VanNatta Public Relations
VanNatta Public Relations is an award-winning public relations firm specializing in event planning, media relations, community relations, creative programming, digital & social strategy, and more. I had the opportunity to work with several of VanNatta's various clients.
What I Did
Some of the highlights
A blog for a landscaping company,
Green Acres Landscape
Green Acres Landscaping Company is one of VanNatta’s clients. I was tasked with coming up with an original post for their monthly blog—something informative, interesting, and not too lengthy. I was able to put my research and creative writing skills to work.
I first brainstormed to come up with a topic that would be timely for the month of June. Then I researched to find credible information about the topic. Keeping in mind the unique voice of the client and the target audience (garden or landowners in Salem or the surrounding area), I wove together my own creative insight with researched facts. The client was very pleased with the final draft!
A blog post for a dental clinic, Idylwood Dental
Idylwood Dental is one of VanNatta’s clients. I was tasked with coming up with an original post for their monthly blog—something informative, interesting, and not too lengthy. I was able to put my research and creative writing skills to work.
I first brainstormed to come up with a topic that would be timely for the month of June and current events (COVID-19). Then I researched to find credible information about the topic. Keeping in mind the unique voice of the client and the target audience (people interested in taking care of their teeth), I wove together my own creative insight with researched facts. The client was very pleased with the final draft!
One of VanNatta’s clients, The Salem Fire Foundation (SFF), is a nonprofit that supports the work and lives of the firefighters at the Salem Fire Department (SFD).
SFF and SFD agreed that it would be beneficial for Salem residents to utilize a program called Community Connect. VanNatta PR’s job was to make Salem residents aware of the program and its importance and get them to utilize the program by signing up and creating a profile. To help with this project, I
Participated in SFF’s monthly Board meetings. In these I learned and discussed the Board’s desires and vision for the program, as well as the importance of the program.
Brainstormed and researched ideas for a promotional video. This video would eventually be distributed and shared with our key publics to expose them to the program and urge them to sign up. Through researching what other fire departments have done to promote Community Connect, and through conversations with the clients and my boss, I envisioned what the video might be like.
Collected assets for the video. I searched existing folders of photos and videos for SFF and found ones I thought would be appropriate and relevant. I also got in touch with the creators of Community Connect to ask them for any images or logos they might share.
Developed a relationship with the creators of Community Connect! Initially asking if they’d provide assets for the video opened the door to a relationship. They have provided me with advice and assets for the video and content to share on social media. They created a customized Community Connect webpage for Salem and have updated me on its analytics. They have now become friends of SFF and even attended a Board meeting. I communicate with them through Zoom and emails semi-regularly.
Wrote the script for the video. I kept in mind several things: 1.) The unique script-readers’ voices and purposes for contributing to the video. 2.) “Writing for the ear”—how the words would sound when read aloud. 3.) Our main goal for the video—the impact we wanted it to have and the action we wanted to prompt. 4.) The tone and voice of the Salem Fire Foundation (professional, serious, concerned with people’s safety and wellbeing).
Emailed the Deputy Chief of the fire department to plan when he would film his segment of the video.
Created and designed a Community Connect webpage (with WordPress) on SFF’s website. I decided what copy to include, gathered the images, and built the page.
The number of people signing up for Community Connect has recently been growing quickly!
Research, writing, promoting, relationship-building
One of VanNatta's clients is Active Recovery TMS (ARTMS), a mental health clinic. After opening a brand new location in Salem, ARTMS saught VanNatta's PR assistance to raise awareness of the new clinic and get connected with the business and medical communities in Salem.
Before we started working with ARTMS officially, we created a comprehensive, multi-page community relations plan to pitch to them.
My part in the plan was to research, summarize, and write pertinent information for our client related to Salem. This included statistics about Salem's general features, demographics, top industries and employers, its largest companies, mental health statistics, the medical community, and competitors/colleagues.
Later on I started helping ARTMS build relationships in the community and gain exposure by calling medical clinic contacts on their behalf, introducing the clinic, explaining the value of the clinic to patients and medical professionals, and personally inviting them to exclusive webinars. I also hand-addressed and mailed, or personally delivered several postcards and flyers to local clinics from the list of contacts we had gathered. I took notes on my interactions with people in order to build relationships for ARTMS.
I helped them gain exposure in the community by posting about the free public webinar on several event calendar websites. I aimed to make the event descriptions attention-grabbing, easy to understand, and not too lengthy, with helpful links that were easy to access.