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The Buzz Factory is now The Buzz Factoree, LLC

July 1, 2009

The Buzz Factory has changed its name — slightly — to The Buzz Factoree, LLC, and has incorporated as a limited liability corporation.

“We are still providing the same services — only the name has changed,” says Gail Kent, president. “The change was necessary to allow us to consistently brand our name online and throughout all of our marketing materials.”

The Buzz Factoree, LLC, is a boutique firm located in Newport News, VA., offering a full range of PR and marketing services to businesses and nonprofits.

The Buzz Factory Gains National, International Media Exposure for Client Who Rescued Space Monkeys

June 1, 2009

The Buzz Factory has scored national and international publicity on National Public Radio and

Joseph Guion

NASA-TV for client Joseph Guion, featuring his involvement in rescuing the first living space monkeys 50 years ago.

Guion, a resident of Williamsburg, Virginia, and Baltimore, Maryland, is a retired Navy commander and a World War II veteran, first as an enlisted man and later as a commissioned officer. He commanded three ships during his Navy career, the USS Kiowa, USS Suffolk County and the USS Zellers. While captain of the Kiowa, he retrieved NASA space monkeys on May 28, 1959. They were the first monkeys to be recovered alive, an important milestone in the space race.

Nell Greenfieldboyce interviewed Mr. Guion for the NPR story, which aired on “Morning Edition” on May 28. There are links to theaudio version of the story, as well as a print story, photos and an old black-and-white news reel showing the event in 1959 at the NPR Web site.

One of the NASA monkeys.

The NASA-TV story was aired internationally on its show, NASA-TV’s “This Week At NASA” on May 22. Both audio and video podcasts are available online.

In addition to this coverage, The Buzz Factory secured a section front feature about Mr. Guion in the Newport News, Virginia, daily newspaper, The Daily Press, which was picked up by the wire services and ran in many other newspapers. The PR firm is continuing to work with Mr. Guion to obtain additional earned media placements.

“This has been a fun story to work with,” says Bruce Ebert, PR consultant. “Webelieved in this story, and it’s exciting to see it come together.”

Mr. Guion hired The Buzz Factory in December 2009 for his public relations shortly after publishing “Stolen Votes,” a mystery-thriller partially set in Hampton Roads, Va. The book is about a plot to steal the 1986 senatorial election and force the government to be turned over to a cabal that relies on kidnapping and murder. Characters in the story include a former Navy SEAL, a Christian broadcast empire that will remind readers of a certain Hampton Roads-based TV network, and Washington lobbyists. The book is available at Mr. Guion’s Web site.

Mr. Guion is now writing a non-fiction book about his experiences involving the rescue of the space monkeys.

The Buzz Factory Wins Four Communications Awards

April 9, 2025

Gail Kent, managing director of The Buzz Factory, a boutique PR firm in Newport News, Va., has won four first-place awards in the 2009 Virginia Press Women Communications Contest.

Two of the awards were for client work and the other two were for internal projects. The awards were as follows:

  • First place, external annual reports, for the Sentara Health Foundation Annual Report, “A Decade Strong: Fueling Innovation.”
  • First place, single, color display ad for a newspaper, trade paper, magazine, newsletter or Web site, for Katec, Inc., of Virginia Beach.
  • First place, marketing program for a new or existing service, for a marketing campaign for The Buzz Factory.
  • First place, direct mail marketing, for a custom holiday card for The Buzz Factory.

Sherril Schmitz of Déjà vu Design, Inc. was art director for three of the winning projects.

All first-place awards have been entered into the National Federation of Press Women Communications Competition. Those awards will be announced in June.

Check Out My Blog!

February 20, 2009

Check us out at www.beelines.biz and leave a comment! You can subscribe to the blog in a reader or have it delivered to your email box.

And if you aren’t blogging yet, why not? It’s a great way to promote your business and enhance your search engine optimizations. You can also link your blog to your LinkedIn profile for more exposure and tweet your blog updates on Twitter.

By the way, be sure to follow me on twitter @thebuzzfactory. You can also find me on Facebook as Gail Kent. Just do a search and send me a friend request!

Free Service Connects Local Journalists With Hampton Roads Business and Nonprofits

Jan. 30, 2009

Sponsored by The Buzz Factory, a boutique PR and marketing firm in Newport News, the service, called “Hampton Roads Media Connectionz,” launches Friday, Aug. 1. Journalists, businesses and other organizations interested in participating should visit www.HRMediaConnectionz.com to sign up at any time.

While there are national organizations that provide similar services – most carrying expensive price tags for sources who subscribe – this is the first such service dedicated to serving only the needs of Hampton Roads. Because the service is free, Hampton Roads Media Connectionz is expected to provide more “grassroots” sources for journalists, as opposed to the well-financed businesses who can pay for national services.

Participants must complete an online form that subscribes them to the service. Afterwards, reporters and editors return to the site and submit queries for sources to help them with stories they are working on. The service is available to print, broadcast, online and freelance journalists.

Once a day, queries will be forwarded via email to all who have signed up as sources. When a subscriber can offer expertise to address a journalist’s area of interest, the subscriber emails the journalist indicating their availability. After reviewing responses, journalists then contact the sources that provide the best “fit” for their stories.

“We’ve been on both sides of the fence as former journalists now working as public relations practitioners,” says Gail Kent, owner and managing director of The Buzz Factory. “As PR practitioners, we’ve been connecting businesses and non-profits with the media for more than 25 years, and we know how difficult it can be to get coverage for newsworthy stories.  “And as former news reporters, we know how frustrating it can be to find the right source to interview for a story – especially on deadline. This service is a win-win for everyone, and the price is right.”

Buzz Factory Wins Eight 2008 Communications Awards

March 31, 2008

Gail Kent, managing director of The Buzz Factory, a boutique PR firm in Newport News, Va., has won eight awards in the Virginia Press Women 2008 Communications Contest.

Seven of the eight awards were earned for a successful public relations and marketing campaign Kent developed in conjunction with Newport News Public Schools, called “Every Student Counts,” that encouraged parents to register eligible children for school early last summer before the first week of classes to reduce confusion and costs.

School Division statistics showed that parents began registering students earlier in larger numbers compared to the previous summer, resulting in approximately 450 fewer walk-in registrations the first week of school for the 2007-08 year over the previous year. Special, first-time summer registration centers signed up 92 students.

Perhaps most telling, the school system only had to hire one additional teacher for the current school year rather than 11 the previous year, an indication that many more eligible students were registered in time for Human Resources and Student Services to accurately plan for the year.

The awards Kent won for the campaign were:

·         First place for a public service campaign:

·         First place for a poster;

·         First place for billboard advertising;

·         First place for banner advertising;

·         Second place for a single print ad with spot-color;

·         Second place for PR printed materials/single news release;

·         Honorable mention for PR printed materials/brochure.

Kent also won second place for PR printed materials in direct marketing for an original holiday card her company developed for The Buzz Factory. Sherril Schmitz was creative director/designer for all winning entries that included graphic design work.

All first-place awards have been entered into the National Federation of Press Women Communications Competition, and those awards will be announced in June.


‘The Noblemen’ Charity Selects The Buzz Factory

April 24, 2007

The Noblemen, a non-profit men’s organization in Virginia Beach, Va., has chosen The Buzz Factory as its public relations firm.

The Buzz Factory has developed a public relations plan and has begun working to promote the organization nationally.

Formed in 1995, The Noblemen organization raises money for children’s causes by staging high-profile parties. The organization was the brainchild of Al Midgett, who started the club after the premature birth of his son Matthew – given only a 2% chance of survival — resulted in an outpouring of community support to help pay for the overwhelming medical costs incurred by the family due to Matthew’s care.

Midgett was so inspired by the fundraising efforts from parties thrown by friends and neighbors that he gathered his friends together and proposed that they use the same technique to raise money for worthy children’s causes. Since then, the organization has grown to some-200 members who include some of the most successful businessmen in the Hampton Roads area.

The group has raised and distributed nearly $1 million to a variety of individuals and organizations serving children from signature parties and events such as The Red Hot Valentine’s Ball, Oktoberfest, Beach Blast and a very successful and nontraditional golf tournament.

The Noblemen members take pride in being the “cool” alternative to other service clubs, and believe that “doing good” can be great fun for everyone involved. The group has received considerable publicity for its efforts in local media, including The Virginian-Pilot daily newspaper in south Hampton Roads.

As founder and acting executive director of The Noblemen, Midgett envisions developing the organization into a national or even international organization, with potentially hundreds of chapters in local communities to raise money for children’s causes.

The Buzz Factory is an award-winning, boutique PR and marketing firm serving Hampton Roads, Virginia, including Newport News, Hampton, York County, Williamsburg, James City County, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Smithfield and Isle of Wight County. The Buzz Factory offers a full-range of marketing and public relations consulting for small to mid-sized businesses and non-profit organizations, including communications planning and strategy, market research, copywriting, publicity, media training, branding, print and web design, advertising, SEO, email and internet marketing, publications, special events, employee and donor relations, fundraising support and development of collateral and sales materials. Gail Kent, MFA, ABC, managing director of The Buzz Factory, has 30 years of experience as a journalist, public relations practitioner and marketer, and has earned more than 300 state and national awards for communications excellence. Contact The Buzz Factory at 757-930-0032 or gail@theprbuzz.com.

The Buzz Factory Wins Communications Awards

April 23, 2007

Gail Kent, ABC, owner of The Buzz Factory, a Newport News, Va.-based public relations firm, won two awards in the 2007 Virginia Press Women Communications Contest.

Kent won first place in the PR printed materials catalogue/educational institutions category for a four-color catalogue and calendar developed for the Executive MBA Program at The Mason School of Business at the College of William & Mary. (See winning entry here.)

She also won first place in the creative verse/single entry category for a poem, “Accident of Nature,” published in Ricochet.

The awards were presented Friday, April 20, at Virginia Press Women’s spring luncheon at the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, Va.

Kent has won more than 250 state, regional and national awards for communications excellence.

Luter School of Business Contracts for Recruitment Materials

Dec. 15, 2006

The Luter School of Business at Christopher Newport University has hired The Buzz Factory to develop student recruitment material for the flourishing school.

The Luter School of Business earned its international accreditation in January 2005 from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International, the premier accrediting body for business programs worldwide. Fewer than one-third of U.S. business schools and only 15 percent of business schools worldwide attain AACSB International accreditation.

Established in 1979 and accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB) in January 2005, the school offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with five majors: accounting, economics, finance, management and marketing.

Buzz Factory Shares PR Expertise With Hampton U. Students

Dec. 8, 2006

Gail Kent of The Buzz Factory recently completed teaching a semester-long course in public relations writing at Hampton University.

The lab class included junior and senior public relations majors in the Scripps-Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

The primary objective of the course was to instruct students in the writing of public relations news and feature releases using AP Style.

“This was one of the most rewarding – and difficult – challenges I have ever undertaken,” Kent says. “I have a newfound respect for teachers at all levels who do this year in and year out.”

The students’ goals include practicing public relations in sports, entertainment, agencies, nonprofit and government.

“I am confident that the next generation of public relations practitioners will bring a high level of energy and creativity to the field,” Kent says.

Kent was selected to teach the course because of her deep experience as a writer and public relations practitioner.

New Clients Get the Buzz

Aug. 23, 2006

The Virginia Electronic Commerce Technology Center, the Commonwealth’s e-commerce center located at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Va., has contracted with The Buzz Factory to produce a monthly on-line newsletter.

The Unflappable Fan Company in Charlotte, NC, has hired us to develop a business and marketing plan.

Waste Management Consultants, Inc., in Jacksonville, Fla., has hired us to write/edit a trade magazine article, Web site copy and other materials.

Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk, Va., has hired us to write a series of health articles for its “Way To Grow” newsletter.

Sentara Healthcare in Hampton Roads, Va., has hired us to write promotional copy for its Smithfield Imaging Center.

Norfolk Collegiate School Hires Us to Fill Temporary PR Seat

Aug. 23, 2006

They need feature stories for their annual report and copy written for their quarterly newsletter. Gail Kent of The Buzz Factory has temporarily joined the school as a partner and team member to help with the transition.

“Gail brings a wealth of experience from her years at three Virginia universities,” says Director of Development Kay Stine. “She understands philanthropy public relations, and that is very important in helping us interpret our story and reach our goals.”

“This is just the kind of niche that we fit,” says Kent. “There are few resources for hiring temporary PR practitioners in the Hampton Roads area, and we are delighted to provide this service.”

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