We won two Silver Anvil Awards, but what are we really celebrating

Posted by admin | Awards & Recognition, Op/Ed | Thursday 25 June 2009 4:45 pm

by Holley Stein

Whether it’s counseling a client in preparation for a turbulent media interview or handling crisis communications, public relations professionals are known for their calm-and-cool demeanor and grace under pressure.

But what happens when you get a plaza full of professionals together to celebrate the work done on behalf of their clients? Cheers, camaraderie and immense pride–to the point of tears–for our clients.

KVBPR’s work was recently honored at the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Silver Anvil Awards ceremony, held on June 4 in New York City. Our firm received the Silver Anvil Award for excellence in internal communications for work done on behalf of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee (BCBST) and the Silver Anvil Award of Excellence in integrated communications for introducing Nashville Symphony’s new conductor, Giancarlo Guerrero. I had the pleasure of working with the Symphony and Locomotion Creative on the multi-channel communications campaign and was thrilled to hear we were a finalist for the award. Finding out I was going to New York wasn’t bad either!

The atmosphere of the ceremony was elegant, as expected. What I did not count on was what would happen to us once we were inside the auditorium and the award-presentation began. There was no polite applause, plastic smiles or stiff photos. There were whistles, cat calls, cheering and loud applause, not only for ourselves, but for each other. I actually screamed when my colleague, Heather Schablik, went onstage to accept the Silver Anvil on behalf of BCBST. (All-in-all, the internal communications program for BCBST won three national awards this year.)

However, the best part of the award ceremony was when master-of-ceremonies, Terry Stewart, president and CEO for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, announced the award for the Nashville Symphony. He mentioned a recent visit to the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. He not only praised the building to a group of practitioners from around the U.S., he spoke directly to Ronda Helton, senior director of marketing for the Nashville Symphony, and acknowledged the caliber of its musicians and programming.  It was the only proverbial “shout-out” that was given that night.

Upon later reflection, I admit, I teared up. Something had really hit home.  Sure we were cheering for ourselves that night. We work hard on behalf of our clients. But more than anything, I believe we were really cheering for our clients. After working in the trenches with each other for so long, you feel like a member of your client’s team. In many ways, these awards act as a double honor.

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KVBPR’s Journal Jar, “If you could have been the author of any single book already written…”

Posted by admin | Journal Jar | Thursday 18 June 2009 4:56 pm

Sitting on the news bar here at KVBPR is a Mason jar filled with folded slips of paper – a Journal Jar – courtesy of our friend Susannah Shumate from S2 Creations. Its purpose is to spark the imagination and creativity.

Here in the office, we pull a slip from the jar and share the responses during a staff meeting. We’re sharing some responses online to allow our site visitors a chance to get to know us a little better. Feel free to share your responses.

“If you could have been the author of any single book already written, which book would you have penned?”

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch – Steve

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak – Georgia

The Awakening by Kate Chopin – Neely

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – Nancy

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway – Aileen

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien – Nicole

There’s a Nightmare in My Closet by Mercer Mayer – Renee

Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot – Holley

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – Greg

Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary – Heather

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – Tonya

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PR Professionals Work as Change Agents in Internal Communication

Posted by admin | Op/Ed, Public Relations Strategy | Thursday 4 June 2009 10:30 am

By Holley Stein
Account Executive

One of our clients recently presented to a room full of managers on how to create buy-in from employees regarding a shift in the company’s strategic direction. The client used ‘change agent’ as the descriptor for someone who facilitates sustainable change and productivity. The term was coined by The HayGroup’ s concept of Emotional Intelligence. The topic stirred my curiosity.

A change agent approaches business from a more emotionally aware place. They hear, understand and interpret messages before they respond. They often reflect instead of project during challenging times. Most importantly, a change agent understands the psychology behind how people process change and help move co-workers from point A to point Z, understanding that there is an entire alphabet in between.

One way to support change is to look at “The Resistance Pyramid,” made up of a succession of three levels of resistance. At the bottom level sits knowledge, which comes from having access to information and the reason behind the change. The second level is ability, where others are given the tools they need to make the change, and the third or top level is willingness, where the change is accepted and becomes part of the overall culture.

This layering effect reminded me a lot of KVBPR’s pyramid process and it became clear: during this economically challenging time, it is important for public relations practitioners to act as change agents for their clients or help empower them to be one for their employees.

Practitioners should ask themselves how they can help effectively communicate changes to a client’s employees, in an effort to help bolster productivity.  By utilizing The Resistance Pyramid, how can you assist in ensuring that employees–every company’s most important audience–have the knowledge they need to reach the second level? This may include auditing internal messaging to make sure messages are consistent, managing an intranet site, drafting internal newsletters, initiating internal focus groups or editing training and other human relations-related documents.

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KVBPR’s Journal Jar, “What five brands would best represent who you are?”

Posted by admin | Journal Jar | Monday 1 June 2009 4:21 pm

Sitting on the news bar here at KVBPR is a Mason jar filled with folded slips of paper – a Journal Jar – courtesy of our friend Susannah Shumate from S2 Creations. Its purpose is to spark the imagination and creativity.

Here in the office, we pull a slip from the jar and share the responses during a staff meeting. We’re sharing some responses online to allow our site visitors a chance to get to know us a little better. Feel free to share your responses.

What five brands would best represent who you are?

Toyota, Dell, Janome, Mitsubishi, Whirlpool – Renee

Jack Daniel’s, NPR, Epicurious, Dr. Seuss, Target – Nancy

Apple, Hallmark, Publix, Chick Fil A, Coca Cola – Heather

Bruce Springsteen, Starbucks, Amazon.com, CBS Sports, Argyle Winery – Greg

Cool People Care, iTunes, SEC, Google, Merrell – Tonya

Nutro, Banana Republic, Anthropologie, Trader Joe’s, Stoli – Neely

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