Friday, April 11, 2014

Shopping with the C. Pharr Girls

One great perk about working at C. Pharr is what we call “4 o’clock Fridays.” While regular office hours are 8:30 to 5:00 Monday thru Thursday, we close a little early on Fridays and start our weekends at 4:00. Last week was a little different though! Instead of each heading our own direction at 4:00, our awesome team of seven headed just down the street to the opening of Dallas’ newest home boutique – Shastra Home. It just so happens that this fabulous shop is owned by the wife of one of our equally fabulous clients – Alok International, Inc., so we were delighted to be included in the opening celebration.

Rooted in sustainability and fair-trade principals, Shastra Home offers organic cotton home textiles, eco silk clothing and scarves, shawls, pure silver jewelry and great things for the kitchen and entertaining. This shop might not be on every Dallas bride’s registry just yet – but it should be! As we shopped we couldn’t stop talking about each item we picked up.  In fact, every item in the store is made by marginalized groups in India, either by artisan clusters or by physically and socially disadvantaged groups. So you can even feel good about buying that pretty copper serving dish! 

The party was a blast, complete with catered bites, cocktails, beer and wine – and at least seven very happy shoppers (who made quite a haul). Even the incredibly high-quality, gorgeous shopping bags kept us all buzzing as we left.

Shastra Home is located in the Design District at 130 Oak Lawn Avenue and it is more than worth the trip! The in-the-know folks at Culture Map Dallas agree.

Hey – I wouldn’t mind “working late” every Friday!

This post was contributed by Shelby Sabin Menczer @shelbymenczer


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

PRSA Designates April as APR Month

Did you know that more than 5,000 public relations professionals from the agency, corporate, association and education fields hold the Accredited in Public Relations (APR) mark? That statistic is a fairly small number when you consider it in comparison to how many PR and communication professionals work in this field. For those who don’t know, the APR is a mark of distinction for public relations practitioners who commit to the profession through ethical practices and sound judgment, demonstrating both broad and deep knowledge of best practices, and use of the research, planning, implementation and evaluation (RPIE) process. 

Another fun fact for you: Did you know the APR remains the only nationally recognized certification of the public relations profession and it celebrates 50 years in 2014?! Why wouldn’t you want to have those three powerful letters behind your name? It is a mark of distinction that demonstrates your competency to employers, colleagues and clients.  
Now is the perfect time to start thinking about becoming accredited because PRSA has deemed April as “APR month.” I will be the first to tell you that becoming accredited is no small feat, but after going through the process less than a year ago I can truly appreciate and understand all the hard work that goes into preparing. For me personally, my APR affords me the opportunity to be taken seriously by the C-suite and other industry colleagues.

Earning my APR is a value-add for my clients and my agency because it has helped me learn to be more thoughtful and strategic. And of course, studying for the APR exam was a great “refresher course” for reviewing best practices and the strategic building blocks of our profession – research! I am now better equipped to offer sound advice and counsel as I help clients achieve the goals and objectives they have outlined in their business plans as well as effectively evaluate a campaign’s success.

My APR also symbolizes my commitment to helping advance the industry of public relations while enabling me to serve as an advocate for obtaining this certification.

Join me in helping PRSA promote this month as “APR month.” In fact, PRSA Dallas has a few events coming up this month to promote the APR including a @NuPRos APR Twitter chat (#NuProsChat) at noon on April 15 followed by a NuPros/APR happy hour the following day on April 16. You can find more details about these two events on the PRSA Dallas Facebook page.

As the APR turns 50 years old this year, consider giving the best birthday gift of all – earn your APR! Or, if you’re already accredited, join me and other APRs as we celebrate the credential and promote its value to prospective candidates! Happy birthday APR! 

This post was contributed by Leah Ekmark Williams, APR. @leahcpc


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Pointers from the Pros: Take Aways from PRSA Dallas' Pro-Am Day

On Friday, March 14, the Dallas chapter of PRSA hosted its annual Pro-Am Day to connect students with experienced public relations professionals through a shadowing opportunity followed by an educational luncheon program.
Students were paired with an experienced practitioner during the morning to gain valuable public relations insight and establish networking contacts in this unique mentoring opportunity.

I spent my morning at HCK2 Partners. Upon arrival, I was given a tour of the office. I liked seeing a different type of agency environment. HCK2 had a relaxed atmosphere with bean bag chairs and white boards that I thought was different and cool.  I then was shown how a morning is spent in the office. It was interesting to be able to compare what they do to what I do in my current internship at C. Pharr & Co.

The second portion of the day was spent at Seasons 52 for a luncheon and panel with experienced PR professionals and PRSA Dallas members. This allowed for another networking opportunity between all of the mentors and students. The panel consisted of Amanda Lam, Lauren Butler, and John Hoffmann. They answered questions and told about their experiences in the field. All three professionals had great advice.

This year was my first time attending Pro-Am Day and throughout the day I received a lot valuable takeaways.  Here are the five most important lessons I walked away with:

1. You cannot fully learn public relations in a classroom: Working in the field of public relations requires more than sitting and listening in a classroom. You cannot fully apply the things you learn in class until you get hands-on experience with an internship. Having at least one internship before graduation is important. 

2.  The most curious people are the best at public relations: Curiosity is needed to be successful in public relations. Interest in the world around you is what separates good from great. This is why listening to the news and knowing current events is so important for public relations professionals. 

3.  Be a great writer and not just for social media: Writing is a big part of public relations. Even though social media has become popular, it is just as important to know how to properly construct an e-mail and to be a good storyteller.

4. Understand human behavior: Building relationships with clients is based off understanding human behavior. Taking a psychology class and people watching can be helpful when pursuing a career in public relations.

5.  Know a little about a lot of things and a lot about one thing: This had to be my favorite take-away of the day. Everyone has a topic that excites them the most and they dream of pursuing, but this cannot be the only thing you know and understand. Be an expert on that one topic, but immerse yourself in the world around you to know about many other things too.

PRSA Dallas’ Pro-Am Day was definitely a success! I recommend all students to take a part in this experience next spring.

 This post contributed by Stephanie Gentile,