Southwest Section PGA: A Case Study

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Russ Christ works with clients like the Southwest Section PGA to create winning strategic public relations plans. We don’t generate publicity for publicity’s sake – we make sure that the results from the PR plan will support and accelerate the business goals of the client.

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Southwest Section PGA: A Case Study

  1. 1. What allows us to fundamentally understand the role that PR plays within the larger framework of a client’s goals? APPROACH An independent firm founded in 2003, Russ Christ PR provides senior-level public relations and communications counsel. We help clients achieve their business goals by getting them exposure and credibility unmatched through any other marketing medium. We strive to exceed their expectations at all times. Russ Christ has developed a specialty focus on small and mid-sized companies with “innovativequot; ideas, services and technology. Our clients include some of the Southwest’s most exciting and most innovative businesses, including the Southwest Section PGA, Pine Canyon, Phoenix PMI Chapter, and Imaging Technology Solutions. Russ has also done project-based work for a number of companies and organizations. Russ has personal and professional relationships with key editors and reporters in a wide range of media  He has nearly 20 years experience in every facet of marketing and public relations both inside agencies, corporations and  non-profits An accomplished writer, Russ has been published in numerous newspapers and trade journals under his own or his clients’  byline His publicity strategies and execution continue to result in features on clients in respected and influential media outlets in  the county Russ holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Hamilton College and has completed post-graduate work at Ohio  University.
  2. 2. Media initiatives for the Southwest Section PGA… Generate increased awareness of The Southwest Section PGA and its involvement in the community  Solidify and develop relationships with local media  Secure profiles of members in local newspapers or magazines, including photos  Significantly assist with Media Day for the Arizona Open  Assist in media buys for year round advertising initiatives including the golf pass, Play Golf America, lesson advantage card  Develop copy for radio advertising  Spend time at the section office to open lines of communication and generate ideas for new PR initiatives  Work with new sponsors to develop press releases to announce their partnership and involvement with the section  Consistently work with sponsors to develop awareness within the section of new products, company initiatives, etc.  Be available for proofing bi-annual magazine and section calendar  Assist in gathering information for each of the above  Contribute articles of interest to be included in the Southwest Section PGA magazine or other publications  Gather printed material for uploading on the sections “members in the news” webpage 
  3. 3. About The Southwest Section PGA The Southwest Section PGA is one of 41 sections of the Professional Golfers' Association of America. Its boundaries include Arizona and Clark County, Nevada. Within the Section is a Southern Nevada Chapter and a Southern Chapter to further facilitate programs within those areas. Its membership consists of a group of professionals dedicated to making golf a better game. They wear many hats; trained instructor, business manager, accomplished player, personnel manager, junior golf mentor, role model, community leader, rules authority, humanitarian, fund-raiser, and many more as these club professionals are responsible for the day to day activities at many of our golf facilities. The SWSPGA includes nearly 1,400 PGA members and apprentices involved in the operations of more than 350 golf facilities. The Section is the local delivery system for the PGA of America programs and activities to promote the game of golf in this region and to enhance the skills of its members. In 2007 the SWSPGA hired Russ Christ as a consultant for its media and public relations services.
  4. 4. Russ Christ works with clients like the Southwest Section PGA to create winning strategic public relations plans. We don’t generate  publicity for publicity’s sake – we make sure that the results from the PR plan will support and accelerate the business goals of the client. Media Access  When you’re ready to tell your story, Russ Christ can access a media database to create a target list of editors, writers, reporters and freelancers who cover your market. Russ has many direct media contacts as well as the experience to effectively build new ones on a client’s behalf. Press Release Writing  The team understands that the process of press release writing is a dying art. We still believe in the power of a well-written, correctly formatted and attention getting press release. We also know that these are not works of art that require dozens of agency hours to write. Our writers cut to the chase, creating a release that gets attention but not at the expense of the budget. Authored Articles  Our work has been showcased in many major newspapers, Websites and other publications, either under our own byline or those of our clients. We are expert at creating and then placing authored articles in publications that help clients gain credibility. Customer / Member Communication  The advance of the Internet has led to an unprecedented ability to connect with customers or members. In many cases, these are your most important constituencies. Any smart communications professional should make customer communication a critical part of an overall public relations program. We work with clients to make sure that programs and messaging are aligned with customer/member values and impressions of the brand. Press Tours  Agency personnel have been on both sides of the Press Tour fence: the harried account exec making sure that the meetings come together as well as the company exec whose business is on the line in each interview. This perspective serves clients well; We make sure that press tours are productive but enjoyable; and ensure our clients are prepped before each interview with the information they need to have a successful meeting.
  5. 5. Increase its visibility with placements in… The Arizona Republic  East Valley Tribune  Arizona Golfer  Desert Golfer  Scottsdale Republic  Bunker to Bunker Golf Show  KTAR Radio 620 AM  Backspin the Golf Show  www.azcentral.com  Ahwatukee Magazine  Southern Arizona Tee Times  Tucson Citizen  Golfer’s Guide  www.azgolf.org  GolfAZRadio  …among others
  6. 6. What we did: Media outreach, authored article, photo shoot coordination and communication. The result? Media coverage in regional magazine.
  7. 7. What we did: Press release writing, media outreach The result? Media coverage in several outlets, including the Arizona Republic.
  8. 8. What we did: Press release writing, media outreach, photography, interviews The result? Media coverage in several outlets, including the Arizona Republic. The winning team from the Southwest Section PGA beat their amateur counterparts from the Arizona Golf Association for the 25th straight year at the 48th Goldwater Cup Matches in December 2008 at Mesa Country Club.
  9. 9. What we did: Media query to publisher, coordination of photography, authored article. The result? A four-page piece in a highly- regarded regional golf magazine.
  10. 10. What we did: Press release and advertising copy writing, media outreach, photography The result? Media coverage in several newspapers, radio stations and magazines. Curt Hudek, executive director Southwest Section PGA, offers instruction at Play Golf America Day.
  11. 11. What we did: Press release writing, media outreach The result? Media coverage in several outlets, including the Arizona Republic and Arizona Golfer. Southwest Section PGA Taps Vito Berlingeri as Marketing Director For Immediate Release May 30, 2008 Contact: Russ Christ (480) 577-3698 e-mail: russchrist@msn.com (Scottsdale, Ariz.)-- The Southwest Section PGA announced that Vito P. Berlingeri of Scottsdale has been named marketing director. For the last two years Mr. Berlingeri was director of operations/business development for Hot Stix Golf in Scottsdale. Mr. Berlingeri was directly responsible for the leadership of day-to-day store operations at Hot Stix, which included a staff of 50 employees in customer service, fulfillment and scheduling teams, club builders and fitters. Prior to his position with Hot Stix, Mr. Berlingeri was vice president of marketing for Scottsdale-based Profile Sports- GreenFix Golf. A former Division I basketball player at Pace University in Westchester, N.Y., Mr. Berlingeri brings extensive professional experience to his new role with the Southwest Section PGA. He has 20 years of corporate management, marketing, communication and sales experience with AT&T, Lucent Technologies and HCI Technologies. Mr. Berlingeri, along with fellow marketing director Amanda Copithorne, will oversee the marketing and sales opportunities for the section. Among his responsibilities are marketing/sales for the AT&T Arizona Open, the Southwest Section PGA’s most prestigious event, and overseeing the success of the Bill Farkas Sr. Charity Golf Tournament in Support of Junior Golf, which is held in December.
  12. 12. What we did: Press release writing, media outreach, photography and follow up to ensure placement. The result? Media coverage in several publications.
  13. 13. What we did: Press release writing, media outreach The result? Media coverage in Phoenix Business Journal.
  14. 14. What we did: Created local angle. Media outreach to editor and reporter. Followed up with everyone involved. The result? Profile article in Scottsdale Republic.
  15. 15. What we did: Coordinate photo shoot, press release writing, media access and outreach. The result? Coverage in several media outlets, including the Arizona Republic.
  16. 16. What we did: Press release writing, media outreach. The result? Media coverage in golf publication.
  17. 17. What we did: Media outreach, authored articles, press release, photo shoot coordination and overall communication. The result? Significant media coverage across a wide spectrum of areas.
  18. 18. What we did: Media outreach, media tours of property, creative design, and leveraged relationships with media. The result? Arizona-based media coverage.
  19. 19. What we did: Media outreach, photo shoot coordination and press release writing. The result? Media coverage local publications. Marcia Reck, (middle) director of Arizona Adoption & Foster Care, said the money is well timed. “It will make all the difference,” Reck said. “It will help us fund a program to take foster children to a camp in Heber.” Mike Rafferty (left), host of GolfAZRadio, called the AAFC a “very deserving organization.”
  20. 20. What we did: Media development and photography The result? Improved professional relationships.
  21. 21. What we did: Created query to publisher, photo coordination and follow up communication. The result? Media coverage in regional golf magazine.
  22. 22. What we did: Media outreach, photo shoot coordination and communication. The result? Media coverage two of the largest daily circulated newspaper in state (Arizona Republic and East Valley Tribune.) Jeff McElfresh, VP of AT&T, with amateur golfer Philip Francis.
  23. 23. What we did: Media query via e-mail and telephone. The result? Placement of article authored by respected writer.
  24. 24. What we did: E-mail query to reporter. The result? Preview article in major national newspaper. Trials can't knock Demsey off course by John Davis - Sept. 10, 2008 The Arizona Republic What, me worry? Todd Demsey hasn't adopted that as his motto, but it would be hard to find one that fit any better. Not that he hasn't had ample reason to fret. After being sidelined for nearly two years by a ruptured disk and enduring two surgeries to remove a golf ball-sized tumor from his brain, the former Arizona State All-American has been through more tough times than your average golf pro. Yet, none of it has thrown him off that even keel he has maintained since his high school days, when he was laid up for two months with a fractured vertebra. quot;I never really let it bother me too much, even when that stuff was going on,quot; Demsey said. quot;I always just felt like everything was going to work out. Consciously, it never really affected me a whole lot.quot; Demsey will be playing in the AT&T Arizona Open, which runs today through Saturday at Desert Mountain in Scottsdale, after receiving a sponsor exemption for the event that he won in 1998. This year he returned to the PGA Tour for the first time since 1997, earning his tour card in qualifying school last December by shooting a final-round 8-under 64. This season on the tour has been an exercise in contrast as Demsey missed the cut in his first eight events and made the cut in seven of his past 10. That leaves him 202nd on the money list and in need of a strong push during the Fall Finish, which will include the Frys.com Open at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Oct. 23-26. quot;It works well with my schedule to play (in the Arizona Open),quot; Demsey said. quot;I was able to take a couple weeks off, and now I can get back in competition before the final push. I had played 10 out of 12 weeks, and I really needed a break. quot;Early this year, I wasn't really playing bad. I was missing cuts by 1 or 2 shots. I had used a long putter for a long time and switched to a regular putter because I thought I could get on some better runs with it, and it took time to get used to it.quot; Demsey, who grew up in San Diego, had a stellar amateur career, which included an NCAA Championship at ASU, where he teamed with Phil Mickelson. He had a 3-0 record in the Walker Cup in 1993 as a teammate of Justin Leonard and was Tiger Woods' teammate on the winning 1994 World Cup team.
  25. 25. What we did: Media outreach, press release writing, photo shoot coordination and communication. The result? Documented event history via photos and news clippings in local media.. Top (left to right) Ashley Robison from the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation accepts a $10,000 check from AT&T’s Jeff McElfresh. The Southwest Section PGA announced that Larry Miller Toyota in Peoria has was named the presenting sponsor of the 2008 AT&T Arizona Open. Joe Dennis speaks at the Pro- Am. Vito Berlingeri (orange shirt) presents awards after the Pro-Am. Bottom (left to right) BB Smokes’ owner and SWSPGA sponsor Brad Berko poses with Curt Hudek from the SWSPGA. Three-time champion Danny Briggs easily wins the Pro-Am.
  26. 26. What we did: Media outreach, press release writing, e-mail blast and follow up. The result? Media coverage in statewide publications.
  27. 27. What we did: Media outreach, authored article and press release, coordinated photo shoot. The result? Media coverage and photography. Larry Miller Toyota Named Presenting Sponsor of 2008 AT&T Arizona Open Scottsdale, Ariz. (July 28, 2008)--The Southwest Section PGA announced today that Larry Miller Toyota in Peoria has been named the presenting sponsor of the 2008 AT&T Arizona Open. The prestigious 54-hole, stroke play championship will be conducted in North Scottsdale at Desert Mountain’s Apache Course from September 11 to 13. Joe Dennis, general sales manager of Larry Miller Toyota, which has a 25-year history in the West Valley, is excited about the partnership. Mr. Dennis said Larry Miller Toyota is one of the top Toyota dealerships in the Denver (Western) region and one of the top six Internet dealers in the U.S. Larry Miller Toyota, one of the largest Toyota automotive dealerships in Arizona, also has a full service department, rental cars and used cars. “This is an exciting opportunity for Larry Miller Toyota to be involved with professional golf, the Southwest Section PGA and the 2008 AT&T Arizona Open at Desert Mountain,” Dennis said. The second longest-running professional event in Arizona behind the PGA Tour’s FBR Open in Scottsdale, the AT&T Arizona Open is also one of the most prestigious events of its kind in the United States. “That’s primarily because of our players and our generous sponsors,” Curt Hudek, executive director of the Southwest Section PGA, said. “It always has one of the best fields and largest purses in the country and that’s because of our players and the involvement of companies like AT&T and Larry Miller Toyota.” Scottsdale resident Julien Trudeau is the defending champion. He won the 2007 AT&T Arizona Open at The Golf Club Scottsdale.
  28. 28. What we did: Media outreach and press release writing. The result? Media coverage in regional magazines, newspapers, radio and more.
  29. 29. What we did: Media outreach, authored article, photo shoot and interviews. The result? Media coverage, photography. Greg Bruckner, the 2003 champion, easily birdied the 54th hole in regulation to get to 18-under, but lost in a one-hole playoff to Mike Ferris.
  30. 30. Mike Ferris pounds his drive 365 yards down the first fairway during the final round. “I had an inner belief in myself the last couple months,” he said. “These last two tournaments (he won Desert Mountain’s 2008 staff championship) I’ve committed Ferris, who works at Desert Mountain, and lives in Scottsdale, myself to going out and winning.” poses with championship trophy from the 64th AT&T Arizona Open, contested at the Apache Course September 11-13, 2008. He collected $20,000.
  31. 31. What we did: Media outreach, leveraged relationships, press release writing. The result? Media coverage in respected newspaper.
  32. 32. What we did: Photo shoot coordination and communication. The result? Media coverage and history documentation.
  33. 33. The Third Annual “Swing Fore Kids Golf Classic” at Wildfire to Benefit Phoenix Children’s Hospital Animal Assisted Therapy Program  PGA Play Golf America Day Scheduled for McCormick Ranch Golf Club  Southwest Section PGA Taps Vito Berlingeri as Marketing Director  Eddie Grant, former NFL Player, Takes on Junior Golf Leadership Role for Southwest Section PGA  Southwest Section PGA Donates $10,000 to Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation  Vistal Golf Club to Host 2008 State Special Olympics Golf Championships  Larry Miller Toyota Named Presenting Sponsor of 2008 AT&T Arizona Open  Trudeau to Defend AT&T Arizona Open Championship at Desert Mountain  Southwest Section PGA Donates $2,500 to Arizona Adoption & Foster Care  64th AT&T Arizona Open at Desert Mountain’s Apache Course September 11-13  Amateurs among favorites at Open  Trials can't knock Demsey off course  Mike Ferris wins 64th AT&T Arizona Open in Playoff  Southwest Section PGA Donates $25,000 to Golf Industry Association  United Golf Group of America Named Southwest Section PGA Sponsor  PAYNE-MASON Cigars Are Like a Boutique Winery  SkyCaddie New Sponsor of Southern Nevada Chapter Meeting and Pro-Pro  Golf Industry Association of Arizona (GIA) to Host Annual Meeting at Moon Valley Country Club  Euan Dougal Settling in as Director of Golf at Silverleaf  BigChiefCigars.com and BB Smokes Named Sponsor of Southwest Section PGA  Golf Buddy Sponsors Two SWSPGA Events  SWSPGA sponsor Best Approach Unveils CourseFlight 3D Flyovers  Mulholland Broadens Brand Narrative and Heightens Fashion Presence with Four New Collections  Callaway Golf Apparel Introduces Fall Line  Southwest Section PGA Announces Sale of Annual Golf Pass  Southwest Section PGA beat amateur counterparts from the AGA for the 25 th straight year at the 48th Goldwater Cup Matches  Whitcomb's term as PGA president ending  Ashworth Announces New Collection  The Antigua Group Sponsors Antigua Team Championship Again at Grayhawk  Legendary Headwear Puts the Green Back in Green Grass Golf  Southwest Section PGA Names Annual Special Award Recipients  Thunderbirds Donate $10,000 to Support “FBR Junior Open” January 3-4 at Ocotillo Golf Resort in Chandler 
  34. 34. STAFF Executive Director - Curt Hudek - chudek@pgahq.com Tournament Director - Jim Franko - jfranko@pgahq.com Marketing Director - Vito Berlingeri - vberlingeri@pgahq.com Junior Golf Director- Frank Calvin - fcalvin@pgahq.com Tournament Operations/PAT - Mike Martino - mmartino@pgahq.com Southern Nevada Chapter Coordinator - Paul Brown - pbrown@pgahq.com Southern Chapter Coordinator - Rick Price - southernchapterpga@yahoo.com Member Services - Maureen DeWolf - mdewolf@pgahq.com Administration - Mike Burhans - mburhans@pgahq.com Administration - Chuck Roose - croose@pgahq.com Media Consultant: Russ Christ – russchrist@msn.com Southwest Section PGA 10685 North 69th Street Scottsdale, AZ 85254 Phone: (480) 443-9002 1-800-688-0742 Fax: (480) 443-9006 Web site: www.southwest.pga.com
  35. 35. Russ Christ PR 306 E. South Fork Drive Suite #201 Phoenix, AZ 85048 (480) 577-3698 russchrist@msn.com http://www.linkedin.com/in/russchrist http://twitter.com/russchrist

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