Our weekly blog, written by FH staff, features our reflections about a variety of personal and industry-related points of view.
May 29, 2013
By Michelle Leitzy, account supervisor
A few weeks ago, we celebrated employee appreciation week at FrazierHeiby. This was the second time the firm has celebrated its employees and I must say that it’s a week very much appreciated by the staff.
We work incredibly hard at FrazierHeiby to serve our clients, whether it’s to create a branding campaign, secure media coverage or provide counsel about an issue. So, when we have a chance to partake in some perks for our hard work, we take it!
So, what did the employees at FrazierHeiby do during employee appreciation week? First, we had the opportunity to wear jeans instead of business attire all week. Yes, it’s the little things, but it helped some of us save on our dry cleaning costs that week!
And then of course, there was the food. Who wouldn’t want to start their week off with mimosas and pastries? (I’ve decided that starting a Monday off with a mimosa is definitely the way to go and we may need to implement this practice a bit more often!) We also had lunch brought in to the office one day and more sweets and desserts around than I care to admit.
I think I can speak for our entire staff when I say the best part of the week was a behind-the-scenes tour at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
We enjoyed an afternoon off to see animals up close like I’ve never seen before, including the polar bears, elephants, a rhino (which we had the opportunity to feed) and much more. I can say that it truly was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. See for yourself – view our photos from our zoo outing here.
All in all, our employee appreciation celebratory week was a great one and I look forward to more in the future!
Has your company participated in an employee appreciation day or week in the past? If so, what types of things did you do or what benefits did you receive? What types of things would you like to receive or do during an employee appreciation week?
May 23, 2013
By Denise Clark, director of client and administrative services
When you say “FrazierHeiby is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year,” it doesn’t sound all that long.
That’s until I thought about it from a personal perspectives. Back in 1983, I was only 16 years old. Yes, you can do the math and figure out how old I am.
At 16, the world is just beginning to open up to you.
I gained some independence that year when I got my driver’s license. At that time, my family owned a Chrysler station wagon with some sort of crushed velvet seats – and, of course, it had the wood paneling on the sides! In this car, I drove myself to and from work at Lake Austin. I lived in the country and I traveled many twisting and sometimes treacherous roads, always way too fast. I would have been grounded if my parents knew the risks I took in that car (risks I would not take today). But I do remember feeling like an adult every time I got behind the wheel.
That was the year I was officially allowed to date – a right of passage for teenagers everywhere. Again, I experienced a sense of freedom, but at the same time I began to realize that the choices I made have impacts.
When I was 16, I first started thinking about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I thought I would be a nurse like my mom, but then realized I probably wouldn’t like taking orders from doctors, so I quickly moved on from that idea. I also considered being a fiction writer, but wasn’t sure how to make that into something that could pay the bills. It wasn’t until I got to college that I discovered what I wanted to do for my career.
30 years ago, there were a lot of changes in my life. But that doesn’t even compare to the journey that has brought me to where I am today.
In the past 30 years, my immediate family has had five marriages, two divorces, the births of 11 children, one fight against cancer and two hip replacement surgeries. We’ve dealt with the death of a father, a father-in-law and a mother-in-law. We’ve seen one family member serve his country in Iraq as a National Guard member and re-enlist as a member of the Air Force National Guard.
It seems like it has all happened in the blink of an eye. I know that sounds cliché but that is the only way I can describe it. I look at my nieces and nephews and see my mom and dad in them. I am amazed at how different we can be but yet how similar.
And I have to wonder what it will be like to look back 30 years from now. I wonder how this will have changes, but yet stayed the same?
May 1, 2013
by Kathleen Anthony, account supervisor
In my role at FrazierHeiby I’m called on to write a lot of guest columns, op-eds and letters to the editor. Though communication professionals have used these devices for decades, I have to admit that prior to joining the firm nearly two years ago, I had very little experience with opinion pieces.
So, of course one of my first challenges at my new firm with my new client was to write a 700-word op-ed. The column, which required a solid understanding of a very technical industrial process and of key legislation and regulation, was to be signed by an expert in the field who was known and respected for his writing ability. No pressure, right?
Aware that this was a sink-or-swim moment, I sat down at my computer determined to write a column that would make the client, my employer and myself proud. A few hours later, I had a darn good draft ready for review. The response from the client was tremendous. Not only did I nail the subject matter, but I also managed to capture the voice of the client.
I’m not a mind reader or a mimic, but what I am fairly good at is listening, especially when a client is speaking. I attribute the success of that first op-ed to being a sponge soaking up not only every fact and minute detail about the subject matter, but also paying close attention to the client’s choice of words, tone and manner when he discussed the topic. As I was writing, I would repeat every sentence in my head as if the client was saying it. If it didn’t sound genuine, it didn’t make the cut.
That first op-ed not only helped me find my client’s voice, but helped establish a level of trust that is vital for a client relationship to thrive. And dozens upon dozens of op-eds and letters later, it’s a strategy I employ every time I write for a client.
How do you approach writing for a client? Do you have any tips on writing opinion pieces?
April 12, 2013
by Doug Frazier, chief creative officer
Today is FrazierHeiby‘s 30th anniversary. We thought it would be fun to share some of our milestones with you.
The firm was founded with a vision for the practice of public relations, community relations and a focus on client service and flexibility. An Ohio State University student intern came aboard, the first of more than 200 students who have studied under our direction. Clients at that time included The Columbus Dispatch and the League Against Child Abuse.
1984 to 1996
We continued to grow and the company moves to its first offices, also adding visual design and brand counsel to its services. In 1989, the firm was one of the first in the state to employ computer design tools. Clients included Fifty Five Restaurants, Burgess & Niple, Bank Ohio and Airnet Systems.
1997 to 2004
The firm’s talented staff took on more strategic programming, including support for clients on a national/international basis. Programs included strategic planning, national advertising, broad-based media programs, crisis communications and brand identity counsel. Clients included Frigidaire, Electrolux, Schoedinger Funeral & Cremation Service and First Community Village.
2005 to 2012
The firm enjoyed success serving larger branded clients while employing social media and Internet technology to test consumer attitudes, connect with key constituents throughout the world and provide up-to-the-minute monitoring of audience behaviors. Clients included Sports Imports, Ohio Soybean Council, Ohio Corn Growers Association, Kroger and Fairfield Medical Center.
FrazierHeiby continues to provide full-service public relations counsel to a myriad of new and long-standing clients including AEP Ohio, the Ohio Oil & Gas Association, Cabela’s and the City of Hilliard. In celebration of our 30th anniversary, we continue to adopt community organizations for probono support. This year we are supporting the Thurber House, a non-profit literary center and James Thurber museum.
April 5, 2013
By Tom Heiby, chief executive officer
2013 marks our 30th year providing strategic marketing communications to clients from Columbus to Italy. This is something not many businesses attain and is certainly a significant accomplishment for our industry, one that sees firms come and go, mergers and acquisitions.
I am proud to say that we have attained this through our strategic commitment to be and remain independent, with an experienced and accomplished team of associates, not to mention the multitude of clients that have been such great supporters by entrusting us with their marketing and public relations initiatives and challenges.
Yes some clients have come and gone, but those that did are still some of our best supporters and testimonials.
One 30-year accomplishment has been our intern program. It’s always a joy when Doug expels on the many interns that we have had the pleasure to host during this time and assist in jump-starting their careers. We may have lost count – 200+ – but we are always reminded of them as we see them years later providing counsel to their clients – very satisfying.
I suspect the next obvious topic would be to share some client experiences from over the years. I’m going to save that for my book!
Frankly, this 30th milestone year to me is about the firm…our associates.
Over the past several years, I have created an annual, internally-focused theme as a means to communicate a particular challenge or goal that is specific to that year. Even if you are recipient of our eNewsletter or read our blogs, you would not have read about the themes. This year, I am making an exception.
The theme for 2013 is Drive.
I do not expect anyone outside of FrazierHeiby to understand it and I have no expectations of you to embrace it as I have – as our firm has already in so many ways.
But I do want to share with you why I am writing about it. It’s because I did not create it. It was a collaborative effort by our associates. It’s their creation, their strategy, their theme and I proudly supported it the minute it was presented to me along with several options (you just might hear about those in following years!). And while internally focused, it has so many applications to external audiences as well – clients, community and our industry.
As you might expect, Drive is an acronym:
Multiple sub-topics abound within. I suspect some of you may be able to figure out many of them.
Drive is driving (sorry it just fits) how we conduct ourselves in 2013. We have a team that created several celebratory internal and external activities that we will be implementing throughout the year. Some have already been completed with many exciting ones to come. All of the activities are housed within a public relations plan – that has measurements!
We have a great team in place. I could not be more proud of them and of the Drive and commitment that they display each and every day for our clients, as well as the pro-bono work they do in their individual activities within various community activities. If you haven’t already, I hope you will be able to connect with them during the year as we Drive our business through the next 30 years.