Halftime Report 2023 The Most Exciting Minutes In PR?

For going on 30 years we have been fortunate to sit at the most interesting of tables and be involved in the most extraordinary of public relations-oriented projects. Winning. Making a difference. Defying the odds. The ride through the first half of 2023 reminds us that the near future will be our most diverse and dynamic period of time in our company’s history.

Take a look.

We put our money where our mouth is. It’s one thing to accept money from clients to represent them in a variety of different forums but it’s quite another when you believe in a cause or concept so much that you have the confidence to put up your own money to back it, and the marketing machine to help make it a success.

Such is the case with a Tiananmen, a musical we optioned 3 years ago we are now helping to bring to life for its World Premiere and a 5-week run at The Phoenix Theatre Company, beginning October 4th. The background story is breathtaking. Leading up to the Chinese Communist government’s crackdown in Beijing on June 4, 1989, student leaders attempted the self-liberation of millions across China. A generation later, one of the student leaders’ sister fights for the right just to say their names to commemorate their sacrifice. Conceived by Tiananmen Square protest leader, Wu’er Kaixi, Tiananmen is an original musical and a vital reminder what’s at stake in America’s new “Cold War,” of the fragility of human rights, and the importance of bravery and self-determination in the face of totalitarianism around the world. We hope to see you at the theater. Tickets are now on sale at

We undertake a lot of strategy and communications in support of important real estate projects and the entitlements necessary to make them happen. Such was the case in February as the Phoenix City Council approved a partial redevelopment of the Woodbury Corporation-owned Scottsdale Towne Square at Scottsdale Road and Thunderbird. A potential knotty case was avoided thanks to a team that deployed excellent design and a creative approach for community input into its plans on the front end. That thinking paved the way to smoother sailing rather than having to confront a neighborhood conflagration and crisis.

“Dodgeball” was an amusing movie fictionally broadcast on ESPN’s “The Ocho.” But in our PR world “The Ocho” refers to a press event when we get all 8 local television cameras there, including Spanish-language. After including Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and renowned Maryvale High School teacher Kareem Neal (a former Arizona Teacher of the Year) to help accentuate client Greenlight Communities’ innovative approach to attainable housing an “Ocho” was achieved on its behalf  last year thanks to company stalwarts Jennifer Parks-Sturgeon and Mike Scerbo. Could we do it again just a few months ago for the same client? We have good news and bad news. We missed an “ocho” but got a “siete,” showing once again the value of creativity and tenacity when it comes to media relations.

We tend to defer to other consultants when it comes to work in other states. Find us there we often say. They know the terrain better. Well, when the DC Ranch of Idaho called with a particularly challenging public affairs matter there really was no one better than our firm to tackle the assignment. So far, so good.

When a communications one hits we most often get the call. Different, this particular space in public relations, always is. And, like Idaho, when we got a call to help a big-name college football personality outside of Arizona who found himself in hot water due to controversial activity on social media we again dove in to help due to our ability to move fast with a customized, different approach to best serve the client. And so it was as we added two very helpful, diverse voices to our strategy team, helping to create one of the finest responses we ever have, over many years, in a crisis communications situation.

It’s one thing to come up with ideas. It’s entirely different and often more difficult to execute them. But on May 6th an idea hatched nearly a decade ago again enlivened the Valley as our sister event to The Bentley
Scottsdale Polo Championships, The Woodford Reserve Derby Dayclub, was again the biggest and coolest Kentucky Derby Party in Arizona with nearly 2,000 attending.

For many years Arizona Bike Week has been the third largest motorcycle rally in the country, taking place each year at WestWorld of Scottsdale. But after changes to the organization and a desire to amplify its approach we were pleased this past Spring to be hired by the signature event and help the notable Valley happening achieve key aims.

We have been representing the Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT) in far west Arizona and its successful efforts to obtain the authority to lease its enormous water rights for many years. Enabling federal legislation was signed by President Biden in January, and it has given CRIT the respect and new resources it deserves as Arizona pursues drought relief. Recently CRIT Chairwoman Amelia Flores was appointed to Governor Hobbs’ Water Policy Council. She also held a seat at a United Nations water conference in March.

When challenged by the noble school that is Gateway Academy, dedicated to educating autistic children, to create both an art auction and a comedy night to raise funds our answer was not that we don’t have enough time but instead to find a way. And we did thanks to quick and excellent  collaboration with Desert Ridge Marketplace and CB Live, as well as the Larsen Gallery in Scottsdale. Speed matters in football. And it matters with your PR (and events) firm too.

Is someone we know buying a minor league baseball team?

We love our annual company day at Scottsdale Stadium to watch the San Francisco Giants and whoever they be playing as we did again this March. As major leaguers use the time to get ready for the regular season so do wise companies periodically engage in media training with their executives to best prepare for situations good and bad that may arise with requests reporters may call you about. Vestar Development Co. gets it. And requested a comprehensive afternoon session with us that was as instructive as it was entertaining.

To long-time company client, philanthropist and all-around outstanding businessman Michael Pollack on 50 years in business that he will be celebrating later this year with pomp and circumstance in the East Valley where so much of his good work is showcased, having revitalized some of the most difficult strip and shopping centers into points of neighborhood pride.

Eastmark may be the best and most successful master-planned community in Arizona history. And it was co-developed by firm client Brookfield Residential. As Eastmark nears build-out Brookfield is readying the next big thing: Blossom Rock, just two miles east of Eastmark and the next frontier of remarkable home building and places.

Carrie Martz is a Hall of Fame Arizona businesswoman and a pioneer in the Valley advertising scene. Her love of musicals and marketing has led her to become a Co-Producer for ¡Americano! as it continues its path to Broadway. We couldn’t be more grateful for her contributions, especially as she has helped land an A -list television and recent movie personality to join the production team. Thank you, Carrie!

That will be the 12th Annual Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships, an event we created, own, produce and work hand in glove with so many to bring to life every Fall at WestWorld. The major new element we are adding this year is going to blow people away. Think a radical proof of concept to do the Bird’s Nest, our way. Stay tuned for more details. It will not disappoint, nor will our campus of cornucopia and luxury that makes for Arizona’s most beautiful outdoor event. Shoutout to our own Leslie Owen and Maddie McKenna for their year-round work and passion to make the event the unique happening it is.

The Valley’s luxury housing market continues to stay hot and one of the companies leading the way is always Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty. As we have for nearly a decade, we are proud to provide public relations services to the best in the business, especially as it relates to notable sales and the extraordinary achievements of agents. And when it comes to the luxury housing market, has anyone done it better or in more notable places than Cullum Homes? A company and brand that remains on fire, as we remain grateful to call them a client.

When the beloved and benevolent Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center was recently threatened by the Diamond Fire, company Communications Director Jennifer Parks-Sturgeon swung into immediate action conveying the danger to its many animals and alerting the public how to help. And it was the members of the Scottsdale Firefighter’s Association, another client, that was there to protect the community from danger. That’s why we are again very proud to help the organization hold its annual fundraiser in Scottsdale, raising funds for critical needs throughout the community during a night of great recognition and revelry with Scottsdale leaders.

To two-decade plus client Barrett-Jackson on another exceptional Scottsdale auction where many world records were set and the company demonstrated again its own version of amazing that should be taught at every innovation summit and Ivy League business school.

Paradise Valley is a remarkable community. But its old Smoketree Resort property is not. Over the past year a new owner and responsible approach may be on the verge of finally yielding a solution, with a renowned local restauranteur included and an incredible brand to be announced as the hotel’s partner in coming months. Judging from the excellent public reaction to date PV residents may soon see an end to one of the longest challenges in the tony town, an objective we are proud to assist with strategic and communications counseling.

HonorHealth, M Culinary, Nationwide, Cottonfields Golf Course, Canyon Trails Towne Center, Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show, Peoria Mayor Jason Beck, Quantum Energy . . . and more.

We are excited about our expanding team and the addition of our new Public Relations Coordinator, Gianna Arcolino, a University of Arizona graduate.

It’s a word that can mean one of these…


Or your sense after reading nearly 1,600 words following our dynamic and diverse first half of the year.

Range. It’s what we do. How we do it. And where you can always find us. Most importantly to help you.

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