A Time to Say “Thank You”

November 23, 2010 § Leave a comment

Written by Jessica Vollrath

Instead of providing my insight on a PR trend or topic, I wanted to touch on this important week of Thanksgiving. 

This time of year is always my favorite.  The month of November is the time of the year to take in the smell of pumpkin candles, fall foliage, Sunday night football, pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks and the perfect time to bring out those warm, cozy sweaters that have been hiding in your closet during the summer months.

November is also home to my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving.  How can you not enjoy this holiday?  The Macy’s Day Parade, the beginning of Christmas and holiday cheer, football and of course, plenty of turkey and all the Thanksgiving Day fixings.  But, Thanksgiving is also a time to take a step back from our busy schedules and appreciate the things in our lives that we can be thankful for.

Thank You for my Job

As I reflect on my own life, there are so many things I am thankful for.  In this very tough economy we are living in today, I am thankful for my job.  I love PR and the team at VA and am very happy we bring value to our clients’ communication programs and continue to help them add value to their clients, customers and shareholders.

Thank You Clients

I am also very thankful for our clients.  Every client we work with is unique.  I want to say to all our clients “Thank You” for trusting our team with your news and stories every day.  At VA, we enjoy being an extension of your team and look forward to adding value to your business and growth plans now and in the future.

Thank You Co-Workers

I want to say thank you to my co-workers at VA. In fact, I think all of us should say “Thank You” to those we work with every day.  These are the people that see us when we have our best days and our worst days, our happy days and our crabby days.  

Thank You Veterans and Active-Day Military

Recently, my great uncle Fred was selected to be a part of the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight.  This organization enables World War II veterans to fly to the WWII Memorial in Washington D.C.  These honorable veterans, most of them in their 80s or older,  fly to Washington D.C. and back in one day, to be surprised at their ending point at Mitchell International Airport by their family members and many others applauding, crying and honoring them as they walk through a sea of supporters.  This definitely brings a tear to your eye, at least it did to me, and I just want to say “Thank You” to my dear uncle Fred for fighting for our country and all our military men and women who have risked their lives for ours.

Thank You Family and Friends

And of course, I want to say “Thank You” to my family and friends.  Without you (and you know who you all are) I would not be the person I am today.  It is all of you who fill my heart with love and laughter and help me navigate this journey called life.  Thank you for all the little things that you do – I appreciate them every day.

 So, make today the day that you reach out to your co-worker, boss, great uncle, client, spouse, best friend and family and say “Thank You.”  Those words are what should be celebrated during this week of Thanksgiving.

Have you had your VA today?

November 16, 2010 § 1 Comment

Do you find yourself running out of interesting things to say at the water cooler?  Have you fallen off of the social media bandwagon? Do you crave the latest industry data and market trends?

If you answered yes to any of the above, then congratulations, you’ve come to the right place! 

At Vollrath Associates, it’s our job to stay up-to-date on the latest and greatest in the world of investor relations, public relations and marketing communications.  We even know a thing or two about the environment.

And then an idea came to us…why not create a place where we can share our expertise and experiences with you?  Since we’re still learning, we invite you to share your comments and give us plenty of feedback—the good, the bad and the ugly.  As communications professionals, we love to give and take; it’s what we do best!

Check back early and often for best results.  Continued reading of this blog may even cause you to learn something new.  The Vollrath Associates company blog: finally, something worthy to tweet about.

Now, you’re probably wondering what exactly a public relations professional does in a typical day.  We’ve got the inside scoop:

What is a Typical Day Like at a Public Relations Firm?

Busy! We are actively serving our clients and making sure they are getting the best possible exposure for all the meaningful things they are doing. Here is what a typical day can consist of for an account executive at VA:

8 a.m. Make coffee, check and answer emails, review the calendar and read the news. Tip: Caffeine helps – really helps. We have a saying around here: “I caffeinate, therefore I am.”

8:30 a.m.  Coordinate any number of projects, including print quotes, photo shoots, mailings, events, design projects, etc. Tip: Working with the printer is sometimes like solving an SAT question. If you received a print quote for four different postcards at a quantity of 5,000 for each version at a total quantity of 20,000 for $1,775, why would five different postcards at a quantity of 5,000 for each version at a total quantity of 25,000 not be $2,218? I’ll let you mull that one over. 

9 a.m. Attend staff meeting to discuss the status of client projects and brainstorm. Now after solving the math problem with the printer – more coffee is needed. Tip: It also helps to have a treat!

9:30 a.m. Research new technologies and social media platforms and update social media for our firm and clients. Yes, we get to be on Facebook and Twitter at work. Tip: Make sure you are not on a client’s Facebook page when you decide to update your Facebook friends about the really cool tattoo you got of your cat. Scratch that! That would never happen anyway because you are not on your personal Facebook page during work hours. Moving on… 

10 a.m. Attend a photo shoot for an article we’ve secured for a client in a local publication. Tip: Ask the photographer to see the photos on her camera before she leaves. You may want her to take more photos at different angles. Try not to tackle the photographer in order to delete the photos you don’t like. 

11:30 a.m. Meet with a client for lunch to discuss new opportunities such as speaking events, award nominations, newsletters, press releases, etc. Tip: Don’t speak with your mouth full – you might have a really good idea that gets lost somewhere between the bread and the ham.

1 p.m. Pitch reporters on potential ideas for stories and placements. Tip: Three emails and two phone calls in one hour to one reporter may classify you as a stalker.

2 p.m. Create media lists and issue relevant news. Tip: Target your audience. Your client who sells model trains is not going to be of interest to Shape magazine, unless there is a feature article geared toward women who build model trains for fun and exercise. Really?

3 p.m. Meet with the designer to review marketing materials for a client.  Tip: Be really nice to your designers. If we’ve learned anything from Disney and their cartoon animations – it’s to always stay on your designer’s good side. 

5 p.m. Write and edit a really cool blog. Tip: Be human (as opposed to the monster that comes out in all of us).

And once a quarter:

6 p.m. – 10 p.m.  Write, edit and obtain approval for client earnings release.  Tip: Bring a pillow for short naps between edits and final approval.

5 a.m. (next day)  Make sure earnings release is distributed through the wire service and loaded to the client’s website. Tip: Definitely drink strong coffee to get through the rest of the day!

So what is the best thing about a typical day at a PR firm? Every day is different. Each day presents itself with new opportunities to multi-task and execute and develop our clients’ stories.

Where Am I?

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