Posts filed under ‘Introductions’

Wow: Happy birthday to Me: In-House is 1 year old!

I never thought we’d be writing that we survived for a year. It’s gone quickly, though, thanks to supportive friends and interesting clients. Of course, we’re always looking for new organizations we can help.

Here’s the news release we’ve issued about In-House turning one year old:

FLANDERS,N.J.– A recovering economy and improving housing market helped In-House Public Relations enjoy success during its first year of operations, said Doug Fenichel, APR, president of theFlanders, N.J.-based agency.

Public relations firm celebrates first birthday

In-House Public Relations celebrates its first birthday.

Created in May 2011, the agency is celebrating its anniversary this month.

“The height of a recession is hardly a great time to launch a business,” said Fenichel. “Specializing in real estate, homebuilding and related fields when those industries are suffering creates another set of challenges. But we got lucky with timing.”

After 10 years as K. Hovnanian Homes’ director of public relations, Fenichel hung out his own shingle. The name “In-House” came from a double-entendre he used to name a blog while he was a K. Hovnanian.

“I was the in-house public relations counsel there and I wrote about housing and communications,” he said. “The blog had a small following and my idea was to handle my clients as if I was their in-house counsel. Fenichel is too hard to spell, so I named the agency after the blog.”

Fenichel said he hung out his own shingle so he could focus on strategic communications and bolstering clients’ reputation rather than sell a bunch of disconnected tasks that generating billings but don’t really help a client succeed.

Fenichel recently revived the blog, offering Realtors some thoughts about using social and traditional media more strategically.

The accredited public relations professional said his agency’s success is the result of his knowledge of traditional and social media and his ability to use that knowledge to support his clients’ business goals. It also helps that the real estate market is enjoying a revival.

“Everyone I talk to is much more optimistic than they were a year ago,” said Fenichel. “Nobody, including In-House, is out of the woods yet, but people are more optimistic. Homebuyers are looking at new and existing homes, so the companies I work with are seeing more work and sharing that optimism. For the first time, builders and Realtors are making plans for the future.

“We’re excited to be part of those plans,” he added.

How is Fenichel celebrating his one-year anniversary: Working harder.

“It’s nice to be this busy,” he said.

In-House Public Relations is an award-winning, focused public relations firm serving the homebuilding, real estate and public safety industries. Past and current clients include K. Hovnanian Homes, Meritage Homes,Grant HomesUSA, The Holmquist Team of Keller Williams Towne Square Realty and Jockey Hollow Dentistry. Part of a national network of PR firms, it specializes in strategic planning, media and community relations, crisis management and special events.

 

Fenichel has been practicing public relations since 1983, when he left the world of newspapers and joined AT&T during its divestiture. An accredited practitioner, he is past president of the New Jersey Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and an adjunct professor atFairleighDickensonUniversity.

In addition, he’s a director of the Blood Center of New Jersey, a member of the Chester Area Professional Club and serves on the Mount Olive Economic Development Committee. He’s also an active paramedic and volunteer firefighter.

More information about In-House Public Relations is available at www.inhousepr.biz or by calling (973) 970-3411.

 

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May 18, 2012 at 12:30 pm

In-House PR is not just a blog anymore. It’s a full-service agency. May I help you?

I’ve been putting this off, but it’s time to make the big announcement: I’m hanging out my own shingle.

My new public relations firm will be called In-House Public Relations, and this blog will be my soap box. The firm, in fact, is named after the blog, which has been around for three years. It’s as good a reason for an agency’s name as any other.

You’re probably thinking, “Oh great. Just what we need: Another one-man PR shop.” I’ve said the same thing myself. But times have changed for me and for the business world. In addition, I bring something special the table: my energy, my outlook and my passion.

For more than 20 years, I’ve helped organizations large and small tell their stories, build their reputations and use strategic communications and engagement to meet their business goals. Being passionate about your reputation permeates an organization, influences the behavior of its employees and makes its stories compelling and credible. That, in turn, leads to business success.

In-House Public Relations will focus on real estate, homebuilding and related businesses, applying what I’ve learned over the past 11 years in that business. My sites also are set on clients in the public safety area, where I can combine my years of communications experience with my even-more years as a firefighter and paramedic. I’ve also worked in telecommunications, automotive, packaging and other areas. Naturally, I’m more than happy to work with any organization.

I moved from journalism to public relations to join the internal team that took AT&T through its historic break-up. Since then, I’ve been fortunate to work with and around people who bring uncompromising quality to the job, as well as a high sense of ethics. By quality, I mean a strategic view, attention to the client’s needs, effective and measurable tactics and a lot of energy to get it all done.  The network of top-notch professionals I’ve put together over the years and through my active involvement with the Public Relations Society of America will become my clients’ network.

Over the years, I’ve successfully used most of the tools in my box: sales support, media relations, crisis management, employee communications, government affairs, special events and social networking. I have the insight and experience of a guy who’s been around the block once or twice and the technical skills to understand the latest social media trends. What’s equally important is I see how they all work together strategically.

So why head out on my own now? I believe the current economy is creating new opportunities. In-House Public Relations is an example of that new economy, and is taking advantage of the opportunities it has created.

As large companies shed staff in response to the economic downturn, those people used their expertise to set up smaller companies. While they might not be able to do things on the scale of their former employers, their smaller scale, lower overhead and more nimble structure enables them to do things their former employers couldn’t do. The Fortune-750 national homebuilder I worked for over the past decade has spun off at least two new homebuilders, a floor-covering store, home-design consultants, sales coaches and others…and now a public relations firm. These new, smaller companies also need public relations counsel, just as they need financial and legal counsel. A firm like mine can use its network to take care of a large national or regional organization’s needs, and we welcome that opportunity. But we have more flexibility and lower overhead, enabling us take care of these new companies’ needs, as well.

I’ve spent most of the past 20-odd years as a client. That is, I was the in-house public relations counsel for different organizations. I know what clients need. I know how I liked being treated. And now I’ve got the opportunity to meet that high bar for my clients.

And now, a demonstration of my new entrepreneurial technique: Give me a call. Let me be your in-house public relations counselor.  At least wish me good luck.

May 16, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Welcome to In-House PR

Thanks for taking a look at In-House PR. As usual, I’m a day late and a dollar short doing what others have been doing for awhile. And that’s pretty much why I’m joining the fray.

Each day, I glance at a lot of blogs from PR people and from real estate people. I enjoy commenting on the issus they bring up, but they don’t always talk about things I want to talk about.  And they rarely talk about that intersection where public relations, real estate and homebuilding come together. I’m talking about much more than sales here.

As a PR guy for a builder, I support the marketing department. But I also work with the lawyers, the folks who buy land, the builders and cope with the rediculous government rules and regulations that have added so much money to the cost of a house that the American Dream is just that…a dream.  We do so much good stuff nobody ever hears about. And there are so many issues that people don’t understand!

So with this snip of a figurative ribbon (we used to do lots of ribbon cuttings!), I declare the conversation open!

September 11, 2009 at 3:05 am 2 comments


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