No job is too big, too small or too tough for the professionals at Knapp Communications, Inc., a full-service Public Relations/Marketing company located in The Woodlands, Texas.
For the past 22 years, the company (KCI) has been serving a broad base of clients in five states, ranging from truck centers, a communications giant, non-profit housing and healthcare agencies, to a statewide package delivery service, a food service firm and many others. In plain language, Knapp Communications has done it all.
Our scope of work over decades really has run the gamut; it has been rewarding and satisfying. KCI still welcomes the big, the small and the difficult jobs. The company not only provides Public Relations and Marketing services second to none, it offers public affairs and community outreach to non-profit agencies.
For nearly 15 years, KCI represented AT&T in a broad swath of Texas west of I-35, including an area from Amarillo to El Paso. The company performed media tours related to the introduction of local service and to encourage news media support of AT&T's bid to enter the local service market. KCI also conducted editorial board visits in the western half of Texas to influence public opinion; and coordinated and produced special events for AT&T, such as a "new jobs" announcement for Lubbock and El Paso facilities.
The firm coordinated media relations for AT&T's donation of computer equipment to the KARENET project, a rural healthcare network of Texas Tech University Health Science Center (TTUHSC) and the Kellogg Foundation. Working with AT&T Media Relations personnel in Dallas, KCI represented AT&T as liaison to TTUHSC officials in planning and coordinating the entire project.
The Griffin Companies:
In 1983, owner B.R. "Rip" Griffin called on Knapp Communications to help with general public relations. The company was on the brink of a growth surge from Texas north to Wyoming and westward to California with the dream of several huge truck-travel centers in the U.S. KCI went to work in publicizing The Rip Griffin Truck Travel Centers in major markets, such as Dallas and Phoenix. KCI produced media and marketing materials, histories, personnel biographies, news releases, financial news and photography, creating a corporate identity for the growing new breed of truck/travel centers.
Media coverage was extensive and new centers emerged in Arizona and locations in Texas within the next two years. KCI promoted the grand opening of three new $7 million, 40,000 square foot complexes with noteworthy events that caught the media's eye.
In the Texas Panhandle town of Tulia, KCI organized a parade--what else in a community adding its new largest employer? It turned out great--a band, 18-wheelers, the mayor, the citizenry and even a fire truck.
The Griffin Companies also called on KCI to promote another opening near Phoenix, Arizona. No parade this time, but a county commissioner did drive an 18-wheeler through a long red ribbon to officially "cut" it for the crowd as part of the festivities.
In Terrell, TX , CNN showed up for a feature on Griffin, the man who blazed new highways for truck center design and promotion.. The feature was repeated on various news cycles many times.
Now on to trucks of a different sort…
When some of the owners of Tex-Pack, an independent package delivery service encountered financial problems, the company called on KCI to tell its customer base what had happened and to mount an aggressive media relations campaign. KCI came through again.
In business for more than a half-century to 1,200 points in Texas and New Mexico, the company reorganized under new ownership/management and was determined to stay in business.
Knapp Communications picked up the ball, telling the story about the firm's colorful past, including decades of service delivering movies to theaters in countless small towns throughout the state. In those days, drivers carried keys to the theaters, dropping the film off in the middle of the night in most cases to insure uninterrupted service. KCI mounted a media barrage in major metropolitan areas including Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Lubbock and Amarillo, to help keep the trucks rolling.
Watson Foods Inc. – A TPRA "Silver Spur Award" Winner
The Silver Spur/Best of Texas awards are presented annually by the Texas Public Relations Association (TPRA) in recognition of the finest work produced each year by Public Relations professionals throughout the state. The TPRA, which conducts the competition, is the statewide public relations organization. The Silver Spur is the highest award given by TPRA to honor outstanding professional public relations achievements in creating Public Relations campaigns or programs. Knapp Communications, Inc., has won two of these awards.
One was given for a clever marketing campaign designed for Watson Foodservice, Inc., of Lubbock. It featured a cuddly life-size mascot with costuming designed especially by KCI and manufactured by nationally-known costume designers in Hollywood, CA: The outfit was used in various programs throughout the city, including school and civic functions and became a symbol of the company.
The mascot was just part of the months-long marketing push. Entitled "WFI & You in '92," the program featured the mascot— named Wiffy—along with a scratch-off card game named "Scratch Your Spot & Win A Lot" promotion, Super Saver discounts and other features. The project doubled sales within six months.
COMMUNITY OUTREACH – LOCAL HOUSING FINANCE AGENCIES & JURISDICTIONS
KCI's contribution to the housing industry has been huge. On behalf of housing agencies in Texas, Louisiana and Colorado, the firm has successfully marketed more than one-half billion dollars in Mortgage Revenue Bond and Mortgage Credit Certificate programs that assist first-time homebuyers in achieving the dream of homeownership. These non-profit governmental entities have jurisdictional authority to issue mortgage revenue bonds for the purpose of providing financing of clean and safe affordable housing for low-to-moderate income families.
Along the way, KCI designed and conducted public information programs to educate targeted populations about opportunities in homeownership. Clients included the Texas-based public housing finance agencies of Harris County, the City of Houston, Galveston, Lubbock, 22 counties in the Texas Panhandle and the South Plains of Texas among others. KCI has also developed programs for Imperial Calcasieu (five parishes surrounding Lake Charles), LA, and Telluride, CO.
The company also has worked with investment banking firms in Texas and Colorado in tax-free bond allocations. Mrs. Jeanne M. Knapp, the Founder and President, has been a speaker at national and state conferences of the Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies and Texas Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies and has won a number of awards for publications used in promotion of first-time homebuyer programs.
Houston Housing Finance Corporation
The Houston Housing Finance Corporation was one of the first housing finance agencies to hire the team of Steven Harris, investment banker, and Knapp Communications to save a failing affordable housing program that had only issued three Mortgage Credit Certificates. Harris and KCI went to work to redevelop the materials for the program, including training of some 20 lender organizations and redesign of media and promotional materials. In a short six months, the team reached full commitment of the $25 million program that had laid nearly dormant for 2 1/2 years. Hundreds of first–time homebuyers received the benefit of this program and the HFC went on to use several more programs of that type.
Harris County Housing Finance
On the heels of a successful Houston program, the Harris County (the third largest county in the nation surrounding Houston) Housing Finance Corporation hired Harris and Knapp Communications to design and develop its $25 million Mortgage Credit Certificate Program. As a result of training and promotion, the entire sum was committed within four months, representing hundreds of new homeowners in the region.
Calcasieu Parish Public Trust Authority
The Calcasieu Parish Public Authority has been providing financing programs for first-time homebuyers for more than 25 years. The Trust Authority comprises five southwest Louisiana Parishes – Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron and Jefferson Davis. As one of the leading housing finance agencies in the state, The Trust Authority has issued more than $100 million in affordable housing mortgage revenue bonds and provided more than 1,000 families with financing for their first homes. KCI has represented The Trust as its marketing and outreach agent for all of its programs for more than 10 years.
NON-PROFIT AGENCY COMMUNITY OUTREACH
Heart of Montgomery County
There have been other daunting assignments as well as new challenges, namely taking a leap of faith with Heart of Montgomery County (TX) to help bring accessible and affordable healthcare to the community.
In 2003 a group of citizens met because of a shared interest in making healthcare in Montgomery County affordable, accessible and accountable. Founded by Steven H. Farber, M.D., the citizens made the decision to go forward with an organization that could achieve the goal. Dr. Farber then asked Knapp Communications to assist in building a community group to address local healthcare issues with the belief that the healthcare problems faced in the county could not be solved solely at the federal and state government levels. Heart suggested that local organizations and citizens must take some responsibility.
KCI accepted the challenge and launched the grassroots efforts to build an organization from scratch. KCI now serves as the contract manager for the non-profit organization with oversight of communications, media relations, project development, corporate identity as well as day-to-day operations.
In less than two years, Heart boasts a county-wide collaborative, with more than 50 organizational members, including all major hospitals, the United Way, the community college, chambers of commerce and many others. (See www.healthcaremontgomery.org) Heart now serves as a model for other communities to take hold of their healthcare challenges and work together to change future trends. Heart is serving as the catalyst for change.
In its short history, KCI worked closely with Heart to request and receive its 501(c)(3) status from the Internal Revenue Service on its first try; obtain grant commitments totaling $175,000 and gain the support of local and state government and regional chambers of commerce to continue to strive for ways to facilitate equal and quality healthcare for everyone in the county. Heart has been recognized in publications from the Texas Comptroller's office and the Institute for Health Policy Research in Austin.
The Lubbock Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse – A TPRA "Silver Spur Award" Winner
KCI designed and developed a "Free Ride Home" program for the Lubbock Council on Alcoholism that was widely hailed because the pilot project later became wildly successful in other parts of the country and still is growing each year.. It provided a free ride home on New Year's Eve to people who opted not to drive after drinking. Because of good advance promotion and distribution of materials prepared by KCI, the program was highly successful and elicited many calls and is being modeled elsewhere in the nation.. (See Awards)
…And Many Others….
KCI's list of clients includes many other groups and corporations; a number of successful political campaigns; expertise in print/video production, media relations and crisis communications –both strong suits—political consulting/public affairs, research and event planning. (See Services)
Communications, Inc. , 2005-2007, All Rights Reserved