Viewing entries tagged
Blake Lewis

Authentic Communication in a Crisis

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Authentic Communication in a Crisis

Lately several big brands have been caught behaving badly, and their reputations have suffered. Communication in a crisis can either make or break your brand moving forward. Crisis communications expert Blake Lewis shares tips for repairing relationships and minimizing brand impact.

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LPR is now Three Box

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LPR is now Three Box

Today marks a major milestone for Lewis Public Relations. Since Blake Lewis founded the agency in 2000, a lot has changed. In the beginning, email, mobile phones and the Internet were just emerging as communications tools. Over the past 17 years, we’ve grown and evolved beyond traditional public relations into a more holistic strategic communications firm.

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LPR 2016: By the Numbers

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LPR 2016: By the Numbers

2016 was one for the books, bringing new business, new team members and lots of memories. By the Numbers is a fun way to quantify what the past year meant to LPR. Here we go!

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Blake’s Take: Keep the C-Suite Strategic

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Blake’s Take: Keep the C-Suite Strategic

An interesting article recently came out at CIO Dashboard, entitled “Who’s in Charge of Digital?” The world often presents dramatic business changes that cause questions about C-suite roles and responsibilities. But I'd caution leaders to pay close attention when changes are proposed to executive designations.

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LPR Honored By Institute for Family Business

When you sign on for a career in public relations, accolades generally are set aside for others. We are strategic advisers who work in the background, purposely putting our client CEOs and colleagues in the spotlight instead of ourselves. But everyone likes to have their hard work recognized. So when we receive an award, it's nice to share our own accomplishments as a firm.

Earlier this year, LPR was honored to again be named to the Dallas Business Journal's list of top 25 North Texas public relations agencies. We were pleased to earn PRSA's Bronze Anvil Award of Commendation and a PRSA Dallas Pegasus Award for our work with Texas Farm Bureau. And now, we're gratified to add another recognition to our agency honors.

Lewis Public Relations at Texas Family Business AwardsLast night, LPR Principal Blake Lewis, APR, Fellow PRSA, accepted the finalist award for the Texas Family Business of the Year. The Texas Family Business of the Year Awards Program recognizes multi-generational, family-owned firms whose families demonstrate a commitment to each other, to their employees, to the community and to business continuity.

We are extremely proud of the entire LPR team for shaping the culture and client results of our agency and making us worthy of such an honor.

And, of course, here is the official news release below.


 

Texas Family Business 2015 Finalist - Lewis Public Relations

Baylor Honors Family Businesses for Commitment to Community, Industry and Employees

Institute for Family Business celebrates Texas Family Businesses
WACO, Texas (Oct. 27, 2015) –The Institute for Family Business at Baylor University will honor the 2015 Texas Family Business of the Year Award winners and finalists at an awards banquet on November 19 at the  Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation.

The awards program – now in its 26th year – recognizes outstanding family firms who demonstrate a commitment to serve their community, industry and employees.

“The Institute for Family Business and Baylor University is privileged to honor great family businesses for the 26th consecutive year,” said William J.  Worthington, director of the Institute for Family Business within the Hankamer School of Business. “The applicant pool provided stunning examples of the impact that firm, family, and faith can have on individuals, businesses, and the communities they serve.”

This year’s winners are:

  • Small Family Business of the Year – Renfro Foods, Inc. – Fort Worth
  • Medium Family Business of the Year – The Arbor Behavioral Healthcare Facilities - Georgetown
  • Large Family Business of the Year – Georgetown Mortgage - Georgetown
  • Community Commitment Award –Tranum Auto Group - Temple
  • Family Values Award – Ben Franklin Apothecary - Duncanville
  • Fastest Growing Award – Ready Seal, Inc. - Lewisville
  • Well-Managed Award – Groves Equipment Rental Co., Inc. - Groves
  • Founders Award – Freddy’s Auto Glass & Mirror, Inc. - Waco
  • Heritage Award – Wylie Flower & Gift – Wylie
  • Stewardship Award – High Point Travel Inc. – Dallas
  • Young/New Business – Focus Behavioral Associates – Robinson

Finalists for the 2016 awards are:

  • Amaral Tellawi, PLLC -  Houston
  • Financial Management Professionals, Inc. – Austin
  • Home Abstract and Title Company - Woodway
  • Houston Texas Dental Spa – Houston
  • Lewis Public Relations, A Three Box Inc. Company -  Dallas
  • Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch – San Antonio
  • Son Beverage Company – San Antonio

The Finalists include those companies that ranked so well, they impressed the panel of judges and scored within a fraction of the actual award winners.

Through the Texas Family Business of the Year Awards and other programs such as the Family Business Fall Forum and the Family Business Spring Symposium, the Institute for Family Business continues to fulfill its mission to develop and disseminate information relevant to the health and continuity of family businesses.  Visit www.Baylor.edu/business/txfamily for more information.

ABOUT BAYLOR Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.

ABOUT HANKAMER SCHOOL OF BUSINESS Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business provides a rigorous academic experience, consisting of classroom and hands-on learning, guided by Christian commitment and a global perspective. Recognized nationally for several programs, including Entrepreneurship and Accounting, the school offers 24 undergraduate and 13 graduate areas of study. Visit www.baylor.edu/business and follow on Twitter at twitter.com/BaylorBusiness.

ABOUT THE INSTITUTE FOR FAMILY BUSINESS The Institute for Family Business (IFB) is part of the Department of Entrepreneurship and Corporate Innovation at the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University.  The IFB’s mission is to promote the tenets of Firm-Family-Faith on a global scale through transformational education, rigorous scholarship and Christian engagement between family owned businesses and Baylor University. Visit www.baylor.edu/business/familybusiness for more information.

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An Agency That Bowls Together Stays Together

The LPR family is just that -- a family. We support each other professionally, but we also like to have fun. Yesterday, the team took an afternoon trip to Bowl and Barrel in Dallas to bowl, eat, drink and relax together. Scroll down to see how much fun we had and -- more importantly -- who won!

Jennifer, Christi and Ashley enjoyed cheering on their team members.

Our fearless leader, Blake, led off the first game.

Surprise! The outing also doubled as an early birthday celebration for Blake!

Despite an injured right hand, Jennifer bowled a strike on her first turn!

Work-life balance and team unity are valued at LPR. The team was thankful for some much-needed time away from the office!

(In case you were wondering, Blake and Christi each won a game!)

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Born for Public Relations

When public relations is in your blood, there are two paths you could take in life. You either run far, far away or you embrace it. As we celebrate Amanda Lewis Hill’s second anniversary at LPR today, I just want to say that we’re VERY glad she decided to embrace her public relations roots…and we’re particularly thankful she finally came to work with her dad here at LPR. AH-officeYes, LPR Principal and Founder Blake Lewis is Amanda’s dad. We don’t usually make a big deal about it because Amanda made a point to gain experience outside of the family business before joining the team. She’d been learning from her dad her entire life, and she wanted to expand her experiences and learn from other public relations mentors, too.

With that in mind, Amanda started her career at FleishmanHillard and spent several years in corporate communications at Texas Farm Bureau. In her spare time, she earned her MBA from The University of Texas and became accredited in public relations…all before joining the LPR team in 2013. Did I mention she’s also taught as an adjunct professor at Baylor and currently serves as president of the PRSA Central Texas Chapter?

The point is…Amanda is not your average boss’ daughter. She didn’t take the easy route to get here, and we’re all better for it!

Happy LPR anniversary, AH. Thanks for letting me share your story, even if you won’t let me share the old photos. ; )

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Goodbye, Steve Blow - What Dallas Morning News' buyout means for public relations

Last Friday, many Dallasites – LPR included – were surprised to hear that the Dallas Morning News will cut 40 reporters and editors as a stipulation of its recent buyout. Now, the paper's downsizing wasn't a shock - it's happening more and more these days as the media landscape continues to evolve. In fact, the American Society of News Editors released its annual survey yesterday, reporting a net job loss of 3,800 news professionals in 2014. In the DMN's case, the names on the chopping block stopped us in our tracks.

Long-time columnist Steve Blow, airlines/aviation reporter Terry Maxon and other tenured DMN mainstays are on the list. Dallas media staples. Well-respected journalists. In a number of instances, friends.

For public relations professionals, media consolidation and downsizing impacts the relationships we've cultivated. No longer can you pick up the phone and have history, name recognition and understanding with the person on the other end. There's a familiarity that comes with working alongside a reporter for many years.

But, more than losing a contact, it also means a new level of education and assistance will be needed for the next generation of reporters.

Terry Maxon has covered DFW Airport and local airlines, such as Southwest and American, for years. The next aviation reporter – if that specific beat is retained – will need to come up to speed. PR pros can make their lives easier by offering background information, sending along relevant trends and providing interviews, photos and facts when requested. Sometimes just offering help is appreciated.

This isn't unique to the DMN. It's happening across newsrooms in every channel of traditional media throughout the world. For this Dallas PR agency, though, we know the Metroplex's media landscape will never quite look the same.

Photo by AlBakker via Flickr

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5 Years & 100 Posts

It's hard to believe, but five years - and 100 posts - ago, the Lewis Public Relations team started on a journey to bring public relations thought leadership and news to our corner of the Internet. User-generated content has changed over the years, but it's just as relevant, if not more so, than it was in 2010. In our first posts, LPR focused on major agency and client news releases and media coverage. (Our very first post on June 14, 2010, linked to my comments to USA Today about the BP oil spill.) Since then, our approach to blogging and user-generated content has evolved.

To commemorate our 100th post, here are five blogging tips that we've picked up along the way:

  1. Blog with frequency.  Building a blog audience is a lot like cultivating a relationship. It takes time, and you have to commit to investing in conversation. Starting out, we posted once a month...sometimes once a quarter. Today, that simply isn't often enough. In the past few years, we've upped our game and share new content at least once a week. It keeps our audience engaged and encourages us to stay current and fresh.
  2. Give an inside look.  Many professionals are used to staying behind the scenes, but audience like to see behind the curtain. Regular blogging - with photos and videos - gives a peek into your culture and team. It's content the audience can't find from anyone but you.
  3. Brag a little.  Our most popular posts come from sharing our team's and clients' successes. We work hard to get great results, but too often we hesitate to make it known. Did you get mentioned by a great media outlet? Share it! Did one of your team members learn from a fantastic professional development session? Ask them to relay what they learned. Your audience is interested.
  4. Use your keywords.  Search engine optimization are three dirty words to many writers, but it makes sure your content gets the attention it deserves. It's important to know your keywords and weave them into your titles, tags and content with finesse. This can be tricky, and it puts even the most skilled wordsmith to the test, but the results are worth it.
  5. Track your progress.  Blogging brings highs and lows, but tracking your progress gives incredible insight into what your audience likes...and doesn't like. We track our blog readership weekly and use data to understand the type of content our readers want. We've found that posts with public relations insights, results and photos from inside our agency do very well. Your audience may like something different. Watch for patterns and blog accordingly.

Five years ago, we set up a blog to post big news every once and a while. Today, we have a robust platform to engage our clients, colleagues and friends in a dialogue about our industry and our agency.

Photo by William Allen via Flickr

Client Results: LPR Presents Media Tips to ALON Brands Distributors

At Lewis Public Relations, we count it as privilege to provide counsel to our clients. But we consider it an honor when clients ask the LPR team to share public relations best practices with their clients. On May 8, LPR's Blake Lewis and Christi Chesner presented media relations tips to ALON Brands' distributor network at the Southwest Fuel & Convenience Expo in Fort Worth, Texas. After the session, Blake and Christi had a chance to talk with Donna Harris of OPIS. Below is an article Donna wrote about their presentation. Well done, Blake and Christi!

This article is being reprinted with permission from OPIS and originally appeared in Oil Express. For more information on Oil Express, please visit www.opisnet.com/products/oil-express.aspx or call (888) 301-2645.

ALON provides media relations tips

Fort Worth, Texas – The oil industry can easily get bad press when gasoline prices rise or crimes occur at gas stations. But ALON Brands believes petroleum marketers have some positive stories to tell and the refiner’s public relations representatives provided a tutorial to branded wholesalers at the ALON brand meeting during the recent Southwest Fuel & Convenience Expo here.

“We are storytellers,” said Blake Lewis III, principal for Lewis Public Relations of Dallas, whose firm represents ALON. “We owe it to customers, the brand and the industry to tell the story well.”

One example of a positive story: ALON’s expansion of a scholarship program into an internship program. The initiative provides the opportunity to sell the company and the industry to young people looking for a career and to demonstrate that ALON cares about employees, said Lewis.

At its brand meeting, ALON distributed 14 common-sense media relations tips on a laminated, wallet-size card. The dos appear on one side of the card and the don’ts appear on the flipside:

• Some dos: Gather and record the facts – who, what, when, where and why. Share the information with key team members. Designate one person to respond to the media. Deliver consistent messages. Manage expectations. Correct misinformation. Be honest every day and every time. For additional assistance, contact your brand representative. • Some don’ts: Don’t avoid or ignore the media, get angry or defensive, speculate, point fingers, reveal confidential security or personnel information, or wing it.

Next: Take a peek at ALON’s new form that helps marketers deal with a potential crisis.

What's in a (Twitter) name?

I recently decided to make a change. To be honest, it's a change I was hesitant to make. No, I didn't do anything to my appearance, my routine or my lifestyle... I changed my Twitter handle.

It sounds a little trivial. What should have been an easy change, actually took some contemplation. For the duration of my Twitter experience, I had been "@blaketexas081." To many, that was a string of characters and numbers. To me, it was my identity.

But I also understand that success and visibility in social media comes from others' ability to connect with me. To my dismay, @BlakeLewis has already been claimed by the season six American Idol runner-up. Outside of that one time I convinced a Nashville hotel staff that I was, in fact, the singer and just looked younger on TV - that handle is unavailable.

Instead, you can now find me at @LPRBlake. It's simple, short and easy to find. It still represents me and what I do with @LPRDallas. It's great for searches that include LPR, PR and LPR Blake. It's the right fit at the right time.

So, follow me on Twitter at @LPRBlake, and let's talk PR, Lewis Public Relations and all things Texas.

(And follow the rest of the LPR team: @AmandaLHill, @ChristiChesner, @ashley_brazell and @shelbyTidwell.)

Infomart Data Centers taps Lewis Public Relations as agency of record

Lewis Public Relations (LPR), a Dallas-based public relations and strategic communications agency, announced that Infomart Data Centers – one of the largest data center companies in the nation – has selected LPR as its agency of record. In October 2014, Fortune Data Centers merged with The Infomart to create Infomart Data Centers, now among the globe’s most connected, carrier-neutral data centers. Infomart Data Centers reached out to LPR to assist in establishing its post-merger brand identity and advancing the company’s next generation technology story.

Currently focused on four facilities across the country, including Dallas’ iconic Infomart building on Stemmons Freeway, Infomart Data Centers specializes in providing superior connectivity, unmatched performance and consistent reliability to its customers. In addition to Dallas, the company operates wholesale data centers in Portland and Silicon Valley, with a fourth location in Ashburn, Va., expected to come online next year.

“The Infomart is a Dallas landmark, symbolizing our city’s vision to be a major hub for technology and innovation in the United States,” said LPR Principal Blake Lewis, APR, Fellow PRSA. “The newly formed Infomart Data Centers organization brings major technology investment to the North Texas region, and we’re proud to apply LPR’s industry expertise and connections to amplify the brand in Dallas and across the U.S.”

Infomart Dallas

LPR will provide strategic messaging, media relations, industry analyst outreach and stakeholder engagement for the national Infomart Data Centers brand.

“Because of the public relations and strategic marketing work we are already performing within the technology space and LPR’s relationships in the Dallas/Fort Worth media market, we’re the right match for Infomart Data Centers as they begin to define and tell their brand story,” Lewis added.

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About Infomart Data Centers Founded in 2006, Infomart Data Centers (formerly Fortune Data Centers) is an award-winning, industry leader in building, owning and operating highly efficient, cost-effective wholesale data centers. Each of its national facilities meet or exceed the toughest industry standards for data centers in all operational categories of availability, security, connectivity and physical resilience. Recognized for its consistent excellence, Infomart Data Centers is committed to maintaining its reputation of reliability and responsible, best-in-class management and operations. For more information, please visit www.infomartdatacenters.com or connect with Infomart on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Lewis Public Relations Lewis Public Relations is a Dallas-based public relations and strategic communications agency that applies strategic thinking and get-it-done capabilities to a broad range of client challenges and opportunities. Focusing on business-to-business communications, the team combines the knowledge and experience of a large, multinational agency with the agility and value of an entrepreneurial boutique firm. Visit www.lewispublicrelations.com to learn more, or find us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

 

Photo courtesy of Mark Atwood via Flickr

The Story Behind the Three Boxes

We’ve been getting a lot of questions about our logo lately. “Love your artwork. What does it mean?”  “Does it have something to do with a progression?” “What happened with the scribbles? Did somebody vandalize your conference room windows?”

Video Tour of LPR Dallas

It takes a team to run a successful PR agency. At Lewis Public Relations, we value the strengths each individual brings to the table. Got 2 minutes? Take a video tour of our office and get hear what makes our LPR team unique.