I want to take this opportunity to introduce you to Hospitality House of Charlotte, a local non-profit that lodges patients and families in medical crisis. It’s the only resource of its kind in Charlotte. Serving all ages since 1985, they’ve housed over 50,000 guests from 49 states and 42 countries!
I personally joined the board of directors at HHOC because of the simple, yet impactful mission. What better time to help someone than in medical crisis? I’ve personally witnessed the impact it’s had on guests, including my own friends. There are many unimaginable circumstances that families are experiencing, and having a “home away from home” truly does make a difference.
Are you interested in getting involved? If so…
- Would you like to attend our annual luncheon on September 24th at Myers Park Country Club. Registration and table sponsor opportunities can be found here.
- Are you interested in a volunteer position such as cooking a meal, working the front desk or even taking a committee or board position? Email me to discuss.
- Does a sponsorship opportunity make sense? Check out our corporate partnership program.
Thank you for your consideration!
BREAKING NEWS! There is a new morning show in town – Good Day Carolinas on FOX 46. Trisha and I were some of the first “on the scene” to learn from weekend producer Brittany Hoffman. Check out our Q&A below to learn more. It might be relevant for your company or organization. And, it will be something entertaining and informative to watch.
When does the show start and what are the hours?
The show kicks off on August 25. On weekdays, it will run 4:30 – 9 a.m. It will air 5-8 a.m. on Saturday and 5-9 a.m. on Sunday.
What are you trying to achieve with your new morning show?
What we’re trying to do at Good Day Carolinas is be the different news station. We want to be more community focused and the friendlier news. Instead of focusing on crime, we are going to cover something like the community fundraiser going on that day. Especially on the weekend, people are getting up, going out, doing things, and want to know what’s available in town to go do that day. They want to know interesting places to go and things to see, and I’m ready to bring that to them.
Is your model similar to what you’re doing now at night with digital journalists?
Yes and no. A lot of the packages on the weekends will be shot ahead of time (like if we were to focus on different restaurants, we’d probably go out and shoot ahead of time.) But, if there’s a craft brewery festival, we might go out to one of the breweries live and plug the festival from there. When you’re doing things live, it’s a lot more fun so I’m also really excited to get live guests in the studio. And, we’ll sprinkle live guests throughout the show. Like with chefs, we’ll first see the ingredients, then the preparation and then the final product near the end of the show.
What are you seeking from communications professionals?
I like being able to get a little bit of everything. For example, instead of always having the same chicken sandwich every time I go somewhere, I want to try something new. I think some people get used to the familiar and that’s what we’re trying NOT to do with our news; it won’t be traffic, weather, nor the leading story of the day because you can get that from so many other TV sources.
What about any do’s or don’ts that you have for communications professionals?
Being late. Not communicating. If you’re going to be late, please just tell me so I can fix things because I have a set time and have to coordinate things for every minute of the show. If I know about things, I can work around them. And, if there’s no follow-up from you, I’m not banking on that so I a confirmation is critical. Also, come prepared and have a plan.
Are you excited about living in Charlotte?
I am. I love getting used to the community here and it’s definitely a huge change in my life. I’ve been having fun exploring different local restaurants and I’m trying not to go to the same place two times, rather truly get immersed in the Charlotte culture. I’ve noticed there are different neighborhoods with different vibes; it’s fun figuring out those different areas. They have their own little feel to them, which is so different from Phoenix because in Phoenix it’s a city on a flat grid and everything looks the same. When I got here, it rained for four days. Now that was also something different for me!
Trisha and I had the opportunity to meet with journalist Mike Pacheco last week. As an avid sports fan myself, and with all of the recent energy around Charlotte professional sports teams, we thought it would be fun for us to conduct an interview, and for you to hear from someone that is (1) focused on sports and (2) in broadcast.
Mike is a TV/radio play-by-play announcer, talk show host, update anchor, studio host, reporter, executive producer, producer, consultant, event emcee and occasional TV sports anchor. Among the many projects underway, he is working with the Carolina Panthers as a member of the post-game show radio and web stream broadcasts. Recently, he began working as a sports producer for NBC News Channel. He is also involved with the Charlotte Knights Radio Broadcast and Winthrop University. And, he is writing a blog called “The Pacheco Papers.”
Q: What is your favorite role and why?
Probably for me doing radio play-by-play is what I enjoy the most because you have complete control of the canvas. Radio is theater of the mind and so most of the people that are listening won’t be at the ballpark. So, you’re trying to paint the picture, invite the people in so they feel that they are sitting next to you watching a ballgame so it’s really very descriptive. It’s probably the modern version of writing from 300-400 years ago. It’s storytelling and that’s the difference between radio and television play-by-play because television is more of an analyst’s and director’s medium.
Q: What does your preparation look like for a game?
For baseball, it’s a bit different because it’s every day. I try to read our local paper. I’m old fashioned when it comes to reading the actual newspaper and check out The Charlotte Observer every day. I was a paper boy and it’s ingrained in me. I’m big on trying to keep up on the usual suspects – MLB.com, ESPN and Sports Illustrated. With minor league baseball it’s a little bit different because a lot of the guys we deal with aren’t household names so I’ll do some more digging. MLB has MLBpressbox.com, so I check out other teams’ media guides. Sometimes you have to dig a bit more than other sports. I’ll look at other team’s parent clubs because a lot of guys’ bios are in there. So in general, it’s an hour or two of reading – looking at players I’m not as familiar with and even doing a google search. Or, if they are one or two years out of college, information will still be on their college site. Of course, social media is a big resource as well. And, talking to coaches and players – the old school way – is still important because we’re trying to get nuggets and tidbits, not just basic facts.
Q: You had some media relations and marketing roles in the past and since we’re in PR & marketing, we’re interested in your thoughts and experience in those areas. And, when you hear the team “public relations” – what does it mean to you?
Ironically, when I was in college, I was a political science major and since I was the newspaper boy and we always had the television on at home, I was up on current events, sports and politics. In college, I thought it would be a dream job to be a press secretary for a senator or congressman. So, I’ve always been interested in that relationship – working with the media and trying to craft a story whether you’re in marketing or PR. You’re trying to create a brand and disseminate that information…in a way that is fun and entertaining. My career path has been very different but I don’t think I’d be where I am now without everything I’ve done. My parents always taught me to have a back-up plan so I’ve always tried to learn as much as I can, and do as many different things as I can – especially because broadcast is so volatile. To me, both sides need each other (media and PR professionals).
Q: What is the best interview you ever conducted? Who is the most famous person you’ve ever interviewed?
One theme that has developed this year at BB&T ballpark is that you never know who is going to show up. One of our executives came up to me and said Bill Parcells is going to be here tomorrow. So I said let’s see if we can interview him. Sure enough, next day, he’s in town. I was doing an on-field pre-game show with one of our players and I told the player that Bill was going to be there. We did our interview and then he yells over to Bill and says “Bill, I want to talk football with you.” So, Bill calls him over and they talk for a bit. Then, near the end of the game, he sat with me for an inning and we mostly talked about baseball – he’s a huge baseball fan actually – as well as what he’s doing these days. I’ve always thought he was fascinating – a great communicator and coach. Actually, he is indirectly responsible for my wife and me getting together because when she and I met at a bar years ago, he was on television at the bar, and we bonded over our interest in Bill! When I told him that, he got a big smile on his face.
Q: What is the funniest moment or “out-take” that ever happened to you?
This was back when I was working in Kannapolis and with a Christian station – we had to keep it clean; I didn’t broadcast on Sundays, no beer commercials, etc. We had a catcher that in his first game set the league record for pass balls. So, it’s later in the year and we’re at home and right behind home plate I had a huge crowd mike so we could hear the pop of the glove and crack of the bat. It’s a close game, we’re tied. They have a guy on third and it was the seventh or eighth inning and he’s running back and screams an expletive very loudly. I thought I was maybe going to get a phone call. Fortunately, I didn’t.
Today I want to highlight the success of one of our clients, Craft Tasting Room and Growler Shop. Otherwise known as “Craft,” it’s a new all-in-one trio unique to Charlotte—a dedicated craft growler & bottle shop, beer garden and specialty grocery scheduled to open later this summer in South End. We were able to utilize the messaging we did with Craft to earn this great write-up in Charlotte Magazine.
The first thing we did when we began to work with Craft was understand their key differentiators and created the appropriate messaging to support their story. How did we do this? We identified their goals, audience and competitive landscape and created a “message map.” The map outlined what key messages to focus on and provided supporting facts and information to those messages. We also prepared them with several questions they could expect in media interviews or customer inquiries.
The messaging worked so well that when Craft owner Dan Davis spoke with the reporter he absolutely knocked it out of the park! He said the reporter’s eyes lit up every time he plugged in one of the talking points and at the end of the interview the reporter loved the concept and said, “You wouldn’t believe how many people I talk to who really don’t have anything that makes them different from anybody else.” Dan then proceeded to thank us and said the messaging really helped him to focus and get the “passion” across, not just the facts. Kudos to Dan for executing!
It was great to help Craft from inception, but chances are your business has been in existence for years. Are you relaying your message effectively? Are your co-workers? Your message needs to be clear, concise and consistent. Only then can you communicate effectively.