Stories

Running Right Brand Right for Coal Company Merger

While Rick was Director of Corporate Communication for one major coal company, his company decided to merge with another with very different history, locations, operations, and culture. Of equal size and value, both sets of management genuinely wanted to become one company in every positive sense of the word. Enter Rich as a consultant. Rich drew up a strategic plan, conducted interviews, ran focus groups, and distilled the collected data into shared values and measurable objectives. Rick sold the authentic “Running Right” program to management, employees, customers, and share owners through powerful communication.

Get Real” Brand Really Needed Some “Splainin”

Ever wonder what happens when the branding for a new product isn’t right. A certain low-price-point footwear company found out when it decided to introduce a much higher-priced suede leather product. The “Get Real, Leather” brand and advertising sounded great, but the marketers forgot to make store associates strategic partners in the campaign.  After conducting focus groups and interviews, Rick discovered that store associates, afraid their customers would not pay higher prices, steered regulars away from the leather products and sales sagged. However, right techniques, good questions, empathic listening, insightful analysis, focused retraining=problem solved.

Holy Grail of Investor/Public Relations

Rick did the public relations/investor relations work from soup to nuts to get a billion-dollar retail company listed on the NYSE as a result of being spun off from its parent company. Rich advised Rick to personally connect with financial analysts to ensure they understood the company’s core values and authentic potential for success. Rick used that advice to invite crucial analysts to the company’s Kansas headquarters. Here, he not only provided the participants with the standard financial information, but also provided homespun wisdom and a hearty arm-in-arm sing-a-long of the Kansas state song, “Home on the Range.”

Change Your Focus Mr. Demille

Remember when people used to get movies at video stores. Blockbuster had upwards of 10,000 retail outlets. There were another 10,000 stores under various names, including “Mom and Pop.” Today, not so much. What if your business was supplying products to those stores and tracking the rental transactions?  Seeing that business rapidly disappearing, Rick helped an entertainment company not only refocus its public relations efforts, but its mission as well. As the industry went digital, the delivery and tracking of products to consumers also had to go digital.  But the company had to embrace that authentic change before the PR could change.

Unlocking Psychiatric Mysteries with Data Analysis

Believe it or not, state-operated psychiatric hospitals have not always been well managed. In part, because management doesn’t use available data to make informed decisions. Rick took on a project with a state that had years of extant data on patients in 17 psychiatric hospitals that it had never examined systematically. With Rich’s counsel, he used SPSS to analyze this very large dataset. Imagine central office administrators’ surprise to learn that we could prove length of stay for different diagnoses varied by hospital, doctor, drug regimen, or quality of community follow-up. This information helped with management, budgeting, and public perception.

Teach Me Old Wise One

“You don’t really know something until you can teach it,” is a saying that some people put a lot of stock in. Currently, Rich teaches data analytics in advertising and public relations at the graduate level at several universities. In working with young professionals, he has helped students acquire a greater understanding of the importance of data analysis in addressing corporate branding and marketing issues.