Monday, April 20, 2015

Celebrate National Volunteer Month!

Since National Volunteer Month is in full swing, it seems like the perfect time to speak a little bit about volunteering and share some of the ways in which we are getting involved within the community. Over the past few months, the C. Pharr & Company team has had various opportunities to participate in different volunteer events that have been both gratifying and knowledgeable experiences. In hopes of spreading the good cheer and encouraging others to become more active in the community, check out some of the events we’ve participated in below:

Pro-Am Day- Pro-Am Day is part of the many public relations career opportunities that PRSA-Dallas provides to young students, and our company was more than happy to join in on the experience. We hosted a college student for the morning, providing her with information on the day-to-day lives of a PR professional. We also gave the student an opportunity to work on a PR assignment, giving her a better understanding of the dynamics of our day-to-day work environment.

Woodrow Wilson High School Presentations-A few of the C. Pharr team members visited as guest speakers at Woodrow Wilson High School and gave 40 minute presentations on public relations to freshman, sophomores and juniors within the Academy of Finance. At the campus, the team spoke about the history of PR, how it works and showed some visuals that we use on a weekly basis such as clip books and social media road maps. We were also able to assist the students by answering their questions regarding a current business project they are working on.     

The New Room- As part of our company’s aim to participate in more volunteer opportunities throughout the year, one of our team members organized a special afternoon of volunteering at The New Room, an after-school program for under privileged children in grades K-6. The New Room also hosts weekly worship programs and is home to Feed Lake Highlands food distribution, a faith-based program that collaborates with neighbors and neighborhood organizations to provide food and other assistance to the residents of the Lake Highlands community in Dallas. At The New Room, we provided the children with a healthy snack, assisted them with their homework, played educational games and spoke to them about the importance of education in their future. 

Bizwomen Mentoring Monday- Cynthia Pharr Lee, founder of C. Pharr & Company, recently participated in Dallas Business Journal’s Bizwomen Mentoring Monday event, which offered attendees the opportunity to choose from more than 30 mentors for five minute one-on-one coaching sessions. Cynthia was available throughout the event to provide individuals with her vast knowledge in the professional world and shared some of her most memorable learning moments and leadership lessons.

We sincerely hope our efforts encourage you to get out there and help the community; even the smallest efforts can make the greatest difference in someone’s life!

Post contributed by Laura Puig


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Tips for Hosting a Top Notch Media Training

The best way to prepare a client for an interview, whether it be on-camera, face-to-face or over the phone, is to conduct a media training, oftentimes more than once. These meetings explain what a client should expect during an interview, give tips on do’s/don’ts, identify key messages and give the client the chance to practice responses and gain confidence before the big day. At C. Pharr we are always looking for ways to ramp up our training sessions, so today, we have put together some tips of our own for hosting an engaging, productive media training. Enjoy!

1. Timing – I like to hold media trainings in the morning when minds are fresh and ready, and I make sure the presentation isn't too long. A presentation lasting an hour or more can cause people to lose focus. Be thorough, but don’t ramble.

2. Presentation – Include images to enhance the presentation, and try not to include large amounts of text on each slide. Trainees should be listening to you and not trying to read everything on the screen. Include video examples of positive and negative interviews to show trainees what each looks like. Don’t forget to explain why the interview was good or bad.

3. Test your clients. – Practice an on-air interview by recording your client with the video application on a phone or camera. Play back the video for the client so they can see their performance as you give constructive critiques. It’s helpful for the trainee to see their mannerisms and hear their responses in order to understand what needs to be improved.

4. Identify clear cut key messages. – In a group media training, ask multiple people the same question to find similarities in their answers. This helps to identify the key points about a client’s company that should be conveyed to the audience. In a one-on-one training, ask the trainee the same questions a few times to find the similarities in each answer.

5. Make it fun. – Try not to intimidate your client. Interviews should be fun and practice makes perfect. Build your client's confidence through constructive criticism and encouragement.

6. Go-to Gadget! – There are some handy gadgets available today that can enhance a media training. One of our favorites is the iRig Mic from Apple. It plugs into your phone and drowns out unwanted background noise to clearly hear the interviewee. It’s a great tool to use when practicing with clients. 

Post contributed by Kathrine Brody