Join us for our next GFW PRSA luncheon on Wednesday, January 9, at Colonial Country Club!

Join us for our first GFW PRSA luncheon of 2019! Hear from Eric Harris, Founder of GatherRound, who will share how to sell ideas and tell stories without relying on presentation slides.

What’s with modern businesses’ dependence on presentation software? Why are 30 million decks being prepared EVERY DAY, when slides have proven to be the least effective method for selling in ideas? There’s a science to the dependency, and when you understand it, you can overcome it.

As communicators and marketers, we are challenged with selling abstract ideas and concepts that our audiences can’t really understand, unless we do our part in bringing these stories to life. Join us as Eric Harris takes us through:

  • The science of addiction to slides
  • Storytelling as an antidote to deck addiction
  • A storytelling formula you can use right away

 Many thanks to our January luncheon sponsor, TCU Bob Schieffer College of Communication!

Bob Schieffer College[4]

When: Wednesday, January 9, 2019, 11:30 A.M.  – 1:00 P.M.

Where: Colonial Country Club 

Register here.

Steeped In History: December PR History

Written by: Jeff Rodriguez, Historian

Long before there was a Tea Party, there was the Tea Party.

As we know, the Boston Tea Party was a protest against British taxation, as a band of Colonists disguised as Native Americans boarded three British ships and dumped their stock of tea into the harbor. It occurred on the night of December 16, 1773, and it was one of first great public relations efforts in our history; it also may have been one of the nicest.

According to contemporary media reports, none of the British sailors were hurt, the tea was the only merchandise damaged, and when one of “Indians” was caught trying to steal some, his associates ran him off. The raiders even replaced a padlock that had been broken and helped sweep the decks afterward. If only our visiting relatives were so thoughtful.

The group’s efforts were very well-received by the media. One paper’s headline read, “High Tea in Boston Harbor — Band of ‘Mohawks’ dump 342 chests of Darjeeling off Griffin’s Wharf.” The raid was called a “happy event,” with a number of “brave & resolute men” doing “all in their power to save their country from ruin.”

Missing among the admirers were George Washington and Ben Franklin, the latter of whom reportedly offered to personally reimburse the Brits (no doubt with Benjamins).

As we know, the British responded to the raid by cracking down harder on the Colonists. And the Colonists responded by, well, starting a new nation. Since that triumph, our nation has enjoyed a rich history, one that has been frequently celebrated on film by many great American actors, including Daniel Day-Lewis, Christian Bale, Henry Cavill and Mel Gibson. We did win the war, right?

All of which goes to show: When it comes to great PR, sometimes, it’s okay to go a little bit overboard.

Join us for our Holiday Happy Hour on Tuesday, December 4, at 5:30 p.m.!

Join us for our next GFW PRSA luncheon on Wednesday, November 14, at Colonial Country Club!

As a relatively new frontier, digital is a discipline that has generally been left to specialists. However, we’re not always lucky enough to have one of these specialists on hand when a prospect or client asks questions or indicates an interest in exploring this realm. As digital tactics and strategies become more integrated, if not inseparable, from PR and communications, the ability to talk digital is more important than ever. In this presentation, Jim Lin (Partner/SVP, Ketchum Digital) will share relevant points and best practices on digital tactics that brands and organizations are asking about today. With this knowledge, you will become dangerous enough to get your client or prospect to the next meeting, when you can bring a specialist into the room to take it the rest of the way.

When: Wednesday, November 14, 2018, 11:30 AM  – 1:00 PM

Where: Colonial Country Club 

Register here.

Wanna Get Away? October PR History

When the going gets tough, the tough get going – on a taxpayer-subsidized vacation. And that’s exactly what the executives at insurance giant AIG did in September 2008, when they flew out for a relaxing vacation at the swanky St. Regis hotel in southern California. And boy, did they need it: Just six days earlier, AIG had received an $85 billion government bailout. Apparently they converted it into traveler’s checks.

To their credit, the AIG execs made the most of their trip, spending a whopping $440,000. The tab included $10,000 in bar bills, $1,400 in salon expenses and $23,000 at the spa, where they racked up thousands of frequent-rubber miles.

AIG’s Most Excellent Vacation hit the media in early October and was a PR disaster. The New York Daily News may have summed it up best with their headline: “AIG big shots get $500G vacations on taxpayers’ dime.” And when it was reported that rooms at the St. Regis ran up to $1,200 a night, one Congressman pointedly remarked, “That’s more than some of my constituents pay on a mortgage payment on homes they’re now losing.”

To their defense, AIG had planned the trip before the bailout. They also tipped generously, spending another $3,000 of (taxpayer) money. And whenever possible, they used a Groupon.

But give AIG credit for being consistent. Just three months before the bailout, they fired the CEO — and gave him a $15 million parachute. And in 2014, another AIG CEO sued the government, complaining that the bailout was not generous enough. Meanwhile, several other executives are still hoping for a lucrative movie deal offer from Oliver Stone.

All of which should help PR pros remember: You never want to have bad optics. But if you do, at least make sure your room has a nice view.