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Shelby Solberg

Best PR Wins of 2017

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Best PR Wins of 2017

2017 has come and gone, but we don’t want to forget about some of the biggest PR wins of the past year. Here are a few of our most memorable examples of great PR, marketing and communications.

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PR Internships vs. Mentorships

PR Internships vs. Mentorships

Public relations internships play an important role in the education and development of aspiring PR professionals. However, at Three Box, we believe even more in the power of mentorship. Our principal and former intern team up to share their perspectives on why mentorship is valuable to both young professionals and the agency.

LPR Announces New Hire & Promotion

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LPR Announces New Hire & Promotion

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.

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Harnessing the Power of Brainstorms

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Harnessing the Power of Brainstorms

When a client asks for a creative idea or strategy, our team gets giddy to put our heads together and lay ideas on the table during a brainstorming session. Brainstorms: where creative juices flow freely and no idea is a bad idea – but that doesn’t mean your brainstorming sessions can’t be structured.

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On the Radar: Snapchat

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.

Geofilter

Geofilter

Geofilters

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.

(Featured photo: via Flickr; Geofilter photo: via Flickr)

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The 10 Commandments of Corporate Communications

10 Commandments Final

10 Commandments Final

By Shelby Tidwell The evolution of global news media has affected news outlets everywhere, including the Associated Press (AP) – the largest and most respected news organization in the world – which has altered its corporate communications department to contend with ever-changing media standards.

Ellen Hale, former senior vice president and director of corporate communications at AP, recently spoke to PRSA Dallas and Press Club of Dallas members about her time at AP and offered “The 10 Commandments of Corporate Communications.”

  1. Corporate communications should be the canary in the coal mine. You should be the first to indicate if a situation could be misinterpreted by the media.

  2. If it looks like the issue has wings, get in there fast and disrupt it before it gains traction with the media or public.

  3. Don’t count on anyone calling for comment or clarification; assume they will run with their own interpretation of the story or image.

  4. Be proactively transparent.

  5. If you’re wrong, fall on your sword – fall on it fast and completely.

  6. Explain, explain, explain!

  7. Know when to stop explaining. Get in, get out and don’t extend the issue any longer than you have to.

  8. If you don’t have shareable content, you’re sunk.

  9. Social media can be a curse, but it has proven to be a friendly beast – take advantage of it!

  10. Cultivate relationships with those in the media who can help.

If there’s a trend in Ellen’s list, it’s that honesty and transparency are not optional. The bigger and more powerful your organization is, the more likely you are to be under scrutiny. Don’t give your critics the chance to misinterpret your message – but if they do, be the one to correct it.

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Investing in a community, one Slurpee at a time

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!

Slurpee

Slurpee

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.

Slurpee Toast

Slurpee Toast

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!

March Madness for PR: Celebrate Wins

This year’s March Madness tournament has been nothing short of thrilling so far, with the perfect balance of great plays, buzzer-beaters and heartbreaking losses (this clip of a crying Villanova flute player is too good to leave out). It’s only fitting the third and final lesson I learned is to celebrate wins.

March Madness for PR: Utilize Your Team

If you’re just now tuning in, be sure to read the first installment of this March Madness blog series. After doing your homework and knowing what you need to do, it’s important to acknowledge who you’re working with. The second PR agency lesson I’ve learned from the NCAA Tournament is utilize your team.

March Madness for PR: Get a Game Plan

Spring has officially sprung. For sports lovers, this means March Madness, the pinnacle of the college basketball season, is in full-swing. As I meticulously filled out my bracket (and watched it crumble after some surprising games in the first round), I noticed some parallels between the tournament and the PR agency world.

My First Celebrity Event – What REALLY happens behind the scenes

CWN 5

CWN 5

Before my internship with LPR, I’ve only ever attended an event as a guest. In the few charity events I’ve been to (or, really, seen on TV), everything seemed so coordinated and effortless. People smiled for cameras, guests of honor spoke without nerves and everyone was focused on the benefiting charity.

After working my first charity event, the DeMarco Murray Foundation’s Celebrity Waiter Night, I’ve come to realize that all of those things do happen – but not without a lot of behind-the-scenes work. Here are my two big takeaways: how an event like that is put on, and why we did it.

The “How”

My role leading up to Celebrity Waiter Night was pitching the event to Dallas-area bloggers, where I gained firsthand experience inviting them to attend and following up for both participation and coverage.

On the day of the event, I staffed the celebrity room. (Pretty cool for this sports-loving Dallas girl!) Some things were out of our control, like DeMarco Murray being stuck in traffic when CBS needed to film their live shot. A lot of things, however, were in our control, like maintaining consistent communication between the media and celebrity rooms about when the next item on the agenda was happening.

CWN 3

CWN 3

But the biggest challenge of the evening, I realized, was finding the balance between accommodating the players, guests and media.

The players – the celebrities of the evening – needed time to eat before they began serving the guests and wanted to enjoy the night with their dates just as much as the guests of the event. Meanwhile, the media wanted every possible photo op and detail of what happened, which is why they were invited.

It was important for me and the rest of the team to remain sensitive to everyone’s wants and to try and cater to those wants as best we could.

Although a few portions of the evening didn’t flow as smoothly as we’d hoped, we had to keep two things in mind: the players and media arepeople, too, and there was a cause behind every hectic moment.

The “Why”

When the timing of things didn’t happen the way we wanted, it was important to keep sight of the vision and purpose behind what we were doing.

The planning, arranging, organizing, scheduling, inviting, publicizing, calling, emailing, set-up and implementation of weeks of preparing was all for one group of people: the Dallas-area youth who would receive educational help and resources thanks to DeMarco’s foundation.

CWN 4 a

CWN 4 a

Professional athletes, especially football players, haven’t had the best publicity the past few months. This event came at a crucial time for the NFL’s reputation. Thanks to the media who attended the event, members of the Dallas community had the opportunity to see the players they cheered for, sometimes even idolized, doing good for their hometown.

And, no matter the size of my role, I was a part of helping them do good. To me, that makes my first celebrity event a success.