By: Susan Elmore
25 years! When I started my PR practice, I never dreamed we would have a robust, satisfying two-and-a-half decades!
Thinking back, I’m amazed and humbled by the trust and opportunities our clients have offered us over the years. From our very first client – the newly formed Theater District, 1991 – to the very most recent new client – Trees For Houston, 2017 – we have had the opportunity to work with companies and organizations that are making Houston a more vibrant city.
A few personal highlights
Flying to Seattle for a full Starbucks orientation, including Barista training, followed by launching the brand in Houston, Austin, San Antonio and other cities. Learning about the arts from powerhouse clients including Houston Grand Opera, Houston Ballet and Houston Symphony. Being on the front row and providing crisis management during an acquisition period that resulted in the largest entertainment company in North America, formerly Clear Channel and now Live Nation.
From non-existent to fully established
The Elmore PR team has had the honor of launching several of Houston’s iconic destinations. Opening the Hobby Center, the United Way building, Discovery Green and Buffalo Bayou Park were amazing opportunities. Having the expertise to start on a major destination during the “visioning” stage, and then leading the communications effort through construction, grand opening and through 1 to 10 years of operations has been a master class in growing a brand.
We’ve also had the pleasure of announcing milestones and representing projects that were not quite as iconic, but hugely important to our city. We’ve worked with amazing professionals who were forging new ground at many companies, including Brookfield, Scenic Houston, METRO, Harris County Flood Control District, MIDWAY, Post Properties, Periwinkle, AIDS Foundation Houston, United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast, IKEA, Kelsey Seybold and Silver Eagle Distributors.
What surprises me the most is how very much I enjoy cultivating young professionals as they begin their careers. In 25 years, Elmore PR has hired more than 50 employees (current count is 11). Given that I had never studied Human Resources and the idea of company culture was a new concept when we started working with Starbucks, I’m proud to report that Elmore PR is stable and thriving! Turns out the common sense concepts of mutual respect, active listening, recognizing work ethics and results are building blocks to success for a consulting agency.
I think the most satisfying client we have had to date is Discovery Green. The designers created an iconic park destination, Susanne Theis provided epic programming, and Elmore PR created a PR and marketing engine that took Discovery Green to hosting more than 1 million visitors annually, with online audiences topping 148,000 for Facebook, 106,000 for Twitter, and 48,000 for Instagram.
Looking ahead for the next 25
My hope is that we continue to have wonderful clients that let us take a concept and work with the messaging, PR and online marketing until we achieve the company’s goals. In the 90’s, Central Houston and the Downtown District trusted us with the idea of downtown as a place to live and play, and we are proud to have been on the front row of moving from concept to reality on an aspect that was critical to Houston becoming a world class city.
So where will the company be in 2024? Likely right in the thick of things, working with local, regional and national clients. I know that I will be looking back on a deeply satisfying career, and probably visiting all of the wonderful client projects that we’ve enjoyed helping establish and grow.