6 Tips to Successfully Work Remotely

By Heather Ebert
After moving from our office of nine years in August, the RLF team spent the past few months working from a collaborative work space, coffee shops and our homes as we awaited our new workspace built and designed to foster collaboration and position the company in the millennial work environment. During this time, we had to make sure we maintained a high level of performance and delivered quality work for our clients, while also pursing new business. At times our working arrangement presented challenges, but we put our heads together and navigated the testy waters. From this experience, I have identified six tips to help manage and combat the distractions and occasional instability that may arise from working remotely.
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New Client Spotlight: Camp Corral

By Alyssa Bedrosian

At RLF we have the opportunity to work with a wide variety of clients—from law firms to restaurants to financial services companies, we get a taste of just about every industry.

While we enjoy working with all of our clients, we are excited to begin working with an organization that provides a unique and important service to military families across the United States.

Camp Corral is a one-of-a-kind camp for children of military service members. This summer, Camp Corral will send approximately 3,000 children from military families to a fun-filled, week-long camp at no cost to the families. Camp Corral partners with YMCA and 4-H organizations to host 20 camps in 16 states spanning from Florida to California. Boys and girls ages 8 to 15 participate in traditional outdoor camp activities and have the opportunity to simply enjoy being kids, away from the stresses of military life. While all children from military families are invited to register, children with a wounded, disabled or fallen military parent are given priority.

Camp Corral is a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt, nonprofit corporation and relies on donations from individuals, as well as support from corporate donors to fund its programs and operational costs. Each spring, the restaurant company Golden Corral supports Camp Corral by setting up contribution stations inside its restaurants and encouraging customers to make individual contributions. In 2013, Golden Corral guests contributed more than $1.6 million to meet the needs of campers.

RLF is honored to be working with Camp Corral, and we look forward to helping the organization continue to grow and achieve its vision.

For more information about this amazing organization, visit www.campcorral.org.

New Team Member Spotlight: Steffany Reeve

Steffany Reeve recently joined the RLF team as a Director of Lifestyle & Consumer Brands. She previously served as the manager of marketing and advertising at the Greensboro Science Center.
To get to know her a little better, we asked her a few questions:

Tell us a little about your past work experience and what attracted you to RLF.

I have worked in a variety of leadership positions in marketing, public relations and advertising in both nonprofit and corporate organizations for the last 15 years. My career began in the field of market research where I was responsible for creating surveys, analyzing results, testing ad copy and provided consulting to clients in the tourism industry and in higher education. I left my position at D.K. Shifflet & Associates to join MCI WorldCom where I worked with the company’s in-house ad agency to improve ad creative and later joined the Gannett Corporation where I worked as a marketing consultant and researcher for the company’s Broadcast Division. In 2007, my husband and I moved to Greensboro and I found my skills in marketing, media relations and advertising a perfect fit for the director of marketing and community relations position at the Greensboro Children’s Museum. In this role, I was responsible for developing and implementing marketing campaigns that rebranded the organization, rolled out a new website, launched the Edible Schoolyard and increased awareness of the Museum.
Most recently, I served as the manager of marketing and advertising at the Greensboro Science Center where I developed and executed strategic marketing campaigns for the organization.  This position was both rewarding and challenging, in that it required working with a variety of teams and partners, managing multiple projects and tapped into my skills and experience in creative design, advertising development, writing, media buying, public relations and social media outreach. While I worked on multiple campaigns in this role, my favorite was the launch of the Carolina SciQuarium that attracted a record number of visitors and garnered national media coverage.
My passion for developing marketing and public relations strategies to help businesses grow and strengthen their brands ultimately led me to RLF Communications. Having worked with Monty and several of the other staff while at the Science Center, I was impressed with the team’s pool of talent and the level of expertise and commitment RLF offers clients. As a new member, I look forward to adding to the staff’s arsenal of knowledge and experience and to working with the company’s Lifestyle and Consumer clients.

Why do you enjoy working in public relations?

I enjoy helping organizations discover better ways to connect with their target audience, identify ways to grow and improve their brands and get recognition for things they are doing right. Whether this involves working with companies to enhance their social media outreach, improve media coverage, develop creative messages and collateral pieces, assist with rebranding or to plan special events, I like it all. Additionally, I enjoy being a counselor to companies and take this role very seriously. I feel privileged to be entrusted with this role and always have client’s best interests in mind. It’s rewarding to help others reach their goals and an exciting challenge to find creative, resourceful and out-the box ways to do to this.

What is your favorite way to spend your free time?

Free time….ha!  What’s that?  No really, I have free time, but it is just classified differently now that I have three amazing, but very active children ages 5 and 2 1/2 (twin boys). I love spending time playing with all of them and capturing photos of their precious moments, but I also love to travel, scuba dive, hike, run, read and go on romantic dates with my husband David.

Are you involved in any community organizations, nonprofits or industry associations? If so, which ones and in what way?

I am a member of the PRSA Tarheel Chapter and belong to several online advertising and marketing groups such as ADPRO, Marketing Directors Support Group and the Content Marketing Support Group. I believe it’s important to be knowledgeable of current trends and stay connected with others in the field who can be great resources, potential partners, collaborators and clients.

What is the last book you read?

The last book I read was The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls. It is a fascinating memoir that recounts the unconventional life of the author and her deeply dysfunctional family. I admire Walls for sharing the details of her poverty-stricken and eccentric life and think she is an inspiration to anyone who seeks a better life.  Instead of letting the multitude of challenges she faced take her down, she used these experiences to make herself a stronger person and a successful businesswoman. The book is a powerful and heart-wrenching story of triumph against all odds and a wonderful read. I would highly recommend it to anyone.  You won’t think your family is dysfunctional after reading this story!

If you had a theme song, what would it be?

Picking just one theme song is difficult, but I would say U2’s “Beautiful Day” is a good one.  Every time I hear it, it makes me smile and brightens my day no matter what has happened. I would classify myself as an eternal optimist, which is a trait that can work for and against me – but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Life is too short not to cherish every moment. Other possible them songs could be ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” (I love to dance) and Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” (I have faith that life gets better with each passing day and if something gets you down, you can’t stop believing that things will improve).

If you could have dinner with any one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

This is a hard question to narrow down, so instead I’d like to tell you my top three choices. If we were all together at once, it would make for one fascinating and memorable evening!

  • Albert Einstein – to get a sense of how his mind works and to ask him what he thinks of the world today.
  • Dr. Seuss – to tell him how much I enjoy his brilliance and the creativity of his books that I read to my children every night.
  • Ellen Degeneres – I find her such a fascinating and hysterically funny woman; I know she would keep me laughing the entire dinner. There is something to be said for a woman who believes in the power of laughter and dance to lift your spirits.

RLF and the N.C. Medical Society Honored for Annual Report

By David French

The North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) and RLF Communications have been awarded first-place in the Annual Report category of Association TRENDS newspaper’s 2013 All-Media Contest.
The award will be presented at the 35th annual “Salute to Association Excellence” on Feb. 20 at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C. Our winning entry will be on display at the event, along with the other winners, and will be featured in the January issue of TRENDS and on the publication’s website.
The NCMS challenged RLF to produce a report to serve several purposes and audiences. Through a striking design and peer testimonials, we were able to accomplish the objectives of: reporting on the organization’s latest developments to members; educating non-members on the value of the Society; and acknowledging the organization’s long history in representing N.C. physicians and patients. The report was titled Past/Future: North Carolina Medical Society Community Report.
The contest is an annual competition held by Association TRENDS, the national newspaper for executives, professional staff and suppliers of international, national, state, regional and local associations. The 2013 competition included a record 467 entries in 22 categories.
North Carolina Medical Society Executive Vice President and CEO Robert Seligson said: “We are honored to have received this award. RLF was a great inspiration and partner throughout the Community Report project and we look forward to future work with the RLF team.”

Happy Birthday RLF

Today is RLF’s four-year anniversary. No fooling. It has been a fun, wild, white-knuckle ride that has only just begun to take us down the road we decided to explore in 2007. 

There are many things I am proud of — the outstanding work of our employees, our contributions to our professional and civic communities, our ability to navigate tough economic times, the national recognition and the successful campaigns we’ve been part of. There are even more things that I am thankful for – clients who have entrusted us with their brands and reputations, employees who have left secure jobs to help build our young agency, friends and family who have provided steadfast counsel and support.
We have evolved significantly in just four years. We’ve added global capabilities and depth with our partnership in the Worldcom Public Relations Group, the oldest and strongest of the global networks. We now have more than 110 partners in the United States and around the world that we can (and already have) call upon for expertise, advice and assistance to better serve our clients. We have also significantly expanded our creative and production capabilities to meet client needs. 

Along the way, we’ve never wavered from the core principles that gave us the courage (and audacity) to think we could build a better agency. Those principles include:
– Clients always define success.
– Only good surprises.
– Work with clients who are industry leaders, or who seek to become one.
– Be dedicated to Ideas, Strategy and Service.
To all those who have supported, encouraged, referred, cajoled or counseled us to help us get better and stronger – Thank You.