WFAA Barks Up Social Media Tree

I love dogs. I have two mutts I’m crazy about and for as long as I can remember I’ve been an advocate for rescue animals. A couple of years ago, I decided to use my expertise in public relations to help raise awareness for animal adoption and found a volunteer PR position with Dallas Pets Alive, a volunteer-driven, nonprofit animal rescue group with the goal of making Dallas a “no-kill” city.

Dala gives each full-time employee the opportunity to use one work day as a volunteer day. I feel very grateful to work at a company that allows its employees to not only volunteer as a group once each quarter but gives each employee a day to give back to the community on their own.

 Jenny Lyons, producer at WFAA, David Schechter and Tiffany Liou, reporter with Bonesy. Photo via  Instagram .

Jenny Lyons, producer at WFAA, David Schechter and Tiffany Liou, reporter with Bonesy. Photo via Instagram.

Through my volunteer position as director of PR at Dallas Pets Alive, I recently got the chance work with WFAA to help raise awareness of the need for fosters. WFAA’s David Schechter reached out to me to find out what Dallas Pets Alive is doing to make Dallas “no-kill” and if the organization would consider being on a panel for a Facebook Live video on the need for fosters in Dallas.

As more and more Americans get news online and via social media, WFAA has adapted by running Facebook Live interviews either separately or in conjunction with a broadcast segment. A recent survey from Kagan U.S. Consumer Insights states that approximately half (49%) of internet adults watch local TV news programs and 40% acquire news online.

What started out as a request to be part of a Facebook Live panel on WFAA’s Facebook page, quickly snowballed into an incredible opportunity for Dallas Pets Alive. The organization was featured in three separate broadcast stories about Dallas Pets Alive’s mission, a before/after of a rescue cat named Bob Marley and a feature on a foster family. This broadcast coverage reached a total potential audience of 350,154 people and had a calculated publicity value of $123,150. The Facebook Live video also had more than 18,000 views.

Dallas Pets Alive received $11,000 in donations and 21 applications to adopt or foster an animal as a result of the broadcast coverage and Facebook Live video.

Here’s how this opportunity went from a Facebook Live video request to multiple broadcast segments, planned social shares and an in-studio phone bank.

David Schechter has a segment on WFAA called, “Verify” where he takes questions from viewers and brings them along on his quest for the answer. One viewer, Anissa Perez, asked if euthanizing animals for space at Dallas Animal Services was still necessary.

David took Anissa to Dallas Animal Services to take a tour and talk with them to find out why Dallas is still euthanizing animals for space in the city’s shelter. After they toured the Dallas shelter, David and Anissa went to Austin, the largest U.S. city to ban euthanasia as a means of reducing overcrowding. They met with leaders at Austin Animal Center, who explained that they were able to get Austin to “no-kill” status with the help of their community partners like Austin Pets Alive.

 Leslie Sans, executive director for Dallas Pets Alive, Ed Jamison, director of Dallas Animal Services and David Schechter before the Facebook Live video started.

Leslie Sans, executive director for Dallas Pets Alive, Ed Jamison, director of Dallas Animal Services and David Schechter before the Facebook Live video started.

When David got back from Austin, he contacted Dallas Pets Alive to find out what the organization is doing to get Dallas to “no-kill” status. After learning that Dallas Pets Alive’s fosters and supporters played a key role in helping Dallas Animal Services increase their live-release rate from less than 50 percent in 2012 to 81.5 percent in September of 2017, David wanted to know what his viewers could do to help.

Over the course of a few phone calls with WFAA, we planned three separate stories about Dallas Pets Alive that would air on Nov. 14 on the 4 p.m., 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. broadcasts leading up to the Verify segment during the 10 p.m. broadcast; an in-studio phone bank where viewers could call in with questions, foster applications and donations for Dallas Pets Alive; brought adoptable dogs to the studio to promote the need for fosters, volunteers and donations; had volunteers make videos that WFAA could edit and share on social throughout the day; and planned a Facebook Live video that would run directly after the Verify segment with Leslie Sans, executive director of Dallas Pets Alive, Ed Jamison, director of Dallas Animal Services and David Schechter.

Leading up to the air-date, I helped WFAA get interviews/b-roll for the three separate stories on Dallas Pets Alive; managed the volunteer videos for WFAA to use on social; created a document with key messages and prepared answers to questions that phone bank volunteers might get asked; and prepped the executive director with a briefing book for the Facebook Live interview.

On Nov. 14, I went to WFAA to help staff the phone bank, manage logistics and help manage questions from the Facebook Live video. After each segment aired and they cut to the phone bank, our phones rang non-stop for 30 minutes or so. It was a great to see the immediate positive response from viewers who called in to help Dallas Pets Alive.

This post was written by Krystal Morris

 Here I am, front and center, ready to staff the phone bank.

Here I am, front and center, ready to staff the phone bank.

Four Key Takeaways from the Dallas Regional Chamber’s Young Professionals Summit

The Dala team recently attended the Dallas Regional Chamber’s fifth annual Young Professionals (YP) Summit at The Statler Dallas. We enjoyed a day of networking and engaging in thought-provoking discussions with leaders in industries ranging from finance to retail. We discussed a variety advocating for change, avoiding workplace burnout, giving back to the community, leading when you’re not in charge and managing your personal finances.

Here are our top four takeaways from the conference:

1) “Be curious and always ask questions. Use empathy when communicating with others to create a stronger bond with your colleagues.” - Ashley Sheetz, chief marketing officer, At Home

2) “The better you know your team, the more they’ll want to be in the same room as you and take you seriously. Young professionals should create the opportunity to be seen by others, especially by upper leadership at work.” - Rocky Garza, entrepreneur

3) Elizabeth Morgan from Fidelity Investments suggested young professionals should seek financial guidance from financial experts to help them manage their finances and save for retirement. When asked about protecting yourself from a downturn in the market, she explained that the best way to avoid long-term impact from a recession is to create a plan that caters to you and to stick with it.

4)  Lastly, a panel of local political experts, that was moderated by WFAA’s Jason Whitley, shared their insights on the importance of voting and how best to advocate for positive change.  They also shared resources that are available to help voters make informed decisions on important issues. Check out DallasCountyVotes.org for more information.

To learn more about this year’s YP Summit click here.

 Photo credit: Dallas Regional Chamber

Photo credit: Dallas Regional Chamber

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CALLING ALL GRAMMAR NERDS: WE’RE HIRING A SPRING 2019 PUBLIC RELATIONS INTERN

Are you a self-proclaimed “grammar nerd” and a stickler for AP Style? Do you enjoy multitasking? Are you a self-starter and a team player? If you said “yes” to any of these questions, consider joining the Dala Communications team as our spring 2019 PR intern!

At Dala, we consider our interns to be a valuable part of the team. We encourage our interns to provide input and share ideas throughout the length of their internship.

Our interns get hands-on experience in a wide range of public relations and marketing activities that include, but are not limited to:

·       Attending client meetings to learn how we execute and manage strategic PR plans

·       Writing, editing and distributing press materials

·       Developing and pitching stories to the media

·       Attending print, radio, web and TV news interviews

·       Tracking and reporting media coverage

·       Learning how to plan, manage and track the success of an event

·       Creating content for Dala’s social media channels

·       Writing for The Dala Daily (our blog)

  • Attending occasional PR industry events and participating in seminars, webinars and other professional training

Working within a client-focused team setting, interacting with all disciplines to get real-world experience and understanding of the collaborative nature of the agency environment.

 Our intern with a few of the Dala team members at The Dallas Regional Cahmber YP Summit

Our intern with a few of the Dala team members at The Dallas Regional Cahmber YP Summit

Our PR firm handles a variety of accounts in industries ranging from commercial real estate and construction services to education and corporate social responsibility. We consider our team tiny but mighty, and therefor need an intern willing to work hard and contribute along the way. A successful Dala intern is detail-oriented and a resourceful self-starter with a positive attitude. An understanding of media relations, social media and AP Style, along with strong written and verbal communication skills, are required.

The spring internship typically runs January through May. Hours are flexible with a minimum of 12 hours a week at our office. If you’re looking to get hands-on experience in the PR field, send your resume, cover letter, two writing samples and three professional references to Elizabeth@DalaCommunications.com by Nov. 23rd no later than 4 p.m. Please no phone calls. Applicants will be contacted directly.

 

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Client Success Story: Frontgate

We’re taking a look back at some of our most successful multi-tiered PR campaigns from the last year and here is one of our faves that focused on working with DFW influencers. During the fall of last year, we were tasked with establishing awareness of Frontgate, a well-known, national luxury home retailer with a strong online and catalog customer base, and the opening of its first Texas flagship store in Legacy West. We were charged with developing an integrated communications campaign that would yield media and consumer interest, build awareness with key stakeholders and establish new online influencer relationships in the region, all of which would translate into strong in-store sales.

Our newest case study details our strategy to help Frontgate make a splash in what would be dubbed “the worst year on record” for brick-and-mortar retail. Read on to learn about our influencer marketing strategy that resulted in one of our most memorable events. We were proud to be a part of the team that introduced this well-known retailer to the Dallas market, and we did it with style complete with a champagne saber to toast the opening! Cheers y’all!

Dala team attends PRSA Dallas Drinks and Diversity Mixer: Five key takeaways from this packed event

Last month, the Dala team headed over to Capital Factory in Dallas after work for a Drinks and Diversity Mixer in celebration of PRSA’s National Diversity and Inclusion Month. PRSA Dallas and ColorComm Dallas hosted the sold-out event, which featured Bernard Coleman, III, global head of diversity and inclusion at Uber, as the keynote speaker.

To say Bernard is an expert in diversity and inclusion is an understatement. Prior to his role at Uber, he led Hillary for America’s diversity initiatives and was the first ever chief diversity and human resources officer in United States history for any presidential campaign of either political party.  Bernard has a strong history working with human resources, talent recruitment, analytics, marketing, communications and branding in an effort to enhance diversity throughout an organization.  

 The packed room was engaged in the discussion as Bernard shared what we (as public relations and marketing pros) can do to overcome obstacles and thrive when we find ourselves at the center of implicit bias.

prsadiversitymixer.jpg

Here are five tips for success anyone can use when faced with bias at work:

Call out the action: Rather than calling people out for being racist or sexist, we should focus on how and why the language they used was oppressive. People can reflect on and address the impact of their actions, rather than focusing on defending their character or intentions.

Share perspective: Engage in dialogue to reconcile biases and open conversation with peers to help motivate people to change behavior.

Use storytelling as a tool: Share a personal narrative to create a deeper understanding and to produce greater empathy.

Sponsorship: Seek a “sponsor” or a champion to help you access essential networks, which will help bring your achievements to the attention of upper management.

Act as a catalyst: Ask your company what they plan on doing to promote equality and reduce discrimination.

Join the conversation on PRSA Diversity and Inclusion Month by clicking here.

Leah EkmarkComment
Dala Communications President Selected for the Dallas Regional Chamber’s Leadership Dallas Class

Recently, our president, Leah Williams, APR, was selected to be part of the Dallas Regional Chamber's Leadership Dallas class, the premier leadership development program in the Dallas region. Currently in its 43rd year, Leadership Dallas prepares a diverse group of leaders to serve as agents and sustainers of positive change for the quality of life in the Dallas community. Each year the Dallas Regional Chamber selects 55 emerging business and community leaders to participate in this prestigious program, which serves as an opportunity for individuals who are both acknowledged and aspiring leaders to continue their professional development and further cultivate a demonstrated commitment to the serving the Dallas area.

 “As an east Dallas native, I have a passion for giving back to the community I grew up in and watching it flourish. One of my goals has been to cultivate and promote positive change outside of my four walls and my business. It is a great honor to be recognized as an emerging leader amongst the many existing in the Dallas community and be included in the Leadership Dallas class.” – Leah Ekmark Williams, APR 

Through this program, Leah will gain the knowledge and skills to continue to bring about positive change in the Dallas community. She was selected based on her strong commitment to the community and leadership role at Dala and with the Dallas business community.

Leadership Dallas has more than 2,200 graduates who continue to provide positive change in the region. Many alumni have achieved tremendous business success in Dallas and/or gone on to a career in public service. Leadership Dallas alumni include former police chiefs, former U.S. Ambassadors and elected officials at the city, state and national levels.

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Join the Dala Team | Hiring a Strategic Fall 2018 Intern

We consider our interns to be a valuable part of the Dala team. Our interns will experience a wide range of public relations and marketing activities including developing and pitching stories to the media, visiting news studios to see our clients on live TV, executing events and developing content for Dala’s social media pages and blog.

Our PR firm handles a variety of accounts in industries ranging from commercial real estate and construction services to education and corporate social responsibility. A successful Dala intern is detail-oriented and a resourceful self-starter with a positive attitude. An understanding of media relations, social media and AP Style, along with strong written and verbal communication skills, are required.

Internship responsibilities include:

  • Drafting and editing media materials including pitches, media alerts, news releases, backgrounders, fact sheets and media briefing books for clients
  • Creating/updating media lists
  • Tracking media coverage and updating clip logs for clients
  • Assisting with the development and execution of plans, events and activities that support client communication goals and objectives
  • Gathering and organizing editorial calendars
  • Reviewing newspapers/industry publications for client mentions
  • Researching media, clients, client competitors and/or other subjects requested by team
  • Assisting with social media planning and account maintenance for clients
  • Drafting posts for The Dala Daily (our blog) and social handles
  • Attending occasional PR industry events and participating in seminars, webinars and other professional training
  • Working within a client-focused team setting, interacting with all disciplines to get real-world experience and understanding of the collaborative nature of the agency environment

The fall internship typically runs end of August through December. Hours are flexible with a minimum of 10 hours a week at the office. If you’re looking to get hands-on experience in the PR field, send your resume, cover letter and two writing samples to Elizabeth@DalaCommunications.com by July 23rd no later than 4 p.m. Please no phone calls. Applicants will be contacted directly.

Leah EkmarkComment
Client Solutions - Hyperloop Texas Raises Client's Brand Awareness to Infinite & Beyond
 AECOM Hyperloop Texas team lead Steven Duong sits down for an interview with KERA's Rick Holter for his weekly segment,  Friday Conversation on NPR .

AECOM Hyperloop Texas team lead Steven Duong sits down for an interview with KERA's Rick Holter for his weekly segment, Friday Conversation on NPR.

Here at Dala we're always working to update and maintain our case studies. Be sure to check out our most recent case study highlighting our work on the infamous Hyperloop project for Dala client, AECOM. You don't want to miss the update on our strategies and the stellar results our client has seen to date.

It's been a wild ride and we still have a lot more stories to tell as the Hyperloop project progresses. In fact, we just wrapped up an interview with U.S. News & World Report, so be on the lookout for that story this fall. We look forward to the day when the first Hyperloop comes to fruition. Fingers crossed the great Lone Star State is one of the first so we can finally make the trip from Dallas to Austin in just 15 minutes...just think, it would actually be feasible to plan a dinner at 7 with friends at Tex-Mex fave Trudy's, after a work day in Dallas. How crazy is that?!? 

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