PR Distilled: The Art and Science of Practical Public Relations

March 6, 2018  |  Meeting Info, News  |  Comments Off on PR Distilled: The Art and Science of Practical Public Relations

April 16-17, 2018 at the Huntsville Botanical Garden, Huntsville, Alabama

Let’s boil it down. Your organization has a lot to say. Your success is based on how well you say it. PR Distilled is about extracting the most practical tools, technology and resources to tell your story. This conference is for you… the PR practitioners, businesses and organizations who need a concentrated dose of communications strategies to stay ahead of the curve.

Register today!

Why Attend?
  • Recharge your professional batteries
  • Learn strategies, tips and tricks
  • Hear national speakers discuss trends and topics affecting our profession and the how-to’s of successful campaigns and event
  • Network with colleagues from across the state
  • Get those APR re-accreditation points
  • See award-winning work from across the state and meet the PR pros who made it happen

 

Schedule at a Glance

SUNDAY, APRIL 15

5 PM – 7PM: PRCA Pre-Conference Social
2600 Clinton Avenue West | Huntsville, AL 35805

Join us for a welcome reception at YellowHammer Brewing. Enjoy appetizers and wood-fired pizza from Earth & Stone Wood Fired Pizza and sample local micro-brews from YellowHammer Brewery. A limited number of drink tickets will be supplied by PRCA. At 6:30 PM, we’ll offer a behind-the-scenes tour of Campus 805, which has quickly become a home to multiple breweries, restaurants, an event center and a wide range of entertainment options. Sponsored by PRCA

MONDAY, APRIL 16

11 AM – 1 PM: Registration

1:30 PM: Opening Keynote

3 PM: Breakout Sessions

4 PM: End of Day One Professional Development

6 PM: PROFESSIONAL MEDALLION AWARDS NIGHT
Location: Huntsville Botanical Garden Grand Hall
Dress: Snappy casual

TUESDAY, APRIL 17

7 – 8:00 AM: Registration

8 – 9:30 AM: Conference Session

9:45 – 10:45AM: Breakout Sessions

11 AM – Noon: Breakout Sessions

Noon – 1:3O PM: Lunch and Student Medallions

1:45 – 2:45PM: Conference Session

3 – 4 PM: Ending Keynote

CLOSING REMARKS

Learn more about the Speakers here.

 

Meeting Recap: Launching Luciana

February 21, 2018  |  Meeting Info  |  Comments Off on Meeting Recap: Launching Luciana

Many thanks to Pat Ammons from the U.S. Space and Rocket Center for an excellent presentation at our February meeting and to everyone who joined us!

Here’s some takeaways:

  • Initial discussions about the idea started in August 2016 so it was a two year process and involved a partnership between American Girl, NASA, and the U.S. Space and Rocket Center
  • No matter how exciting the partnership is, stay true to your brand. Knowing your brand is a very important part of that.
  • Benefits of the Partnership: Brand Awareness (of course), American Girl’s massive reach, introducing a new audience to Space Camp
  • “Sometimes its better to be lucky than good.” They were presented with an incredible opportunity at a time when there was a lot of excitement and focus on STEM, space, and empowering girls to dream big.
  • “The power of this doll is it’s more than just a doll — it’s a learning process.” Pat Ammons is discussing the long-term PR strategy of launching Luciana.
  • Brand management was a critical piece of this project … The fundamental process of making sure the U.S. Space and Rocket Center brand was correctly portrayed was important.
  • “This is being bought around the world and it says Huntsville, Ala.” Use of the correct logos and badges, etc. was important.
  • 55 million people receive the American Girl catalogue! What an amazing reach for Space Camp and the U.S. Space and Rocket Center.
  • “This is laying a foundation that we may not see for a few years to come.” Girls ages 4 to 10 typically own the dolls and Space Camp starts at age 7. Growth will be determined over a series of years.

Save the Dates: Mark your calendars…

  • Join us for a joint meeting with AAF North Alabama on March 21 at 11:30 at Redstone Federal Credit Union! More details coming soon!
  • Also have you registered for the 2018 PRCA State Conference yet? This year’s conference will be right here in Huntsville April 16 & 17! Earlybird registration is now open at prcaonline.com.

[February Luncheon] Launching Luciana: a Case Study in Long-Term PR Strategy

February 6, 2018  |  Meeting Info  |  Comments Off on [February Luncheon] Launching Luciana: a Case Study in Long-Term PR Strategy

Launching Luciana

THE TOPIC

In case you haven’t heard, Luciana Vega – the 2018 American Girl of the Year – has a unique Huntsville connection. She’s coming to Space Camp! Pat Ammons, Director of Communications for the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, will talk about the communication strategy that brought this character to life. We’ll hear about the two-year long process – from crafting the character’s storyline, to the complexities of working with an international brand, to coordinating a national media launch, and beyond. PLUS: we’ll get to see Luciana Vega up close!

THE SPEAKER

Pat Ammons

Pat Ammons is the Director of Communications for the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. She has a bachelor and a master of arts degree in English from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. After completing her master’s degree, Pat taught at UAH for four years, before returning to journalism, her original career interest. She began working at The Huntsville Times, first as a freelance writer, in 1996, and became a full-time reporter two years later. Pat left The Times in March 2014, to work in media relations for the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. As the Director of Communications, she oversees the Center’s social media team, video production and website. Her duties include being the official spokesperson for the Center, as well as working with the myriad film crews and journalists, both local and international, who visit Space Camp and the Rocket Center.

THE DETAILS

When: Wednesday, February 21

11:30 AM Networking & Lunch

12:00 PM NAPRCA Updates

12:15 PM Speaker Begins

1:00 PM Wrap Up

Where: Redstone Federal Credit Union

GPS Address: 220 Wynn Drive NW, Huntsville, AL 35893

Price: $20 for Non-Members, $15 for Members, $12 for Students

Select to either pay in advance when you register OR register only and pay at the door when you arrive.

The RSVP deadline for the February Luncheon is Monday, February 19 at 5 PM.

 

See you on Wednesday, February 21!

[January Luncheon] PR Evolution: Preparing for Success in 2018 and Beyond

January 8, 2018  |  Meeting Info  |  Comments Off on [January Luncheon] PR Evolution: Preparing for Success in 2018 and Beyond
THE TOPIC

We’ll hear from PR veterans and past NAPRCA board members on the evolution of the industry, core tenants of PR that have stood the test of time, and advice to prepare for success in 2018 and beyond

Panelists:

  • Karen E. Yarbrough, Senior Business Advisor Center for Management & Economic Research, UAH

Karen E. Yarbrough is a professional communications specialist with in-depth experience in communications/marketing research, strategic communications, branding, crisis communications, and new product commercialization.

As a principal-owner of three public relations firms over a ten-year span, and currently in her position with UAH, Karen has worked with government, corporate, and non-profit clients throughout the United States.  Ms. Yarbrough has extensive work experience in economic development  – supporting federal, state, and local research efforts and initiatives. She has served as communications director with the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber, and has managed sales/marketing teams in a variety of industries.

During her career, Karen has served as president of several boards including WEDC, and PRCA state/local boards. She has been a board member with Leadership Huntsville/Madison County, Salvation Army, Arts Council Inc., American Heart Association, WEDC Foundation, University of Alabama – Madison County Alumni Chapter, SPRF, and American Advertising Federation of North Alabama.

Karen is a Leadership Class 12 graduate/alumni member and a past Rotarian.  She is a member of the Public Relations Society of America, and their Counselors Academy, and a SPRF Senior PR Practitioner.  PRCA – North Alabama chapter recognized Karen as their 2005 Practitioner of the Year.  Her public relations work has been recognized from local to national levels.

Karen holds a degree in Communications- Public Relations from the University of Alabama.

  • Kelly Schrimsher, Director of Communication, City of Huntsville

  • Janet Kincherlow-Martin, Dean of Institutional Advancement, Calhoun Community College
    Janet has been with Calhoun Community College for close to 29 years. In her position at Calhoun, Ms. Kincherlow-Martin is responsible for managing and directing all of the College’s marketing, public relations, fundraising and governmental and community relations initiatives. A public relations practitioner and communications professional for over 35 years, Ms. Kincherlow-Martin has served in marketing and communications positions with Alabama A&M University and the United Way of Metro Nashville and is a former television reporter. She has frequently been recognized for her public relations work and was named the state’s “Communicator of the Year” by the Alabama Community College System Public Relations Association. Her public relations work at Calhoun has been honored on the local, state and national levels by such groups as the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations, the Alabama Community College System Public Relations Association and the Public Relations Council of Alabama. Ms. Kincherlow-Martin was recognized as Practitioner of the Year by the North Alabama Chapter of the Public Relations Council of Alabama and was recently awarded the Silver Medal by the American Advertising Federation of North Alabama acknowledging her outstanding contributions in the field of advertising.

Moderator: Molly Bell

 

DETAILS

When: THURSDAY, JANUARY 25
11:30 AM Networking & Lunch
12:00 PM NAPRCA Updates
12:15 PM Speaker Begins
1:00 PM Wrap Up

Where: Redstone Federal Credit Union
GPS Address: 220 Wynn Drive NW, Huntsville, AL 35893

Price: $20 for Non Members, $15 for Members, $12 for Students

 

Registration for our January Meeting has ended.

*NAPRCA December Social*

December 11, 2017  |  Meeting Info  |  Comments Off on *NAPRCA December Social*

Had a long week? Month? Year, maybe? Relieve some stress by throwing an axe or two with your fellow PR pals! Join us Tuesday, Dec. 19th, 6-7pm at Civil Axe Throwing to axe out 2017 and celebrate a great year ahead. This activity is free but space is limited so chop-chop, you better register soon!

Tuesday, December 19 from 6-7 PM 
Civil Axe Throwing – Campus 805
2620 Clinton Ave W, Suite B, Huntsville

This activity is FREE but Registration is required.
Members Only Registration through December 14.
Guest Registration available beginning Thursday, December 14 at 8 AM.

Please Note: All participants MUST wear close toed shoes.

Register Now

If you can’t make it to the gathering at Civil Axe Throwing, join us for an informal gathering at Straight to Ale afterwards to keep the party going! No registration required to attend the after-party.

November Recap and Coming Up Next

November 16, 2017  |  Meeting Info  |  Comments Off on November Recap and Coming Up Next

We hosted our largest crowd of the year yesterday at our November Luncheon featuring guest speaker Matt Maxey of Visit Franklin. He shared some tips and strategy for partnering with influencers.

Here’s a few takeaways:

  • 1st thing to consider when working with influencers is what is my need, what are desired results, who’s the right fit for me.
  • 3 kinds of influencers: paid, local and microinfluencers (people who are already talking about you)
  • Paid Influencers: Vet! Vet! Vet! Request a media kit. Determine clear deliverables up front. After you’ve vetted, trust them.
  • Microinfluencers are already talking about you. Talk back! Engage!
  • Local Influencers: Get to know your neighbors. They are your local businesses, local customers, local celebrities even. There are people in your community who are influencers for the audience you want to reach. Find them and get to know them.
  • Crowdriff = great tool for curating content from people talking about your brand
  • Their “Stories” page where they display social images collected through Crowdriff has an average 7.5 minute time per visitor!
  • Check out their Makers Series featuring artisans in their community sharing how Franklin inspires their work.
  • How do you find influencers for your brand? Search hashtags and once you find an influencer see who they follow.
  • After working with a paid influencer, have them follow up with analytics (30 days) to see how if it was successful
  • How to choose the right paid influencer: make sure you like their work and their style fits with your brand.
  • Everyone is an influencer!

Join us next month for our December Social. More details coming soon!

 

[November Luncheon] Inside Influencer Strategy

November 5, 2017  |  Meeting Info  |  Comments Off on [November Luncheon] Inside Influencer Strategy

 THE TOPIC

Working with influencers continues to be a hot topic among the PR community – in part, because brands have seen incredible success leveraging these strategic partnerships. This month we’ll hear from Matt Maxey, PR Manager for Visit Franklin, on how PR professionals can successfully incorporate this tactic into their own communications plan, increase earned and influencer media impressions, and create authentic advocacy for their organization.

THE SPEAKER

Matthew Maxey is the Public Relations Manager for Visit Franklin, located in Franklin, Tennessee, where, in less than two years, he has taken earned and influencer media impressions from a few hundred thousand to well over a billion annually.

Before Visit Franklin, Maxey was an independent PR consultant working with non-profits and media publications. He has also served in various communications and political director roles in elections for the Tennessee Legislature, Governor, and United States Congress. Maxey began his career in the sports market as the Assistant Director of Athletic Communications at the University of Tennessee at Martin.

When not working now, Maxey can is be found working as a freelance photographer shooting college and professional sporting events across the southeast.

IT’S BOGO TIME!

It’s membership drive time. NAPRCA members are encouraged to bring at least one guest to our November luncheon. A member’s first guest will receive FREE luncheon admittance. Help us continue to grow our chapter while doing something nice for a colleague. Remember, only NAPRCA members may bring one guest for free.

THE DETAILS

When: Wednesday, November 15

11:30 AM Networking & Lunch
12:00 PM NAPRCA Updates
12:15 PM Speaker Begins
1:00 PM Wrap Up

Where: Redstone Federal Credit Union
GPS Address: 220 Wynn Drive NW, Huntsville, AL 35893

Price: $20 for Non Members, $15 for Members, $12 for Students

November Special Offer: NAPRCA Members can bring one get FREE to our November meeting. 

Select to either pay online when you register OR register only and pay at the door when you arrive.

The RSVP deadline for the November Luncheon is Monday, November 13 at 5 PM.

Member Note: Whether you are paying online or in-person, in order to get a proper head count for lunch, please let us know if you will be bringing one guest for free, as part of the November BOGO special.

 

See you on Wednesday, November 15!

Next Meeting: Wednesday, November 15

October 19, 2017  |  Meeting Info  |  Comments Off on Next Meeting: Wednesday, November 15

NAPRCA’s next meeting will be Wednesday, November 15. We hope to see you there. More details coming soon! In the meantime, here’s a recap of some lessons learned from yesterday’s October meeting. Thank you again to our panel for their excellent insight about dealing with tough situations from a PR perspective.

The Panel
  • Megan Cotton Gully, Public Affairs Apecialist for the U.S. Army Materiel Command
  • Burr Ingram, Vice President-Communications & Marketing for Huntsville Hospital
  • Robert Lane, President/CEO of Carleton PR/LawCall
Take-aways
  • Ethics are personal and organizational. Ideally your personal values should match your organization’s. It certainly makes things a little simpler if they do!
  • Sometimes when several stakeholders are involved, you have to develop a strategy or response that satisfies the values of all involved as much as possible. Also, finding agreement among multiple (reliable) parties can also shine a light on the best choice. (Example: In the military, if legal reps and chaplains agree with the PR team’s decision about how to handle a sensitive situation, that’s a good sign.)
  • Legal regulations can sometimes make the ethical choices more obvious. (Example: patient privacy laws in healthcare)
  • Decide if you’re going to offer the best PR representation (to your client or organization) no matter what or is there a point where you’re going to walk away?
  • Know where you stand. Decide where the line is that you won’t cross and stick to it.
  • Speak up when you can correct inaccuracies. But beware of situations where responding to negative comments or statements you know to be false (on social media) will only bring them to the light and make them more visible.
  • Don’t lie because it’s unethical but also because it won’t work.
  • Don’t answer questions that you aren’t asked.
  • Social media is a tremendous opportunity but you have to be present and prepared to respond. You’re opening the door for every opinion (good/bad, reliable/unreliable).
  • It’s not a bad thing to recruit positive reviews. If someone has a good experience actively encourage them to share their comments.
  • Establish a track record of good decision making. Build trust with your organization so that you get a seat at the table and can handle potential problems before they happen.
  • Be as involved as you can from the beginning so you don’t just end up putting out fires on the back end.
  • Imagine the worst case scenario for your organization and then think about how you would handle it.
  • Be prepared. Know what the tough questions will be and how to answer them.
  • No one will believe you if you’re not upfront and honest from the start. Maintain a reputation for good ethical decision making.

Please join us for our final meeting of 2017 on Wednesday, November 15 at noon at Redstone Federal Credit Union on Wynn Drive. More details coming soon!

[October Luncheon] PResponsibly: Ethics in Communication

October 6, 2017  |  Meeting Info  |  Comments Off on [October Luncheon] PResponsibly: Ethics in Communication

THE TOPIC

In the new age of media, brands have more control than ever over their content and public image. However, with great power comes great responsibility. How do we ensure that we are practicing our profession to the highest ethical standard and battle the public perception of PR professionals as “spin doctors?”

We’ll get the answers to these questions and more from our three panelists, Burr Ingram, VP of Communications and Marketing at Huntsville Hospital, Megan Cotton Gully, Public Affairs Specialist for U.S. Army Materiel Command, and Robert Lane, President/CEO of Carleton PR, Inc.

Megan Cotton Gully, Public Affairs Apecialist for the U.S. Army Materiel Command
Megan Cotton Gully is a public affairs specialist for the U.S. Army Materiel Command at Redstone Arsenal. She increases understanding of AMC’s mission through community engagement, internal communications, and media relations. In March 2017, she deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan and managed social media accounts for NATO’s 39-member-nation coalition that is conducting ‘train, advise, and assist’ operations in Afghanistan. Prior to arriving at AMC, she served as a public affairs specialist at the U.S. Army Garrison-Redstone, where she was primarily responsible for planning and executing the command’s community engagement strategies and social media efforts. She also worked for the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command Public and Congressional Affairs Office, starting her career as a summer hire. She holds a Master of Arts in Public Affairs from the University of Alabama in Huntsville and a Bachelors of Arts in Communications and Public Relations from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. In 2016 she was name the Department of the Army’s Civilian Print Journalist of the Year and in 2015 she was named the Association of the United States Army- Redstone/Huntsville Chapter Civilian of the Year Support Staff.

 

Burr Ingram, Vice President-Communications & Marketing for Huntsville HospitalBurr Ingram has served as vice president of communications and marketing for Huntsville Hospital since 1988. Burr was raised in Montgomery and graduated from Auburn University in 1974. Prior to coming to Huntsville he worked with Baptist Medical Center and the Medical Association of the State of Alabama, both in Montgomery. In Huntsville he has served on the boards of several community organizations, including the American Heart Association, American Red Cross, United Way, Blount Hospitality House, Better Business Bureau, Junior Achievement of North Alabama, and the Christian Women’s Job Corp. He is a graduate Leadership Class 10 and a past board member of the program.

 

Robert Lane, President/CEO of Carleton PR/LawCall
With over 20 years of experience in marketing and public relations, Robert’s expertise is mapping out detailed strategy for effective promotions. He understands the subtleties of the issues and can create a plan that gets everyone what they want. Robert has worked extensively in telecommunications as a news anchor, promotions director and operations manager for over-the-air broadcasters. His projects have included the week-long televised City Election Forums, staging and coordinating live, televised hearings for the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals, producing An Evening with Willard Scott for The Arts Council, managing and producing 31 Law Line, a weekly live television show on legal issues, and the HomeTown Heroes program for Comcast and The Huntsville Times.

 

THE DETAILS

When: Wednesday, October 18

11:30 AM Networking & Lunch
12:00 PM NAPRCA Updates
12:15 PM Speaker Begins
1:00 PM Wrap Up

Where: Redstone Federal Credit Union
GPS Address: 220 Wynn Drive NW, Huntsville, AL 35893

Price: $20 for Non Members, $15 for Members, $12 for Students

Select to either pay in advance when you register OR register only and pay at the door when you arrive.

The RSVP deadline for the September Luncheon is Monday, October 16 at 5 PM.

 

See you on Wednesday, October 18!

Next Meeting: Wednesday, October 18

September 20, 2017  |  Meeting Info  |  Comments Off on Next Meeting: Wednesday, October 18

Excellent presentation today about how to make more effective pitches and get the media coverage you need. Many thanks to our panel from WHNT!

Denise Vickers, WHNT News Director

Paul Caron, WHNT Assistant News Director

David Kumbroch, WHNT Chief Digital Journalist

In case you missed it, here’s some helpful tips…

  • Build Relationships:  Get to know the media representatives and establish lines of communication so you’re not cold calling when you need their help.
  • Be a Partner: Help them out if they reach out to you. Offer an exclusive and give them a first shot to tell your story. Consume media and engage – share or like content. Understand it’s the news’ job to report news, even bad news. Work with media.
  • Pitch a Story (not the problem or the solution): Stories are what get people’s attention. Find a way to put a face to your message. Provide an emotional connection. (Example: Decatur Police launch “Law Paws” to help up adoptions at animal shelter)
  • Think Visual: Provide great photos and videos! Or provide an opportunity to easily get great visuals.
  • A News Release is not a Pitch
  • Timing is Everything: Be aware of what else is happening in the news and don’t pitch a story when you think it’ll get lost in the shuffle.

Please save the date to join us for our next meeting on Wednesday, October 18.
More details coming soon!