The Many Hats of a PR Pro

Public Relations is so much more than writing press releases! (We’re really good at that, by the way.) PR is all about telling our clients’ stories in the most positive, engaging, and strategic ways possible.

But first things first.  At the start of any client relationship (and in regular intervals from then on) we strive to understand the heart of our client’s goals and how they envision success. To achieve that insight, our process includes strategic planning sessions with our clients to establish objectives and then build a foundation of strategies and tactics to meet those communications milestones.

From there, it is time to hit the ground running using a customized combination of tactics from our PR “tool box” – all in coordination with an organization’s established brand, voice, and goals.

Media Relations:

Often considered the “backbone” of traditional public relations, media relations is an evolving discipline. Elmore PR works with you to develop a media relations strategy, brainstorming the kinds of stories you want to share, researching the best reporters and outlets to tell those stories, and developing an implementation timeline to achieve the greatest results. We draft press releases and articles, secure images to supplement a story, pitch reporters, and facilitate interviews.

When it’s time for those interviews, preparation goes a long way to ensuring a success. Elmore PR offers media training to build confidence when you’re speaking to reporters or other audiences. We educate our clients on what to expect in an interview, how to use talking points and bridge statements, and other presentation skills to ensure you effectively deliver your message.

Should the need arise for our existing clients, Elmore PR also offers crisis and reputation management, helping frame the context of difficult situations to ensure truthful and straightforward messaging.

Digital Marketing Services:

Social media and online sources are increasingly the primary resources people turn to for news and information. Maintaining a compelling, current, and consistent online presence is essential. Elmore PR works with our clients to develop sound strategies for your digital platforms.

Whether drafting copy and blogs for your website or building a robust social media strategy, we are skilled at conceiving a tone and voice appropriate for both the platform and your organization to keep your followers interested and invested in your business.

Social media influencers are here to stay, and we know how to engage with them in smart, relevant ways for our clients.  We’ll work with you to develop an influencer strategy, including pitches and contract negotiations, as another effective avenue for connecting you with targeted audiences.

Community Outreach:

When an organization wishes to connect more directly with an audience, Elmore PR can facilitate community outreach opportunities which connect our clients with their community – leading conversations which shine the light on complex ideas and help turn adversaries into advocates.

We also can expertly manage public meeting coordination and presentation development. Meeting coordination can include everything from researching and booking the venue and distributing invitations to producing collateral materials and staffing the event.  We’ll develop your presentation, write the script, and coach your presenters to communicate key points clearly and effectively.

Under the community outreach umbrella, we assist in such behind-the-scenes activities such as stakeholder and mailing list management, tracking of public comments, and vendor management.

Account Management and Strategic Counsel:

The team at Elmore PR takes a careful and thoughtful approach to developing our plans, but also tracking our results. Through the use of concept documents, productive agendas, well-managed meetings, and action-focused notes, we build long-term and goal-oriented plans with the steps needed to achieve them. Along the way, we track and report on our results as well as capture key learnings to factor into our process for future implementation.

We also offer meeting facilitation to our clients tackling their own internal objectives. And, of course, our senior counsel services can guide clients through even the stickiest situations.

So what can we do for YOU next? If you’d like to learn more about new ways Elmore PR can help you tell your story, email us at info@elmorepr.com.

The Strategy and Success of Being Supportive

“We are an extension of your team.” This is a phrase our clients hear us say often. It encompasses Elmore PR’s fourth core value: being supportive. In the client/agency relationship, being supportive means seamlessly supplementing an already strong client team by providing our leadership, strategy, and public relations expertise to promote your mission and initiatives.

Our guiding tenet is to connect our expertise to our clients’ objectives to deliver results which move the needle of public perception. Through our services including strategic planning, media relations, marketing, social media strategy, and community relations, we support our clients with intentional listening and clarity. As your strategic partner, Elmore PR is diligent to embrace the tone, culture, and priorities of your organization as we communicate on your behalf.

We are successful in supporting our clients because of the supportive environment we curate internally. Camaraderie and internal support are a major part of Elmore PR company culture and are essential to operating a successful firm.

Personal coaching and mentoring are a high priority. While given autonomy to lead their client teams how they best see fit, our colleagues have the full ear and support of company leadership. Additionally, between trainings offered by our management team and courses and webinars our colleagues seek out themselves, each team member is supported in their professional development and encouraged to continually expand their skillset and expertise. And through use of the DiSC assessment, we determine how each team member prefers to be communicated with, managed, and supported. We regularly review these results as a team to make our internal communications as effective as possible.

Finally, Elmore PR embodies a supportive spirit by being intentional about working for organizations which are supportive of our community. Our clients are known for being change-makers. We are passionate about partnering with organizations whose big-picture thinking enacts transformational change in Houston’s parks, arts, business, and nonprofit circles.

Just like our clients, Elmore PR is nimble, creative, and curious. We love what we do and who we work for. It is our highest priority that you feel the full weight of our support through our aptitude, passion, and professionalism.

Seeking Clarity

 

 

Just like active listening and curiosity, practicing clarity is a tool with which we cut through verbal clutter to understand and be better understood. Seeking and projecting clarity gets us from A to B efficiently. It is fundamental to ensuring we start on the same page as we work with each other and our clients to accomplish their goals.

As communications professionals, we seek and practice clarity daily. Before we can relay a client’s goals, thoughts, and messaging to an audience, we must distill them into clear, understandable points. Through our signature strategic planning sessions and regular client meetings, and by asking the right questions and actively listening, the Elmore PR team is empowered to attain and communicate with clarity on behalf of our clients.

Clarity of thought and speech requires patience, focus and deliberateness. We can all practice clear communication by:

  • Eliminating distractions;
  • Planning, outlining and being prepared;
  • Being succinct;
  • Being intentional with word choice and syntax;
  • Sharply editing one’s own writing;
  • Tailoring messaging and delivery to the recipient’s preferred mode of communication;
  • If you are presenting a new idea, practice your presentation;
  • Considering and preparing for questions that may arise; and
  • Communicating confidently.

These skills can be applied in both our professional and personal lives to reach and deepen understanding. As the saying goes, “when life gets blurry, adjust your focus.” For many of us, the world feels incredibly blurry right now. By seeking clarity, we can adjust our focus to better understand ourselves and one another.

 

This One Habit is Key to Great Communication: Are You Curious?

“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” — Albert Einstein

Curiosity is a core value at Elmore PR. It is the discipline we use to accelerate our understanding of our colleagues, our clients, and their audiences.

In our inaugural e-newsletter, we shared that empathetic listening fosters connection. But that’s only part of the equation. Being curious, or asking the right questions, is just as essential in getting to the heart of a client’s goals.

Current and potential clients often come to us with challenges they hope strategic communications will help solve. That is our sweet spot! But before Elmore PR can develop a communications plan and shape messaging, we must have a deeper understanding of the issues and goals at hand. It is imperative we ask questions, and the right ones.

To get to the “why,” we are insistent upon learning:

  • What is at the heart of the request/statement/observation?
  • What is the desired outcome?
  • Who benefits from this campaign/product/service/information?
  • What might the objections be and from whom?
  • What assumptions are we making and what are they based on?
  • Are there sensitivities (political, cultural, business, personal) to consider?
  • Who are the other players involved (internally or externally) who have a stake in the initiative?

Practicing curiosity ensures that from the get-go, we are fully informed, with the big picture guiding us as we apply our experience to strategy, and strategy to tactics.

We are intentional about building a team comprised of exceptional communicators, of course, but also of curious thinkers. All the inquisitive people we have the pleasure of working or doing business with:

  • They assess every circumstance by studying the way things are, the way things are not, and asking themselves “why”?
  • Collaborate well. They genuinely value the opportunity to engage with and learn from others with unique perspectives.
  • Are creative. They are not content with the status quo and see challenges as opportunities to solve problems in new ways.
  • Can read a room. They have a keen ability to distinguish when to ask questions, when to speak up and demonstrate their expertise, and when to listen.
  • Are always learning, reading, and absorbing the world around them. They know they do not know everything and have an insatiable appetite to expand their understanding of a wide range of topics.

Curiosity begets innovation. And innovation is critical for survival, especially for businesses trying to make it during a global pandemic. By reassessing, questioning, and digging deeper as appropriate, Elmore PR offers communications strategies which are agile, flexible and responsive to the changing needs of our clients and their audiences.

If you are curious about Elmore PR and how we can support your communications needs, please get in touch at jennie@elmorepr.com or via our contact page.

 

Elmore PR Recognized With Three PRSA Houston Excalibur Awards

Every year we look forward to the PRSA Houston Excalibur Awards where colleagues and peers gather to celebrate the public relations industry’s most innovative campaigns, tactics and leaders. The Excalibur Awards overflow with camaraderie and, you guessed it, recognition of the creativity and expertise of Houston’s corporate and agency public relations professionals.

This year, the 35th Annual PRSA Houston Excalibur Awards were held virtually on Thursday, October 1. Elmore PR was proud to take home honors for the following three campaigns:

“Publicizing the fight for affordable housing in Houston’s Third Ward,” for which Elmore PR penned an editorial on behalf of Kinder Foundation to promote the concerted effort of public, private and nonprofit organizations to increase the Third Ward’s inventory of affordable housing. The op-ed, “In the historic Third Ward, a fight for affordable housing [Opinion],” ran in the Houston Chronicle on November 27, 2019 and established Kinder Foundation CEO Nancy Kinder as a knowledgeable, invested leader on affordable housing in the Third Ward; provided history and context for the current state of the Third Ward’s affordable housing needs and progress; gave an encompassing view of past leaders’ visionary plans; enumerated the current initiatives underway; and provided a call to action for other organizations to join the efforts or use them as a model for their own community development. The op-ed reached an audience of nearly 890,000, had a publicity value of $193,320 and earned Elmore PR a Gold Excalibur Award in the “Editorial/Op-Ed” category.

“A Spectacular Success: Introducing Houston to the Inaugural Nutcracker Market Spring Spectacular,” for which Elmore Public Relations was charged with developing a public relations and influencer outreach plan to promote and introduce the Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market Spring Spectacular to, and generate buzz amongst, Houston media and shoppers. Using a combination of traditional media relations, social media and influencer engagement, Elmore PR earned more than $3 million in publicity, 41 million media impressions, 178,000 social impressions, and drove 18,150 shoppers to generate more than $600,000 for the Houston Ballet Foundation’s arts education initiatives. The campaign earned Elmore PR a Bronze Excalibur Award in the “Events and Observances” category.

“Announcing the Redevelopment of Brookfield Properties’ Houston Center,” for which Elmore Public Relations was employed to strategically publicize the announcement of Brookfield Properties’ plans to redevelop Houston Center, a four-building, mixed-use office campus in downtown Houston to commercial real estate media, current tenants and downtown stakeholders. Using media tours, internal communications and digital marketing, we earned more than $5 million in publicity coverage (including a feature in Forbes), and more importantly, continued engagement and developed further trust between Brookfield Properties and its current and prospective tenants. The efforts earned Elmore PR a Bronze Excalibur Award in the “Marketing Consumer Products & Services” category.

These campaigns join the dozens of others for which Elmore PR has won industry recognition over the last two decades. And whether our work is official honored by an industry authority or not, we pride ourselves on delivering thoughtful, strategic, award-caliber work to each and every one of our clients, every single day.

 

How and Why We Listen

by Susan Elmore

 

Building connection – between our clients and their audiences, between their objectives and our expertise, between their stories and the media interested in telling them – is what compelled me to start Elmore Public Relations more than 28 years ago.

Fostering connection is a powerful tool in storytelling. And it is through thoughtful, empathetic listening that I have found connection is most deeply made. Listening – moreover, active listening – is so important to me and my practice that it has become a core value of Elmore PR and the cornerstone of our success.

I am passionate about training our team to be expert active listeners. Whether with a colleague, a client, or a reporter, when we listen empathetically, we communicate effectively.

Universally and fundamentally, people want to feel heard and acknowledged. Active listening is reciprocal listening; it is how we honor a speaker’s reality to propel us toward a common goal.

Active listening requires one to:

  1. Come to a conversation with no assumptions and a mind clear of distractions;
  2. Focus on the speaker;
  3. Acknowledge and repeat back what you have heard to clarify or validate. (This is where our clients hear us respond with, “What I heard you say is…”);
  4. Allow the speaker to correct or add;
  5. Finally, show empathy and recognition of the speaker’s position.

Once a speaker feels their perspective has been understood, they are much more inclined to work collaboratively toward a solution, agreement, understanding, or resolution.

At Elmore PR, active listening is the tool by which clarity is attained, trust is built, relationships are forged, and tangible results are achieved. Win, win, win, win.

 

 

Working from Home 101

It has officially been a full month of working from home due to COVID-19. While we greatly miss seeing our coworkers at the office and attending in-person meetings with clients, we have used this time to adjust to the “new-normal” and develop good habits while we are working from our homes.

One important component to working from home is finding your perfect new space to work. Keeping an organized space away from distractions is key! You’ll see a few of our team’s remote offices below.

We’ve also put together a few tips that have made adapting to the working from home transition a little easier. Read on to learn more about these tips that you can incorporate into your #WFH routine!

 

Abby’s tips:

Develop a morning routine that you look forward to! Each morning, I make an effort to get up an hour before I start working to enjoy my coffee and mentally prepare for the workday. It’s nice to not have to immediately start working when the alarm goes off.

Be sure to take short breaks throughout the day. When I am feeling depleted creatively, I like to do a short 15-minute walk around the block or a quick 10-minute video workout. Everyone needs a recharge!

Find a refreshing beverage. My roommate has started making “spa water” – aka water infused with fresh fruits and veggies – every afternoon. I look forward to it every day and it helps keep me away from the gallon of Goldfish.

 

 

Nataly’s tip:

Working from home can come with many distractions, so I’ve found it helpful to stick to a routine that’s as close to my pre-COVID-19 days as possible. Having a schedule gives me a sense of normalcy during this uncertain time.

 

Lenny’s tips:

Set a timer reminding yourself to take periodic breaks. Grab a snack, doodle, walk your dog. Doing quick 3-min meditations on Headspace helps me release tension and refocus on work.

Be it a slow internet, standing in line to pick up prescriptions, or wiping down all of our groceries—everything in life is just taking much longer to accomplish. Don’t judge yourself if you seem unable to produce the same level of output. These are strange days and each of us is dealing with new challenges physically, financially and mentally. Set realistic goals for each day, communicate with your team, and breath.

 

 

Taylor’s tip:

 Find alternative ways to communicate with your coworkers. While we are normally in the office together, we are used to discussing projects and asking each other questions multiple times throughout the day. While it can seem a little isolating working at home instead of desks right across from each other, there are tools to make quick communication easy. Send instant messages periodically, check in via text, or simply give someone a quick call! Communication is key, even when we are no longer working in the same physical space.

 

Julia’s tip:

Pick a place in your living space that won’t distract you when you’re working, and try to keep a regular schedule as if you were going into the office. Don’t start and stop work at all different hours every day!

 

 

Lisa’s tips:

I don’t do the working in PJs or sweatpants thing – I need to feel like I am at work and part of that is looking professional (at least casual Friday level) – especially in case of an unexpected video call.

I take my lunch away from my desk – it’s good to have a few minutes away from work – even when it’s at home – to refresh with a change of scenery and no email alerts.

I open all the windows I can – natural light and fresh air helps keep me happy!

 

Amy’s tip:

Check in regularly on your co-workers and see how they’re doing. This will help you have a more thoughtful perspective and could change how you approach certain tasks and situations.

 

Jennie’s tip:

My WFH tip is about to do lists. I have always loved making action item lists at work, but now I find it even more important to keep me focused and on task for both home and work items. Every night, I write out my to-dos for the next day. I start on post-it notes to capture all the tasks, then enter them into my planner in two columns, one for work and one for home, and in priority order. If something doesn’t get done, it’s incorporated into the next day’s list; usually it falls at the top unless it is something I’d like to do, but don’t need to do.

 

2020: A Year to Celebrate!

Anyone else feel like January was at least 100 days long?! While it felt like a long month, January was filled with lots of excitement here at Elmore PR, and we certainly kicked off the new year (and decade) on a great note!

On the first day of the new year, Elmore PR made the move to a brand-new office space! As the saying goes, new year new us, right? While we have loved our time in the wonderful duplex on West Saulnier, it was time for a fresh start in a new space.

Our new office, located within Origin Cowork, has introduced us to several new friends who also office out of this coworking space. Additionally, our new office has tons of meeting rooms and places to gather and socialize, which has helped add even more camaraderie to our team. Needless to say…we love it!

 

 

 

If January was any indication of how the remaining months of the year will be, then we have a lot to look forward to! Follow along here and on our social channels as we highlight other exciting milestones on the horizon for 2020 – get ready…we have a LOT to celebrate! #EPRCelebrates2020

Let’s Celebrate 2019!

As the year comes to a close, we’re taking some time to reflect on a few of our team’s 2019 accomplishments. 2019 was an exciting year for Elmore Public Relations, and between client milestones and company achievements, we have a lot to celebrate!  We invite you to pull up a chair and pour a glass of bubbly as we look back on a few of our highlights from the past year.

  1. A big part of what makes our team so special is our employees, and in 2019 we gained three fantastic new team members! This year we welcomed Julia Bernstein, Jennifer Brandino, and Murphie Mendez to the Elmore PR team, and we have loved having them on board. (On that note, we are looking to expand our team in 2020! Learn more about available opportunities here.)
  2. Our terrific summer intern, Trinady, returned for a second year at Elmore PR! We love the opportunity to educate and offer hands-on experience to college students interested in communications and public relations, and it was a pleasure working with Trinady for the second summer in a row. (Fun Fact: Trinady went on to interview Jimmy Fallon during her fall semester at University of Texas. Check out the interview here. You go girl!)
  3. We are also so fortunate to work with the best and brightest clients, and we gained several wonderful new ones this year. Over the course of the year, we began working with Kidney Cancer Association, SpawGlass, Vita Living, TUYA, UT Health’s Own Every Piece Initiative, and several new projects with Harris County Flood Control District. We have enjoyed learning about and working with each of these organizations, and we are grateful for the new friendships we have made with each of you.
  4. In June, we attended one of our favorite events: The 34th Annual Excalibur Awards Presented by PRSA Houston. This year, we were honored to receive the following awards:
  • Gold award in the Editorials/Op-Ed Columns category: “Bridging the Green Gaps: Bayou Greenways 2020”
  • Silver award in the Marketing Consumer Products and Services category: “Marketing the Nutcracker Market: Reaching Social Media-Savvy Consumers”
  • Bronze award in the Community Relations category: “Charting the Waters – Publicizing Flood Mitigation Strategies in Greater Houston”

We are so proud of our team for all their hard work on these projects, and thanks to PRSA Houston for hosting another fabulous event.

  1. We celebrated our 27th Anniversary in August! Wow – we can’t believe we’ve been working in Houston for nearly three decades! We have had the time of our lives working with various organizations and companies across Houston and beyond. We are thrilled to be entering our 28th year in business, and we look forward to seeing what exciting things next year has in store!

It has been a fantastic year (and decade!) at Elmore PR, and we appreciate each of the wonderful people that we are so privileged to work with. We look forward to entering 2020 with you – cheers!

 

Now Hiring!

Elmore PR is hiring staff and consultants! We are a 27-year old company with clients in a wide variety of industries. We are offer competitive pay commensurate with experience and good benefits. Here are the areas of expertise we are seeking:

Community Outreach – Senior Account Manager
We are seeking seasoned communications professionals who have experience with the following:

  1. Developing and implementing community engagement strategies
  2. Have a good understanding of local governments and community advocacy
  3. Developing a public education campaign
  4. Working with subject-matter experts to share information with the general public

Community Outreach – Assistant Account Manager
Further, we are seeking strong communications project managers to execute the following:

  1. Plan community meetings
  2. Document public engagement
  3. Content development for meetings, print, web, social, email
  4. Production of materials

Account Manager
Lastly, we are seeking communications professionals with strong experience in:

  1. Leading a team in the strategic public relations and marketing planning process
  2. Developing media relations strategies for a variety of clients
  3. Understanding social media and influencer marketing strategy and instructing others to implement it
  4. Identifying strategically beneficial, third-party relationships, such as media sponsorship opportunities or marketing partnerships, and developing the strategy to secure involvement

All candidates should email Resume@elmorepr.com.