AHA Creative Strategies provides a wide-range of PR and communications services to our clients. From developing strategic plans, to media and communications audits, to implementing and executing initiatives, as well as results evaluation—we understand what it takes to get solid results.
AHA Creative Strategies is a full-service PR agency. Please click on the services below for additional information.
AHA Creative Strategies offers a range of Brand Journalism service packages to meet the needs of client organizations. Our role is to identify the incredible, interesting and engaging stories within your organization – enhancing your brand reputation and creating positive, valuable relationships with stakeholders.
Depending on your objectives, audience and budget, these services could include a communications audit, a Brand Journalism/editorial plan, video segments and/or interviews, podcasts, byline or ghost written articles, white papers, tips & hints, FAQs and other forms of engaging content. It also includes working with you to identify the target audience and to define relevant and effective distribution channels and outreach so that your message reaches the right people at the right time.
A communications plan provides a road map for your communications initiatives to support your organization’s strategic goals. A plan provides you with an organized, realistic approach to what you want your organization to accomplish (objectives), ways in which those objectives can be achieved, who your audience/communities are, and how you will accomplish your objectives, as well as defining the timelines and setting the measurements for results.
Online communication is an important component of your overall PR strategy and planning. Twitter, blogs, Google, Facebook and many, many other online tools can help to extend and engage your community, audience and stakeholders. Our approach to social media is always strategic and integrated with traditional communications tactics.
It’s important to understand where your current community (audience) is online and what social media tools or communities they use or participate in. We also review your current communications plan to identify opportunities to build on already successful initiatives, helping you to expand your community and add additional value.
At AHA Creative Strategies, we have an in-depth understanding and experience with online communications. We get the online world — and like it. This knowledge creates incredible opportunities for our clients, and we are continually expanding our knowledge of this evolving communication tool.
A communications audit allows us to develop a realistic snapshot of your organization. This provides the foundation necessary to build a strategic communications plan targeted to meet the needs of your audience/community, as well as the objectives of your organization.
Media relations and publicity are about creating mutually respectful relationships with journalists and effectively communicating your key messages to the media. We work with you to develop strong media relations and publicity campaigns through providing an understanding of news values, establishing your organization as a valuable resource for reporters and effectively targeting relevant media with news releases, pitches and story ideas.
Developing positive relationships with bloggers is an important and relatively new component of public relations. Bloggers are important members of specific communities and deserve to be treated with the same respect that is given to journalists, but they are approached differently. We understand the culture of the online world and the blogosphere and can help you to identify and open a conversation with influential and relevant bloggers.
Community relations is an important area of PR outreach. Maintaining an active profile and contributing to your community is an asset to an organization and is a key contributor to your reputation and to staff. We help you establish a strategic approach to participating in and contributing to your communities (locally and globally).
How you communicate internally is as important as how you communicate externally. Internal and external communications creates a two-way communications loop, feeding into and reinforcing each other. Effective internal communications can help unify an organization. Staff that have a clear understanding of the vision and key messages of the company are the most skilled at transmitting that information.
An intranet or internal community online site, e-newsletters, and blogs are some of the ways AHA can assist you in opening the doors of communication with employees and stakeholders. Creating a connection between your organization’s values and employees is critical to providing staff with the opportunity to become ambassadors and evangelists for your brand.
Marketing or promotional public relations assists you in opening (or joining) the conversation with your consumer community or audience. From launching a new product or service or revitalizing your brand in the eyes of the public, marketing/promotional PR can help you to create a connection. Marketing/promotional PR lets potential clients or customers learn more about your products or services and your organization.
AHA can work with you to develop a strategic approach to marketing/promotional PR, setting clear objectives and helping you to connect with consumers. We approach this area of PR through a range of approaches, including traditional media and publicity, social media, community relations, events and strategic partnerships.
Event management is an important component in public relations. Whether for an internal or external audience, a good event plan reflects your organization’s brand, identifies the target audience, provides a strong event concept and outlines the logistics – including technical aspects. It can also include political and dignitary protocol and, in some cases, issue or crisis management depending on the content being put forward at the specific event.
At AHA, we work with our clients to create strong creative concepts that are supported by strategy, ensuring that the event is focused on your organization’s goals. Along with a detailed approach to the logistics and execution of the event, we also work to create media attention, if appropriate, and work to ensure that the event is maximized in other communication initiatives (social media, on the website, etc.).
An issue or crisis can arise at any time – whether it’s a major accident, change of CEO, staff layoffs or other potentially brand-damaging challenges. The widespread use of online communication tools such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs means that sensitive issues and crises can affect virtually every industry at some point. Effective and immediate management of information is crucial. You can’t predict when an issue will arise or when a crisis will strike, but you can be prepared.
We work with you to develop a crisis communications plan in preparation for potential challenges. We also provide the opportunity to hold internal crises and issues workshops with “tabletop” exercises and role-playing in order to prepare your organization.
During a crisis or issue situation we work closely with clients to manage media relations, internal issues, and other stakeholder concerns. Offering coaching every step of the way, we develop key messages and help spokespeople strategically position the organization during media interviews, stakeholder briefings and internal communications outreach.
Once the situation is over, we work with you through a comprehensive debrief so that we can effectively evaluate and document the lessons, challenges and success so they are integrated into future planning.
We’re excellent writers with decades of experience in a wide range of vehicles and styles. Writing is a talent, a skill, an ability and a passion. Being given the responsibility to put your organization’s message into words is something we take very seriously, and love to do.
Our writing services include:
- News releases
- Media kits
- Contributed articles (bylined by you or your senior executive)
- Website content
- Social media content (Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
- Blog content (we interview you and put your voice to the content)
- White papers
- Brochures and other collateral materials
Understanding how the media works and learning how to effectively position your organization and communicate key messages is crucial in generating positive media coverage.
AHA demystifies the media process through training on real world situations and scenarios so that when the time comes to deal with media, you and your key personnel are prepared.
At AHA, we have extensive knowledge of how the media works. In fact, partner Ruth Atherley spent more than 15 years as a journalist and has reported and written for many national publications. We know what it takes to effectively develop and communicate your message to the media. We also understand what the media needs in order to do their job. Good media relations is about working with the media, managing the situation and expecting the unexpected.
From learning how to deal with an aggressive reporter digging for a specific angle, to understanding your role as a source for journalists, to having a clear and concise message to deliver, our media training will prepare you and your team for interaction with all forms of media.
We role-play on videotape so that participants understand and experience the process of an interview. Often, apprehension comes from simply not knowing what to expect. In this interactive session, we take you through the process of being interviewed, delivering key messages and responding to different interview techniques and styles. From body language to addressing challenging questions, AHA will prepare you to engage and succeed through your interactions with the media.
Our media training services include:
- Half and full-day group media training workshops, with videotaped role-playing interviews, development of key messages and written feedback.
- One-on-one media coaching.
- Issues and crisis communication media training and coaching.
- Specific campaign media training and coaching.
We offer half-day workshops that are customized for your organization or group. Depending on your organization’s objectives, we can also develop workshops specifically addressing your needs.
Below is a list of our current workshops.
Online/Social Media Workshop
The growing use of online media (including social media) has created a new challenge for organizations. Understanding and effectively using these new tools can seem intimidating and overwhelming.
The AHA online/social media workshop is a half-day interactive session designed to demystify, explain and showcase the opportunities and challenges that online media creates for you and your organization. Designed by communications professionals with a foot in both traditional and online media, this workshop gives you an overview of this fast-past environment. In this workshop you will:
- Learn the unique culture of social media.
- Understand the different ways to communicate online.
- Realize the importance of online threats to your organization’s reputation and how to manage them.
- Develop skills to proactively reach out to your stakeholders online.
- Understand the importance of a strategic approach to communicating online.
- Learn how to include and blend these new tools into your strategic communications plan, if appropriate.
- Gain knowledge of how to monitor what is being said about your organization online (and who is saying it).
- Understand how to develop a solid corporate policy around employee blogging and social media participation.
PR 101 Workshop
Great public relations tells your story in a way that engages your audience and calls them to action. It raises the profile of your organization so you become a topic of positive conversation whenever your field is mentioned. PR acts as a translator, taking what you have to say to your stakeholders and putting it into a message that opens the conversation and creates brand loyalty.
At this workshop, you will learn essential tools and techniques that will allow you to reach your target market through traditional and online media. They include:
- What are today’s news values and how you can “package” your story to make it newsworthy.
- How to get the media and bloggers interested in your story.
- When and how to approach and follow up with the media and bloggers.
- How to develop a relationship with the media and bloggers.
- How to prepare for an interview.
- How to control your messages during an interview.
- How to write media-friendly bios, backgrounders and news releases.
AHA partner Ruth Atherley regularly speaks to groups, organizations and associations about the strategic use of social media in communications, how to build your business with PR and publicity, and how to effectively manage the media.
If you are interested in having Ruth speak on this or any other topic, please contact us. We’re always open to new ideas!