I had the pleasure of sitting down with Natalie Dick, a former reporter and now VP of Communications and Research at the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce. Natalie had several useful tips and advice for working with the Chamber. Please see our Q&A below…
What kind of marketing and communication opportunities exist for Chamber members?
There are so many ways the Chamber can help promote your organization; from press conferences, ribbon cuttings, the member news section of our website, weekly e-newsletter, monthly publication and social channels. We also get inquiries from the media and I can help connect our members that way too. If you do a great job, and turn around and get them the information they need, they’ll usually come back for more!
Nice! Speaking of press conferences, I’m curious to get your general thoughts on them and what circumstances are they warranted?
Press conferences don’t always have to be big job or economic development announcements. They could be about diversity, entrepreneurship, revitalization, an exciting industry, partnerships, etc. The basic ingredients are to have something unique and be able to provide visuals.
Keep in mind timing can be a factor, though. I prefer to hold press conferences midweek and midmorning. As a former reporter, I know that assignment desks have more flexibility at certain times of the day, and Tuesdays or Wednesdays generally seem to be a good bet in the news cycle. That said, if it is a big enough announcement, why not take advantage of pairing the announcement with regular news programing. One thing our clients have really appreciated is to live stream the announcements. That gives the employees who will soon be moving to Charlotte a chance to see the announcement as it unfolds.
Are the announcing companies expected to have their own media kit?
I would recommend it. I’ll send out the actual media advisory since it’s held by the Chamber and I have those relationships, but it never hurts for the company to come prepared with additional information like company background, bios, press releases, contact information, photos, key supporting facts, product/service demos, etc.
What is one piece of advice you can give to marketing folks in Charlotte?
If you represent a small to midsize company in Charlotte there is a place for you at the Charlotte Chamber. In fact, 80 percent of our members fit into that category. There are so many different programs, initiatives and committees available. You just need to get involved.
In light of all the media attention surrounding recent NFL executive interviews concerning domestic violence, Time Warner Cable News found themselves looking to PR professionals in Charlotte for their thoughts and advice. Pivot PR’s President/Chief Executive Officer Drew Porcello can be seen here weighing in on the situation. He focused primarily on best practices for media interviews, and how the NFL should prepare themselves moving forward.
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!