Tag Archives: Stewart Perry

Green Building and Global Communication

Stacey Hood, Marketing Director at Birmingham’s own Steward Perry Construction, was one of the most interesting speakers we had in our class this semester.  He’s from Texas, has lived in Ireland, loves soccer and once had a job working on Mustangs.  Yet now, he works for a construction company, writing for their blogs in addition to other tasks.  He graduated from UAB, where he got his start in PR, and had lots of useful advice to give.

1. Always engage – PR is useless unless you gain and retain the attention of the customer.  Don’t just toss information at them and hope it is absorbed.  Like many other speakers have suggested, Hood said that PR is a dialogue.  You must draw the customer in, whether through social media or more traditional media outlets, but then also cultivate that relationship to keep their attention and business.

2. Content is important – In order to engage the customer, you must have quality content.  It doesn’t matter how much you have in print if it isn’t really saying anything.  You have to get the message across correctly and effectively in order to keep people coming back.

3. Understand “the box” – Often we hear about thinking “outside the box.”  However, Hood noted the importance of understanding the parameters of that box for any given situation.  You have to know the standard rules of the game in order to step outside of the box.

4. Work on your writing – If you are not a good writer, you cannot be an effective communicator.  Stacey said that we should never stop working on improving our writing skills.  Whether it is through blogging or practicing press releases, there are many applicable ways to get in a little extra practice.

5. PR is an upside down funnel – Essentially there is a great wealth of information in the world, and in PR, you might want to communicate a large chunk of that information to the public.  However, it must be condensed down into easily digestible and understandable bits of knowledge.  An upside down funnel is the perfect example of this.  We must act as the funnel, condensing necessary information down into smaller parts, so that it will engage and inform customers.

Advertisements

Memorable advice

Stacey Hood gave simple, but noteworthy advice to those hoping to break into the PR and advertising world…and it all boiled down to being memorable. Stacey’s own story was pretty memorable. For a while he played soccer in Northern Ireland, where his family is from. But making the jump into PR was a natural move for Stacey, after all, he explained, he came from a family of great, expressive, storytellers. And that’s where his advice came in: breaking into PR and staying in PR requires the mind of a good communicator and the heart of a lively storyteller.

 

Today Stacey is Director of Marketing for the eco-friendly construction company Stewart Perry. And their company blogs are the perfect example of a new and memorable approach to reaching their audience, one for example being Raising Grundy. Throughout his career in the PR world, at various capacities and at various companies, Stacey has acquired some memorable tips we were lucky enough hear.

 

 

 

1. Content it vital. Never forget that the info you are communicating, in any form, needs to touch the hearts and minds of viewers. If you can manage to do that they will remember you and will come back.

 

2. Never stop writing. Never stop learning. Never stop thinking. If you ever stop doing any of these things someone else will, some other PR team will, some other company will, and then you aren’t so memorable any more. Learning just can’t finish with your degree.

 

3. Bring your own influences. Everyone is bringing their own backgrounds, their own perspectives, their own influences to the table. Good teams have diversity in members and therefore well-roundedness in their campaigns and messages. Your influences are unlike anyone else’s, using them will make you unique and implementing them into your work will make you memorable.

 

4. Use your tools. Google is your friend, ‘cause sometimes you gotta learn as you go! Read blogs—there is a wealth of information on them! Use twitter it’s the #1 search engine right now! Knowing how to use these tools, and knowing how to reach your audience through these tools will make followers remember you. *(side note, I think this is the part where I got called out for not being a “believer.” A twitter believer that is. Kinda cracked me up but also kinda got me thinkin’… so thanks Stacey!)

 

5. Go big or go home. Okay so maybe Stacey didn’t quite phrase it like that, but in an effort to encourage us to go “outside the box” without using the over used phrase “outside the box” Stacey challenged to think differently. Sure we have to know the rules to break them, as Dr. Martin chimed in, but once you have that working understanding of PR take it somewhere else. Take an idea somewhere where no one else would take it, think to take it, or dare to take it … memorable. big time.

Stacey Hood: Being the Good Guy but not a Tree-Hugger

Stacey Hood of Stewart Perry in Birmingham came to speak to our “Principles of PR” class a few days ago.  He explained Stewart Perry’s vision as a company to make construction sites as “green” as possible by recycling, reusing, and reducing the waste at their job sites.  While Hood says he is not a “tree-hugger”, he does believe in the company’s mission and says that they are trying to be “the good guys”.  He said that, at Stewart Perry, they believe in giving customers a reason to come back by touching both the heart and the mind.

Hood gave many helpful hints and good advice for students looking to go into PR:

1) Continue to work on your writing.

-The more you write, the more opportunities you will see.

2) Thing BIG.

-Get outside the box, keep learning and thinking.

-Google is your friend!

3) Blog.

-Engagement is key.

-Hood says, “It’s the ‘good ol’ boy’ put online!”

4) Make the best of every situation.

The last and possibly most important thing that I learned from the day was not from our speaker, but from our professor Dr. Sheree Martin.  As Hood was mentioning the importance of getting outside of the box, Dr. Martin said something that I had never considered.

5) “You gotta know the rules to break ’em.”

-Dr. Martin emphasized the importance of learning what the box is (that is, the rules, guidelines, and basic structure), and then moving beyond what you know so that what you do will be extraordinary.

I thought this was an interesting point that I had never heard.  Most people emphasize the importance of “getting out of your comfort zone” and “going above and beyond”.  And, while she agreed, she also stressed the significance of knowing what the boundaries are so that you have the ability to push the limits.

This is just what Stewart Perry has done.  With innovative thinking and a passion to better the world around them, Stewart Perry is committed to doing things the right way while building repetitive customer relationships.

A little Irish wisdom

Stacey Hood is the unofficial Director of Marketing for the Stewart Perry Company.  He shared that the Stewart Perry brand focuses on staying green while running a successful construction company in the Birmingham area.  Cool as a cucumber, this Irish paddy with a Public relations degree from UAB gave a few tips to blooming PR students on how to flourish in the field.
  • Stay on top of your brand.  Constantly develop new content.  Keeping your website fresh will entice an audience to come back and view it more often, and then more views you get the more publicity you’re getting as well, and with publicity comes popularity.
  • If you don’t use it you will lose it so stay on top of your skills. Practice writing on a weekly (at least) basis. Blog blog blog (duh.)
  • NETWORK. Meet, greet, and dazzle contacts from every walk of the PR life.  This will again keep advancement opportunities readily available.Be willing to work any area on the PR spectrum. Openness and availability will allow for more advancement opportunities. Don’t shut doors on yourself.
  • Keep updated in the PR world.  Your own brand is your focus but don’t tune out others. Follow blogs, Twitter feeds, etc. that you’re interested in and learn from others.  This will keep you at the top of the game.
  • Be willing to work any area on the PR spectrum. Openness and availability will allow for more advancement opportunities. Don’t shut doors on yourself.

For more on Stacey visit his Blog or to find out more about the Stewart Perry company visit their website!

Touch their Mind

We heard from another type of business again today, Stewart Perry. It is a construction company. Born in Texas, Stacey Hood graduated from UAB and majored in a tough marketing program. He went from being a soccer coach at Samford to starting a company. His family is originally from northern Ireland and are big storytellers and musicians.

Stacey Hood says there are no position titles in Stewart Perry, but if there were, he would be the marketing director. He did not have a background in construction so he had to learn from experience.

Engaging Users

Give them a reason to come back (stories, social media, etc.)

Touch their mind

How?

  • Work on your writing and continuously use it
  • Tell your unique story
  • Look for opportunities
  • Follow the basics and think creatively
  • Keep your mind open

Social media goes beyond the simple updates and tweets to customers. You need to go beyond that with engagement. According to Proactive Report your customers are getting smarter and more social media savvy. They have many different devices to connect to as well. Enjoy the socializing. ROI (return on investment) is what matters the most in whatever social media tactic you implement. Just remember that your customers are going to be waiting on responses from your company.

“It’s nice to see people are believing in what your are doing.”

It is common for PR professionals to work at an agency two to three years and then move on elsewhere. Currently, there are 52 PR/Advertising agencies here in Birmingham.

To learn more about Stewart Perry click here

Variety on the Job

Stacey Hood, marketing director of Stewart Perry visited our JMC 492 class. Hood is a fun loving guy who is helping make the Stewart Perry company a huge success. Hood learned many of his skills on the job, skills such as: SEO, content development, social media strategies, public relations and business consulting. While at Samford, Stacey Hood shared some advice with the class. Here are a few things that stuck out.

  • Content development is crucial! You have to give users/visitors a reason to come back. Leave a message that touches both the mind and heart.
  • “The more you write, the more you will see opportunities.” Keep eyes and ears open because everything is an opportunity.
  • Our influence is an opportunity because we have gained influence and variety from our backgrounds. Use individuality to get our ideals out there.
  • Google is a friend.
  • Gain certain skills now: Read blogs, Twitter and solid grammar.
  • “There is never a stupid question. You’re stupid for not asking a question.” (Learn on the job.)
  • Engagement with everyone is very important: blogs, Twitter and Facebook.
  • Variety is good. Try putting it into practice.

Think Green with Stewart Perry

We have all heard the “go green” ads to recycle, plant a tree, use reusable bags and more. Stacey Hood of Stewart Perry explained to us how they incorporate the go green motto into their construction company.

Stewart Perry has built well-known  developments around Birmingham and around the country.  The Grove in Hoover, Tiger Town in Auburn, Hearts of America in Atlanta, and Whale’s Tail in Destin are all examples of Stewart Perry’s amazing work.

Hood explained how at Stewart Perry, teamwork is key.  He first said he did not even have a title, but then said he is the marketing director.  “Titles take away from team work,” said Hood.

Stacey Hood is a graduate of the UAB public relations department and is the only one he graduated with still working in the field.

Hood’s main advice before (and some after) entering PR:

  • Writing (you guessed it).  Nothing new here, write as much as possible.  Content is extremely important.  He told us to never quit working on our writing.
  • Blog. Blog. Blog.
  • Engage online. Make time, it’s a necessity.
  • Take everything as an opportunity. The more you have, the more chances you have of succeeding.
  • Think out loud! Think outside the box.  First you must know what the box is and where the boundaries are, remember.  Hood said, “Don’t get locked in.”
  • Get the business card of everyone you meet.  This is something Stewart Perry has done in order to create their personal list of E-newsletter recipients.
  • Touch hearts and minds.  The emotional pill is very effective.  “If it bleeds, it reads.”
  • Don’t be afraid to work for a company if you aren’t an expert at the field.  Hood never nothing about construction before he began at Stewart Perry. Learn on the job.
  • Know what works – Find out your ROI (Return on Investment)
  • “Keep a smile,” Hood said was extremely important.

Find Hood

Twitter

Blog

LinkedIn