In today’s crowded media space filled with social media messages on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more, as well as traditional outlets like television, newspapers and magazines, sometimes it’s tough to rise above the noise and get your clients noticed. The one thing that’s guaranteed to break through the clutter is a personal relationship that allows you to get e-mails and phone calls returned.
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Only two weeks into my new job at MYPR and it was already time to experience hosting a media visit. An international media opportunity on behalf of the Vail Local Marketing District brought in a host and film crew of four from the Mexican multi-media conglomerate, Estilo DF. With a strong TV, magazine and social media presence throughout the country, we like to think of Estilo DF as a mix between Vogue and People magazine.
MYPR’s partnership with Estilo DF was an exciting opportunity to showcase Vail’s summertime offerings to the area’s top international market—Mexico. Fortunately, the Estilo DF crew came on the perfect weekend to experience the energy surrounding Vail during the GoPro Mountain Games.
After spending the last 22 years of my life living in the Midwest, I knew it was time for a change. I chose to start job-hunting in Colorado because of the mountains—the purest example of nature at its best. As an avid snowboarder, camper and hiker, Wisconsin was an ideal place to explore my outdoor interests. But growing into my adventurous spirit and passion for public relations, the final trip I took to Colorado six months before I finished college sparked a fuse of motivation.
I was determined to graduate, find the ultimate PR job and move as close to the Rocky Mountains as I could possibly get. Never would I have expected to find a dream job in an ideal location—but after my ritual scan on Andrew Hudson’s Job List, a jolt of excitement rushed through me when I spotted the open account coordinator position at MYPR.
Mountain Standard is Vail’s new addition to the culinary scene and since its opening in early December the restaurant has made quite an impact. It is located below sister restaurant Sweet Basil and sits just steps from the Gore Creek in a completely renovated space. The concept revolves around cooking over an open flame, the most primal and ancient form of cooking and for good reason – food tastes better when it is cooked that way.
The concept of cooking over an open flame has been a hit with diners and media alike. For starters, the grill and rotisserie are fired up all-day, everyday and fueling that fire is fruitwood that is sourced locally from Palisade, Colo. Not only does the fruitwood burn at an ideal temperature for cooking but it aids in the ambiance of the restaurant giving off a delicious smell that gently warms the dining room. Read more…
With the rise in social media, placements have become almost instantaneous. However, beautifully printed, glossy magazine articles still are easily the most sought after placements by public relations professionals and the brands they represent. The most important factor in attaining these placements is timing. Magazines are planning their editorial line-ups from six months to a year ahead of time and securing these big placements takes thoughtful planning.
The first step is to start with a plan to time out all messages to maximize exposure. Creating a public relations calendar that outlines media outreach efforts throughout the year helps everyone plan accordingly. A helpful exercise is to set up a brainstorming session with the client to make sure long lead, regional and short lead placements are planned for from the inception of the idea to when the story is pitched to the media.
At the beginning of January MYPR traveled to New York City to meet with media to promote Vail in the spring, summer and fall. This was my first experience in New York City and I’m beyond delighted to have had this opportunity. New York is the biggest media market in the country, making it home to some of the top publications in the nation. We had desk side visits with writers and editors, met for coffee, lunch and dinner to discuss what’s new in Vail for summer 2013. During my time in NYC I made a few observations to share about what it takes to make it in New York.
The pulse of New York is something that has to be seen to believe. Seeing a mass of people filing in and out of an office building at any given time of the day, was eye-opening for me. Business is conducted everywhere, from the hustle and bustle of a crowded coffee shop to the never-ending pace of a publication on deadline, people are able to get things done anywhere and anytime of day in the “City that Never Sleeps.” Read more…
In Vail there is a popular phrase, “people come for the winter but stay for the summer.” Anyone who has spent a summer in the mountains understands this concept. I love to ski, but there’s nothing like ski turns becoming kayak rolls as the snow melts into whitewater or hiking up a mountain with my two yellow labs in tow.
When I look back, some of my favorite times in life are summers in Vail with friends hiking, whitewater kayaking and camping. There’s my favorite hike up Cross Creek in the Holy Cross Wilderness area, exploring Lake Constantine or my “go to” hike West Lake Creek. When people come to visit I love taking them to Piney River Ranch because there’s nothing like seeing the Gore Range with a beautiful mountain lake at its base.
Growing up in the Vail Valley has meant a lifetime full of beautiful memories to savor. The celebration of Vail turning 50 has given me the opportunity to relive these memories and put into perspective how fortunate I’ve been to experience Vail in its first 50 years. Vail looks different than it did when I was a child but some things will never change, like the way a cold night in Vail Village smells. The following are a few memories I keep coming back to.
The energy in Vail surrounding The FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in 1999 was spectacular. My middle school class took a field trip to the finish line at the base of Vail Mountain to be part of the excitement. We barely understood what was going on but we all understood the world was here to watch and it was a big deal that our community was part of it. We also knew who the American racers were and one of my classmate’s mothers created shirts with the letters that made up Tommy Moe’s name - I was the ‘E’! We cheered on everyone who came down and when Tommy finished his race he posed for a picture with us and autographed every one of our shirts. I still have that shirt Tommy Moe autographed with Milka chocolate stains and all!
I’ll never forget the day I was looking through the Public Relations Society of America directory and noticed there were public relations people listed for Keystone, Breckenridge, Vail, etc. As a newly graduated pr major, it had never dawned on me that ski resorts needed pr people – didn’t they sell themselves since skiing was so awesome and everyone loved the resorts? Little did I know!
I immediately set out to get a pr position at a ski resort. I sent cover letter after cover letter trying to get someone’s attention. Why wouldn’t they want to hire me? I love to ski and travel, which I’m sure where two requirements of the job. I put my dream of working for a ski resort on the back burner and starting working for various agencies in Denver. Then, one day I was fortunate enough to sit next to Gary Dutmers at an International Association of Business Communicators banquet. I looked at his name tag – he was the pr manager for Keystone and Breckenridge. I’d hit the jackpot!
I was born at the Vail Valley Medical Center when Vail was a little more than two decades old. Thanks to my dad, a former member of Vail Ski Patrol, some of my fondest memories from growing up are the days I spent skiing with him on Vail Mountain. Ski days with my dad consisted of teaching moments, adventure and observing the unbreakable brotherhood that was the Vail Ski Patrol. Following are a few times on Vail Mountain that I will remember forever, for one reason or another.
One powder day I convinced him it was “take your daughter to work day” and it actually worked! I vividly remember eating lunch at Patrol Headquarters with his fellow patrollers laughing and commending me on my creativity in taking a day off from school. The skiing was great that day but the jokes about it still continue and, yes, I wish he still were a patroller so I could participate annually. For the record, Take Your Daughter to work is April 25.
Over the years, I’ve had many people ask how I got from St. Joseph, Mo. to Vail, Colo. The answer to that question starts in college when I was an impressionable student at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Some call CU, “SKI U” and I certainly understand where that nickname comes from.
In the late 1980s, Vail Associates offered an amazing pass to college students. It was an unlimited pass, with holiday restrictions, to Vail and Beaver Creek for $189. Single day lift tickets were in the $50 range at that time and any college student who passed Math 101 could figure out this was a great deal.
This week on the MYPR blog we are counting down to Vail’s 50th Anniversary celebration, which kicks off on Thursday with Snow Daze concerts, the local premier of the Vail documentary and much more. Vail has been a pivotal part of the development of MYPR as well as the career of its principal Kristin Yantis. Account Coordinator Haley McNeill brings a different perspective to the table as someone who was born and raised in the community.
In honor of a place that has affected our lives and business for more than 20 years, we’ll be sharing some of our memories and special stories about Vail throughout the week. We hope you’ll enjoy this special series of blog postings!
For many clients, the Holy Grail of media placements is the cover shot. Securing that coveted, four-color, iconic placement takes a great relationship, targeted pitch and, most importantly, amazing photography.
“Great photography is, first and foremost, what makes the perfect cover shot,” said Alison Roth, associate editor of Denver Life magazine. “Vibrant colors and a strong model or subject make a difference.”
Working with a photographer who understands the difference between shooting for marketing purposes versus editorial also is important.
It’s always exciting to be awarded an opportunity to grow, for me that opportunity came in the form of accepting a position with Malen Yantis Public Relations. Working as an account coordinator for the agency is the opportunity of a lifetime and my role revolves around a topic near and dear to my heart -Vail.
Vail is not only where I was born, but my parents met here, built a home here and my brother and I are one of the few, fortunate enough to have been raised here. So this opportunity to grow professionally, while representing my hometown means I’ve been granted that fundamental desire to do what I love. A huge victory in a twenty-something’s life!
There’s something special about mountain air. As long as I can remember, coming home to the crisp air here in Vail has meant a sense of peace. Some of my fondest memories of childhood include Vail Mountain as the backdrop. Ski days with my dad - a Vail Ski Patroller for over 30 years - summertime chairlift rides as a kid in hot pursuit of wildlife sightings, the familiar chill after rain in the middle of summer and the excitement of snowfall, all mean one thing to me; this is home.
My instinct is to formally introduce visiting friends to Vail, like they were meeting an old friend of mine. I’m excited to do this from a business perspective as we welcome numerous journalists to the community this summer.