Jenna’s take on Lori Merricks of Luckie & Co.

Luckie & Co. became known for it’s  “Call Your Mama” commercials with Bear Bryant when the company was founded in 1953.  With a firm foundation, Luckie now has clients that include Regions, Express Oil Change, Kirklands, The Summit, Whole Foods, Lowes, AT&T, Mercedes Benz and several others.  It became what we call a full service company in 1999.  This means that the company offers advertising, event planning, brand planning, interactive marketing, direct marketing and even social media.

Lori Merricks was blessed to have a job position straight out of college.  Merricks now serves as the senior account supervisor after starting as an intern and working her way to the top.  With this job title, she touches all accounts daily, is certified in crisis management and mainly makes sure everyone underneath her is doing their job.  The three aspects that she said are key to public relations are: Brand Marketing, Brand Alliance and Brand Protection.

A brand, for example, is the swoosh for Nike, or the symbol for a company.  Brand marketing delivers the message clearly, confirms your credibility, connects your target prospects emotionally, motivates the buyer and creates user loyalty.

An example of a brand alliance would AT&T and Apple, or Chick-fil-A and the SEC.  In other words, it is when you use two or more brands on one certain product. This is also referred to as cross marketing.

Brand protection was her last focus which dealt with both crisis management and internet reputation management.  Smoldering crisis is an over-time issue that can eventually be brought to the publics’ attention and destroy the company, such as Toyota  The other type would be sudden crisis, usually includes an accident or a natural disaster.

She covered so much helpful information, but to wrap up on how to be good at public relations she talked about researching. Research, or being current, is the key to the overall PR campaign.  It will help to target the right audience, not pitch to the wrong journalists, have the right strategies and tactics and accurately execute the campaign.

Let’s just say that I hope I can be as “Luckie” as Lori, and get a job like her as soon as I graduate!

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