May 25, 2011

May 2011 Meeting Recap

Although it was a relatively small meeting yesterday, the payoff was great. We were honored that Jeff Nene, from Convoy of Hope, was able to take time away from the Joplin efforts to speak to our group about crisis communication, strategic communication and the power of a story. He was able to easily draw on the recent examples to show how his organization works with the media and other audiences to communicate a strong message. Below are the highlights:

  • Multi-faceted career: Started education pursuing a criminal justice degree. Decided ministry was more of what he was wanting. So he went to a bible college to pursue that. From there he went into television. Now he works for Convoy of Hope doing public relations.
  • Telling the story is important
  • Why did Convoy make the big push into public relations?
  • Always has had a PR position but didn’t always know the value and importance of it.
  • The organization was growing so fast in the past 9.5 years that focusing on PR in the beginning wasn’t made a priority.
  • Past 8 or 9 months the organization decided they needed to look into how to get the word out more about their organization and the needs they help with.
  • With the Haiti earthquake and the aid Convoy of Hope provided, the organization got ahold of the Jonas bothers. The brothers tweeted about Convoy of Hope’s efforts which brought national attention and crashed their website because of the volume of people.
  • After the publicity from the organization’s Haiti efforts Convoy of Hope realized the value of good public relations.
  • The department is split in two areas, the writing side and the relation side.
  • The organization realized they needed to better their media list from their simple excel spreadsheet to a license with Vocus. The media coverage Convoy of Hope received because they reached the right reporters at the right time was astronomical.
  • Shortly after they started using Vocus, March 1, the March 11 Japan earthquake hit, and they had to rush to reach the right people. With the use of Vocus the organization reached people they have never reached before. CNN, and other national news outlets have spoken about the organization.
  • The program also has a great back end reporting function.
  • Power of a story
  • The impact a story can have in pulling the audience in is important.
  • If you can find a compelling story then you’ve got your audiences.
  • Jeff challenged the meeting to find our story and tell it.
  • Think about your organization and what makes it unique.
  • Stories grab people’s attention.
  • The stories of how you’re helping or of what’s going on is what brings the audience.
  • Text CONVOY to 50555 to make a donation to the organization.
  • For every $1 donated to Convoy of Hope $7 worth of goods is given as relief.
  • Believing in what you’re talking about is important and crucial to getting the story out.
  • Jeff recommends organizations develop a checklist for if a disaster or accident happens, what steps are followed. Have the plan and if you can, rehearse it.
  • The plan most likely won’t be executed the way it is written but at least there is a guideline to go by.






May 20, 2011

Press releases still relevant

On this rainy, gloomy day in Springfield, take heart PR pros! What we all knew to be the truth has just been confirmed via research: a new survey of journalists shows that journalists still rely on traditional PR methods for the facts and much of their initial story-building. Social media and less traditional methods are still gaining credibility and popularity - and some day they may be the first thing a reporter looks at - I'm sure this depends on your market - but the journalists polled in the study still wanted a press release. Read the article here
What are the takeaways:
1. Know your audience - know which journalists want different forms of communication and how to best reach them
2. Stay up-to-date with the latest communication methods - understand the benefits, styles and needs for each type of social media
3. Integrate your communications plan to best accomodate all audiences - an integrated plan means you should never get left completely behind and that you are working with early and late adopters

May 10, 2011

May Meeting Update

We’ve had a change of plans for our May meeting. Our speaker will be Jeff Nene, senior director of public relations for Convoy of Hope in Springfield. Jeff will talk about Convoy of Hope’s decision to place more emphasis on public relations. Learn why the organization made that strategic communications shift and how it has benefitted them. Convoy of Hope made another decision just before the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, and Jeff will talk about that. Also learn about “the power of a story.”

Peter Shankman in Lawrence!

Ben Smith, of Social: IRL sent this opportunity to extend to our chapter.

Just a quick follow up on the Peter Shankman boot camp Social: IRL is hosting in Lawrence in July.

If you aren't familiar with Peter Shankman, you can read his bio at: Peter founded HARO, advises Fortune 500 corporations, is a respected VC and angel investor, acclaimed author and regular interviewee on national and international media.

The boot camp will focus on customer service in the socal age - engaging prospects, providing customer service, customer generated PR, creating brand advocates. Lots of powerful content. You can read more at: The event is about to go live on but I wanted to offer prior Social: IRL attendees a final pre-sale opportunity. The event registration is a fraction of the cost you'd typically pay to see Peter keynote, let alone in a boot camp format.
The discounted pre-sale rates are:

  • Regular registration $145
  • Non-profit registration $120
  • Student registration $95
  • Group registration $500

 These are some substantial discounts and won't be available after the event is live on At this point the pre-sale discounts arent available online, you'd need to call me to process registration and payment over the phone. You can reach me at 785-423-4538.


Hope you'll be able to take advantage of this opportunity to learn from Peter, an industry leader I have a great deal of respect for an an excited to be working with, and to make accessible for a much more afordable registration rate than just about any other event he's ever been part of.


May 9, 2011

Joplin's Crisis Notes

For those of you who weren't able to attend the April meeting, here are some great notes about the discussion:

City of Joplin & MoDot Preparing for Snow Storm

  • News outlets calling asking for preparation plans, ride alongs with salt trucks and snow plows. 
  • Customer Service calls 
  • MoDot took 3,500 calls regarding the storm 
  • MoDot phone bank has 2 full time people answering and an additional 17 to pull from during snow fall season. 
  • City did internal communications to ensure all city workers had the correct information for if they got a call from someone. 
  • Joplin Mayor declared the city a disaster area and told citizens to stay off the roads so they could prepare and clear them 
  • Prepared talking points a week in advance.  
  • 400 linear miles of roads.  
  • City does not plow residential roads. Mall shut down for two days. Missouri Southern closed for a week.  
  • By that Wednesday citizens wanted out. 
  • Grated snow on the roads so cars could get around.  
  • The snow fell so hard and so fast that doing much prep work for the roads was tough. Smaller crews were pulled to work on I-44.  
  • Calls starting to take too long per call.  
  • Governor told MoDot to clear county roads. Their normal roads weren’t in good condition yet.  
  • Some issues can’t be touched on in a news release. 
  • Citizens needing food once their government checks were deposited, needed oxygen, doctors couldn’t get to the hospitals. 
  • Medical community was told the National Guard would be plowing their roads. But they ended up saying they couldn’t do it. 
  • City’s audience was stuck at home MoDot’s audience was out on the road. 
  • News releases started including roads that were cleared and citizens were to assume the rest were covered.  
  • MoDots social media was huge. 800 to 28,000 followers on facebook. Had conversations with facebook users. 
  • Users became advocates of MoDot for their response to the snow.  
  • MoDot’s community became Facebook and Twitter 
  • Oklahoma shut down I-44. They have concrete guard rails but had 8 ft snow drifts.  
  • Trucks were a big issue on the roads. Large trucking traffic. MoDot had to communicate with Springfield and other communities to help stop the truck traffic to Joplin.  
  • Media requests became large because of the truck traffic back ups.  
  • City published all the names of the maintenance and people answering the phones in the Joplin paper to thank them for their work.  
  • Mistake: Double commenting on facebook 
  • Mistake: Not keeping their cool on the phones.  
  • Mistake: Should have looked sooner for volunteers to shovel walks of people who really needed. 
  • PR is one on one relationships. PR is listening too.  
  • Quit being concerned about the media and cared more about the customers and public directly.


May 5, 2011

Invitation from AAF

AAF of the Ozarks presents...

Catch some rising stars: Drury Student Ad Team Presentation
When: Tuesday, May 10, 1:30a-1p
Where: 425 Downtown Banquet Facility, 425 W. Walnut, Springfield
Cost: $15 AAF members & first-time guests; $20 repeat guests; $10 students

RSVP: Click the Reservations button at by noon on Monday, May 9, to sign up online

Each May, AAF of the Ozarks is pleased to showcase our local university student advertising teams, whose presentations are the culmination of months of research, strategy and campaign development.

This year, the Drury Student Ad Team will present their entry in the 2010-11 AAF National Student Advertising Competition: a $100 million integrated marketing communications plan for JCPenney. The campaign is designed to increase market share among women 25-34 years old, while remaining consistent with the JCPenney overall brand position. Campaign elements include market and customer research, strategy, messaging, creative, media, public relations, merchandise and marketing partnerships, and in-store and online shopping experiences.

The Drury team’s plan book took second place and the team finished third overall at the AAF 9th District Student Advertising Competition last month in Kansas City. The team’s faculty instructors/advisers are Ron Schie, who serves on the AAF board of directors, and Regina Waters.

Reserve your space now, and pass the word to your coworkers and business associates. You’ll be impressed and inspired by the marketing savvy, creativity and professionalism of these dedicated young people!

May 3, 2011

April 2011 Video Presentation

If you missed the April SWMO PRSA meeting, featuring three of our Joplin members, you can watch their presentation here in five segments. This is a test run, and we will hopefully continue to improve on how these are accessed. You can only watch this video if you have the direct link - it is not searchable from YouTube.

Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:
Part 4:
Part 5: