Big Red Business Buzz

January 30, 2009

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Today’s blog is dedicated to the Arizona Cardinals – with a few words of wisdom from one of HMA’s favorite members of the media, the Arizona Republic’s Chad Graham.
Inspired by the much-maligned and former national joke of a football team, Graham decided to write a business-themed article on how local companies are celebrating the Cardinals’ historic playoff run and first-time appearance in this weekend’s big game – and how this year’s NFL Playoffs really helped to boost morale statewide.

Instead of emailing or calling local PR firms to get story sources though, Graham took to his Facebook page and Twitter with his needs – and HMA jumped right on it, successfully securing interviews on the topic for three clients,  Subway Restaurants of Arizona, Cachet Homes and Grant Thornton.

When calling to fact check for the story, Graham noted that the PR firms that use and monitor social media tools the right way will see the rewards in spades – just like HMA did today! Something to think about – if you aren’t already on Facebook and/or Twitter in a professional capacity, it is time to look into it for your business and/or your clients.

There are several teleseminar and events focused on social media education coming up through the local chapter of PRSA, so make sure to keep checking back with their website and take advantage of what the organization – and others – can offer!

Printing “Press”

January 29, 2009

Our client, Prisma Graphic, recently welcomed a new member to their team, a 10-color Akiyama Jprint 40 perfector press. It has helped Prisma perfect their service and production capabilities, exceeding internal and external customers’ expectations.
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The unique perfecting quality of the Akiyama Jprint 40 is that it is a sheetfed press that simultaneously prints both sides in one pass, decreasing press time. It has 5/5 color print capabilities, as well as an X-rite closed-loop color control system, which monitors density and automatically makes adjustments for improved color consistency. Naturally, it has added print volume capabilities to Prisma’s pressroom, as well as shortened job turn-times.

Translation: it gets the job done.  Quickly.

Prisma says the perfector press has been a true service advantage. By working well with the rest of Prisma’s technology, it has allowed the company to meet its customers’ needs more efficiently.  Its capabilities have helped the company save its customers time and money without compromising quality.

 Congrats to Prisma and its new (huge) bundle of joy!

A little nugget…

January 28, 2009

prsa_logo_lg1Some of the Valley’s top public relations practitioners served on panel at the monthly PRSA Phoenix luncheon to discuss the industry.  We talked a lot about social media and the impact of the economy on the practice of public relations.  But we asked the panelists for one final nugget of information, here’s what they had to say:

 1. Even in this 140-character twitter world we still need to be good writers.

2.  Focus on the “relations” in pubic relations — there are still people behind all the social media.

3.  Be a critical thinker but also a critical listener.

4.  Share the good and the bad with your team — your internal audience is the best grassroots marketing program you can have.

HMA dives into new client!

January 28, 2009

It is a splish-splash kind of January here at HMA Public Relations, as we just added Presidential Pools & Spas to our client roster.
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HMA Public Relations will provide media and community relations services for Presidential Pools & Spas, including helping to launch the company’s new Tucson office and commercial pool building division.

Established in 1991, Presidential Pools & Spas is one of the top pool companies in Arizona. With offices in Gilbert, Maricopa, Surprise and Tucson, Presidential Pools & Spas offers full-service pool design, construction and building services as well as a full menu of remodeling services to both residential and commercial clients statewide. A member dscf11651of the Southwest Spa and Pool Association, Southern Arizona Homebuilder Association, Chandler Chamber of Commerce, Marana Chamber of Commerce and Better Business Bureau of Greater Arizona, Presidential Pools & Spas is the only large-scale pool company in the state to achieve the Bureau’s “A” rating. For more information, please call (480) 967-9467 or click here.

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Our client, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, will kick off its fourth annual Walk On! Challenge on the morning of January 28 at the Phoenix Zoo, where two fifth grade classes from Tempe’s Laird Elementary School will lead the event, along with three camels from the zoo, in their efforts to take 10,000 steps each day during the month of February.

Students will strap on their pedometers and begin counting their steps as they make their way around the Phoenix Zoo’s new “Wild Walk,” an interactive fitness walking trail, provided by BCBSAZ.

Markers along the Wild Walk trail invite kids and adults of all ages to complete a variety of physical and mental health exercises as it relates to a particular animal. They also provide tips about why exercise is beneficial to their well-being and that of the animal in the area. 

This year Walk On! will have its largest turnout ever, with nearly 43,000 fifth graders in 130 school districts statewide taking the challenge.  BCBSAZ is giving each student a pedometer and chart to track the number of steps taken each day, and students who meet the 10,000 step-a-day challenge are eligible for prizes such as a Wii FitTM or iPod® shuffle. Additionally, the school with the highest percentage of fifth-grade students to complete the Challenge will receive a $2,500 grant for a special fitness-oriented activity.

We will be there to walk with the kids and camels, and we challenge you to Walk On! as wellHey, think of it as a delayed start to those New Years resolutions.

freshfit_logoIn an effort to fight obesity and promote physical activity among children, from now until Sunday, Feb. 1, 2009, the Subway® Restaurant located at 4844 S. Val Vista in Queen Creek, a long-time client of ours, will be accepting entries from elementary-aged children for a drawing that will award one lucky child a brand new bicycle and helmet.

summer-cycle-1The winner will be chosen in a random drawing on Monday, Feb. 2 and will be notified by Friday, Feb. 6. The Subway location will award the child his or her new bicycle on Saturday, Feb. 7, and will be offering a buy-one, get-one free special all day in celebration of the winner and to promote healthy choices among all Queen Creek residents. Folks can also come to get their photo with “Subman” all day long.

Store hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week, and all entries must be made in person by Sunday, Feb. 1 to be eligible.

Diamondbacks Fantasy Camp

January 23, 2009

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I am close to being put back together after attending my second week-long Diamondbacks Fantasy Camp last week.

My team, Chip’s Champs, led by D-Backs’ third-base coach Chip Hale, lost in the finals.  Was it fun – beyond words.  So, I’ll use some from a teammate, Stew Bloemer, 67, a retired airline pilot.

scott-in-dugoutThe Champs were down to their last out, trailing by three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning:

 “Then two things happened in rapid succession that typifies my entire camp experience.

The first happens as I come into the batter’s box.  The catcher, a fellow camper, and one who is at the edge of anticipation of a win for the championship and a defeat of a Chip Hale team gives me a fist shake and says, “Get a big hit, Stew!”.

I didn’t.  I struck out, ending the game and Chip Hale’s streak of success.
First to greet me, as I walk dejected back to the dugout with a pat on the back, is Chip, “Bloemer, great game!”

What was this fantasy camp worth?  More than any dollar value you could place on it…
Stew”

My communication with Chip was a bit more concise:

Chip,

Thanks for another great week at D-Backs Camp.  We certainly could have used one more win – but it was still a fun, fun week.
chips-champsI’m already looking forward to next year.

Have a great season.

Chips’s response:

“It was great to have you on our team.  I am glad you had fun, and you played with great passion.  Thank you for that.  Chip”

I think that means I’ll do my best to be back in 2010 for my third camp.

Sports Talk Radio Changes

January 22, 2009

jocks_bickleymjBeginning Friday, XTRA Sports 910’s morning team of  Arizona Republic columnist Dan Bickley and Mike Jurecki will move to the afternoon drive-time slot, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.   The move comes as the station’s owner, Clear Channel, trimmed its own roster including previous afternoon host Jeff Dean.
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Bickley and MJ will be on at the same time as KTAR 620’s John Gambadoro and Mark Asher, although Gambo and Ash get an earlier start at 1 p.m.

As one who pays attention to both sports and the media, it shouldn’t come as a surprise.  Trades, cuts and lineup changes happen all the time. 

This one will just make for more channel-changing.

HMA Public Relations has a long history of providing public relations and marketing communications services to disability organizations.  It is that history that gave our own Abbie S. Fink the opportunity to provide comment to PR Week’s story on media outlets expanding their scope of disability coverage.
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Capitalizing on her experiences with Arizona Bridge to Independent Living, a Phoenix-based disability advocacy organization, Abbie says that the mainstream media is picking up a focus on the everyday lives of persons with disabilities.  Ensuring that the media uses proper people-first language is more of a challenge than getting the coverage itself.

She also says that the Web is playing a large role in disability media, but that the information must be accessible.

Cardinals Passion

January 21, 2009

cards-5I think my hand has recovered from Sunday’s Cardinals victory over the Eagles. 
The quarter-mile of high-fives with every other fan on their way out of the University of Phoenix Stadium was euphoric for fans – including me.

cards-3I’m not sure it topped Game Seven of the 2001 World Series when Luis Gonzalez won it for the Diamondbacks with a bottom of the ninth-inning single – but it is VERY close.

The predictions for Super Bowl XLIII are pouring in and some have the Cardinals better than a touchdown underdog against the Pittsburgh Steelers while others are giving them the big win.  But for now – the Cardinals are the favorite of the entire state.cards-41

And with a win, who’d have ever thunk it that the perennially inept Big Red would bring home the ultimate prize before the Phoenix Suns?