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PR Sheroes

Female-owned public relations and strategy firm sixPR may not be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but they’ve provided their clients with plenty of super results.

Article
Michele Chiappetta
Photos
Chelsi Fisher
Posted
June 28, 2018

Ever wondered what it takes to promote a business and manage communications for maximum success? The powerhouse team at sixPR in Tulsa does — and it’s a mission they pursue with passion.

A public relations and strategy firm, sixPR assists both for-profit businesses and nonprofit organizations with media relations, social media, brand positioning, capital campaigns, event management, speech writing and crisis management. The team has over 40 years of experience helping clients with their communications needs.

Co-founded by Sheila Curley and Marnie Fernandez, sixPR opened its doors for business five years ago, but the idea had been in Curley’s head for quite some time before that. When Fernandez met her, it was as though the business was always meant to be.

“Sheila knew she always wanted to have her own PR firm,” says Fernandez. “And we were friends and colleagues through the Chamber of Commerce and TYPRos [Tulsa Young Professionals], as well as both PR pros. I had just had a baby and was doing freelance work when she approached me about beginning sixPR, so it was perfect timing.”

Both Curley and Fernandez are experienced public relations professionals. Curley was recently named Public Relations Professional of the Year by the Public Relations Society of America Tulsa Chapter. Fernandez has performed many years of promotion for Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Fort Worth Zoo and the Tulsa Zoo, among other clients.

The sixPR team has over 40 years of experience helping clients with their communications needs. (Photos: Chelsi Fisher)
The sixPR team has over 40 years of experience helping clients with their communications needs. (Photos: Chelsi Fisher)

Today, sixPR represents many organizations, mostly in Oklahoma, though they have represented clients in Kansas, Arkansas and Texas as well. “Our clients include higher education institutions, oil and gas companies, construction companies, city municipalities, hotels and various corporations, just to name a few,” says Fernandez.

Among their most well-known clients locally is the River Spirit Casino Resort, which built a tower of hotel suites and launched Margaritaville as part of its dramatic expansion, which is expected to draw more tourists, performers, and business conferences to the Tulsa area.

“We’ve been with River Spirit Casino Resort since the groundbreaking of their historic $635 million expansion,” says Fernandez. “We’ve helped them with all of their grand openings — six in all — over the past four years. That has been an amazing experience to be a part of something that is such a great asset for our city.”

Right now, sixPR is staffed entirely by women — something that Fernandez and Curley didn’t plan, but that they are happy to embrace. (Photo: Chelsi Fisher)
Right now, sixPR is staffed entirely by women — something that Fernandez and Curley didn’t plan, but that they are happy to embrace. (Photo: Chelsi Fisher)

Often, sixPR handles projects that allow them to make a local impact in the Tulsa community, something they are proud of. An example is their work with other local PR teams on the Vision Tulsa campaign, which is focused on the area’s economic development.

“That was another great experience — three firms working together on a project for the betterment of our city,” Fernandez says. “I absolutely loved working with all of them. We all had different strengths and worked well together. And it worked! Vision won, and Tulsa is a better place because of it.”

For those who may be considering hiring a PR firm, Fernandez says to think about public relations in its fullest sense. “PR is not just articles in the newspaper and TV interviews,” she says. “It covers a wide range of strategies and tactics. When we meet with a potential client, we listen to them and their needs first. Then we put together a proposal based on their needs. But it may not be what they expected, so we ask clients to have an open mind.

“And if it’s not the right fit for us — or if we think another agency might serve them better — we let them know and steer them in another direction or refer them to another agency.”

Right now, sixPR is staffed entirely by women — something that Fernandez and Curley didn’t plan, but that they are happy to embrace. And it sets sixPR into a powerful group of small businesses in the U.S. According to 2017 statistics from the National Association of Women Business Owners, more than 11.6 million businesses are owned by women, employing nearly 9 million people, and generating $1.7 trillion in sales.

“I love being a woman-owned business,” says Fernandez. “It’s a great environment because most of us are working moms, so it’s not a big deal to see our children in the office or dogs too. We are very family and pet friendly in that way. In fact, we’ve put all our children to work at some point or another.”

In the long run, though, Fernandez says it’s not gender that makes a great PR person or firm; it’s the ability to get the job done. And that’s where sixPR excels. “What matters is our experience and our ability to make sure we meet our client’s needs,” she notes.  

LOCATOR
sixPR
525 S. Main St. | Tulsa
918-830-3268
six-pr.com