blog post: tips for strengthening client + agency relationships

I admit it: I have a lot of baseball on my mind these days. Not only are both NY teams poised to make playoff runs, but little league “fall ball” is now well underway. As such my weekends are now spent teaching 5th graders how to embrace their inner Derek Jeter. After an exciting opening weekend of little league, I couldn’t help but think about how fitting many of the rules of baseball are to my day job as a public relations practitioner. Not a baseball fan? No problem: here are a few easy-to-understand lessons I’ve soaked up from the ballfield over the years that also serve as important client service reminders for PR pros of all skill levels, whether you’re a rookie or a seasoned veteran. Play hard for all nine innings. In baseball, you can’t count on two really great innings to help you win a game; you need to play hard for all nine innings. The same approach applies to PR and media relations. One or two strong pieces of coverage are great (especially early on in an engagement), but you need to always be thinking ahead to what your plan is to secure a more steady drumbeat of media coverage throughout your entire campaign. A good old fashioned, weekly pitch strategy and calendar will go a long way here. A solid offense is important, but defense often wins games. A team can’t beat you if you keep them scoreless. In PR, proactive media relations and consistent media coverage are certainly important, but playing a tight defense can be equally as critical to your success. This may include providing in-the-moment strategic counsel on a particular issue or trend or being available to assist with a crisis response at a moment’s notice. Always know the count when you step up to the plate. As a batter in baseball, you always need to know how many balls and strikes you have on you to better determine your next move. The same applies to client management. If you have one strike against you in the client’s mind for any reason, think about what you need to do to get yourself out of a jam to land a timely hit with the client. This could entail bringing in fresh new team members to offer a new perspective or offering the client a complimentary service if they’ve been under-serviced. Be aggressive on the base paths. In baseball, every run counts and can often make the difference between winning and losing; sometimes a stolen base and fast base-running makes all the difference in the world. The same aggressive approach goes for media relations. If a tech reporter at the NY Post is unresponsive to your pitch, see if there’s a more local approach with the metro reporter… and so on. Be aggressive and go the extra distance when conducting media outreach, as it might be that 5th reporter who ends up biting on your story. So, the next time a client throws you a nasty curve ball or puts in a formidable lineup against your team, don’t fret: consider these baseball/PR tips, and you’ll be knocking it out of the park for your clients in no time.

press release: new product announcement

Char-Broil Introduces the First-of-Its-Kind SmartChef® TRU-Infrared® Gas Grill The innovative grill is Wi-Fi connected and syncs to your compatible smart device giving consumers state of the art monitoring and control capabilities COLUMBUS, Ga., Jan. 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Helping to revolutionize outdoor grilling, Char-Broil, one of the world's most respected outdoor cooking companies, announced their latest innovation: the Char-Broil® SmartChef® TRU-Infrared® Gas Grill ($799). Delivering 'real-time' alerts with state of the art monitoring and control, the Wi-Fi connected grill is the ultimate grilling experience and allows for consumers to spend more time with friends and family. With the SmartChef® Gas Grill app, available on iOS 9 and beyond, consumers can select their cook through control mode for a guided time, or temperature cook; or can select manual mode. Control Mode – Guided Cook – Select food and follow the step-by-step notifications. Time Cook – Select grill temperature and target time then monitor the cooking process. Temperature Cook – Select target probe temperature and monitor. Manual Mode – Control the grill manually while monitoring grill status and receive notifications. With a continued commitment to enhancing the outdoor cooking experience, the new Char-Broil® SmartChef® TRU-Infrared® Gas Grill addresses and alleviates a number of consumer challenges with grilling. Traditional methods of grilling can take time to finesse. With the support of the app, grilling perfectly cooked foods is attainable for all.The Char-Broil® SmartChef® TRU-Infrared® Gas Grill provides a number of state-of-the art features including: Grilling Independence – Easily monitor and control temperatures, cooking times, and flipping times right from a compatible smart device. Endless Inspiration – Choose from a library of recipes that connect to the SmartChef® grill for both control and manual cooking modes. No Flare-Ups & Juicier Food – With TRU-Infrared® cooking technology, it allows consumers to cook food evenly and receive up to 50% juicier results packed with even more flavor. "Having a guided cooking experience inspires grilling techniques, and gives consumers freedom to learn how to build their craft," said Brendan Anderson, Vice President, Marketing and Product Management at Char-Broil. "For Char-Broil it's all about creating a better product and that includes smart technology, too. We're proud to add The Char-Broil® SmartChef® TRU-Infrared® Gas Grill to our family of grills."The Char-Broil® SmartChef® TRU-Infrared® Gas Grill will be available for purchase at retailers and the Char-Broil website. About Char-Broil, LLC: Based in Columbus, GA, Char-Broil, LLC (www.charbroil.com) is one of the world's oldest and most respected outdoor cooking companies. The company manufactures a complete line of gas, charcoal and electric grills, as well as smokers, fryers, and grilling accessories. Since 1948 Char-Broil® has been America's favorite gas grill brand. In addition to the Char-Broil® brand, the company manufactures and manages a portfolio of quality outdoor cooking brands including Oklahoma Joe's®, Dancook™ and SABER®.

Website copy: open letter from Subway CEO outlining company's pandemic response

The events of the past few weeks have been unprecedented as the world grapples with the challenges brought on by COVID-19. Each of us has been impacted in some way, with stringent health precautions taking hold and social norms being upended. We’ve reached an important crossroad where the decisions we make today will shape how we rebound tomorrow. As we continue to navigate changes to our day-to-day lives, we’ve witnessed one common and ever-present theme among us – that we are neighbors. As a company proud of our roots and commitment to serving communities all over the globe, we have come together now more than ever in so many ways, and the impact is echoing throughout our global Subway® family. Our Goal to Provide 15 Million Meals to Feed Our Neighbors. Over the last several weeks, the examples of kindness, support and compassion for each other around the world have been inspirational. It’s a reminder how deeds, both small and grand, can bring us together. We are pleased to announce that with the help of loyal guests, Franchise Owners and Sandwich Artists™, we donated 15 million meals to Feeding America® to help feed people in need during this challenging time. In addition, Team Subway has mobilized to help feed those in our communities who are in need as well as those working on the frontline in our healthcare facilities: In the U.K. and Ireland, more than 250,000 subs, salads and wraps, as well as cookies and pastries, have been donated to hard-working staff members of the National Health Service, emergency service and care homes. In Canada, Team Subway committed to donating up to 1.5 million meals to Food Banks Canada** and committed to feeding local frontline volunteers and employees of affiliated food banks across the nation. Hundreds of Franchise Owners across Latin America partnered together to donate more than 87,500 six-inch subs to hospitals, healthcare workers and other first responders. Subway Franchises across New Zealand donated more than 17 tons of fresh produce to various local food charities serving the country’s most vulnerable people. In the U.S., Team Subway has donated thousands of sandwiches and meals to healthcare workers, first responders, and impacted families and children. For example, in New York City, where the impact of this virus has hit especially hard, Subway Franchise Owner Jeffrey Kaplow is doing his part to feed health care workers at the city’s overwhelmed hospitals. Watch Jeff’s story here. Our Commitment to Keeping Restaurants Open and Safe. Our franchisee community is the backbone of Team Subway, and we’re doing everything possible to help mitigate the strains and stresses being placed on them, including: Provided financial relief and support Reinforced our stringent health and food safety standards, such as wearing gloves when making sandwiches and individually wrapping and sealing your subs Introduced enhanced procedures, such as hourly restaurant cleanings, especially in high-touch areas such as door handles and credit card terminals Sourced masks and protective shields for restaurant employees, and implemented social distancing guidelines for guests and employees Issued guidance for conducting wellness checks of restaurant staff at the start of each shift How We’re Providing Contactless Convenience Adapting to this ever-evolving landscape also means finding creative solutions to give our guests the best Subway experience possible – whether that’s providing the greatest value, creating different solutions for guests to access essentials, or delivering contactless convenience. We are introducing new nationwide, limited-time offers to help guests keep their food costs down. At participating restaurants, our Family Takeout Special includes a FREE Footlong when you buy two Footlongs. A limited number of restaurants are testing a grocery store concept to provide their communities with access to fresh produce and other Subway favorites as grocery stores struggle to meet the demand of online ordering. Other Subway owners have launched Subway Marketplace where you can enjoy many of your favorite Subway subs at home, including bread and a variety pre-packaged meats and vegetables. We continue to make it easy and convenient to order your food with the Subway app and through order.subway.com, and we offer options to safely pickup your meals with curbside pick-up at many locations. Subway delivery is also free for a limited time through our delivery providers, who are also offering no-contact delivery options. For 55 years, Subway has been a part of communities across the globe, helping them grow and thrive. Even during these challenging times, we will continue to build on that tradition and work to meet your needs because we believe, together, we will emerge from this stronger than before.

press release: new client partnership

RetailMeNot Taps SHIFT Communications as Corporate Communications AOR NEW YORK, July 31, 2019 – RetailMeNot, Inc., a premier online and mobile savings destination for consumers, today announced that is has selected SHIFT Communications as its corporate communications agency of record. SHIFT’s New York office was brought on to continue to fuel awareness for the RetailMeNot corporate brand, positioning the company a leader in consumer behavior and marketing insights that are valuable to retailers, restaurants and other advertisers. The agency will provide public relations support for RetailMeNot including earned media outreach, thought leadership and measurement. “RetailMeNot is a must-visit destination for consumers looking to save on the things they love the most,” said Alan Marcus, Managing Director for SHIFT’s New York office. “We’re delighted to partner with RetailMeNot to help further the brand as a trusted resource for providing online, mobile and in-store retail and dining trends.” Based in Austin, Texas, RetailMeNot helps consumers save with thousands of their favorite retailers, brands, restaurants and pharmacies. The company is also recognized for its retail technology innovations and outstanding work culture. “We are looking forward to partnering with SHIFT to increase our presence in business and trade press, ensuring that our insights and data are reported to those who need it most,” said Michelle Skupin, senior director of marketing and communications at RetailMeNot. “SHIFT has an incredible track record, and we look forward to the great work ahead.” About SHIFT Communications SHIFT Communications is an award-winning integrated communications firm that represents some of the best-known enterprise and consumer brands, including Citrix, McDonald's, Simon Premium Outlets, Red Hat and RSA Conference. SHIFT Communications' 100+ employees are located in the New York, Boston and San Francisco. Established in 2003, SHIFT is an AVENIR GLOBAL company. For more information on SHIFT's data-driven approach to marketing and public relations visit http://www.shiftcomm.com/. About RetailMeNot, Inc. RetailMeNot, Inc. is a leading savings destination bringing people and the things they love together through savings with retailers, brands, restaurants and pharmacies. RetailMeNot makes everyday life more affordable through online and in-store coupon codes, cash back offers, discount gift cards and the RetailMeNot Genie browser extension. Savings are also provided in consumers' mailboxes through the RetailMeNot Everyday™ direct mail package, and at the pharmacy with RxSaver by RetailMeNot.RetailMeNot is a wholly owned subsidiary of Harland Clarke Holdings. To learn more, visit www.retailmenot.com/corp or follow @RetailMeNot on social media.