relationship or schedule was decided, but this single activity got the ball rolling on establishing a formal community service project.  Establish a connection between the two organizations, and see if additional connections among the people of both groups develop. 
  • Be sincere—Consumers and clients can tell when they see something fake or forced. (See some of the worst here.) Don’t seek out a nonprofit for the sole purpose of advancing your own reputation. Remember the reason you are working with a charity: to help a good cause. Hang on to that, and it will provide a good guideline on how to develop this relationship, how to promote the cause and the appropriate way to weave your own client’s name into that story.
Doing “good” makes you look good, right? More importantly, it can make you feel good, so make an effort this holiday season and encourage your clients to do the same.

This post was contributed by Vicky Smithee.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

We're Hosting An Event...Now What?

I'm sure many of you have been experiencing party overload this fall, as we have here at C. Pharr PR. Amidst countless client events, media sponsored parties and fundraisers with no end in sight due to the onslaught of upcoming holiday parties, we decided now would be a good time to take a moment to discuss getting PR for your events. Like many PR agencies, we are tasked with capturing both our client's audience and the media's attention for all of our events. We are often asked what is the best way to secure pre- and post-media coverage for any events we are involved in.

Rather than re-invent the wheel and write another blog post, we decided to share with our readers a recent  post from Brooke Nolan's PR Blog about garnering PR coverage for your event. This blog post is full of great tips and reminders for all of those PR professionals out there trying to figure out the best way to capture the consumer's and the media's heart! Enjoy!