20 of Our Favorite Moments in the Past 20 Years

This month, Dittoe PR celebrates 20 years in business! All month long, we’re celebrating our anniversary by sharing content dedicated to the big 2-0. Today, we’re reflecting back on 20 of our favorite moments over the past two decades. These moments were sourced from our entire team and are in no particular order.

1. Working on multiple BMW Championship tournaments. Our team has had the opportunity to work on the 2012, 2016, 2017 and 2019 PGA TOUR events. While every moment of tournament week is exhilarating, a top moment for a few of us is walking inside the ropes with Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy in 2012 at Crooked Stick Golf Club. 

2. Joining 1,000 employees from TCC who were all dressed as superheroes at Riley Hospital for Children to form the largest group hug in the hospital’s history.

3. Team coaching with the fabulous Katara McCarty. Katara has helped our team create a vision and guiding values, and is helping all of us become better servant leaders.

Our Vision:
Proactively shaping narratives that influence behavior and invoke change.

Our Guiding Values:

  • Cultivate Happy
  • We’ve Got Your Back
  • Here We Grow
  • Exceed Expectations


4. Incorporating our guiding values into a beautiful mural created by local artist William Ray. This amazing piece of art hangs in “Biggie” – our big conference room. And yes, our smaller conference room is called “Smallz.” If you don’t know, now you know.

5. In 2017, Dittoe PR served as the PR partner for Lonely Whale’s Strawless in Seattle campaign, which initiated a plastic straw ban in Seattle. Our success in promoting the event locally, nationally and internationally contributed to the ban being enacted in Seattle. This spearheaded the movement against plastic straws worldwide. 

6. Annual Halloween pitch-in at a team member’s house followed by a team outing to Indy SCream Park (by far our scariest client).

7. Working with the COLUMBUS film team on promotion not only in Indiana but nationwide. The best part though was handling the hometown premiere and all the details – a red carpet event included – for the film’s release in Columbus, Indiana. Also, a couple of our team members got to play six degrees of separation with John Cho over drinks after one of the showtimes and cast Q&A events.

8. The annual Dittoe PR holiday party. Every December, our team breaks up into two groups and embarks on a scavenger hunt throughout Broad Ripple, and this isn’t your average friendly team outing. It’s extremely competitive and not for the faint of heart. ‘Tis the season!

9. Working on the launch of Canvas, the world’s first text-based interviewing platform. With the global release of Canvas, we’d be witnessing the future of the workplace. But first we’d have to convince its worth to the world’s toughest critics – the national media. Part of our efforts included planning and executing a national media tour in New York City, where we set up interviews and demos with outlets like Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune and New York Magazine. In the first seven days of the launch, we secured 39 media stories in prestigious national media outlets. 

10. Our pickled pedaler outing. Because who doesn’t like drinking beer while on a bike with an electric assist motor?

11. When our team had the chance to work closely with Spike Lee for a LIDS documentary. We set up interviews with local media and Spike in Indianapolis and got to meet him.

12. When the Cubs won the World Series – as part of the LIDS team, we stayed up late to watch the entire World Series and see history be made. We worked closely with local Chicago media and even got to see the World Series trophy in-person a few months later.

13. Pickleball team outing. Can you tell there’s a competitive spirit within our office?

14. Enacting our anniversary wheel spin. Every Dittoe PR team member gets to spin the wheel on their work anniversary. Most of our prizes are good (hello, Nordstrom gift card), but we do have a few bad ones on there (say what, water balloon firing squad?), so wheel spins are an emotional roller coaster around our office. 

15. When our client Stericycle partnered with the National Safety Council for the unveiling of its “Stop Everyday Killers” campaign. The memorial itself is so impactful and sheds light on our country’s opioid epidemic. It’s amazing to be a part of a national educational opioid campaign.

16. Annual team outing to the Indiana State Fair, especially when our fearless leader Chris Dittoe wins us stuffed animals to bring back to the office. 

17. Moving into our current office space in South Broad Ripple in 2015…and eating Fat Dan’s and Twenty Tap on a weekly basis ever since. 

18. Dittoe PR’s 10th Anniversary Party. Our veterans are especially fond of this memory, as it’s fun to reminisce on it now and consider how much we’ve grown and evolved as a team and as an agency since 2009. 

19. Dittoe PR Love Connection. You read that right. Two members of our team were introduced to the men they will be marrying in 2020 thanks to their close friendships with their Dittoe PR colleagues.

20. Getting to work alongside so many passionate PR professionals and making lifelong friendships along the way!

Interested in learning more about our agency and the exciting work we do? Contact me at lauryn@dittoepr.com.

20 Reasons to Hire a PR Agency

This month, Dittoe PR celebrates 20 years in business! All month long, we’re celebrating our anniversary by sharing content dedicated to the big 2-0. To kick things off, we’re breaking down the top 20 reasons to hire a public relations agency:

1. Build brand awareness
One of the biggest and most obvious benefits of PR is that it helps gain exposure for your brand. And let’s be clear: building a brand is a marathon not a sprint, which means you need people who are working to secure consistent, ongoing media coverage for your company, your leadership team, and your services or products day in and day out for a long period of time. 

2. Generate new business opportunities
When done correctly, public relations can help improve business outcomes by generating new leads. When your brand or product is strategically placed in targeted or niche media outlets, you are becoming more visible to your target audiences.

3. Gain credibility
Whether you’re looking to gain new customers, find new investors, or maybe even get noticed by larger companies for a potential buyout, credibility is a must. Similar to how a great feature in a top publication can help build brand awareness, it can also build your credibility. A positive endorsement from a third party generates much more credibility than advertising.

4. Attract top talent
A great PR campaign has the ability to attract top talent to your company. Stories on company growth and innovation, as well as your culture and philanthropic initiatives help to position your company as a desirable place to work. Touting award recognitions for your business and announcing new hires and promotions are also great ways to solidify your organization as a top workplace in your area or industry.

5. Funding
PR can be critical for startups looking to secure funding. Not only does positive media coverage build brand awareness and credibility, but it will put you in a better negotiating position with potential investors.

6. Damage control
A crisis can hit in any business at any time and impact a company’s credibility. Agencies have the training, tools and experience to help you navigate through the tough times and mitigate damages of a PR crisis. They can also take a proactive approach and develop communications plans before a crisis occurs, ensuring there are detailed plans of action ready, just in case.

7. Media specialists
PR agencies’ bread and butter is typically media relations. They have built up an extensive list of media contacts, relationships and connections with journalists and editors working in local, trade and national media outlets. A journalist is much more likely to open, read and accept an email pitch when it comes from a recognizable source. PR firms also spend countless hours researching outlets and identifying which reporters actively cover the industry.

8. Content specialists
PR firms also know a thing or two about writing engaging content that goes far beyond press releases. Bylined articles and op-eds, case studies, blogs, award submissions, speaking nominations…the list goes on and on! An agency should have a team of veteran writers who can create and amplify content that will convert interest into sales, and prospects into long-term loyal customers.

9. The brainpower of an agency
When working with a PR firm, you typically will have a dedicated account team that you work with on a daily basis. The individuals you work with have most likely developed and executed similar strategic PR plans many times before in their careers.

10. Resources
Leveraging PR software tools is key to tracking and measuring success, but they aren’t cheap. Good PR firms will invest in tools like TrendKite, Critical Mention and Cision to identify press contacts, influencers and opportunities, track media coverage and web traffic, and ultimately measure the overall impact of earned media.

11. An outside viewpoint is valuable
Not all news is newsworthy. PR agencies know what types of stories the media will find interesting and cover and which ones they will say “hard pass” to. On the flip side, a company may have industry insights or a customer case study that they think no one will care about, but a good PR firm can sniff out a good media opportunity a mile away. An agency will find ways to take something that might not seem “sexy” and turn it into an opportunity to reach, engage, and persuade your target audiences.

12. They work hard for the money
That said, an agency won’t wait for a company to bring them a newsworthy announcement to take the media. A good PR firm will be proactively brainstorming various story angles and ways to ensure your company and leadership team are constantly being featured in the news and that you’re ultimately reaching your target audiences.

13. Allows you to focus on your business at hand
Media relations is a full-time job (believe us, or else we’d be jobless). That’s why hiring a PR agency can help alleviate the pressure of running a business while building brand awareness. This is especially true for startups. While you’re working on the mechanics of the company, an agency will focus on media outreach, drafting content, submitting awards and more on your behalf.

14. Increases synergy among departments
PR doesn’t work in a vacuum. In order to best leverage the money you’re spending on PR, it needs to be integrated into your greater marketing strategy. Increasingly, there is more integration across PR, social media and digital advertising. When all departments are working together toward a common goal, well, that’s when the magic happens.  

15. PR becomes a priority
When PR is kept in-house, it’s often added to the already extremely full plate of the marketing team. Because PR isn’t their top priority (and shouldn’t be), it can often fall to the wayside. Working with an agency forces PR to become a priority.

16. It’s cheaper than advertising
Advertising in a publication or on TV can be extremely expensive, and PR has the power to be much more effective than traditional brand-building techniques like paid advertising because people don’t relate to advertisements – they consume them. Storytelling is the way people attach meaning to products and services, and it’s the reason they want to belong to a brand. Yes, you’re still paying an agency for their services, but it’s at a fraction of the overall advertising cost.

17. Enhance your social media presence
Social media’s influence is too large to ignore and it’s reshaping the PR industry. Many PR agencies have expanded their service offerings in the past few years to include some level of social media support. PR content (press releases, company announcements, etc.) can live longer, spread faster and reach further with the help of social media.

18. Position yourself as a thought leader
Good thought leadership campaigns understand that consistency is key. One does not become known as an expert in their field without sharing their voice on their subject matter. PR agencies will take their clients’ best resource- talent -and give them the platforms to share their expertise in expert interviews, byline articles, award wins, speaking opportunities and more.

19. Leveraging influence from outside sources
Even though media relations may be an agency’s bread and butter, it doesn’t stop there. Working with influencers on social media and even the occasional TV or radio personality can help to spread awareness in a more meaningful way. Similar to celebrity endorsements, agencies will work with nano, micro and macro-influencers to identify potential partnerships in order to leverage additional content and coverage opportunities for your brand.

20. Measuring success 
Measuring the success of PR efforts can be challenging, especially when you try to do it on your own. Agencies (at least the great ones) invest in a variety of PR measurement tools to show clients ROI and track KPIs such as total media mentions, share of voice among competitors, ad value, engagement, sentiment and social media amplification.

Ready to learn more about how an agency can you help you achieve your company goals? If so, shoot me an email at lauryn@dittoepr.com!

Massage Heights Case Study

For just over a year, we’ve worked with the Massage Heights franchise in Indianapolis to promote their services, manage social media and provide event planning support. Additionally, we’ve positioned owner and operator Cristina Goebel as an expert in her field by securing byline placements and TV segments to share the benefits of massage therapy, how to lead a successful team and more. 

Below outlines a case study for our work with Massage Heights Indianapolis:

THE CHALLENGE:

When Cristina and Matt Goebel opened their first Massage Heights retreat at Ironworks Hotel Indy in fall 2017, the location was experiencing good foot traffic, thanks to its brand reputation and an influx of hotel guests seeking an afternoon or evening of relaxation. While Massage Heights Ironworks was building a reputation for providing a wide range of customized massages and facials, many of the retreat visitors were either hotel guests or simply one-time visitors, enjoying the discounted rate of their first massage. The Massage Heights team knew they had a high-end, yet affordable service to offer clientele, but struggled to get people coming back. 

Despite a high drop-off rate, the retreat located in Ironworks was performing well and a few months later, the husband-and-wife team opened a second retreat in Carmel, Indiana. Despite the amount of high-end clientele living in this area, this retreat proved to be much more of a challenge when it came to getting even first-time guests in the door. 

Massage Heights needed to increase foot traffic overall at both locations, with a focus on Carmel, and also increase the number of loyal, returning visitors, membership holders and more. 

THE SOLUTION:

Our solution was a three-pronged approach that involved strategic social media management, developing relationships with social influencers and localized media relations efforts: 

Social Media 
Developing and executing a social media strategy for Massage Heights’ Ironworks and Carmel retreats was our number one priority.  

Massage Heights had no issue getting first-time customers in the door at Ironworks, but struggled to get customers to sign up for the long-term membership program and despite name recognition, the Carmel retreat struggled with both general foot traffic and securing loyal members. We knew we needed to reach and educate people in the Central Indiana market on the benefits of continued massage therapy. There was no better place to drive this message home than on social media.

Before partnering with Dittoe PR, Massage Heights was mainly sharing sporadic company updates pushed from their corporate team and not much content specific to the Indy area. We knew that in order to organically attract new followers, our content needed to be local and authentic. We began by following real people with real connections to Indy. We also boosted organic content that was performing well and invited the engaging users to “like” our Facebook pages. 

But gaining followers was just part of the battle. We knew we had to develop content that kept new followers engaged. So, we began conducting weekly contests and giveaways, incentivizing people to follow and engage with us, and creating weekly therapist spotlights, allowing followers to learn more about Massage Heights employees and feel more connected to their massage therapists. 

Social Advertising 
To further build brand awareness for Massage Heights and ensure the local community is aware of the range of services offered, we create and manage 4-5 ads per month on each of the Massage Heights’ Facebook pages. 

By identifying our top performing content and leveraging social listening to find out what questions our followers are asking, we deploy a monthly marketing budget aimed at educating our target audience on the importance of continued massage therapy. We also maximize our monthly ad spend budget by seeking insight from the retreat teams on which services are getting the most attention at each location.  

To get more first-time visitors in the door, we also promote the monthly specials offered by Massage Heights, as well as ongoing contests to encourage more entries. From gift card sales to free services and discounts, these promotions make users in the Central Indiana market more aware of the value-add Massage Heights provides customers on a daily basis. 

But keeping Massage Heights at top-of-mind for consumers in a market that is so saturated with content, we deploy advertisements and boosted posts to people who already like our page, allowing us to communicate with them directly about the benefits of continued massage therapy. 

Social Media Growth

  • Instagram: Started at 454 followers. Currently at 2,012 followers (343% growth)
  • Facebook: Meridian and Main 197 page likes when they started; Currently at 406 page likes
  • Facebook: Ironworks: 524 page likes when they started; Currently 768 page likes


In total, Dittoe PR has: 

  • Shared 1,381 posts across all social accounts
  • Gained a total of 2,003 new followers
  • Earned a total of 1,335,930 impressions and 11,330 engagements 
  • Directed more than 4,740 clicks to the Massage Heights Indy landing pages


“Knowing our initial priority was to increase traffic at our Carmel location, Dittoe PR developed and executed a comprehensive social media plan that created real business results. As our goals and initiatives evolve over time, Dittoe PR is right there, developing new ideas and strategies to ensure we are always reaching and engaging our target audiences. They have truly become an extension of our team.
– Cristina Goebel, Franchise Owner, Massage Heights 


Social Influencers
We can talk about how incredible Massage Heights is all day on our own social media platforms, but getting third party credibility is crucial. So, to help us further connect and engage with Massage Heights’ target audiences in an authentic and real way, we identified and partnered with key local influencers. We manage approximately 10-15 influencer relationships at a time, and levels of engagement can vary from offering a single service to a six-month partnership. We focus on four different groups of influencers; moms, lifestyle, fitness and students, enabling us to tap into the different types of clientele Massage Heights typically works with. 

To drive interest in memberships and express the importance of continued massage therapy, we work with several influencers on a long-term basis, allowing them to share their own personal journeys with massage therapy and the benefits they were experiencing with a long-term membership. Several influencer partners were also invited to demonstrate newly offered services, including Dynamic Cupping Therapy, to build excitement and interest among their followers. 

Influencers also conducted giveaways through their Instagram and Facebook pages.

In addition to working with individual influencers, we also secured partnerships with local groups and organizations. We plan and coordinate an average of 2 on-site events each month with groups such as local bloggers, Yelp and theCityMoms. By getting these influential groups in the door, we were able to educate them on the benefits of massage therapy and the various services Massage Heights offers. These types of events take the mystery out of massages and helps creates a personal relationship between influencers and massage therapists. Event attendees who book a massage while in-retreat are also offered free “elevations” (such as adding Hot Stone Therapy to their massage) to thank them, in addition to receiving membership pricing discounts on services and products. These partnerships have resulted in countless new memberships for Massage Heights and creates a buzz on social media about the company and its services. 

To date, we have managed 23 influencer partnerships for Massage Heights, resulting in 33 influencer posts, 11,210 likes and 1,154 comments.

Media Relations 
While the majority of our efforts were focused on social media and social influencers, we also worked to secure traditional media coverage for Massage Heights that we knew would be most impactful. A lot of our media relations strategy was focused on leveraging holidays and seasons. For example, we secured local TV segment opportunities surrounding holiday shopping and stress, New Year’s resolutions and seasonal allergies, as well as digital coverage in the form of local holiday gift guides and more.

We also helped set Cristina apart from other local business owners in the industry by securing thought-leadership opportunities in reputable local publications, such as Inside Indiana Business and Be Well Indy, discussing topics like the benefits of continued massage therapy and building a strong company culture. 

In one year, we have secured more than 26 pieces of media coverage resulting in over 5 million media impressions and more than $162,000 in publicity value. 

As both Massage Heights locations get busier, our goals and priorities have shifted. We now work to help the organization attract and recruit great employees. This includes posting new job openings on LinkedIn and Facebook, creating a massage therapist spotlight segment once a week on Facebook and Instagram, and constantly developing and promoting new content highlighting company culture and the benefits Massage Heights offers its employees. 

One year ago, Massage Heights came to us to help them build brand awareness and increase foot traffic. Today, they’re consistently booking appointments 3-4 weeks in advance now at both locations and have doubled the number of full-time therapists they employ to meet the increase in demand. 

Massage Heights continues to grow and is currently looking to hire new therapists to keep with demand. In fall 2019, Massage Heights will open its third location in Central Indiana – in Fishers – and Dittoe PR will provide social media, influencer and media relations support for the new location.