When it comes to Net Neutrality, entrepreneurs, innovators and consumers need to join me in sending a loud, long and strong message to politicians, particularly those on the right side of the Congressional aisle.
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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!
Are you fast-paced and motivated to make a difference? Do you want to work with national brands without the hoops of a big corporation? Can you think outside the box? If so, we want you.
Lewis Public Relations (LPR), a full-service, Dallas-based public relations and strategic communications firm, today announced the hiring of Ashton Brown as an associate and the promotion of Shelby Tidwell to senior associate.
It’s rare that a PRSA national conference comes to our hometown, so when PRSA Connect announced its 2016 location in Dallas, I was in. (Not to mention, our awesome clients Topgolf and DFW Airport were presenting.) After nearly two days of presentations and networking, I’ll share a few key internal communications tools and learnings.
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.
Lewis Public Relations works with media professionals every day, and we value the relationships we’ve built along the way. In today’s “Meet the Media,” I’d like to introduce you to Jessica Golden, a field producer covering sports business at CNBC. Jessica and I worked together on piece featuring Topgolf at last month’s PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard of Snapchat. The mobile app has done some big things lately and is making strides toward becoming a relevant social platform and news source – so much so that The Wall Street Journal and the White House have jumped on the bandwagon. WSJ
The Wall Street Journal is now publishing stories on Snapchat and it’s safe to say Snapchat has officially earned a seat at the social media VIP table. The pairing of an established and prestigious newspaper with an app primarily used by millennials is a win for both parties. For the Journal, it’s an avenue to reach and retain young readers. For Snapchat, whose users are mostly young people, the addition of the Journal may appeal to an older audience and attract new advertisers.
The White House
Yep, the White House joined Snapchat just in time for the President’s State of the Union address last month. This isn’t the first time the Obama administration has taken strides in the social media world – President Obama is the first sitting president to have his own Twitter account and Facebook page. Obama’s director of product management said the White House was joining Snapchat to reach the growing percentage of the population that uses the app to consume news and share with friends. I bet Snapchat was pretty pleased to hear the White House thinks the app is 1) big enough to reach the national audience and 2) a legit news outlet for something as prestigious as the SOTU.
Snapchat has offered geofilters – geographically restricted graphics that can be added to a user’s photo or video – for a while. However, it just introduced a new geofilter option that will allow anyone, even smaller companies, to submit temporary geofilters for a party or an event for a $5 fee. The company currently receives floods of “on-demand” geofilter submissions, but Snapchat hopes the fee will slow the pipeline to a more manageable number of submissions. As Snapchat continues to grow, this is a huge innovative step in terms of both revenue and user retention.
Whether you’re a fan of Snapchat or not, you can’t deny the company’s ingenuity and strategy. The app is constantly searching for ways to reach a broader target market AND create new channels of revenue.
Bravo, Snapchat, bravo.
Chipotle has gotten itself into pretty hot water lately, and it looks like the quick-service restaurant’s woes may be just beginning. Stock price has fallen by a third. Earnings per share estimates have been revised down, again. Federal investigators are knocking on the door. Loyal customers are sounding off. Surely company leaders are feeling sick. In classic public relations, this is a textbook emerging crisis.
An emerging crisis sounds less threatening than a “flash and bang” event. But experienced, strategic public relations practitioners will warn otherwise. Emerging crises can take a serious toll on a business.
It starts with an incident. Typically, that incident resulted from something that could either have been prevented or could be fixed with a policy change or shift in operations practice. Leaders may see it as an isolated case. No big deal.
We counsel clients to beware of the emerging crisis. Here are tips for mitigating an emerging public relations crisis at the onset:
- Take it seriously. Even an isolated incident is worthy of proper attention. It may never grow into a full-blown crisis, but the possibility certainly exists and can have damaging effects on your business.
- Hire experienced communications counsel. If you are sued, you turn to a lawyer. A company has a team of CPAs to handle its taxes. When a crisis occurs – or better yet, to mitigate or prevent such an event – a professional crisis communicator can lead the company through best practices to preserve the business and protect its reputation.
- Determine the root of the issue. Find out the cause and work quickly to resolve the problem for your customers, employees and stakeholders.
- Evaluate the scale and scope of the problem. In a multi-location business, like Chipotle, it is probable that a similar event has occurred or could occur in the future. Communicate with the broader team to pinpoint how far the crisis could potentially reach.
- Establish a forward-looking plan of action. Don’t apply a Band-Aid when a suture is needed. It’s important to set a long-term plan for holistically addressing the issue. Think about implications to each store, the corporate team, company stock and corporate reputation.
- Maintain open communication. Throughout the process, share the company’s proactive approach to solving the problem. Show compassion and concern, and demonstrate your genuine desire to make it right. Authentic and open communication gives customers, employees and shareholders confidence that the issue will be resolved.
Hindsight is a luxury, not a guarantee. As a company leader, beware of the emerging crisis – and take actions to protect your brand and your position.
Photo by Michael Saechang, via Flickr
2014 was a big one for LPR - one filled with great new clients, talented new faces and, of course, public relations results. Let's take a look at LPR's 2014 by the numbers:
'Tis the season for celebrating the holidays with family, friends, co-workers or - in LPR's case - all of the above! Last night, the LPR team gathered to enjoy good company and delicious food at our holiday party. There was plenty of holiday cheer and smiles for the camera. Take a look below for a peek at the LPR festivities.
There was chatting by the fire.
The gift exchange was lively, and everyone ended up with something fun!
Darth Vader made a quick cameo.
You can never go wrong with a selfie stick.
Thank you to our wonderful hosts for the evening!
From LPR to you and yours, we wish you happy holidays and a fun-filled new year!
As we prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday, we'd like to thank you - our clients, colleagues and friends - for you continued support of our team and our agency. We're sending you warm wishes this holiday season.
(Our Thanksgiving cards have become an LPR tradition. Click here to check out a gallery of our past cards.)
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.
Last 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.
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.
Today, we're pleased to announce that Los Angeles-based The Hoyt Organization has joined the Public Relations Global Network, our collaboration of international public relations and marketing partners. Hoyt was officially invited to join PRGN today during the network's fall meeting in Dubai. Hoyt is a full-service, strategic public relations agency with capabilities in crisis communications, media relations, online marketing and brand development. With the addition of Hoyt, Lewis Public Relations and the other 48 PRGN agencies have added in-market expertise and resources in Los Angeles.
Please join us in welcoming The Hoyt Organization to PRGN.
The Hoyt Organization Los Angeles joins Lewis Public Relations in Public Relations Global Network
Lewis Public Relations adds Los Angeles public relations partner as part of its Public Relations Global Network. Featured in picture (left to right): Leeza Hoyt, APR, founder and owner of The Hoyt Organization; and Kent Barrett, vice president of The Hoyt Organization
Lewis Public Relations and its 46 member Public Relations Global Network (PRGN) announced it has selected The Hoyt Organization, Inc., a Los Angeles-area based full- service public relations agency, as its newest affiliate. The induction into the global consortium was made during PRGN’s twice-yearly meeting, which just concluded in Dubai.
Adding The Hoyt Organization to our network means we now have an added ability to offer on-the-ground services in Los Angeles.
Founded in 1986, The Hoyt Organization (www.hoytorg.com) is a public relations agency based in Torrance, California, in the county of Los Angeles. As a full-service strategic communications firm that provides complete public relations counseling and crisis communication services, The Hoyt Organization specializes in developing public relations programs for business to business and business to consumer-based companies that focus on the real estate, financial and professional services, retail, legal, technology and healthcare industries. The Hoyt Organization has created and executed programs encompassing all phases of PR, including communications, corporate image enhancement, media relations and digital and earned media services. Current clients include Auction.com, Sotheby’s International Realty, USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, Westwood Financial Corp., Genton Property Group for the Four Seasons Private Residence, Los Angeles, among others.
“Today’s business climate is global and it’s critical that we be able to serve companies in that capacity,” said Leeza Hoyt, APR, founder and CEO of The Hoyt Organization. “Joining PRGN is a logical extension of our ongoing efforts to grow our business in Southern California and around the country. It extends our reach into the world’s most significant global marketplaces where we now have the ability to provide on-the-ground coverage.”
The PRGN partners meet twice a year in cities around the world. The next meeting will be held in April 2016 in Washington, D.C. At each meeting, the firm’s leadership discuss ways the network and its client base can collaborate in local markets around the world.
Agency members are independent, local, owner-operated public relations and communications agencies that share expertise and resources, while providing broad-based comprehensive communications strategies to clients worldwide. If a company or organization is interested in the services of PRGN’s local agency network, go to www.PRGN.com for more information.
PRGN is actively recruiting PR members in China, Africa, Belgium, Vancouver and New York. If a PR agency is interested in joining the network, visit the PRGN website’s member recruitment section for more information or email its membership chair, C.L. Conroy, at CL@conroymartinez.com.
Clients across six continents depend on the combined resources of the Public Relations Global Network (PRGN) to deliver targeted public relations campaigns in markets around the world. With revenues of more than $110 million (U.S.D.), PRGN is one of the world’s largest international public relations networks. PRGN harnesses the resources of approx. 50 independent public relations firms and more than 900 communications professionals to connect international companies and organizations with individual and culturally diverse markets globally.
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!)
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.
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.
When your client opens 14 new stores in one city, it’s big news. This week, Alon Brands acquired 14 new stores in the Albuquerque area from family-owned Roberts Oil Company. The acquisition expands the ALON/7-Eleven footprint by more than 50% in Albuquerque, bringing the total number of stores in the area to 38. That’s a lot of Slurpees!
This expansion is part of a significant investment Alon Brands is making in the Albuquerque region. The company just finished remodeling all of its locations in the area and built a brand new store in Rio Rancho (see: Putting the Grand in Grand Opening).
LPR helped Alon celebrate the acquisition and recognize Roberts Oil for its 40+ years in business by coordinating a ribbon-cutting and Slurpee toast with the Roberts family and the Albuquerque Chamber.
The acquisition story was both newsworthy and interesting to local and industry media, gaining coverage on KRQE-TV, The Albuquerque Journal, Albuquerque Business First, as well as Convenience Store News, CSP, and Convenience Store Decisions, to name a few.
We’re proud of the commitment Alon Brands has made and will continue to make to the community and customers in Albuquerque. Congratulations, Alon Brands!
Remember the feeling of the last day of school? The clock wound down and all you could think about was three months of free time, spending time with friends, hanging out at the pool... Then life happens. The real world kicks in. Schedules fill up. But summer's draw is still strong.
At Lewis Public Relations, we set out to capture that summer fun again by encouraging our team to get out and enjoy some free time. So, we created the LPR Summer Fridays program. We formed two teams to be sure clients were always served and the office remained open. Every other week, each team member can work ahead and take off after lunch for a fun Friday afternoon.
Some of us went on trips...
Others hung out with friends...
Blake spent time with his grandson...
And me? I used the time to run errands like getting my hair cut. (When you have a toddler, "alone time" is pretty appealing!)
We still have a few weeks left of Summer Fridays, and the team agrees it's been a great addition to our LPR culture.
What programs feed and energize your team? Let us know in a comment below, or tweet us at @LPRDallas.
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