Thursday, April 19, 2012

Grass Roots PR - RoundUp for StartUps

When our client, Chris Gay, came to us with his latest idea, we were eager to learn more. He is the mastermind behind Texas’ first pay-by-the-mile auto insurance company, and is about to launch his second start-up, Zengine. We knew whatever he had up his sleeve would be innovative, and we were right!

His idea was born when he started recruiting to staff his new venture, and came to the disappointing realization that there was a severe drought in Dallas’ tech talent pool. So, he had the idea to bring the start-up community together for a social recruiting event unlike any of its kind in the region. He wanted to call it, “RoundUp for StartUps,” and he wanted our help promoting it. We knew this would be a fun, but challenging project.

We set out by drafting a 3 month-long PR plan, mapping out our activities week-by-week. First we researched. And then we researched some more. We started with a list of local and tech media, and then set out to find appropriate contacts at every major College or University in the region. We also got on to find tech and engineering related groups in DFW that might be interested in attending the RoundUp event. We started a Twitter feed @roundupstartups to help us spread the word in this social sphere and send direct messages to colleges, groups and media across the region. We left no stone unturned.

Our outreach was traditional and very grassroots. It consisted of direct media pitching, direct and social media correspondence with Colleges and Universities as well as local/regional start-up, tech and entrepreneur-driven organizations, a BusinessWire distribution and consistent communication with all the companies participating in the event. Our biggest hit came from the Dallas Morning News, where reporter Sheryl Jean not only touted the event, but explained the logic behind it. Tons of IT positions exist in Dallas, yet talent is frequently lost to the East and West coasts. This media hit had Chris’ phone ringing off the hook the morning it ran. It even landed him on a speaking panel three days later at UTD to discuss building a startup team – another opportunity to spread the word about RoundUp for StartUps to a captive audience. He has received numerous invitations since then to serve as a guest speaker at other like-minded entrepreneurial organizations.

We would say our grassroots media campaign utilizing traditional and non-traditional media tactics has been a success and it’s not even event day! Today, two days before the big event, we have received nearly 500 RSVPs. More than 30 companies are participating and combined they are looking to fill nearly 130 jobs. Do you know a recent graduate or tech professional looking to join an innovative startup company in Dallas? Let them know they should join us at this free event. There will be two hours of networking, followed by two hours of entertainment and socializing. Oh, and did we mention it was at a brewery? All they have to do is RSVP!

This post was contributed by Shelby Menczer

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

C. Pharr & Co. Looking for Dynamic Senior Account Executive

C. Pharr & Company is looking for a talented and energetic Senior Account Executive to join its Dallas team in an uptown location. Ideal candidates will have solid media relations, social media and client management experience, as well as strong verbal, interpersonal and
written communication skills.  They will also be self-starters with the ability to confidently interact with media, clients and account teams. Send resume to

•Actively contribute to account plan development and develop new, strategic ideas for clients
•Develop written materials, including press releases, byline articles, speeches, client correspondence
•Learn clients’ businesses and business goals, gain understanding of their competitive environments
•Participate in client and new business presentations
•Maintain regular client contact, proactively devising new ways to meet client strategic needs
•Implement press conferences/briefings, media events and tours, etc.
•Leverage existing media/editorial/journalistic/media contacts; readily develop new relationships
•Act as the primary implementer of account plans, under direction of senior management
•Conduct social media activities as part of client programs; continuously learning new methods and technologies
•Assist with crisis management, according to agency and client protocol
•Provide project management for marketing materials, such as websites, brochures, newsletters, award submissions, videos, etc.
•Maintain careful attention to detail, ensuring accuracy of materials, contacts, schedules, etc.
•Promote teamwork by teaching junior staff and delegating as possible
•Create or oversee reports, manage budgets, provide other account and financial management
•Develop an understanding of various research methods; coordinate internal and external resources in implementing research projects.
•Assist senior management in fulfilling new business opportunities  
•Actively participate in ongoing professional development, learning new skills and expanding personal capabilities

Job Requirements
•Minimum B.A/B.S. in public relations, journalism, marketing or related field.
•Two to six years experience in public relations; agency experience highly desirable
•Aptitude to learn quickly and thrive in fast-paced environment
•Demonstrated writing ability in AP style
•Successful track record of pitching to traditional and social media
•Professional and media references

Send resume to, learn more about us at


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Get your story out— one pin at a time

It's no surprise that social media is a vital part of public relations. The newest social media craze is Pinterest, a virtual pin board where users "pin" items they find interesting on various boards.

Some of the most popular items you will find pinned are hair and makeup tips, D.I.Y. crafts and recipes. If you're like me, you enjoy looking through the different pins, promising yourself to try that slow cooker recipe or the D.I.Y. jewelry organizer— but of course you never find the time.

The sites popularity prompts the discussion of how to make it useful for public relations. Here are some fun ways to incorporate Pinterest into client projects or campaigns:
  • Pin news clips - Instead of just collecting your news clips in a binder at the office or putting them on your web site, create a pin board to keep them organized.
  • Pin clients – Create a board for each one of your clients to keep track of clips, industry news or competition. Your followers might see these pins, which increases exposure.
  • Project Boards – Create separate boards for specific projects a client is working on. Pin important information links, photos and ideas for promotional campaigns.
  • Pin events–Use Pinterest as a photo album, pin photos from company events or pin creative ideas to use when brainstorming ideas for the next event.
  • Employee boards - Start an agency Pinterest account and let each employee have their own board. Keep it fun, and think of it as a way to showcase your corporate culture.
Don't forget, Pinterest is a visual tool, so try to use an interesting photo to grab attention instead of just text. The pin should be linked to what you want your audience to see; if they have to search for it, they will lose interest. Keep your pins fun and relatable!

Happy pinning! Be sure to weigh in by taking our poll on the sidebar!

This post was contributed by our intern, Erica Baldwin.