CPR Blog

03
Nov

Teamwork Makes the “Ham-Work”

We all know the dreaded, “share a fun fact about yourself,” team building exercise. It can be hard to find an innovative way to strengthen your connection within a team. Whether you have been working with the same team for 10 years or for 10 days, enhancing your work relationships can bring significant value to...
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24
Jun

Crisis Management on TikTok

The social media platform TikTok is still growing with more than 1 billion active users. With popularity and notoriety comes inevitable crises. Creators on this platform are not immune and often face intense scrutiny by their thousands, or millions, of followers daily. One of the key roles that strong public relations plays, regardless of the...
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02
Jun

Navigating Breaking News Cycles

By: Ellie Forkins Some months, it seems everywhere we look there is breaking news. And the past few months have been no different. Recently, the world has turned its attention to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. With heavy hearts, we all watched as the situation unfolded, knowing fully that this breaking news would take...
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Virginia general assembly public relations
14
Apr

Virginia’s General Assembly Weighs in on our Firm’s Efforts

Now that the 2022 General Assembly Session is complete, it’s a good opportunity to look back on our success. For the last six years, we have been a go-to firm in Virginia for companies and associations that are either supporting legislation and working to get it passed, or fighting legislation. We should note that we...
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14
Apr

Investing Time in Your Social Media Presence

Your social media accounts are a great way to bring your business to a new level of success. By investing additional time across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, you can build brand awareness, strengthen relationships, and drive sales.  Many of our clients utilize our social media services and strategies to further their objectives and goals....
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07
Apr

Media Interview Preparation (Series): Conducting The Interview

This is the last blog in our media interview preparation series. We hope you’ve read and enjoyed our previous posts on what to do upon initial contact from a reporter and how to develop your messages. For this final installment, we’ll take a look at the media interview itself and offer some tips and advice...
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24
Mar

Public Relations Tips for Legislative Sessions

This year, the Virginia General Assembly was in full swing with a long session – eight weeks instead of six. And a multitude of important bills were being debated throughout the House and Senate, including a few that would directly impact our clients. Working with and securing quality news coverage is already a challenge at...
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17
Mar

What We Have Learned While Working From Home – Two Years Later

More and more businesses have begun transitioning to a “new normal.” Whether that means working in the office or from home full-time (or some combination of both), it is important to reflect on the past two years many of us have spent at home.    At Commonwealth PR, our team has learned valuable lessons and working...
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Developing your messages
10
Mar

Media Interview Preparation (Series): Developing Your Messages

In a previous blog post on media interview preparation, we covered the first step in the media interview process: the initial action you and your organization should take when first contacted by a reporter, blogger, freelance writer, etc.  Next, we’ll address how to put your messages together so you can best tell your organization’s story...
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03
Mar

Media Interview Preparation (Series): What to do upon initial contact from a reporter

This is the first blog in a series that aims to help you successfully prepare for a media interview. Media interviews can help your organization reach its communication goals in many ways. Here are just a few benefits: Allows your organization to communicate directly to both your stakeholders and a broad audience Helps inform your...
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24
Feb

Why PR Pros Should Be Included in the Social Media Strategy

I like to think of myself as tech savvy, particularly when it comes to social media. I am up to date on the latest trends, familiar with digital advertising and well-versed in TikTok dances. That’s why when clients need help with their social media content and advertising, I get excited! In the past we’ve seen...
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17
Feb

Managing Screen Time

As working from home becomes a permanent solution for many businesses, much of our day is spent staring at our computer screens. In public relations this is especially true as we draft press releases, email journalists, or check the news. Don’t forget about how we might need to use our phones to visit our client’s...
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10
Feb

Preparing Your Customers for Price Increases

Imagine the mess if your boat dealership, manufacturing company, or marine business appears on social media sites under the heading “Price Increases, We’re Done,” or worse: “Price Gauging.” With inflation on the rise and businesses needing to pass along those increases to customers, having a strategic communications plan in place to mitigate negative responses will...
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03
Feb

Communicating with Empathy

“Thoughts and prayers.” This may be one of the most cliche phrases in modern times. In a 2018 article about this phrase, journalist AJ Willingham referred to its use as “semantic satiation,” a phenomenon in which a phrase is used so often that it loses its meaning. The phrase now even has its own hashtag,...
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19
Jan

Avoiding Burnout as a Social Media Marketer

Throughout our lives and careers, some may experience work fatigue, while others will experience social media fatigue, but those who create and manage social media accounts at work may experience a fusion of work and social media burnout.  Over the years I’ve seen so many friends, influencers and celebs say, “Taking a break from social...
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13
Jan

Importance of Media Relationships

When something newsworthy happens with your business, you might be inclined to share that with the news media in your area. Earning a placement is a great opportunity to spread the word about your business and its recent achievements.  However, oftentimes this is no easy feat. When contacting a newspaper or television station, you are...
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06
Jan

Four Top Marketing Trends To Watch in 2022

By: Brian Chandler, APR It’s a fact… 2021 is now in our wake, but there’s still time for members of the Marine Marketers of America to compare their marketing plans for the new year and adjust the trim tabs, so to speak. With that in mind, here are the top four marketing trends we should...
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26
Apr

Letters to the Editor vs. Opinions: What’s the Difference?

As public relations professionals, we know that no media hit is too small, and getting your brand’s name and voice out there is crucial to your organization’s reputation. Opinion pieces and letters to the editor (LTEs) are integral to a PR campaign because they can position your brand and individuals within your organization as experts...
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20
Apr

Guiding Future Industry Leaders 

In March, our team had an opportunity to connect with the PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America) Student-Run PR Firm, Ut Prosim PR of Virginia Tech. Each year, Ut Prosim PR takes on new clients, pro-bono, and will create public relations plans, execute strategies and tactics, and provide communications counsel to its clients. The firm gives...
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22
Mar

Public Relations, Marketing and Advertising – Is there a difference?

By: Ellie Forkins   When thinking about marketing, advertising and public relations, it can sometimes be challenging to know the difference. But trust me, there is. Despite the various terms used interchangeably throughout these professions, each industry functions in its own way. And although these three industries tend to fall under the same umbrella, they...
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15
Mar

Managing Stress from Home – Sharing the Load

By: Alana Stillitano It seems like every day there are hundreds of news alerts popping up on our phones that deliver alarming statistics or disheartening information about the state of the world. Though it is important to have an understanding of the world around you, it can be a challenge to remain relaxed when the...
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12
Mar

We’re Hiring! Account Executive

Commonwealth Public Relations & Marketing is a full-service public relations, marketing, and social media firm located in historic Shockoe Slip. The firm and its team have won numerous PR and marketing awards since its founding in 2009 and prides itself on providing a wide range of services for clients from strategy development and research, to...
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08
Mar

Media Relations and Building Brand Authority

By: Julia Brewster When you think of media relations, you might think about an interview with your company’s CEO about company news or a story about your brand’s new product. Media relations can also serve as a way to build brand awareness and educate your key publics – not necessarily to “sell” something, but to...
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01
Mar

Boosting Your Creativity

By: Alana Stillitano When many people see the word “creative” an image forms of an art student painting on a canvas in a busy street. Lots of colors are splattered around until a beautiful and unique work of art is revealed. However, creativity and creative thinking involve so much more than just art. Whether your...
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22
Feb

Understanding PR Strategy: Proactive vs Reactive Media Relations

Our team at Commonwealth PR is always weighing our options between proactive and reactive media relations for our clients. Both strategies are important for a successful PR campaign or plan for many different reasons. Here’s a breakdown of what these strategies entail: Proactive media relations include tactics like outreach to the media on any company...
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16
Feb

Three Observations From a College Student (and PR Intern) During the Pandemic

By: Alexa Shockley (Intern) I am, proudly, an Emory & Henry College student from Southwest Virginia. Being a college student and experiencing higher education is a unique experience for each person lucky enough to partake in it. Like most activities, the college experience has undergone some major changes in 2020 and 2021. Virtual classes, online...
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08
Feb

PR Myths and Misconceptions

I don’t know about you, but I was over the moon when the cast of Sex and the City confirmed a reboot of the hit television series. Cosmos, anyone? But one noticeable cast member missing from the reboot will be Samantha Jones played by Kim Cattrall. While I envisioned what the show’s storyline will be...
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01
Feb

Our 2021 New Year’s Resolutions: PR Edition

After a year like 2020, we’re especially grateful for the opportunity to work with clients both old and new. Here are some of our PR resolutions for 2021: Continue finding ways to be innovative. 2020 was an opportunity for us to find unique and innovative ways of supporting our clients. Thinking outside of the box...
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18
Jan

Tips for Recent Graduates Entering the Workforce During COVID

By: Ellie Forkins Searching for your first job post college is stressful enough, but add in a global pandemic, and it becomes daunting. With the national unemployment at 6.7 percent in December, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed, but don’t let that get you down. During this time of uncertainty, it is still important...
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11
Jan

The #RealDeal with #Hashtags

By: Alana Stillitano We all know what it is like to be scrolling through our social media feeds to find a series of hashtags after certain posts. This might bring some questions to mind: What are they being used for? Are they important for your business? And do they really work? Throughout this post, we...
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04
Jan

Supporting Your Legislative Goals Through PR During the Legislative Session

It’s that time of year here in Virginia: The General Assembly session! We work with a variety of clients on achieving their government relations goals, including coalitions and associations. Here is how we effectively work with our government relations clients during the legislative session (and if you’re a coalition or association, how our firm could...
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28
Dec

Growing and Leading our Team Virtually

Over nine months ago Brian and I started discussing our contingency plan for working remotely for two weeks because of COVID-19. Our experience in crisis planning and communications made our next steps clear. I never imagined eight months later we would be working from home with new colleagues we have never met in person. Leading...
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21
Dec

Networking Virtually

By: Alana Stillitano When you think about what formal networking looks like, it is shaking hands, smiling faces, and intellectual discussions in conference rooms. As the effects of the Coronavirus are still around us, the “typical” networking event has changed – and professionals are left wondering how to build connections in a time when we...
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14
Dec

Creating Engaging Campaigns During COVID-19

One of our clients, River Ridge, recently celebrated their anniversary this fall and asked us to develop a campaign to promote it, without hosting a traditional, large-scale event due to the uncertainties of COVID. We knew we would have to find unique ways to celebrate while garnering media attention and engaging with key stakeholders. This...
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07
Dec

COVID-19, Workplace Safety & Handling Employee Push-back

This post taps the collective experiences of Brian Chandler (PR expert and CEO of Commonwealth Public Relations) and Tricia Dunlap (business attorney and CEO of Dunlap Law PLC). Like every business owner, the first months of the pandemic rocked your foundation.  Now, nine months in, you’ve finally found your sea legs. And then an angry...
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30
Nov

Increasing PR & Marketing Outreach During the Holiday Season

By: Ellie Forkins   The holidays are here! For the next few weeks, consumers will be thrown an abundance of marketing and advertising campaigns. Though December tends to be the busiest month of the year, it is important for businesses to continue their marketing and PR efforts throughout the holiday season. But, how can businesses...
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05
Nov

Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media

By: Alana Stillitano Even though COVID-19 has changed the way many businesses operate, it has only made social media content more important. Compelling social media posts can communicate important updates to your customers as well as develop a strong sense of brand loyalty for your business.   Social media is an amazing tool that, when used...
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28
Jul

Starting and Finding a Job During COVID-19

By Alana Stillitano I started working at Commonwealth PR in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. Getting a job offer during a crisis is a rare opportunity, and I was thrilled that the team saw potential in me without even meeting me face-to-face. Within weeks, I felt that I was truly welcomed into the Commonwealth PR family...
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10
Jun

Breaking Through The COVID-19 Noise

Below are pages from PR News’ 2020 “The Book of Crisis Management,” special COVID edition. We were featured in the book for our COVID PR & Communications Vlog. Click here to download the entire book.                                        ...
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29
Apr

Communications in a changing world

By Catie Corcoran A pandemic will certainly change the world around you, as we’ve all seen in recent weeks. Rolling news reports show hospitals filling with patients, while stores, restaurants and schools close their doors and we learn to navigate the new ‘normal’. Businesses, large and small, are making difficult decisions daily – a record...
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03
Apr

Helping You Navigate COVID-19

During this uncertain time, our team here at Commonwealth PR can’t help but think about all of the organizations that already have been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially those that we know and love throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. Early on, our team decided that we wanted to help the best way we...
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12
Sep

A Day in the Life of a PR Intern

By Maya Ebrahimnejad, Commonwealth Public Relations Summer Intern A summer internship is not as long or boring as you may think if you find the right PR agency. In reality, it goes by in the blink of an eye and is totally worth your time! So, don’t stress this upcoming summer. Go ahead and start...
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the choice of law firms
20
Aug

Why Law Firms Are Choosing Us

The jury is in! Virginia Lawyers Weekly Magazine has informed us that we were voted as the winner of its 2019 Reader’s Poll, taking first place in the “Public Relations Firms” category. But we’re not a legal marketing firm, so why would we receive the recognition? While we have, over the years, been tasked with...
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12
Jul

Downsized Newsrooms & PR Practitioners

It’s pretty well-known that newsrooms are shrinking. A recent study from the Pew Research Center provided further insight into this trend, concluding that newsroom employment in the US decreased by 25% from 2008 to 2018. The primary sector in this decade-long decline? Newspapers. The number of employees for the traditional print medium dropped 47%, according...
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14
Jun

Why Your Organization Should Consider Media Monitoring

While you might get news stories that mention your organization sent to your inbox, media monitoring services take staying on top of news about your organization – and your industry – a step further. Media monitoring is a way to track mentions and stories about your organization or industry across various platforms, providing insight into...
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Need PR help?
21
May

Five Red Flags Signaling Your Company May Need PR Help

If you found this blog by searching “public relations firms in Virginia,” there’s a good chance you or your organization need PR help. Don’t worry, you’re in the right place for a short insightful read, so stick around. In today’s fast-paced world and 24-hour news cycle, many companies feel like they are getting left in...
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15
May

Ditch the “Instagram Wall” and Tell a Story

If you’re even the least bit familiar with influencers and Instagram culture, you’ll know that bright, colorful walls have been a way for Instagrammers to make their content trendy and vibrant over the years. However, these “Instagram walls” – like the notable Los Angeles wings – may not be as valued as they once were....
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03
May

The Value of Teambuilding

Last week, our team took a trip to Peak Experiences for some time out of the office. Although the rest of the team has been before, this was my first go-around and my first teambuilding activity at CPR. It was nice to take the afternoon to do something fun and active; after all, exercise can be...
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10
Apr

Make the Most of an Internship in PR

As we seem to be moving right along through spring, I can’t help but think about how soon summer will be here. That means it’s time for sunny days, hanging out by the pool, or maybe even filling your time with a great summer internship in your field of study, especially if you’re a junior...
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13
Mar

Beginner’s Guide to Coordinating a Media Interview

The possibility of landing a media interview with a client is exciting, but the window for making it happen can be limited – so it’s important to coordinate efficiently. In my experience, some have been relatively simple to coordinate, in which I shared some contact information and availability, but others have been a bit more...
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Keep in Mind the Seven News Values
08
Mar

Keep in Mind the Seven News Values

As a former reporter, there are certain aspects to the public relations and news process that I sometimes inadvertently take advantage of – things I learned in journalism school or on the reporting beat that many PR practitioners or clients may not even be aware of. Looking back, I think one of the simplest, yet easiest-to-ignore...
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15
Feb

Cracking Open the Instagram Egg Phenomenon

If you’re a frequent user of Instagram, you may have noticed the seemingly overnight virality of an account known as “@world_record_egg” a few weeks back. The account posted a picture on Jan. 4 of a plain egg – no frills, no background – and asked for Instagrammers to help break the record Kylie Jenner held...
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08
Feb

Social Fitness: How Peloton Gained Popularity

Boutique and niche fitness classes have gained popularity over the years, and consumers are spending big portions of their budgets each month to attend them. But, in 2019, the most popular trend has been the Peloton. I have never had an interest in cycle – until those Peloton commercials sucked me in and how they...
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winning and losing
30
Jan

A Super Bowl-Sized Lesson About Winning and Losing

I’m sick of hearing people complain that once again the Alabama Crimson Tide and Clemson Tigers were the teams playing in the national championship and that the Patriots are in the Super Bowl again. In fact, it’s such a lousy complaint that I thought I’d write a blog about it. There’s a great book that...
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PR Grads Should Know This When Entering the Field
15
Jan

PR Grads Should Know This When Entering the Field

It’s my third week at CPR, and already I’ve learned valuable information about succeeding in the field of public relations. Of course, I still have a lot more to learn, but I thought I’d share some tips for recent grads who are beginning their careers, particularly at agencies. Here are a few suggestions to help...
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Christmas
19
Dec

‘Twas the night before Christmas…at Commonwealth PR

The holidays are here, and everyone loves a good Christmas poem, right? In year’s past, we’ve had some fun using ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas as a foundation and mixing it up with a little PR slang. So, enjoy this not-so original rendition of ‘Twas the night before Christmas, at the expense of Commonwealth PR...
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First Month Recap
06
Dec

Allie’s First Month Recap

As of today, I have survived my first month at my new job! Navigating a new career in a new city is never easy, but… who am I kidding? The transition has been awesome. I love my new apartment, my new neighborhood, and my new job! And I’m not even out of college yet. In...
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Why We Aren't 'Dripping in Saltwater'
29
Nov

Why We Aren’t ‘Dripping in Saltwater’

While on a call this week with a potential new client that works in the marine and boating industry, I was asked why our website isn’t “dripping in saltwater.” Ah, an interesting metaphor for all the public relations work we are doing these days in the boating industry. My answer was so well received that...
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Appleseed Series
16
Nov

The Appleseed Series Features Commonwealth PR

Join us with The Apple Cart and Hatch RVA for The Appleseed Series – a workshop for entrepreneurs. I will be speaking in January (which will be here before we know it) on maximizing PR. Full details can be found by clicking here. Let us know if you’re attending or if you’d like to participate...
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B-Roll
02
Nov

Increase Your TV News Coverage with B-Roll

Although newsrooms continue to shrink, there remains a huge demand for news content; however, there is still one age-old technique you can implement to garner some prized airtime for your company. That technique – B-roll. Here at Commonwealth PR, we have increasingly become experts at shooting and providing B-roll of our clients’ activities to local TV...
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Don't spook the media!
26
Oct

How to Avoid Spooking the Media

I’m not sure about you, but Halloween is certainly one of my personal favorite times of the year. Haunted houses, jack-o-lanterns, scary costumes, horror movies – I love every bit of it. While all of those things can certainly be scary, the one thing that trumps them all might be the scariest thing in any...
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22
Oct

Giving Back Can Lead to Big Results

A lot of large corporations, like Google, Amazon, and Capital One encourage their employees to volunteer and give back to the community. They often form “volunteer days” as team building activities. In my experience, these have been more about getting out of the office and less about volunteering for something you’re passionate about. Volunteering for...
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The Dethroning of Content
13
Sep

Content Is No Longer King

You know the saying in social media: Content is King. I’ve been hearing that for about a decade; but today, “content” has been dethroned by social media advertising dollars. Let’s face it, when Facebook went public you could have the greatest content in the world and it might only reach 15 percent of your page’s...
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Why a PR Agency Should be a Part of Your Team from the Start
02
Aug

Why a PR Agency Should Be a Part of Your Team from the Start

By Paityn Miles, summer intern I have been with Commonwealth Public Relations as a summer intern for about two months now; and in the time that I have spent working with the team, my eyes have been opened to the importance of the public relations industry. Before starting this internship, I really wasn’t fully aware...
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Sweat the Small Stuff
27
Jul

Sweat the Small Stuff

We all know the old adage, “Don’t sweat the small stuff,” and in a day and age where the news feels like it’s moving a mile a minute, it may seem like that saying rings truer than ever. I’d argue, however, that today’s climate makes the small, seemingly-minute details more important than ever before. Think...
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13
Jul

Company Twitter Wars

Social media can make or break a company. Gaining a large following on social media builds the overall awareness of your brand and provides you with a platform for owned media content. However, a small mistake online has the potential to cause serious damage to a company’s reputation and business. Recently a huge trend amongst...
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Navigating an increasingly-visual world
27
Jun

Let’s Get Visual

In the age of social media, the visual arts reign supreme. Just look at recent trends. Over the past five years, Instagram saw more growth in its userbase than any other social media platform. According to the Pew Research Center, more Americans use YouTube than Facebook in 2018. More people are on Snapchat these days...
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22
Jun

Recipe for Viral Content

What is the recipe for viral content? This baffling question struck me a few weeks ago after the news went viral of a military tank-style vehicle leading police on a low-speed chase through our very own city of Richmond. Sure the tank chase is the talk of the town here, but I wouldn’t have expected...
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2018 FIFA World Cup
14
Jun

World Cup Highlights Brands Like No Other Sporting Event

With the 2018 FIFA World Cup starting today, I’m reminded of all things soccer in my life. Growing up, I lived and breathed soccer. I played rec as a small child, then travel or club soccer in the fall and high school soccer in the spring as I grew older. After graduating, I made the...
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Implementing Thoughtful Media Relations
15
May

Implementing Thoughtful Media Relations

Times are changing, and so is media relations. That is why now, more than ever, it is crucial to implement thoughtful media relations strategies into your work. The media has undergone many significant changes over the years. With the introduction of the internet came 24/7 access to a constant stream of news and information. Then...
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Hiring a PR firm doesn't have to be scary.
30
Apr

Hiring a PR Firm Isn’t Scary

I recently had a business owner tell me that he had spoken to two of our competitors and they both scared him out of wanting to use a PR firm for his business’ media relations and PR services. “Scared?” I questioned him, wanting to know more about the experience and what in the world my...
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Relationship building is key when it comes to media relations.
19
Apr

Relationship-Building Key in Getting Media Coverage

As public relations professionals, one of our goals is to get as much positive publicity and brand awareness for our clients as possible; but with an ever-changing media landscape where — according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics — public relations professionals outnumber journalists by more than 6-to-1, sometimes it can feel nearly impossible to...
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Why you need your clients to stay on track
13
Mar

Going Rogue – Why We Need Clients To Stay On Track

The client-agency relationship is similar to the relationships we build with the media. It’s built upon trust, communication, and transparency. The team at Commonwealth PR strives to be an extension of our clients and we work hard to not just work towards our communication goals, but overall company or organization goals. However, sometimes our job...
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Is the new Snapchat update bad for business?
23
Feb

Snapchat Update: Bad for Business?

As you have probably already seen or heard, Snapchat has rolled out a new update. The update was originally announced at the end of 2017 but hadn’t gone into effect until now. The change was intended to appeal to an older crowd in addition to bringing in more advertisers and content creators; however, the plan...
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14
Jan

The Crown: A Lesson in Reputation Management Not to Be Ignored

Image courtesy of Netflix The Crown: A Lesson in Reputation Management Not to Be Ignored By: Brian Chandler, president If you’re looking for a royal example of reputation management, look no further than Season 2 of the popular Netflix series: The Crown. With some needed time off over the holidays, I stumbled upon Season 2,...
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29
Dec

Our 2018 New Year’s Resolutions

With 2018 finally upon us, it’s once again that time of year where we look at ourselves, assess our lives and make some New Year’s resolutions. But our resolutions aren’t about cutting calories or working out more. They aren’t about ourselves as individuals, but rather our firm and our clients and the ways we can...
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23
Nov

Happy Thanksgiving!

The turkey is cooking, cheerful tunes are serenading, cousins are playing, and old friends are chattering. That time of year has returned once again for everyone to gather around the table to share a meal with the ones they’re most thankful for. The CPR team has so much to be thankful for this year. We...
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16
Nov

Turning Over a New Leaf

My Journey from Journalism to Public Relations By Nick Versaw, intern If you would have told me a year ago that I’d be sitting here, a month away from my college graduation, in an office at a public relations firm, I would have called you crazy. Just last year, I was starting to get into...
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30
Oct

Cast Your Net and Get to Work

Cast Your Net and Get to Work Emily Mitchell, account coordinator Let me set the scene; a Midwest girl graduating from college in three months, applying for her first, full-time job in a state she has never even visited, in a city she had only heard of in history books. Hi, my name is Emily...
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16
Oct

Timing Is Everything

By Frazier Fulton, director of client services The art of crafting a press release, pitching, and obtaining coverage can sometimes seem easy. Then, when you take a stab at it, you’re left wondering why your release or event wasn’t covered. That’s where the expertise of the Commonwealth PR team comes in. We are made up...
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13
Oct

NFL Turns to The Force

NFL Turns to “The Force” To Increase Viewership By Brian Chandler, president Vikings and Bears… The Resistance and The First Order… Looks like ESPN and the NFL are trying to use The Force to garner up some ratings during Monday Night Football. The trailer for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” will make its debut tonight...
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04
Oct

Tom Petty and the media’s “Breakdown”

By Catie Kelly, account coordinator Legendary musician Tom Petty tragically passed away on Monday, Oct. 2, shortly before midnight. Are you getting déjà vu? Don’t worry, us too. That is because the media reported that Tom Petty had already died earlier that afternoon. The news first broke around 3 p.m. that Petty had been rushed...
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19
Sep

What’s Ahead?

By Frazier Fulton, director of client services The summer is over. I drove home from my annual Labor Day Outer Banks vacation with a pumpkin spice latte in hand excited to return to the office refreshed. Which can only mean one thing – strategic planning season is upon us. As of writing this article, there...
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14
Sep

Advertorials: Are They Ethical?

Advertorials: Are They Ethical? By Catie Kelly, account coordinator The media relations landscape is constantly changing and providing new approaches for businesses to deliver content. Although advertorials, or native ads, are not new, they have experienced a major shift with online publications. This means that we are seeing advertorials popping up on favored sites more...
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07
Sep

Learning Curve

Learning Curve By Emily Mitchell, account coordinator After I graduated from college, I never thought about writing research plans or looking to a textbook for an answer. I believed I could take on any project thrown my way until it was time to roll my sleeves up and get to work. I came to the...
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01
Aug

Social Media Smack Down

Social Media Smack Down  By Catie Kelly, account coordinator It appears the creatives at Facebook have been going through a bit of figurative writer’s block for quite some time now. The Fortune 500 company seems to have tended to this issue by plagiarizing the work of fellow social media giant, Snapchat. Perhaps a lack of...
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18
Jul

Consistency is Key: Why Your Social Media Channels (and Website) Should Match

Have you ever clicked on a website or Facebook page and were immediately confused by what you saw? “This can’t be right,” you think, hitting the back button or clicking over to another tab to find the mistake. Perhaps it was a logo, name, or description that caught you off guard and made you second-guess...
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11
Jul

A Vision For Downtown Richmond

(Note: the piece below was originally submitted to The Richmond Times-Dispatch to run as an op-ed. Brian Chandler submitted it to the newspaper on behalf of the Shockoe Partnership, which he is a member of the organization’s board of directors.) By Brian Chandler, president Eight years ago, I moved to Richmond. While having lunch with...
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09
Jun

Media Relations – Watch it, Read it, Pitch it.

Media Relations – Watch it, Read it, Pitch it. By, Frazier Fulton, director of client services Pitching the media isn’t easy, but with a few tips, you can become a pro like us. News services like The Skimm and my Amazon Alexa’s daily recap are helpful in staying in the know of what is happening...
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26
May

Take 1…Action! CPR Adds Video Projects to Client Services

Take 1…Action! CPR Adds Video Projects to Client Services By Emily Mitchell, account coordinator They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, so how many is a video worth? In this day and age when content is king, you might want to think about how video is another form of content that can be used...
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01
May

Why You Should Conduct a Social Media Audit (and How to Do It)

When was the last time you took a good, hard look at your social media strategy or conducted a social media audit? If your answer is anywhere between “one year ago” and “we really should do that,” pull up a chair, because we need to talk. I don’t have to tell you that social media...
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24
Apr

RTD Layoffs Cut Deep

RTD Layoffs Cut Deep By Brian Chandler, president / CEO Monday, April 3, 2017 is a day that everyone at The Richmond Times-Dispatch will remember for a very long time. It came as a surprise to the members of our team here at Commonwealth PR to hear that the daily newspaper headquartered in Virginia’s capital...
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05
Apr

“You’ve Got Mail!”

“You’ve Got Mail!” By Bailey Stitzer, account coordinator Email marketing can be one of the strongest marketing channels for making a profit and retaining customers. However, you would be shocked on the number of brands that can’t write a successful email. According to The Radicati Group, a market research firm based out of California, the...
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07
Mar

Creating a New Path for Non-Traditional Social Media

Creating a New Path for Non-Traditional Social Media Emily Mitchell, account coordinator Big name companies all over the world are getting praised for unconventional social media. Sharing thoughts, pictures and videos is still the social norm but corporations and even celebrities are taking a new path; using the extremes of humor and emotions to engage audiences. Followers...
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20
Feb

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words By Bailey Stitzer, account coordinator With more than a billion sources on the web, content has grown infinitely. But what should a company do to communicate a lot of content all in one place without overwhelming its audience? The answer: infographics. With the rise of content marketing, infographics...
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15
Feb

4 Social Media Tools to Try in 2017

The social media landscape is ever-changing. Therefore, there’s a lot of experimenting or trial and error for companies whenever something new comes along. It can be scary to risk time, energy and sometimes money on a new platform or content sharing tool when you’re unsure of how it will perform. However, these risks tend to pay...
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07
Feb

Keep Reading: CPR Blog Ranks Among Top 100 In The World

Keep Reading: CPR Blog Ranks Among Top 100 In The World By Brian Chandler, president When our company blog gets looped in with Regan’s PR Daily, PR Week and O’Dwyers Public Relations as one of the best blogs in the world, it’s a pretty big deal and we’re going to tout it. Christmas came early...
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03
Feb

Why PR Pros Must Learn AP Style

Why PR Pros Must Learn AP Style Bailey Stitzer, account coordinator Remember in college when writing a paper, you had to follow APA or MLA style? The nuances of grammar, punctuation, and format quickly became ingrained in your memory. For PR professionals, we quickly learn AP Style will become second nature for each and everything...
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17
Jan

Pitch Perfect

Pitch Perfect By Emily Mitchell, account coordinator One tidbit I would hear repeatedly about going into the field of public relations is how difficult it is to “pitch.” Not pitch a 102 mile per hour fastball during the World Series, but pitch a client’s message to the media in hopes of getting a reporter to cover the...
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14
Nov

A Flood Of Crisis Communications

A Flood Of Crisis Communications By Bailey Stitzer, account coordinator The Flint, Michigan water crisis will go down in history as one of the major health crises of 2016. Whenever something like this happens, there’s a lot to be learned from it; especially as it relates to communications and how the events were handled. For...
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