Pam Gilchrist Celebrates Winning Three 2012 PRSA Blacksmith Awards With Strauss Troy’s Lucy McCormack (l) and Richard Colvin (r)

Leadership communications strategist Pamela Gilchrist earned a top Blacksmith award and two silver awards from the Public Relations Society of America Cincinnati Chapter for her work with law firm Strauss Troy Co., LPA.

Gilchrist earned awards for her brand identity research for the law firm’s recent rebranding initiative, the brand announcement news release and corresponding media placements. The Blacksmith entries were judged by a panel of independent judges from the Orange County, California PRSA Chapter.

Judges comments on the brand research included: “The research was excellent with solid outcomes. Beautiful graphics. Excellent results. This could not have been an easy task.” With one judge giving the work a rare perfect score of 100.

Additionally judges comments on the news release and resulting news placement on the front of the Sunday Business section of the Cincinnati Enquirer were: “Very comprehensive release touched on all aspects of the firm’s culture and purpose.” And, “Excellent placement…the company leaders should be very pleased.”

The research methodologies Gilchrist used included quantitative research, benchmarking, industry trends analysis and qualitative research to build a research-based brand platform and gain shareholder buy-in.

“Pam is a tremendous asset and this award is confirmation of the quality services that she provides. As we continue on our aggressive growth path, her leadership in cultivating opportunities that have big impact will continue to be invaluable. These awards are validation of this work,” said Attorney C. Richard Colvin, chair of Strauss Troy’s marketing committee.

“As we looked to the future, it was essential that we better align our brand with both our high-quality heritage and our penchant for providing personalized innovative solutions,” said Strauss Troy President James G. Heldman. “The branding work that Pam Gilchrist has done has really upped the firm’s game.”

About Pamela Gilchrist

Nationally recognized author and speaker Pamela Gilchrist, MA, APR, CPT, is chief strategist at the Gilchrist Group®. She optimizes outcomes to close the gap between strategy and success. Her work focuses on breakthrough business strategies, change leadership and high-impact communications.

Gilchrist has held top leadership communications posts inside three Fortune 500 companies and has consulted with organizations across the country to guide executives through a myriad of change initiatives, mergers and acquisitions and growth strategies.

She is president-elect of the National Speakers Association Ohio Chapter where she was recently named 2012 Member-of-the-Year and is also is featured in their new marketing strategies book: Speak More! Gilchrist is Accredited in Public Relations (APR) by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) where she is a member of the Counselor’s Academy and has earned PR Professional-of-the-Year, Best in Show and many top honors including the Golden World Trophy from the International Public Relations Association (IPRA). Pam has earned top honors from Bulldog Reporter and has presented her Expert Influence™ Academy program at its national conference. Gilchrist holds a master’s degree from The Ohio State University and a bachelor’s from Western Michigan University.

About Strauss Troy

Since its founding in 1953, Strauss Troy has stood apart from the competition by providing the highest-quality legal services in the most personalized, prompt and economical manner possible. As a full-service law firm, Strauss Troy has diverse expertise and a history of proven success. No matter what issue you face, the firm has the right professionals, working together as a team, to get you the answers you need quickly and affordably. Learn more at www.strausstroy.com.

Strauss Troy’s areas of practice include: Corporate | Business, Criminal | White Collar Defense, Domestic Relations | Family Law , Labor | Employment, Litigation, Municipal | Government, Real Estate | Finance, Tax Planning | Compliance and Trust | Estate Planning.

Strauss Troy is recognized as a leading law firm in the Greater Cincinnati | Northern Kentucky region and is a Martindale-Hubbell Top Ranked Law Firm™ in Fortune Magazine. The firm is recognized as a U.S. News & World Report Best® Law Firm, and many of its attorneys are honored as peer-rated Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ Attorneys, Best Lawyers® in America, Super Lawyers® and Rising Stars. The firm is also listed as a top law firm by the Cincinnati Business Courier.

 

Enjoyed sharing personal branding strategies at NSA Ohio this weekend. We all have a brand, whether we know it or not. So be intentional. Image-crafting matters. As Bill Stainton said, you never know when a client or prospect is near. He was traveling on an airplane, reviewing his notes for a speech, when the woman sitting next to him said “You must be our speaker!”
While we work hard to craft a professional personal brand, perhaps Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon said it best: “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
It is critical that your personal brand is aligned with your authentic self, intentional, aligned with your go-to-market strategy and crystal clear.
If you want to learn more, pick up a copy of Speak More and read my section “Get Passionate About Personal Branding.”

 

Grab the oxygen mask. While J.C. Penney tries to stop its free fall, torches and pitch forks are pointed at CEO Ron Johnson.

Here are a 5 things businesses can learn:

  1. Be careful what you wish for.
  2. Bring  data to support your position.
  3. Keep your customer top of mind.
  4. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.
  5. Pretty doesn’t make marketing effective. It’s the message stupid.

While there is no doubt that Penney’s needed change to stay competitive — was his radical reinvention strategy just too radical? Was it a “communications problem?”

“Improvement merely lets you hit your numbers. Creativity is what transforms,” said Johnson in a March 2012 Fortune article about his coming out party.

In my nearly 30 years of experience working with companies big and small, this statement is true. And working with an organization in the midst of transformation can be exciting. But, retraining behavior is extraordinarily difficult.

From a business standpoint, you have to have enough financial runway and latitude to drive a new strategy forward long-enough for stickiness. (JCP didn’t.)  From an emotional intelligence standpoint, that stickiness and new behavior can be incredibly tough to achieve — after generations of conditioning a set of shopping behaviors. (There was little communication on what specific actions JCP wanted customers take. And no sales, meant no call to action or motivation to “buy now.”)

JCP forgot something incredibly important — ASK YOUR CUSTOMER. (What do you want and how do you want it? Then, market-test the heck out of the concept to see if their buying behavior matches their wish list before launch.)

People like to feel like they are getting a deal. It’s psychological. It’s shopping 101. By competing on price, JCP had to make an incredibly clear and compelling case to the consumer. It didn’t. It’s a major fail whale.

And while I love beautiful marketing pieces, all of JCP’s environmental, scene driven photography didn’t sell one blender. Why? Because there was no compelling copy to describe the item, no customer benefit and no clear pricing.
Another multimillion dollar marketing mistake.

Customers are dropping like flies and credibility is gone. It will be a long-climb for JCP to recoup its losses.

J.C. Penney analyst: ‘CEO has to go’

Dallas Business Journal by Steven R. Thompson, Staff Writer

Date: Wednesday, July 11, 2012, 5:30am CDT

After J.C. Penney cut 350 employees from its Plano headquarters Tuesday, retail analysts said they are unsure how the company can continue to follow through with its transformation strategy. One analyst even said it was time for CEO Ron Johnson to leave.

“The next step is the CEO has to go, I guess,” said Howard Davidowitz, chairman of New York-based Davidowitz & Associates, a retail consulting and investment-banking firm. “Because if it stays like this, the question will be, ‘What credibility does he have to do anything?’ He will have lost all credibility.”

Davidowitz has previously made his position on the J.C. Penney transformation clear, saying Johnson “caused incalculable damage” to the department store chain.

Other retail experts expressed more optimism about J.C. Penney’s plans, even as they said they were uncertain about the company’s turnaround.

“It is probably more of the same as they try to reduce their cost, but they are under a ton of pressure,” said Dwight Hill, managing partner at the Plano-based The Retail Advisory. “I am still fairly bullish about their strategy, but I’m not sure Wall Street is going to be patient enough for them to continue to go down this path.”

J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP) said Tuesday’s job cuts were part of the company’s plan to cut $900 million in annual expenses by the end of 2012. J.C. Penney executives declined requests for an interview.

The company needs to do a better job of communicating that the layoffs are part of a “multi-stage turnaround process,” Hill said.

“With sales dropping as they are, they have an even greater need to reduce this SG&A cost,” Hill said.

The drop in sales is mainly due to the lack of coupons, Davidowitz and Hill agreed.

“They’ve begun to realize the coupon and sales addiction probably runs far and deep,” Hill said. “And customers don’t want to go cold turkey.”

Davidowitz didn’t offer many solutions for J.C. Penney, saying, “I’d have to spend months figuring out what to do because the mess is so deep.” He still can’t believe that J.C. Penney would abandon its core customer so quickly in order to test a new pricing and marketing strategy.

“People in retailing fight for decades to get market share,” Davidowitz said. “And here’s the reason, because it costs a fortune to get a new customer. You advertise, you spend a fortune to get a new footstep to give you a chance. It’s what retailers work on every day, ‘Let’s try to get this customer to give us a little opportunity.'”

http://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/blog/morning_call/2012/07/jc-penney-analyst-the-ceo-has-to-go.html?s=print

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COLUMBUS, OH – April 17, 2012 — Strategist and Speaker Pam Gilchrist will present “From Chaos To Clarity: Leadership Secrets To Optimize Outcomes” at the NSA Ohio Speaker Showcase at Mills James TV Production Studios in Columbus, Ohio, Thursday, April 19th.

Passionate about adding impact, Gilchrist is a frequently requested speaker for corporate, association and non-profit organizations. Her leadership and life lessons will help you optimize outcomes and navigate what’s next. With her wit, wisdom and inspiring style, she connects with audiences at every level as she shares stories and reveals insider secrets of what works at top companies—and what doesn’t.

As chief strategist at the Gilchrist Group®, executives and organizations seek her expertise during times of dramatic growth and change to move from chaos to clarity. Gilchrist’s proven, international award-winning results grow businesses, guide leaders, sharpen brands and increase engagement.

For more than 25 years, she has held key roles inside Fortune 100, multi-billion dollar companies and consulted with organizations across the country on how to improve impact through breakthrough business strategies, next level leadership and branded high-impact communications.

Featured in the soon to be released book: Best Marketing Practices For Speakers, you will also find her stories in the New York Times best-selling Chicken Soup for the Soul: Life Lessons for Women and other publications.

Whether you are looking for a high-energy keynote or a great breakout session, learn more about Pam Gilchrist at www.pamgilchrist.com.

The NSA Ohio Speaker Showcase Event is being produced by Mills James. In addition to hearing some of Ohio’s top thought leaders, guests will get an exclusive all-access, behind the scenes pass to one of the top state-of-the-art production studios in the country. Mills James has a well-earned, excellent reputation for live, on location meeting and event production and video storytelling. To get all the details or register go to: http://bit.ly/nsaspeaks.