Philadelphia Agency Adds Partner, Rebrands As Kimball Hughes Public Relations

PrintKimball Communications, a boutique Philadelphia public relations agency specializing in insurance, real estate, law, trade associations and other niche industry communications, today announces it has officially rebranded as Kimball Hughes Public Relations. The rebrand follows the naming of agency Vice President Rod Hughes as a partner in 2016.

“Since Rod joined our agency five years ago, we have doubled in size, expanded the industry expertise we offer clients and, most importantly, enhanced our reputation as a results-driven public relations agency,” said Gary Kimball, agency president and founder. “This name change reflects not only our new partnership, but also the leading role Rod will play in our futurenews I know will be welcomed by everyone who works with us.”

Hughes joined the agency in 2012 after five years leading the communications division of a full-service marketing agency. Kimball founded the agency in 1995 in Easton, Pa., after serving in a series of senior corporate public relations roles. In addition to Kimball and Hughes, the agency’s account managers are all former journalists.

In the first half of 2017, Kimball Hughes Public Relations added eight new clients, including two non-profit charity organizations, a museum, two national legal trade associations, a mutual insurance company, a venture capital firm and a partner and practice group leader at one of Philadelphia’s leading law firms.

The agency will maintain its existing web, email, and postal addresses as well as its social media presences and phone number.

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Roxana Pita-Romero Joins Kimball Communications

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Roxana Pita-Romero joins Kimball Communications.

Featured in the Sept. 25, 2017 O’Dwyer’s and the Sept. 27, 2017 edition of Bulldog Reporter, details of Roxana Pita-Romero joining the agency is making news.

Joining the agency with two and one half years of financial public relations service experience, Roxana will support the agency’s account managers who handle our legal, insurance and trade association clients.

Roxana is our newest Public Relations Associate. She can be reached at rpitaromero@kimballpr.com and by phone at (610) 559-7585 x 105.

Welcome Roxana!

We’re Hiring

Kimball-Hughes-Recruitment-Banner-croppedWe’re not looking for someone who just wants a job. Instead we want someone interested in growing his or her public relations career with us over the long term … someone willing to commit to us as much as we are hoping to commit to them.

We also happen to think Kimball Communications is a pretty great place to work. Why? First, we have amazing people contributing to our team-centric, respectful and often humorous office culture. Our PR pros also do amazing work for our clients, who themselves are pretty outstanding to work with as well. Those clients are leaders in the areas of insurance, law, real estate, trade associations, non-profits, manufacturing and healthcare, among others.

Our office is convenient to Philadelphia – just one-half hour from the heart of Center City. Every day we each look forward to doing great work with good people who appreciate that egos are checked at the door. We think we’ve got that whole work-life balance thing down to a science with flexible schedules, work from home opportunities, generous paid time off as well as holidays, performance bonuses based on profitability and much more. (Oh, did I mention snacks?)

What we are looking for in return is commitment. Commitment to doing the best job possible. Commitment to being a team player who knows this is a relationship business and acts accordingly. Commitment to succeeding rather than worrying about taking credit. Commitment to being as flexible with us in meeting agency and client goals as we are in making that whole work-life thing balance out. And, of course, commitment to developing, managing and successfully executing communications strategies and tactics for our clients with skill and integrity.

To paraphrase Liam Neeson, what we’re looking for is a very particular set of skills – skills acquired over time spent working as a journalist or a public relations professional. We are not looking for specialists in marketing, advertising, or digital media services.

So we’re looking for a PR pro whose career is defined by the following:

  • Professional experience:
    • At least three years of experience working as a reporter or editor for a non-college affiliated news organization; or
    • At least three years at a public relations agency where your primary responsibility was providing public relations services; or
    • Not less than three years in an in-house role managing communications (internal and external) for a large business or non-profit
  • Education:
    • A bachelor’s degree in journalism, public relations or communications.
  • Skills:
    • A proven track record of securing placements in both consumer and trade media.
    • Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills
    • Above average talent as a writer of multiple genres.
    • Extensive, first-hand knowledge of building media lists and pitching reporters.
    • Detailed knowledge of social media channels and related dashboards to manage content on behalf of clients.

Core responsibilities for the PR Manager role include:

  • Serve as a daily contact for clients
  • Assist in developing client PR strategies and thought leadership plans
  • Write, edit and distribute press releases, media alerts, bylined articles and blog posts
  • Conduct outreach to trade, mainstream, broadcast and online media outlets
  • Develop and pitch story ideas to secure placements for our clients
  • Draft monthly reports for clients and work with our media relations coordinator to collect and share client clips
  • Manage select social media platforms on behalf of the agency and clients
  • Work with our team to develop social media strategy and provide guidance to clients on all social media services
  • Meet all deadlines!

If you are as committed as we are to being part of a fun, talented and successful public relations team then we can’t wait to meet you.

Be sure to send an original cover letter that makes a persuasive case for your selection for this role, along with your resume to the attention of Rod Hughes at rhughes@kimballpr.com. The subject line must read: PR Manager Application. Also please be sure to include up to three professional writing samples and not less than three professional references.

 

The art of the pitch or how to land a great job

We’re hiring at Kimball Communications.

There was a time when a sentence like that, posted anywhere online about any agency would send a flood of résumés rushing in. To some degree it’s still true.

The fact of the matter is while I’ve seen a lot of résumés lately, what’s been missing is the persuasive argument to hire one candidate over others. I understand that for many professions, the cover letter is a dying art. But not in public relations. Not when one of the key facets of the job is to daily build a fact-based, persuasive argument on behalf of clients to present to key audiences. I call it the art of the pitch.

So we’ll take our time searching for our next, great co-worker and colleague. We’ll look for that persuasive pitch, that mix of talent and personality clients recognize and quickly say “I want to work with him/her.”

Meanwhile, if you are an experienced public relations professional, if you’ve managed clients in an agency setting, and if you are an outstanding writer, think about pitching me on why you would be the next great contributor to our team. Some things to consider about us before applying:Snacks

  • We have lots of great snacks.
  • We’re a smart, friendly bunch who check our egos at the door.
  • We put a premium on outstanding soft skills, a welcoming demeanor and a healthy sense of humor.
  • Rarely a day passes where one team member or another hasn’t cracked the rest of us up with laughter – a great release when you are working against tight deadlines and appropriately high client expectations.
  • We pride ourselves on doing genuinely outstanding work.
  • We’re looking for someone to grow with, not someone looking for just “the next job.”
  • Our client and employee turnover is ridiculously low by agency standards.
  • We’re a team of leaders rather than a team needing to be led.

So check out our ad for the specific skills and requirements of this Public Relations Manager role in our Blue Bell, Pa. office. And then pitch me on why you should be the next PR Manager at Kimball Communications.

-Rod Hughes

Kimball Communications continues to grow national client base

Kimball Communications recently announced the signing of four new clients, including a Chicago-based professional trade association, plus legal and financial service providers.

Those new clients include:

  • American Association of Law Libraries: Based in Chicago, the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) advances the profession of law librarianship and supports the professional growth of its members through leadership and advocacy in the field of legal information and information policy. Kimball Communications will provide AALL with public relations services, including media relations, thought leadership development and social media consulting.
  • Michaelson Capital Partners LLC: Michaelson Capital Partners, a venture capital firm based in Manhattan, provides customized growth financing to entrepreneur-led technology companies in sectors where the firm has domain expertise, relationships and experience to add value. Michaelson Capital Partners has hired Kimball Communications to provide on-demand public relations support and media outreach.
  • Amanda DiChello, Saul Ewing LLP, partner and co-chair of the Private Client Services Group: Amanda DiChello is a partner at Saul Ewing LLP in Philadelphia and New Jersey, and the co-chair of the firm’s Private Client Services Group, where she serves as general counsel and trusted advisor to high-net-worth families and individuals, closely held business owners, family offices, and charitable foundations. Kimball Communications has been hired to develop and implement a public relations strategy to increase Amanda’s profile as an expert in her field.
  • Themis Advocates Group: As a national network of law firms based in King of Prussia, Pa, the mission of Themis Advocates Group is to provide the most skilled, aggressive and cost-efficient legal services to clients by sharing information, procedures, trends and client feedback. Themis Advocates Group engaged Kimball Communications to provide public relations consulting, and to create and enact a social media strategy highlighting its events and members’ expertise, as well as sharing resources and information pertinent to insurance litigation and policy.

“Our 22-year reputation for outstanding public relations services spans several industries. However, we’re particularly pleased to continue to expand our working partnerships with those in the professional association, legal and financial service sectors. We look forward to working with these and other great clients in the year ahead,” said agency President Gary Kimball

The Truth, The Whole Truth and Nothing but The Truth

When dealing with a crisis, “no comment” is always the wrong response. The right response must provide clarity and accuracy. There are several recent examples, however, where spokespersons have either issued statements without taking the time to check all the facts or they purposely provided false information.

screen-shot-2017-06-20-at-1-56-38-pm.pngOne recent example was a physical assault by a congressional candidate on a member of the press. To initially defend the candidate from assault allegations, his spokesperson provided an account that was contrary what the reporter said happened. The campaign provided inaccurate information to support their defense.

You might ask, ‘how do we know the story was inaccurate?’ Well, there were witnesses and an audio recording of the incident. These where even referenced in the campaign’s statement, although they ultimately provided details that supported the reporters account rather than the campaign’s. Moreover, the candidate, now a U.S. congressman, recently plead guilty to the assault charges.

Here is the problem — prior to issuing the statement, the communication professionals involved clearly didn’t have or somehow ignored key facts. They did not speak to the witnesses. They did not talk to the reporter in question. They also doubled-down by referencing an audio recording of the incident in their statement, it seems, to which they hadn’t actually listened. Worse still, there is the possibility the campaign issued a statement that was a deliberate untruth.

The lesson here is simple: stick to the truth. If you don’t have all the facts, there’s nothing wrong with saying so, and qualify it by noting you are looking into the matter. If you or your client have done something wrong, admit it and apologize sincerely. However, before you issue a definitive statement, check your facts, explain the ramifications of false statements to the parties involved and use sound judgement. If there are witnesses, talk to them if possible. But don’t lie, ignore facts or act with only a partial idea of what happened.

In any matter, when dealing with the media take your time and check your facts. When your image or that of your client is on the line, you want your communications strategy done right. Never put yourself in a position where you’re providing false information or don’t know the full picture. Tell the truth – always. Doing otherwise can damage your reputation and follow you for years.

Insurance, insights, and acrobats: RIMS 2017

The annual RIMS conference is always a worthwhile annual reunion for the insurance industry. It’s an enormous event that gathers carriers, brokers, and tech companies to network and (dare I say) have a good bit of fun! For those who’ve been, they know: the RIMS parties are something else. This year’s event at the Pennsylvania Convention Center here in Philadelphia treated attendees to acrobats in the main atrium, a champagne fairy, a Billy Idol concert and remarks from Michael J. Fox.

But the conference isn’t short on substance, either. There were valuable educational sessions, tasty meals and inspiring speakers. It also gathers the insurance and business media to meet in one place. From a public relations perspective, that is an incredible opportunity. It is the time to connect key reporters and industry thought leaders to engage in constructive conversations about risk and insurance.

We used the opportunity to say “hi” to old friends on the media side and introduce them to clients as future resources. We also facilitated some on-site interviews to make sure our clients got in front of the RIMS audience – a key group for anyone looking to get their message across to broker, carriers, and more.

In the case of one of our attending clients Pennsylvania Lumbermens Mutual Insurance, we also got the opportunity to see things from the exhibitor perspective as we captured social media content for them. Check out this video of a critical loss control tool they are using with their customers demonstrated at their exhibit booth.

Social media was a key component of the conference, down to the #RIMS2017 hashtag displayed boldly in giant letters in the entrance to the convention center. Screens throughout the convention center compiled tweets with the hashtag, and people were quick to pose for photos as the “I” in RIMS (like we did).

Sam_Eileen at RIMS2017_2

The RIMS conference may be primarily an education and networking opportunity for the insurance pros involved, but for us insurance PR pros, these opportunities to connect with reporters and create social media content were just as important. Thanks to the RIMS organization for a valuable conference. See you in San Antonio!