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"If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else." 
This quote, attributed to baseball legend Yogi Berra, makes a simple statement about why we plan.  At Elmore PR, planning is central to our process for ensuring we understand where our client is looking to go with their communications and how we structure our strategies and time our tactics to get them there. 
Big Buzz Begins with Two Smart Meetings
Why a Strategic Plan is the First Step to Communications
In our last e-newsletter we mentioned the strategic planning session as the first tool we use when building a foundation of strategies and tactics to meet your communications milestones. Held on a semi-annual basis (or another agreed-upon interval), the session is used to identify your organization’s big picture goals and upcoming milestones. From that discussion our team goes on to create a tailored communications strategy to support both.
The benefits of the strategic planning process cannot be overstated. The session itself facilitates a dynamic conversation about your organization’s initiatives with members of your team and ours. 
Click here to read on!
How to bring your A-game to any meeting
Active meeting participation will drive your group closer to your goals. The following meeting engagement tips will help you foster rich, focused and fruitful dialogue in your next brainstorming or strategic planning session.
As the facilitator:
  • Develop and distribute a well-designed agenda. A good meeting starts before the meeting starts, and an agenda routed in advance allows everyone to prep for their best participation.
  • Lead an opening exercise to promote engagement from the start. When all attendees have a chance to speak at the beginning, it sets the tone for all voices to be heard. Ditch the ice breakers and keep opening questions related to the topic of the meeting.
  • Use active listening to acknowledge and restate a participants’ contributions. Active listening opens the door for clarification and furthers the conversation.
  • You are responsible for the cadence of engagement. Be mindful of who has spoken up and who hasn’t, and call on those who may have trouble breaking into a robust conversation. In using active listening to recap one participant’s comment, you can segue to another participant’s area of expertise and invite them into the conversation.
As the participant:
  • Come prepared. Review the agenda ahead of time and prepare a list of questions or topics relevant to the meeting.
  • Be focused. Put your cell phone away and avoid other distractions. Especially in virtual sessions, it’s easy to be distracted by the alert of a new email or text coming in. Just like a school teacher, the facilitator can tell you’re not paying attention if you’re looking at lap during the session!
  • Be engaging with your body language and your contributions. Ask questions when appropriate and use active listening. Restating something you’ve heard or asking for clarification can spur others’ ideas and enhance conversation.
  • Look for opportunities to bring other attendees into the conversation. Site a time you and a colleague worked on a relevant experience, and ask your colleague to add input to what you’re sharing. That can lead to a more robust meeting for all.
While simple, these suggestions make any meeting more productive and inclusive. Try them out and let us know what you think.
Extra! Extra!
As we enter the holiday season and a time of reflection and giving, we are proud to share these noteworthy placements from some of our impactful nonprofit clients. 
Recently, Elmore PR had the pleasure of supporting Susan G. Komen as they geared up for the 2021 Komen Houston Race for the Cure which took place on October 2. As a result of Elmore PR’s strategic outreach, the Race for the Cure garnered placements across print, broadcast, and online outlets, including KPRC’s Houston Life. Courtney Zavala, co-host of Houston Life, sat down with Kristen Barley, executive director of Susan G. Komen Houston, and Stacey Peterson, executive leadership chair for the 2021 Komen Houston Race for the Cure, to discuss their breast cancer survivor stories and why the Race for the Cure is such an important event. Check out the full segment here
This spring, Elmore PR began working with Houston Habitat for Humanity to raise awareness for Robins Landing – a vibrant residential community serving low to moderate income Houstonians in their journey to homeownership. As Houston Habitat prepared to begin infrastructure work on the 127-acres site, the Elmore team identified Rebecca Schuetz, real estate reporter for the Houston Chronicle, as the perfect fit to tell the story of this important affordable housing development. The story was pitched under embargo and interest was secured. Over the next few weeks, key interviews were coordinated as well as a site visit to the future Robins Landing. The hard work resulted in a story on the front page of the Business section on Sunday, September 12, with the online story running a few days prior.
In recognition of September as Childhood Cancer and Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month, Elmore PR and Like Minds Communications collaborated on a segment for KPRC to highlight The Periwinkle Foundation (Elmore PR) and Camp For All (Like Minds Communications). Speaking with health reporter, Haley Hernandez, Megan McCullum details her family’s life-changing experience attending Camp Periwinkle at Camp for All. To view the full segment, click here.
With September being National Literacy Month, the Elmore PR team focused on using that news hook to promote Literacy Now’s programming and growth, the issue of inequity within the education system, and what Literacy Now is doing to bridge that gap. Elmore PR secured an interview on Houston Life, where Literacy Now Executive Director Jacque Daughtry talked through the organization’s Reading Intervention programming and efforts to tackle Houston’s literacy crisis. Check out the clip and article here.
Extra! Extra! (Elmore Award Edition)
During the month of October, three of Elmore PR's communications campaigns were each honored for excellence by two separate organizations - PRSA Houston's Excalibur Awards and IABC Houston's Bronze Quill Awards. 

The campaigns taking home trophies in 2021 included: 
  • Houston Parks Board: Announcing Bayou Greenways 2020 Campaign Completion and Celebration Events
  • Houston Wilderness: Promoting Preservation – Publicizing the Houston Wilderness Gulf-Houston Regional
  • Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market: Marketing the Nutcracker Market, 2020 COVID Edition
It is deeply meaningful to be recognized for communicating the important work our clients executed in 2020.  Kudos and congratulations to our team and each of these client organizations for a job well done!
Meet the Team 
This issue we introduce Elmore PR's Operations Manager, Angela Roland.  Angela joined Elmore PR in 2018 and has been essential in keeping everything moving smoothly for our team and clients ever since!
What volunteer activity are you involved in and what do you enjoy about it?  In 2013, my daughter, Kennedi, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. As a newly diagnosed family, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) stepped in to assist our family in gaining knowledge and offering resources to cope with this new way of life. Almost immediately after hospital discharge, my daughter and I committed to giving back to the JDRF. We volunteer at the JDRF One Walk by forming a walk team or volunteering at the walk site helping with registration, meals or kid’s activities. We have served as ambassadors for the JDRF. We raise money for the organization to help with many of the program’s JDRF offers. I became involved with JDRF to provide a support structure for other families who are newly diagnosed, help others learn how to spot the symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes, and how to cope with a diagnosis. And if you didn't know, November just happens to be National Diabetes Awareness Month!
Do you have any pets? Our family has been blessed with the greatest fur-babies on planet earth. All three were shelter rescues, and we’ve had them since they were very young. Hank is the oldest and the big brother and he will always hold my heart as my first fur-love. Car rides are our thing and Mom always sneaks a little extra to him when passing out snacks. Primrose happens to be daddy’s girl, and she’s an attention hog all around. She’s the princess and expects to be treated as one. Shay - the youngest. She can do no wrong and very rarely gets disciplined since she’s the baby.

Either or - paper book, e-book or audio book?  Regardless of the many advantages digital books afford,  I will always remain loyal to paper books. The joy of perusing the book aisle at any store, the color and creativity in book covers, picking up the book, flipping through the pages, the smell of paper, the feel of the book in my hands, and instantly falling in love. I believe physically reading a book can be a more personal experience because your inner voice is responsible for creating everything that’s not on the page from only the words. Snuggling up in a blanket with a hot cup of coffee, cracking open a book, seeing the progress as I turn the pages… picture-perfect.
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