Tuesday, December 23, 2014

2014 - That's a Wrap!

Another incredible year has come and gone for our C. Pharr family; and, as we close our books on 2014, we want to thank all our wonderful clients for their trust and partnership. We know that our success is totally dependent upon the continued support of our clients and friends. So, to honor those who make it a pleasure to practice public relations, C. Pharr and Company made donations to the following charitable organizations.

Doctors without Borders – For ebola relief
Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Texas – Volunteer youth mentoring organization
Girls Inc. – Helping inner city girls achieve their potential
Network of Community Ministries – A food bank affiliate that helps North Dallas and Richardson families

In addition, we wanted to help our clients WINE down from a great year, so we sent everyone ONEHOPE Wine! We chose this particular wine because the company donates half of the profits from each bottle by partnering with various nonprofits to make a social impact. To date, the company has successfully donated more than $1 million. We will drink to that, and can’t wait to see what 2015 brings!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the C. Pharr team!


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

PRSA Dallas Communication Summit 2014

This month, I had the opportunity to attend the PRSA Dallas Communication Summit for the first time. During the event, I attended three different seminars, each focusing on a different topic. The first one, Working with media, gave insight into pitching to the media and provided beneficial tips on creating and maintaining relationships. The second seminar, Integrated Communications, focused on achieving an overall goal for a client through various promotional methods such as advertising and public relations. The final seminar was Interviewing, Personal Branding and Professionalism, which had three business professionals sharing tips on working in the public relations field and answering questions from the audience. Each of the seminars presented people in different stages of their career who have been in the business for numerous years.

C. Pharr team at 2014 PRSA Dallas Communication Summit
As someone who is fairly new to the PR world, I realized early on in the day that I had the opportunity to experience this event in a way that many other veteran attendees could not. When someone does something for the first time, there is usually that sense of fear and discomfort but also excitement and inquisitiveness. I decided to use all of these feelings and garner them into creating the best experience I possibly could to benefit my career. It turned out that this year’s theme was elevate, which greatly worked in my favor. Elevate your relationship, elevate your results and elevate your future; these three session themes were each going to teach me something that I could utilize throughout my budding profession. 

 The insightful day kicked off with a Keynote breakfast where we heard from top executives from Toyota, Corner Bakery and Greyhound. The speakers each provided the audience with a presentation describing a recent occasion when their company successfully developed and implemented a strategic business plan. Each presentation offered a different approach and allowed the audience to acquire new ideas.  

Cynthia Pharr Lee, APR, Fellow PRSA & Leah Ekmark Williams, APR with Summit attendees
My first workshop, which focused on working with media, presented three editors from different publications who answered questions such as “What are some dos and don’ts for PR professionals when contacting the media?” Each answer was unique in that each editor had their own personal preferences and pet-peeves, but all three shared one common tip: being rude and pushy will get you nowhere. Find a good balance between the type of stories you pitch and how often you follow up. It is crucial in building a strong relationship with the editor that you know their type of work. Nobody wants to be given information that isn’t going to pertain to them. It is also imperative to keep constant and clear communication. It was highly stressed by all three editors that if you don’t have the information they need or can’t get them a quick answer to one of their questions, don’t lie and claim otherwise. 

The second and third seminars taught me a lot about knowing your audience. When creating a business plan for a client, it is important to determine who their customers are and remain focused on attracting that group. For instance, if a strategy is to create an account on social media and use that platform to engage customers, find out which outlet the majority of their audience is on and hone in on it to attain the best results. The same idea applied during the third seminar when talking about receiving and maintaining a job in the communications profession. Before every job interview or client meeting, learn as much as you can about the company, and be prepared to answer questions pertaining to their work. If you know your audience, the outcome is not only beneficial for you but for them as well.  

Before I finish, I want to stress something I recently learned to be greatly valuable. In school, you are constantly told about the importance of networking, but you never truly realize its significance until you are thrown into the business. Meeting new people and connecting with them is essential to growing your career. Each relationship you create can lead to something you never predicted, whether it is an idea for a new pitch or breaking news that pertains to your client. As a guest of the event, I was not only able to attend seminars that resulted in beneficial learning experiences, but I was also able to meet and interact with other PR professionals. I highly recommend that in the future, public relations students, professionals and those interested in the field attend and utilize these events not only for personal gain but also to educate and nurture those just starting out in their careers.
This post was contributed by Laura Puig, Laura@Pharrpr.com


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Common Social Media Mistakes

Social media has now become a powerful and necessary tool for companies to utilize. It allows for the opportunity to interact with others, build personal relationships and advertise services. It provides a straightforward and interactive way to build a brand, and if used correctly, can supply satisfactory results. However, it is possible for social media to do more damage than good. If you plan on opening an account, be prepared to maintain it on a daily or weekly basis and know exactly why you chose to create one in the first place.

Below are six common social media mistakes you should avoid:

1. Not Engaging with Your Followers

This is one of the most important aspects of social media. It is crucial that companies engage with their audiences on their social media platforms. This engagement not only creates a stronger, more personal bond with the customer, but it also benefits the longevity and recognition of one's social media presence. Be sure to answer comments on a daily basis, and do so as quickly as possible. Listen to what your followers have to say, and embrace their feedback and thoughts. Connecting with your audience on social media platforms will be one of the most beneficial things you can do for the success of your company.

2. Posting too much/too little

On social media, it is important to find a good balance. If you are posting excessively, your viewership is going to become irritated by the bombardment of content. If you post too little, your viewership will lose interest. One tip to maintain an active social media presence is to use tools such as HootSuite, where you can include all of your social media networks on one screen and program timed-posts to go out on a regular schedule.

3. Using Social Media Strictly to Advertise

Nobody wants to scroll through their newsfeed to see an advertisement coming from your company's account every single day. While using social media to advertise products has proven to be helpful, it doesn't mean that you should use an account to solely sell your brand. Make sure to incorporate product news, to build conversations, to share stories, to make the reader interested and from time to time, to promote products or services.

4. Not Incorporating Graphics or Videos

Visuals are imperative these days. It seems that no one has the time to sit down and read lengthy articles, so by sharing visuals and videos in your customers’ newsfeeds, viewers will be more likely to engage in a conversation or remember your company better. Everyone loves a good picture!

5. Only responding to positive comments

Joining social media is going to inevitably bring both positive and negative comments. There will be times that people are unhappy with something you’ve said, how a situation was handled or the product you are promoting. This gives you the chance to deal with the problem in front of a large audience and do your best to change the way the customer feels. It is important to try and use the negative feedback to your advantage, and take control of the situation.

6. Not Having a Social Media Strategy

If you plan on reaping all of the benefits social media has to offer, you need to have an entrance strategy. Everyone's reasoning behind joining social media is going to be different, so start with asking yourself why you're joining, and then go from there. Define your target audience. If you are selling to a younger generation, then Instagram or Twitter should be your go-to. You need to follow your viewers, and then engage with them.

It is important to always remember that social media is not measured by your followers, but by how much they are networking, sharing and liking your content.

This post was contributed by Laura Puig, Laura@Pharrpr.com


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Cynthia Pharr Lee (aka "the C. Pharr") speaking at 2014 PRSA Dallas Communications Summit

As the 2014 president of PRSA Dallas, I've spent the last few months helping the Communications Summit team prepare for our biggest event of the year, and I'm excited the final countdown has begun! Something “BIG” is happening in Dallas on Friday, November 7, at the Irving Convention Center! Join us for our annual PRSA Dallas Communications Summit, an event that brings more than 200 communications professionals together for a day of networking and professional development, complete with our Pegasus Awards luncheon and a networking happy hour.

C. Pharr team at 2013 PRSA Dallas Comm Summit
One other reason you should consider attending is because C. Pharr's very own president and founder, Cynthia Pharr Lee, will be one of the featured speakers. Cynthia will be speaking about "Organization and Team Growth" alongside Mark Hall, president & founder of  Firehouse, as well as Juliette Coulter, president of The Coulter Group. If you don't know, Cynthia was the 13th employee at The Richards Group (TRG) and she helped build the PR business alongside Stan Richards as he was growing his company to become what is today. After a few years at TRG, Cynthia went out on her own and built up another PR business from scratch, eventually selling it to TraceyLocke (previously known as TraceyLocke Pharr). After her agreement ended she struck out on her own again and created our agency, C. Pharr & Co.

You may be wondering why am I telling you all of this...it's because Cynthia is truly the expert when it comes to starting and successfully growing a PR agency. After all, she has only done it three times! During this Communications Summit panel session, Cynthia, alongside Mark and Juliette will address how to grow your business, team or budget. They will each offer guidance on finding the right equation for optimum growth at any level.

If you are thinking about going out on your own, or want to start your own agency in the future, then you don't want to miss the PRSA Dallas Communications Summit event because you'll get to hear the trade secrets from Cynthia, Mark and Juliette during their breakout session. Not to mention, there are a variety of other breakout sessions being led by executives from companies including Travelocity, DART, Honeywell, March of Dimes, MasonBaronet, TI, Korn Ferry, Baylor College of Medicine and many more as well as participation from journalists at Bloomberg, Dallas Business Journal, Dallas Morning News and WFAA-TV. 

This year’s Communications Summit promises to be the best ever. As if you needed more convincing, read this blog post from PRSA Dallas secretary, Christi Chesner. Christi outlines five reasons why Communications Summit is a not-to-be-missed event!

Registration is still open. Sign up today at www.prsadallas.org

The C. Pharr team will be in attendance. Cynthia and I hope to see you there too!

Cynthia Pharr Lee, APR, Fellow PRSA & Leah Ekmark Williams, APR

This post was written by Leah Ekmark Williams, APR (PRSA Dallas 2014 President.) @leahcpc

Friday, October 10, 2014

Arlington Hall Celebrating 75th Anniversary! #ArlingtonHall75

Dancers twirl around the dance floor at Arlington Hall.
Arlington Hall Groundbreaking 1939.

The front steps of Dallas' iconic Arlington Hall.

Upcoming Events
Sunday, Oct 12thOpening of new ramp joining Lee Park & Katy Trail
1:30 p.m. at Snyder’s Union on the Katy Trail
75th Anniversary of the Dedication of Arlington Hall in Lee Park
·         Tuesday, October 21st – Movie on the Lawn, Gone with the Wind, 6 p.m. Movies are free and open to public, bring blankets, family and friends!
·         Wednesday, October 22nd – Movie on the Lawn, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, 6 p.m.  Movies are free and open to public, bring blankets, family and friends!
·         Friday, October 24th – Program & Luncheon at Arlington Hall featuring Gary Scott Director Emeritus of the National Park Service, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., $75, reservations required.
·         Sunday, October 26th – Open House at Arlington Hall,  1:30 – 4:30 p.m., refreshments and tours, free and open to the public.
Holiday Celebration
·         December 1st Conservancy Members & Patrons Party, 6 – 10 p.m.
www.leeparkconservancy.org to join the Conservancy 
·         December 1st – Light Up Lee Park, 5:30 – 8 p.m., lights, music, hot chocolate and fireworks show in Lee Park, free and open to the public
The Lee Park & Arlington Hall Conservancy’s mission is the thoughtful
development and conservation of historic Lee Park & Arlington Hall.


Friday, August 15, 2014

Video News Releases: Are they worth it?

In getting your clients’ names out there, there are many creative tactics and strategies that PR professionals can employ to reach additional targeted audiences. In order to catch the eyes of a broader audience, the PR professional has a range of platforms to pick from, and with ever-changing technologies, the traditional written press release isn’t always going to do the trick in informing the general public about a new or unfamiliar business.

As the use of certain technologies becomes engrained in our lives, a recent article on Fortune.com suggests that current audiences lack the attention spans of even five minutes, which is sometimes less than the time it takes to read through the standard one-page written release. Luckily for us and for our quick-paced consumers, the video news release was created, and it has evolved to work to our advantage in some cases.

Stemming from the use of PR professionals in the 1980s, the video news release is just what it sounds like—a press release on film. Including a news hook coupled with footage and client information, it seems that these videos are just now booming due to the free social platforms that are widely used. With 1.07 billion mobile monthly active users on Facebook and 271 million monthly active users on Twitter, it is now easier than ever to reach the world through these social sites, as opposed to generalized SEO engines or even through press release distribution sites.

Not only are these releases important to Internet platforms, but they are also helpful to broadcast professionals looking for filler, b-roll and a news story with a good hook. Similarly to the standard press release, the PR professional has the ability to distribute a video news release to hundreds of broadcast outlets nationally or even internationally through file transfer, but now they can use additional channels such as YouTube, which has the potential to create viral content.

While it may seem that this idea is cutting edge, and you may feel the need to begin on a video news release upon reading this blog, video news releases are not always necessary for your client. Foremost, you should ask yourself if you have a national or relevant news hook that involves your client before creating the release. You need to decide who your target demographics are, and if they are very narrow and specific, a video news release may not be for you.

Additionally, not all of your clients have the ability to release information in the form of a video. Many business to business operations do not have consumer appeal that can easily be translated through a video, and in this case, the standard press release is more beneficial. Also, you need to think about what channels your audience is more likely to be partial to. If your target outlets are mostly print, a video release is not the best option for your client.

So before jumping to conclusions and assuming that a video news release is a quick fix, take the time to analyze your client, research your target demographic and determine how news-worthy your hook is. Weigh your options and think about all of the possible ways you can spread your information before you decide to take the plunge. If you do decide that a video news release is the best option for your client, I wish you the best of luck, and I hope it goes viral. Happy filming!

(Screenshot of video press release from Groupie phone application)

This post was contributed by Emily Chandler @Emily_PharrPR


Monday, August 11, 2014

C. Pharr is Hiring: Fall 2014 Internship Opportunity

C. Pharr is now accepting applications for our Fall 2014 internship. The ideal candidate will be a motivated, self-starter who has a basic understanding of AP Style and is eager to learn. To apply, please send a cover letter and resume with current GPA to Kristen@Pharrpr.com. See below for more information. 

Company Overview

C. Pharr & Company Ink is known for generating meaningful results for its clients through creative public relations and marketing. Focusing on business-to-business communications, the agency specializes in media relations, social media, crisis communications, marketing, advertising coordination, planning and research.

We devise communication strategies that help clients achieve their goals through communications, increased business opportunities, higher brand awareness, changed attitudes and greater stakeholder support. Doing so, we build strong and trusting relationships with clients, communities and the media. Our clients value our counsel and support in meeting daily communication challenges as much as our help with long-term communication strategies.

C. Pharr & Company is built upon more than two decades of public relations and marketing communications leadership – a Texas leader known nationally for its business insight, strategic counsel and creative work with the highest of integrity.

Internship Opportunity

Dallas-based C. Pharr & Company Ink is seeking a dynamic intern for Fall 2014 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.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

CPC Hosts Summer Career Camp at Girls Inc.

This summer, the CPC team has been volunteering and hosting a career camp at Girls Inc., an organization which works to make sure at risk girls and young women receive the education and encouragement needed to reach their full potential. C. Pharr’s four-week camp is structured to explain the process of finding a job by deciding what you are interested in, identifying an opportunity, completing an application and acing an interview. Additionally, each week we have chosen to focus on a certain  job industry – science, technology, engineering and math (STEM); hospitality; retail and real estate/construction – to introduce the girls to a variety of possibilities and to get them thinking about careers they may not have heard of or considered. 

In the first few weeks, the girls were given a personality assessment to help pinpoint a few things at which they might excel. They also learned about where to find a job, filled out sample job applications, discussed what kind of work environment they would enjoy and learned what should and should not be included on a resume. We just completed the third week, and in the final session, the girls will learn about the importance of a professional appearance and tips to survive the interview process.

Although the main objective is to raise awareness of the different types of career opportunities and to help prepare the girls for a future in the workforce, the C. Pharr team has equally benefitted from the camp. We enhanced our team building skills and challenged our creativity. Each week of the camp has been taught by two members of the C. Pharr team who by working together, took on the challenge of engaging a tough group – 12 to14 year-old girls on summer vacation. Each team collaborated to create PowerPoints with interesting content and videos, and fun handouts for the girls to work on and take home. 

At C. Pharr, we are always looking for new and creative ways to give back to the community where we live and work. It’s important to our company that we are hands on and find opportunities where we can physically engage with the people we aim to help. Girls Inc. was the perfect fit. Our team has really enjoyed working with the girls, and I am personally impressed and inspired by their dreams and ambition. Through asking the girls questions, we found that they were eager to speak up and give their opinion or share what they hope to be in the future. We heard from a few who aspire to be FBI agents, choreographers and veterinarians, to name a few. 

The ultimate goal of Girls Inc. is to empower girls to become strong, smart and bold women who positively contribute to our communities and who understand, value and assert their rights. In a world with endless possibilities, but that sometimes can deal a tough hand, it is important to have role models who can help steer girls like those at Girls Inc. in the right direction. 

This post was contributed by Kathrine Brody @Kabrody