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Author: Andrew Ryan

awardsCommonwealth Partnerships was honored to receive four awards of merit at the Virginia Public Relations Awards this week. PRSA Richmond, which organizes and hosts the event, recognized a number of professionals and organizations from around Virginia. The awards ceremony, held at the stunning Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, was a great opportunity to celebrate the success of our clients and hear about other award-winning campaigns. During the course of the awards ceremony, a few common characteristics emerged for many of the tactics and campaigns that were recognized with awards. We thought it would be helpful to share the most important components of a successful campaign. Here are four keys to create an award-winning PR and communications campaign:

rbsCommonwealth Partnerships and its parent company, C|P|G, were once again honored as one of the most generous companies in the Richmond region. The firm was listed as #32 on Richmond BizSense’s Generosity, Inc. ranking. The company supports a number of local nonprofit organizations, including the University of Richmond, VCU Massey Cancer Center, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Greater Richmond Partnership, and Greater Richmond Chamber Foundation. The firm also supports local community organizations through pro bono assistance and other forms of volunteering.

newsWhen the term crisis is used, one thinks almost immediately of a negative situation or scenario. An oil spill, fraud, and internal scandals are all good examples of crises. As many PR and communications professionals understand, a crisis calls for a specific and unique plan. Whether in the pre-crisis, crisis, or post-crisis phase, there are targeted strategies that organizations rely on. The Institute for Public Relations has one of the best primers on crisis management and communications available.  The strategies and tactics outlined are based on best practices and thorough research. However, I don’t believe they’re limited to traditional crisis situations. In fact, any time your organization has a highly public project, especially if it involves local officials, you should leverage lessons from crisis communications. This is especially true in terms of real estate PR.

blueprintArchitecture, engineering, and construction firms face a variety of challenges when it comes to public relations. The services that A/E/C companies offer are often complex and not highly visible. Firms need to secure permission from clients to discuss projects. There is uncertainty about how to communicate the work to non-professionals. All of these challenges can pose concerns for A/E/C firms, but there are some simple steps that you can use to craft a compelling story.

holidaysAll of us at Commonwealth Partnerships wish our clients, friends, and colleagues a very happy holiday season and prosperous new year. The holidays are a perfect time to reflect and show gratitude. We’re so thankful for our amazing clients and incredible friends and colleagues. You all have helped to make 2015 the best year yet for Commonwealth Partnerships. We appreciate your friendship and support, and truly look forward to working with you every day. We’re excited for continued growth in 2016 and lots of new adventures together!

camerasSenior living communities and businesses face a number of inherent challenges when it comes to PR. Although mindsets are shifting, many still see “senior living” as the same thing as “nursing homes” and have deeply ingrained stereotypes about retirement communities, whether they are independent living, assisted living, or memory. Perception often creates reality and this is especially true in the senior living sector. It’s fairly common for a community’s executive director or sales and marketing director to hear how surprised someone is after a tour; he or she had no idea what senior living communities are really like. Shifting that perception and highlighting the value of senior living communities is a task that nicely aligns with a PR campaign. But how do you break through? With so many senior living communities in existence and in the pipeline, what makes you different?

computer_notebookDeveloping successful public relations campaigns that deliver results is a pressure felt by all public relations and communications professionals. Even individuals at organizations without a dedicated PR, communications, or marketing team are often tasked with developing a “PR game plan.” That may sound nice, but what does it actually mean?

Conducting research before you try to implement an idea is critical and this is especially true with public relations. Without the necessary planning, your idea is likely to fall flat and lead to an unneeded drain on resources and time. However, the process of crafting a strategic PR plan test your idea and refine it to ensure it’s as successful as possible. In short, PR plans can be very powerful tools. Here are five key components to effective PR plans:

Commonwealth Partnerships was pleased to host a special presentation last month about content marketing trends and tips. The event was a huge success and featured Troy Bell, Director of Marketing and Air Service Development at Richmond International Airport, Caroline Logan, Director of Corporate Communications at the Virginia Tourism Corporation, and Casey Werderman, Public Relations Senior Coordinator at CarMax. The panelists presented successful case studies of recent content marketing campaigns and addressed a wide array of issues, including planning for a campaign, tracking results, and the evolution and integration of marketing efforts.

starAutumn may have officially started just a few days ago,  but for many organizations it’s already time to begin thinking about the holidays. The holiday season and end of the year offer wonderful opportunities to show your appreciation for clients, team members, and others. It also can be a great time for media outreach. To make the most of the upcoming holiday season, it’s important to plan appropriately and start planning now. Here are three areas where early holiday communications planning can make a big difference: