United States

2018

The Buzz

Entrant Company

Complete PR

Category

SOCIAL MEDIA

Client's Name

Complete PR

Sub-Category

Blog

Complete Public Relations – Judges Note Complete Public Relations is submitted its blog, The Buzz, for the award. A direct link can be found here: http://completepr.net/read/ We strive to make The Buzz a different kind of public relations blog as we focus on the community and stories about it. We try not to inundate our readers (we have more than 900 people who subscribe to our bi-weekly e-newsletter) with stories about ourselves or public relations advice. The reason is we are selling our ability to tell a story as a firm – not a service. Below are three particular blog posts we are proud of: The Weekenders: (completepr.net/the-weekenders) September 8, 2017 I love a good weekend getaway as much as the next person, but lately I’ve noticed that I’ve developed a strange habit. Whenever I find myself in a city even remotely the same size and stature as Greenville, I subconsciously start comparing the two. Not in a competitive way, more in a pulse-checking way. We get a LOT of national accolades (understatement of the year), so when I have the opportunity, it’s nice to check in and see how we’re really doing from a street-level view. This past Labor Day weekend, I was in Wilmington, N.C. for a bachelorette party. According to Wikipedia, Wilmington’s population is 117,525, while Greenville’s is 67,453. So while Wilmington is the larger of the two, the downtowns are actually very similar in layout and aesthetics. I would assume that’s one of the reasons it’s so popular. Here are the five other things that I noticed in Wilmington, in no particular order: 1. Number of vacancies on Main Street. Not that I sit there and count them individually, but my eye is automatically drawn to empty storefronts with “for rent” signs in them. Wilmington had virtually zero on their canal street lining the river, which makes sense since that’s their tourist district, but had one every few storefronts just one street back. Greenville probably has just as many. We’ve written before about how vacancies are not necessarily a death knell for downtowns, and a comparison tells me that this is true in more cities than one. 2. Number of people out for the night of the week. I expect a city to be relatively quiet on a Monday except for a few happy hours and business dinners. I expect restaurant reservations and bar seats to be full on a Saturday. Realistic expectations, and Wilmington far exceeded them. If you couldn’t tell that Wilmington is nearly double the size of Greenville during the day, you definitely could at night. Lines out the door at every bar, a late night pizza joint that basically required you to elbow someone to the face to get in (there may or may not be a personal story related to this). Maybe there were as many people out as there are in Greenville on a summer Saturday, but it felt like more, if only because it was so unexpected. 3. The relative cleanliness of the city. Yes, I mean this in a literal dirt way, but I also mean this in a scrubbed aesthetic kind of way. Cleanliness is probably not the right word, but it’s 3:30 on a Friday and I’m worded out. Wilmington was, to be honest, way grittier than I thought it would be. Tons of cool, unpretentious bars to hang out in, lots of mismatched storefronts, nothing that looked particularly new. It was authentic. Not that Greenville isn’t authentic, but it is definitely clean in every sense of the word. Not a judgment. Just an observation. 4. The number of cool trendy things that Greenville does or doesn’t have. Wilmington is currently building a Pour Taproom, which we have had for several years, so that was cool to see (win for Greenville). They have a Kilwins, we have a Kilwins (so that’s a wash). They still have a Pita Pit (RIP, win for Wilmington). They also have cool businesses headquartered there, including Port City Java and the beer app Untappd (very trendy wins for Wilmington). I’m sure if they visited Greenville, they would be jealous of some of our companies too, but it’s always fun to see what’s taken hold in another city. 5. The number of tourists. This one is my favorite, because it’s still funny to me that people come to Greenville and spend money on things like carriage rides. But we did the Wilmington version of that. We were actually one of two bachelorette parties on a sunset riverboat cruise, and I just had to wonder if the natives were watching us from the dock like, “Y’all know this ain’t a Viking Riverboat Cruise?” Because I always wonder why people take carriage rides down Main Street in Greenville like it’s Central Park. But we had a great time, and took the cheesy pictures, and 10/10 would do again. Which I’m sure is what people say about our carriage rides. So tourism, I guess, is all in your perspective. All in all, Wilmington was a very pleasant surprise to me. Way more to do, see, and experience than I thought going into the weekend. Which gave me a new appreciation for the people who visit Greenville for the weekend. They are welcome back anytime, as long as they don’t throw bo’s at Sully’s. Cheap Eats the Locals Love (completepr.net/cheap-eats-that-the-local-love) – July 18, 2017 Finding a top-notch meal in Greenville isn’t difficult – pretty much, if you can make it to Main Street and you’ve got plastic to burn, you’ll never go hungry. But as Greenville’s restaurant scene evolves, newcomers can easily miss some of the great Greenville eateries that having been packing in the locals for decades. Best of all, none of these will break the bank! Want to know where real Greenvillians chow down? Here are five of our favorites, each with a rich history, generations of die-hard regulars, and price points that will leave a jingle in your pocket. Mike & Jeff’s 2401 Old Buncombe Road 864.271.5225 To tell the truth, we’re not sure how long this barbecue establishment has been around, but judging from the building, it might be the oldest anything in Greenville County. OK, that’s not entirely true; plus, the owners are proud of their little BBQ shack on Old Buncombe Road. It’s a dive experience in the classic Southern barbecue sense, and there’s no shortage of locals sitting at the simple wood tables at lunchtime. But we don’t think it’s the atmosphere that brings ’em in – it’s the pulled pork, plain and simple. http://mikeandjeffsbbq.com/ Taco Casa 1002 N. Pleasantburg Road 864.232.1021 Here’s one with an interesting history: It was originally part of a short-lived Tex-Mex fast-food chain back in the late 20th century; when the chain died, the local franchisee changed the name – but pretty much nothing else – and that’s Taco Casa as it sits today. We wouldn’t for a moment pretend that this is authentic Mexican, but it is authentic Greenville, and the Casa is a popular family eatery, especially on Friday nights and after youth sporting events, when it’s not unusual to see at least one team scarfing down Taco Casa tacos. The Clock No. 3 1844 Wade Hampton Blvd. 864.244.5122 Greenville almost lost The Clock No. 3 a few years ago when the owners announced they were closing. Their loyal customers would have nothing to do with it, however, and this favorite remains open today, one of the few remaining Greenville drive-ins straight out of the 1950s. If you want to sound like a local on the first trip, just order a chili cheeseburger half and half and a tea (notice we didn’t say “sweet” tea; that’s pretty much a given). And if you’re wondering, there are several Clock restaurants around town with similar fare – they’re all family owned, and share a rich history with other local restaurants with names like Pete’s, Petee’s, Como Pete’s, and Carolina Fine Foods. http://clockdrivein.com/ Tommy’s Country Ham House 214 Rutherford St. 864.242.6099 You have to give owner Tommy Stevenson props for his dedication to the daily grind: Every morning for decades, the restaurateur has left his home in Western North Carolina to drive down the mountain in time to open this popular restaurant for the coffee-and-breakfast crowd. We’re not sure if Tommy ever takes a vacation; we always see him there. Not only is Tommy’s popular with locals from construction workers to federal judges, it’s a must-hit stop for candidates on the campaign trail during every national election. But it’s all those Southern classics on the steam table that keep the regulars coming back. Since Tommy is a commuter, you have to catch him at breakfast or lunch; the Ham House is closed for dinner. http://tommyscountryhamhouse.com/ Tanner’s Big Orange 322 S. Pleasantburg Road (864) 235-2247 The second of our picks that used to be a true drive-in, Tanner’s Big Orange has been delighting Greenvillians since 1943, which might also be the last time the faded orange awning got a fresh coat of paint. But Tanner’s loyal customers probably don’t notice, and if they do, they’ll tell you it just adds to the charm. Tanner’s is known mostly for its hot dogs and other drive-in fare, but the thing a native will tell you about is the refreshing fruit drinks, including the namesake Big Orange. And if you’re going to a party hosted by a Greenvillian, there’s a good chance Tanner’s party punch will be served. http://www.tannersbigorange.com/index.html Welcome to the Upstate (completepr.net/welcome-to-the-upstate-here-are-your-orders/) June , 3 2017 The Upstate has seen tremendous population growth in the past decade. About 70,000 new people have moved to Greenville, Anderson and Spartanburg counties in the past seven years alone. These are people who have come for work and to enjoy the lifestyle here. They have added to our culture, but what have we shown them? They are getting heaping helpings of great Clemson football teams, a foodie boom, highway construction and amazingly unique downtowns. But are they really learning what the Upstate is? Are they enjoying the things that many of us know, but take for granted? And we are not talking about things that are no longer here. We are talking about the things that make our little slice of the world so very genuine. With that in mind, we at Complete Public Relations (with the always-wonderful aid of social media) have come up with a Top 10 list of things that anyone in our region has to do at least once to say they really live here. These are the things only an insider would know about and attempt over time. This is not a weekend fun list. This is the Upstate. • Snap a photo of the Peachoid (but not while you’re driving on the interstate): Located just off I-85 in Gaffney County, nothing says welcome to the Upstate like a giant peach on the horizon. Yes, it does look like a giant butt. Thousands drive past it every day, and it even made it into an episode of “House of Cards,” so you really can’t say you live here until you have a picture of it. • Go to Victoria Valley Vineyard: True story, our boss, John, took his now-wife, Tammy, on their first date here. But that is not the reason this spot makes the list; rather, it’s included because this vineyard in northern Greenville County has become a destination for many romantic dates. Located just off Highway 11, Victoria Valley Vineyards is beautiful and scenic, and the wine is locally made and fantastic. • Take in a race at Greenville Pickens Speedway: This SHOULD be higher on the list, but apparently a lot of people have not been to this racetrack off Highway 123 just past the Saluda River. But they SHOULD go there. There is nothing like watching actual stock cars race, and this place has it, and so much more. It oozes authentic history. While so many places try to be authentic, this place is it. You get 10 points cooler on the authenticity scale just by walking through the gate. Oh yeah, and while you can buy a fried-bologna sandwich at the concession stand, you can also BYO beer and food, which somehow makes it cooler. • Climb Table Rock: Are their better places to hike in the Upstate? Yes. But for some reason, this is the place everyone hikes at least once. Why? We think it is the view of “the rock,” which can be seen from miles away. A person is drawn to it, and wants to conquer it. • Walk around Furman’s Lake: This was another one that surprised us, but shouldn’t have. A picnic and walk around the lake is high on the list of romantic (and inexpensive) first dates. Everyone does it at least once. While there, check out the Thoreau Cabin. Please do, or Mary Willson of GVLToday will come and beat us up. • Shop at the Anderson Jockey Lot: We want to make a joke about underwear or people who ride horses, but the reality is that a person can likely find both in droves at the Jockey Lot, a giant flea market located in Anderson County on Highway 29. For generations, many Upstaters considered Sunday to be a day for going to church and prayer. The others went to the Jockey Lot early to get a jump on the best sales and things to purchase. Today, well, now everyone needs to go to the Jockey Lot at least once. • Trek around Croft State Park: This is an Upstate jewel located just south of downtown Spartanburg. Whether you want to run, bike, hike, swim or fish, Croft State Park has it. A former World War II camp with more than 7,000, acres to explore, Croft is simply beautiful. And the best part is the location: If you get bored or it starts raining, you are about a 10-minute drive to downtown Spartanburg where you can find plenty to do. • Boat on Lake Keowee: We chose Keowee, but we easily could have chosen Hartwell or Robinson or Bowen. You might live here, but you haven’t really lived until you have found yourself sipping a cold one on the back of a boat on an Upstate lake. What, you don’t drink alcohol? We said cold one, and that could mean a Coke. Or a Pepsi. Or a Cheerwine. (You haven’t had a Cheerwine? Then go drink one and start over on this list. You can’t say you live here until you have had a Cheerwine.) • Eat at The Beacon Drive-In: There is nothing like the Beacon anywhere else in America. Located on the cusp of Spartanburg’s downtown (go here after Croft!), it would be easy to say that stepping into the Beacon is like stepping back in time. But it is more like stepping into a different reality that is void of healthy food, gravity and good manners. Only one of those is true and it isn’t gravity or manners. But it’s not the food that keeps people and presidential candidates coming back time after time. It is the place. We lack the words to describe why it is great. It just is great. And don’t forget the password: Chili Cheese A-Plenty. • Experience a heartbreaking day at Clemson: This is sort of a trick one. The Tigers have been damn near dominant at home the past few years. So, a lot of bandwagon Clemson fans (not BANDWAGON fans because they rock) have gotten used to tailgating, watching a big win and then heading to TigerTown tavern after the game. But you can’t really say you have lived in the Upstate until you have experienced the unearthly, tomblike silence of Death Valley after the Tigers have found some bizarre way to lose a game. Whether that is a botched handoff that led to a touchdown for the other team with no time left; a failed field goal returned for a touchdown in overtime; a 99-yard touchdown run by the opposition in double overtime; a 105-yard interception return for a touchdown in triple overtime; a lightning bolt hitting the game-winning touchdown pass and exploding the football before it reached Rod Gardner; a freak tsunami coming up from Lake Hartwell and causing the Tigers to fumble on the one-yard line; Strom Thurmond running onto the field and causing a delay of game that moved Clemson out of field goal range; a rip in the time-space continuum that caused the…OK…you get the idea… Anyway, welcome to the Upstate. You have your homework. Get to it. And we can honestly say we hope No. 1 never happens to you. Except the Gamecocks on our staff, they want No. 1 to happen more often.

Credits

John Boyanoski
Kaitlyn Hudson
Emily Dyer
Cassie Davis
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