Managing Client Expectations

It’s October. This time last year, many of us in Red Sox Nation were living the dream. The Yankees were sent packing for the off-season and the Boston Red Sox were en route to winning the World Series.

This year, the Red Sox, who many sports pundits thought could be the first to repeat as world champions since the Yankees won three straight from 1998 – 2000, limped out of September in third place in their division without so much as a passing glance at a wild card berth.

Despite a rough spring training, Red Sox leadership was happy to fan the flame that burned in the hearts of the Red Sox faithful, but by the end of May, the expectations of repeat greatness were slipping away.

Which brings us to managing expectations—and clients.

In public relations, it’s one thing to believe in the cause and exude confidence, but it’s quite another to lead a client down the garden path of their grand expectations that stand a slim chance of being met. You don’t have to be a naysayer, but you don’t have to be a cheerleader either for bad ideas. (See: Red Sox see no need for a closer.)

If a client thinks a minor piece of news warrants a “media event,” but in fact, it won’t even raise an eyebrow, a knowledgeable PR professional is going to speak up and do it constructively. Savvy clients will listen as alternatives are offered up that lay out the desired outcomes. Instead of a news conference, which likely will lead to an embarrassing concert of crickets, perhaps that minor nugget of information could be pitched to a beat reporter as part of a larger story that includes other stakeholders. The story is covered, the client is featured, everyone wins.

Maybe the client wants to launch a new product in time for a high-volume buying season, but all the crucial pieces are not quite ready. The PR pro in the room will explain the long-term consequences of launching a great product but without the support of an up-to-speed sales team or a consistent supply chain.

The expectations game can be difficult to play. It’s hard to walk the line between denying clients what they want yet delivering what they expect. There needs to be an understanding that if all the elements needed for success are not in place, it’s nearly impossible to bring the client a win.

Or put another way, you may have the highest payroll in Major League Baseball, but if you don’t have good pitching, you’re not going to win.

Felicia Knight is President of The Knight Canney Group and is the Maine representative for PRConsultants Group. She is a veteran PR professional with a background in journalism and government policy. She also has unconditional love for the Boston Red Sox.

Poland Spring “Good Neighbor Grant” Supports University of Southern Maine Environmental Science Watershed Research and Internships

Poland Spring, Poland Spring Water, Poland Spring Water Maine

POLAND, ME | NOVEMBER 13, 2018 – Continuing its long-time support of STEM education and research at the University of Southern Maine (USM), Nestlé Waters North America, through its Poland Spring® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water, has awarded a $25,000 “Good Neighbor Grant” to the USM Foundation. The grant will fund an upland watershed monitoring project conducted by the University’s Environmental Science and Policy (ESP) program.

“At Nestlé Waters, we are committed to the sustainability of our natural resources and the environment, both in our own operations and the communities where we live and work,” said Heather Printup, Community Relations Manager for Poland Spring. “Our ‘Good Neighbor Grants’ are awarded to projects with a focus on education, environmental conservation and other endeavors that help improve the future of Maine. We can’t think of a more appropriate recipient than USM’s Environmental Science and Policy program.”

The gift will specifically support internships and assistantships for ESP students working on the research project, located within the Tannery Brook Watershed/USM “Smart Forest” on the USM Gorham campus. The project entails building a network of environmental sensors that will be located throughout the watershed/forest. The sensors will provide researchers with better insight regarding the impacts of climate change and land use on small forests and mini-watersheds. Data collected at the site can be remotely accessed by the public, including educators, researchers, and interested “citizen scientists.”

Front Row, left to right: Heather Printup, Community Relations Manager, Poland Spring and USM alumni; Robert Sanford, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Environmental Science and Policy; Ainsley Wallace, President & CEO, USM Foundation; Glenn Cummings, Ed.D., President of USM. Back Row, left to right: Josh Rowe, National Resource Supervisor, Poland Spring and USM alumni; Jeremy Qualls, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Science, Technology and Health; Joe Staples Assistant Professor of Environmental Science.

“All of the fieldwork needed to develop and maintain the environmental sensor network will be done by our ESP students,” said Robert Sanford, Ph.D., professor, and chair of the Department of Environmental Science and Policy. “Poland Spring has stepped up as an important partner in this venture, enabling us to make paid watershed assistantships available to our students, who benefit from both financial support and valuable workforce experience.”

“USM is dedicated to working with the community to address real-world problems while imbuing our students with technical workforce skills,” said Jeremy Qualls, dean of the College of Science, Technology, and Health at USM. “Poland Spring’s gift is very impactful. It helps us get students engaged in the field and widens the pathway to STEM jobs here in Maine.”

Ainsley Wallace, president, and CEO of the USM Foundation said, “This investment by Poland Spring recognizes USM’s central role and commitment to growing Maine’s skilled and educated workforce. We are very grateful for this generous gift and the opportunities it affords our undergraduates.”

Since 2000, Poland Spring has given more than $7 million to local Maine community organizations, causes, and events through the Good Neighbor Grant program. Past grant recipients, include: The Ecology School, Gulf of Maine Research Institute, Poland Spring Preservation Society, The Volunteer Lakes Monitoring Program, Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, 4-H Camp & Learning Center at Bryant Pond, Camp Susan Curtis in Stoneham, and the Franklin County Animal Shelter in Farmington, as well as numerous other organizations.

About Poland Spring

Established in 1845, Poland Spring® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water has invested in Maine and created jobs using an abundant, renewable resource. The brand, part of Nestlé Waters North America Inc., operates three Maine bottling plants in Poland, Hollis, and Kingfield. Additionally, Poland Spring maintains spring sources in Fryeburg, Poland, Dallas Plantation, Poland Spring, Pierce Pond Township, Kingfield, Denmark, Hollis and Lincoln, Maine. Poland Spring also:

  • Employs nearly 900 full-time and seasonal workers across the state, contributing nearly $49 million to the economy in annual payroll;
  • Spends over $135 million directly with other Maine companies each year; and
  • Invested over $7 million in community giving since 2000 to support schools, local non-profits, fire and rescue, environmental conservation, and many other local and statewide causes.

About USM ESP

The University of Southern Maine Department of Environmental Science and Policy (ESP) is an interdisciplinary program offering a BA in Environmental Planning and Policy and a BS in Environmental Science. An accelerated program allows students in the BA program to work toward a master’s degree in Policy, Planning, and Management. For students who wish to become teachers, there is also a pathway leading to secondary science certification. The program also offers minors and/or certificates in Environmental Sustainability, Applied Energy, Environmental Science, Environmental Education, and Environmental Policy & Analysis.

About the USM Foundation

The University of Southern Maine Foundation engages with USM alumni, employer partners, and the wider community to encourage philanthropic support for the long-term benefit of the University and its students. The Foundation solicits and secures private funds for the sole benefit of the University and its mission. Acting as an independent, 501 (c)(3) corporation, the Foundation provides quality programs and services to USM alumni, donors and supporters and serves as the primary fundraising vehicle for the University of Southern Maine.

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Media Contact:

For Poland Spring:

Heather Printup, Community Relations Manager,

Heather.Printup@waters.nestle.com

For USM Foundation:

Erin Macey

Director of Stewardship & Donor Relations

erin.macey@maine.edu

BELLA LUNA SPRING IN LINCOLN, MAINE IS NEWEST SOURCE FOR POLAND SPRING® 100% NATURAL SPRING WATER

Poland Spring,Northern Penobscot Activities Council, Good Neighbor Grant

LINCOLN, Maine – Lincoln’s Bella Luna spring is the newest water source to be used for Poland Spring® 100% Natural Spring Water. This is the ninth spring water source in the state for the 173-year-old Maine-based company. Poland Spring has a contract with the Lincoln Water District to purchase this water, which will be collected at the new Lincoln load station.

Poland Spring undertakes an extensive process in locating new springs, looking for areas that have the same kind of geologic features as its existing spring sources. In addition, all the water Poland Spring sources must meet stringent local, state, and federal regulations to be considered 100% natural spring water.

“I can’t say enough about how great the local leaders in Lincoln and the Lincoln Water District have been to work with throughout this entire process,” said Tom Brennan, Senior Natural Resource Manager, Poland Spring. “From our early exploration to our detailed testing and examination of the water source, to the construction of the load station, everyone has been both welcoming and professional in working with us. We are proud to be an even greater part of the Lincoln community.”

“Poland Spring hasn’t just established a presence here in Lincoln, it’s established relationships that make it an engaged part of our community and that’s just a wonderful opportunity for our town and our region,” said Rick Bronson, Lincoln Town Manager. “Poland Spring came here looking to do good things in partnership with the community and that’s exactly what’s happened.”

Since first identifying Lincoln as a potential spring water source, Poland Spring has worked with the local community in identifying mutual needs, concerns, and priorities to move forward together. Over the last year, the company has held informational meetings, community suppers, and one-on-one conversations with townspeople and community leaders in an effort to be a good neighbor and a responsible member of the community.

Water from Bella Luna spring will be directed into the recently constructed Lincoln load station, which will be fully operational in the coming months. From there, it will be transferred into Poland Spring tankers, which will then transport the water to various Poland Spring bottling plants, depending on need.

About Poland Spring

Established in 1845, Poland Spring® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water has invested in Maine and created jobs using an abundant, renewable resource. The company, a division of Nestlé Waters North America Inc., operates three Maine bottling plants in Poland, Hollis and Kingfield. Additionally, Poland Spring maintains spring sources in Fryeburg, Poland, Dallas Plantation, Poland Spring, Pierce Pond Township, Kingfield, Denmark and Hollis, Maine. Poland Spring also:

  • Employs nearly 900 full-time and seasonal workers across the state, contributing nearly $49 million to the economy in annual payroll;
  • Spends over $135 million directly with other Maine companies each year; and
  • Invested over $7 million in community giving since 2000 to support schools, local non-profits, fire and rescue, environmental conservation, and many other local and statewide causes.

 

POLAND SPRING 100% NATURAL SPRING WATER PRESENTS: “Calling 207: Mainers Helping Mainers”

Poland Spring,Northern Penobscot Activities Council, Good Neighbor Grant

POLAND SPRING, MAINE – For more than 170 years, Poland Spring® Natural Spring Water has been part of the fabric of Maine, not only as one of the state’s most iconic brands, but also as a responsible steward of Maine’s natural resources. A true community partner, Poland Spring is active in the communities where its employees live and the business operates a bottling facility or load station, or where it sources its spring water. Philanthropic support of local projects always has been and continues to be a priority for Poland Spring.

With the launch of “Calling 207: Mainers Helping Mainers,” Poland Spring is now widening that effort to other communities across Maine and is looking to the state’s citizens to help find and select special activities, known as 207Acts. A 207Act is something that lends a helping hand to a community project and could include such projects as repainting a building, planting a garden or organizing a food drive.

How can someone nominate a 207Act? It can be done online at PolandSpring.com/calling207 where Mainers will find guidelines and dates for nominations and voting, or in person at summer events around the state wherever you find the Poland Spring Hydration Station. Look for the Hydration Station (a self-contained mobile trailer where people can fill up their reusable bottles with Poland Spring water—and enjoy flights of Poland Spring sparkling water flavors) and you’ll also find Calling 207 ballots. Once a 207Act is posted to the Calling 207 website, anyone can vote for that act.

In each of three periods this summer, five acts with the most votes will be reviewed by a panel of judges, who will then select two acts from each voting period between now and August 31, 2018. During the three periods, six projects ultimately will be chosen and be carried out between July 23 and October 13, 2018.

Qualifying 207Acts:

  • Must not take more than eight hours to complete
  • Must be able to be completed by October 31, 2018
  • Carry a maximum budget of $5,000

Upcoming locations for the Hydration Station throughout the summer will be posted to the Poland Spring Facebook page. 

About Poland Spring

Established in 1845, Poland Spring® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water has invested in Maine and created jobs using an abundant, renewable resource. The company, a division of Nestlé Waters North America Inc., operates three Maine bottling plants in Poland, Hollis and Kingfield. The Kingfield facility, which officially opened in January 2009, represents an initial $60 million investment and ninety jobs in rural western Maine. In the Spring of 2017, the Kingfield facility added an additional bottling line representing a $25 million investment. Poland Spring maintains spring sources in Fryeburg, Poland, Dallas Plantation, Poland Spring, Pierce Pond Township, Kingfield, Denmark and Hollis, Maine. Poland Spring also:

  • Employs nearly 900 full-time and seasonal workers across Maine, contributing nearly $49 million to the economy in annual payroll;
  • Spends over $135 million directly with other Maine companies each year; and
  • Invested over $7 million in community giving since 2000 to support schools, local non-profits, fire and rescue, environmental conservation, and many other local and statewide causes.

 

Poland Spring Gives $150,000 Good Neighbor Grant to Organization Dedicated to Underserved Youth and Elderly in Greater Lincoln Area

Poland Spring,Northern Penobscot Activities Council, Good Neighbor Grant

Northern Penobscot Activities Council to receive $50K

from Poland Spring each year for three years

POLAND SPRING, Maine – In keeping with its commitment to serve the communities in which it operates, Poland Spring® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water is donating $150,000 to support a Lincoln-based service organization, the Northern Penobscot Activities Council (NPAC).

Founded in late 2017, NPAC’s mission is to be an umbrella service organization that serves the greater Lincoln area. The newly formed organization will develop programs, services, and activities with an emphasis on outreach to youth and elderly residents, populations that are currently underserved. While an early emphasis will be placed on youth and elderly, NPAC plans to examine the needs facing all sectors of its community and plans to develop additional programs, as needed.

“We are committed to helping the people and communities across Maine where we do business,” said Heather Printup, Community Relations Manager for Poland Spring. “As new members of the greater Lincoln community, we want to show our support for the residents in the region, especially those who are currently underserved. We are impressed by NPAC’s mission and believe that our contributions will help make a big difference to the people who need the services NPAC will provide.”

The Poland Spring donation will be made in $50,000 increments annually over three years. Since 2000, Poland Spring has donated more than $7 million in Good Neighbor Grants to communities across Maine. Some of the organizations that have benefitted from Poland Spring’s Good Neighbor Grants include the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, 4-H Camp & Learning Center at Bryant Pond, Camp Susan Curtis in Stoneham, and the Franklin County Animal Shelter in Farmington.

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About Poland Spring

Established in 1845, Poland Spring® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water has invested in Maine and created jobs using an abundant, renewable resource. The company, a division of Nestlé Waters North America Inc., operates three Maine bottling plants in Poland, Hollis and Kingfield. The Kingfield facility, which officially opened in January 2009, represents an initial $60 million investment and ninety jobs in rural western Maine. In the Spring of 2017, the Kingfield facility added an additional bottling line representing a $25 million investment. Poland Spring maintains eight spring sources across the state: Poland Spring (Poland Spring, ME), Evergreen Spring (Fryeburg, ME), Garden Spring (Poland, ME), White Cedar Spring (Dallas Plantation, ME), Spruce Spring (Pierce Pond Township, ME), Bradbury Spring (Kingfield, ME), Cold Spring (Denmark, ME) and Clear Spring (Hollis, ME).