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Accruing interest in you.

Request for Proposal from Five Star Bank

Let’s drive traffic together. Some organizations craft values statements out of obligation, tacking posters on some walls and calling it a day – making little effort to actually model those behaviors during times of opportunity and challenge. Within the first few minutes of working with Financial Institutions and Five Star Bank on your recent management transition, we knew you were different. We saw conversations, decisions and actions informed by doing what was right for the business, your customers and employees. You were living the values. That’s the profile of companies with whom we want to work, and upon which we’ve built our own successful business in Upstate New York. With Travers Collins in Buffalo and McDougall Travers Collins in Rochester, it doesn’t just make it easier for us to do business – it perfectly positions us to better serve clients like you. And that service comes from a seasoned team of associates who genuinely understand your business needs. Who are driven to discover new ways to reach customers, breaking molds while remaining true to your brand. Who know how to translate differentiating strategy into skilled creative execution, especially in a crowded marketplace. Who are comfortable working in a variety of media, confidently blending traditional and emerging techniques to deliver a strong return on your investment. The following pages illustrate how we have become the go-to source in the region for integrated marketing communications, public relations, advertising, media and digital outreach. An even clearer picture will emerge when you meet our team, who – like you – believe that achieving results is not just about hitting a number, but in doing so with integrity and an eye toward the future. Should you have any questions, please contact us at your convenience. Thank you for including our firm in your search – we hope this submission marks one of many conversations we’ll have in the years to come.

Table of Contents Our Agency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Our Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Our Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Other Work Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Our Approach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Our Agency

Please tell us about your agency and the team that would work on the Five Star Bank account. Travers Collins History Bob Travers and Bill Collins founded Travers Collins & Company in October 1995, after acquiring their share of the former Schutte Travers Collins & Schutte agency. They located their new business in the Lawley Building at 120 Delaware Avenue. TC&C moved to the Larkin Building in June 2004. Over the past 16 years, the company has grown to 25 associates while its gross income has more than doubled. Bob and Bill founded the agency because they felt it could fill a void in the marketplace by being the only marketing communications firm to offer fully integrated marketing services. Just recently, its name and brand was updated to Travers Collins (TC). In 2011, Bob and Bill expanded their company’s reach in the Rochester market, forming McDougall Travers Collins with Managing Partner and Flower City PR mainstay Mike McDougall.

Number of full time employees? 25 full-time associates, eight of which are in creative services. We also have between three and five interns working at the agency each semester. (See the Travers Collins organizational chart on the following page.)

Average tenure of employees at the agency? Eight years


Bob Travers

Bill Collins



Public Relations



Mike McDougall

Sue Asquith

Dick Shaner

Kathleen Anderson

Cheryl Lickfeld

Managing Partner - MTC

Senior VP

Senior VP

Media Director

Chief Financial Officer

Katie D’Arcy

Sharon Linstedt

Lisa Braun

Account Coordinator

Senior Account Manager

Senior Accountant

Randy Zajonczkoski IT Manager

Shannon Specht Account Coordinator




Account Service

Jeff Herberger

Alyssa Mayer

Ellie Mason

Lisa Lindquist

VP / Creative Director

Director of Digital Services

Senior VP


Joe Sweeney

Tom Peters

Terri Swiatek

Kellie Mazur

Beth Hatcher

Assoc. Creative Director

VP / Assoc. Creative Director

Digital Designer

Account Coordinator

Account Manager

Jeff Bucki

Sue White

Betty Ann Krischan Jenn Bucki

Sr. Copywriter / Account Manager

Production Design Supervisor

Production Manager

Traffic Manager

Who would work on the Five Star Bank account? Following is the team of professionals who would be working on the Five Star account.

Mike McDougall, APR

Managing Partner, MTC

“I love to solve complex problems with simple but often hidden solutions,” says Mike McDougall. For nearly two decades, he’s been doing just that for brands on a global basis, and in the process earning ten Public Relations Society of America Silver Anvils and Awards of Excellence. Mike attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology with the intention of pursuing a career in engineering. After realizing he’d rather tell the story of new technologies versus inventing them, he headed across the Charles River to pursue his newfound passion for public relations at Boston University. Before co-founding McDougall Travers Collins in 2011, Mike served as global vice president of Corporate Communications & Public Affairs for eye health giant Bausch & Lomb and as director of Worldwide Public Relations and Digital Market Development for Eastman Kodak Company. Prior, he spent just shy of a decade in various PR and marketing communications agency leadership roles. Mike’s team-building and development efforts have been honored by the likes of PRWeek (In-House PR Team of the Year finalist and Boutique Agency of the Year) and The Holmes Report (Best Places to Work in PR).


Bob Travers


Bob Travers possesses an impressive knowledge of branding and marketing communications, which has benefited a diverse set of clients over the course of his distinguished career. Bob served in the US Army during the Vietnam War. When he returned, Bob pursued his growing interest in photography, receiving his Master of Fine Arts degree at the University at Buffalo (UB) and Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester. Bob set up a design and photography studio and began working with a variety of businesses. His talents caught the eye of ad exec Stratton White – a partner in the storied Buffalo ad agency known as Levy, King & White – and Bob’s been making his name in advertising ever since. Bob, on the appeal of advertising: “The amazing thing is that when you start out, you have a blank slate. And you need to create something that will make an impact for your client. With the right strategy in place and compelling creative, you can fulfill their need. But great creative isn’t enough if the strategy is off. That’s what makes it challenging, and ultimately rewarding.” His bank experience over the years includes work for Pennbank and Buffalo Savings Bank/Goldome. Bob believes in giving back to the community, serving on a number of boards including WNY United Against Drug & Alcohol Abuse and the Mental Health Foundation.


William M. Collins

Principal / Public Relations

Thank god it’s hard to break into the newspaper business. Because if that weren’t the case, Bill Collins wouldn’t have had to try his hand at public relations back in 1977. Sure, the fish wraps came calling eventually – the St. Bonaventure grad was the editor in chief of his school paper and a heck of a writer – but by then, Bill had found his true calling. By 1984, the fiercely competitive 29-year-old was running William Collins & Associates. Today, his influence on the Western New York PR community is immeasurable. And while he loves nothing more than spending time with his wife and kids, he’s lost none of his passion for the business – if Bill ever decides to retire, we’ll eat our hats. “Once I make a commitment, I live up to it,” Bill shares. It’s this sense of personal responsibility, infused from the top down that has made Travers Collins a magnet for people with big-time work ethics and positive attitudes. Throughout his career, Bill has been involved in all aspects of bank marketing, from advertising to public relations to special events and crisis communications – for clients including First Niagara, Buffalo Savings Bank/Goldome and Empire of America. Bill Collins is a public relations icon in WNY, and has served on the Board for organizations such as the Continuing and Long-Term Care Foundations of Catholic Health, People Inc., St. Bonaventure University, Medaille College, St. Joseph Collegiate Institute, Buffalo Catholic Board, and as part of The University at Buffalo… And that’s good PR.


Lisa Lindquist

Vice President, Account Service

Helping to provide the strategy behind the creative execution, Lisa Lindquist plays a critical role for some of the agency’s largest clients. She was a double major in psychology and Italian literature at Trinity College, and polished her business skills with an MBA at the University of Michigan. Lisa’s clients include Medaille College, Catholic Health, Girl Scouts of WNY and Southtowns Radiology. Previously, she worked with notable brands such as L’eggs Products, Lifesavers Company and R.J. Reynolds. Lisa also heads up interactive integration efforts for the agency and its clients. Outside of work, she serves on the Skating Athletes Bold At Heart (SABAH) board of directors and is a member of the United Way Leadership Society Advisory Board.

Beth Hatcher

Account Manager, Account Service

A strong problem-solver who excels in a variety of situations, Beth Hatcher provides account service for a number of clients, including Catholic Health, Southtowns Radiology, Harper International and Medaille College. She has project management experience on annual and quarterly reports for Community Bank, BSB Bancorp, Evans Bancorp and First Niagara. Beth earned a bachelor’s degree in history from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She started her career as an underwriter for Aetna in Toronto before spending time as a stay-at-home mom while her children were small. Beth joined Travers Collins in 1996. Previously, she served as project manager of the agency’s creative department, and was the staff proofreader before that.


Alyssa Mayer

Director of Digital Services

Our resident digital guru, Alyssa Mayer deftly blends account service savvy with interactive know-how. Graduating from Miami University of Ohio with a bachelor’s degree in marketing, it was Alyssa’s minor in interactive media studies that compelled her to seek a job in the marketing communication industry. She has provided expert interactive direction for clients such as First Niagara, Curbell Medical, Medaille College, Restonic and Mentholatum, among others. Alyssa currently serves on the Board of the Advertising Club of Buffalo.

Katie D’Arcy

Account Coordinator

Katie provides public relations support to clients in the medical supply, banking, entertainment, global manufacturing and non-profit industries. She has a concentrated interest in writing and media relations, and offers counsel on social media strategy for many TC and MTC clients. She graduated from Kent State University with a bachelor’s degree in public relations and is a member of the Public Relations Society of America Buffalo Niagara Chapter.

Jeff Herberger

Vice President / Creative Director

You’re not going to catch Jeff Herberger watching basketball on TV. “I’d just rather play,” he admits. Jeff’s approach to his job is much the same. With a refined eye, a flair for creating “a-ha moments,” and a magnificent, almost 30 year career under his belt, Jeff has plenty of excuses to sit back and soak up the glory. But he’s the kind of creative director that likes to get in on the action. Which he’s done for several banking clients over the years, including First Niagara/Lockport Savings Bank, Marine Midland Bank and Empire of America. Perpetually up for a brainstorming session – where great ideas make him giddy, no matter who comes up with them – Jeff understands that advertising is a team sport.


Tom Peters

Vice President / Associate Creative Director

When Tom Peters graduated from high school, he wasn’t sure if he wanted to go to college. But he eventually decided to give graphic design a try. We think it’s safe to say that was a smart move. After making a name for himself in the Western New York design community, including a stint as a packaging designer for Fisher Price, Tom joined Travers Collins. Fifteen years later, he continues to be one of our most inspiring and influential creative minds. “Great design is timeless,” Tom likes to say. It’s a philosophy you can see all over our portfolio.

Joe Sweeney

Associate Creative Director / Copywriter

With a decade of copywriting experience, Joe Sweeney joined us in 2010. His client history includes First Niagara, Catholic Health, Medaille College and Northtown Automotive, and his writing was a crucial component of rebranding initiatives for Greater Buffalo Savings Bank and Evans Bank. The St. Bonaventure University graduate is also a contributing writer for The Buffalo News and Buffalo Spree, for which he mostly writes about music (which resulted in him being paged at work by Kenny G).

Sue White

Senior Production Designer

Cool, calm and precise, Sue White is the last line of defense before a finished piece heads to the printer. She’s also the ultimate team player, which is fitting, since her job is essentially to make other people’s work look good. When it comes to the daily rigors of the production side of the business, according to Sue, the devil really is in the details. “You’re working on different projects every day so you really have to be both flexible and focused.” Sue was actually a math major in college and fell into the industry almost by accident. Sue took a job at ImageCore, learned a ton, and has been in the business ever since. Her bank experience over the years includes work for First Niagara, HSBC, M&T Bank and Community Bank.


Betty Ann Krischan

Production Manager

With a background in design and a love of taking on challenges, Betty Ann is the ultimate production manager. “I love the creative, and I want to make it even better,” she says, and this passion for making the final product as great as possible is apparent on every job she works on – whether it’s a tri-fold brochure or a raincoat for an elephant. Since joining Travers Collins in 1996, Betty Ann’s comprehensive production knowledge, serious work ethic and wonderful sarcastic streak have been part of the agency’s bedrock. Her banking experience includes print production for annual and quarterly reports for Community Bank, First Niagara, BSB Bancorp and Evans Bank.

Kathleen Anderson

Media Director

When Kathleen Anderson refers to herself as a “professional shopper,” she doesn’t mean it in a Carrie Bradshaw kind of way. As the Media Director of Travers Collins since 2000, Kathleen is a genius when comes to buying broadcast time. For her, getting a client some airtime during the hottest new show is the ultimate rush. Kathleen is also a very active Rochester Institute of Technology alumna – she’s the president of the Alumni Association and sits on the RIT Board of Trustees. She’s also currently working on her MBA at the University of Rochester’s Simon School of Business.


What are your agency’s mission and vision statements? Purpose To use our unique individual and collective skill sets to perform exceptional work that provides solutions and adds value to the clients we serve.

Vision To become the integrated marketing communication firm of choice for financially sound, innovative and well-run businesses and organizations throughout Upstate New York and beyond. Key to this vision is producing a positive bottom line that enables every associate to share in the agency’s success.


What are your agency’s core values? Our core values are essential and enduring beliefs that motivate us to develop and maintain an environment in which our associates, clients and partners can grow and succeed. (Listed alphabetically) • Accountability – to our established process, clients and to one another • Creativity – smart, innovative solutions • Empowerment – to do exceptional work, develop professionally and take responsibility • Integrity – to do the right thing and exemplify the highest professional standards • Passion – for our work, clients and industry • Respect – to our clients, our colleagues, and the communities where we do business


Our Services

Please provide an overview of your agency’s services. Ask our wide array of local, regional, national and international clients, and they’ll tell you our success lies in our ability to combine our many areas of expertise to meet their marketing challenges creatively, effectively and efficiently. • Our account service team has a comprehensive understanding of a variety of business-tobusiness and retail markets, and their respective sales channels. Based on available research, we design strategic approaches to our marketing communications challenges • We have embraced and mastered emerging media, using new technology to communicate with our clients’ internal and external audiences. These technologies include websites, microsites, social networks, blogs, e-newsletters, Intranets, webinars and other interactive multimedia presentations • We go further than the traditional means of advertising. We offer a custom publishing capability that few other communications firms can. And we provide extensive trade show planning and support, programs to promote products to customers, and training programs to put your sales force in the best position to succeed

Describe your media planning and buying capabilities. Our media team has years of experience in media planning and buying for both retail and business-to-business markets. • Media planning expertise that generates awareness and will convey Five Star Bank’s brand promise at each point of customer contact • We are adept at negotiating added value for client media buys – from Buffalo to Rochester and beyond – making every media dollar work harder and garnering more exposure. In fact, since we are one of the largest buyers of broadcast and outdoor media in Upstate New York, our negotiated agency rate allows clients to typically realize a 10% increase in the value of their buy, plus additional value add for each campaign which averages 30% of the buy • Our expertise in digital media buying is unmatched, and crucial in an ever-changing landscape


Describe your in-house creative capabilities. Our creative team develops original and effective advertising and marketing materials. This collection of top-flight copywriters, art directors and graphic designers has proven it knows how to enhance a product or service’s image, increase awareness, stimulate sales, and increase the value of your brand. Our specialty strategy development and advertising services – all sources in-house – include: • Market Research and Focus Groups (Competitive Analysis, Qualitative Research, Quantitative Research, Trend Analysis) • Strategic Planning (“DNA,” our proprietary strategic planning and brand development process – see page 16 – New Product Launches, Rebranding Initiatives) • Branding and Identity (Corporate Identity and Graphic Standards, Logo Creation and Tagline Development, Naming) • Sales Support & Promotion (Collateral Materials, Consumer and Trade Promotions, Point-of-Sale Materials, Sales Incentive Programs, Sales Tools, Sales Training Programs) • Trade show Planning (Pre-show Mailers, Premiums and Giveaways, Booth Design, Exhibits, On-Site Promotions) • Creative Development (Broadcast Production, Copywriting, Graphic Design, Print Production) • Custom Publishing (Design, Editorial, Production) • Media Planning (Business-to-Business, Consumer, Market Research, Merchandising Programs, Case Study, Web User Analysis, Digital and Interactive)


Branding Philosophy A brand is more than a marketing tool – it’s the essence of your identity. Whether it’s a product, service or institution, a strong brand creates a powerful image in the mind of the customer and makes a relevant promise. An effective brand helps customers make choices and provides a value proposition that helps differentiate and support customer relationships. Travers Collins will work with Five Star Bank to energize its brand using our proprietary DNA process – capturing your essence by pinpointing your genetic makeup.

DNA Discover We learn all that can be learned about you.

Navigate We map out your position in the marketplace, and craft a message accordingly.

Activate We roll out a plan to maximize your new brand’s reach, and track its effectiveness.


Describe your agency’s experience in banking and/or financial services. Our expertise extends across multiple industries, including banking and financial services. This breadth of experience helps our team identify trends and effective techniques from other sectors, delivering innovative yet informed approaches. Over the past decade, Travers Collins has supported First Niagara Financial Group with a variety of projects, starting with the celebration on its 125th anniversary, when it was still Lockport Savings Bank. As the institution grew, we provided investor relations consulting and annual report creation, crisis and issues management counsel and planning, event planning, newsletter design, content sourcing/management, internal communications strategy, social media planning and digital architecture/intranet creation. We managed the bank’s lead sponsorship involvement in the 2010 Empire State Games, and have helped to maximize FNFG’s presence in the burgeoning Larkin District of downtown Buffalo. On an individual basis, our senior team members have been recognized for their banking and financial services roles. • 20+ years of covering business and finance as a reporter for the Buffalo News • More than a decade of in-house marketing at the former Empire of America • Shepherding Pennbank through acquisitions and organic growth In addition to our collective financial expertise, the agency and our associates have served related professional services organizations with business and consumer-facing needs, including KPMG, Lawley Insurance, and law firms such as Phillips Lytle, Hodgson Russ, Paul William Beltz and Harter Secrest. Also of note is Managing Partner Mike McDougall’s experience in 2011, when he was heavily recruited by multiple banking industry organizations across the U.S. He ultimately declined an offer to join the fifth largest bank in the country as its senior vice president of communications, instead establishing McDougall Travers Collins. And on top of our own expertise, we have free and ready access to a virtual think tank of best-in-category PR firms, through our partnership with the Worldcom Public Relations Group.


Describe your agency’s public relations capabilities. We’re constantly behind the biggest news stories, whether it’s media relations, event management, starting a buzz with a campaign, managing an issue or enhancing reputations. Our public relations practitioners are adept at guiding clients through media training and crisis communication, community relations and corporate philanthropy, internal communications, public affairs and research. We can help Five Star Bank tell its story in a compelling, strategic way. Travers Collins has assembled the most senior team of public relations professionals in Upstate New York. Our associates have counseled hundreds of organizations over the past three decades, and our consistent outcomes have been recognized by the likes of PR Week, PR News, the Public Relations Society of America and other leading institutions. This caliber of strategic planning and execution has led to us being retained by regional clients as well as companies throughout the United States, Europe and Asia-Pacific. We’re commonly regarded as one of the top “small shop” agencies in the country, owing to our innovative programming and our culture. In addition, we have been part of the Worldcom Public Relations Group, the leading partnership of independently owned public relations firms with offices in 80-plus cities, since 1990. This provides our teams and clients with on-demand access to in-depth communications expertise from other markets – for instance, best practices in bank marketing from the Pacific Northwest, Florida or the Carolinas that we can adapt to Five Star Bank’s specific needs. Our specialty public relations services – all sources in-house – include: • Messaging (Platform Development, Story Creation, Target Audience Scoring) • Corporate Communications (Reputation Management, Positioning, Executive Change, Financial and Business Media Relations, Litigation Support, Mergers and Acquisitions) • Media Relations (Spokesperson Training, Editorial Board Briefings, News Conference Development, Digital Newsroom Production, Publicity, Press Tours, Monitoring) • Digital and Social Media (Strategy and Policy Development, Monitoring/Listening/Analysis, Executive Training, Social Storytelling, 1:1 Social CRM Outreach, Lead Creation) • Crisis and Issues Communications (Crisis Planning, Scenario Mapping, Team and Individual Training, Issues Management) • Internal Communications (Program Development and Management, Executive Visibility, Employee Relations, Labor Issues, Compensation and Benefits, Wellness, Collaborative Tools Sourcing and Deployment, Internal News Bureau Training, Individual Coaching)


• Corporate Philanthropy (Signature Program Creation, Grant Screening, Infrastructure Development, Event Planning and Management, Sponsorship Coordination, Industry and Community Reporting) • Event Management (Location Research, Theme Development, Logistics Planning. Budgeting, Invitation Database Development, Event Supervision) • Public Affairs (Government/Environmental Relations, Political Analyses, Grassroots Coalition Building, Issues Advocacy) • Research (Communication Audits, Attitudinal Surveys, Focus Groups, Trend Analysis)

Do you plan to outsource any of your work? We do not regularly work with other partner communications agencies. Our extensive creative and media capabilities allow us to do most of our work in house. When necessary, we will partner with a number of research suppliers and video/audio production houses. These partners vary depending the nature and location of the assignment. Five Star Bank would be apprised of the partner in the event that a need for its services arises.

Include a list of standard agency hourly rates. Standard Hourly Rates Service Type (range based on individual assigned)

Rate Per Hour

Account Service


Interactive Consulting and Design


Creative Services


Production Services


Public Relations



Our Work

Please tell us more about your work. • Please include a short list of clients of similar size and scope and include the number of years you have worked with them. • Include a brief list of agency services provided for each client. The case studies we’ve picked to share in the ensuing pages reflect our experience in different industries, providing different services, speaking to different audiences. But whether it’s about banking or insurance, healthcare or higher education, our work is consistent in many ways – it’s well informed, strategic and differentiating, and it gets results. In a word, it’s smart. The following case studies form a representative cross section of the many ways we can propel Five Star Bank forward, without losing sight of what makes it special. • First Niagara Financial Group – HSBC Acquisition Communication Plan • First Niagara Financial Group – Internal Communication Overhaul • Northtown Automotive – Rebranding • Lawley Insurance – Rebranding • Medaille College – Rebranding • Catholic Health – “We Believe” Cause Marketing • Catholic Health – Rebranding • Independent Health – Reputation Management and Positioning


First Niagara Financial Group

/ Client for 10 years

Services provided: Public Relations, Event Management, Internal Communications

HSBC Acquisition Communication Plan Challenge Travers Collins was brought in by First Niagara Bank during the summer of 2011 to begin working on a communications plan in support of FNFG’s potential bid for HSBC’s 168 branches in Upstate New York. If the bid was accepted, this promised to be a blockbuster announcement that would have to be carefully orchestrated and take into account an almost endless list of constituencies, ranging from FNFG’s internal audiences spread throughout its multi-state footprint to national financial press to news media in several markets. Working in top secrecy, Travers Collins was charged with developing an all-inclusive communication plan to include key messaging and talking points, as well as drafts of all media materials, including the main news release announcing the deal, fact sheets, FAQs and media lists.

Execution Working with a core team of top FNFG executives, Travers Collins created the communication blueprint; once accepted, we were charged with its execution. It was critical to have the plan completed and buttoned up as much as possible, because there would be little time between notification that the bid had been accepted and the announcement of same. As always with a project of this magnitude, leaks would be inevitable, so speed was critical. The purchase of the HSBC branches would end a string of banking institution acquisitions by FNFG, so a key part of the messaging was to assure the financial markets and the consumer news media that the Buffalo-based institution was up to the task of digesting this massive transaction. As expected, word came down suddenly, late in the week, that FNFG’s bid had been accepted, and it was determined that FNFG and HSBC would announce it on Monday. Both banks had to sign off on everything, adding additional wrinkles to an already complex assignment. FNFG agreed with our recommendation to give The Buffalo News the story first, on an embargoed basis, so that its reporters could digest the news and write over the weekend for a front-page story Monday morning. The announcement was made to FNFG’s internal audiences early Monday and was put out on the business wires shortly afterwards.

Results The communication plan was executed flawlessly. The front-page story in the News contained all key communication points, and the wire release was picked up far and wide. The client was delighted with the speed, thoroughness and efficiency of the communication plan and the seamless way in which we worked with the executive team. Managing this massive, complicated transaction required extraordinary effort and expertise, and Travers Collins was up to the task. 22

First Niagara Financial Group Services provided: Public Relations, Investor Relations, Event Management, Internal Communications, Print Production

Internal Communication Overhaul Challenge With upheaval in the financial services industry, challenging market conditions, and an influx of new employees because of a major acquisition, First Niagara Financial Group needed to enhance its internal communications efforts to help drive retention and productivity while reinforcing the bank’s core values. It requested that Travers Collins provide both strategic counsel and execution support between Summer 2011 and Spring 2012, supplementing and in many cases leading the in-house team.

Execution We first conducted an assessment of First Niagara’s internal communications efforts, which spanned multiple Northeastern states. While some elements were working, a much larger issue became clear: no plan existed, nor did a vision exist, for employee communications. In essence, the bank had grown too large for the ad hoc approach currently in place. Travers Collins worked with First Niagara’s senior leaders to develop a detailed program focused on four components: changing the mindset of the communications team as to their role, defining and developing the people to make it happen, standardizing and replicating processes, and creating more efficient and effective toolsets. From that thinking emerged multiple tactics that the agency rolled out over the course of the engagement. Travers Collins conceived, designed and created content guidelines and training for a vastly improved company intranet, delivering clarity and context to employees across the company. Our event planning team themed and rolled out a series of high-energy, all-employee celebration events in Rochester, Buffalo, Syracuse, Albany, Hartford, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia, with nearly 3,000 associates attending. We helped First Niagara welcome hundreds of HSBC branch employees with special meet-and-greets across Upstate New York. And our counselors redefined how the bank was using internal newsletters, consolidating and standardizing disparate formats to drive easier content creation and improved readership.


Results First Niagara has experienced heightened employee engagement and interaction – made all the more incredible given that the bank was experiencing significant change during that time period. The strategies and resulting components delivered by Travers Collins elicited praise not only from the senior executive team and communications group, but also where it most counted: employees at large. Events enjoyed record turnouts. Intranet use is booming. Newsletters are no longer a nuisance, but in high demand.

First Niagara • Intranet Teaser

First Niagara • Intranet


First Niagara • Email Blast

First Niagara • Event Banners 25


/ Client for five years

Services provided: Branding, Advertising, Media, Social Media

Rebranding Challenge With more than 75 car dealerships in Western New York, the automotive category is cluttered and complex. It’s difficult for a dealership to stand out from the fray to communicate its unique value proposition. Recognizing an acute need to differentiate from the competition, Northtown Automotive Companies, with 13 franchises and eight locations, underwent a complex internal process to create the most customer-focused automotive dealership in Western New York. All aspects of the business were reviewed and altered, from sales associates to service bays, waiting rooms to call centers. The result was a customer-focused spirit that revolutionizes the car buying experience. But changing the atmosphere and approach of doing business was only the first half of the solution. Equally important was educating the public on the benefits of doing business with Northtown.

Execution Travers Collins was selected as Northtown’s agency of record to launch a rebranding campaign to communicate the Northtown experience to Western New York. The campaign needed to change public perceptions of what a car-buying experience should be, and engage consumers with a brand personality that is warm, genuine and in-touch. The resulting brand centers on the theme that Northtown takes everything “to the nth degree.” The creative campaign was launched using television, radio, print and web. The central visual element is the letter “n”– a simple, clean, unique icon that represents both the nth degree as well as the “n” in Northtown’s name. The campaign is applicable to all aspects of the business, and is communicated appropriately. Savings, selection, service, satisfaction, convenience – Northtown takes it all to the nth degree.


Results Reactions to the campaign have been excellent. Customers, competitors and the general public have indicated the effectiveness of the campaign, noting how the elements really stand out from the crowded category and effectively communicate Northtown’s key points of difference.

Northtown • Billboards

Northtown • Print Ads


/ Client for seven years

Services provided: Branding, Advertising, Print Production

Rebranding Challenge Lawley Service Insurance Group of Companies is a full-service insurance agency, with a list of services that includes commercial, personal, risk management and employee benefits. The company’s business was changing and expanding at a rapid rate, with locations all across New York and New Jersey. With each branch location operating under a different name, offering different services and using different advertising, sales and marketing materials, the company realized it was not communicating a clear brand message.

Execution Lawley engaged Travers Collins to conduct a rebranding effort, starting with the company name. After recommending and then conducting internal research with Lawley’s managers and branch partners, the response was overwhelming in favor of operating under one name: Lawley. With the adoption of the new name and an all-encompassing tagline and promise (Rest insuredSM), the company set out to update all advertising and communication materials. TC developed a new advertising campaign and a capabilities brochure outlining all of Lawley’s major services, in addition to designing a new website, sell sheets, and additional collateral materials.

Results The result is a clear, concise brand that internal and external audiences can understand and recognize.


Lawley • Brochure

Lawley • Ad Campaign


Medaille College

/ Client for four years

Services provided: Branding, Advertising, Public Relations, Website Design, Internal Communications, Media, Research, Print Production

Rebranding Challenge Medaille College is a small, private liberal arts college, located in Buffalo, NY. The school maintains close ties with the city, with most of its students growing up there and remaining in the area after graduation. Medaille directly competes with 21 other colleges and universities that draw their student populations from Western New York. Competition for college students has become increasingly intense, given the decline in the 18-22 year old population, increasing costs that are pushing students to delay their education, and the decline in public funding for higher education. Full funnels for potential student prospects as well as robust donor support are critical. The general awareness of Medaille in the region was very low, and those few that knew of the college did not necessarily know where it was located or what types of programs it offered. Medaille’s graduate and adult business programs on two separate suburban campuses were even less known. Key objectives were established for the communications program: 1. Build key audience awareness of Medaille, including both undergraduate and graduate programs. 2. Develop a brand promise and identity that would work for both the undergraduate and grad/adult programs, which communicates the strength of Medaille’s philosophy of being a catalyst for positive change and community involvement. 3. Garner support among internal groups at the college for messaging developed and the brand promise identified. 4. Break through the cluttered, look-alike creative of the higher education marketplace with a campaign that could appeal to multiple key audiences.


Execution After evaluating internal and external audience perceptions and beliefs about Medaille, a detailed strategic and tactical roadmap for the college’s communications was developed. All of which informed the resulting tagline – “Change your mind.” The line speaks to the vibrant evolution that Medaille students undergo, while also inviting people to rethink their perception of the school. By coupling it with visuals that feature words written on students’ heads, the full campaign illustrates the impact Medaille has on their lives. It also: • Possesses an edgy, youthful vibe, underscored by the use of a local band, The Tins, for all music • Educates target audiences about Medaille’s philosophy and programs • Showcases real students to keep the campaign relevant and meaningful • Is visible beyond traditional media, thanks to building graphics, a wrapped Volkswagen Beetle and a variety of social media tactics, which supported the TV, radio, print and web campaign • Is seen consistently throughout all college outreach and internal communications, including a new, more user-friendly website,

Results Attendance at undergraduate open houses immediately spiked, and has stayed at this higher level. The campaign also resulted in a record number of undergraduate inquiries, applications, and full enrollment, and a marked increase in web hits for the college. Overall recognition in the community has also increased significantly. The college has expanded its branded communication to include outreach materials and videos.


Medaille College • Banner

©2010 Medaille College

Medaille College • Brochures


Medaille College • New Campaign Launch

Medaille College • External Signage

Medaille College • Athletic Brochure


Medaille College • Outdoor

Medaille College • DIrect Mail


Catholic Health

/ Client for five years

Services provided: Cause Marketing, Branding, Public Relations, Media, Presentation Development

“We Believe” Cause Marketing Challenge In 2006, the “Berger Commission” began investigating replication and cost in NYS healthcare. When it became clear the process was going to produce political versus empirical recommendations, including the possibility of targeting profitable hospitals within the Catholic Health system, Travers Collins was engaged by CH to inform the community about the pending process; clearly and consistently communicate CH’s position; and if a CH facility was targeted, create a community climate of information and outrage to make the process politically uncomfortable.

Execution Facts gathered from and cross-checked with CH staff became the backbone of the campaign. TC also tracked and charted previous occurrences and statewide coverage of the issue as it unfolded, sharing it with the issue team including legal and lobby counsel, and prepared a PowerPoint presentation for CH CEO Joe McDonald to quickly and simply walk commission members and politicians through the financial and community realities of closing a hospital.

Catholic Health • Ad

Issue launch involved coordination within the 32-location CH system and the Catholic Diocese, as well as the traditional community and media components. TC established a variety of channels to communicate directly with publics, including a website – “We Believe” was the tagline for radio, television, and print advertisements, as well as posters, vehicle decals, buttons, and palm cards for CH’s 8,500 employees.

Results When St. Joseph Hospital was officially targeted, response elements, including rallies and prayer vigils, concentrated on the community around the hospital and ran through the next several weeks. Community outrage was ignited, resulting in more than 50,000 signatures on an anti-closing petition and an estimated 15,000 letters to local politicians. 35

Catholic Health Services provided: Branding, Advertising, Public Relations, Media

“See Us In A New Light” Rebranding Challenge Catholic Health’s (CH) core business and primary revenue center is acute care through four hospitals. This business is also supported by more than 62 imaging, laboratory, rehabilitation and primary care facilities throughout the region. CH was facing increased advertising pressure from competitor, Kaleida Health. Kaleida was promoting a number of different service messages at high reach and frequency levels, not the least of which was the “Get to Gates” campaign for stroke treatment. The two systems had almost equal market share in the Buffalo market. In addition, CH research results indicated gaps in the public and internal perceptions about the services the system offered. Existing consumer perceptions held that Catholic hospitals were strong on soft skills like caring and ministry, but weaker on quality of care and technological capabilities. This despite the fact that CH had recently invested $100 million in partnership with Siemens technology to provide the latest in electronic medical records, imaging, ER, and clinical path management, making the system one of the most technologically advanced in the region. CH wanted to tell its overall capability story. Also, individual service-line development, in areas such as stroke, cardiology and orthopedics among others, presented an opportunity for CH to establish additional strong identity in the Buffalo market. Three key objectives were established for the program: • Build consumer and physician confidence in CH capability and technology while reinforcing ministry of care. • Brand service line capabilities, with a concentration on stroke and cardiac care, as specific CH areas of excellence and community involvement. • Catch key audiences’ attention and break through the cluttered, look-alike creative of the healthcare marketplace.


Execution TC assessed competitive messages and research available from CH. The resultant “Life Signs” campaign: • Educates target audiences about the system’s technological and medical capabilities, illustrating high-quality programs and technological advancements through testimonial stories about the patient care experience. • Features patients in street clothes holding an iconic white sign with a word that describes their experience in an intriguing way – drawing the reader into the ad. • Has a much different appearance than the traditional “smiling patients and nurses” treatments. • Is executed in corporate umbrella, stroke, cardiac and orthopedic service line formats. • Families with the “See us in a new light” tagline. • You can watch the TV spots of the campaign at our website:

In the world of orthopedics, movement is everything. So if you suffer from knee, hip, back or other joint problems that impede movement, Catholic Health can help. Our doctors have pioneered some of the most minimally invasive surgical procedures to get patients moving sooner, with fewer complications and less pain. We offer: • “Custom Fit” knee replacement surgery resulting in better range of motion • Partial knee replacements – invented by a Catholic Health orthopedic

surgeon and used around the world – to preserve healthy bone and extend the life of the replacement • The precision of revolutionary robotic knee replacement surgery • A national top 10% ranking in joint replacement, four years in a row

And with a complete continuum of care and comprehensive inpatient, outpatient and subacute rehabilitation programs, Catholic Health has you covered before, during and after surgery. If knee or hip pain has you off course, turn to Catholic Health. It will be one of the best moves you ever made. For a physician referral in your area, call HealthConnection at (716) 447-6205.

Kenmore Mercy Hospital • Mercy Hospital of Buffalo • Sisters of Charity Hospital Sisters of Charity Hospital, St. Joseph Campus • Continuing Care • Home Care • (716) 447-6205

Catholic Health is the region’s leader in vascular care, performing 52% of all procedures in the Buffalo region. The Catholic Health vascular surgery program provides leading-edge, comprehensive care for diseases such as Carotid Artery Disease, Peripheral Arterial Disease and Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm.

The future of cardiac surgery is here at Catholic Health. The Heart Center at Mercy Hospital of Buffalo offers the highest number of minimally invasive cardiac surgery procedures in the region, including coronary artery bypass, valve replacement and robot-assisted heart surgery.

• Emphasizes early detection of vascular disease, which can reduce the risk of

• Many of these procedures are performed with the assistance of our

serious complications • Offers traditional surgery as well as state-of-the-art, minimally invasive,

endovascular procedures that mean shorter stays and quicker recoveries Your vascular system affects every part of your body, from the heart and brain to the legs and hands. The future of vascular care is available right now at Catholic Health. Prepare to be amazed. For a physician referral in your area, call HealthConnection at (716) 447-6205.

Kenmore Mercy Hospital • Mercy Hospital of Buffalo • Sisters of Charity Hospital Sisters of Charity Hospital, St. Joseph Campus • Continuing Care • Home Care • (716) 447-6205

revolutionary da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System, a tool that is fundamentally changing surgery. • Minimally invasive surgeries mean smaller incisions, with less pain,

minimal scarring, fewer complications and quicker recovery times. So if you or someone you love needs heart surgery, there’s no need to go outside of the area for the most advanced procedures. Big things are happening just a short distance from home. For a physician referral in your area, call HealthConnection at (716) 447-6205.

Kenmore Mercy Hospital • Mercy Hospital of Buffalo • Sisters of Charity Hospital Sisters of Charity Hospital, St. Joseph Campus • Continuing Care • Home Care • (716) 447-6205

Catholic Health • Ads


Results Campaigns were originally run for umbrella, cardiac and vascular service lines. Additional executions have been done for orthopedics, women’s services and general quality campaigns. Admissions to the hospital’s stroke centers have shown double digit increases. Inquiries and web hits have increased markedly for the system’s cardiovascular program. Overall recognition in the community has also increased significantly.

Catholic Health • Quality Campaign Billboards

Catholic Health • Annual Report 38

Independent Health

/ Client for 16 years

Services provided: Public Relations, Internal Communication, Collateral Design, Print Production

Reputation Management and Positioning Challenge Independent Health (IH) is a Buffalo-based health plan with 350,000 members. It has taken a proactive approach to “bending the trend” on the rising cost of healthcare. IH enlisted Travers Collins (TC) to position the company and Michael W. Cropp, M.D., the plan’s president & CEO, at the cutting edge of change in the healthcare industry. We endeavor to educate the public on the factors that drive up costs, seek collaborative solutions to halt them, and change behaviors towards health care. IH sought to garner positive media and editorial coverage and to be viewed as the leading health plan in Western New York for quality and affordability, health and wellness, and customer service and member satisfaction.

Execution TC developed a print piece titled, “Developing a High-Performing Community: Transforming Health Care in Western New York,” which serves as the centerpiece of the plan. We work with IH’s public relations and government affairs directors to draft five op-ed pieces for the Buffalo News and Business First that responded to developments in the federal bill. A section of the company’s website was devoted to healthcare reform, and Dr. Cropp engages local employers in the region in one-on-one conversations about healthcare. Further, IH remained actively involved in the issue with elected officials in Western New York and Washington, D.C.

Results The series of op-eds were well-received and led to even more media exposure. Dr. Cropp began building a coalition of more than 100 business leaders interested in finding joint solutions to rising health care costs. Next, he was invited to participate in meetings with the Obama administration and Senator Schumer addressing healthcare reform at the national level. An impartial phone survey found that most local residents perceive Independent Health to be superior to its competitors in “taking the lead to deliver quality and affordable care” and the plan “most involved in offering health promotion and fitness activities to better the community.” Concurrently, the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) named IH #1 in the nation for customer service, and J.D. Power and Associates ranked it second-best in the U.S. for member satisfaction.


Independent Health • Brochure


Other Work Examples

National Fuel Gas • Annual Report

Home Properties • Annual Report


Computer Task Group • Annual Report

Community Bank • Annual Report


CCN • Brochure

CCN • Ads


American Red Cross • Outdoor

American Red Cross • TV


Buffalo Niagara Convention & Visitors Bureau • Ads


University of Buffalo • UBbeliever Campaign


Unshackle Upstate • Outdoor

Unshackle Upstate • Press Conference



Please also include the name of two clients that can be utilized as references. Catholic Health John Stavros, Senior Vice President, Marketing (716) 706-2045 Travers Collins has been providing marketing and public relations services to Catholic Health and its hospital system for the past five years. In a very competitive market, Catholic Health has managed to maintain its leadership in the community with the branding strategy and public relations services of TC.

Medaille College Dr. Richard T. Jurasek, President (716) 880-2000 After extensive research and following the President’s Collective Aspiration for 2020, Travers Collins created a new brand and integrated marketing communications program for Medaille. The program theme, “Change Your Mind,” launched in September 2010 via a variety of media and on-campus promotions. Undergraduate and graduate inquires and web hits have increased markedly for the college. Overall recognition in the community has also increased significantly.

Please provide one example of creative work of each: brochure, poster, web advertisement, print advertisement. Examples should be integrated and completed for a client of similar size and scope. These examples have been incorporated into our case studies and the “Other Work Examples” section.


Our Approach

Describe your approach to creating a strategic and creative marketing communications plan. Please include: How your creative team works with account service. We believe in the fundamentals: matching capabilities to needs, agreement on objectives, constant accessibility, full information sharing, continuous interaction and collaboration, and a clear understanding of responsibilities. Above all, our successful relationships are based on mutual trust and respect. • The team meets internally during weekly agency-wide operations meetings to review active projects and to set priorities. Internal client teams also meet separately to discuss team projects and activity for the week. TC assigns a client team usually comprised of the following account service and creative members: • VP of Account Service • Account Manager • Account Coordinator (when warranted) • Digital Strategist/Coordinator • Public Relations Specialist • Creative Director/Art Director • Copywriter • Traffic Manager • Production Manager • Media Director (when warranted)


How your team would solicit input. Hold an initial input session to meet the Five Star team:

– Introduce the TC team and roles they will play

– Discuss the project or campaign objectives

– Get more in-depth input and direction from the client

– Review research, if provided

– Review scope of work

– Discuss how you will be evaluating the work, metrics, etc.

• For each project approved, create estimates and obtain client approval to move forward • Develop time and events schedules for each project • Write creative/plan brief and obtain client approval • Creative or strategic planning work begins • Execution begins • Weekly or bi-weekly calls with the client are also conducted • An ongoing project status report will be generated so that the project status can be monitored and assessed at any time • Contact with the client daily via email is common

The roles your counterparts at Five Star Bank would play in strategy development. The Five Star team would play a key role in guiding our team as objectives, concepts and core messaging are developed. We would ask you to: • Provide clear and concise direction on project objectives and must haves • Provide input on history or deep background on a project – the more we know, even if you are not sure it is pertinent, helps us create better solutions • Share applicable existing research and insights • Be open to agency recommendations on how to achieve stated goals • Allow reasonable deadlines for the production of quality work • Specify budget parameters • Clearly identify characteristics about target audiences • Respond to agency requests for information, direction, and approvals in a timely manner • Let us know how you will be evaluating the success of the project


Description on how you manage typical agency to client communication. We don’t believe that the only times the agency and client should interact are at the beginning and the end of a project. Whether it’s to ask questions, make suggestions, or give a status update as our deadline approaches, we know that regular communication will result in better understanding of your needs, and a stronger partnership overall.

Description on how your agency evaluates success. At the outset of every project, we discuss the manner in which the success of our efforts will be measured. Typically these measures include: • On-strategy concept development as outlined in the client-approved creative brief • On-time completion of project deliverables • Project completion within agreed-upon budget parameters • Increase in service inquiries in the time period following implementation of campaign • Increase in page visits, likes, engagement levels, and/or click through rates for interactive program elements • Other metrics defined by the client, that are within the scope of control for TC • Client satisfaction


Why us? In our industry, the most successful partnerships form when clients and agencies share similar approaches to doing business. And based on our experience working with Five Star Bank, and the direction it has outlined in its RFP, it’s clear to us that our companies would make for the kind of partnership that’s built for the long haul. Your desire to be progressive and innovative for your customers, while not losing your community focus, is perfectly in line with how we operate. Couple that with the following benefits Travers Collins offers, and interest in Five Star Bank will be accruing faster than ever before: • Successful execution of rebranding and repositioning programs that get results, impacting awareness, recognition and reputation, both locally and nationally • Strong regional footprint, with Travers Collins in Buffalo and McDougall Travers Collins in Rochester • Systematic project management capabilities – keeping your projects on schedule and within budget • Understanding of the challenges and opportunities faced by organizations • Award-winning advertising, branding and public relations initiatives that are consistently recognized by peers to be among the best • Interactive strategy, design and technical capabilities for national and regional online and social media campaigns


726 Exchange Street, Suite 500 Buffalo, New York 14210

Five Star Bank RFP  
Five Star Bank RFP  

Five Star Bank RFP