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REPOST: Cool Spaces: AM:PM PR’s Southeast pride (Photos)

Earlier today our office was featured in The Portland Business Journal for our “Cool Space.” We’ve linked to the original piece and reposted much of the article below and hope y’all find the opportunity to make your way in here someday, either through our Speakeasy events or otherwise.

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Cool Spaces: AM:PM PR’s Southeast pride (Photos)

You can tell a lot about a company from its entryway.

Walking into AM:PM PR’s Southeast Clinton Street offices, for instance, one barely feels as if they’ve entered an interior space. The floor plan revolves around natural light, conveyed by the firm’s (it shares the space with the tech firm 7/APPS) massive north-facing windows.

The firm occupies a neat space in the Cyrk Building, owned by Will Emery and Bonnie Serkin. DECA Architects designed the office while B & G Builders, with a eye on using sustainable materials, built it.

It’s a keenly planned layout that evokes its Southeast Portland environs (many of the materials are recycled or repurposed) as well as AM:PM PR’s sense of fun (an image of firm co-owner Pat McCormick depicts his penchant for wearing socks with sandals).

Click on this link for more glimpses of the AM:PM PR and 7/APPS space.

Branding, Communications and Public Relations: Questions to Answer Before Working With a PR Firm

At AM:PM PR we begin each new client relationship with the hope it will lead to a long-term partnership. We believe the more we know about a prospective client’s business, the better we can understand the qualities that differentiate them from their competition, thus allowing us to do a better job helping to communicate each client’s unique story to targeted audiences.

During our information gathering process, we like to ask a lot of questions – a process that is beneficial to both parties. Answering the following questions provides potential clients an opportunity to think about the way they communicate about their business, product or service. If you’re ready to ask us how we may help you, copy and paste the following questions into the body of an email with your answers and email them to: info@ampmpr.com.

As you ponder your answers, are you learning anything new about your business, your brand, or your current need for marketing and PR assistance? Here are some branding, communications and public relations questions to ask yourself before working with a PR firm.

Introductory Questions:

What short-term and long-term goals are you hoping to achieve with PR and marketing services?

Have you worked with a PR firm in the past? What was your experience?

What are you looking for from a PR firm?

What is your budget for PR/Marketing?

What is the PR assignment, as you see it? How will you define success?

Your Brand:

What is your positioning statement? What sets your brand apart from the competition?

What is your brand personality/culture?

What are some examples of your messaging?

Have you tested your messaging?

Communications Focus:

What is the background of your business (your history, your story)?

Who are your target audiences? What is the demographic and psychographic profile of your key customers? What are your key insights into these audiences?

What media does your target audience consume?

How do they currently learn about your business/product?

What is your consumer promise?

Who is your competition?

Do you advertise? If so, where?

Website:

When was the last time you made improvements to your website?

Do you have a budget for improvements to your website?

Do you use and monitor your web analytics? Are you making adjustments based on your analytics reports?

What are the search terms that lead visitors to your site?

Are you blogging?

Social Networking:

Please describe how you are engaged with social media? Which tools are you using and what do you share?

Are there any social media tools you refuse to use? If so, why?

Curious to learn more about our services? Please contact us to learn more by clicking here.

Don't bury your head in the sand. Be prepared for any scenario.

How To Deal With Bad PR

– AM:PM PR Guest Post

Sometimes things don’t always go to plan though and you get media attention for all the wrong reasons. Here’s how To deal with bad PR.

I have worked for a number of companies that have been very high profile for all the wrong reasons. The worst thing you can do when things go wrong is bury your head in the sand. Also, responding to a question with: “no comment!” makes you sound guilty straight away.

You need to be prepared. Develop a crisis/issues management plan. Think through every possible scenario and develop specific plans, messages and protocols for each. Doing this will make you feel a little more confident when a crisis does happen at 4pm on a Friday and media start calling asking for statements ASAP.

Include protocols for responding to media requests in your plan. Whoever takes calls from reporters should be writing down all the questions so the communications team can craft solid responses.

Often reporters will accept responses/statements via email. If they do, this is the way to go. It eliminates risks of saying too much. If you are asked to call the journalist back then, unless you know the journalist well, don’t go off on a tangent in your discussion. Keep it to the agreed points and don’t add any personal comment or feelings. The old adage about, “nothing being off the record” is very true.

A few more tips when preparing for the worst:

am:pm pr tips

        1. Be truthful and hold your hands up if it is an obvious mistake.
        2. Don’t try and cover things up un-necessarily
        3. Remain calm and definitely don’t get angry
        4. Make statements clear and short
        5. When all has settled down, ask for feedback from the media

 

Peter Morrissey - friend and mentor

Missing a mentor today – Peter Morrissey remembered

A good friend and mentor died August 3. His passing reminds me again of how we’re formed by the people we admire.

I first met Peter Morrissey when our firm joined an international network of independent public relations agencies, Pinnacle Worldwide. Peter owned a firm in Boston that specialized in corporate reputation management and crisis communications.

It was easy to see why corporate executives trusted Peter. He was honest, whip smart and direct. He also was a teacher. He shared stories to illustrate lessons. And like a good Irishman, he had great stories to tell.

Among Peter’s corporate clients was Johnson & Johnson. He counseled the company and its McNeil Pharmaceuticals subsidiary when poison introduced into its Tylenol capsules killed seven Chicago-area residents in 1982. It’s now a classic case study in PR classes on crisis communications.

In addition to running his successful firm, Peter was the consummate good citizen. He taught at Boston University, was active in numerous community groups and served on the board of Boston Athletic Association, sponsors of the Boston Marathon.

I remember him most for what I learned listening to him. I suppose that’s why I enjoyed reading Rate Your Professor comments from students he taught at Boston University.

“Morrissey’s real-world experience as CEO of a highly successful PR firm makes his class probably the most useful I’ve taken at BU.“

“Professor Morrissey’s class was a great class. He brings his real-world experience of owning his own PR firm and working with big name clients to the class. Morrissey’s work in crisis communication especially is a case study for every intro to PR class everywhere.”

“I LOVE PROFESSOR MORRISSEY! If you want to go into PR, take as many of Morrissey’s classes as you can. Work hard, talk to him outside of class, and he will help you in your job search way more than Career Services ever could.”

Peter was the same way with his professional colleagues. He would help you any way he could. Mostly he helped me remember that, at its core, our profession is about serving our communities with integrity, honest communications and a commitment to do what’s right.

Peter taught that by how he lived.

bundling PR services

Rethinking how we sell our PR services

marketing agency blueprint

As AM:PM PR approaches its second birthday, we’re changing how we sell our services. We’ve packaged services for clients – creating a prix fixe menu of options rather than the usual ala carte list.

PR services
We think bundling PR services and pricing them clearly will make it easier for clients to understand what they’re buying. It also recognizes how different the practice of public relations has become in the 24/7, constantly connected world we live in today.

Historically agencies based their pricing on billable hourly rates, much like lawyers and other professionals. Clients that have little experience using public relations agencies struggle to understand why services are billed hourly. Those with more experience may understand billable hours, but many don’t connect hours billed with results achieved.

The truth is that not every hour we work produces the same benefit for clients.

Over the Holidays, I read a book (The Marketing Agency Blueprint) and shared it with my colleagues. It triggered our effort to rethink how we price what we do so it makes more sense to our clients – and to us.

 

service bundling

Much like Progressive, we think bundling our services together might help us better serve our clients’ needs.

“The traditional billable-hour system is tied exclusively to outputs, not outcomes, and assumes that all agency activities … are of equal value,” declared Paul Roetzer, the book’s author and founder/CEO of PR 20/20 in Cleveland.

Today’s communications landscape has radically changed the contents of our PR toolkit. It requires us to be full-time listeners, even for our smallest clients. In the digital world, opportunities and risks don’t wait patiently for open times in our schedules.

Our ability to help a client requires a high level of trust in us, as communicators and strategists. Trust takes time to build. Our service packages anticipate that we will work with the client for a minimum of six months. It’s a step away from casual dating. It signals our priority is on building long-term, mutually beneficial relationships.

We’re eager to talk about these packages with prospective clients, and learn from them whether this new format helps them better understand what they will get in working with us. Like everything in our business, the packages are subject to change. Our hope is that they will form the foundation for some great relationships.

Spreading the news

New website causes media sensation, freshens breath while you read

The word is out. Thanks to Gawker blogging about it, Perez Hilton tweeting a catty remark in regards to it, and Lady Gaga wearing an outfit made entirely from computer screens displaying it, you’ve by now heard that AM:PM PR has a new website.

First of all, we want to make it clear that this isn’t how we wanted to roll out the new site. We wanted you to find out by us telling you about it right here. But, as the recent media circus has made undeniable, the cat’s out of the bag. We might as well address a number of questions/misconceptions that have already popped up in our conversations with the media.

Claim: The website is based on complex numerology decoded from a previously unpublished section of “The Wu-Tang Manual.”

Reality: This is true.

Claim: Using AM:PM PR’s website can help cure depression, freshen breath while you read.

Reality: Again, this is true. Perhaps we’ll move on to some misconceptions.

Claim: Staring directly into Alexis’ eyes in the group shot on the homepage can make you go cross-eyed.

Reality: OK, also true, but only in extreme cases. This isn’t going well. Let’s give it one more shot.

Claim: This website revamping is a shameless promotional ploy for Pat’s upcoming, last-minute presidential run.

Reality: While Pat does have designs on world domination, and his common-sense perspective would certainly make for a refreshing alternative to some other candidates we might name, he won’t be running for president. At least not in 2012.

Speaking of Pat, stay tuned to this site for his upcoming blog post, which will offer an in-depth look at our new package-pricing system, and how we think that it will help us help you to reach what science has coined “maximum awesometude.”

In the meantime, know this:

– Yes, our new site will better emphasize the strategic relationship we have with ace app developers 7/Apps.

– No, you won’t be able to control our new website with your mind, a la Clint Eastwood’s jet in the film “Firefox.”

– Yes, site design and navigation have both been improved, creating an experience that one critic has called, “THE feel-good action-packed romantic rollercoaster thrillride of this year or any other.”

– No, no McCormicks were harmed during the making of the new site. That’s our story and we’re sticking to it.

– Yes, you will still have access to all the same great videos, hyperlocal storytelling, and dangerously sharp snark as before, but now it will have 30% less MSG.

Stay tuned, friends, family and cabal mates. The future is now, but we’re only leaking it one day at a time.

Distillers at AM:PM PR's first anniversary party

First Anniversary Party Video

 
 

Scenes from AM:PM PR’s first anniversary party mingle with fire chief Pat McCormick’s speech to the friends, clients and family that showed up to support us and the community that is our home. Included among the participants were members of Distillery Row, Cascade Brewing, Zanzibar Cellars, Eat Your Heart Out Catering, Phoogoo, and the creative minds associated with PoBoy Art and Chris Haberman Art.

yogapose

We’re Better at PR than… “Yoga”

In the latest installment of AM:PM PR’s “We’re Better at PR” series of videos, the gang tackles yoga, with typically inept results. AM:PM PR is a public relations firm based in Portland that believes humor is one very important tool of good communication. If this video makes you chuckle, drop us a line on Facebook or Twitter.

AM:PM PR original crew

AM:PM PR rings in a year of doing public relations their way

Media Advisory
July 12, 2011
503-232-1015

PORTLAND, OR – (July 12. 2011) Portland-based communications team AM:PM PR celebrates a year of doing things differently during the month of July. This time last year, public relations veterans Allison and Pat McCormick left a more traditional, established firm in a downtown high rise in favor of Portland’s Central Eastside.

Choosing a renovated historic firehouse in Buckman has given AM:PM PR the chance to be a real part of a neighborhood – a seeming impossibility downtown. Making friends in Distillery Row and with People’s Art of Portland has shaped the celebration of AM:PM PR’s first year in business.

That diversity of character also defines AM:PM PR’s work with clients including Motorola, Unified Grocers, Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, and 7 Apps.

“Rather than picking clients based on their size, we have looked for companies with stories worth telling,” says AM:PM PR’s Allison McCormick.

“Part of doing things differently involves being generous with our knowledge and experience,” Pat McCormick adds.

For every nationally recognized name AM:PM PR takes on, it’s central to its mission as a company to help out businesses from the neighborhood. As the term hyperlocal helps to redefine journalism, it’s also helped to chart AM:PM PR’s trajectory. Working with Alder Pastry & Dessert, Oregon Distillers Guild and Bremik Construction have strengthened the firm’s relationships in the neighborhood and helped the organizations maximize their reach outside the neighborhood.

In honor of the company’s first birthday, AM:PM PR launched a new website, which Allison and Pat hope will exemplify many of the characteristics they recommend to their clients. It’s social, visually engaging yet clean, and is constantly updated with new content – sharing industry insights with personality.

AM:PM PR’s Birthday Bash on July 14 will serve not just as a celebration of prospering during a time of economic uncertainty, but also as a celebration of the community it calls home. Local businesses ranging from its Distillery Row neighbors to Cascade Brewing, Eat Your Heart Out Catering, Flux Salon, Portlandia International Language School and more all have pledged their time and services to make it an affair to remember.

AM:PM PR is a Portland-based public relations firm established in July 2010, and specializing in marketing, integrating social networking into strategic communications, qualitative research and corporate communications. The firm represents the consumer product, healthcare, telecommunications, technology, construction, non-profit, business-to-business and waste industries. For more information about AM:PM PR, see its website, www.ampmpr.com, follow it on Twitter @AMPMPR, or like it on Facebook. Or, just stop by Fire House No. 7 and introduce yourself.

Files:
Press Release PDF
AM:PM PR Logo
AM:PM PR Logo Vertical
AM:PM PR Team Photo

Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1FjMB-pD

ampmpr team firehouse

AM:PM PR – still standing! Yeah, yeah yeah!

fluxby Jake Ten Pas

While it’s only been 10 months since our launch party, it’s been a full year since the actual launch of this crazy public relations space ship we call AM:PM PR. Sure, there have been a few asteroids, black holes, unhappy aliens and bounty hunters with personal vendettas along the way, but for the most part, it’s been smooth lightspeeding.

7/apps logo
Whether or not you believe that, you can trust me when I say that the party we’ve got planned to celebrate our year anniversary/first birthday with our sister firm, 7 Apps, is going to be visible from space. OK, so maybe that’s still hyperbole, but it is going to be super fun and so packed with local goodness that, if we were to broadcast the soiree live to the web, people all around the world could put their differences aside and be united in wondering why they don’t live in Portland.

Given that Pat and Allison have real work to do, and Cam’s been scalp-deep in a redesign of our website, Alexis and I took it upon ourselves to round up some of our favorite neighborhood and greater-Portland-area people to show off how well connected we are, and, we hope, look all the better by our illustrious associations.

distillery row passportWe’ll have six different distilleries on hand, including Deco, Sub Rosa and Integrity Spirits from our neighbor Distillery Row. Ashland’s Organic Nation, Wilsonville’s Vinn Distillery and Portland’s own Bull Run Distillery will also be with us. Our association with the Oregon Distillers Guild has yielded some tasty results, as you can see.

If that’s not enough, Will Smith from High Ball Distillery will bring products from his other endeavor, Great Western Spirits – such as Four Roses Bourbon – to further increase our range of offerings. His partner in Distillery Row Tours, Mike Heavener, will be on hand to tell you all about what’s going down with The Row.

Then there’s the beer and wine. Our favorite makers of sour beer, Cascade Brewing is sending over a keg from itseat your heart out logo
Barrel House, and Oregon’s greatest microbrewery, Ninkasi is donating cases thanks to the involvement of two artists we’re fortunate to have in the neighborhood, but I’ll get to that in a minute. First, I have to mention Zanzibar Cellars who’s graciously donating a bunch of vino for the cultured sippers in attendance.

To soak all this up, or maybe to make you thirsty in the first place, we’ll have the fabulous finger food of Eat Your Heart Out Catering for your snacking pleasure, as well as the sweet treats of Alder Pastry & Dessert. If you need a pick-me-up, Nossa Familia Coffee will be percolating your perfect cup. Helado, we’ve even got frozen yogurt thanks to one of our newest neighborhood friends, Active Culture.

people's art logo portland
But back to the art. If you were at the launch party, you likely noticed the colorful paintings punctuating the white space of the walls. Those were courtesy of artist Chris Haberman and PoBoy Art. This year, Haberman and his partner in the Peoples Art of Portland, Jason Brown, and an armada of their artist buddies will set sail for the shores of your pleasure centers. This imagistic invasion will be propelled by the sounds of DJ Hasselhoff, aka Zach Hoffman of Phoogoo.

Also along for the ride will be Leslie Hand Painted Glass, PDX Seamsters and a bevy of other Portland businesses. Donating items to our raffle this year will be Nicholas Restaurant, Flux Salon, Portlandia International Language School, Three Friends Coffee, Distillery Row Tours, FH Steinbart Homebrewing Supply Store, Enso Winery, Zell’s Cafe and Floyd’s Coffee. And Ankeny Hardware will once again loan us garbage cans to keep the party as clean as possible. There will even be a lemonade stand operated by three of the cutest kids you’ve ever seen, and I’m not just saying that because they’re Allison and Juan’s.

Finally, we have to mention our new best friend, Jack Hopkins, who was generous enough to loan us the huge parking lot behind our building free of charge. It abuts Cornerstone Automotive Group and NW Medical, and we hope to see their employees making with the merriment at our Birthday Bash.

In the past week, we’ve been diligently trying to invite everybody we know, love, “like,” and do business with, but it’s a long list. If we’ve forgotten you, drop us a line, and we’ll get you an invite. This party is going to be one for the ages, and it’s our little way of thanking the city and neighborhood that have nourished us along the way. We welcome the chance to nourish you right back. Cheers.