Society / Profiles

How a Dallas PR Powerhouse is Helping Small Businesses During the Pandemic

"This is a Time For Community, Not Competition"

BY // 04.29.20

Hopefully you’ve been keeping up with your friends and family and how they’re sheltering-in-place via this series of Q&As. First off, we had edgy-chic Zoe Bonnette, a fixture on the art circuit who was charged with co-chairing the Dallas Contemporary’s Spring Gala celebrating Vivienne Westwood, which has unfortunately been postponed (like oh-so-many of our cherished fundraisers).

Next up was recent Dallas transplant Cornelia Guest, who spends her time at home working online with the nonprofit Artemis Farm Rescue and, via her social media platforms, spotlighting animals in need of foster care or rescue.

Today, we have PR Guru Suzanne Droese, founder of Droese Public Relations and co-founder of Estate Five Media, a talent management agency founded in 2017. In addition to being a communication powerhouse, she’s the wife of architect David Droese and mother of twin boys, Will and Henry, students at TCU and Purdue, respectively. She’s known around town as a community leader via her support and serving as volunteer chair of numerous fundraisers, including the crown jewel, the Dallas Museum of Art‘s Art Ball (2007).

When I reached out to her about what she’s been up to while sheltering-in-place, she quickly responded that she’s received her master’s degree in Zoom. But quips aside, she has used her talents to assist small businesses in need.

Utilizing the Helen Keller quote: “Alone, we can do so little; together we can do so much,” they shared via Instagram that they have offered their media relations and brand-messaging expertise to any small business, founder, or start-up free during these challenging times — the coronavirus pandemic.

“I needed to do something that might add value with the skill set that I have,” Droese says. “This was just one small way. As I shared with my colleagues – it’s not a time for competition. It’s about community.”

 

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In times of need such as this, it is crucial that every member of our society play their part. n this light, Droese PR has joined forces with some of our amazing PR colleagues and friends from @coopersmithagency, @PlugPR and @smprco, to offer our media relations and brand messaging expertise to any small business, founder, or start-up free during these unusual times. As strategists, this just one small way that we can support our beloved Dallas/Fort Worth communities – as best and most effectively as we can. This is a time for community, not competition; and we want to be not just a source of information, but also a helpful resource for professionals working in the space. If you’d like to get in touch, please send any of us a DM with your email information. We all have different specialities and areas of focus, so we’re confident that we will be able to help. Stay safe, well and grateful for those helpers who are risking their lives on the frontlines.

A post shared by Droese Public Relations (@droesepr) on

During her very few off-hours, here is what she’s up to as she shelters-in-place.

PaperCity: Your coronavirus playlist.
Suzanne Droese: I love Southern Tide’s Quarantunes playlist on Spotify. It’s a good mix of old and new, which I love.

What you’re binge watching.
I’d love to tell you something inspiring and inspirational, but we’re currently watching Tiger King on Netflix, which was recommended by a friend. What a tangled train wreck of a tale. You just can’t take your eyes off it! I’m sure I’ll be most embarrassed by this answer later, but I’m loving every minute of it now.

If your life were currently a reality series, it would be called …
The Conference Call Diaries: Skype Edition.

Anything productive you’re doing — closet edits, handwritten correspondence, starting a new business initiative/strategy, gardening …
I’ve definitely been doing some editing and organizing, but I’ve also been incredibly busy with my job, as so many brands are looking for help and support right now. When things kind of “exploded” in Dallas (for lack of a better term), I reached out to some of my PR friends and asked if they would be interested in joining forces to help small businesses, brands and founders who might be in need of advice or support in the changing times.  Many have zero idea where to start in a crisis such as this. They don’t know the tone. What’s okay to say, and what’s not. Cooper Koch, Jenifer Strauss and Vodi Cook all immediately rose to the challenge. We all agreed on language and posted on our respective Instagram accounts – letting brands and businesses know that we were here for any help with messaging, how to communicate with customers. It was all super informal – but I knew at the time that I wanted to do something to help in this crisis.

Beyond that, my friend Moll Anderson told me about Obe Fitness and their online classes, which are both quick and fun. And, I just started reading Lady in Waiting by Princess Margaret’s longtime Lady in Waiting, Lady Glenconner (Anne Glenconner). I’m super-excited to dig into it!

We also have a family group text, “La Famiglia,” which we started on vacation in Italy several summers ago. It is the single most important thing that’s keeping me sane right now.

Suzanne Droese PR
Suzanne Droese in her office, with 1950s taxidermy leopard.

Go-to recipes.
I have virtually no talents/gifts when it come to culinary skills. But, I’ve been getting by — and the secret may be out to my husband that I actually can cook. And, of course, we keep Perini Ranch’s Mesquite Smoked Peppered Tenderloins in the freezer, which is great on its own. I also like to use it in salads. As a Texas girl, I need to have beef!

Where are you ordering for takeout? Favorite item from that place?
José. The meal plans they have are amazing. And, we love the variety.

Fantasy moment: What is your dream takeout? No restaurant from around the globe or chef is off-limits.
The truffle ravioli from Bilacus Ristorante on Lake Como (Bellagio). Yum!

If you were stranded some other place in the world, where would be your first choice (home-away-from-home)?
San Miguel de Allende. It’s my happy place.

Cocktail for the homebound.
On the Rocks bottled cocktails. Already pre-mixed and ready to pour.

Games that are keeping you busy.
I’m still waiting for Lael Brodsky to teach Piper Wyatt and me how to play mah-jongg. But, for now, it’s virtual happy hours on Skype or Zoom. Those can be way more fun than you could ever imagine. And, it’s setting the stage for my second reality TV show, Day Drinkers.

Part of the Special Series:

PaperCity - Socializing in Place
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