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Media Relations Highlights from 2020

2020 began as what we thought would be a normal year. Of course, we know what 2020 really became...the year our lives were upended, our businesses were at risk and our mental and physical health were under constant attack.

While the first few months brought in some fantastic stories (dozens for Eighteen36's opening alone!), so much of our pride last year came from ensuring our clients were top-of-mind throughout the constant shifts the COVID-19 pandemic brought about.

Check out 30 of the stories that made us most proud, gained national attention and perfectly showcased how COVID-19 impacted our clients and their audiences.

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Casual new Upper Kirby bar raises a glass to Houston's history

2020 started off incredibly strong for our team thanks to our newest client, Eighteen36, officially opening! We worked with Eric Sandler at CultureMap on an exclusive first announcement.

After the exclusive ran, we secured an additional 25+ media mentions including:

And all of this was only in the first few weeks of the restaurant and bar opening its doors!


Year-round camp breaks down barriers for children with special needs

In February, we hosted the first-ever media day at Camp For All, with the goal of securing relationships with major outlets in the Houston area that would result in future stories. Much to our surprise, several outlets came to our media day tours ready to broadcast, including Taisha Walker of KPRC. Our client was thrilled and these relationships have certainly benefited us through our future efforts!

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Anxious April: Multifamily Braces For A Difficult Month

The world had recently "shut down" and we were able to position our client, Dakota Enterprises, in front of national media to give its take on how COVID-19 would impact both multifamily developers and tenants, alike.

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Nonprofit Focus: Surviving the national pandemic

While most news stories at the start of the pandemic were focused on healthcare, essential workers and stay at home orders, we recognized an important gap. Non-profits were being HUGELY impacted by COVID-19 in more ways than one.

We successfully pitched a joint interview between our clients, Camp For All and Easter Seals Greater Houston, who were able to not only showcase how the pandemic was impacting its fundraising efforts and its clients, but also make direct appeals for support. Better yet? the online version of the story included links to donate to both non-profits!

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Celebrate National Gin & Tonic Day With These Bartender-Approved Gins

After a hugely successful opening period for Eighteen36, we wanted to ensure the bar and restaurant stayed on the map. Because Eighteen36 was a cocktail-focused establishment, we knew it would be important to raise exposure for Head Bartender, Josh Saphier.

We worked with Josh to share his favorite liquors with national outlet, Uproxx. After National Gin & Tonic Day, we successfully secured stories for National Rum Day, National Bourbon Day, National Tequila Day and Whiskey Day!

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Virtual Seders will mark the start of Passover amid stay-at-home orders

By April, our restaurant clients were in emergency mode. Our client, Houston Catering Concepts, had lost the majority of its business as families and businesses were no longer hosting events that needed catering.

Fortunately, New York Deli & Coffee Shop and Houston Catering Concepts customers needed a new solution for Passover Seders. While most families would typically cook large meals, this was the first year families would be meeting in smaller groups and would need individually-portioned meals.

We worked with Houston Catering Concepts to offer Passover meal options to small groups and individuals and promoted the offering like crazy through social media channels, email marketing and media relations efforts. They were able to support more than 1,000 Jewish customers in Houston...and we were able to score a few great media stories, including this one with KPRC.


Houston pop-up kitchen serves free, hot meals to unemployed, seniors during coronavirus outbreak

April was an incredibly busy month for our team, especially as we were representing Council Member Letitia Plummer and her Pop Up Kitchen initiative.

Within a two-week period, the Council Member partnered with Disaster & Humanitarian Resources and Seaside Lounge to host daily lunch pick-ups, all cooked and donated by well-known chefs and caterers.

Not only was this a major win from the media side of things (with more than two dozen stories!), but we were able to get our clients Eighteen36 and Houston Catering Concepts/New York Deli & Coffee Shop involved as chefs/donors AND as on-air guests for various TV, radio and print/online interviews.

Learn more about the incredible initiative and our team's role here.

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Why You Shouldn't Panic About The Electricity Landscape

As with so many other industries that had been impacted, we knew the COVID-19 pandemic would likely have an impact on the electricity industry. As such, we saw this as a fantastic opportunity to position our client, Infinity Power Partners, in front of media as subject matter experts. Houston Business Journal loved the idea and a full-page print and online story came out of it!


When Easter Seals was forced to cancel its fundraiser, families stepped up

Our team supported Easter Seals Greater Houston though media relations, social media, email marketing and overall strategic support as it held its annual Walk With Me event. This year, the event would be virtual for the first time ever.

We were extremely successful in securing media coverage, including this KTRK feature. AND we knew that our marketing support made a difference, as the organization raised more than $750,000, the most it had ever raised through the annual fundraising event.

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Nonprofits struggling amid stay-at-home orders

As our clients continued to navigate the difficulties of COVID-19, we found additional opportunities to position them in front of media. We were able to shine a light on both Easter Seals Greater Houston and Camp For All and how both could use support.

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Jewish-owned restaurants and retailers launch Mensch Out

With so many restaurants and retailers struggling, our team wanted to take additional action. We joined forces with another two Jewish-owned agency partners (Integrate Agency and Tippit & Moo) to develop the Mensch Out campaign, in which a percentage of proceeds in May from participating Jewish-owned restaurants, retailers and healthcare providers would benefit the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston and it's COVID-19 Emergency Fund.

In addition to building a website that highlighted the 50+ participating businesses and raising thousands of dollars for the community fund, we were able to increase business for the participants and raise awareness for them thanks to incredible coverage from publications like Houston Chronicle.


How a "pie in the face" could help the non-profit Camp for All

With Camp For All canceling most of its pending camps, our client was also facing major economic threats. We worked with Camp For All to develop the "Pie In The Face" campaign in which we challenged supporters of Camp For All to take a pie to the face in order to raise funds for the organization...and then challenge their friends to do the same.

We not only assisted the organization in raising crucial $100,000, we had major successes getting media involved thanks to the visual and fun nature of the initiative.

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Amid COVID-19 challenges, Camp For All offers camp virtually

After a successful Pie in the Face Challenge, our team developed a partnership with Houston's My20 TV station to broadcast Camp For All (and another client, Camp Lantern Creek) camp activities on air for several weeks to bring Camp to children watching at home. In addition to editing and producing dozens of video segments, we were also successful in working with other media outlets, like Houston Chronicle, to spread the word.

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Famous Texas bagel bakery rolls out overnight shipping across the U.S.

As with all of our other clients, Bagel Shop Bakery was in need of additional revenue streams as in-shop dining was not possible. As such, we successfully pitched its overnight shipping roll-out to every CultureMap across Texas (including Houston, Austin, Dallas, San Antonio) AND secured additional coverage on KPRC and Houston Chronicle.

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Private school Xavier Academy set to use new 13,000 sq ft Upper Kirby to offer in-person learning

While we worked with media earlier in the year to shine on a light on Xavier Academy's unique approach to education and how it was adapting to a hybrid learning model, our late summer and early fall plans involved announcing plans for its new campus!

We were proud to secure this Houston Chronicle story in both print and online and to share the real estate focused news with industry outlet, Bisnow.

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Traumatized Clients: How to Recognize and Respond to Client Trauma

Our team supported Stacey E. Burke, P.C. and team in shining a light on the incredibly niche expertise of its client, family attorney, Laura Dale.

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Holocaust curriculum designed by survivor goes live

We were honored to introduce ZACHOR Holocaust Foundation's new, interactive, online curriculum to the media at the start of the 2020 school year. In fact, given that its curriculum is both turnkey and online, we found that ZACHOR Holocaust Curriculum was a perfect solution for educators who found themselves teaching outside of the classroom for the first time.

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This Super-Easy Recipe Will Make Your Bagels Pop

After launching Bagel Shop Bakery's overnight shipping program, we were thrilled to find out that local freelance journalist and influencer, Rachel Teichman, had concocted a fun "bagel pop" recipe of her own. We worked with Rachel to feature her bagel pops in national Jewish outlet, Kveller, and ensured our client had kits available should customers want to make their own DYI pops!

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91-yr-old Holocaust survivor Ben Lesser is sharing his story. It's one we all need to hear.

With so much negative news surrounding us, our team was elated when feel-good online outlet UpWorthy agreed to an interview with ZACHOR Holocaust Curriculum creator and Holocaust survivor, Ben Lesser.

Reporter Annie Reneau was so blown away by Ben's story and commitment to teaching Holocaust, anti-hate education, that she featured Ben and ZACHOR in an additional UpWorthy article later in the year!


Here’s how you can win free cupcakes and baked goods every month for the rest of the year

While much of 2020 was focused on keeping the media and customers abreast of Dessert Gallery's COVID policies (masking, in-Cafe dining or curbside pick-up, delivery, etc.), we utilized the bakery's birthday month to tell a more positive story...and offer customers the opportunity to win free DG for a year! KPRC and several other foodie journalists and outlets picked up the feel good news!

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BMG Encourages the World to ‘Choose Love’ With EP Inspired by Holocaust Survivor Ben Lesser

As we worked with national media and Jewish publications across the country to secure coverage of ZACHOR Holocaust Foundation's nascent curriculum, we simultaneously worked with Founder, Ben Lesser, to shine a light on a major music project he took part in earlier that year. The album "Choose Love" which was written about and inspired by his story was released in the fall. Our team loved being able to work with major music outlets, like billboard, to tell the inspirational story behind the album.

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Website launched to help anyone overwhelmed by technology, no matter your skill level

After the most successful Walk With Me fundraiser in Easter Seals Greater Houston's history, we stayed on board to ensure our client stayed in front of the media. In September, we successfully pitched Easter Seals' Bridging Apps platform. Our previous success working with outlets like KRIV enabled us to secure this meaningful story in September.

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Private school enhances flexibility to stay safe during pandemic

After announcing Xavier's new campus, we worked with media to showcase how the school utilized a hybrid model to continue to support students and families.

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Barrier-free camps suffered financially and in fulfilling their missions during the pandemic. ‘Family camp’ weekends can help fix that.

In addition to a successful Pie in the Face campaign, we worked with client Camp For All to invite non-mission families (ie: the general public) to attend Camp for the first time. This would enable Camp to showcase its property while also raising funding from visitors who were looking for safe, socially-distanced activities.

In order to help spread the word about future Camp For Y'All weekends, we invited Chronicle reporter (and mother of a child living with a disability), Suzanne Garofalo, to attend. She was blown away by her experience and covered it in print and online.

Her story was later included in Beaumont Enterprise, raising additional awareness in a new market for Camp.

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Houston jeweler unveils new necklace for a shimmering kids' cause

Our team developed a swift but effective media relations and influencer relations strategy to support Dubin's Fine Jewelry new "Book For A Book" initiative. Through a short-term project, we worked with Houston, Austin and San Antonio CultureMap and Jewish Herald Voice to spotlight the jeweler's necklace to support literacy.


Celebrating National Happy Hour Day with some craft cocktails for a cause

We absolutely adore working with hospitality clients to develop dishes or drinks for a cause and our campaign with Eighteen36 was no different. Instead of simply offering a non-profit a percentage of proceeds from a drink at the bar, we reached out to Houston Life's Lauren Kelly to have her create her ideal cocktail and select an organization she was passionate about.

Besides donating to an incredible organization, our client loved being able to promote it through a six minute segment.

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Travel Bans and COVID-19 Safety Measures Have Greatly Complicated Parental Custody

The pandemic gave us yet another opportunity to showcase Stacey Burke's client Laura Dale and her niche expertise in custody battles.

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Veterans with PTSD face tougher time dealing with pandemic stress

We know how difficult the holiday season can be for folks. Pair that with an unprecedented pandemic experience and we knew mental health was a major priority for client, Easter Seals Greater Houston. We were so appreciative of KHOU for working with us to spotlight the organization's work with veterans, including one local woman struggling with PTSD.

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Holiday Gift Guide 2020: The Best Baked Goods Gift Baskets

As we continue to work with Dessert Gallery, national recognition remains a priority. While local sales continue to grow, we also want the entire country to know about, order from and love DG just as much as Houstonians do.

We had a blast working with national outlet, Forbes, to include Dessert Gallery's new desserts in a jar (and other delicious sweets) in its holiday gift guide.

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Popular Meyerland Bagel Shop Expands Into Bellaire

We may technically close our office for the holiday season, but that doesn't mean our team stops hustling behind the scenes. Just as the year was about to end, we worked with local publications like Houstonia to break the news of our client's new HKA and MKT certified location's grand opening. We also secured coverage in:

2020 was exhausting, exhilarating and full of inspirational moments. We cannot wait to see what 2021 has to offer and, as always, are so appreciative of our clients and our partners in the media for trusting our team.