Fall 2009
SPR Clear Messages

In This Issue

  1. Staying in Touch
  2. Are You Connected?
  3. The Perfect Storm
  4. Managing and Monitoring in a Crisis
  5. Schroder PR News

Staying in Touch

by Chris Schroder


Chris Schroder

Recently, I set up my 92-year-old Mom on Facebook. At first she resisted. "I don't need another confusing thing to learn at my age," she said. I did it anyway. I had a hunch she'd love it. I helped Mom buy her first computer a decade ago. She's done really well, except once when she was completely stumped finding Internet websites. I dropped by and watched her type in web addresses and realized she was only typing in two "w's" rather than three before the domain name.

So with her looking on, I set up her account, loaded her photo, "friended" a few grandchildren and told her I'd be back in a week to train her. That was on Sunday. By Tuesday, when I logged onto Facebook I found she was everywhere … writing on my niece's wall about college, telling my cousin she should post a better photograph of herself, commenting on photos we were posting from our recent trips. She was "friending" family members and a larger circle of friends.

Mom "gets" Facebook, which recently announced it has finally turned a profit and has now crossed the 300-million-member threshold ...



Social Media  

Are You Connected?

by Jennifer Sheran


Jennifer Sheran

It seems that everywhere we turn we are hearing more about social media – from commercials with teenagers bemoaning the fact that their parents are on Facebook and Twitter to business conferences across all different industries hosting panels on how companies can utilize social media tools to advance their message.

What's become evident is that the media world is changing and what some may say is a passing trend, others believe is a steppingstone in the evolution of communication that should not be overlooked. We have noticed an increased curiosity among our clients regarding how these new forms of social media relate to advancing their business.

At Schroder PR we have been monitoring social media advances for some time – we are on Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Plaxo and Twitter. A few of us have blogs or YouTube pages. We have even created and implemented social media strategies for some of our clients. To help you decipher what the social media hype is all about, we have prepared the following primer ...  



Media Relations  

The Perfect Storm

by Amber Rigsby


Amber Rigsby

It is said that a good writer never starts a story describing the weather, but in this case it's necessary. This summer really was the perfect storm.

Our team was gearing up to go view a Braves game when suddenly the city of Atlanta succumbed to downpours, lightening and umbrellas. At the same time, my work email and cell phone were flooded with media requests. After months of hard work – asking clients' questions, drafting story ideas and speaking with reporters – the perfect storm resulted in six media hits for five clients.

Congratulations to the following clients who received a green light for stories:

  • Creech Custom Builders and VeinInnovations were featured in the June 26 edition of the Atlanta Business Chronicle as examples for businesses that stand out from competitors during the recession.
  • VeinInnovations' David Martin was profiled for a September Atlanta Business Chronicle Living in Atlanta Magazine article on hobbies. He has an extensive collection of guitars.
  • Lenbrook received coverage in Buckhead Reporter, Atlanta INtown and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution following the hire of New CEO Becky Webster and for their September grand opening of the new 25-story tower.
  • Hines appeared in the national CityFeet.com newsletter after plans to lease property off Deerfield Parkway in Alpharetta were announced locally.
  • BigCrumbs.com was featured as a business doing well despite the economy in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

And like the rain, the media relations opportunities kept pouring in resulting in further media hits in the weeks after that stormy game day. Schroder PR secured four more clients in two additional stories.

  • Fifth Street Management, ICS Contract Services and Reznick Group were featured in the October Business Chronicle "Green" Commercial Real Estate section.
  • Neal Creech, from Creech Custom Builders, was profiled in a story for Lowe's for Pros which runs in November.

Although the baseball game at Turner Field rained out, our firm hit a grand slam and several home runs of our own. We celebrated with wine and margaritas off Northside Drive. But just like the Braves, it is time to get up and play another game today.


Client Service  

Managing and Monitoring in a Crisis

by Megan Etling


Megan Etling

This summer, one of our clients faced an incredible crisis. On July 29, a portion of the Centergy One parking deck in Midtown collapsed, crushing part of four levels – and all of the cars parked – below. Fifth Street Management Company, the firm that manages both the deck and the surrounding buildings, was faced with a unique challenge: how to account for the safety of its tenants and their vehicles and how to handle the media firestorm surrounding the collapse.


Luckily, Fifth Street was very well prepared. Aside from already having a crisis plan in place, Harry Conley, president, and George Lipscomb, chief operating officer, held intermittent briefings with company members to keep everyone on the same page amidst the chaos outside. Fifth Street staff members set up tables with fruit, water, sodas and sandwiches for firemen and rescue personnel as they waited for engineer approval to search the deck for any victims – of which, fortunately, there were none. In the days following the initial collapse, the firm set up a key-drop line so that tenants with undamaged cars could have them driven out of the deck.

While Fifth Street had its own plan in place, it also immediately contacted Schroder PR for our help. Schroder team members were soon stationed in Midtown, managing and monitoring the local news blitz and fielding calls from reporters. Chris was first on the scene with Fifth Street and immediately identified a spokesperson for media interviews. He then ran through a list of questions most likely to be asked by reporters and helped prepare talking points. Schroder PR staffers sent media alerts to newsrooms to both fix incorrectly reported information and update the public with pertinent information such as how tenants could find cars trapped in the deck.


This process went on for days, and after all the hard work, clients praised Fifth Street for how it handled a potential catastrophe.

Are you prepared in the event of a disaster? Do you have a current plan in place, and is the rest of your company aware of its role in the advent of an emergency? We would be more than happy to help you prepare a plan and test it to ensure your firm is ready to handle a crisis. After all, when times are slow, it’s an excellent time to train and prepare for the future – for soon enough, everyone will be much busier and won’t have as much time to practice.

Call us today, and let’s get started preparing your business for the unexpected.



Schroder News

Schroder PR is proud to welcome its newest clients:

Schroder PR is now virtual. This past summer we moved out of our Peachtree office to keep our expenses (and our billing rates to clients) low. In June, we were featured in an article about this trend on bankrate.com. To read it, click HERE.

Schroder PR is on Twitter! Follow us at http://twitter.com/SchroderPR

Schroder PR is on Facebook! Click HERE to become a fan.



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About Schroder PR

Located in Atlanta, Schroder PR, whose motto is "Clear Messages in a Cluttered World" (www.SchroderPR.com) is a multi-discipline communications firm serving professional service firms in the commercial and residential real estate, architecture/design/construction, financial, healthcare, online retail and travel data industries. Founded in December 2002 by former publisher, editor and newspaper reporter Chris Schroder, the firm's work is based on the philosophy that effective communication boils down to the art and ability to tell and share a good story.


Schroder PR
Clear Messages in a Cluttered World
P.O. Box 250026
Atlanta, Georgia 30325-0026