Meet the Team: Grant – CEO & Managing Partner

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To help our audience learn who is behind the content on this blog, we’ve been releasing a series of Q&A’s from our team. In this month’s edition, you will learn all about our Managing Partner & CEO, Grant Wright.

Grant joined (W)right On full-time in 2004. As CEO, Grant provides oversight and senior-level communications and business counsel for the agency’s clients while also overseeing agency management and administration. He has over 20 years of senior management experience leading external affairs and business development for major American and Canadian corporations and their subsidiaries. With extensive skills in all aspects of communications including media, regulatory, governmental, community outreach and labor relations; he has also led major infrastructure project development, M&A due diligence and implementation management, marketing and brand development efforts and strategic and business plan development for Fortune 500 companies as well as small to mid-level growth ventures.

What would you be doing if you weren’t at your current job?

I would be traveling more with family; experiencing other cultures.

What’s one word you would use to describe yourself?

Optimistic.

Fill in the blank. “If you really knew me, you’d know_____”

I’m only as good as the great people around me in my life.

What super power would you like to have?

Flight/Teleportation

What would a “perfect” day look like to you?

Light breakfast; workout; read/nap; beach walk and oceanfront drinks/dinner; great live performance.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in the past year?

Patience.

pura-taman-ayun-209533_640 Best vacation you’ve had?

 Indonesia with Julie.

 What’s your most embarrassing  moment at work?

 Locking myself out of my room at a 5-star hotel in my underwear when I was sick.

Favorite quote?

Wow. So many. Ok here are two…

“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” – William Shakespeare

“This life is what you make it. No matter what, you’re going to mess up sometimes, it’s the universal truth. So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life’s a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about.” – Marilyn Monroe

If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would be cast as you?

Someone saying, “Dang, what happened to my acting career?”

What’s your drink of choice?martini-548031_640

It changes, these days a Martini. This phase could be ending soon; excited for the next one! 😉

If you were stuck on an island and could only choose 5 CDs, what would they be?

CD’s? What are they? Love Actually Soundtrack; Elton John Live in Australia; Dark Side of the Moon; Beatles 1; Boston Pops Classical Compilation.

Fill in the blank. “People would be surprised if they knew____”

I like EDM way more than someone my age should.

What’s your biggest pet peeve?

Negativity.

What TV show/movie is your guilty pleasure?

The Voice.

What’s one thing you can’t live without?

Air.

Favorite line from a movie?

Too many, but here are four:

“I love getting up in the morning! I clap my hands and say ‘This, is going to be a great day!”

“Unless you love everybody, you can’t sell anybody.”

“Roll with the punches, tomorrow’s another day.”

“If your heart is empty, your ideas don’t matter.” – Dickey Fox

Do you have an office nickname? What is it?

If I do they haven’t told me!

What’s the best/worst gift you have ever received?

Our two sons with Julie / There is no worst, because every one is well intentioned.

What do you like to do in your free time?

  • Be with family and friends
  • Play racquetball
  • Read
  • Be on the water
  • Travel to new places/experiences

 

Check out a couple blog posts written by Grant here:

In Communications, the Only Constant is Change – Part 2

In Communications, the Only Constant is Change

Best Practices: Increase Your Chances of Breaking Through the Clutter with Mobile-Friendly Emails

 

Mobile e-mail

By Shae Geary

As professional communicators, we are always looking for the best strategies to ensure our messages break through the daily clutter, whether it’s getting media to read our press releases, consumers to respond to a promotion or stakeholders to connect with a newsletter.

According to recent studies, upwards of 67% of all emails today get read first on a mobile device, meaning that using mobile-friendly email designs can be the difference between getting someone’s attention or falling into a black hole. The takeaway: the easier our messages are to read on the go, the more likely we are to create wins for client partners.

For all companies, mobile-friendly email design is a smart practice to adopt. Many online email marketing programs make it easy by offering plug-and-play templates for everything from newsletters and press releases to invitations and e-blasts. For those who opt to create their own design, here are six quick tips for making sure your emails fit nicely into the palm of your audience’s hand:

  1. Shortened Subject Line: The optimum character count for a subject line is much smaller for a mobile device than a desktop. Subject lines of 25-30 characters are a best practice for mobile-friendly emails.
  2. Single Column Format: Simple layouts better accommodate differing screen sizes and generally don’t require the reader to work (i.e., scrolling side to side) to read your message
  3. Less is More: Your audience has a limited attention span. Keeping the copy concise and to the point is a good practice for any email, but especially important when it comes to small screens.
  4. Supporting Imagery: Photos should support the message, but not be relied upon to tell the story since some mobile devices use photo-blocking software. Photo file size also should be small.
  5. Enlarged Font Size: The less your audience has to strain to read a message, the more likely you are to get the point across. A minimum text size between 12pt and 14pt is a good guideline.
  6. Space to Click: A little white space near clickable links is a good idea when it comes to mobile design and allows a clumsy thumb or index finger to get the click on the first attempt.

Why PR is Becoming a Visual Game (and How to Win)

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Remember when you were a little kid and your parents asked you to pick out a book to read? Did you gravitate toward the one that was a sea of black-and-white letters, or the cool one with lots of colorful, eye-catching photos?

In high school geometry, which was the better textbook? The one that wrote out how to determine the surface area of a trapezoid, or the one that showed you?

Even now, are you more engaged and likely to retain information with presentations that are strictly verbal, or ones that have graphics and charts?

It’s a fact: human beings are visual creatures. As a general rule, we remember 80% of what we see, compared to 20% of what we read and a small 10% of what we hear, a New York University psychological study found.

Applying this to PR, an industry in which the main objective is to communicate positive messages about a brand or person, Wharton School of Business researchers determined that presentations based on visuals were found more compelling and convincing than those that were only verbal.

Furthermore, 67% of the audience in the study said that merging visuals with verbal aids were all the more effective. So how can we, as PR professionals, leverage these findings to the advantage of our brands?

Get Social

With the popularity of visually-driven social media networks like Pinterest and Instagram, there’s no time like the present to socialize your PR strategy.

pinterestPinterest is especially great since a pin can link directly back to a website. If you pin a PDF of your fresh press release and put some compelling preview text in the description, your audience will not only want to read that particular release, they’ll be taken to your news room, blog, etc. and likely read many more. And check out your team. And explore your website.

In an industry like hospitality, make sure to load your website and e-menu up with lots of great photos showcasing your space, food and amenities. With one click, users will be on your site and one step away from making reservations.

instaInstagram isn’t to be forgotten, though. Although it lacks the referral power Pinterest has (at least for now), it’s a great vehicle for furthering community relations efforts or raising awareness of your brand offerings.

For example, nonprofits can benefit immensely from showcasing their volunteer efforts and positive impact in real time, while a fashion line can post sneak peeks of their new collection and the behind-the-scenes design process to get fans excited to buy.

With a few well-placed hashtags, even non-fans will be in on the action. Networks like Facebook and Twitter, as well as outlets like blogs, can also add to your visual storytelling power in their own unique way.

Create a Better Press Release

Notice I say “create” rather than “write.” That’s because although words still rule in PR, the changing face of the industry requires a little something extra for maximum connectivity and traction from both consumers and media.

As mentioned last year in our piece on putting together a great press release, adding just one photo to a release will increase views by 14%. Applying elements like more photos and video continues the upward trajectory, culminating in 77% higher consumption when visual education tools like infographics comepolaroids into play.

This all depends on the industry, too. B2C brands will do well with high-quality photos of their products or properties, while B2B people may be more receptive to charts and graphs.

As with any PR effort, think about your target audience when adding visual elements to collateral like press releases.

Get Ready for Your Close-Up

If you’re not sprinkling video into your PR plan at least occasionally, you should be.husky

ComScore found that in the US alone, people watch more than a billion online videos every day. Why?

They’re dynamic, typically easy to consume and people equate them with entertainment. Video makes it simple and fun to showcase brand philosophy, spread the word on updates and give a glimpse at the human side of a company, which consumers love.

If you’re trying to rebrand a respected, but traditionally conservative corporation, try a regular feature showcasing employees doing volunteer work or shadowing them for a day on the job. If you’re a tech-savvy company, dabble in mixing up your written press releases with video ones.

Video is also a great tool for media relations. At (W)right On, we’ve had great success creating client b-roll and sending on to news stations for high-quality, late-breaking event coverage – plus, it allows you to pick and choose the footage you want to show off. And, video is a fast way to introduce people to who you are as a company, piquing the interest of potential customers, media influencers and even investors.

What other ways have you found visuals instrumental in a successful PR program? Tell us in the comments or find us on Twitter.

San Diegans Oppose City Funding New Chargers Stadium

San Diegans Oppose Building New Chargers Stadium

63 percent of San Diego County residents oppose the City of San Diego funding a new Chargers stadium

SAN DIEGO, August 26, 2014 – A study conducted by (W)right On Communications found that 63 percent of County residents would oppose the City of San Diego funding construction of a new stadium for the Chargers. Of those who oppose, 67 percent said that they do not support public funding of a new stadium even if that means the Chargers would move to Los Angeles. The results were nearly the same at the City level: 59 percent of City of San Diego residents opposing, and of those, 63 percent said they would not support it even if it means the Chargers would leave town.

“Because many in the community have advocated to replace the aging stadium, we were surprised to see that a majority of San Diego county residents opposed making such an investment,” said Hamish Marshall, Director, Research & Analytics at (W)right On Communications. “This is critical because should the mayor propose a new stadium plan, San Diego voters will ultimately have final say on whether public funds can be used for it.”

Last season, only 513,641 fans visited Qualcomm Stadium to see the San Diego Chargers play, which ranks them 22 out of 32 NFL teams for game-day attendance. Formerly known as San Diego Stadium and San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium, the Chargers played their first game at the multi-purpose facility in August 1967. It is the fifth oldest stadium in the National Football League. In 2003, San Diego hosted Super Bowl XXXVII, and although the event was a success, then-Commissioner Paul Tagliabue announced that it would be San Diego’s last Super Bowl until it builds a replacement for Qualcomm.

The survey was produced by recently launched (W)right On Communications’ analytics division, WOC Intelligence, a data-driven decision-making initiative that strategically helps reveal the heart of key issues through expert survey development, implementation and analysis.

An online survey questioned 375 San Diego County residents between July 21 and July 24, 2014. Results weighted by age, gender, income and County region, with the margin of survey error being +/- 5.1%, 19 times out of 20.

(W)right On Communications Launches WOC Intelligence

Int-Logo

New survey reveals San Diego County residents strongly favor SeaWorld fireworks

SAN DIEGO, August 21, 2014 – To gauge stakeholders’ opinions – from hyperlocal through national markets – and leverage those detailed insights for data-driven decision making, San Diego public relations firm (W)right On Communications has created WOC Intelligence.

(W)right On’s new research capability is one of the first of its kind among San Diego-based PR agencies. WOC Intelligence is a market and public opinion research service that strategically helps reveal the heart of key issues through expert survey development and skilled analysis.

“It’s part of our core values to work with client partners to develop intentional and strategic campaigns that produce exceptional results,” said Grant Wright, CEO and managing partner of (W)right On Communications. “Since intelligence gathering has long been a critical part of how we develop strategic communications plans, WOC Intelligence continues (W)right On’s investment in the right tools to ensure our strategies are informed by the best information available.”

Based from (W)right On’s Vancouver, BC, office, Director of Research and Analytics Hamish Marshall is at the helm of WOC Intelligence. A former advisor to the Prime Minister of Canada, provincial premiers, city mayors and dozens of elected officials, Marshall has strong experience throughout the USA, Canada and UK in all data collection methods to provide critical insights for strategic planning, marketing and other organizational activities.

WOC Intelligence conducted a recent survey of San Diego County residents on a variety of topics coinciding with the agency’s key practice areas in hospitality and tourism, energy and water usage, and health care. Among the results, WOC Intelligence found that the majority of San Diegans think SeaWorld should continue its fireworks. 74 percent of San Diego County residents are in favor of keeping the SeaWorld fireworks. 15 percent are either moderately or strongly opposed and 11 percent said they weren’t sure. The results did not vary between City of San Diego and South or North County residents, nor 18 to 34 year olds versus other age groups.

An online survey questioned 375 San Diego County residents between July 21 and July 24, 2014. Results weighted by age, gender, income and County region, with the margin of survey error being +/- 5.1%, 19 times out of 20.

Why You Should Use Infographics to Communicate Visually

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For a business, it is important to send the right message to your audience, but it is equally important that the audience can understand your message. After all, not everyone is an expert. Today, any individual can access the Internet and find very specific answers to very specific questions, but if their questions involve you or your message, how do you know that they’ll remember that information?

Information graphs or “infographs” are visual tools that communicate information simply and aesthetically. They take profuse and in-depth knowledge and present it clearly and concisely through visual representation. Infographs typically contain statistical information about a specific topic or field of work, but have also been adapted to communicate themes and ideas as well.

The value of infographics as a communication tool can be attributed to the way our brain processes information. For instance, right now you’re reading this article, line by line, taking in everything in the chronological order it was written. Because we read in a linear pattern, our brain cannot process information faster than we can supply it. The brain can process visual information up to 60,000 times faster than text, however. When you look at a picture of, let’s say a beach, every element of the photo is interpreted simultaneously, so you know the image is of a beach. Even when viewed separately, say separate images of palm trees, sand, or waves, you can infer that a beach is connected to these themes. However, after just describing a beach to you, you had to process that information linearly (e.g. palm trees -> sand -> waves = probably a beach).

Infographics are a valuable communication tool. When communicating with your audience, as a business or otherwise, an infograph brings a level of professionalism and expertise in a given topic through your ability to clearly convey complex data or information. Additionally, people want more visual content. In fact, there has been an 800 percent increase in “infographic” searches on Google throughout the past two years. The viral potential for visual content is at its highest. Who knows, maybe your next infographic could be your breakout in Internet immortality.