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August 18, 2019

Why We Do Event Marketing

event-marketing-Here at Myers PR, we didn’t go off looking to be an event planning company. But as we grew and provided more and more in-house marketing and PR offerings, we realized that one of the best ways to show off our mixed-use retail spaces was to provide a community experience that people enjoyed and associated with our client. 

A quote by Maya Angelou that we often share in the office is, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

And despite the chaos that is planning an event, it’s totally worth it to create an experience that people will remember, treasure, share, and hopefully return to.  Cornell psychology professor, Thomas Gilovich’s research over the past decade says that experiences bring people more happiness than possessions. Thus, our goal is to create those neural pathways of happiness and make sure they’re associated with our clients – marketing that doesn’t feel like marketing but is still highly effective for your brand.

When we start planning an event, we think through the following to create a low-stress, high-enjoyability customer experience:

  • new_seo-39-512audience-appropriate activities
  • audience-appropriate food and beverages
  • smooth event flow layout (not long lines)
  • enough event supplies (nothing makes people sadder than running out of stuff)
  • a variety of things to do, see, taste, buy, sip, and take home
  • extra surprises not advertised (keep ’em pleasantly surprised!)

It seems counter-productive – focusing so much on the attendees instead of focusing on promoting the client, but all the love and attention pays off in very happy attendees that were given a memorable gift by the brand or company you represent. Happy customers = loyal customers!

A paragraph by EventCrazy, a search engine for fun things to do, puts it very beautifully…

“Events are the life blood of a society. They are occasions that gather people together united in a common theme, cause or celebration. …. Events can be as simple as a child’s kindergarten graduation or as dramatic as the Super Bowl. It doesn’t matter what your preference is or even if it is constantly evolving. What does matter is that you are “experiencing” something that will give you great satisfaction and a lifetime of memories. “

Think about that next time you go to a community event or plan a birthday party!

5 Reasons A Pet-friendly Office is the Best Kind of Office

Written by Jordan Garegnani, MPR Project Manager and Online Community Manager

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Note the puppy barricade made of weighted trashcans…

I write what I know. And right now, my 1 ½ year old Frenchie, Eva, is next to me trying to figure a way out of my office cube.

While dogs in the workplace are becoming more common, I am extremely appreciative that the Myers PR office is flexible enough to accommodate me and what we have lovingly termed the “bat pig” or “gremlin.” So without further ado, here’s why my office is the best kind of office.

Health Benefits

5acc3012540d82395466d90062c8d56bYou see a sweet little furry thing coming at you and your body can’t help but be happy about it. (some more than others – also known as being “Dog Crazy”) You get a burst of endorphin, lowered blood pressure, raised levels of oxytocin (creating feelings of happiness and trust) and more. Now think about how all those things could be beneficial to you on a particularly stressful day. Also, when you see your little fur nugget being so relaxed, you tend to be relaxed.

Makes you Move
You know how you’re not supposed to sit all day? Yea, well, your dog doesn’t want to sit all day either, so now you have a very good excuse to take a few nice walks. Plus it’s a good time to see if anyone wants to go with you – bonus: bonding time with the coworkers!

Less Stress
IMG_2288With an hour commute at the end of my day, getting out of the office in time to free Eva from her crate is something that stresses me out. Getting stuck in the office late isn’t really an option. But if she’s with me, then I know she’s safe, happy and has had plenty of love and attention.

It Socializes Your Pup
While your dog should be fairly well-behaved before you bring it into a professional environment, bringing your dog into different social situations teaches them to be flexible and adapt easily. The world outside their house/crate won’t seem so scary to them and they’ll act out less in public.

Good Distractions
IMG_2289In a creative marketplace like a PR company, distractions can be helpful to the creative process – for example, coming up with this blog post! Plus other things I guess – but you should try it out for yourself if you can. There’s nothing like sitting at a conference table snuggling your pup while brainstorming marketing ideas

Now I understand, not all people are dog people – so be sure to be thoughtful of those coworkers and those who may be allergic!

 

Lastly – big shout out to David Cavalieri, our Graphic Designer and UX Manager on his 3rd anniversary at Myers PR. Congrats!!

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An Intern’s Take on Myers Public Relations

We hate goodbyes at MPR, but when they do happen, we write about it!

Guest Blog by Melanie Ford, Myers PR Intern 2012-14

It’s hard to believe that my third summer at Myers has already come and gone. When I first applied for the position fresh out of high school, I truly had no idea what to expect. I remember going home after my interview and thinking, “I really connected [with Billie and Kate], but I doubt I actually got the job.” Imagine my shock when I got an offer a few days later!

My seasonal work after that phone call has truly launched my career and proved to me that office work doesn’t have to be the stereotypical “daily grind” – unless that grind is coffee-related! The staff at Myers has invested in, encouraged and mentored me immensely with a friendly professionalism that pervades their positive work culture.

1664During my first summer at MPR before college, I expressed that I was most interested in graphic design work…and give me graphic design work, they did! Here is one of my first projects at Myers which involved creating advertisement material for a client’s fall festival.


Although I was an intern, I was treated as an equal and encouraged to ask questions, request projects, and participate in staff meetings and professional development events, such as the
Reston Chamber of Commerce’s ACE Awards Luncheon.

IMG_7710By the time I came back for my second summer at MPR, I had decided to declare public relations as my major at school. The project managers at MPR sought to give me an overview of client properties and projects. I independently travelled to, oversaw, and photographed on-site events.

I also helped with social media analytics and event planning research. My best memory from this summer was hands-down calling reindeer farmers across the nation regarding reindeer rentals for holiday events! Unfortunately, reindeer are restricted from many states for health reasons, but this was still a fun, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

reindeer

During my third summer I did extensive research reports to aid in marketing proposals, media relations, and client relations. Most of my work was independent; I was given projects and trusted to take initiative to complete them.

I remember my first day at MPR and Kate asked me to research each of our clients to familiarize myself with the type of work that we do—note: this was also the same day that one of the offices in our building gave free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to everyone in the building (best first day ever!).

(Taken by Melanie Ford)

(Taken by Melanie Ford)

The type of work that MPR does became abundantly clear as I overheard phone calls (we work in an open floor plan for optimal collaboration), sat in on conference room meetings, and engaged in office culture; the team goes above and beyond to ensure clients’ satisfaction and success.

 

There’s no way to say it other than this: interning at Myers PR is FUN! To recognize special occasions or completion of extensive projects, the office celebrates with lunches, toasts in the conference room, ringing an “accomplishment bell,” or on occasion, a visit to the Reston Town Center Bow Tie Cinema.

IMG_1137Don’t get me wrong, there were definitely some weeks where I had painstaking research projects for which I popped my headphones in and cranked out 40+ hours of work on that project alone. When the work was done though, I was thanked and encouraged profusely, which made it all worth it.

 

The work culture here is one of respect that is unparalleled by anywhere else that I have worked. The unique work ethic of our team is modeled by our founder and fearless leader, Marion Myers. According to this Game of Thrones character quiz which I posted on my Facebook profile a while ago (and the whole office ended up taking), her character is, very appropriately, Daenerys Targaryen the Mother of Dragons – nurturing, but tough as nails.

I sure am going to miss everyone, but we will see each other again!

Why a Diet of Volunteering is Healthy for Your Company

WeHeartProBono_Med_SizeWhen Marion started out in business, 20-some years back, she was working part-time and volunteering for local community groups and (like many young moms) her children’s PTAs. She became recognized for her success in promoting community events and was hired to do the Public Relations for Reston Town Center. Hence – Myers Public Relations was established.

Myers PR employees are encouraged to embrace community service. Myers PR staff members have taken volunteer and leadership roles in: the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce; Reston Association; Friends of Reston; Reston Chorale; Reston Historic Trust; the Greater Reston Arts Center.

A corporate culture that supports volunteering is good business strategy on multiple levels:

  • It helps with the recruitment and retention of quality employees
  • It is a creative way for employees to test drive new skills
  • Volunteering helps foster job-satisfaction and good morale
  • Pro bono projects raise your company’s brand awareness
  • A reputation as a corporation that gives back increases customer loyalty
  • And…. it’s good for your community

Today, Marion averages 500 hours of service annually. She has served on the Boards of: Initiative for Public Arts – Reston; The Medical Care for Children Partnership; the Reston Historic Trust; and is a Past Chairman of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. She is a current Board Director for the Fairfax County Council for the Arts and Leadership Fairfax, Inc. Combined, the MPR team donates close to 800 hours a year. Now, that’s a very healthy diet of volunteering. Bon Appetit!

Business Etiquette Around the World: North America

Guest Blog & Infographic by Sloan McKinney

The internet may have made doing business internationally easier than ever, but there is still a human element to it – especially when it comes to PR and marketing. Whether you’re creating an international partnership or trying to attract a vendor, knowing how to handle yourself and what to expect from potential clients is key to make sure that you remain in your element without offending your colleague’s sensibilities throughout negotiation.

This graphic is a small series of primers in conducting international business. Covering the major three players in North America (Canada, United States, and Mexico), this graphic will give you a better idea of how people in these businesses approach business meetings.

From what time to arrive and how to dress, to how to best negotiate and even how close to stand, being aware of cultural business norms will make your dealings go much more smoothly. Knowing how other countries do business gives you a better shot at leaving the bargaining table with both parties achieving their goals.

TFF-M4-BizEtiquetteNorthAmerica

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sloan

Sloan McKinney is a business enthusiast and online journalist who enjoys sharing her knowledge about the impact of globalization. She also covers the areas of business communications, technology, and marketing.

Saying Farewell to Kate

Today we post with sad/happy hearts. Tomorrow is Kate Meier’s last day as she moves to Charlottesville on a grand new life adventure. We’ve put together a little saying goodbye post so she knows how deeply she’s touched the people and institution of Myers PR.

MPR on the dance floorKate, you are hereby nominated for an award in the category of Amazing Co-Worker and All ‘Round Beautiful, Fun Person:
Kate has been with Myers PR since 2008, and came with a strong grasp on the PR industry from her experience in managing communications with regional, state, national, and international associations. Kate is a graduate of the University of Virginia and the Emerging Leaders Institute of Leadership Fairfax, Inc., and also a talented artist. Now this is where it gets really interesting. In her personal life, Kate is actively involved in improv comedy, a cappella, community theater (including a production of Equus), a former board member of the Bite Me Cancer Foundation, and earned the title of Miss Virginia Pole Fitness Champion in 2012. She is a pole fitness instructor, and gave a phenomenal performance on April 13, 2013 prior to a new development: she and her husband had their first child in July.
– Carol Nahorniak with a heavy heart ‘cause Kate’s leaving us 🙁

Carol Brandy Kate at TW 4 15 2013Kate had me at “Charlottesville.” During our very first conversation we discovered our mutual love of my home town and shared hangouts. When Kate told me she was moving to Charlottesville my instant jealousy was overcome by the thought of losing such a valuable team member in our office. Kate and I worked closely on events for clients and she always had an innate way of embracing my event ideas and sparking creative thinking. Her spark in the office was infectious. It is rare to find a work environment where everyone’s personalities mesh well, so it is difficult to see Kate go. However, I am excited to have a new partner in crime whenever I visit Charlottesville.
– Brandy Walker

IMG_3783If you put all the “hats” Kate wears into a pile, it would be a sizable mound. She is a wife, mother, project manager, event organizer, fitness instructor, award-winning athlete in a surprising discipline, singer, dancer, jokester who can speak in hilarious voices, one of the warmest people I’ve ever known–I know I’ve forgotten some of the “hats.” The combination of abilities and traits that is Kate will probably never come again. I treasure knowing her.
– Arja Sahramaa

photo 1 (2)Funny enough, I always seem to be following in Kate’s footsteps (and I’m OK with that). I’ve known her since middle school, through theater in high school and again at Myers PR. It’d be impossible to say how she’s shaped a lot of my life in just a few sentences, so I will stick to just Myers PR.

Kate was the one who found me and brought me to Myers PR as the Social Media Manager. Over coffee, it went something like this, “You work at a small PR firm in Reston Town Center? I work at a small PR firm in Reston Town Center. Your office has a red wall? OUR office has a red wall. You do social media? We need a social media person!” You get the gist 🙂

JordanWedK&K&cakeI am grateful for being brought into an office with so many wonderful qualities – her being one of them. Kate took me under her wing and set me in motion. I worked with her on projects and she mentored me in life, work, mistakes, love, and growth. In less than two years, Kate completely changed my trajectory and taught me to always keep moving toward something. Needless to say, our friendship also flourished – she and her husband even made my wedding cake! So without thinking about it too hard lest there be tears, there will be a big hole without Kate but we will do our best to keep her spirit always in the office. And if our history is any indicator, I’m certain our paths will cross again.
Always – Jordan Garegnani

MPR at FC Arts Council awards 2012_FCEDA_1040It’s been six amazing years since the day I, a dorky high school intern, met Kate, the forever-smiling manager. The two of us were at constant odds as I annoyed her to give me more work to do, but I, apparently, “worked too quickly.” She says, that I “wasn’t the typical intern,” but I say that she wasn’t the typical manager. From the beginning, Kate has been the best mentor anyone could ask for and I owe my career to her. Opportunities were only presented to me thanks to Kate’s belief in the person I could become.

I’m overjoyed for the possibilities that have opened for Kate and wish her and her family the best of luck in everything.
The only thing I ask is that time doesn’t make us strangers, but, knowing Kate, I’m not worried.

My goodness, Kate, I’m going to miss you.
With Love – David Cavalieri

photoI found a miniature ceramic bust of the composer Wagner on my desk this week. On it was a note, “Thanks kid. It’s been real.” His hard stony glare made me want to both laugh and cry… The roots of this bust’s presence at Myers date back to my early days at MPR, when Kate introduced me to online SNL videos. Our favorite became the segments about “ceramic busts,” with Scarlet Johansson describing in a gaudy New Jersey accent, how ceramic busts add extravagance and chicness to any lifestyle. Many an owah was spent tawkin like we wuz like Scahlet and wuhkin’ with swimmin’ pools undah owah desks! (all possible with the presence of a ceramic bust!). Little did Kate know that I was the proud owner of roughly 15 miniature classic composer ceramic busts (don’t ask). Each and every one of those little dudes made their way to her desk one fine morning to welcome to her to a cubicle which now dripped in grandeur…

Where's my headThis is just one example of many, about how Kate has the innate ability to create community, and inspire others to create it. She brings people together by inserting fun and hilarity to any environment – especially when working in marketing there just HAS to be some fun! She offers so many things that make all of us better. Her creativity is so boundless that it cannot be contained. Her big ideas reach up to the cosmos and beyond, pushing through the steel cage boundaries that so many of us see like they are nothing more than silly string. Her spontaneity in both thought and action encourages freshness and excitement. Around Kate, boxes simply don’t exist. She makes all of us better and brighter because she herself emanates a brightness that you can’t help but want to follow.

Kate has more than anything been a wonderful friend. I am going to miss the jokes and fun that we shared… “Thomas!,” Rick-Roll Fridays, getting ready for Best of Reston – make-up always looks better when you apply after sharing a bottle of wine!… These memories are now molded tightly into the shape of a tiny ceramic bust of an angry German man, whom will sit proudly on my desk knowing that he represents so much more, that he represents Kate.

Thank you Kate, for all that you’ve given me, and good luck on your new adventure!
– Liz Bush
Kate,
MyersPR on IceYour tremendous enthusiasm and spirit will be missed, and I am thankful to know such a delightfully quirky, creative, think-in-pictures person. What a gift it is to know you, and to know you is to love you. I can’t wait to witness the amazing things you will create and discover as you continue to grow as a person, a wife and a mother. Wishing you the very best along your journey, and I look forward to the day our paths cross once again.
With love and hugs – Billie Nicolotti

Jordan's engagement party at MPRI met Kate when she’s joined the Chamber staff as Communications Director in 2008. Coincidentally, I had held the same position 10 years earlier in a much less complex time for Marketing and PR. We had no email, World Wide Websites were all the new rage and Social Media was non-existent. People actually used beepers, faxed each other and took their film to the drug store to be printed. Archaic! By the time I met Kate, we had been launched into a world of communications technology never experienced before: GPS, Flash, iPhone 3G, Androids, Apple’s App Store, and Social networking in a Web 2.0 world. I needed someone who knew how all that stuff worked.

Enter Kate Meier – Technology Nerd Extraordinaire! She had everything we needed and wanted – technological curiosity, great personality and a maturity way beyond her years. She fit right in with our quirky little staff and the clients loved her. She never backed away from a challenge. She strove to learn new things, take on more responsibilities, wow the clients and moved up to Senior Project Manager in a few short (albeit busy) years.

image001Now, the same qualities that brought her to MPR five years ago are taking her to the next stage in her journey. It is bitter sweet to see a cherished bird leave the nest, but this is no fledgling, and she will flourish. I wish Kate and her family all the best that life can bring. Thank you Kate for everything you did to make MPR such a special place to work and be.
– Marion Myers

In summation, Kate means a lot of different special things to all of us and her continual presence will be very sorely missed. But we know that she will never really leave us; we will always have memories and are overjoyed for her new life in Charlottesville and can’t wish her enough happiness. As David said, “My goodness Kate, we are going to miss you.”

Dance

National Fun at Work Day!

Written by Jordan Garegnani, Myers PR Social Media Manager

At Myers PR, we think work should be fun regularly – not just today! Fun in the office builds relationships among coworkers and a positive work culture. That positive vibe keeps everyone creative, energized, productive and happy, because after all – we are the “nice” PR firm! We like to keep it fun in a multitude of ways:

Liz's Birthday Haul

Liz’s Birthday Haul

Birthday Celebrations
Every birthday is a big deal at Myers PR. We pick a day everyone can celebrate and go out to lunch armed with presents from everyone in the office. Of course the birthday boy/girl gets to pick where we lunch so it’s a treat for everyone and never gets boring.

Yoga Classes/Gym
Healthy employees are happy employees! We have a corporate account at Beloved Yoga nearby for some zen in our lives and also have a gym right next door for a mid-afternoon jog!

Staff Outing
At least once a year we take a fun day off to do something fun as a group (no checking work email!). Last year it was visiting The Winery at Bull Run, the year before was tubing down the Shenandoah and the year before that it was a kayaking trip!

My Myers PR Anniversary Flowers

My Myers PR Anniversary Flowers

Myers Birthdays
Another type of birthday Marion never forgets is our Myers PR birthdays – aka the day we came to work here 🙂 You can be sure to receive a Mayflowers delivery of your favorite flowers on this day.

Staff Retreat
Annually, we as a company take time to go over how the past year was and focus on what we want to accomplish or change as a company. In between all those discussions, Kate is the master of team bonding, coming up with creative games, activities and projects for us all.

Rick Roll Fridays
Last but not least, a weird tradition developed in our office called Rick Roll Fridays…enjoy!

ballpit1While your boss should be on board for most of these types of outings, there are other ways to create a happy work culture that doesn’t cut into the work day and you can initiate. So if you’re looking for a little more fun in the office, maybe think about organizing weekend volunteer projects, finding a coworker who wants to be a gym buddy, plan a happy hour or start a good-natured pranking war with your coworkers!

Maid Bright Recognized as Community Service Standout

Guest Blog by Melanie Ford, Myers PR Intern

Maid Bright Logo

Corporate awards aren’t the only way to build credit behind your company or brand.

A combination of community outreach & service, corporate awards and excellent values can really go a long way. Doug Levy, co-author of Can’t Buy Me Like: How Authentic Customer Connections Drive Superior Results, says, “The companies that care about something bigger than their products tend to sell more of their products.” And we think Maid Bright, a Sterling cleaning company, proves that point.

This outstanding small business is a family-owned residential cleaning company which consistently acts upon its corporate values of excellence in service. And not just their cleaning service.

Cleaning for a Reason LogoNot only did Maid Bright representatives participate in Cornerstones’ Help the Homeless Walk and the Love Your Body Event during 2013, they have also been affiliated with Cleaning for a Reason the past three years and helped clean the houses of women battling cancer. Combined with their consistent 10% discount services for senior citizens, veterans, firefighters, and teachers, Maid Bright has provided approximately $9000+ a year in the form of donations and cleaning services to philanthropic initiatives.

In the words of Maid Bright owner, Yusuf Mehmetoglu: “I know firsthand how difficult it can be to find a job, pay your bills, and sustain a comfortable life… In order to make our community a better place to live and help those going through similar situations, it is imperative that Maid Bright be involved in our community and to support others who are less fortunate.”

Employees of the monthSo how do the Mehmetoglus facilitate a work culture where their employees earnestly pursue community involvement? Employees who are the most engaged in volunteerism efforts, as featured on Maid Bright’s Facebook, receive financial incentives in the form of a gift card or bonus each month. The company’s third-party reputation for quality, commitment to equal opportunity employment and industry-approved cleaning supplies also enable employees to take a sense of pride in upholding corporates values.

Recipient of Angie's List Super Service Award 2013Maid Bright has been recognized by various industry-coveted awards. For the fifth consecutive year (2009-2013), they have earned the Angie’s List Superior Service Award, which ranks home and health service providers. This award gives Maid Bright market respect, credibility and increased brand awareness among two million plus Angie’s List users.

“Only about 5 percent of the companies Maid Bright competes with in Washington, DC Metropolitan Area are able to earn our Super Service Award,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “It’s a mark of consistently great customer service.”

Maid Bright Car Design They also won the 2013 Loudoun Green Business Challenge in the tenant-leased business category. This points-based competition was hosted by the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce and encouraged more efficient and sustainable business operations. After attending an Executive Leadership Conference in Dallas, TX, Maid Bright also gained recognition for Best Vehicle Graphics at the Professional Image Awards from the Association of Residential Cleaning Services International (ARCSI) Awards Committee.

Seeing as how Maid Bright has lived up to their slogan,”spotless quality & service every time, guaranteed” since 2004, and have the recognition to prove it, we think their corporate goals and values match up for a winning combination.

Have you thought about how your business could get more involved and build quality relationships in your local community? What is your corporate direction and how are you promoting it within your workplace culture?

 

The Strategic Value of Corporate Awards

Does your company know the strategic value of corporate awards?

Workplace Strategy

The Benefits:

Corporate awards enhance corporate performance from the boardroom to the front lines. Businesses need to plan a corporate awards strategy with corporate initiatives in mind. For example, if the company is making a push for ethical behavior or corporate leadership, then it can look for awards competitions that recognize these traits.

Reinforce Corporate Values:

Diversity Award Booz AllenThe Coca-Cola Company has embraced the philosophy to have a diverse and supportive workplace culture. Adding credibility to Coke’s commitment of diversity, are the multiple business awards the company has won for diversity. Choose your award program in alignment with your corporate direction.

For example, consulting firm, Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., prides itself on diversity as one of their core values. Year after year, their Diversity and Inclusion programs consistently earn awards of distinction. Fifteen years of consecutive placement in the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers award by Working Mother magazine put them in the Working Mother magazine’s Hall of Fame, which adds a vote of confidence for new hires.

PublicityPublic Relations Added Value:

Corporate awards bring benefits of increased awareness, third-party validation and establish market respect. The free publicity an award-winning business receives can result in more business and new connections. Plus, when used effectively, industry awards are an excellent sales tool to attract and close new business.

What About Small Businesses?

The benefits of business awards for small businesses are similar to large corporations. Often a small business will struggle to establish recognition and credibility in the marketplace. A business award win or even a nomination can open doors and have a greater impact on the growth of a smaller company.

publicitySmall companies should consider entering competitions, especially those sponsored by business organizations and publications, just so the judges, other business professionals and often journalists, will become aware of them and their products and/or service.

Do not underestimate the power of corporate awards competitions. Even if you don’t come out a winner, your company will gain positive exposure of your core values, a challenge to improve and an opportunity for your clients, employees and future business connections to see just how good a company you really are!