public relations charlottesville

Nine Tenths of Crisis Communications is Stifling the Rumor Mill

By Communications, Crisis Communications

It seems the majority of the Charlottesville community is in violent agreement about the mishandling of the resignation of University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan. I am continuing to focus on the communications gaffes; above all, the assumption that the Board of Visitors could “control” the message by releasing the news on a Sunday morning. As the lack of information perpetuates, now three days past the announcement, speculation abounds.

When releasing sensitive information to the public, it’s important to be clear, specific and as transparent as possible. The Board of Visitors’ failure to do this and satisfactorily provide the explanation of how the dismissal/resignation occurred and why has only served to fuel the collective imagination of the community. And boy do our imaginations run wild.

How much better it would have been, if the messages had been delivered in an organized, clear and cohesive manner. How much less damage control would University staff have to do, if clarity were employed, if planning of message delivery had been managed and a group effort was evident.

I’m not addressing here the obvious issue of the resignation not making a lot of sense . . . but rather the failure to appropriately communicate it to the world.

If you’re trying to avoid the extra work of putting out rumor fires, be up front with your information in the first place.

Jaggers Communications Adds Director of Client Services, Rusty Speidel

By Communications, Jaggers Communications News, Public Relations

Last year the most popular post on this blog was, sadly, not written by me. My good friend Rusty Speidel wrote it. So when it became apparent that it was time to expand the Jaggers Communications team, I didn’t have far to look; the right person for the job was right here all along.

He is the Felix to my Oscar; the Ernie to my Bert. I’m so happy to have him as part of the team!

Rusty brings a wealth of experience in brand positioning and management and a specialization in bringing products to market. A long-time digital communications expert, Rusty’s experience has focused on designing or improving user experiences and business processes that drive revenue, increase brand affinity and attract users.

Rusty’s background includes the creation of Rowdy.com, the social network for NASCAR fans. As the vice president of social media for Rowdy, Rusty grew the network to more than 1.5 million views per month and launched the award winning #1 ranked iTunes podcast, which has more than 60,000 downloads per month.

As part of the team at Jaggers Communications, Rusty will be involved in client plan development, brand positioning, project management and client services, content creation and strategic communications planning and execution. His capabilities, interests in technology and the environment, and thought leadership in community development and go-to-market strategy enhance the firm’s product offerings and complement Jaggers Communications’ client service.

Five Simple Ways to Manage a Reputation

By Communications, Crisis Communications, Public Relations

How do you manage the reputation of your company? It’s difficult, and there are many moving parts. That’s why so many hire help from a firm or solo practitioner. Not a week goes by when I don’t hear about a business owner fretting over a bad Yelp review or an article damaging to their business or industry.

There are a few basic elements to managing a reputation, such as:

  1. Publishing content that tells the story of your organization in an authentic way
  2. Monitoring what’s being said and written online, to react to opportunities to respond
  3. Proactively pitch media with real news about your business
  4. Position the leaders of your organization as thought leaders and experts; offer them to media members as interview subjects or authors of whitepapers and editorial pieces
  5. Generate conversation among fans of the business

Of course, if a company’s reputation is bad because its product, service or customer relationships are bad, you may do all of the above and the company will still earn the reputation it deserves. Consider carefully your clients, PR and marketing people. And companies? Don’t expect miracles when you’re unwilling to improve the way you do business.

And now, a little Joan Jett and the Blackhearts . . .


Jaggers Communications Announces 2011 Community Partner: Shenandoah National Park

By Jaggers Communications News

Jaggers Communications Announces 2011 Community Partner:  Shenandoah National Park
Firm will support 75th Anniversary Outreach

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (March 1, 2011) – Jaggers Communications, a strategic communications firm with a growing presence in Charlottesville, announces the Shenandoah National Park will be its local pro bono community partner for 2011.  The firm will develop an integrated social media and overall communications plan to support Shenandoah National Park’s 75th Anniversary year of celebrations and noteworthy events.

“We are delighted to have been selected as this year’s community partner,” said Martha Bogle, superintendent of Shenandoah National Park.  “With the help of Jaggers Communications’ expertise, we will generate more awareness of the Park and the many events and offerings during the 75th Anniversary Celebration year.”

Jaggers Communications provides a positive impact to the communities in which it has a presence by selecting a nonprofit organization to work with on a pro-bono basis each year. “We believe it is critical to give back to the communities where we live and work,” explained Marijean Jaggers, president and owner of the firm.  “Shenandoah National Park has so many great stories to tell and, as a cherished part of my own back yard, I’m honored to have a role in sharing those stories in our community during the celebrated 75th anniversary.”

About Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah National Park encompasses part of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the state of Virginia and is  long and narrow, with the broad Shenandoah River and valley on the west side and the rolling hills of the Virginia Piedmont on the east. Although likely the most prominent feature of the Park is the scenic Skyline Drive, almost 40 percent of the 79,579 acres has been designated as wilderness and is protected as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. Shenandoah National Park was dedicated on July 3, 1936 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Throughout 2011, Shenandoah celebrates its 75th Anniversary with events and special offerings. Learn more at www.celebrateshenandoah.org

About Jaggers Communications

Jaggers Communications applies experience to help businesses and nonprofits reach their business goals through strategic marketing, content creation, public relations and social media. Jaggers Communications provides organizations in the health care, education, manufacturing, travel and tourism industries with social media consulting, public relations support and reputation management strategy. The firm was founded in 2011 to serve businesses and nonprofits with a need for cost-effective, strategic communications with effective reach. www.jaggerscommunications.com



Digital Communications Plan Development Workshop

By Jaggers Communications News


For more information, contact:

Marijean Jaggers


Digital Communications Plan Development Workshop

WHAT: A hands-on workshop for marketing directors and business owners. Participants will be guided through the process of developing a strategic communications plan for their business, integrating social media tools and tactics to help reach and surpass business goals. This workshop covers the creation of a plan infrastructure and the use of online tools to keep tasks efficient. Learn how to set measurable goals for social media and connect engagement to business success.

WHEN: Thursday, January 13, 2011, 9:00a.m. to noon. Fee: $200/participant.

Register online: http://jaggersplandevelopment.eventbrite.com/

WHERE: OpenSpace in The Conference Studio, 455 Second Street SE, Suite 100, Charlottesville, VA 22902, phone: 434.566.0880, http://getopenspace.com/


About Jaggers Communications

Jaggers Communications is a strategic communications firm that provides organizations in the health care, education, manufacturing, travel and tourism industries with social media consulting, public relations support and reputation management strategy. The firm was founded in 2011 to serve businesses and nonprofits with a need for cost-effective, strategic communications with effective reach. www.jaggerscommunications.com