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Kelsey Davis

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It’s All in the Details: 4 Areas of Event Planning Where You Should Sweat the Small Stuff

Posted by Kelsey Davis on Jul 27, 2016 1:00:00 PM

With years of event planning under our belts and a summer chock-full of exciting client events, we’ve had planning top of mind lately. We’ve already dispelled a few common myths about event planning and lent some high-level advice on strategy and promotion, but the best event planners know that the details are just as important in crafting memorable, successful events.

We’d like to say, “don’t sweat the small stuff,” but the truth is that the smallest touches can make or break an event. Read on to learn more about four categories where details are key.



As an event planner, you’ll likely visit the venue at least a couple of times to map out where certain activities will be held or where decorations will go. Being so familiar with the venue, it’s sometimes easy to forget to put yourself in your guests’ shoes. Will they know which rooms they’re supposed to go to or which tables are theirs? Will they be able to easily find the restrooms?

At the 2014 Seafood, Science and Celebrity event, we even labeled which bottles of wine were paired to each course, so that employees and guests alike were guaranteed a seamless dining experience.

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With proper signage, you’ll ensure your guests feel right at home, making the event flow much more smoothly. Signage is also a great way to help brand the event—the more times your guests see your logo and messaging, the better!



In order to maximize media coverage and guest attendance, make sure you think through the details of your media outreach too. Triple-check your media lists and make sure the contacts you’re reaching out to are correct and up to date. Personalization is also key. Why do you want this specific reporter or outlet to cover your event? Why should they be interested? Think through their past work and use that to help craft the perfect pitch.

And don’t forget to stand out! A creative media kit or invitation with all the event details will stand out more than a generic digital invitation. Check out some of our favorite media kits for events we’ve done in the past below.

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Tee_Off_Fore_a_Cure.jpeg reel_hope_media_kit.jpeg



Communicating with your team and event staff is just as important as communicating with the media and guests. It’s your job to ensure that all staff are knowledgeable about the timeline of the event and their exact roles and responsibilities. We suggest regular internal meetings leading up to the event to keep everyone on the same page. A run-of-play document (like the one in our Event Planning Workbook) that details the event timeline down to the minute and lists those in charge of each activity is also a useful tool.



Décor is one of the most fun parts of event planning, but it takes a lot of thought to get it just right. Different events call for different aesthetics, so before you start buying decorations and picking out table settings, think about the feel of your event—consider the venue, guests, goals, and of course, budget. Is the event a black-tie gala or a laid-back outdoor fundraiser? Once you get your aesthetic down, focus on consistency. Use your décor to help brand your event throughout the venue space and collateral materials. 

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There you have it—high-level strategy paired with an eye for detail will maximize the success of your next event. Stay tuned for our next blog, where our design maven Sarah will explain how to execute those details successfully when concepting your event designs and décor.  

In the meantime, learn more by downloading our free Event Planning Workbook

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Topics: event promotion, event planning, eventPR, events

All the Buzz: March 2016

Posted by Kelsey Davis on Mar 31, 2016 6:16:34 PM

Somehow, it’s already spring. Not that we’re complaining – we are loving the warmer weather and longer hours of sunshine each day. With a new season comes many other new things, and the JJPR office is no exception. Here’s what we have been buzzing about this month.


Team Development

You may have already met our two new team members, Sarah Grube and Alison Leonard. Sarah took on the role of our new creative director and has been blowing us away since before she started. Judging by the rapid pace that she works and by how dialed in she is to all of our clients’ projects, it seems like she’s been here for years. Speaking of years, Alison is only just beginning her PR career, but as our new account coordinator, she is quickly turning her tremendous amount of potential into a polished and poised skill set.



Office Space

To accommodate our growing team, we’ve had to rearrange the office a bit. So, spring cleaning turned into spring redesigning, and we’re now enjoying the modified open-air set up.



Work, Work, Work

We recently cranked out two new websites, and we’re pumped to show off one of the finished products. Baldwin County Education Coalition came to us for help with media relations, various design and marketing projects, and (obviously) an updated website. Our goal was to keep it simple, but also full of the information their audience needs at their fingertips. Easy navigation was a must too.





 We were thrilled to be awarded the opportunity to work with Fuse Project on several of their ongoing projects, one of which is the third annual Dragon Boat Festival. Since 2014, Fuse Project’s Dragon Boat Festival has raised over $250,000 and with a goal of raising $225,000 this year, it will not disappoint! At the festival, participants race in a 40-foot-long Hong Kong style dragon boat. With 20 rowers paddling to the beat of their drummer located at the front of the boat, participants race for 250 meters. The festival is a family-friendly, alcohol-free event with food trucks, a petting zoo, a trackless train, a gyro gym, jumpies for children, pony rides, and all of the wonderful exhibits of the Battleship USS ALABAMA. There is truly something for everyone! So, what are you waiting for? Get a team together and sign up today!



Real Time Changes

It’s no secret by now that Instagram is updating the way they display their photo feed. Instead of seeing posts in reverse chronological order, you’ll see photos in the order that Instagram’s new algorithm thinks you’ll most appreciate.

If you missed it, we shared some of our favorite Instagram tips and tricks a few weeks back. It explains how to set up and receive notifications for users you follow whenever they post a new photo or video.



Feel free to set up notifications to see what we’re buzzing about throughout the month! And check out our how-to guide for social media strategizing that will make your clients (and boss) sing your praises.


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Topics: social media, Marketing, website design, instagram, eventPR

7 Instagram Tips & Tricks You Should Know

Posted by Kelsey Davis on Feb 11, 2016 10:41:45 AM

We all love shortcuts for our social media apps that make our lives easier. So, we’ve put together a few of our favorite tips and tricks for Instagram.

If you’re really ready to gear up your social media plan, take a look at our social media marketing guide that lays out how to boost the number of leads your efforts are producing. It’s good stuff, and you can download it for free.

1. Preview other users’ pictures from their profile overview.
You may find yourself scrolling through other users’ timelines searching for a particular post. If they post a lot, you may have to scroll for a while – but we have a solution. Go to the user’s profile where you see all of their posts.


Scroll down through their pictures and hold your finger on an image; the image will enlarge without opening a new screen.


Let go and the image goes right back and you automatically return to the full profile.

You can also slide your finger up slightly and release to see the options to “Like,” “Comment” or “Send as Message.”



2. Reorganize the image filters and hide the ones you don't use.

We all know the black and white filters (Willow, Inkwell, Moon) make every picture an instant classic, and X-Pro II can make Snow White appear tan. Maybe you have a few Instagram photo filters that you always go to and some you always skip over. Well, to make life easier, you can hide those filters you never use and move the ones used most often to the front of the pack. Here’s how:

Start by selecting a photo to edit as if you were going to post it. Once you get to the filters page, slide all the way to the right until you see the “Manage” tab.


To move a filter, select the three lines to the left of the filter and drag it up or down. Just release when you have it where you want it.


To hide a filter, simply tap the check mark to the right of the filter.

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3. Hide ads you don't want to see.

Instagram (somewhat) recently started showing ads to users based on their preferences – people you follow, posts you like, and even some of your information on Facebook (Instagram’s parent company).

Occasionally, you may see an ad that you find irrelevant. You now have the option to let Instagram know you don’t want to see that ad.

At the top right of the ad, tap the “Sponsored” tab. Select “Hide This.” 


On the next screen, you can give Instagram some feedback on why you don’t want to see it.



4. Receive notifications when your favorite people post.

Sometimes you may scroll for days without seeing a post from any of your close friends or favorite brands. That’s why we love this feature – you can select to receive notifications any time your favorite people post a new photo. Here’s how to turn on post notifications:

Go to that specific user’s profile and select a recent post. Tap on the three dots at the bottom right of the post, and select “Turn On Post Notifications.”


If you later decide you don’t want to receive notifications from that user, just repeat the same steps listed above.


5. Review all the photos you've liked.

Can’t find that recipe post from one of the culinary blogs you follow? Well, if you liked the photo they posted of that dish, just scroll over to your profile, select the “Options” icon and view the “Posts You’ve Liked.”



6. Send photos privately to your friends.

When we find a good book or a relevant news story, the easiest way to share it with our team is through a direct message. There’s two ways to do that, depending on whether it’s an existing photo or a new one.

  • If the photo already exists on Instagram – whether you posted it or someone else - go to the photo, and tap the curved arrow icon below the photo. Select the users you’d like to send the picture to and include a little message if you’d like. 


  • If it’s a new photo, upload it as if you were going to post it. Go through the steps you normally would and when you get to the last step where you tag and write a comment, select “Direct” at the top of the screen. You can then choose the users you want to receive the message and hit “Send to Group.”


To access your direct messages in the future, just toggle to the mailbox icon in the top right corner of your main feed.


7. Remove photos that are tagged on your map.

So, when we first discovered this feature, we were a bit creeped out. Go to your profile and select the location pin above all of your posts.


A map will open with groups of photos tagged according to your location when you posted each one. You can zoom in and see each specific location of each individual picture. 


(See why we were creeped out now?)

To remove the location data from one or several photos, tap the “Edit” tab in the top right of the screen. The numbers by each group of pictures will turn green. 


You can then tap on any grouping and select “Edit” from the menu that appears. From there, you can choose to “Deselect all” or select individual images to remove the location data.


Select “Done” and then “Confirm” in the pop-up window that appears. And, boom. The location data will be removed from those photos permanently.

(Note – this also removes the geotag you may have included when you initially posted the picture.)

Also, as of this week, Instagram users can switch between multiple accounts without the hassle of logging out and logging back in to another account. For people managing small business accounts or client accounts in addition to their personal profiles, this will save a good bit of time. Visit Instagram’s website for instructions on how to set up additional accounts.


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Topics: social media, social media tips, instagram

5 Tips for Social Media Marketing

Posted by Kelsey Davis on Jan 6, 2016 1:19:25 PM

Social media is a huge part of marketing for almost every industry under the sun these days. With people of all demographics using social media to get their news, shop and share interests with friends, the highly competitive platforms can have a huge impact on your audience without you ever leaving your desk. social media marketing


But, before you embark on your social media marketing adventure, what rules do you need to keep in mind? Here are a few social media tips to help:


1.) Research, research, research

Knowing your topic is crucial. Make sure you fact check every detail in your social media content and always use credible, reliable resources that deliver current information. Keyword phrases are useful when composing messages based around the topics your audiences are interested in and searching for. 


2.) Know your audience

Being aware of who you are talking to is just as important as knowing your topic - maybe even more important. Use insights and analytics reports to build “personas” for your typical listeners based on their demographics and interests. This will help you to accurately define your voice and craft the most effective messages.


3.) Timing is everything

Using analytics reports to see when your users are online and when they’re most responsive can help you be more effective in your social media outreach. Many platforms allow you to schedule posts in advance, or use a third-party app (like HootSuite or Buffer) to schedule content for multiple platforms.


4.) Different strokes for different folks 

Once you’ve established the demographics of your audience, you can determine which social media outlets will be the most effective to get your message to them. For instance, Twitter is the more popular outlet for men, whereas women make up the majority of users on Facebook. 


5.) Interact with your fans

No one likes to talk and not be heard, and that includes your social media followers. Prepare a few standard responses to commonly asked questions, and designate a social media manager from your team that will receive alerts and promptly take action to best serve your social media goals.


Want more of the best ways to develop leads from your social media marketing?

Check out this downloadable Social Media Prospecting and Lead Generation E-book.





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Topics: Social Media Marketing


Posted by Kelsey Davis on Dec 22, 2015 4:15:49 PM

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” - Winston S. Churchill

Each day, fulfilling our clients’ needs brings us a sense of pride and accomplishment. We love what we do. And it keeps food on the table. But, in addition to our 9-5, we each try to make giving to others a priority. Not because it’s “the right thing to do,” but because it’s what makes the world go round. As 2016 approaches, we’re reflecting on 2015 with hopes that we can share more joy in the New Year.


(For Christmas this year, we made a donation to the Ronald McDonald House of Mobile in honor of our clients.)



Big Brothers Big Sisters 

We helped develop a theme for their first-ever annual “Big” campaign and walk to encourage people to join in the Big Brothers Big Sisters initiative. The theme: Start Something Big - Give One. Get One. Be One. We also helped design the T-shirt for their walk.





CampGrace_portfolio.jpgCamp Grace’s Yellow Day 

For the second year, we helped promote and develop materials for Camp Grace’s annual Yellow Day event, celebrating the many camps and charitable organizations that host camps at Camp Grace each year. 










Baldwin County Task Force 

JJ was appointed to a community group of engaged Baldwin County citizens charged to study the public education system and make solid recommendations to advance education in our community. The recommendations they made are now being acted upon in the school system and great progress is being made!







Children's of Alabama 

In addition to being a longtime client, JJPR sponsors several local events benefiting young patients who have to travel to Children’s of Alabama in Birmingham for medical treatment of serious illnesses. We help with their social media and PR needs to spread the word within our community. Jessica and Kelsey volunteer on the Tee Off Fore a Cure committee helping plan and implement the event. This year the 10th annual Tee Off raised $78,000!




Kelsey also volunteered on the planning committee for the first-ever Reel Hope Classic fishing tournamentwhich exceeded expectations for support and attendance!








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Leigh, Kelsey and Jessica are members of the Red Shoe Society, which is the young leaders' arm of the Ronald McDonald House Charities. The Red Shoe Society is committed to creating awareness and raising funds for the House through a variety of social and volunteer activities. In 2015, all three served on the Red Shoe Brew committee, with Leigh serving as chair and Jessica designing the logo. The team is already committed to helping with the House's largest fundraiser in 2016 - Little Black Dress.




We also chose the Ronald McDonald House of Mobile to make a contribution on our clients' behalf for Christmas this year. The JJPR team donated new bedding for a guest room and toys for Santa's Workshop, a place where parents staying at the house can come and pick up Christmas gifts for their children to open on Christmas Day. (Cue the tears.)




Community Foundation of South Alabama 

JJ serves on the board of the Community Foundation of South Alabama, which assembles and directs philanthropic assets to make southwest Alabama a better place. The entire JJPR team was instrumental in helping with their annual meeting in 2015 and 2014, including developing materials for and promoting the event.


Impact 100

Each year, JJPR assists Impact 100, an organization of women committed to making a significant, lasting difference in the lives of Baldwin County citizens, in promoting its activities including the annual membership drive and the impactful grants awarded each year to local non-profits, providing them the financial resources to accomplish extraordinary things. JJ is also giving back through her membership dues, which are used in their entirety for those awesome grants.


We’re always looking for more ways to give back. We’d love to hear your stories of giving back this past year. Let’s share the joy that is the spirit of this season and take it into 2016!


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Topics: PR agency, Marketing, Holiday


Posted by Kelsey Davis on Sep 28, 2015 2:30:00 PM


JJPR, based in Daphne, Ala., took home a total of four awards from the Southern Public Relations Federation (SPRF) Lantern Awards held Tuesday, Sept. 23, at The Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa in Point Clear, Ala. SPRF’s Lantern Awards recognize outstanding work in the field of public relations from professionals in Alabama, northwest Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi.

JJPR received the program’s top award, the Lantern Award, for design and development of the Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance’s quarterly newsletter, Baldwin Insider Quarterly, as well as for the event planning and promotion for Yellow Day, The Movie.

“We are honored to be able to collaborate with amazing clients everyday,” said JJPR President Jennifer Jenkins, APR. “Great clients equal great work.”

JJPR’s full list of 2015 SPRF awards include:JJPR_Team_LanternAwards.jpg

• Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance – BIQ Newsletter
• Yellow Day, The Movie – Movie Premiere

• JJ Eyes – Logo Development

• Children’s of Alabama – Tee Off Fore A Cure Event

The Southern Public Relations Federation is a network of public relations professionals from Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi in member organizations including the Public Relations Council of Alabama (PRCA), the Emerald Coast Public Relations Organization (ECPRO), the Public Relations Association of Louisiana (PRAL), and the Public Relations Association of Mississippi (PRAM). JJPR has been a member of the Public Relations Council of Alabama (PRCA) since the agency’s inception, and the agency’s president, Jennifer Jenkins, APR, is a past president of PRCA and president-elect of SPRF.


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Topics: Alabama public relations, PR agency, Marketing