CSG|PR CONSUMER PRACTICE: OUR PORTFOLIO Whether a tasty beer, an eco-friendly light bulb or a resume-writing resource, Communications Strategy Group’s (CSG|PR) Consumer practice embraces a wide variety of clients with enthusiasm. We bring strategy, insight, creativity and connections to every client relationship. We’ve worked with top-notch franchise groups, restaurants, specialty food companies, educational institutions and more, all requiring different approaches to media relations, content creation, strategy and measurement. We apply our experiences and networks to each client, while taking a fresh approach to everything that we touch. Communications Strategy Group (CSG|PR) www.csg-pr.com Alicia Hassinger, Practice Director email@example.com 303.433.7020 Connect with Us: Facebook.com/CommunicationsStrategyGroup Twitter.com/CSG_PR
BackgroundWhether educating consumers, driving new business or rallying stakeholders around a cause,CSG|PR has the breadth of experience to craft strong, simple messages and amplify them tostakeholders. Our Consumer practice has a core competency in developing and implementingmeasurable influencer relations campaigns that impact the constituency groups that matter most toour clients. We seamlessly marry traditional and online PR and social media guided by decades ofexperience.One of the hallmarks of the Consumer team is that we specialize in working with companies thatdon’t merely sell products to the marketplace, but have deeper, more meaningful stories to tell. Westrive to work with organizations that focus on corporate and environmental responsibility, positivework culture and superior, quality offerings.Core TalentsOur team prides itself on its ability to quickly gain a strong understanding of an industry and help ourclients tell their stories, in the right language and tone, to the right people. Here are just a few of ourcore talents, though – as a communications team – our abilities are certainly not limited to these: Influencer relations Customers, partners, distributors, board members, referral sources, sales teams, analysts, media, the general public and a wide variety of other groups may be vital to your success. Our job is to help you identify whom your key influencers are, where they communicate and how to reach them. Media relations We have executed both local and national campaigns to drive traffic, whether to an event, website or point of purchase. We make sure that important stakeholders know what stories you are telling, whether through consumer-facing media or trade press. Along the way, we prep our clients to make the most out of each interview and secure successful placements. Content strategy Content is king. Regardless of the form it takes or the distribution channel we use, content should tell your story in the most impactful way possible and attract attention. We work with our clients to develop targeted campaigns that utilize appropriate tools. We create or capitalize on content and give it multiple uses, from press releases and online articles to marketing collateral, website content and much more. For clients where SEO is a priority, we integrate with web teams to optimize keywords to create and promote content that not only reflects your voice, but also achieves your SEO goals. Online PR and social media Whether maximizing the impact of proprietary networks through social media platforms or targeting centers of influence through blogs or discussion forums, we help clients listen and leverage content to develop thought leadership online, generate leads, drive website traffic and create online buzz and conversations.
Case StudiesNew Belgium BrewingClient since 2006 Challenge: To raise the visibility and awareness of New Belgium Brewing’s brand by illustrating itscommitment to great beer, sustainability and whimsy.Solution: Communications Strategy Group (CSG|PR) works closely with New Belgium’s media director, salesexecutives, eventing teams, social media gurus, media buyers and others to coordinate consistent messages to avariety of stakeholders. New Belgium is a nationally recognized brand that requires proactive and reactivecommunications tactics to satisfy the appetite of media, partners and consumers.While we offer strategic vision and long-term thinking, we also pride ourselves on taking tactical burdens offof the internal teams, allowing them the time and energy to stay focused on pursuing a variety of imaginativemarketing projects.Results: Publicity of New Belgium’s quality beer is a core element of what we do. We consistently announcenew product launches and seasonal availability, coordinate samples to traditional and trade media, and ensurethat New Belgium is positioned as a leader with its unique offerings and delicious creativity.Since day one, sustainability has been a pillar of the brewery’s business model. We weave the sustainablefeatures of New Belgium into our messaging to make sure that the company’s green business practices are asmuch of a focus as its beer. This allows New Belgium to serve as a best practices model for other companieslooking to take a sustainable approach to business. All forms of media, from newspapers and magazines to TVprograms and radio networks, have featured New Belgium for being a positive corporate citizen and formaking sustainability fun.New Belgium’s culture and whimsical persona come through with every label, tour, event and jobdescription. We work to convey the brewery’s unique culture in all that we do. A key example of NewBelgium’s whimsical approach to business is its annual Tour de Fat and Clips of Faith events. When thesetours hit the road every summer, we work with media in more than 30 cities across the country to secureinterviews, solidify pre-event and day-of media coverage and drive event attendance. Tour de Fat has raisedmore than $1.75 million to date for local non-profits in its tremendously successful 12-year run. In fact, 26percent of 2010’s media coverage focused on these events that marry beer, whimsy and sustainability into onefantastic package.
Our comprehensive tracking allows us to report how many people that traditional and digital media havereached. In 2010, New Belgium media impressions reached approximately 883 million people, with anadvertising equivalency of approximately $4.875 million. Thus far, in 2011, media impressions surpass 795million, with an advertising equivalency of more than $4 million.Media highlights include: • “The Craft Beer Boom” Bon Appétit magazine, April 2009. • “Toasting the End of Summer” The TODAY Show, September 2009. • “5 Ahhhhh! Summer Beers” Real Simple magazine, June 2010. • “Sour Beer Is Risky Business, Starting With the Name” The New York Times, June 2010. • “Chicago Climate Exchange Closes Nation’s First Cap-and-Trade System but Keeps Eye to the Future” The New York Times, January 2011.Additionally, The Denver Post consistently features New Belgium Brewing: • “From Colorado snowpack to sports bar” November 2009. • "2 Colo. firms top Outside’s Best Places to Work” April 2010. • “2,200 brews on tap at Denver’s biggest-ever Great American Beer Festival” September 2010. • “Colorado Business” January 2011. • “Mr. Beer: Not-really-so-New Belgium Brewing is almost old enough to drink” July 2011.
eLearners.com: Project Working MomClient since 2004; Program since 2008Challenge: eLearners.com saw first-hand an incredible need for higher education, especially among moms,after receiving an overwhelming number of applications for a scholarship in 2007. eLearners.com decided tocreate Project Working Mom to help demonstrate how online education is an attainable, accessible and viableoption for mothers seeking higher education.Solution: In January 2008, CSG|PR launched Project Working Mom, a full-tuition scholarship program.Project Working Mom would address the three main obstacles – time, money and confidence – which oftenprevent mothers from earning a degree.Results: From 2008 to 2010, eLearners.com offered four cycles of the Project Working Mom full-tuitionscholarship program, generating more than 616,000 applications from both moms and dads. Combined theprogram awarded more than 450 scholarships totaling approximately $11 million.A campaign breakdown of application and scholarship highlights includes:Project Working Mom, January-April 2008 • Three schools participated, awarding more than $2 million in scholarships and generating more than 50,000 applications.Project Working Mom 2, June-August 2008 • Five schools participated, awarding more than $2 million in scholarships and generating more than 72,000 applications.Project Working Mom…and Dads, Too!, January-April 2009 • Five schools participated, awarding more than $2 million in scholarships and generating more than 315,000 applications.Project Working Mom 2010, January-September 2010 • Eight schools participated, awarding nearly $5 million in scholarships and generating more than 179,000 applications.
The Project Working Mom programs produced national, local and regional public relations opportunities topromote both the scholarship program and the recipients’ stories. Project Working Mom received multi-channel brand exposure through television, radio, online sites, print publications and mobile earned mediaplacements. Through all the campaigns, Project Working Mom garnered 500 million media impressionsresulting in $3.2 million in advertising equivalency.Media highlights include: • “Scholarships for single moms make second chance easier” Daily Finance (An AOL Money & Finance Site), October 2010. • “Back to School (for Moms too!)” Sacramento Parent, August 2010. • “Online Education Scholarships Help Parents Return to School” U.S. News and World Report, February 2010.
CSG|PR Company OverviewCSG|PR is a national influencer relations firm with a focus on seven distinct industries: consumergoods & services, health & wellness, environmental sustainability, education, finance, travel &tourism and corporate training & talent management. CSG|PR opened its doors in April 2004 with aphilosophy based on developing and implementing metrics-driven campaigns that impact the bottomline for organizations it represents.The single most compelling ingredient of CSG|PR’s success is its commitment to “exceptionalwork.” The work is based upon creative approaches to challenges and opportunities, followed bygood old-fashioned elbow grease to achieve intended outcomes. CSG|PR has developed a cultureand philosophy that focuses on delivering meaningful and measurable work. In fact, the companywas started upon a challenge to the founder, who at the time was a vice president of marketing.Having worked for PR firms and with PR firms, it was clear that often the objectives, goals, strategiesand measures of the business were not aligned with the PR plan and execution. It left the world ofPR vulnerable to missed expectations and unsatisfactory outcomes. The cornerstone of CSG|PR isto change that dynamic by delivering meaningful results for its clients. The fact that most ofCSG|PR’s clients have come from referrals is clear evidence of achievement to that end.The outcome of CSG|PR’s practice-focused design is that we have deep knowledge andunderstanding of the markets we serve. PR is far more than just media relations – it is aboutmanaging and influencing those who can offer the greatest benefit to a client’s business. We call it“influencer relations.” It is critical today to have the network and understanding of an industry tobest position clients’ businesses. This means having a clear path to industry media, multi-sectorstakeholders, associations and thought leaders who can advance business goals. The navigation andmanagement of an industry’s ecosystem is what can exponentially drive a company to short-term andlong-term success.Another unique CSG|PR ingredient is our “low-hanging fruit” approach to our clients’ businesses.While opportunities abound for our clients, the challenge remains to identify those initiatives that willmost effectively impact the bottom line. We continually work to direct efforts and dollars toward theareas that will most benefit a client’s business, whether that includes building thought leadership, leadacquisition, conversion, reputation management, crisis communications, issues elevation or business-to-business versus business-to-consumer solutions. It is attention to measurable outcomes thatdirects our course, with expectations and deliverables all in check.Keeping things in check is critical. Communications is a dynamic exercise that can shift uponstrategy, metrics, environment and other elements. For that reason, CSG|PR has developed a processto best navigate the evolving landscape. From quarterly strategy and planning sessions to monthlyreview and objective setting exchanges to weekly progress check-ins and ongoing reporting, CSG|PRensures that both short-term and long-term expectations are set and met.Above all other things, CSG|PR is a team of people who take an exceptional level of pride in ourwork and care deeply about our clients’ success. We describe ourselves as “work horses” not “showhorses,” which is a distinction in and of itself in the public relations arena. CSG-ers are determined,thoughtful, ingenious, passionate, hard working and talented professionals who serve as the extraarms and legs our clients lack, and extra set of minds and hearts with which to collaborate.
Consumer Team Steven Shapiro, Founder and Principal of CSG|PR, has designed and executed successful business-to-business and business-to-consumer marketing and communications strategies for more than 20 years. Steven now applies his experience and his creatively strategic, metrics-based thinking to the clients of CSG|PR, a company he founded in 2004. Steven’s career was primarily steeped in the financial services andlearning and development industries. He served as the Vice President of Corporate Communicationsfor Scudder Kemper Investments and Founders Funds after serving as the Assistant Director ofPublic Relations for the American Stock Exchange. Shapiro started his career as an outsidecommunications consultant for a diverse line up of clients including Ernst & Young, LehmanBrothers, United Ski Industries Association, Sharp Electronics and many other recognizedorganizations.Just prior to founding CSG, Steven served as Vice President of Marketing and Communications forJones Knowledge, a holding company for a series of online education companies. In this capacity, hewas directly responsible for establishing Jones International University as a recognized pioneer inonline post secondary education; launch the first virtual library; and position one of the first learningcourse management and delivery platform for dominance in the K-12 market.Steven received his bachelor’s degree in Economics from Emory University. Alicia Hassinger is practice director for Communications Strategy Group’s Consumer practice. In this role, she oversees the implementation of client activity, functioning as an account strategist, influencer liaison and day-to-day executor of client needs. Alicia brings more than 14 years of practical communications experience in agency, non-profit and freelance disciplines to her work with CSG|PR. This diverse background provides solid benefits for CSG|PR clients, as evidenced by successful campaigns ranging in size and scopefrom small, tightly targeted initiatives to major national efforts.In addition, Alicia has had proven success in gaining coverage in local, national and trade media fororganizations of all sizes. She has secured placements in Bon Appétit and Maxim; on The TODAYShow and local television in markets across the country; and regular bylines in trade publications likeWind Systems Magazine and Chief Learning Officer for both business-to-business and business-to-consumer clients.
Prior to her work with CSG|PR, Alicia directed all public relations, marketing and advertising for aDenver-based restaurant group, where she built successful programs for a new location, as well asdevised innovative ways to bolster the exposure of well-established restaurants. During this time, shealso served as a freelance public relations and marketing consultant for other consumer-focusedbusinesses. Previously, Alicia was an account coordinator for PfeifferHigh Public Relations, a leadinginvestor relations agency in the Rocky Mountain region, where she handled client services andresearch functions.Alicia graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Denver, andjoined CSG|PR in June 2004. Jenny Foust plays a critical role in exceeding client goals and objectives as an account executive in the Consumer practice of Communications Strategy Group. On a daily basis, Jenny works with clients to effectively meet their communication and marketing objectives. She is responsible for securing media placements on a national and local level and supports client goals by creating press releases, media pitches and communications plans that targetthe audiences each client wants to reach.Jenny brings a strong media outreach skill set to CSG|PR based on her more than seven years ofexperience in television news. Additionally, she has a substantial track record of successfully buildingand strategically executing comprehensive communications plans across multiple media platforms.At CSG|PR, Jenny has helped secure national and local media attention for all of her clients,including New Belgium Brewing, Ecotech Institute, and eLearners.com.Before joining CSG|PR, Jenny produced the 5 p.m. newscast in Louisville, Ky., where she wrotescripts, selected stories, video and graphics, organized the format of the newscast and coordinatedreporters, technical staff and anchors. Jenny also produced the noon newscast, working closely withpublic relations specialists to produce guest segments.Prior to working in Louisville, Jenny produced newscasts in Dayton, Ohio, and Columbia, Mo., andworked as a television reporter and editor.Jenny received her bachelor’s in journalism with an emphasis in broadcasting from the University ofMissouri, and joined CSG|PR in October 2006.
Molly Koch, Account Executive, brings strong writing skills and an eye for strategic and creative communications to the Consumer practice. Thanks to effective organizational skills and attention to detail when managing client needs, Molly is a strong asset to the clients she serves. Working fluidly with a variety of media outlets, reporters andproducers, Molly has secured placements for clients including: PBS NewsHour, The New York Times,Psychology Today and ADVANCE for Nurses. Additionally, Molly uses her solid understanding ofonline communications to manage clients’ websites, blogs and social media profiles.Through multiple internships while still earning her degree at Kansas State University, Molly was ableto build a solid and diversified portfolio, writing for a variety of print and online newsletters,magazines and internal communications networks.Prior to joining CSG|PR, Molly served as an intern with the Kansas State Wildcats where she was afeature writer for Kansas State Football’s alumni newsletter to former players, the Golden Cats. Shealso specialized in the development of a weekly newsletter to current players’ families. Molly alsoassisted with recruiting events geared toward welcoming future student athletes and their families.Molly’s previous work with The Children’s Hospital and Bonfils Blood Center put her in the heart ofthe medical field, gaining experience in medical equipment planning, facilitation, fundraising andblood donor recruitment and recognition. She is a member of Colorado Healthcare Communicators.Molly graduated from Kansas State University in May 2009 cum laude with a B.A. in public relationsand a concentration in Spanish. Erik Keith, Director of CSG|PR’s Digital PR practice, provides online PR and social media strategic counsel, oversight and implementation for companies and organizations seeking to leverage the power of online marketing and social networking communication tools. Erik understands the importance of a broad- spectrum approach to the ever-evolving digital world of influencer relations, ensuring that clients gain the most traction from their online efforts. His experience and ongoing immersion in emergingtechnologies, trends, and online services provides clients highly unique, effective, and measurableonline PR services.From developing and managing proprietary social networks to influencing external networks, Erikhas spearheaded countless online campaigns on behalf of an array of companies, organizations andagencies ranging from Fortune 500 companies to small growing businesses. Erik’s strategy is basedon targeted, measurable online influencer relations through search engine optimized “content andconversation.”Erik is also a freelance photographer specializing in corporate headshots and event photography aswell as fine art prints.
Crystal Thomas, in her role with CSG|digital, is responsible for implementing online public relations and social media strategies for clients of Communications Strategy Group, specifically working on content distribution and conversation. Using targeted and measureable online influencer relations through search engine optimization, Crystal works with CSG|PR’s Consumer practice to strategically integrate online PR and socialmedia tactics into traditional PR campaigns. Crystal is responsible for account management, contentcreation and distribution, influencer research, social media strategy and blogger relations.Since joining the digital PR team, Crystal has been involved in a broad range of projects on behalf ofclients ranging from small, growing businesses to Fortune 500 companies. Crystal has managed viralvideo campaigns on behalf of Boom Broadcast, coordinated guest blogging opportunities onEverydayHealth.com, secured media placements on various blogs and online news sites andimplemented and managed social media channels for various clients.Prior to joining CSG|PR, Crystal managed fundraising and communications for a national non-profitorganization based in Phoenix, Ariz. As fundraising and communications manager, Crystal wascharged with educating children and the community about the dangers of skin cancer, increasingvisibility in the community and organizing fundraising galas and events in Arizona and Massachusetts.In addition to her communications experience in the non-profit sector, Crystal interned for anArizona-based public relations and marketing agency, and worked as a dating coordinator for one ofthe largest Colorado-based dating services. Crystal earned a bachelor’s degree in speechcommunication from Colorado State University, and joined CSG|digital in September 2009. Contact UsCommunications Strategy Group3225 East 2nd AvenueDenver, CO 80206Phone: 303-433-7020www.csg-pr.comAlicia Hassinger: firstname.lastname@example.org