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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:

social2Social media is ever-evolving and ever-changing. New and innovative features, trends, and platforms are constantly popping up in the social sphere. As a result, it can sometimes be challenging to keep up with the latest and greatest social media trends. Below are some recommendations on how to increase your professional development and stay on top of the cutting edge of social media:

mediatrain1The public relations profession is one of the most difficult industries to work in because we, as practitioners, have absolutely no control over the end product. Editors, reporters, correspondents, etc. have a great appreciation for what their publics are interested in reading, seeing, and hearing which means they have the final say in what is and is not newsworthy. That is why it is so important for companies to fully embrace and understand the media training process. From gauging the newsworthiness of a story to providing worthwhile information, there are some important first steps that business leaders should know.

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.