Take 5: Spotlight on Vistra Communications

Vistra Communications is a full-service public relations and management consulting agency providing customized PR counsel and services to corporate, environmental, government and nonprofit organizations.

How long has your firm been in business?

When Vistra Communications launched in 2007, our roots were based in strategic public relations and management consulting. Eight years and a few larger office spaces later, we have successfully developed into a full-service strategic communications, PR and marketing agency focused on leveraging our unique services to a range of corporate, government and nonprofit organizations.

How many employees do you have?

The Vistra team is truly unique in that each person brings a distinctive skill set to the table that has allowed us to assemble a diverse group of professionals who are the best of the best. In eight years, Vistra has grown to nearly 50 team members working in the Tampa Bay area at both our North Tampa headquarters and at CENTCOM, as well as in Orlando, Miami and Virginia.

What are the areas of focus and types of accounts your firm handles?

Vistra is rooted in the combination of Vision, Strategy and Action, which serves as the foundation to our approach for every project and campaign. We consider our clients partners, and this partnership is key to successful communication as well as articulating their vision and developing and implementing a strategic plan that effectively meets their objectives.

Our professional services are tailored to the goals of our partners and range from traditional PR and marketing plans to creative and graphic design, website development, media preparation and training, video production and crisis communications. Vistra is also uniquely positioned to provide local, state and federal government partners with scalable capabilities that enable our team to deliver innovative and best-practice solutions.

What awards have you won or notable projects have you worked on?

The effective implementation of a strategic plan is crucial to our partners’ success, and our team has executed a number of campaigns that have not only gained national coverage but recognition for their efforts.

Vistra continues to work closely with TAPS (Teen And Police Service) Academy, which works to reduce the social distance between at-risk teens and law enforcement officers. As a campaign that continuously evolves, our team monitors current events, trends and media sentiment to deliver a comprehensive strategy that has contributed to the organization’s growth from a single-city location in Houston to an international presence. Their work in fostering relationships was recognized earlier this year by the Chicago Tribune as a potential model to avoid unrest similar to the events in Ferguson, Mo. The elevated exposure secured by Vistra also led to an invitation to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 45th Annual Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., where recent TAPS Academy graduates served as panelists, toured the White House and attended an exclusive event hosted by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of the 18th Congressional District in Texas.

The Vistra team also works closely with local nonprofit Current of Tampa Bay to raise awareness of its Laundry Project initiative, which provides complimentary laundry services to low-income residents and families. As the initiative expands to communities in need outside of Florida, our ongoing media relations campaign consistently delivers live television segments, local and national broadcast packages, print articles and online mentions. The heightened awareness of the initiative achieved by Vistra led to a piece by NBC Nightly News’ Kerry Sanders as well as a $50,000 donation from the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the organization’s founder, Jason Sowell, being honored as a Lightning Community Hero.

Our work with Freedom Alliance, an educational and charitable organization that supports and honors service members and their families, has also consistently earned national attention for assisting our nation’s veterans. Vistra’s deliberate planning and comprehensive campaign has successfully elevated the exposure of their mortgage-free home donations to military families, delivering Action TrackChairs to vets with debilitating injuries and providing scholarships to the children of those wounded or killed in action.

Vistra is also incredibly honored to have been included in the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s list of Top Five PR Firms in the Tampa Bay Area for the second year in a row!

Tell us a fun or interesting fact about your firm.

The Vistra Team recently combined two passions: the well-being of the community in which we work and live and … ice cream.

In October, for the second year in a row, our social media efforts paid off and the Ben and Jerry’s “Save Our Swirled” tour made a stop at Vistra’s headquarters to spread awareness of climate change and serve up some delicious sweet treats!

Check out Vistra on social media: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.