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One of the coolest aspects of working for a PR agency is coming up with creative and unique ideas that set your clients apart, then witnessing these ideas come to life through various campaigns, initiatives and events.
Our team did just that during the month of September with our client, Orangetheory Fitness—Midtown. Because September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, we coordinated a partnership with Orangetheory Fitness—Midtown and local Nashville elementary school, Eakin Elementary, to educate local Nashville kids on the importance of exercise. Throughout the month, an Orangetheory Fitness trainer took over the 3rd and 4th grade P.E. classes to teach kids various exercise moves and show them just how fun it can be to stay active.
In conjunction, we coordinated a second partner to provide some direction on the need of a healthy and nutritious diet, something at the core of this national wellness initiative. A nutritionist from popular juicer and health foods restaurant, The Juice Bar, was able to make smoothies for the students and show them just how delicious and nutritious smoothies can be! The kids were even given a smoothie recipe to take home for their parents to make them.
Our team secured an opportunity with Nashville’s NewsChannel5 weekly School Patrol segment that highlights local school’s events and initiatives making a difference in the community. Check out the clip below that reached nearly 75,000 viewers in the Nashville area.
While childhood obesity is a national epidemic that cannot be solved in just one month, intentional efforts can be made to combat the issue one step at a time – and we were excited to be a part of the process on behalf of our client. This effort was a great step in the right direction and Orangetheory Fitness is looking forward to a long-lasting relationship with Eakin Elementary.
Tori Ross, Reed Public Relations
One of the many perks of being a part of PRGN is developing connections with agencies around the world and having access to nearly endless resources for information sharing, business referrals and support from other industry leaders.
Because the network is international, we often rely on group Skype calls, email chains and social media interactions with our partner agencies for day-to-day communications. Occasionally, though, we get the opportunity to visit partner offices and get an inside look at how they operate, the challenges they face and how they overcome them.
At Reed Public Relations, we recently had the pleasure of hosting Laura Vinci, a senior account executive at CooperKatz & Company, PRGN’s New York City partner, for a week in our Nashville office. The exchange program, launched by CooperKatz this year, allows members of their account team to apply for an opportunity to visit a partner agency anywhere in the U.S. Laura was selected as the first employee to take advantage of this program and lucky for us, she chose RPR and Music City for her trip.
During her visit, Laura divided her time between remotely working on projects for her clients and local events with our team including a Nashville PRSA Happy Hour, a lunch meeting with long-time RPR client O’Charley’s and our quarterly all-agency Wine Wednesday event in which we toast our recent wins and take a look at what’s coming up for the next quarter.
Over the course of the week, Laura became an impromptu RPR team member. Through a mix of professional and personal activities, we learned about CooperKatz’s extensive experience in all different industries, specifically healthcare and professional services, and how they tackle media relations in a competitive market like New York City. Our team also had the chance to learn how this 20+ year old agency has grown over the years, something really valuable to our young, high-growth agency. We like to think we shared some valuable information with her too, like where to get the best hot chicken and exactly what Goo Goo Clusters and Moon Pies are, but also how we’ve grown from a 3-person team to a 9-person team in three years and created solid cause marketing, lifestyle and fitness divisions in the process.
At RPR, we are always ecstatic to meet new people within our industry to share insights, gain new knowledge and be able to better serve our clients no matter where they are in the world. This PRGN exchange was the perfect opportunity for that and we encourage our other PRGN partners to arrange visits like these as well.
And of course you’re welcome back anytime, Laura. We’ll have a Goo Goo Cluster ready for you.
Laura Vinci, CooperKatz
How does five days spent in Nashville benefit the way we do business in New York City? From an event-planning lunch at O’Charley’s (including samples!) to Wine Wednesday meetings to PRSA networking events, this woman from the Big Apple got a chance to experience how things are done in the Music City – while experiencing first-hand the benefits of our PRGN partnership. And as the first participant from CooperKatz & Company in this type of PRGN week-long agency exchange, I’m delighted to report that the experience was beyond what I imagined.
This concept isn’t new. Professionals from many PRGN-affiliated firms have been informally visiting each other throughout the years. This exchange kicked-off CooperKatz’s more formal PRGN exchange program, where our team members not only get to experience life at another PRGN agency – we also get to mutually-exchange our ideas, strategies, tactics and the way we do our work every day.
To begin preparing for this amazing professional work week, I seriously contemplated what this experience would mean for me and my colleagues. How would time away refresh my perspective? How would remote work from a different agency in a different market spark innovative ideas that I could share with my coworkers? The goal for this program was to take me out of my comfort zone, and that it did. After an extensive deliberation process, Ralph Katz, Anne Green and I decided on Reed Public Relations (RPR) in Nashville. Not only did this shop provide the out-of-the-box experience I was hoping to gain, but the ladies of Reed PR were willing to welcome me with open arms!
RPR is championed by a young, entrepreneurial millennial, Lauren Reed, and I was greatly impressed with her approach to starting, and now running, a successful PR agency. I was able to see media relations in a new element, providing a multitude of fresh takeaways. RPR offered many opportunities for me to enhance my own skills, including participating in a social media brainstorm, client meetings, their leadership team meeting, networking events and a Pitch Nashville event (as well as one or two happy hours!).
I was honored to represent CooperKatz at our PRGN partner agency. Our PRGN membership is an important part of our agency’s make-up and I have been interested in taking a more active role in the organization. Now that my work week in Nashville is over, I’m excited to bring back my experiences to share with fellow coworkers through a presentation at one of our company meetings.
I am also eager to stay in touch with my new colleagues at RPR post-exchange and to continue to develop a relationship with our other member organizations – extending the impact beyond a one-time visit. All-in-all, it was a fascinating and instructive week and I want to thank RPR for all that they did to ensure that it was memorable.
It’s no secret that here at RPR, we genuinely love non-profit work. Our projects with organizations like Blood:Water, HOPE International, The Phoenix Club of Nashville, REBOOT Combat Recovery and so many others are some of the most rewarding and awe-inspiring projects we have.
These organizations are one of the reasons we launched our Be The Good travel grant program in 2015 and a division dedicated solely to Cause Marketing in 2016. They do more than turn a profit – they enrich and improve the lives of others – and it is an honor for our agency to be able to help them do that.
In 2015 as part of Be The Good, we donated a portion of our company’s profits to build a classroom for incarcerated mothers and their children in El Salvador. The organization behind the project, Christ for the City International, provides English classes for these women and their children, who also live in the prison until the age of five with no place to play or learn. The prison had finally identified a space for a classroom and they just needed money for the materials, which we were happy to provide.
Due to restrictions at the prison, that classroom was never built. Shortly after the donation was made, the local government closed down all visits to the prisons due to issues with gangs. No visitation was allowed by family, friends, churches or anyone else.
But the money didn’t go unused. This year, Christ for the City International took the donation from RPR and built a home for a wonderful family in need on La Calzada Island. The island is community of about 1,600 people that is isolated from the mainland by a maze of waterways through mangroves. Most of the people there live in extreme poverty, only a few have formal employment and no one on the island has ever received a university degree. Many people live in extreme poverty making $1-2 per day and survive off the land.
Our team is ecstatic to see that our hard work and amazing clients have given a family in El Salvador a safe place to stay with the construction of this new cinder block home. Thank you to everyone who has helped us Be The Good in Nashville and around the world.
As if you needed more reasons to take a quick weekend trip.
Unless you’ve been living on a remote island with no access to the outside world, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the upcoming solar eclipse. For a brief period of time, the earth, moon and sun will be in a straight line from our vantage point, which means the moon will be blocking the light of the sun. The U.S. hasn’t seen one of these since 1979, so needless to say, people are pretty excited. And as it turns out, Nashville is the largest metro city in the country that is in the “path of totality” for viewing the eclipse.
The city of Nashville is taking the opportunity to capitalize on this celestial phenomenon. It is estimated a minimum of 360,000 people will travel to Tennessee to stay overnight and spend approximately $15-$20 million in Nashville. Schools are closing, companies are giving employees the day off and downtown hotels are offering Eclipse viewing packages.
Tourists and locals alike are gearing up, with #GreatAmericanEclipse branded items flooding retail stores. Businesses are creating t-shirts, handing out viewing glasses, selling branded cups, and hosting viewing parties all over town. This is great for the city of Nashville and downtown businesses, as Mother Nature is helping to generate tourism dollars and revenue.
It’s amazing to see how brands are getting and you almost can’t help but get caught up in the hype. At RPR, we’ve even helped our clients utilize the timely opportunity in creative ways like securing a feature on THE TENNESSEAN Hotel’s Lunar Shadow cocktail on HGTV.com and helping Twice Daily manage media inquires about their free eclipse-safe glasses.
Check out some more examples below of how local businesses are jumping on this opportunity.
Ole Smoky Moonshine
Tennessee Lottery Eclipse Jumbo Bucks
Imagine this: You get an unexpected call in the middle of the day. Your company’s network has experienced a data breach and information for thousands of customers is now susceptible to hackers. You don’t know all the details yet, but the local news has gotten wind of the story and they are planning to run a story in the evening newscast. To make matters worse, chatter from worried customers has already started on social media after an employee overheard the news.
What do you do? Are you prepared to field questions from media, your employees and your other stakeholders? How will this affect your company’s reputation and how will you take action to right the situation?
Of all the exciting aspects of public relations and marketing, crisis management can be one of the most challenging and most uncomfortable areas to address – but it is also one of the most critical.
Big or small, for profit or not-for-profit, all organizations should have a well-rounded crisis management plan in place. A good crisis plan will serve as a guidebook to navigating all matter of complex situations that could affect the profitability, integrity or reputation of your organization. This includes serious crises such as workplace crime or violence to less dire situations such as your computer networks crashing.