Hi, I’m Meg! As the newest member of #TeamProsper, I’d like to officially introduce myself. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area before heading to St. Louis for boarding school and college. I officially moved to Cleveland in May 2017 and I’ve been enjoying getting to know the area over the last six months.
My passion for purpose-driven business began towards the beginning of high school when I was a member of the National Leadership Council, a program that accepts 20 students each year to study and practice servant leadership both at home and on service trips. One of the most memorable experiences from the program was our service trip to Peru. We taught classes in Spanish in a rural mountain school and helped the community with building projects, including the construction of a community greenhouse.
Those few weeks in Peru completely transformed the way I saw the world and I came home convinced that I would work for nonprofits. During my freshman year at Principia College, I took a few introductory business courses and decided to blend my interests by studying the way business can have a positive impact. One of my favorite initiatives in college was founding the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, where students can collaborate on projects and budding ideas with the support of faculty and educational resources.
Over the last few years, my professional experience has included social media management, communications, marketing, design, photography, and writing — all of which come into play in the agency environment. One of my favorite internships was serving as the communications manager for San Francisco-based B Corp, Bixbee, which provides a backpack full of school supplies to a student in need for every backpack they sell.
When I arrived in Cleveland, one of the first things I did was search for B Corps in the area. I was delighted to learn about Prosper for Purpose and even more thrilled to officially join the team in September 2017 as the production coordinator for brand and operations! In just a few months, I’ve had the privilege of working on several interesting projects in a variety of roles, giving me more exposure to the many facets of agency life. Most importantly, I appreciate being part of a company where our mission is at the core of everything we do.
Whether I’m planning an event, creating graphics, or covering ground across Cleveland to implement our strategies, I love knowing that each project enables our clients to maximize their positive impact. It’s so rewarding to turn creative ideas into tangible results, and I’m excited to be part of it.
Our 12 Months of Giving program allowed us the opportunity to work with three Cleveland-area nonprofits during the third quarter of 2017.
In July, we had the pleasure of assisting the Malachi House, a home that serves those who are terminally ill and provides them with a comfortable place to spend their final days. The Malachi House has a full-service kitchen, family dining room, living room, chapel, atrium, and incredible volunteers who help provide care to their residents in a comfortable and compassionate environment.
Our August pro bono client, Slavic Village, is a community located in the heart of Cleveland. Its rich history draws in people from all walks of life. People of all ages go to Slavic Village to experience all that it has to offer. From recreational activities to an abundant amount of housing opportunities and top-notch educational offerings, there’s something about Slavic Village that encourages people to stay once they’ve planted their roots.
In September, we worked with the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Since 1994, the Conservancy has been doing wonderful work to help protect our beloved national park. Through their youth programs, volunteer opportunities and more, they truly live their vision — “Connecting you to your national park. Preserving it for future generations.”
We thoroughly enjoyed supporting each of these amazing organizations. They are doing tremendous things and we can’t wait to watch them continue to make a difference.
The holiday season is upon us, which means individuals may feel encouraged to give more freely to their favorite charities. We love this generous end-of-year spirit, but we’re also committed to giving back to our local communities throughout the rest of the year. Which is one reason why we are continuing our 12 Months of Giving program in 2018.
Each month next year we will provide a Northeast Ohio nonprofit with:
- Three (3) hours of free strategic consulting on a current challenge
- Promotion through Prosper for Purpose’s website, social media accounts and various other channels
During our 2017 program, we have had the opportunity to work with some amazing organizations such as the May Dugan Center, Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity, the Greater Cleveland Food Bank and the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Would you like to add your name to this list and prosper with us next year?
Just complete and submit this entry form to be considered for our 2018 12 Months of Giving program. Or, tell your favorite Northeast Ohio charity to apply!
It’s important to us to work with purpose-driven clients in both the business and nonprofit sectors. When our clients do well, their communities prosper. So, join us as we do well by doing good together in 2018.
Top Public Relations Take-A-Ways from Cleveland Hosting the Republican National Convention
Two years ago, the city of Cleveland was anxiously awaiting the results of a bid placed to host the Republican National Convention (RNC). After being notoriously known for our failing sports teams, burning river and dubbed the ‘Mistake on the Lake’, city officials and residents were eager to redeem Cleveland’s reputation by hosting a national event.
On July 8, 2014, the city was thrilled to receive the announcement it had been waiting for: Cleveland was selected to host the 2016 Republican National Convention! Two years of detailed planning ensued and two years later, during the week of July 18, 2016, Cleveland eagerly welcomed visitors from across the country. Cleveland was still buzzing from our beloved Cavaliers winning the NBA Championship, construction projects were wrapping up and the city had never felt safer, it was a great time to be in the city!
Cleveland was the focus of the nation for a week straight. As an aspiring PR professional, my attention was focused on the PR lessons learned from my home city hosting the RNC. Here are my top takeaways:
Plan for anything and everything
According to the RNC host committee website, the city had 1,200 events planned for 50,000 visitors during the four day convention period. To ease concerns from local residents, the city planned for everything: bringing in approximately 2,500 police officers from out-of-state, releasing maps of revised traffic patterns and road closings, opening the city’s court for 20 hours a day (yep, you read that right! The court remained open from 5:00 am – 1:00 am during the Convention) and posting the RNC tipline on all highways going into the city for residents to report any concerning activity. The city even had crisis plans in place for weather emergencies, power failures and had all area hospitals on special rotation schedules. Luckily, none of these plans had to be put into action!
Use social media to communicate to the masses
According to Politico, Cleveland’s population temporarily increased by 13 percent in just four days. Local residents, business owners, delegates and visitors alike all wanted to be kept updated on any RNC happenings and the city did a great job of making sure they got all updates in a timely manner. The City of Cleveland used Twitter to keep residents informed of media releases, events and all things RNC related. The host committee created and managed the @2016CLE handle specifically created for the event. The Cleveland Police Department used Twitter to update attendees of any concerning behavior, arrests and to confirm or deny reports being made by media. According to TweetReach.com, the #RNCinCle hashtag made approximately 415,000 impressions.
Social media was used effectively to spread RNC related news and positive stories throughout the week. Images of police officers playing ping pong with attendees and dancing in fountains with children were posted alongside RNC-related coverage. Visitors went to social to pro
claim their newfound love for the city – often commenting on how kind our residents are. Social media prevailed during the RNC.
Transparency is key
During the Convention, the City of Cleveland remained very transparent about all activities occurring downtown. Whether it was confirming media reports of an arrest, suggesting lunch spots for visiting delegates or sharing information about parking – the City was sure to keep everyone in the loop.
The city hosted daily media briefings, reviewing the day’s safety report and general activity around the city. These reports were also streamed via Periscope, allowing viewers who may not have had TV access the chance to view the press conferences.
Overall, I couldn’t be more proud to be from Cleveland. Seeing delegates and visiting media post about their approval of the city proved that the city’s efforts and planning truly paid off. The rest of the nation can now view Cleveland the way locals have and understand why we hold the city so dearly in our hearts.
Coffee, Cleveland, French bulldogs and good books — the makings of our summer intern, Erin Zaranec. Erin is going into her senior year at Kent State University, where she is studying public relations with a focus on nonprofit management.
A Cleveland-area native, Erin hopes to work in fundraising and event-based PR upon graduation. Throughout her time at KSU, Erin has been actively involved in PRSSA and will serve as Chapter President in the 2016-2017 school year, when she will also serve as entertainment editor for The Kent Stater newspaper.
Want to know more about Erin? Watch as she describes her favorite thing to do in Cleveland, the best place to get coffee and what made her first day at Prosper for Purpose so great.
You did your research, you nailed your interview and you were offered your dream internship. Now what? How can you ensure you have a successful internship?
Follow these five tips to impress your supervisor and optimize your time as an intern:
1. Treat your internship like a real job
2. Set goals
3. Ask smart questions
4. Get to know your coworkers
5. Challenge yourself
Treat Your Internship Like a Real Job
Above all else, acting professionally should be your top priority if you want to leave a lasting impression. This includes being punctual, dressing appropriately and following proper office etiquette. Being professional will show your supervisor you’re taking your internship seriously. It can also lead to a killer letter of recommendation (a powerful tool that can help you stand out when searching for a full-time job).
It’s also crucial to always, always, always turn in projects and assignments as if they were going directly to a client. Don’t expect your supervisor to check your grammar and spelling for you.
When we begin working with new clients, one of the first things we do is set goals and review expectations. An internship should start the same way. Meet with your supervisor to review your personal goals and clarify expectations. What is expected of you? What would you like to accomplish during your internship? This is the time to let your supervisor know what projects you’re interested in working on during your internship (Tip: think about what you would most like to showcase in a portfolio).
Ask Smart Questions
Don’t be afraid to ask questions (preferably ones that can’t be answered with a simple Google search). Asking questions shows you’re engaged and eager to learn. So speak up!.
Get to Know Your Coworkers
Take the time to get to know as many of your coworkers as possible. Networking is invaluable when it comes to searching for a full-time job. Building strong connections can also help when it comes time to ask for that invaluable recommendation letter. Learn about other positions, ask your coworkers how they got to where they are now and inquire about what else you can do to make yourself more marketable to employers.
The goal of your internship should be to learn and gain valuable real world experience. Don’t waste your time – or your employer’s time – texting your friends or scrolling through social media. Truly focus on developing your skills. Take on new projects, introduce yourself to someone in a different department or make a suggestion at a big meeting. Great things can happen when you step outside your comfort zone.
Looking for more advice? Check out our blog to see what two former interns had to say about their experience at Prosper for Purpose.
Bill Gates is quoted with saying, “If I was down to my last dollar, I would spend it on PR.” While there is some debate about whether or not Gates actually uttered those words, there is no doubt it is sage advice.
The success of your business depends on how well you communicate with your customers. This is why we (and other PR agencies) exist. But agencies aren’t just competing against each other for your business. We are also contending against in-house PR teams. So why is an agency a better hire? Here are five ways hiring an agency benefits your organization.
More Bang for Your Buck
We hear it all the time: internal hires are less expensive. Are they though? When you hire an employee, you only get the experience of one individual person. When you hire a PR and communications agency, you get the knowledge and skill of an entire team. With Prosper for Purpose, that means more than 80 years of combined experience (wow, that’s a LOT of experience!). To match what we bring to the table you would need to hire a strategist, a writer, a designer, a social media guru, a publicist, a researcher, an event manager and more. Does an internal hire still sound like the less expensive option?
Handling PR internally requires finding, hiring and training the right employee. PR agencies, on the other hand, have the ability to quickly ramp up capabilities when necessary. On any given day you may work with everyone from the intern to the CEO. Our team is always up-to-speed on the latest and greatest trends not only in PR, but also in a variety of industries. As we like to say, we wear as many hats as experience permits and our closets can hold.
We’re Masters of Messaging…and More
Good PR practitioners are good writers. Prosper’s tagline, “communications for a better world,” is based on the belief that words have the power to transform relationships. We’re storytellers at heart. Creatively trying to find a buzzworthy story warms our hearts as much as the eighth cup of coffee we just consumed. But that’s not all. Our strengths range from brand development, strategic planning and crisis communications to media relations, fundraising management and organizational training. Simply put, we offer a large suite of services. Pretty sweet, huh?
Good communications start with good networks. Hiring a PR agency with a team of connected people can greatly increase your chance of connecting with the media and consumers. PR is what we do all day, every day. We’re pros at pitching. We know which reporters cover the nonprofit sector and which journalists prefer to write about consumer products. And we can make that knowledge work for you.
A PR agency can become an extension of your company, while also providing independent perspectives. We can help you build a brand, launch a new product or make your business stand out in a crowded market all while remaining impartial. It’s easy for business owners to become die-hard fans of their companies and believe everything about it is newsworthy. Sometimes an outsider’s outlook can help you see things in a different light.
These are just a few of the many reasons why a business should hire a PR agency. If you’re looking for a communications firm, give us a call. We’d be happy to talk to you about our capabilities and how we can help your organization prosper.
In today’s business world, employee volunteer programs are as commonplace as meetings, business trips and conference calls. Some of the most notable organizations have taken strides to increase their philanthropic efforts and create robust employee volunteer programs. Yet, some still question the value of volunteering.
To some, volunteering is a one-sided equation offering benefits only to the recipient of the deed. But in actuality, volunteering is just as valuable to an organization and its employees. Here’s how:
Employees who volunteer report more job satisfaction and improved morale
When someone volunteers, several things happen. They feel good about themselves for helping others. They form connections. They witness the impact of their actions, however small. When people volunteer, they not only improve the lives of the recipient, they are also improving their own lives. And when employees volunteer through their organization, they experience the same positive benefits, but with an added bonus: they feel good about where they work.
When an organization actively gives back to the community, employees feel they are working for an employer that is truly concerned with the betterment of others, and they are proud to be a part of it. They believe they aren’t just working for a paycheck; they are working for a purpose.
Volunteer programs serve as a recruitment tool for up-and-coming talent
Recent studies show that when job searching, nearly half of all millennials are more likely to apply to organizations they feel are working toward a better tomorrow. They want to work for a company with values similar to their own and have the flexibility to allow them to support those values.
With one-third of today’s workforce comprised of millennials, companies increase their chance of hiring top talent when they support employee volunteering. Not only does the company widen its talent pool, but it is also more likely to attract individuals who share the company’s values. Many times, employees serve as the ambassadors of the brand, and having employees who exhibit the company’s beliefs can have immense value with customers.
Getting involved in the community drives brand recognition
When employees enter the community on behalf of their organization, they are promoting the organization’s brand to the public. They’re showing people firsthand the company’s beliefs and values.
Additionally, employees are interacting with individuals on a personal level, and this face-to-face, human interaction leaves people with a positive impression of the brand that is more valuable than any advertisement. Individuals appreciate the organization’s efforts to enhance the community, and they are reminded that there are real people behind the brand.
While many larger companies have robust employee volunteer programs, there are simpler ways for your organization to give back. Here are a few easy ways you can make a positive presence in your community:
1. Offer skills-based volunteering, which is a great way for employees to lend their talents to those in need. Through skills-based volunteering programs, employees are matched by their specialized skills and talents with nonprofit organizations needing the help of these individuals to build and sustain their infrastructures. Examples of service may include assisting with bookkeeping, providing PR support or serving on a board.
2. Consider a company-wide, single-day volunteer initiative to encourage employees to become more involved. Employees will feel more motivated to take time off if they know everyone is involved. Plan a day to visit a food bank, homeless shelter or other organization where you can work together as a team. You’ll help an organization and individuals in need, and you’ll form stronger relationships among team members.
3. Ditch the holiday party and arrange a collection drive. Take the money you typically spend on a holiday party and use it to purchase donation items for an organization you support. Or consider encouraging employees to make a monetary donation in a coworker’s name instead of purchasing gifts.
Your brand is molded by everyone who interacts with it: customers, employees, vendors, clients and every other stakeholder. Yet there is one piece of your brand that is yours alone, and when you use it to direct your marketing strategy, you have the opportunity to position it in the minds of every stakeholder—even though most will never see it. It is called your brand positioning statement and it is the most important component of your marketing plan.
At Prosper for Purpose, we believe that the brand positioning statement is the most important component of a marketing plan. It creates the foundation and the focus for the development of the plan: from goals and strategy down to tactics.
So what is this powerful thing called a brand positioning statement? It is a written declaration of your brand’s unique value. It defines why a consumer should choose your product or service over your competitors. Unlike a tagline, which is consumer facing, the brand positioning statement is typically for internal use only, but reinterpreted into taglines and other consumer-facing marketing. Here’s one example:
To adults suffering from a variety of cold and/or flu symptoms, NyQuil is the original soothing night-time cold medicine that effectively relieves symptoms so you can sleep through the night.
While a positioning statement can appear basic, careful thought and attention should be given to the process. The words matter, as when used properly, they form the basis for all the marketing to come.
A positioning statement includes:
- Your Target Market
- Definition of the Market
- Brand Promise (emotional or rational benefit)
- The Reason to Believe the brand promise
Ready to think about your brand? Here’s a brand positioning template:
For [insert Target Market], the [insert Brand] is the [insert Point of Differentiation] among all [insert Frame of Reference] because [insert Reason to Believe].
Want some expert help in developing your brand positioning statement? Give Prosper a call:216-469-7977.