Archive for the The Examiner 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.

Artists Use Musical Talents To Fight Water Scarcity Crisis in Third World

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

While hip hop is often blamed for contributing to many societal ills like violence and sexism, Philadelphia hip hop duo Drematic and Y?Arcka are using their musical talents to address community issues.  The duo are using their recently released album Water to raise funds to build a 100 fresh water wells in developing nations where millions lack access to clean drinking water.  

Not only are they committing 100 percent of the album’s proceeds to the cause, but they have also established the nonprofit Water is Humanity to help raise funds.

The native Jamaican Drematic said, “I’ve always taken the art form seriously, but the realization that I could actually play an active role in making things better made me reassess my art. That’s when things got real.”

For both artists, “This project has purpose. We’re not in it to big ourselves up. We’re in it to change the world,”  said New Jersey raised producer Y?Arcka. 

Taking hip hop back to  the earlier days, when artists focused on social justice,  the duo created Water to not only showcase their lyrical and musical talents but also expand community members’ knowledge on the issue.

According to about one in eight individuals worldwide lack access to safe drinking water, resulting in the death of 1.4 million children each year due to preventable illnesses like diarrhea.

Additionally, women in the developing world spend more than 200 million hours of their day just collecting water. To make matters worse 272 million school attendance days are lost each year, as children are forced to stay home from school to help collect clean water miles away from  their home.

“It’s unthinkable that people are dying because they lack access to a simple thing like drinking water,” Y?Arcka said. Drematic adds, “Water is a human right for all people.”

To show the world that water is indeed humanity, the duo is not only currently selling their album at, but they’re also planning several upcoming fundraisers in the Philadelphia area.

Music Producer and Entrepreneur Gives Back to His Community

Posted in Reggae, The Examiner, TuchPoint, TuchPoint Music Productions with tags on December 23, 2011 by thephoenixpr
Music Producer

Philadelphia native Emmanuel “TuchPoint” Aden is definitely what one would call a renaissance man, not only does he serve as a music producer to musical artists across the globe — like reggae artist TEFF, rap acts like Gillie Da Kidd, Young Chris, and  Jack Frost to name a few — but he is deeply committed to giving back to his community.

The music producer and real estate/construction company business owner has been involved in several community initiatives this year. TuchPoint not only served as an inspirational guest speaker on DJ Damage’s All Hamm Back to School Tour, but he regularly serves as a mentor to several Philadelphia students.

TuchPoint says he not only wants to “motivate them to continue on with their education, [but show them that] “once you have reached the minimum level of success you’re responsible to give back.”

The business mogul is definitely living up to his own words of advice. When he is not producing records for billboard topping artists or running his real estate and construction business he volunteer as a drill team instructor in his neighborhood.

Some may wonder how he finds time to give back while running his own business, but for TuchPoint the secret is incorporating his nine to five with his work in the community. He has used his role as a mentor to give Philadelphia students hands on experience in music video production.  His mentees have gotten the opportunity to produce music videos for musical acts like Bad Boy artist E-nice, TEFF and Jack Frost.

TuchPoint says he enjoys giving students these hands on experiences to show them that “it’s cool to chase your dreams.” Still, he admits that he has been blessed to follow his musical passions because of his strong educational foundation.

“Music is a luxury,” TuPoint says of  his opportunity to not only produce music, but also own TuchPoint Music Productions. TuPoint says, “Because of construction I’ve been afforded the structure to do it[produce music].”

Still, he stresses that he wants to show students that the glitz and glamour of the music industry does not come without hard work and perseverance. TuchPoint says he encourages to students to stay in school and be responsible, telling them that “when it’s your dream no one can take it [away].” He is also committed to producing music with a positive message. 

Not only is he dedicated to helping students reach their dreams, but he is also trying to help those individuals who have gone down the wrong path get their life back.

TuchPoint makes it a point to hire people who have recently been released from prison for his construction and real estate business.

TuchPoint says they appreciate the second chance, and he is happy to do whatever he can to help them get their life back on track.  

The entrepreneur is also trying to expand employment opportunities for returning military veterans. TuchPoint is partnering with the organization Impact to develop a program that will help veterans gain work skills in the construction industry. Not only is he working to develop the employment skills program, but he also plans on hiring a few of the program’s graduates.

In addition to his year round work in the community, he makes it a point to give back during the holiday season.  This Thanksgiving he served as a sponsor to help provide a half a dozen Philadelphia families with baskets filled with turkey and the dressings. He is also currently helping with the city-wide holiday coat drive. 

In 2012, the renaissance man plans to continue to cement his place as a leader in his community and the music industry.  TuchPoint not only plans on working with artists in the UK and Asia, but he would also like to take a few college students with him to share the experience. He is also looking into starting a transportation initiative with artist TEFF  to make it easier for students in the country side of Jamaica to get to school.

One day TuPoint says he may start a nonprofit centered on helping youths gain the skills needed to be entrepreneurs in their community. TuPoint says his experiences working as a music producer and business owner has provided him with the “cross learning” needed to participate in the many community initiatives he is involved in. 


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.