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International Leader, Lou Hammond Group Opens Denver Office

Lou Hammond Group, a global communication company, announced today, they are expanding into the Denver market with an office headed by industry veteran Ivie Parker.

 

 

Located downtown, LHG Denver offers expertise in communications, marketing, media relations, advertising, digital and creative services for an array of industries spanning hospitality and tourism, real estate, healthcare, financial services, energy, tech, nonprofit and destination marketing.

 

 

As president of the firm’s new Denver office, Parker brings a wealth of experience in public relations and marketing communications for hotels, resorts, real estate and lifestyle brands. Her goal is to combine her knowledge of western culture with the nationwide resources, reputation and expertise of Lou Hammond Group to implement national communications programs with a regional focus.

Parker comes to the firm from Timbers Resorts where she was based in the Aspen valley as Director of Hospitality Marketing responsible for developing and executing marketing strategy to generate revenue and awareness for hotels, resorts, villa rentals and golf.

Previously, she served as Director of Marketing within Denver-based Two Roads Hospitality (formerly Destination Hotels) implementing integrated communications programs, driving revenue and launching new properties in the western U.S. and nationwide.

 

 

A native of South Carolina, Ivie is a graduate of the College of Charleston. She began her communications career in Charleston where she worked in hospitality marketing and interior design. Heading west, Ivie traded the beaches for the mountains. She enjoys the vibrant Denver scene and loves everything outdoors from learning to ski in winter to trail-running in summer with her dog, Tina Turner.

“We are excited to expand our brand and join the Denver community. With our extensive western client base, it is an excellent fit,” said LHG Chairman and Founder Lou Hammond.

Founded in 1984, LHG also has offices in New York, Charleston, S.C., Houston, Los Angeles and Miami.


Ivie Parker

Ivie Parker, President, Denver

As president of the firm’s new Denver office, Ivie Parker brings a wealth of experience in public relations and marketing communications for hotels, resorts, real estate and lifestyle brands. Her goal is to combine her in-depth knowledge of western culture with the nationwide resources, reputation and expertise of the Lou Hammond Group.

With a proven track-record of producing results, Ivie has a creative spirit along with an analytic data-driven approach to integrated strategic communications.  She will serve as liaison to the LHG network of offices to implement national communications programs with a regional focus. With an entrepreneurial spirit, Ivie understands the unique culture and seasonality of the region.

In her most recent role as Director of Marketing for Timbers and Two Roads Hospitality, Ivie implemented integrated communications programs to build brand awareness and to launch new properties in the western U.S. and nationwide.

A native of South Carolina, Ivie is a graduate of the College of Charleston. She began her communications career in Charleston where she worked in hospitality marketing and interior design. Heading west, Ivie traded the beaches for the mountains. She enjoys the vibrant Denver scene and loves everything outdoors from learning to ski in winter to trail-running in summer with her dog, Tina Turner.


Careers.

Careers

Do you want to find a job where you can build your career and join a winning team? Our policy is to promote from within. We are proud that seven staff members have been with LHG for 20+ years… and four Vice Presidents started with us as Account Coordinators We value our team and offer highly competitive salaries, excellent health benefits and incentives, with lots of time off to enjoy your life, an agency priority of work and play balance.

Our Culture

We are a group of dynamic, creative thinkers who are passionate about the industry and who thrive on finding creative solutions. We are innovative, strategic and results-oriented. We are travelers, writers and artists. We are bright, enthusiastic, adventurous and always on our A-game.

Our Values

We are a diverse collection of talented individuals with different backgrounds, experiences, outlooks and goals. The one thing we all have in common is our shared values… the glue that holds us together.

We...

…have the courage to take risks… to try something new… to learn from our mistakes.

…support one another and collaborate as a winning team.

…are curious and creative… always ready to stretch and improve.

…believe in open minds and open doors.

Current Openings

We are growing and expanding with more than 40 employees in five offices.

We are always on the lookout for great talent.

Send your resume to careers@louhammond.com

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Advice for Corporate PR Interns: Five Tips to Stand Out

Summer internships: the season for college students to descend upon the working class in hopes to either gain a unique glimpse into what their future may look like or simply build up their resume. This experience, however, is more important than many students realize. According to an annual survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), an overwhelming 95 percent of employers reported that candidate experience is a factor in hiring decisions, and nearly half sought out experience directly from internships or co-op programs.

We live in an age where first impressions are long-lasting. Often, a job offer or even securing a job interview depends on your connections and who you know. The corporate public relations world is no different, and internships and jobs are both becoming more competitive every year. So in the spirit of summer break, Lou Hammond Group is sharing five hot tips and tricks to help you stand out during your internship.

 

Four Person's High-fiving Each Others

 

Have a Good Attitude

One of the most valuable lessons you can learn as an intern and continue to practice for years to come is that no task is too small. Yes, hours upon hours of data entry or running errands or even making coffee for a client may not be the most thrilling of tasks, but we guarantee that your employer will notice if you do them well, timely and with a good attitude. Likewise, they will take note if you seem frustrated or bored. It’s important to remember that there is most likely a reason behind every task given to you, even if you're unable to see at the time. You may be asked to focus on data entry so you can learn more about the client and later help with writing press releases or designing copy for newsletters. You may be asked to grab coffee or water for a client so your employer can see how you interact with others and decide whether you’re ready to sit in on client meetings. The bottom line- your attitude will be noticed, so always be self-aware.

 

Woman Holding Pen With White Printer Paper

 

Stay Busy

While it may seem obvious, it can be difficult to stay busy at the start of your internship, while you’re still learning your role and later once you are able to complete your assigned tasks quickly or have less supervision. So, it’s important to always look for ways to be creative and stay busy. What that specifically looks like will depend on your internship and employer, but see below for five suggestions from the LHG team:

  1. Research your clients. Start with any recent news articles and note their marketing and branding strategies.
  2. Research popular editorial trends. Make a list of potential pitches for your supervisor to review.
  3. Grab coffee with other employees to learn more about their day-to-day job. Don’t be afraid to show initiative, start conversations or ask questions.
  4. Practice. Try your hand at writing a press release for one of your clients or designing an advertisement. Then ask your supervisor to review and offer feedback when they have time.
  5. Anticipate your next assignment. If you are working on a specific project, think about what comes next.

 

Show Interest

Internships provide insight into one of two potential realities- it either solidifies your career path or it encourages you to look elsewhere. For those of you whose internships confirm your desire to work in public relations, showing legitimate interest goes a step further than staying busy and is key to your future success. The best way to show interest is to pay attention and ask questions. Moreover, depending on your internship, seek out additional opportunities and ask to participate. Whether it be attending an offsite meeting, after work networking event, conference call or new business pitch, look for ways to constantly learn and show your employer that you are interested. Simply asking questions may lead to the greatest insight during your internship experience.

 

Become Invaluable

Once you’re comfortable with your tasks and your supervisor, it can become tempting to take it easy and coast to the finish line, especially towards the end of your internship. Instead, we recommend making yourself invaluable. How can a college student make themselves invaluable to a PR company? During the course of your internship, figure out what you enjoy most and dedicate your time to perfecting a specific skill. Work towards becoming the go-to person for a specific task. If you enjoy writing press releases, ask your supervisor if you can write the first draft. If you enjoy editing, volunteer to proof-read whenever you have the opportunity. Focus on perfecting your strengths and allow your employer to see your work.

 

Thank You Signage

 

Stay In Touch

Your internship doesn’t end on your last day, and this final tip could lead to the most beneficial outcome of your entire experience. It’s imperative that you try your best to stay in touch with your supervisor(s) or employer in two specific ways:

  1. Exercise the lost art of a thank you note. While this may seem silly to some, writing a simple note to thank your employer for the experience will go a long way in standing out from others.
  2. Stay in touch, especially if graduating in the next two years. Send your supervisor a quick email if you see a client mentioned in the news or send them a project you’re working on for school if you incorporated something you learned from your internship. You never know where it could lead or the connections you could make by simply staying in touch. Remember: often times securing a job is all about who you know, and your supervisor could be looking to make a hire when you graduate.

Goodbye Desktops and Laptops: 10 Tips for Managing Your Workday from Your Smartphone Alone

With faster internet speeds and more work being done on the cloud, smartphones allow remote workers and business travelers the flexibility of being efficient on the go. According to ComScore, mobile use has grown so fast that it’s now the leading digital platform, with total activity on smartphones and tablets accounting for 62 percent of total time spent on digital media. Easy access, however, comes at a price. Smartphones can lead to distractions such as social media and games, which can affect productivity. Additionally, accessing work information from a smartphone can lead to security issues. But, when utilized effectively, smartphones can enable professionals in all industries to crank out top-notch work from anywhere. Lucky for you, we've put together a trusted list of our top ten tips for managing work from a smartphone:

 

Three People Using Smartphones

 

1. Choose the Right Apps

Ensure your smartphone is equipped with apps that can be used across multiple platforms including desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone. Several of the programs most frequently used on company desktops have smartphone apps, including Office 365 and Google’s G Suite. For those that aren’t familiar, G Suite includes Gmail, Hangouts, Calendar, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Google+ for communication, Drive for storage and Sites for collaboration.

 

2. Stick to a Simple Setup

Fewer apps means fewer distractions and more storage space. Many people fall into the trap of thinking that the more apps you have, the easier it is to solve a slew of problems. The reality is that having more apps typically means more room for confusion - be sure and know what you need and don’t download more than that. Less is more!

 

Image result for siri

 

3. Take Advantage of Voice Technology

Siri and other voice assistants can prove extremely helpful in accomplishing small tasks such as typing short emails, pulling phone numbers, sending texts and setting up reminders. Many employees find that they actually prefer using voice assistants to draft emails, as opposed to typing on their smartphone keyboard.

 

4. Check Out Remote Desktop Apps

No matter the industry, there is bound to come a time when you simply need access to your desktop. Remote desktop apps like LogMeIn or TeamViewer allow you to access your desktop and all your files directly from your smartphone with a quick tap.

 

5. Organize Your Home Screen

With the ever-increasing number of smartphone apps available today, your home screen can quickly become a chaotic mess. Be sure and keep your most important apps on the front page of your home screen, with your four most important taking up space in your dock. Place your less important, non-work-related apps on the later pages of your screen. Folders can also prove beneficial for organizing a collection of apps with a common theme such as “G-Suite.”

 

6. Ensure your Smartphone is Secure

Keeping a smartphone secure is vital for many reasons. Not only do you want to prevent data from being lost if your phone is lost or stolen, but you also want to ensure that your personal information isn’t hacked from internet pages you may have visited. Some tips for ensuring your smartphone is secure include using a screen lock, using a SIM card lock, protecting Bluetooth use, switching off wireless connection when it's not in use, being careful with accepting pop up messages while browsing the web,  turning off geotagging, installing anti-viruses and ensuring your home wireless router is protected by a passcode.

 

Image result for bluetooth keyboard

 

7. Consider a Portable Bluetooth Keyboard

If you frequently do heavy business work on your smartphone like typing long documents or emails, you know that tapping your fingers on a screen can sometimes get a bit frustrating. While there is no replacement for a real keyboard, there are thankfully high-quality Bluetooth keyboards available to help. If you’re having trouble deciding which Bluetooth Keyboard to purchase for your smartphone, take a look at this article which highlights many of the best options on the market today.

 

8. Consider Collaboration Apps

Team collaboration software is on the rise. From project management to communication, there are dozens of collaboration tools available for businesses that allow employees to effectively communicate while away from the office. Flowdock is a group and private chat platform with a team inbox feature, while GoToMeeting is an online video conferencing app that allows users to schedule meetings and share screens. Slack is an extremely popular platform that offers instant messaging, file transfers and message search, with dozens of features and integrations with other tools like Trello. See here for a list of other groundbreaking collaboration apps that are changing the way businesses work and collaborate while away from the office.

 

9. Establish Clear Communication Protocol with Your Office

Be sure and establish communication guidelines with your coworkers so they know how best to reach you on your smartphone when you are away from the office. Do you wish to be reached by email, text or phone for non-urgent messages, formal requests, quick responses or urgent issues? Many decide that email is best for non-urgent messages and formal requests, while texts work best for quick responses and calls for urgent issues. The decision is all yours!

 

Father, Daughter, Beach, Family, Daddy

 

10. Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance

While smartphones make it easier than ever to stay in contact, they can also make it extremely easy for employees to overwork and overload themselves, which can lead to burnout. Recognize when to turn off your work phone to take time for yourself. Take phone breaks during the day when working via your smartphone. Give yourself time to think about big picture ideas away from constant email interruptions, sometimes requiring you to put your smartphone aside for a bit or turn it off completely.

 

Managing your workday from your smartphone can seem complicated at first, but as technology becomes more efficient, so can we.


Creating a Game Plan: How to Take Advantage of Editorial Calendars

The PR world requires a very specific skill: the ability to juggle and prioritize multiple projects year-round.  Within an agency setting, this skill is even more critical. From writing, pitching, partnerships and event planning, balancing these objectives for multiple clients requires a solid game plan.

This is where an editorial calendar comes into play. But first, what exactly is an editorial calendar and why do they matter? Editorial calendars are yearly schedules created by most print publications to identify themes and internal deadlines for each issue. They are often published in an outlet’s media kit around December or January each year.

Savvy PR professionals can utilize these calendars as a roadmap for generating coverage. Lou Hammond Group’s publicists find success in using these editorial calendars to create internal content schedules that guide our yearly plans for each client.

See below for a few of our tips for taking advantage of editorial calendars and using them to create a successful PR strategy.

 

 

Identify Themes

Once you’ve researched a few editorial calendars from major publications, you may notice quite a bit of overlap in themes, which are often tied to holidays, seasons or special events. This is great intel to see what the editorial coverage of your target publications will include. For example, odds are the November/December issue will somehow revolve around the holidays and the summer issue will focus on the outdoors. It is important to keep these themes in mind as you strategize your content in advance for the year and determine how to fit your client within the presented topics.

 

Track Deadlines

Editorial calendars typically include deadlines for buying advertising space in a specific issue, not for when to submit your pitches. While our lives would be much easier if they did, the deadlines they do provide can still be helpful. Keep in mind that when in doubt, sooner is better. Many print magazines finalize their content one to two months prior to the advertising deadline. So, if the summer issue’s ad deadline is in April, submit your print coverage pitch in February or March. Digital platforms do not involve such long lead times, so there is more flexibility with this coverage.

 

 

Establish Your Own Pitch Plan

So, you’ve noted the deadlines for your target publications and understand what their coverage will include for the upcoming year - now what? Create your own calendar focusing on your pitch topics. Each client’s calendar should offer a guideline for two objectives: what you are pitching and who you are pitching to. Your pitch calendar should be specific to the client, but work within the timeframe of the editorial calendars you pulled.

 

Identify Types of Content

Your internal pitching calendars will include two major types of content: evergreen and timely/seasonal. Evergreen topics include content that can be used any time of year. For example, if you work with a destination client with great outdoor offerings, you could pitch hiking in the destination for each season: fall leaf peeping, spring blooms, summer adventure and winter hikes. Timely/seasonal content, on the other hand, is tied to a specific date and cannot be used year-round. This can be a special anniversary, annual occurrence or holiday event. You can take your editorial calendars a step further by researching all yearly holidays, including some of the more niche ones, like National Hiking Day. If you work with a restaurant client, food holidays are great hooks for promoting a menu item.

 

 

The Result

By creating a comprehensive, yearly game plan for your media outreach, you can efficiently navigate proactive pitching, editorial pitching and consequently, reactive pitching. By setting internal deadlines, you can more efficiently plan for needed images, quotes and assets.

It is also important to remember that while all plans have the best intentions, you must be flexible. Deadlines change, themes can shift, and priorities can be altered, especially with news media. However, by having a solid game plan in place, you have the necessary framework to navigate the unexpected changes that pop up along the way.

Happy pitching!


What You Need to Know About Partnering with Micro-Influencers

A micro-influencer is a social media influencer with about 5,000-30,000 real, engaged followers. Social media has become such an integral part of business and these micro-influencers are a much more affordable, and often more effective, alternative to celebrity marketing or traditional advertising. The question is, how do you determine the validity of a micro-influencer and establish a partnership?

 

 

Measure Engagement

The influencer should be actively engaging with their followers. Look through their comments - are they responding back to users? The most effective micro-influencers are regularly engaging with their followers in a way that builds trust and shows their genuine personality. A loyal online community of 10,000 followers will have a much stronger conversion rate than an unengaged following of 1 million.

Be wary of accounts with "big" followings - followers and likes are easily faked on platforms like Instagram and Facebook. Browsing the comments section is the easiest way to determine the authenticity of a micro-influencer, and it also allows you to get an idea of their personality.

 

Request a Media Kit

There are thousands of fitness, foodie, wellness and other influencers out there and finding the right one for your brand or product depends on who their niche audience is. Established, trustworthy micro-influencers will have a media kit available that details their audience’s demographics, such as gender, age, location and perhaps even income - study these to ensure you’re investing in an audience that aligns with your goals.

 

 

Establish Clear Goals with A Contract

Is your goal to sell a product? Drive website views? Increase the brand's social media following? Make sure your goal is clearly communicated to the micro-influencer so it can be translated in the appropriate call to action in their content.

Creating a contract with specific expectations for posts and platforms will make the partnership much more transparent. Are they only active on Instagram or do they run a blog as well? Be sure to understand how the different aspects of each platform can work in your favor. Consider these questions while drafting a contract:

  • Do you want to prioritize video or still shots?
  • Photo Composition: Percentage of micro-influencer vs. percentage of destination/product shown?
  • How many total posts are expected on the feed?
  • How many Instagram stories are expected?
  • Are Instagram stories to be saved to a highlight reel?
  • How long do you want the post to be guaranteed to stay on their feed?
  • Do you require blog posts?
  • Do you require content to be equally spread over Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or any other platforms?
  • For micro-influencers with over 10,000 followers: will you be using the ‘Swipe Up’ feature on Instagram stories?

 

 

Payment

Many micro-influencers expect payment on top of hosted visits or free products. But, if you choose the right influencer for your brand and set clear expectations, there will be a long-term return on your investment.

Consider providing the micro-influencer with an affiliate link for their audience to use at checkout. This could be an alternative to payment and may convert more views into sales as their following wants: (1) a discount and (2) to support their favorite influencer.

Social media is not going away. Micro-influencers can be a good alternative to otherwise costly or ineffective avenues of advertising and should be regularly considered when developing marketing campaigns.


Rick King

Rick King, Creative Director

In the 6th grade, Rick won his first writing award in a citywide poetry contest. Since then, he has developed into a National Emmy-winning writer, producer, director and has garnered over 100 awards as a copywriter and creative director. Additionally, Rick published a children’s book and is a featured alumnus with the University of Texas at Austin.


Matt Southall

Matt Southall, Art Director

Matt lends his creative talents to LHG clients as Art Director and designer. Having grown up in a small town outside of Birmingham, England, Matt has enjoyed an exciting and diverse career in professional sports marketing, publishing, branding and in­novative print/digital creative. His passion is branding, graphic design and identity devel­opment. Matt believes in big and small ideas that create trackable results and resounding client successes.