Thursday, December 15, 2016

'Tis the Season of Giving

It's that time of year again! Everyone is drinking EggNog, playing Christmas music, hosting holiday parties and finding ways to spread holiday cheer. During the Christmas season many people are reminded of how much they have to be grateful for and take the extra effort to provide for those less fortunate. Working at C.Pharr this semester, I have been very fortunate to see our clients extend this generosity not just through the holiday season but all year long. Below I've listed a few of my favorites I’ve gotten to be a part of in a small way through writing press releases, photo announcements and event support. Each of these respected companies have demonstrated leadership by taking an active role in their communities.

McCarthy Building Companies Inc. Enacted Their Heart Hats Team.
McCarthy employees and their families participated in the American Heart Association's 2016 Heart Walk. The event helped raise funds to save lives from cardiovascular disease and stroke, the No. 1 and No. 5 cause of death in the U.S., and promoted physical activity and heart-healthy living.

Trinity Christian Academy Engaged Students in the Democratic Process.
TCA's senior government students volunteered to work the election polls. Many of these students were first-time voters. TCA knows that teaching youth about the importance of voting increases the likelihood they will vote now and in the future.

ZAK Backs the Blue in Support of DPD's Fallen Officers.

ZAK Products hosted a fundraiser and unveiling of its No. 83 Toyota Camry that honored the fallen officers from the July 7th tragedy. Many came to the unveiling to see the car, take pictures, and help raise money for families of the fallen officers through the Assist the Officer Foundation. The “police car” raced later that week at NASCAR's AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Riveron Consulting Spreads a Day of Giving Throughout the Nation. 
Each of the Riveron Consulting offices chose a community partner to work with in giving back to their community. The Denver office partnered with Tennyson Center for Children helping those affected by abuse. The D.C. office cleaned up a vital community garden with the United Way. The Minneapolis office worked with BestPrep to help students prepare interviews and resumes to get jobs, and the Dallas, Houston, and Atlanta offices each worked with Habitat for Humanity preparing homes for those in need.

We are so honored to work with such exceptional companies! Their efforts are truly making an impact on our community and help inspire our own giving efforts at the office. C.Pharr seeks volunteer opportunities throughout the year, and this Christmas we are excited to partner with Restored Hope Ministries, a safe house for women out of sex-trafficking. This week our team gathered around the conference room for coffee and treats, while we took time to write encouraging notes to the women and collect goodies for their donation closet.

Now, it's your turn! What are you going to do this holiday season and even into next year to put your positive mark on our community? Let us know in the comment section below and have a very merry Christmas and happy holidays!

This post was contributed by Krystal Smith, C. Pharr Intern.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The C. Pharr Team Attends PRSA Dallas UnSummit: PR Deconstructed

Qaadir Abdul-Alim Muhammad & Megan Manning, 6th grade students at St. Phillip's School & Community Center share "The Power of the St. Phillip's Creed in Our Lives" at the 2016 PRSA Dallas UnSummit.
Recently, we had the chance to attend the PRSA Dallas UnSummit at the Granada Theater in Dallas. The annual communications summit was given a bit of a revamp and instead of multiple “PR breakout sessions” throughout the day, speakers took the stage every seven minutes for thought-provoking topics from “Communicating in Cuba” to “Counteracting Violence.” Not all the topics were focused on public relations, but each topic encouraged audience members to think outside the box, look at something through a different lens and/or inspire us to make a difference. Think TEDx for communications professionals. The speeches were filled with tweetable quotes. In fact, #PRSADallasUnSummit was a trending topic on Twitter. Below are a few of the most inspiring and thought-provoking quotes that were shared.
  •          “The bravest people aren't focusing on themselves. They focus on a purpose.” – Kimberly Davis, founder of OnStage Leadership, on “Unleashing Brave.”
  •          "The message that I send is not always the message that is received. Communication is the negotiation of meaning." – Christopher Salinas, Ph.D., senior lecturer and director, corporate communication and public affairs at Southern Methodist University, on “How failure makes you a better communicator.”
  •          “If you look at statistics about where employees want to work, they want to work for companies that do good.” – Suzanne Smith, founder and CEO of Social Impact Architects, on “CSR: Why it isn’t PR anymore.”
  •          “You can’t talk yourself out of a problem you behaved your way into.” – Jamaison Schuler, APR, senior director of corporate communications at Dean Foods, speaking on reputation and employee engagement in “Shadow Management.”
  •          “A river cuts through rock not because of its power, but because of its persistence. Run the mile you're in. Run your own race. It's a marathon, not a sprint. Persistence keeps us going.” – Raquel Daniels, chief strategy officer at OCGPR, on “Moving Diversity Forward.”
  •          "The key to a successful communication campaign is to unlock the imaginations of others." – Stephen Patrick, lead pastor of Trinity Parish, on the “Power of Presence: Discovering the dreams of our neighbors.”

The C. Pharr Team attends the 2016 PRSA Dallas UnSummit.

This post was contributed by Krystal Morris@KrystalNMorris


Friday, September 16, 2016

Hashtags and Improved Searchability Available on LinkedIn - Good News for #B2B

Our agency is constantly implementing social media strategy for B2B clients, figuring out which social channels are the right fit for their campaigns. (If you are a B2B and need a quick reminder of the social checklist, check out my past blog). Working in the B2B space, the majority of our clients are blogging and utilizing their blog content to build their thought leadership platforms. For instance, re-purposing blogs as LinkedIn posts or simply re-sharing content on the LinkedIn Pulse feature is one tactic we’ve employed to achieve robust client communications, increasing the reach of each blog post.

Here I am as a hashtag for Halloween way back in 2013,
which I thought was appropriate for this post!
Because LinkedIn is one of the main tools we use as a way to amplify client stories, I was excited to learn LinkedIn is stepping up its game when it comes to social searching. For instance, LinkedIn now enables you to do a content search, enabling users to easily keep up with industries and topics of interest. Improved content searching is just one more reason why it’s imperative to work with clients on their thought leadership campaigns, because you never know how or when their skillset/expertise may be found through a search on LinkedIn. What do they want to be known for, why are they an expert source and what insight do they have to impart that is of value for stakeholders?

Similarly, another feature LinkedIn has rolled out to provide a better return on search results is the hashtag. Of course many of us have been using hashtags for years on other social channels such as Instagram and Twitter, but it hasn’t quite caught on with B2B social platforms, until now. Remember, hashtags help you find and bookmark other posts with the same hashtag. Why should B2B care? Because now it will be even easier for users to find your “thought leadership posts” on LinkedIn Pulse or even real-time information about events and trends simply by searching for a hashtag. Side note – you can search for hashtags and content on both the desktop and mobile versions of LinkedIn. However, hashtags included in your posts (or others) are only “tappable” in the mobile LinkedIn app. 

For more specifics about the recent LinkedIn content and search updates, check out this post. Happy blogging, searching and “hashtagging”! #socialmedia #thoughtleadership #B2B #digitaldirection

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


Monday, August 29, 2016

An Intern’s Perspective on Event Planning

We recently helped Primary Care Clinic of North Texas (PCCNT) plan a ribbon-cutting event to commemorate their 100,000th patient visit, 13th anniversary and move to a new location in Plano. PCCNT is a non-profit healthcare facility that provides a medical home to thousands of uninsured North Texans.

We hit the ground running planning for this event. Most people see the glitz and glam of event planning, but it sure is not all it's made out to be, especially in the world of public relations. Planning an event does not only mean the composing guest lists and party hors d'oeuvres; for public relations practitioners, planning an event also means researching media, writing and distributing media alerts and press releases, inviting public figures, planning a run-of-show and so much more. Needless to say it can be a long process. After a little more than two months of planning for the hour-long event, everything came together, and we were ready for the day to come.
As an intern, it was a great experience to not only see an event planned from beginning to end, but to be involved in the process every step of the way. I learned how hard it is to plan an event with so many moving parts and how the work continues even after the event is done. I learned so much from this experience, and working on a project for such a great organization for the community is something I will always remember!

PCCNT's priority is to give back to the community by providing affordable medical services to the uninsured. Through corporate donors like Capital One, this is possible. I really enjoyed planning this event for such a great cause. 

This post was contributed by Elizabeth LaMonte, C. Pharr Intern.


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Now Hiring | Paid Fall 2016 Internship

C. Pharr & Company is seeking a dynamic intern for fall 2016 to assist with a variety of accounts ranging from real estate and construction services, to education and corporate social responsibility. Sophomore and junior-level students studying journalism, public relations or communications are encouraged to apply.

Candidate must be a detail-oriented, resourceful self-starter with an understanding of media relations and AP style. Strong written and verbal communication skills are required.

Internship responsibilities include:
  • Drafting and distributing media materials including pitches, media alerts, news releases, backgrounders, fact sheets and media briefing materials for clients
  • Creating/updating media lists
  • Tracking media coverage and updating clip logs
  • Gathering and organizing editorial calendars
  • Reviewing newspapers/industry publications for client mentions
  • Assisting with the development and execution of plans, events and activities that support client communication goals and objectives
  • Researching clients, client competitors or other subjects requested by team
  • Assisting with social media planning and account maintenance for clients
  • Drafting posts for CPC blog and social handles
  • Attending occasional PR industry events and participating in seminars, webinars and other professional training
  • Working within a client-focused team setting, interacting with all disciplines to get real-world experience and understanding of the collaborative nature of the agency environment
The internship typically runs Mid-September through early December. Hours are flexible based on class schedule.

If interested, please send a cover letter, resume and writing samples to


Friday, June 17, 2016

Sweet Summertime Highlights from January to June

Summertime is here and we are officially halfway through 2016. Time has flown by at the C. Pharr office with new clients on board, fun projects, training sessions and volunteer outings. Here are just a few of our favorite highlights to-date.

5. Crisis and Media Training
Whether it’s equipping our clients for a potential future crisis or getting them practice in front of a camera before a big interview, we love putting on trainings and presentations. Earlier this year we had the chance to travel out to Long Cove's luxury lake home community to train on-site staff and executives on what to do in a crisis scenario. Our favorite quote we shared with them was this: “The single biggest predictor of reputational harm is that people think you don’t care. Effective crisis response is a timely and persistent demonstration that you care.”

We also ventured out to Capital One’s Plano campus to train executives for future media interviews. Fort Worth market president Tiffany Cason had the chance to put her training to the test just a few weeks later for an interview with Fort Worth Business at the Capital One Women Entrepreneur Event.

4. Putting Our Creativity to Work
We often use our creativity in planning and writing, but rarely do we get to flex our muscles in the realm of design and videography. Recently we had the chance to revamp a few client documents with a design refresh as well as put together a video from iCode’s first graduation event. 

3. Earning our “Wings”
We’re thankful to have clients that have been with us for years and we’re equally thankful for the chance to bring new clients on board, especially when they are as fun and innovative as RISE, a Dallas-based company that offers its members unlimited monthly flying and the ability to arrive just minutes before a flight, park feet from the terminal and board the plan in less than three minutes. You won’t want to miss the news coming from this company!

2. Telling Stories that Will Warm Your Heart
We consider ourselves very lucky to work with clients that are doing amazing things that leave a lasting impact on others. Our team has been hard at work pitching stories for Trinity Christian Academy and the media is loving it. In case you missed it, check out this heartwarming story of TCA students using their final engineering project to make life easier for Micah Kwok, a 3-year-old Allen boy who has hydrocephalus. You can also see a timely Dallas Morning News story from Mother’s Day. 

1. Team Bonding and Having FUN!
With a team full of “foodies,” we’ve slowly been eating our way through Dallas at outings to Carbone’s, Savor, Klyde Warren Park Food Trucks (Sno Cones) and the historic Highland Park Pharmacy (it’s so much more than a pharmacy!). With countless hours of hard work, it’s been sweet to enjoy a few outings together and celebrate the accomplishments along the way – both work-related and personal. We’ve also had the chance to give back to the community through volunteer days at Genesis Women’s Shelter and Dwell with Dignity’s Thrift Studio. There’s nothing quite like coming together for a good cause and we’re looking forward to partnering with more great organizations in the future.

Stay tuned for more exciting news to come and be sure to follow us on LinkedIn and Google+ for the latest client news.

This post was contributed by Katie Venhaus, @Katie_Venhaus.


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Women Helping Women: Volunteer Day at the Genesis Women’s Shelter

Each quarter one member of our team chooses a volunteer outing for the group and for the first quarter of 2016, I was tasked with choosing our activity. Yesterday, we had the joy of serving Genesis Women’s Shelter in Dallas. The incredible women and children who live in this shelter are survivors of domestic and sexual violence, and Genesis is their stepping stone to a safer and better life. Our role was to provide 15 Easter goody bags for the women at the shelter, which included daily living supplies such as soaps, basic first aid and even a little chocolate for something sweet. We also received a tour of the facility, and saw firsthand the opportunity for success and healing Genesis provides.

I was the lucky one in our agency to choose this quarter’s cause. Women’s rights and social justice are my passion, and Genesis was the perfect fit when it came to finding a simple, personal and impactful way to help women who deserve the best.  

As a team, C. Pharr is always honored to help those in need, and we look forward to next quarter’s volunteer day soon! Check out the photos from our volunteer day and see more information on Genesis here:

This post was contributed by Nichole Hazard. 


Friday, March 11, 2016

Let’s get Digital – Learnings from the PRSA Dallas Chapter’s March Luncheon featuring Mike Wilson, editor at The Dallas Morning News

You may have seen the recent Poynter article detailing The Dallas Morning News’ plans over the past year to bring relevant and impactful stories to readers in a more financial-savvy, digital format. For as long as I’ve been in the PR field (10 years this year!), there’s been a lot of chatter about what “going digital” means for PR pros, readers and journalists.

Our team had the chance to hear first-hand about the recent changes at The Dallas Morning News from editor, Mike Wilson at the PRSA Dallas Chapter’s March Luncheon. In a nutshell, The News will be operating as a website and not a traditional newspaper or as Mike puts it, “We’ll think of ourselves as a website that produces a great American newspaper.”

So, what’s changing?

Beats are out – Hubs and Obsessions are in
Reporters will no longer be defined by their prospective beats, but will report news based on more loosely outlined themes. For example, a reporter who may have been solely covering all things DISD, will now be in the education hub and will be tasked with regularly reporting on an obsession (like pre-K) for six months. At the end of the six-month period, the same reporter will switch to another obsession. Obsessions are not meant to be permanent like beats.

Content Generators are Not Tasked with Content Production
Reporters are no longer writing for tomorrow’s paper, but are drafting stories that can be published online quickly. As such, reporters will be working earlier hours to get stories online sooner. It will be the editor’s job to decide what goes in print and what stays online. Also, content generators are not only reporters, but a large roster of contributors offering expertise in a range of subjects from business analysis to '80s music.

Breaking News Will Focus on Video and Social Media Channels
Going digital also means using original and curated video. The Dallas Morning News will accomplish this through its partnership with NBC 5 to provide rich video content to accompany breaking news stories. Additionally, breaking news reporters will use platforms like Periscope to bring live video to their audience.

Coverage Priorities Will Change
In 2016, The Dallas Morning News’ coverage will be heavily focused on Muslims in the community, the presidential election, the City of Dallas, growth in DFW and great storytelling with new features like, “The Moment.” Stories in “The Moment” section will feature small, but pivotal moments in people’s lives. The example that Mike shared during the luncheon, was about a Dallas woman who had to stand trial against her abusive husband.

As PR pros this means that we will be challenged with providing story opportunities that are visually appealing and finding story angles for our clients that are in line with the newsroom’s priorities. It will certainly be interesting to see how The Dallas Morning News executes the shift into the digital age throughout 2016 and if this will be a business model that sticks around for a while.

This post was contributed by Krystal Morris. @KrystalNMorris


Friday, February 12, 2016

Trinity Christian Academy Alumna Returns to Her Roots

Our client, Trinity Christian Academy (TCA) in Addison, was recently featured on Fox 4's "Hometown Hero" segment. Megan Solis, a TCA alumna, found herself wanting to go back to TCA, and this time to teach kindergarten. Megan attended TCA from fourth grade to her graduation in 2005. Many asked Megan, “Why did you want to come back to TCA?” Her reply was that she hoped to share the same incredible education and experiences she received with a new generation of TCA students.

I had the opportunity to pitch this story and initially it was a hard sell. I began researching multiple news stations and journalists to learn the type of stories they’re interested in covering. They key was to find someone that I knew would like the story, a focused effort rather than a long shot. Through this process, I was able to share the story with a reporter at Fox 4 who was interested at first, but ultimately passed it along to another reporter at the station. This is was a huge step in the right direction, and taught me that not giving up on a pitch and building those reporter relationships are key.

TCA dedicates themselves to focusing on the needs of each grade level down to the very detail. Megan's enthusiastic energy in the classroom, attention to individual needs and a passion for teaching at her former school made her a perfect “Hometown Hero.” Parents always want their kids to have the best education, so to see a TCA alumna come full circle in her education, is assurance in TCA’s program.

As an intern, it was beneficial to be part of a story the whole way through. The experience showed how the work doesn't just end at the pitch, and that follow ups and persistence are crucial. Working with a well-known journalist on this story was an experience I’ll always remember. Not to mention the nice addition this makes to a resume! This experience showed coverage in PR is not paid for, it is earned.

Check out the full "Hometown Hero" story here!

This post was contributed by Elizabeth LaMonte, C. Pharr Intern.