Having trouble reading this newsletter? Click here to see it in your browser.
The Writers’ Desk
News & Notes from the Casey Communications Team
 September 2010

Take Our Survey!
Social media policies protect businesses and help manage online message content by outlining guidelines, expectations and consequences for online users.

Tell us about your company’s social media use and policy.

Charlie Gitto’s Feasts on Casey’s Story-Telling Skills

“Who speaks, sows; who listens, reaps”
      -- Argentine proverb

Cultivating the best story for a business combines
a passion for listening with passion for communicating. Such was the case as Charlie Gitto, Jr. shared his goals for opening his new Chesterfield restaurant with Casey Communications just weeks before its grand opening.

Gitto had two goals: build widespread awareness of his newest eatery’s grand opening and successfully recruit a great staff for the newest Charlie Gitto’s. He planted a seed when he made a passing reference to an unusually high number of job applicants – more than 1,200 for 150 positions.

Entrepreneurs who know their business need a communications partner with the talent to recognize the news embedded there. With the struggling economy and high unemployment rates, Casey realized it had a pitch with gusto, like the fine food served at Charlie Gitto’s. Why not appeal to the jobs reporter at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch with a “slice of life” story about the crush of job applicants? It could create a highly visible “help wanted” ad in the paper and spotlight the high standards Gitto sought in customer-focused employees while publicizing the restaurant’s opening – three birds with one stone.

Casey put the plan in motion, winning front page news coverage in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that was quickly picked up by other local media, plus a CBS national radio news story – sustaining the “slice of life” news for more than three weeks.

Effective media relations starts with listening to understand the client’s goals, the story potential and the context in which it will best resonate. It also requires listening to reporters and being aware of trends to help place stories in the context of current events. When there’s alignment, it is the fullest expression of the Casey mission:

“We help our clients discover and tell their stories so strategically that their businesses grow, they attract great people and they enhance their reputation.”

Industry Lingo:
Verb: Vet /´vet/ ― to evaluate for possible approval or acceptance.

Origin: Prior to a major race, animals would go to the veterinarian to be checked out. In the 1800s, people started to refer to the process as “vetting.”

Use: Vetting for the most qualified job candidate requires use of fact-finding and in-depth interviews.

Biography Celebrates a Father’s Life

John M. Qualy, managing partner of Northwestern Mutual-The Qualy Group in St. Louis, had long wanted to capture his father’s story in a lasting way. Originally from a small town in Wisconsin, Robert B. “RB” Qualy had raised four children, enjoyed a long and successful career at Northwestern Mutual, and played American Seniors golf and International Seniors golf in 27 countries upon his retirement.

Capturing a person’s life story takes keen interviewing skills, listening with the heart, diligence in cross-checking facts within historical context, sharp organizational skills to track thousands of facts and compelling writing. John Qualy turned to the history team at Casey Communications to capture and tell his father’s story through words and photos in a book containing:

  • Memories of RB’s parents that express enduring values and character-shaping stories
  • Reflections on RB’s life – from growing up to today
  • Circumstances and events that most deeply affected RB
  • Important milestones and his insights upon reflection
  • The source of RB’s deep resolve and inner discipline as well as his energy and spirit
  • Photos with descriptive details to illustrate his life story

After a day-and-a-half of face-to-face interviews, videotaped at RB’s home in Florida, and extensive additional research, Casey produced a 15,000-plus-word, 70-page illustrated leather-bound book chronicling RB Qualy’s life and family legacy. John presented the book at RB’s 84th birthday celebration with family and friends to his highly appreciative father.

What is the value of capturing and celebrating a loved one’s life story? From personal experience, John Qualy explains:

My father’s story will touch the lives of future family members, some of whom I’ll never get to meet. I know more about who I am by learning where I came from. The quotes from my father reveal the thinking behind his decisions. Greater self-awareness for me comes from that. It affects my view of the future and what perhaps I want to do differently. Although times change, the basic elements of life don’t. If we don’t pay attention, it’s probably to our detriment.

Click here to watch a short clip of John Qualy discussing the journey of capturing his father’s story.

Other Cool Things We’re Doing

"Like" CCI on Facebook for:

  • Client Happenings
  • E-Technology Insights & Tips
  • Fun Musings

UMSL Honors
Marie Casey

The University of Missouri – St. Louis (UMSL) bestowed its 2009 Distinguished Service Award for campus-wide service on Casey Communications President Marie A. Casey in recognition of her long-time service to the university.

Casey earned her bachelor’s degree in political science and speech communications (summa cum laude) from UMSL in 1978. She is a Distinguished Alumna of the university (1989), received its Women’s Trailblazer Award in 2005 and for three years led UMSL’s College of Fine Arts and Communication Leadership Council.

Sign Up to Receive
Our E-Newsletters

Casey Communications

8301 Maryland Ave., Suite 350 • St. Louis, Mo 63105 • P: (314) 721-2828 • F: (314) 721-2717 • Email: info@caseycomm.com