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Christi Chesner

Five Com Agencies Join PRGN

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Five Com Agencies Join PRGN

The Public Relations Global Network (PRGN) today announced the addition of five new communications agency affiliates to one of the world’s largest PR agency networks. These firms joined PRGN during the consortium’s recent meeting in Lisbon, Portugal earlier this month. 

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On Our Radar: Co-Branding

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On Our Radar: Co-Branding

Co-branding is a powerful way to reach new customers and build brand loyalty, and it’s a force to be reckoned with in the marketing world right now. Brands are teaming up more than ever before to take advantage of this win-win strategy that’s designed to boost sales and awareness for everyone involved.

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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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Congratulations, Christi Chesner, APR!

Christi Chesner earns her APR

Christi Chesner earns her APR

Last week was more than full at LPR, with many things for which to be grateful:

  • Along with our teammates ABI, MRR and Associates and The Marketing Zen, we had a great roll-out on the new brand for client Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.

  • We also hosted the 2016 Alon Brands Creative Summit, identifying marketing strategies and approaches for more than 300 company-owned convenience stores and approximately 600 independent distributors and convenience store operators.

  • Within our “family,” though, nothing could make me more proud than LPR Director of Client Services Christi Chesner receiving word that she passed the examination awarding her the designation Accredited in Public Relations (APR).

Granted by the Universal Accreditation Board through the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the APR designation is a voluntary credential for professionals who demonstrate experience and proficiency in a broad range of knowledge, skills and abilities in public relations, as well as an understanding of ethics and ethical behavior.

Unlike many other professions, there are minimal barriers to entry into the field of public relations. The discipline of acquiring the knowledge and skills, gaining the experience and then proving it through a statistically valid examination process demonstrates commitment to excellence that our clients expect. About 18 percent of PRSA’s membership have earned their APR, including all three of us on the LPR leadership team.

Lewis Public Relations leadership team

Lewis Public Relations leadership team

Through smart and strategic work, service to our profession and belief in the value of personally investing time, talents and finances to earn a seat with what many see as the “best of the best,” Christi exemplifies our commitment to quality relationships and outcomes over jobs and outputs.

Next time you talk with Christi Chesner, APR, I hope you’ll join me in congratulating her on her latest personal accomplishment.

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The Best of Both Worlds

CC at Acumera

CC at Acumera

The past six months have been VERY busy here at LPR. My LPR travels have taken me down to Austin quite a bit lately to work with one of our clients, Acumera, a growing technology company that provides network connectivity, security and visibility for convenience stores. We’ve been working with Acumera since 2012, but they recently decided to up the ante with our relationship. They needed an internal marketing resource, but didn’t want to worry about the learning curve or overhead costs associated with adding a full-time team member. Since I’d been on the account for more than three years, I was able to jump in and fill the role, giving Acumera the benefits of having both an agency team and a dedicated “internal” resource to support Vice President of Sales and Marketing Tom Yemington.

We’ve accomplished a LOT in the past six months. In addition to managing traditional public relations activities, including news releases, thought leadership and media relations, I contributed to marketing strategy, message development and sales collateral development. We’re also about to launch a new Acumera website. (Stay tuned!)

The whole experience has reinforced our philosophy that the most successful agency-client relationships are those that truly integrate agency team members into the client’s culture and business. It’s the best of both worlds.

Here’s a quick video from Tom on why he decided to use a PR agency to support his marketing efforts.

Client Results: Putting the Grand in Grand Opening

After nearly 10 years in public relations, I’ve seen my fair share of grand opening and ribbon cutting events. Giant scissors, mayoral proclamations, radio remotes, free samples…you know the drill. While it all sounds pretty simple, a well-executed grand opening event can be a very effective way to introduce a new brand, business or location to the neighborhood. The results can be even better when you get a little creative, which is exactly what the ALON/7-Eleven team did for a grand opening in Rio Rancho, N.M., last week. Since the new store was unlike any convenience store location the company had ever built, the grand opening had to be just as special.

ALON/7-Eleven ribbon cutting Rio Rancho
ALON/7-Eleven ribbon cutting Rio Rancho

How did we help make it special?

My day started off at the store at 5 a.m. sampling some new products and preparing goodie bags with fresh treats for the local media. ALON ordered these chocolate covered waffle cone cups straight out of Beverly Hills to help launch the store’s new coffee bar. DELICIOUS.

7-Eleven coffee at Rio Rancho grand opening
7-Eleven coffee at Rio Rancho grand opening

Then, I visited local morning shows to drop off samples and spread the word about our grand opening activities. Thanks to the KOB Good Day New Mexico team for letting me hang out at the studio for a while!

Sharing ALON/7-Eleven's grand opening in Rio Rancho, N.M. with media
Sharing ALON/7-Eleven's grand opening in Rio Rancho, N.M. with media

We also did a few live shots from the store with KRQE reporter David Romero.

photo 2
photo 2

But, the fun really started when customers began packing the store and the parking lot to try out new products, enter to win free gas prizes and visit our special guest, five-time Super Bowl Champion Charles Haley.

NFL Hall of Fame - Charles Haley
NFL Hall of Fame - Charles Haley

The event was a ton of fun, but the best part is that thousands of customers came in to check out the new store during opening weekend. That’s the true measure of success.

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.

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.

Photos: 2014 LPR Christmas Party

The 2014 LPR Christmas Party was one for the books. We enjoyed delicious food, tasty drinks and, most importantly, great company. First, we were joined by a local brewer from 903 Brewers for a craft beer and artisan cheese tasting.

 

I think it's safe to say that the LPR crowd favorite was 903's new golden stout called, "The Land of Milk and Honey."

Christi, our resident beer nerd, was pretty excited about the whole thing.

 

Then, we sat down for a five-course, gourmet meal prepared by our friends at Vestals Catering.

Pretty soon, we won't be able to fit everyone at one table!

 

The menu included everything from roasted fennel and mushroom soup to a beautiful NY strip with fig reduction.

Gulf shrimp with mascarpone orzo, meyer lemon and tarragon

 

The gift exchange was surprisingly tame. Everyone walked away happy after only a few steals.

Blake and his shiny, new "Chillsner".

 

We were so glad our intern, Shelby, could join us for the festivities this year!

 

There were some other new faces this year, as well.

Kat & Tyler

 

The photo bomb opportunities were endless, but this one was the best of the night.

Christi and John (and Blake)

 

And, no party is complete without dessert.

Chocolate brownies, butterscotch mousse, gingerbread and more!

 

On behalf of the entire LPR team, we hope your holidays are filled with great memories, lots of love and a ton of JOY.

LPR Team

"Mandatory Agency Fun" at the State Fair of Texas

Growing up in the Lewis family, we had what we called "mandatory family fun." We would joke about outings as if they weren't an option, but we secretly (or not so secretly) really enjoyed them. This month, the Lewis Public Relations team took a page from the Lewis family book and had some "mandatory agency fun" at the State Fair of Texas.

3 Things All PR Students Need to Do This Semester

With a new semester on the horizon for aspiring PR pros, LPR’s Director of Account Service Christi Chesner shared some advice for communications students in the August issue of Texas Tech University’s College of Media & Communications Alumni Advantage newsletter.

Meet LPR: Christi Chesner

This is the third installment of our "Meet LPR" series, where we give you an inside look at the Lewis Public Relations team. So, without further ado, we introduce to you... Christi Chesner, LPR's director of Account Service.

Probono is Worth the Investment

I started to title this post “Free Time is Worth the Investment,” but no one seems to have much “free time” these days—myself included. But, our company culture allows time for select special projects and organizations that we believe make important contributions to our community and our profession.

Out of Office: Work-Life Balance for PR Pros

Work-life balance is a valuable part of our culture here at Lewis Public Relations. Yes, we’ve all spent some late nights and weekends at the office, but life is too short to spend every day like that. A little vacation or half day here and there goes a long way toward employee wellness, productivity and overall office morale.

An Inside Look at “Training” for the APR

LPR's Director of Account Service Christi Chesner provides a unique perspective on the process of training for the Accreditation in Public Relations credential.

Lewis Public Relations: Past, Present and Future

Video is a great medium for storytelling because it combines visuals, voices and messages to paint a complete picture of an organization. To help tell the Lewis Public Relations (LPR) story, our intern, Shelby Tidwell, created this video that explains how LPR began, what we do and where we see the company going in the future. The video provided a fun way for some of the LPR team members to describe the ins-and-outs of agency PR and working at LPR. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1sT3ng6_Tg&feature=youtu.be