We have all kinds of weeks: “show weeks” (when our clients have weekend public events), planning weeks, production weeks, and “just-get-it-done” weeks.
This week has been a “nice” week, filled with meaningful work that makes us feel… nice.
On Monday night, the Women’s Housing Coalition hosted hundreds of guests at a Twilight Garden Party fundraiser (which we planned and coordinated). The gods always look out for our clients—the dark skies and downpour cleared out 90 minutes before the start of the event. WHC supporters enjoyed a lavish buffet and a signature cocktail (which we enjoyed tasting and tweaking a few weeks ago), and heard moving stories of how WHC helps homeless women become independent and return to leading productive, fulfilling lives with their children.
On Tuesday, we helped Business Volunteers (formerly Business Volunteers Unlimited Maryland) announce its new name and identity, and kick-off the celebration of its 10th anniversary. We have long—supported Business Volunteers’ mission to strengthen the community by connecting people and businesses with nonprofits that need their help and developing active civic leaders.
Last night, Rabbi David Rosen spoke about religious tolerance and pluralism to an overflow crowd at the Institute of Christian & Jewish Studies 25th anniversary lecture series. We were delighted to help promote this event and encourage the important conversation.
This afternoon, we are all off to the Gwynns Falls Trail, a local greenway of parks and landmarks, to volunteer our services in beautifying the trail. It will be nice to be outdoors, but we are most excited to contribute to the upkeep of a great Baltimore recreation area.
We are having a nice time.
June 6, 2013 Comments Off
Despite our “leave early on Friday!” policy during the summer, we’re all still here. Next week will be BIG for many of our clients, and we’re making sure they’re ready and set to go. On their (and our) agenda next week:
- The Women’s Housing Coalition annual fundraising party is Monday night—a beautiful cicada-free garden party.
- Rabbi David Rosen, former Chief Rabbi of Ireland, will be the keynote speaker at the Institute for Christian & Jewish Studies’ 25th Anniversary Speaker Series Wednesday evening.
- The new identity we have been developing for a client will be presented for approval to its board of directors.
- We will be letting the media know about another client’s new brand identity introduction.
- The Maryland Science Center will host six special events and activities, including the ever-popular Carnival Science.
- We will be presenting a new marketing strategy to a long-time client, shifting the focus from product pitching to introducing the experience—because that’s what their new generation of customers want.
- One of our clients will sign contracts to be the title sponsor of six festivals in six markets across the country.
- We’ll renew our contract with a client to begin our sixth year of working with them.
May 31, 2013 Comments Off
Near the end of a busy week and the beginning of a holiday weekend, we’re having conversations about our conversations. As we’ve noticed before, we talk about a lot of unusual topics—all in the name of client work, of course.
This week, we waxed prolific about motocross competitions, space cosmos, Gladiolus, being knighted by the Pope, being knighted by the Queen, nicknames for dads, pixels vs. points, chinchillas, copyright law, pizza printing, Sherlockian societies, starch in men’s shirts, varieties of silk, Tom Cruise graffiti art, slim fit vs. classic fit, feral cat rescue, Robert Downey Jr., the proximity of jails to high schools and colleges, a neon-painted water tower, chocolate cicadas, fried cicadas, Old Bay cicadas, sheet cakes, Baz Luhrmann, the average number of steps for an office worker, craft beers, “selfies” at graduation, simple syrup, sunglasses, soccer, allergies to grapefruit, the differences between dollar store chains, and Brown Liquor Bars (hmmm… lots of talk this week about alcohol).
All in all, good discussion yielding great work.
May 24, 2013 Comments Off
As is always the case on Monday mornings, we have been sharing stories about our weekend adventures: Preakness festivities, weddings, art shows, sports tournaments, museum visits, a baptism. While recounting our personal stories of revelry, competition, culture and celebration of milestones, we are (as is always the case) reminded of our work.
Our recollection of our weekend experiences was prompted by the “takeaways” that extended the experiences beyond the race, the ceremony, or the exhibit. Our Black Eyed Susan cocktails at the Preakness were served in commemorative glasses so that at home, each cocktail, or glass of juice, or swig of milk could be a reminder of May 18, 2013. Guests at the wedding were presented with boxes of the bride and groom’s favorite candy so that for days after, the memory of the wedding would be (literally and figuratively) savored. At the museum, children participating in an interactive scavenger hunt recorded their results on personalized tally sheets, perfect for posting on a bedroom bulletin board or shared during classroom “show and tell” – another extension (and promotion) of the experience.
Today, some of us will be planning how we will “extend the experience” for a client’s customers at the six summer events we are coordinating for them around the country. The sunglasses, glow sticks and t-shirts do more than put our client’s logo in the hands (and on the bodies) of their customers: they remind their audience of the good time and positive feeling they had, create that all-important positive association, and extend the relationship beyond the moment of the event.
May 20, 2013 Comments Off
A few less walls. A lot more blinking lights. Plenty of places to chat.
It’s a new week, and we’re excited to start using the new renovations to our office space. A couple of walls are gone, making it easier for us to share (and shout) between spaces and levels. Our new server (installed so we could work quicker and more efficiently) has added a spaceship-esque-ness to our equipment room—lots of flashing lights and colorful wires! We’ve rearranged a bit and brought in some new furniture so there are now four dedicated and comfortable areas for collaboration and collective creativity.
The renovations are more than “easy” and “comfortable.” They reflect the changes in how we work and how we help our clients. There are more partnerships and less boundaries between PR (and our) functions. Everything happens quicker. With our office renovations, our form now follows our function.
May 13, 2013 Comments Off
From Caitlin McKelvey, a graduating senior who interned with Himmelrich PR this past semester.
As a University of Maryland student, my classroom course content focused on producing various writing products used in public relations. As a Himmelrich PR intern, the understanding of the PR process and how the writing product is used in a marketing strategy became apparent—and came with lessons learned.
My internship was more than intern busy work, and gave me the opportunity to work with a team of PR pros—brainstorming, devising messages, themes and taglines, and finding advertising opportunities—to problem solve so we could meet client goals. I also provided input on proposed project plans and developed pitches for online publications and bloggers. Every day offered new learning experiences and new chances to explore a variety of public relations tactics.
I’m closing this chapter of my education with a new understanding of the process of public relations, especially these key lessons:
- It takes a village—no individual can create public relations success. It takes a team to communicate effectively, and rely on each other for support to create greater opportunity for success.
- Outcome comes from input—the work and experience is equal to the dedication— asking lots of questions, conducting extensive research and putting in the hard work will yield successful results and positive rewards.
- Show, not tell—no one wants to be simply told information. The challenge is in finding ways to make even the most simple concepts or news an opportunity to share, check-in or update.
- There are no mistakes, only learning opportunities—things usually don’t go as planned. Constructive criticism, learning from mistakes, and moving forward means that the next project will be even better.
As my final semester ends, and I prepare for graduation, I move on with direction, goals and a new found confidence in my future in PR—confidence that could only come from my recent real world experience.
May 10, 2013 Comments Off
Big plans this summer
With corporate sponsorships
We love fireworks.
May 6, 2013 Comments Off
From Blair Johnson, a Himmelrich PR intern who will be graduating in May from Towson University:
When asked in my interview for my internship at Himmelrich PR, “How do you define public relations?” I scrambled to come up with an answer. I can tell you examples of good PR and bad PR and I’ve created a fake PR campaign for class, but when asked to define the top subject that has been the sole focus of my higher education, I drew a blank. It might have been interview jitters, but maybe I struggled because I didn’t completely understand PR. Being an intern has helped me grasp not only the concept of PR, but has taught me valuable, practical lessons that I will be able to use in the future.
Being an intern at Himmelrich PR exceeded any expectations I had. Not only did I get to do meaningful work instead of just mundane tasks, but I was actually asked for my input. I saw a successful, fast-paced work environment first-hand and grasped a better understanding of what effective public relations consists of. The most valuable lessons I will take away from my internship are:
- Get to the point. Press materials, media pitches or emails shouldn’t be too lengthy. You want to get your point across in a concise, captivating manner.
- Don’t pass up any opportunity. Attend client meetings when given the chance. Join group brainstorming efforts. Participate in as many conversations as possible. Find a way to put yourself out there and contribute.
- Speak in different voices. Having an understanding of the client’s point of view, voice and vision is essential in writing effective social media content, press releases and other communications that represent them.
- It isn’t by the book. While you may learn a lot in classes, it’s the real world experiences that will teach you the most. Don’t be afraid to take chances, lose the fear of being wrong or taking missteps—you’ll get much more out of your internship that way.
In addition to these lessons, I now know that public relations is not just one thing, or singularly defined. I was able to see it’s an ever-evolving approach to meeting the varying aspects of client’s goals—whether it’s planning events, generating attendance, coordinating sponsorships or facilitating a rebranding project. I will always be grateful for the skills I have developed this past semester, and for the better understanding I have of a field I now know I want to pursue a career in.
May 2, 2013 Comments Off
Tens of thousands of visitors and hundreds of artists packed the Maryland State Fairgrounds this past weekend for the final Sugarloaf Crafts Festival of the spring season. It was all good: record setting crowds and $1.2 million in artist sales meant it was a great weekend for our client!
The new high for attendance was certainly helped by a new high for media coverage—including 13 segments on all four Baltimore TV stations (check out the stories on WBAL and WMAR), a cover story in the Live! section of the Baltimore Sun and a cover story in the Carroll County Times. Hundreds of online mentions, including the Baltimore Sun’s “50 top spring events in Baltimore,” and CBS Baltimore’s “Best Upcoming Spring Art Festivals or Events in Baltimore,” also contributed to the big boost in attendance.
We’ve set the bar high… we’ve ended on a high note… we’re—well, you get it. We are looking forward to topping our promotional efforts in the fall with the next six Sugarloaf Craft Festivals.
April 30, 2013 Comments Off
For many years, we have recognized National Volunteer Week (this week) by promoting the work of Business Volunteer Unlimited Maryland. BVU creates opportunities for business professionals to engage in meaningful volunteer service throughout Baltimore. The nonprofit’s annual Volunteer Week celebration is always a great event for connecting earnest professionals with the deserving organizations that need their help. But this year, BVU’s celebration will be in June to coincide with its 10th anniversary festivities, so we were left this week to think about… ourselves.
Since Himmelrich PR was founded in 1997, we have been committed to volunteerism and community service. As president Steve Himmelrich said in March in a magazine interview about the firm’s volunteer activities, “We want to share our good fortune with those who might be able to benefit from our interests, talents and eagerness to help.”
This week, we have reflected on our volunteer contributions. Our firm has provided pro bono public relations and strategic planning services to dozens of local nonprofits, including many working in education, the arts, homelessness, and mental illness. Our people have sat on and taken leadership roles with boards, committees and commissions. We have shoveled, painted, glued and hauled in an effort to create cleaner and brighter neighborhoods.
In the past year, and as a team, we planted trees and harvested crops at a nonprofit farm. We collected hundreds of gifts and wrapped presents for the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program. Individuals in our office picked up trash from streams leading into the Chesapeake Bay, beautified neighborhood parks, assisted military veterans and families during deployment, coordinated programs for trade associations, served meals to homeless men and women at four different facilities, and rebuilt homes destroyed by natural disasters.
We’re proud of what we do—not only for our clients, but also for our neighbors and our community.
April 25, 2013 Comments Off