News Makers

The Canadian Jewish News
December 19, 2013 › T Page 27
Paul Lungen
Staff Reporter

David Eisenstadt has been in the PR business for 40 years, so he knows which buttons to push to get media attention. And the one that’s most effective in catching the attention of news hounds is to offer up something that’s, well, news. “We spend a lot of time…to determine what is newsworthy and what isn’t,” he explained. “We’re story tellers and truth is at the basis of it anyways.”
So here’s Eisenstadt’s story, truth be told. The Communications Group, the company he runs with his wife and partner, Rhoda, recently marked its 40th anniversary. They didn’t rent a hall or hire a band to celebrate, but as part of the anniversary, the firm rebranded itself as “tcgpr, PR Consultants to News Makers” and launched a new web site. The firm retained its broader message of “Outside the box thinking.” “Our clients were referring to us as tcgpr,” Rhoda explained. “We needed an update. This is more reflective of what we’ve been doing for many years, using social media. “We are developing programs that leverage new mobile and web strategies, offering the range of digital and social marketing and modern market research and social analytics capabilities for many of our clients,” she added.
“The reality is that the client today is clearly more sophisticated than they’ve ever been because we live in an information age,” said David. “The client who understands where PR fits in the marketplace is ideal for us.” The company collaborates with marketing agencies to advance clients’ strategic objectives. Canadian-owned but with international representation, tcgpr is the Toronto partner of IPREX Global Public Relations, an international network of independent PR firms. tcgpr is a medium-sized shop in the public relations realm, with 15 consultants and employees, give or take, and a roster of clients that span a variety of sectors: technology; real estate; professional services; and not-for-profits.
“Public relations and advertising work together to support the marketing objectives, whether of a for-profit or a not-for-profit,” Rhoda explained. So how exactly do these areas overlap? “We do everything in a strategic way. We develop a strategic public relations plan that fits within the overall marketing objective of what the organization is trying to achieve,” David said. “When we represent a client, we help identify what is newsworthy and what is not newsworthy. The PR gives everybody the news story first and draws attention to the other aspects of the marketing campaign.
“Our value-added is that we see and make the news element and make it attractive.” The company will reach out to print media, and employ social media like Facebook and Twitter, he said. David points to a successful strategic campaign that boosted the prospects of one of tcgpr’s clients, Two Men and a
Truck. In 2010 when they acquired the account, news reports surfaced of Toronto police busting a ring of interrelated moving companies – none of them their client – for fraud. At the time, Two Men could boast five franchisees, but the police arrests cast a pall on the industry and hardly helped their prospects of expanding.
The Eisenstadts learned from their clients that the company marketed itself based on its clean trucks, accurate estimates, on-time arrivals, good service and the like. All well and good, said David, but not news. “We noodled it and came back to them with a strategic creation – a consumer’s bill of rights for the moving industry in Canada.” The “consumer’s bill of rights” was formally announced at a news conference in July 2010 and the news media “jumped all over this.” Three years later, the number of Two Men’s franchisees had jumped to 21. “That PR event got them on the map,” David said.
“Today, coverage in social and traditional media is what it is all about. Our job is to help our clients manage their news and generate coverage,” he added. Other services provided by the firm include crisis management, speech writing, employee communications and media training for executives.
“Not how to bob and weave,” said David, “but how to communicate effectively in plain English.” He points to a successful campaign on behalf of an actuarial firm that came to them by word of mouth. “They wanted to reposition themselves for faster growth.” After some research, tcgpr came up with a new brand name and the slogan: “Actuaries who care.”
“We literally helped give them a new identity and helped redesign their web site,” said David. “That’s strategic planning, so their look changed. “We did the very same thing for ourselves.” PR firm stays current with rebrand, new name Rhoda and David Eisenstadt [Arthur Mola photo]

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