Make A Wish. Make It Happen. Our 2017 Half-Time Report.

RMANews

Last month firm partner Jennifer Moser concluded her tenure as Chairwoman of Make-A-Wish Arizona.  It was a record-breaking time for the organization’s fundraising efforts that, more importantly, led to an increased level of fulfillment for one of the country’s most inspiring charities. In other words, more dreams were able to come true.  Moser made it happen over the past year, just as Rose+Moser+Allyn Public & Online Relations endeavors to do every day for our blue-chip roster of clients, with public relations, public affairs, crisis communications, political consulting and innovative events that move the needle.  Such efforts fall far short of the nobility of Make-A-Wish, but that doesn’t mean our advocacy lacks aplomb.  Take a look at just a few examples from the first half of a great 2017.

*MEET “PHIL”: Phoenix is the world’s largest trading post.  It lacks the corporate headquarters of many large cities.  That’s why we’re  gratified when the Fortune 500 Companies that do call the area home give us a call.  Like Republic Services.  Desiring to extend the life of its landfill in Apache Junction, it’s the kind of issue that can be fraught with challenges, especially when opposed by well-heeled, well-connected outsiders wanting to start their own nearby operation.  Yet, through some of the most innovative and effective public affairs efforts our company has ever deployed, in conjunction with a highly creative and collaborative client and project team, the goal was accomplished.  Earlier this year the Apache Junction City Council unanimously approved the project and subsequent efforts disbanded a referendum attempt.  So who’s this “Phil” we mentioned?  A mascot we created – short for landfill – that became the talk of the town at events throughout the community and the primary face of messaging in numerous mailers and newspaper ads.  Landfills are necessary but not often embraced.  Mascots are just the opposite.  It was a perfect marriage of policy and promotion.

*COLD CALL:  Not every client is of the Fortune 500 variety. And no day is ever the same. We get a lot of cold calls.  Book tours.  Medical devices.  Etc.  Some things make sense.  But many other times we will decline or refer on a request.  A few months ago we received a cold call from an enterprising young man.  Air Force veteran.  Husband.  Father.  Lover of the Lord.  He wanted help spreading the Word. We were not convinced. Then we were. Because we learned not only of his more Unitarian-like evangelism, but where his initial services were being held.  In a downtown Scottsdale nightclub.  Church Alive it was called and church alive it is.  What a pleasure it has been to provide public relations services to someone who is going about his work a little differently.
Arizona Republic: Getting religion at Scottsdale nightclub: Church Alive meets inside Livewire

*CHARITIES ALIVE.  Non-profits are very much evangelists for their causes too.  And they need help from time to time.  That’s where we

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Celebrity Fight Night

can come in.  To shine a light on their great work.  Or help important events and fundraisers get more lift. We were again honored to assist the Valley’s most prolific charity event, Celebrity Fight Night, as well as others such as the The Bruce Arians Family Foundation at Steak 44 (a firm client) and the upcoming Larry Fitzgerald’s Celebrities At Your Service Fitz’s Supper Club, Driving Out Domestic Violence and Foundation for Blind Children events which engaged Jennifer Moser. All of these events get a boost from the superior publicity talents of Jennifer Parks-Sturgeon. Last but never least is the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center. A last refuge for the desert’s most vulnerable animals the center’s success and notoriety is necessitating a new and bigger home, a process we are proudly advising and working with key government officials on to ensure an extraordinary outcome for all involved. Stay tuned soon for more details.

 

*BACK TO THE BIG BOYS & GIRLS:  Another Fortune 500 Company we are proud to call a client is Nationwide Insurance.  For the past two years we have successfully provided strategic counsel to their public affairs efforts in the Valley.

*BACK TO THE LITTLE GUYS:  Firm President Jason Rose learned to play golf as a kid at Coronado Golf Course in southern Scottsdale. Affordable, easy, fun it’s the kind of throwback course that’s becoming anachronistic.  A decade ago a wrong-headed Scottsdale City Manager thought it should be transformed from the people’s course into a playground for the San Francisco Giants.  We helped Coronado defeat the plan.  Fast forward to earlier this year when voices with too much time and illogic on their hands sought to harm Coronado’s future.  We were again engaged.  Through a combination of repositioning, common sense and government relations a successful outcome was achieved.

And that was the case too for the award-winning Jones-Gordon School, which will soon be moving into the old Tesseract site in Paradise Valley thanks to the generosity of Mercedes-Benz of Scottsdale owners Chuck and Anita Theisen.  They recently purchased the site for the school’s relocation from Scottsdale. Acclaimed private educators of those with learning challenges such as dyslexia and ADD, many neighbors organized to oppose Jones-Gordon. However, through government and media relations as well compromise and collaboration, the project team succeeded in gaining unanimous approval from the Paradise Valley Planning Commission in early July, a result that didn’t seem likely just weeks prior.

*HOUSEHOLD NAMES, LITERALLY: We’ve been fortunate to represent some 500 clients and causes through more than 20 years of success.  But that doesn’t mean you don’t long for certain ones to one day call, having admired them from afar. Fortunately, that happened quite a bit during the first half of this year.  In late June we concluded, thanks in part to the always hard working Mike Scerbo, a highly animated and ultimately successful public affairs campaign for John F. Long Properties and Pulte Homes. Their project known as StoneHaven was able to gain a 5-2 Glendale City Council approval for a highly contentious plan in southern Glendale. The new, 400-acre master-planned community will be Glendale’s first in many years and the second largest investment in the area’s history, behind only the Arizona Cardinals’ Stadium. Jerry Colangelo’s development group hired us too.  For a project in Scottsdale.  But that will likely be a story for our next report.  Household names these are indeed, and creating cool new places for people to call home at the same time.
Glendale Star: Council approves changes to StoneHaven project

*FULL SPEED AHEAD:  For the better part of two years we have been working with Pinal Partnership to support a new roads and freeway plan throughout Pinal County. It culminated on June 21st when the Pinal County Board of Supervisors unanimously referred to the November ballot the impressive plan and modest increase in the sales tax to make it a reality. At a time when the State of Arizona says it has a backlog of “800 years” to fund transportation needs this is one of the more impressive Arizona examples of a jurisdiction listening and ultimately serving as a lighthouse for critical infrastructure that will significantly help quality of life, economic development and public safety.
Casa Grande Dispatch: Pinal road excise tax on ballot in November

*EMPERORS WITHOUT CLOTHES:  Sometimes creativity carries the day.  Other times, experience. We know a thing or two about the public affairs business. So when the state’s largest law firm, a former Arizona Attorney General and a colorful political consultant rolled into Maricopa, Arizona recently to oppose a cool new automobile country club proposal called the Apex Motorsports Club, our card got called. It was not terribly difficult to pull back the curtain on the cabal, so much so that all have become laughingstocks in the area, threatening their reputations but not threatening Apex, which was unanimously approved by the Maricopa City Council.
inMaricopa: APEX one step closer despite anonymous opposition group

*QUICK HITS:  Congratulations, again, to firm clients Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty and Cullum Homes for #1 recognitions. Cullum for again being recognized by the Phoenix Business Journal as the top custom home builder in the Valley due to success at Mountain Shadows, Silverleaf, Paradise Reserve and Cholla Heights.  And to Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty for again being the top real estate brokerage in the luxury home market by a mile. With Paradise Valley’s Mountain Shadows property roaring to life after a decade plus of dormancy, the revitalization speaks to an effective development plan realized by Crown Realty & Development.  More, big contributions by Crown to the Arizona economy may not be too far away.  The same can always be said of great Arizona brand and long-time firm client Barrett-Jackson which, in addition to their celebrity-studded January Scottsdale auction just concluded its second year of blowing off the doors at its Northeastern United States auction.  Turf Paradise is an Arizona institution so it’s always a pleasure to help it try to beat back the challenges of national horse-racing trends, sensational reporting or other dynamics. One of our favorite days in recent months was organizing Victor Espinoza’s time in Arizona.  The last Triple Crown winning jockey in 30 years, Espinoza’s visit helped show lawmakers, media and the public how and why Turf Paradise is such an important part of the state’s heritage.  We practice what we preach in this regard.  Last year we launched a Kentucky Derby party like no other at Turf Paradise.  In May the Stella Artois Derby DayClub returned for a second year, quintupling ticket sales from the inaugural one.

*UTILITY PLAYERS:  On a baseball team they can often be the most important, playing multiple positions and stepping up when the game is on the line.  And that’s the role we have played for solar companies since 2013 as utility monopolies have sought to stop the trend of technology and history with highly questionable tactics and highly specious arguments.  Arizona Public Service has remained in the news for some of these reasons, but at least reached a compromise with solar. Unfortunately, Tucson Electric Power seems to have taken over where APS left off.  And so the fight continues, as it must, because TEP-like efforts to squash solar embarrass the state and intrude on the progress energy emancipation can mean for all.

*AS BIG AS RALPH LAUREN, ALMOST:  When we created something called The Polo Party back in 2011 we thought it could be a big idea.  After all, the 16th Hole of the Waste Management Open but with polo not golf sure sounded cool.  Boy, did we have no idea what we were getting into! What started out as a fun, entrepreneurial idea has morphed into serious business for us as producers and owners. Now the

most attended polo event in the United States, The Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships, is one we think is the world’s most interesting too. Think Mardi Gras, spring training, and the Kentucky Derby rolled into one.  Supported by some of the state and country’s best brands 2017 promises to be a stellar year with an expansion to two days and first-time teams from Seattle, Santa Barbara, St. Moritz and Monte Carlo joining the defending champions from Aspen Valley, the Arizona Polo Club, Polo Azteca and the Wales Polo Team, a fan favorite, which is returning after a one year absence. Throw in new Shakespeare, opera, a friend chicken and champagne restaurant and Scottsdale Maserati Sunday Brunch to join previous elements and there’s little doubt for reasons to return or check it all out for the first time.  All details regarding tickets, tables and sponsors can be found at ThePoloParty.com.

*GOOD-BYES, HELLOS & HOW INTERESTINGS:  Jason Rose’s father in law, Jeff Rich, has a habit of saying “hello” to most every pretty woman that passes by. He’s over 70 so that’s OK.  We don’t do that but are happy to say hello, and welcome, to Mandy McGee, who joins our staff after being a General Manager at La Grande Orange Hospitality for several years.  We’re counting on her to help manage key parts of our enterprise.  We’d also like to give shout outs to summer interns Zoe, Allison, Alysha, Alexis and Heisy for the energy and enthusiasm they are bringing to the office.  We are also saying good-bye to Sara Jane Jones Widdes who has been an invaluable part of our success and office culture for five years.  She’s taken an event planning job closer to her home in Gilbert.  We couldn’t wish a person more happiness than “SJ.”  We have grown with her and she with us.  If our company had a Hall of Fame she would be in it for her commitment, difference-making and professionalism. Thank you! You will be missed! We’d also like to congratulate firm alumnae Kinsey Schofield for chasing her dreams in television and landing a gig as a host of Good Morning Sacramento.  Lastly, you should know that Jennifer Moser became the new champion of the Pine Canyon Trash Can Beer Pong Games this year.  Mike Scerbo got to visit the land of his ancestors in Italy this summer.  Jennifer Parks-Sturgeon remains a one and only PR maven, soon celebrating her sixth year with us. How fortunate we’ve been as the recipients of her passion and expertise. And Jason Rose continues his quest to impersonate Anthony Bourdain. Despite all of that our eyes remain firmly fixed on the most important business prize:  getting the job done for you.  Make a wish.  We’ll make it happen.