Relationships Are a Two-Way Street

May 24, 2018

by Kacie Escobar

As much as I’d like to believe myself to be the next Paul Rand (designer of IBM, UPS, ABC and other world-famous corporate logos), the truth is my graphic design skills don’t go much further than a customized template in Canva.  While this often does the trick, I’m smart enough to know when it’s time to call in the big guns.

It’s not uncommon for agencies like ours to partner with others when client work requires the development of creative assets that can’t always be managed in-house.  You might think that working with clients every day has taught me what it takes to be a good customer, but I was grateful today for a refresher.  Thanks to Evolve Design Group’s Mark Calvert, CDB Productions’ Vivian Richardson and Macbeth Studio’s Jim Hobart for reminding me how to be a good client during today’s meeting of the FPRA Orlando Area Chapter.

Here’s what our guest speakers had to say:

  • Check your expectations.  Key to a successful partnership is realistic expectations – not just deep pockets.  It can be equally rewarding to work with a small company on a tight budget if their expectations are realistic and they understand the value of services being rendered.  Good clients realize the finished product is often more complicated to create than it looks.  They also understand that no one works for free.
  • Don’t try teaching a cat to fetch.  Get a dog.  In other words, do your research to ensure the vendor is a good fit for your project.  If you don’t already have vendor relationships, Google should be your best friend.  Conduct research to find vendors who deliver the service you seek.  Review their case studies and portfolios, years of experience and staff size, and narrow down the list based on your priorities.  Check references if their client list is public.  Only then will you be ready to reach out.
  • Know what you want.  What does success look like to you? Define what you want to accomplish before reaching out.  Develop a project brief summarizing your vision, including the problem or opportunity you face, the audience you aim to reach, your plan to use the deliverables, ideal timeline and budget.  Your vendor will then have enough information to provide educated recommendations and guide you in the right direction based on their expertise.
  • Trust.  No one likes being micromanaged.  Before you jump in to control the creative process, think about how much time and money your partners have invested into honing their craft, and why you’ve called upon their expertise rather than attempting to do the work on your own.  The best clients provide constructive feedback and respect the creative process.

Just like any relationship, the client-vendor relationship is a two-way street.  On behalf of Curley & Pynn and our agency colleagues, I hope you’ll keep these insights under consideration next time you’re looking to engage a vendor.


Q&A with Karen Kacir, the Newest Addition to Our Team

April 30, 2018

by Karen Kacir

Following 11 months in Colombia as an English teacher for the Peace Corps, former intern Karen Kacir is back with the Curley & Pynn team as our newest communications specialist.

Read on to learn more about this quick-witted member of our office family.

What motivated you to pursue a career in public relations?

I’ve always been fascinated by creative storytelling.  Having come of age in the era of social media, I was drawn to businesses and nonprofits that used compelling narratives to cut through the clutter and make themselves heard.  I liked the idea of learning to communicate smarter, not louder.

What is your favorite memory of being in Colombia with the Peace Corps?

I had the chance to live with three host families during my time in Colombia.  Without a doubt, the members of my families were some of my closest friends.  One of my host moms, Gloria, has a special place in my heart – she could sense when I was having a bad day (or, could understand my broken Spanish when I tried to communicate that I was feeling down) and would brighten it up without fail.  Once, to cheer me up, she took me on a hike through the pueblo in a downpour.  When her concerned neighbors asked what she was doing, she replied that it was the perfect weather for a walk.  Her humor, kindness and indefatigable optimism stand out very clearly in my mind as a highlight of my time at site.

If you had to present on any topic without preparation, what would it be?

I could probably lead a presentation on all things related to bullet journaling, including how to make the journal itself out of printer paper, embroidery floss and a record sleeve.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Swing dancing!

If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?

I would want to be able to teleport and take other people with me.  Not only would it eliminate my commute, but I’d also have the ability to spend more time with my loved ones scattered around the globe.


Our Takeaways from Cision’s 2018 Global State of the Media Report

April 27, 2018

by Karen Kacir

Cision just published its 2018 Global State of the Media Report, a survey of more than 1,300 journalists’ perceptions of the media and communications industries.  Participants shared their thoughts on how communications professionals can craft pitches and press releases that won’t get ignored, the perceived trustworthiness of PR content and much more.

You can download the full report on Cision’s website.  Here are some highlights:


Death

April 17, 2018

by Roger Pynn

One thing you can look forward to when you die is that you won’t have to read the news.  After all, it is pretty depressing.

However, one thing you won’t read about is something many find depressing while they are still alive … death.

After monkeying with their publication of the news of death back in 2013 when it did away with the tradition of printing “Deaths in Central Florida,” the Orlando Sentinel brought back a limited version … but instead of treating it like news, they charged for even the simple three-line notices that include the deceased’s name, age, city and the name of their funeral home so friends could at least call to inquire about funeral services.

Last week they simply buried the whole thought that the dearly departed might matter to the paper’s readers, trading the space for large display ads.  The classified ad department told me that the average obituary takes up 36 lines at a cost of $505.  They do have a handy tool that allows you to write your loved one’s story, paste the text into a template and find out what it will cost … if you don’t die from the sticker shock yourself.

I’m an old news hound.  I made my living as a journalist for a long time.  I wrote a lot of obits in my day.  And I’ve read them every day of my life ever since … not out of morbid curiosity, but because if a friend has passed, I want to know it.  My bet is that I’m not unlike a lot of people … especially when they reach their 60s and 70s and going to funerals becomes a more routine part of life.

A quick check at OrlandoSentinel.com/opinion/letters doesn’t seem to show it, but the print edition has had at least a couple of passionate letters to the editor on this subject, including this:

I understand it costs a lot to run a newspaper.  It also costs to lose subscribers … whether it is due to their death or the disgust of families who dump their subscriptions … offended by decisions like this that choke every last dime out of the readers that real advertisers are trying to reach.


Five Questions with Ellie Hodgkins

March 6, 2018

by Ellie Hodgkins

Ellie Hodgkins joined us just three weeks ago as a communications specialist and has already become an integral member of the team.  An experienced producer and supervisor for the Home Shopping Network and marketing consultant for Art & History Museums – Maitland, Ellie offers expertise in marketing communications, event planning, merchandising and business development.

Read on to learn more about Ellie, a passionate philanthropist and proud UCF Knight:

What motivated you to pursue a career in public relations?

As a born communicator, I’ve found that public relations is a perfect fit. Very often, I am an unwitting influencer to friends and family when products, actions and innovations excite me.  Why not do that professionally?  What interests me most about this industry is uncovering the underlying motivations behind communication and endorsing worthwhile community efforts.

Is this what you wanted to do when you were little?  If not, what did you want to do when you were little?

My first ambition was to be a mountain-climbing ballerina, but as fate would have it, I’m not very coordinated.  After that, I wanted to be a greeting card writer or product demonstrator.  The latter was realized when I worked for the Home Shopping Network and got to produce demonstration segments.  My foray into television led to an interest in documentary film-making, a passion I continue to pursue in my free time. Now, my career path has come full-circle; understanding what makes someone tick is at the heart of both documentaries and public relations.

What’s one fun fact about you that most people don’t know?

I am allergic to cold.  Yes, the temperature.  I guess that means I’m a Florida girl through and through!

If we looked in your office drawer, what would we find?

Notebooks, folders and snacks.  I’m extremely organized.  And hungry.

If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would it be?

There are so many feminist icons who would fit the bill, but at the end of the day, I’d have to say John Waters.  He is not only a director, comedian, author and artist whom I admire, but his work has pushed boundaries and opened the door to a more inclusive world.


Tide: A Swift and Clean Response to the #TidePodChallenge

February 9, 2018

by Bailey Morris

You know you have a PR crisis on your hands when the CEO of your organization has to talk about teenagers eating laundry pods on the weekly earnings call.

Nowadays when a brand faces a PR crisis, it’s regular procedure to take to their social media channels and address the issue head-on.  And before Tide tackled all of their competition in their quirky, bait-and-switch Super Bowl ads, they were keeping plenty busy tackling conversations about the “Tide Pod Challenge” on social media.

Like other daft internet challenges before its time, (“The Cinnamon Challenge,” “The Bath Salt Challenge,” etc.) the “Tide Pod Challenge” took the internet by storm, as teens began filming themselves biting into the brand’s laundry detergent pods and spewing soap everywhere – or worse, ingesting it.

We’re all about innovative solutions here at Curley & Pynn, and when we saw Tide’s creative response to the situation at hand, we had to write a blog post about it.

Instead of just posting a tweet that read, “Tide Pods are not meant for consumption.  If consumed please call poison control immediately,” Tide created a brief, funny PSA with New England Patriots’ tight-end Rob Gronkowski and posted it on their Twitter, Facebook and YouTube accounts.

Right now, the tweet has about 98,000 re-tweets and boasts about 10 million views – and that doesn’t even take into account the 286,000 views on YouTube and 164,000 views on Facebook!  They found a way to get their message across that it’s absurd to eat Tide Pods, but doing it in a comical way.

But why the larger amount of views on Twitter?  My theory is that it could be due to the Tide Pod Challenge originating on Twitter, and that’s where Tide knew most of their teen audience was posting about the challenge … but that’s another blog post for another time.

At the end of the day, it’s about remembering that public relations is “people relations.”  Tide can’t control what able-minded individuals do with their product – all they can do is tell them that it’s ludicrous, and that they shouldn’t do it.

So why not have a little fun with it?  After all, 10 million video views is nothing to sneeze at.  Unless you have laundry soap in your nose – then you might need to sneeze.


The Making of a Holiday Message

December 18, 2017

by Dan Ward

Each year, Curley & Pynn attempts (and usually succeeds) to develop a holiday card that ties back either to the practice of public relations or, more frequently, to issues that have made news in the past year.

We mailed a “hanging chad” card after the 2000 election, made fun of news polls that missed so badly in 2016, and lampooned the ACA rollout by launching our own FrostyCare Marketplace.

This year, we set out to find something from 2017 that we could turn into a positive, and hopefully funny, holiday message.  And we failed.  We pored through headline after headline, and became increasingly depressed.  Political fights, natural disasters and dozens of harassment claims do not lend themselves to fun, festive jokes.

And then it came to us.  What we all need after a year of depressing headlines is what we all turn to (some of us secretly) to lift our spirits … pictures of kittens and puppies!

And so we present the C&P 2017 holiday card, featuring headshots of our own four-legged friends and family.  We hope it brings you a little “Paws-itivity” for the year ahead.  And we also hope you can pay it forward with a little pawsitivity of your own.  Share photos of your own furry, fuzzy family members with the tags #CandP #Pawsitivity.  We can all use some positive news and images this holiday season. Happy Holidays!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our thanks to Jim Hobart and Macbeth Studios for a fun, tail-wagging photo shoot!


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