Everything you achieve in business – from innovation and process improvement,
to market share gains, safety goals, financial performance and more
– occurs through conversations that lead to those results.
The Houston Apartment Association enjoys a tremendous relationship with Ward and its team of seasoned, talented professionals. As a trade association, we look to our Ward partners to help shape our organizational brand, and to influence industry perceptions on a larger scale. Their media relations expertise routinely results in positive and accurate media coverage of our members and the industry. Ward adds depth to our marketing projects and campaigns and is a highly valued extension of the association's in-house team. Ward understands our needs and consistently exceeds our expectations. Aimee Arrington, Director of Community Engagement and Media
Houston Apartment Association
American Lung Association/Aventis Pharmaceutical Faces of Influenza
Cooney Waters Group, the public relations agency for the American Lung Association’s national educational outreach Faces of Influenza, sponsored by Sanofi-Aventis, enlisted Ward to design and execute a Houston community relations program in 2007. Ward worked with a core group of coalition members in the Houston area – including Harris County Public Health, Texas Children’s Hospital, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Memorial Hermann, and the City of Houston – to support the Faces of Influenza campaign. Through coalition partnerships, Ward identified expert spokespersons to support campaign messages at
events and through media opportunities. Given the number of mega-churches in Houston, Ward
implemented a church campaign to reach large congregations with established communication
channels. To reach Houston’s large minority population, the agency partnered with groups at the Community Health Celebration in Houston’s Third Ward. Finally, Ward coordinated a press conference and proclamation at City Hall that maximized media coverage of Faces of Influenza.
By successfully targeting opportunities to communicate the importance of an annual flu vaccination, the community relations campaign put a “face” on influenza illness for women/mothers 40+ and “at risk” groups in the Greater Houston area. Success was evaluated based on the breadth of community reach, which included partnerships with 16 community
groups, seven mega-churches, and secured media impressions, which exceeded 1.1 million in the Houston area, excluding the massive Internet pick-up the news achieved. With these results, Ward met campaign objectives for the Faces of Influenza community relations program.
Society of Petroleum Engineers
The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) is a global professional organization dedicated to providing professional development and networking opportunities for members and promoting educational programs relevant to the industry. The Gulf Coast Section (SPE-GCS) had consistently provided nearly $70,000 in college scholarships annually and supported numerous educational programs in area schools, yet there was no community and little industry awareness of these contributions. Realizing the need to consistently increase overall awareness about SPE-GCS’s efforts, the SPE-GCS board hired Ward, Ward successfully publicized several events for SPE-GCS, beginning with five Houston-area High School Recruiting Fairs, which attracted bright minds into engineering and raised awareness of the section’s scholarship program. Ward developed and distributed media alerts and flyers promoting the fairs. The agency also promoted SPE-GCS’s Scholarship Program by targeting neighborhood publications where teachers and parents of potential scholarship recipients resided, including developing a PSA which ran consistently during drive times on one of Houston’s most listened-to radio stations. Finally, Ward secured stories in neighborhood publications to promote the Computers For Schools Program that matches computer needs of Gulf Coast area schools with appropriate equipment from the SPE-GCS inventory of slightly used systems donated by industry companies.
Ward started from ground zero and began developing media relationships on behalf of SPE-GCS. For the first time, news of the organization’s community outreach programs reached students, teachers, counselors, industry leaders and members of the Gulf Coast community on a regular basis. Placements in the general and community press communicated a message of community and industry advocacy by SPE-GCS. Overall, Ward garnered more than 50 various
media placements for SPE during the year, averaging four placements a month.
Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce
Increased competition for attendance at the many festivals and fairs slated in April has forced even long-standing community events to distinguish themselves newly to their long-time patrons. Such was the challenge for The Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce 22nd Annual Airport Festival when it was scheduled the week before the much larger Wings Over Houston Air Show. FMC Technologies retained Ward on behalf of the chamber to help combat the confusion and to improve the chances that media would cover the festival during the 100th anniversary of flight. Ward developed a media kit concept that would capture the theme of the event while drawing media interest through the Candy Bomber. In addition to including a wide variety of angles in the media kit, the team developed an unusual packaging concept to attract media attention upon delivery (and to house a special chocolate treat for media recipients). A colored
flier depicting both historical aircraft and the candy bomber served as the kit’s cover. The printed materials were contained within a clear plastic tube resembling an airlift drop package. The flier was also reduced to cover a Hershey’s bar, which was also included in the media kit. The kit was “dropped” to a variety of Houston media reporters.
As a result of the IAH Airport Festival media kit and Ward’s media follow-up, the festival received more coverage than it had ever received in its 21-year history, including for the first time, television coverage. Several advance placements in local media including a KHOU-TV Morning News interview with Halvorsen, a live performance by an event performer on KRIV-TV, and a photo in The Houston Chronicle. Post-event publicity was highlighted by a Houston Chronicle State section cover page feature story on Halvorsen, which included a color photo. Due to the well researched and well written media kit, which told a business-to-business story through a consumer media angle,many of our messages appeared verbatim, including product information on the Halvorsen Loader!