The Wilbert Group Blog

Posts tagged PR

April Digital Updates




We’re all about keeping up with the digital world at The Wilbert Group and leveraging the newest technologies to help our clients tell their stories. Here’s the latest:

#1 Instagram takes on yet another rival network: Pinterest.

Instagram is already encroaching on Snapchat’s territory with its popular Stories feature – which succeeded in stealing Snapchat users – so it makes sense that the photo-sharing giant is now going after Pinterest with its latest update. To the joy of its users, Instagram introduced the ability to save posts earlier this year. Now, you can sort those posts into “collections” that are eerily reminiscent of Pinterest’s boards. This update makes it more important than ever for content creators to create truly valuable, save-worthy content to allow it to live a second life for a user, whether it’s a recipe, design inspiration or a secret menu dish at a restaurant. As Engadget sums up the opportunity for businesses: “If you can create your ideal outfit by saving posts into collections, you might be more likely to buy that outfit.”

#2 LinkedIn continues to undergo a complete makeover.

LinkedIn’s facelift is in full swing. While there isn’t one noteworthy update to include here on the blog, I wanted to touch on this because, as social media managers, we’re constantly learning and relearning how to keep our client’s content fresh as LinkedIn shifts seemingly every day. Important changes for content creators include: The ability to use video, new photo sizes and filters and a new algorithm for the feed. LinkedIn also plans to revisit its publishing tools, including the ability to save articles for later and improved tagging, ultimately making the blog posts look much cleaner and full of dynamic content like photos, block quotes and graphics.

#3 Snapchat is reaching an increasingly older demographic.

Snapchat isn’t just for millennials anymore. The app – which recently made its IPO – is experiencing increased usage in those ages 25 to 44, far from its typical younger audience. Forty-one percent of users ages 25 to 34 used the app more often today than during Jefferies’ first survey last June. Forty-four percent of the 34 to 44 demographic use Snapchat more now, the firm said.

It’s not atypical for older users to follow typically young early adopters to new platforms – just look at Facebook and Twitter. However, that migration sometimes drives the younger users away because the platform isn’t cool anymore, or because grandma and grandpa are now able to view their content. This shift may be a ways off for Snapchat, but something the app should consider moving forward. Hopefully, they can continue to provide content – from news stories to fun face-altering filters – to keep their original base happy while expanding to new audiences.

Making News: Our Clients in the Headlines 4/12/17


image21. Hard hats and construction trucks are beginning to move out of Avalon’s new wing, Boulevard East. The experiential mixed-use mecca in Alpharetta will unveil its second phase expansion to the public with a 13-hour grand opening celebration this Thursday, April 13. To see a preview of the new shops and eateries, read this Atlanta Journal Constitution article, which features an inside look at Avalon’s highly anticipated Boulevard East.

2. Any businesses relying on independent contractors – including shared economy or “gig” economy businesses – should pay close attention to a recent court ruling that granted Uber a significant victory in the industry’s ongoing misclassification battle. That’s according to Fisher Phillips Columbia, S.C. attorneys Steve Mitchell and Sheila Bias, who penned an op-ed in Midlands Biz detailing how employers can apply the lessons this ruling teaches. Reviewing the factors the court cited should assist in establishing preferred practices that will minimize the changes of a misclassification lawsuit and maximize the chances of success should such a lawsuit be filed against your business.

hive_mind_arise_13. Atlanta has a new destination where you can grab some lunch and see dozens of artists creating work right in the heart of Midtown: The Creative Hive Project, which has brought individuals and arts organizations to Colony Square. Mixed in with restaurants, retail and offices are a dozen artists or arts groups working right out in the open. To learn more about when you can see the Creative Hive Project at Colony Square, listen to this WABE story.

4. Edward Andrews Homes’ Alpharetta community, Larkspur, is a new take on the “active adult” formula. Its target market is “a generation of buyers that are trading in their large family homes and entering a new chapter lived on their own terms,” says Caroline Simmel, senior vice president of marketing. Imagine yourself living in one of these beautiful homes with this Atlanta magazine article.

5. A new standard of luxury can be found in the Maisonettes at Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta, a collection of three villa-style private residences (from $2.8 million) that are part of The Residences at Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta. Each three-level abode features a one-of-a-kind floor plan and plenty of outdoor space. Hardwood floors, marble accents, massive windows, and hand-crafted stone fireplace mantels give the units a sleek, elevated feel. Check out the incredible pictures and learn more in this Robb Report article.

Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 4.19.18 PM

PR Lessons I Learned from ‘Shark Tank’


14175093191_9c5cffdf72_bHi, my name is Savannah, and I’m addicted to Shark Tank. I watch old episodes, new episodes and Beyond the Tank. At least one TV in our house is turned to CNBC to catch reruns at all times. I buy products and eat at restaurants (and food trucks) solely based on their involvement with Shark Tank. In short, I am an addict.

While Shark Tank helps force me to think creatively — and always makes me wonder what my million-dollar idea will be — I started to realize over time that many of the show’s lessons are actually applicable to public relations. Below are my top four takeaways.

  1. A good, solid pitch is a must. Having a pitch that’s dynamic and gets to the point quickly is key in capturing the Sharks’ attention, the same way a pitch must quickly garner the interest of a journalist. It has to be just the right length while effectively conveying your message. If it’s too long or not getting to the point, you’ll lose interest. 
  1. Know your clients – their audience, competition and industry. The entrepreneurs on Shark Tank must know their business from top to bottom. Similarly, PR pros must know the ins and outs of their client’s business as if it were their own. If you don’t know your client’s target audiences, how can you create a plan to reach them effectively? If you don’t know their competition, how will you be able to differentiate them? If you don’t know their industry, how will you effectively tell their story? All of this is paramount to PR success.
  1. Confidence is key. Anyone who watches regularly knows that the entrepreneurs who enter the tank with confidence are already more likely to get a deal. Like Shark Tank, confidence can make or break you. Clients are looking to you for your expertise in PR, and if you’re unsure of yourself it shows. A PR pro that’s always second-guessing themselves and their decisions can make a client nervous, and ultimately cause them to seek other PR help. 
  1. Hire people smarter than you. It’s completely OK to admit that something isn’t your area of expertise and hire someone who knows more about something than you do. Entrepreneurs are always seeking out partnerships with Sharks who can help them with a part of business they are struggling with, whether it’s manufacturing or marketing. As the PR landscape continues to evolve, companies are going to rely on and hire experts, like social media managers, for example, who can help a company continue to expand its offerings and grow.

The Wilbert Group Named Top PR Firm in Atlanta


Public relations website Everything PR has named The Wilbert Group one of the top three PR firms in Atlanta. Everything PR credits The Wilbert Group’s growth and success to founder Tony Wilbert’s journalism and networking expertise, and states: “It is no easy task to turn a small public relations agency into a large company with a nationwide presence.”

Top PR Firms in Atlanta

Top PR Firms in Atlanta

The Wilbert Group serves clients nationwide and in the Caribbean in real estate (residential and commercial) and corporate services. In response to growing demand, the firm recently hired Niki Taylor as senior account executive for the corporate practice and Meredith Pierce as account coordinator for the real estate practice. The firm continues to meet and exceed client expectations as it progresses into its seventh year. For more information, visit

Why PR Pros Should Establish Themselves as Resources to Reporters


PR pros should work to establish themselves as important resources and sources to key media members with whom they have or want a productive relationship. Doing so will benefit the journalist and your PR firm and its clients. More importantly, being helpful means the reporter or editor will be open to future pitches and might even start calling you for story ideas.

Bennet Rudder, Vice President at Ben Carter Enterprises

Bennet Rudder, Vice President at Ben Carter Enterprises

This scenario worked out well this month when Joel Groover, a writer for Shopping Centers Today, said he needed a retail developer to discuss cool and innovative ways to market their shopping and outlets centers. We let Groover know right away that Ben Carter Enterprises, an Atlanta-based commercial real estate firm and client, employed some cool techniques to market space and additional land at an adjacent to Tanger Outlets Savannah, which opened in April along I-95 near Savannah, Georgia. One of the cutting-edge tools Ben Carter and his team are utilizing is a drone that can fly high above the site and capture photos and angles and heights previously unattainable without hiring a helicopter or small plane.

The idea resonated with SCT’s Groover, who requested an interview with Ben Carter. During the interview, our client also discussed a unique way his company is marketing retail space at its Broughton Street Collection, a $75 million endeavor centered on the restoration of more than three dozen historic properties on Savannah’s historic Broughton Street (once the city’s premier retail corridor).

Savannah's Broughton Street and Ben Carter (right)

Savannah’s Broughton Street and Ben Carter (right)

We followed up with the writer to find out if he needed any images, because today no story can run or appear online without art – a photo, locator map, rendering or screen grab to illustrate the story. Groover asked whether we could get a photo of a BCE executive at the Tanger site with a drone. Though his deadline was tight, we jumped on the opportunity, and Ben Carter did, too. Right away, we got a photo of Bennett Rudder, a BCE vice president who leases space at Tanger and Broughton Street, holding the drone on property.

That photo is the lead art in the just-published Shopping Centers Today story, ATTENTION GRABBERS – Landlords Are Using Drones, Flash Mobs and Other Creative Tactics to Get Prospective Tenants’ Attention. Click here and turn to Page 44 to see the score.

Three Questions for the Corporate Intern


The Wilbert Group recently welcomed Meredith Pierce and Sarah Long for 12-week internships this summer. Sarah comes as a recent graduate from The University of Alabama’s College of Communication and Information Sciences, one of the top five PR programs in the nation. At Wilbert, she helps out on several corporate accounts including Aaron’s and Equifax. To better get to know our new intern, we asked her three questions.

Sarah’s blog featured in Seventeen magazine

Sarah’s blog featured in Seventeen magazine

1. Why public relations?

Coming from a loud and large southern family, communicating efficiently comes naturally at an early age. If I wanted to be heard at the dinner table, I had to make sure that my message was coming across clearly. When it came time for me to decide what I was going to study in college, it was no surprise that I would major in public relations. The major combined everything I loved, including communicating, creativity, and telling a story. The true power of storytelling was first presented to me in my early years of college when my blog extended to a national audience. The stories and tips I had once shared on the web led to my role as Seventeen’s College Beauty Blogger, landing a feature article in the March 2013 issue and more recently The Seventeen Ultimate Guide to College: Everything You Need to Know to Walk on Campus and Own It! My desire to tell amazing stories was ignited.  

2. What’s a unique experience/skill you’ve brought to Wilbert?

Throughout college I continued to build my experience in social media strategy and digital content creation through multiple internships including agency experience with anything from consumer to B2B clients and my own freelance work for non-profits and start-up companies. With each client, I utilized my graphic design background to take ideas and bring them to life through concept development, logo creation, advertisements and campaigns. Some of my freelance clients include The American Red Cross, Symphony Orchestra Augusta, Arborsoft Consulting Services and the Southeastern Orchestra Volunteer Association. At the The Wilbert Group, I hope to bring my creative thinking to craft compelling content and stories for our corporate clients. 

3. Tell us something interesting about yourself.

When I’m not at work I can be found within a square box on your smartphone… but really. With over 3,200 followers on Instagram, I enjoy curating my feed as I share highlights of beginning a new chapter after college and exploring a new city with my toy poodle Winston. 

Sarah and her toy poodle, Winston, begin their next chapter in Atlanta

Sarah and her toy poodle, Winston, begin their next chapter in Atlanta

Check out our real estate intern, Meredith’s Q&A here.

Three Questions for the Real Estate Intern


The Wilbert Group recently welcomed Meredith Pierce and Sarah Long for 12-week internships this summer. Meredith comes as a recent graduate of The University of Georgia’s Grady School of Journalism and Mass Communication. At Wilbert, she helps out on several real estate accounts including North American Properties and Camana Bay. We asked her three questions. Tune in for Sarah’s answers next week!

1. Why public relations?

After two years of French and Italian classes – learning all things romance language – I started to doubt my major. And while studying in Paris over the summer, I befriended a PR student who loved what she did. I’d always known I had a knack for writing, social media (I was already running three Twitter accounts), and event planning, I just had no idea there was a field that encompassed my passions. I switched majors more than halfway through school and never looked back. Early in my PR education, I thought I wanted to be a wedding planner. However, after a summer of working as an assistant and attending 29 weddings in five months, I decided that wasn’t the path for me after all. Eventually, I secured an internship in restaurant PR and fell in love with media relations, social media, and the creativity and fast pace culture of an agency. After graduation, I secured a spot at The Wilbert Group, where I’m enjoying learning about real estate PR and continuing to hone my skills.

2. What’s a unique experience/skill you’ve brought to Wilbert?

I’m a self-proclaimed foodie and was happy to get my start in restaurant PR with The Reynolds Group, where I promoted menus and chefs, and planned events from grand openings to restaurant weeks. My knowledge of food media and culture makes me a good fit for the real estate team, since some of our clients such as Atlantic Station and Avalon are veritable food meccas. In addition, my experience in event planning and promotion is valuable to a team tasked with coordinating PR for events throughout the year.

3. Tell us something interesting about yourself.

From a young age, my Dad instilled a love of travel in me with trips to everywhere from Washington D.C. to the Cayman Islands to Amsterdam. After several busy years without a trip together, before I graduated he and I spent two weeks travelling around Israel with a historian specializing in ancient Hebrew history, visiting the Dead Sea, Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, Bethlehem, Tel Aviv and Jericho. We had an amazing adventure, and we’re already planning our next trip; Dad wants to go to Greece and Turkey, and I’d like to visit Cuba or Argentina.

Meredith and her dad at Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.

Meredith and her dad at Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.


Making News: Our Clients in the Headlines


by Alyssa Wenger

The Wilbert Group’s clients have been making news over the past few weeks, and we’ve been busy getting them headlines across the Southeast. Take a look:

1. Mall developer Ben Carter’s newest project, Tanger Outlets Savannah, opens today and Business in Savannah covered the story.

2. A Boys and Girls Club in Franklin Tennessee received a makeover, thanks to Aaron’s.

SAEN Photo

3. In a great article about Atlanta’s blossoming outdoor fitness trend, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution discussed Avalon’s new outdoor wellness classes and Atlantic Station’s outdoor yoga program.

4. Read more about Crescent Communities’ groundbreaking for a new industrial building in North Carolina from the Charlotte Business Journal.

5. Grand Cayman’s Camana Bay was mentioned in a Travel and Leisure article featuring a guide to Caribbean destinations.

Making News: Our Clients in the Headlines Part 1


by Alyssa Wenger

As always, The Wilbert Group team worked hard this week to land our clients in the news. Here is a sampling of the coverage they received:

#1. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution covered Aaron’s National Manager’s Meeting in New Orleans and the company’s efforts to refurbish the city.

#2. Charlotte-based client Crescent Communities was featured in The Charlotte Observer in a story about its expansion into more urban developments.

#3. American Banker published a story about Equifax’s partnership with Zoot to launch a new app increasing the number of accounts opened on mobile devices.

American Banker article


#4. An exciting event at Atlantic Station, the 6th annual Beer Carnival, was highlighted in a photo gallery from WSB-TV’s website.

#5. In a recent article speaking to the increased use of predictive analyticsby cruise lines, Cruise Industry News featured a subject matter expert from Revenue Analytics.

But wait – there’s more to come! We have been so busy this week that we need more than just one post to share all our client coverage… check back tomorrow for even more hits we have landed!

Making News: Our Clients in the Headlines


by Alyssa Wenger

Curious about hits The Wilbert Group has secured for clients lately? Check out recent coverage:

#1. For its story on issues facing the University of Oklahoma after a recent racist act by students, The Wall Street Journal quoted expert source Scott Schneider, a partner at Fisher & Phillips

#2. Trey Loughran of Equifax was quoted in a USA Today article about how credit card offers are signaling a stronger economy.

#3. Two chefs from Camana Bay on Grand Cayman, Michael Schwartz and Thomas Tennant, were referenced in Smarter Travel’s article on the hottest food trends of 2015.

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 2.05.31 PM


#4. We placed a story for Fisher & Phillips in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on the risks of in-office March Madness betting.

#5. Alpharetta/Roswell Revue & News wrote a story on Avalon’s “Perfect Year” program.