2017 is a big year for Elmore Public Relations—we’re celebrating our 25th anniversary! For the past 25 years, our agency has been working with numerous clients to help them achieve their goals, or as we say – connecting strategy, expertise and results. Each week we’re highlighting a year of Elmore PR.
In last week’s installment, we dove into a brand new century and explored the impact of collaboration in public relations. This week, we’re further exploring the power of collaboration through a special Q+A session with longtime friend and former client, Kim Castillo.
Kim Castillo was an early client and collaborator with Elmore Public Relations, and we were fortunate enough to work with her on several projects over the years. Kim, now the Customer Experience Manager at IKEA Houston, highlights a few memories and impact of our collaborations over several years and organizations.
Q: In your experience, how have you utilized partnerships and collaboration to achieve key goals?
Corporate partnerships and sponsorships work best in a truly cooperative atmosphere where both the non-profit and the for-profit can find common goals they create together. It is equally as important to find a partner who matches the culture and the values of the company represented. One great example Elmore PR helped to facilitate was a partnership between Discovery Green and IKEA Houston. Both organizations were focused on offering free events that were fun for families and open to everyone! A perfect match for the Houston market.
Q: Why was it important for you to do so?
It is important to initiate collaborations as you are building and sometimes, rebuilding a brand. I would argue that advertising may get the message out, but working through partnerships and public relations makes the connection real for the consumer. When you can create experiences for people and they have positive memories that tie them back to a brand or a product that is when the magic happens. In regards to Discovery Green and IKEA Houston, as we created the IKEA Screen on the Green event we offered an opportunity for consumers to get to know IKEA Houston better as they enjoyed a fun, free movie at a beautiful downtown park. What better way to introduce or reintroduce a brand to the community?
Q: What should companies look for when identifying and choosing partners to collaborate with?
Companies should look for partners that have similar values. Take the time to get to know the culture of the organization and see if it is a match before jumping in. If a partnership is right, it can last decades and lead to memorable and creative collaborations.
Q: What are some of the most successful collaborations you’ve been part of or witnessed? What made them successful?
One of the most successful partnerships I worked on was between IKEA Houston and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. I had previously created an event with the MFAH while representing Starbucks in Texas. After working with IKEA Houston, I realized it was time to bring back this iconic event series. I worked in partnership with Elmore PR and the MFAH, to recreate the well-known Mixed Media at the MFAH. It was a late night series that was intended to bridge the current museum exhibit with music, but not just any music; it was music which was curated to intensely reflect the history and culture of the collection itself. The goals were to reintroduce IKEA to the Houston market as well as to drive visitation to the MFAH, focusing on a younger audience and making the museum more accessible while creating a fun and exciting event for everyone. There was well-designed, quality furniture in the middle of one of the most amazing museums in the world. What a great experience to try out a new sofa or side chair! Throughout the partnership, Elmore PR helped to ensure both entities’ goals were a priority and we never lost sight of the messaging along the way.
I can honestly say that working with Elmore PR over the years has been key to the most successful partnerships I have been a part of.
A big thank you to Kim for sharing her memories and expertise on collaborations. Join us next week as we travel back in time to 2002–the 10th year of Elmore PR where we’ll highlight a few of our restaurant clients, including Trevisio in the Texas Medical Center.