Archive for the Article Category

Top Five PR Mistakes to Avoid

Posted in Article, The Examiner with tags , on December 23, 2011 by thephoenixpr

When one thinks of public relations blunders situations such as the BP oil spill and Toyota’s accelerator defects in 2010 may come to mind. Although we can all agree that crisis situations innately bring about negative public relations, the way a company handles these crisis will set the tone for its public image years after.  Here are the top five public relations blunders to avoid at all cost:

5. Bad Mouth the Competition

Although you might think your company’s product or services are the best, never bad mouth the competition in the press. Talking badly about the competition will not only make your company look bad in the public’s eye, but it takes away your opportunity to present your company’s key messages.

4. Say No Comment Period.

3. Forget about new media

For many companies, a placement in their town’s daily newspaper is the epitome of a successful media relations campaign. While traditional media does have its place, negative content on social media sites can cause a major PR crisis. To ensure your PR strategy is comprehensive, make sure your company is actively participating on social media as well as monitoring what is being said about the organization.

2. Thinking everything is newsworthy

Just because your company has a new product or  new staff member does not automatically mean the press will cover it. Any story that your company pitches to the media must adhere to one of the news values, which includes criteria such as timeliness, conflict, proximity and human interest. Essentially, whatever your company is pitching must have some impact  beyond the four walls of the building. Trust me!

If you really want to impress a reporter when pitching a story about your company, personalize the pitch by mentioning how it fits into their beat and other recent stories they have covered. To up the ante keep the pitch short (a page or a paragraph or two is even better) and include an angle. Including an angle allows you the chance to frame the message you want the public to receive (of course the media can and will write what it wants).

And the No. 1  PR blunder a business can make….

1. Lie: While some business people might view the PR person as a professional smart talker,effective public relations doesn’t involve lying. In today’s 24/7 media cycle and tech savvy world it’s not impossible for you to get away with lying, but your company will be burned at the stake by the media.  The Occupy Movement has clearly shown that people have an  inherent distrust for business, especially large corporations, so lying simply proves true all the negative perceptions people have of corporations.

While you should not lie, you do not necessarily have to show disclose every detail. The company’s level of disclosure all depends on the situation, taking into consideration both the legal, ethical and public opinion ramifications.


The Four Ps of Cups For A Cause

Posted in Article, Client News, Hip Hop, The Examiner with tags , , , on December 23, 2011 by thephoenixpr

The Phoenix PR applies the four Ps of marketing in many of its promotional and public relations campaigns. Currently, the agency is utilizing the four Ps of marketing (product, price, place and promotion) to execute a fundraiser for its Water is Humanity client, a charitable organization established by hip hop artists Drematic and Y?Arcka to generate funds to build 100 freshwater wells in third world nations.  

In terms of product, the Phoenix PR is leveraging people’s love of coffee to raise funds for the organization in the Cups for A Cause fundraising campaign in which coffee shops will give a part of their day’s profits to the organization.  Not only will these local shops donate a portion of the proceeds from the coffee sold, but the hip duo’s album Water will be available for sale via download cards. Essentially, this campaign has two products to raise funds the coffee and the album, which people will purchase via a download informational card. The informational download card will also serve as a promotional product for future marketing efforts.

While the coffee prices are already established by the local coffee shops, The Phoenix has established a low-price strategy to get the coffee shops interested in participating in the fundraiser. Shops will donate 50 cents for each small coffee sold, and a $1 for medium and large coffees. The low-price strategy was also used to set the price for the album download at $5. 

Coffee shops were selected as the place to have the fundraiser as it provides a connection to the key audiences Water is Humanity needs to reach out in order to attain its fundraising goal. As an organization committed to helping individuals in third world nations gain access to clean water, Water is Humanity must reach out to activists and wealthy/middle class individuals interested in donating to charitable organizations. As a result, coffee shops in high-income areas, as well as college areas were selected as the place for the fundraisers in order to reach the large activist community in universities as well as professionals located in the busy metropolitan areas of the city.  Coffee shops were selected for the fundraising place because these groups regularly frequent these shops.

Finally, the Cups for A Cause campaign will be promoted through the client’s social media sites, as well as traditional media outlets in the coffee shops’ neighborhood. The Phoenix PR will also reach out to professional organizations, as well as activist organizations in the community. Promotion is also an essential aspect in getting the coffee shops interested in participating, promotional skills to bring more patrons into the coffee shops in hopes of generating more revenue for the shops, and hence more funds for Water is Humanity.

The Cups for A Cause initiative is a great example of how the fours Ps of marketing applies to many business models, whether it is for a for-profit or nonprofit endeavor.

Philadelphia’s DJ Damage pays it forward to his community

Posted in Article, Hip Hop, The Examiner with tags , , , , , , on December 23, 2011 by thephoenixpr

Abdul “DJ Damage” Muhammad grew up in North Philadelphia and is no stranger to the issues that many inner city youth face today. Damage credits his mother, Adrienne Stokes, for keeping him out of trouble and encouraging him to work hard and give back to his community. After graduating from Temple University, the youngest on air mixer, decided he wanted to devote some time to encouraging young people to pursue higher education, work hard and achieve their dreams. So he launched the All Hamm Back to School Tour.

Damage, 22, says, “Talking to these kids is really just about reaffirming and encouraging them to do the positive things they’ve been destined to do.”

Damage’s presence on Philadelphia’s HOT 107.9 radio station is another way he connects with the city’s youth.

“Music is a universal language, and I’m blessed to be able to use my position as a DJ to really listen to what the youth have to say, and show them that people do care about them. I care about them; I care about seeing them succeed and do positive things in the community.” 

In addition to being the keynotespeaker on the All Hamm Back to School Tour at various schools throughout Philadelphia, Damage served as a panelist for the ‘Villa Dream Project’, an educational initiative encouraging students to dream big and pursue higher education. He also spoke at the Philadelphia School of the Future, for Senator Vincent Hughes’ back to school event.

“I want youth to know that they’re capable of being the next astronaut, doctor, lawyer or singer, whatever their heart desires as long as they work hard and get an education,” Damage said.

DJ Damage isn’t just talking the talk, he’s living it. He graduated from Temple University in May with a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcasting, Telecommunications and Mass Media. During his time at Temple he maintained a 3.0 GPA all while balancing his on-air responsibilities at Radio One and DJ-ing some of the hottest parties in the tri-state area.  He’s proof that hard work does pays off. In addition to his many other accomplishments, Damage recently was a guest co-host on BET’s 106 & Park.

“With (people from) Philly, you’ve got to keep it real, whether it’s a teen or adult you’re talking to,” Damage said. “I never dish out advice unless I actually live the values I’m talking about. People can see through that.”

Despite the impact he’s clearly having on the youth, Damage stays humble. But if you watch him interact with those who look up to him, like in the recent CNN feature, it’s clear DJ Damage is making a difference.

“I never knew that a stranger could come into my life and be the one that shows me how to be a man…” says 17 year old Emire Lloyd of DJ Damage.

When asked about the impact her favorite DJ has had on her life Danaya Williams said “Damage always says he’s on ‘Level 10’ when he’s DJ-ing, but he inspires the younger generation to go for ‘Level 10’, to give our absolute best, in whatever we do.”

“I don’t do any of this for the cameras or the papers,” Damage said.  “I’m a part of the community, and it’s only right that I do my part.”

Know Thy Self: Self Branding

Posted in Article, The Examiner on November 26, 2011 by thephoenixpr

There is a distinct difference between branding oneself and branding a product or service. Commonly, people mistake the two believing that they are one in the same. While both involves conveying a positive and consistent image to an audience, self-branding is much more personal and constantly evolving.  

As Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success author Dan Schawbel wrote, creating a brand for one’s self is simply about creating an equivalent image of how you perceive yourself and how others see you. So how do you get others to see you in a positive light? Simply put, you have to let them get to know who you really are. Craft a succinct 30 second bio you can recite every time you introduce yourself to someone new. While you want to make sure it includes your key accomplishments, remember to sound genuine and unrehearsed, as doing otherwise could make you appear arrogant. Just as first impressions are lasting, so is the first impression one has of your brand.

Beyond your 30 second elevator speech, it’s imperative that you have a personal website. Your website should include a regularly updated bio highlighting your professional accomplishes and personal triumphs. Be sure to include background information on how you got to where you are today. To further help distinguish “brand you” from everyone else in the world, make sure your brand is conveyed in a consistent way. The design for your website should match your business cards and any other online profiles you may have.

To expose your brand, regularly seek out opportunities to showcase “brand you” to key audiences. Every event or encounter with someone is a self branding opportunity. If you’re looking to expose your brand to a particular set of people, you would want to attend the sort of events these people would.

Perhaps you’re thinking you don’t have a clue on how to market yourself or you’re just in need of additional help; if so, seek out the assistance of marketing and public relations professionals. Firms, like The Phoenix PR, 3BG Marketing Solutions, or Signature Red, not only provide one-time consultations to help you identify what your brand is and how to appropriately convey that image to influential people, but they can directly connect you with these influential individuals. With a press release, firms like The Phoenix PR, can leverage their network to get your brand out to key people.

Following the above tips can help you create a recognizable personal brand that people trust. A strong personal brand can mark an individual as the go-to person in their industry, establishing their dominance as a relevant individual in that domain. As a result, the individual not only gains notoriety in their area of expertise, but they’re also viewed as a credible source.

The key to maintaining a strong and credible personal brand is remembering that just as you are constantly evolving, so is your brand. Although, you want to be consistent with the overall brand image you’re conveying, be sure to draw from new personal and professional experiences to perfect your brand.

Follow Chi-Chi on Twitter at @ThePhoenixPR or contact


This article was originally posted on, where Chidelu “Chi-Chi” Enigwe  writes about trends in public relations and marketing.

Marketing vs. Social Media vs. PR: What Each Means for Your Brand

Posted in Article, The Examiner on November 26, 2011 by thephoenixpr

Although we tend to hear the words public relations, marketing and social media used interchangeably they are three distinct entities instrumental in building a brand.

To make the picture a little clearer here’s a breakdown of the three:

Public Relation: Put simply public relations is all about building mutually beneficial relationships. PR professionals work to build and maintain the trust of various audiences. This is accomplished through a variety of strategies, including positive press coverage, events or fundraising efforts.  In essence, public relations consist of reputation management. However, instead of working to manage this reputation solely to promote a product or service, as marketers do, the PR person is primarily focusing on building trust with its key audiences.

Public relations is almost a roundabout way an organization goes about creating profit. Plus, PR has been known to be more cost effective than marketing, as a single placement from a media outlet can have a profound affect on the popularity of a brand.   Better stated, PR professionals believe if you build trust in the company’s brand the sales will come.

 Marketing: On the other hand, marketing focuses on how this trust directly impacts the bottom-line.  Marketers are not only concerned with building public awareness about their current products or services, but they are also looking at current trends to predict the future product and service needs of current and perspective clients.  To sum things up, marketing is about connecting with individuals in order to close the sale.

 You may wonder how does this differ from PR, but it varies greatly. Because traditional marketers can often get so sales focused, it can make it challenging for them to actually close the sales. Nowadays, people aren’t simply buying a product or service, but instead they are investing in a relationship, and if the customer’s expectations aren’t met or exceeded that relationship — and thus future sales— will end very quickly.

Thus, the current blurring of the line between PR and marketing is actually more profitable for an organization because it combines the product and service expertise of the marketer with the relationship-building skills of the PR professional.

Social media:  So, how does social media fit into and standout from marketing and PR? Social media is simply the tool an organization may use to execute a marketing or public relations campaign. While, it’s a good way to build “brand ambassadors” it is by no means the only tool in the PR or marketing professional’s toolbox, and it should always be used as a part of a broader plan.

Although effective in spreading word-of-mouth in the world’s largest public arena, the Internet, social media needs to be combined with a strong marketing and public relations strategy in order to keep customers happy with the products and services of the company, and the company itself. Companies that have effectively combined the three are not only having their brand received well, but as a by-product, they have a much healthier om-line.  

This article was originally posted on, where Chidelu “Chi-Chi” Enigwe  writes about trends in public relations and marketing.

Getting More Bang for Your Social Media Buck: The Benefits of Cross Promotion

Posted in Article, The Examiner on November 26, 2011 by thephoenixpr

In today’s fast paced world effectively managing your social media accounts can be a challenge. Neglecting any of these accounts can turn visitors off not only from visiting these sites, but also the brand you may be trying to build or maintain. Thanks to technology, however, they’re numerous tools to help you maximize your social media efforts.

Tools like HootSuite and TweetDeck almost make it inexcusable for any one not to keep their social media accounts up to date.

Cross promotion, especially in the realm of social media, is pivotal to maximizing your brand’s reach, while simultaneously leveraging your partners’ networks. Getting another organization to give you an online shout-out can do wonders for your brand image. If people see these organizations as credible institutions, then they will begin equating this with your brand as well. In a world where relationships mean everything, cross promotion is a great way to show off these connections to a variety of people. This increased exposure can mean more opportunities for establishing new relationships.   
When used effectively, cross promotion can be the gift that keeps on giving. The benefits of cross promotion are powerful on the Web because you are not only sharing your message to your current audience, but with people having multiple social media accounts they have multiple opportunities to re-tweet and re-post  brands they believe in.

With this being said, it is vital that the content on your social media sites are not only up to date, but also engaging. If you’ve seen any of the latest viral videos, you’ll notice that they are memorial because they are out of the box ideas. So, when you are creating content for your social media sites remember to keep it entertaining, but also on point with your brand message. Burger King’s subservient chicken campaign is a great example of this.

Another tip publicity expert Joan Stewart  suggests to further your social media cross promotional efforts, is linking to each site from your website. One study found that 56 percent of Fortune 50 companies did not link to social media sites on their homepage.  Doing so is to the company’s peril, as they lose an interested individual’s attention in learning more about the brand, and possibly becoming a brand ambassador for the company.  Another easily lost cross promotional opportunity is not including links to all your social media sites on the individual platforms.  To build brand ambassadors a company needs to connect with their customers on various levels, so not showcasing all your social media sites is detrimental to achieving this. Another often forgotten tool in promoting your social media sites is email. If you haven’t already, be sure to include links to all your social media sites in your email signature. Want to do even better?  Include links to your social media sites on your business card.

Ultimately cross promotion on social media sites is beneficial because it gives your brand multiple opportunities to stick out among the millions of messages circulating on and off line.

This article was originally posted on, where Chidelu “Chi-Chi” Enigwe  writes about trends in public relations and marketing.

What Would You Bid to Capture the Prince?

Posted in Article, Events, Press Release with tags , , , , , , on December 19, 2010 by thephoenixpr

On February 12, 2011, The Kennedy Art Initiative (KAI), The Phoenix PR, and Vivant Art Gallery will be hosting a Bachelor’s Auction to celebrate a month filled with love. The Glass Slipper: 2011 Bachelor’s Auction will be taking place from 7pm until 10 pm at the pristine Vivant Art Gallery on 60 North 2nd Street in the Olde City section of Philadelphia.

These will not be your ordinary bachelors. Guests will have the opportunity to mix and mingle with local celebrities, elite singles and bachelors from all backgrounds and professions. There will be someone for every pallate. These bachelor’s are all up for grabs and are doing so in the name of a good cause–giving children in third world countries the opportunity to experience the creative joy that art can bring. What’s sexier than that?

The Glass Slipper: 2011 Bachelor’s Aucition event will be complete with hors d’oeuvres and other delicacies for guests to enjoy. The press is calling it “The perfect opportunity for Philadelphia’s singles to come together, this Valentine’s Day weekend!” With tickets being at first come first serve basis… guests will certainly want to reserve the date to reserve their Valentine’s day date!

For more information or to contact public relations at 215-668-8171, email or visit

The Phoenix PR
The CW
Vivant Art Collection