Agency Life: What I’ve Learned About PR in my First Year

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By Kara DeMent, Communications Coordinator


This month marks my first year at (W)right On Communications and my first “full” year (technically) at a PR agency, and boy have I learned a lot.

Like most new professionals, what I thought PR was in college is nothing like what it is in real life. There’s way more to it than campaigns and PR plans, like growing relationships with your clients and understanding their goals and objectives; knowing the media inside and out; staying on top of trends—the list goes on and on. Naturally, I’ve learned more than a thing or two about PR over the past year, but here are what I consider to be the three most important lessons learned:

life delivery sponge1. Be a sponge

Absorb information, take notes and ask questions. Every meeting, workshop or phone call is an opportunity to learn from your peers and clients. At WOC we’re expected to engage wholeheartedly in office discussions and we inspire one another to get out and join a workshop, webinar or become a member of a professional organization. This helps broaden our knowledge of PR and the industries we’re passionate about.

2. Finding the right media contact is cake

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Wrong. At WOC we’re always pitching our client’s accomplishments, but in order to secure that TV interview or front page story, you have to get it in front of the right person. Do your research for the right media contact—learn about the journalist you’re pitching, know their past writing history and show that you’re paying attention to what they’re covering.

3. Become an expert in the practice areas

This is something you learn quickly working at a PR agency. At WOC, we learn what our client partners’ expectations are, their main objectives and the best way to support them – what’s specific to the client. But we also learn the ins and outs of their industry and how we can help best achieve their goals. What works for a hospitality client might not work for an energy and tech client. At WOC we’re all about getting stuff done and achieving wins for our clients and that’s accomplished by fully immersing ourselves in the industries we support.

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Although I’m still fresh in my PR career, I’m continually learning something new every day at (W)right On, and one thing I can take away from what I learned in college and through sports communications internships is how to learn and research, and you can see from my top three list—it’s all about continuing to learn and grow in the industry.

 

If you’re looking to explore the PR industry or need expert advice, call or email our team of PR pros. We’d be happy to speak at your next meeting or work seminar, (858) 755-5411 or info@wrightoncomm.com.

What’s Next: Five Industry Trends for 2017

 

By Shae Geary- Senior Communications Strategist

Industry trends are always a great place to mine for story ideas, especially when working with travel and hospitality clients. Some trends, like Pokemon Go! getaways, are short lived. Others, such as eco-travel, tend to define a whole generation and can change the nature of the industry forever. As the year draws to a close, we can’t resist looking ahead and seeing what’s in store for 2017. While none of us claim to have a crystal ball, here are a few trends (W)right On is keeping an eye on for the new year.

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Smart Technology: Mobile technology will continue to play a significant role in making travel more convenient and streamlined. Smart companies are embracing the technology and enhancing the visitor experience by putting decision making in the palm of your hand. Expect activities such as checking in to your hotel, controlling the temperature of your room and booking activities all from your phone to become the new “normal.”

Digital Detox: While technology may be making travel more convenient, there’s also a backlash to the digital overload of daily life. The response? Innovative programs and services that allow travelers to get off the grid for a while. Wellness-focused offerings such as digital detox spa retreats, as well as activities like forest bathing, which encourage visitors to completely disconnect and revel in the natural world, will give travelers the peace and rejuvenation they seek.

Hipster Holidays: Thanks to the millennial generation, more travelers are choosing to explore lesser known cities and destinations. Along with the desire to go to unique places, this group also seeks authenticity and genuine, local experiences. While not a new trend for 2017, hyper-local activities and edgier, undiscovered venues will continue to appeal to this highly influential, independent traveler.

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Beer-cations: Craft beer is having a moment. For the travel industry this has meant an increase in travelers who specifically seek out destinations with a strong craft beer vibe. Taprooms, beer events and other tasting experiences are the cornerstone of the beer-cation experience. However, look for the theme to show up in unexpected ways, too. On your next vacation, don’t be surprised if you are tempted by a beer-infused spa treatment or a “beer-tail” that features a unique blend of craft beer and traditional cocktail ingredients.

Solo Travel: At a recent media event, I was surprised when not one, but two female writers admitted that they enjoyed camping alone. It turns out that this may not be as surprising as it seems. According to Lonely Planet, a recent survey of 300 travelers indicated a majority of respondents planned to take a solo holiday in the coming year. Easy access to travel planning resources and the ability to stay connected while on the road are thought to be key influences in this current travel trend. Solo travelers like that they can set their own itinerary and feel that the experience enables them to more easily meet new people and immerse themselves in the local culture and surroundings.

What travel trends have you noticed that seem to be gaining in popularity? Drop us a note and let us know!

Make My Social Media Post Go Viral

By Kat Beaulieu, Communications Strategist


“Make my social media post go viral”

It’s what every client wants and the gold standard for measuring social media success. Plus, who wouldn’t want to be the genius behind a post that goes viral?

And yet, it is an elusive goal that faces many challenges, not the least of which is that most clients tend to want to promote their products and services, which is in stark contrast to a site like ViralNova, whose whole raison d’être is to produce “the latest interesting, hilarious, and mind-blowing stories on the Web.” Additionally, many clients are risk adverse, so what is interesting, hilarious or mind-blowing to social media consumers can be terrifying to clients.

Nonetheless, it is important to at least sustain high levels of interaction with your content and to aspire to make hitting the viral jackpot a regular mission. In the metrics-driven business of PR and marketing, raising your clients’ numbers in social media likes, engagement and “People talking about this” will rely on your ability to generate engaging content. Even if none of your posts go truly viral, getting some reaction will be critical to maintaining and growing your social media page’s engagement.

Since most of us have clients who are not ViralNova, I humbly present a formula for generating engaging social media content that fits you, or specifically: FITC U

The FITC U formula can help you create content that is relevant to your client or brand and also hits on something that is:

  • Funny
  • Intelligence massager
  • Truth
  • Cute
  • Unbelievable

To elaborate:

  • Funny: Most people share posts online that are humorous. Reinterpret your product or service in an unexpected or humorous way. Sell socks? Use a sock monkey puppet. Sell stocks? Create a faux investor report about an impending IPO for zombie repellent. Be creative, but know your audience and what will resonate with them.
  • Zodiac Pool Systems combined humor and popular culture in this relevant, funny meme.
  • Intelligence massager: You’ve seen these—“75% of people will get this wrong!” People love to let their friends know how smart they are. Create a simple puzzle or quiz that begs people to answer. By answering, they’re engaging and their engagement will get shared on friends’ feeds. Tie your quiz in with #TriviaTuesday for added visibility.
  • The Weather Channel cleverly tied in the names of winter storms with this quiz.
  • Truth: this follows similar psychology to the ‘Intelligence massager’ in terms of tapping into people wanting to share their wisdom, but instead of being formatted as a puzzle or quiz, it is a statement or set of statements. I use the term “truth” here to imply more of a personal truth than a factual one. Think of celebrity quotes or meme-friendly statements like “Not all those who wander are lost” and “Successful people forgive others.”
  • Cute: babies, puppies and kittens, plus goats in pajamas. Need I say more? #caturday #sundog
  • Tri-City Hospital Foundation’s video of Leo the dog driving an electric car was a hit.
  • Unbelievable: Think of incredible, mind-blowing things that will prompt people to use the “wow” emoji, like “A ball of glass will bounce higher than a ball of rubber” or “In 616, King Rædwald of East Anglia is conquering Northumbria (Northern England) at the Battle of the River Idle while The General Grant tree is born in Kings Canyon National Park.” Incredible photos work too.

What’s the secret to building a viral social media post? Make your post hit three or more of the formula’s elements.

And remember, if you’re having trouble creating content that FITC U, you can always switch things up a little, in which case you may end up deciding to FUC IT.

Need help killing it with social media that FITC U? Don’t give up, reach out, we can help.

15 Truths About Working in Social Media Marketing

By Jasmine Demers, Marketing & Administrative Coordinator


Social Media Marketing; a world of clever campaigns, contests, engagement, hashtags, analytics and constant phone notifications.

If you’ve worked in public relations (or any successful business industry for that matter), you know that social media marketing has become increasingly important in engaging with consumers and improving brand awareness. While most marketers truly enjoy developing content and representing their company, it’s not always a walk in the park.

Here’s 15 truths about working in social media marketing…

1. Your family and friends don’t actually know what you do, or think that you just sit on Facebook all day.

15 truths about working in social media marketing, (W)right on Communications; a San Diego public relations agency

Ugh. We actually work very hard!

2. You always develop a strategy, even when you post on your personal social media page.

15 truths about working in Social Media Marketing. (W)right on Communications; A San Diego public relations agency

We think a lot of people could benefit from this.

3. Getting a retweet or a share is the best feeling.

15 truths about working in social media marketing, (W)right on Communications; a San Diego public relations agency

4. Your work follows you home.

15 truths about working in social media marketing, (W)right on Communications; a San Diego public relations agency

Social media can be a 24/7 job. You have to stay on top of trends and make sure you’re available to respond to any engagement.

5. You have posted a personal status on the company page by mistake.

15 truths about working in social media marketing, (W)right on Communications; a San Diego public relations agency

6. You still feel guilty when your boss walks into the room and your screen is filled with social media feeds.

15 truths about working in social media marketing, (W)right on Communications; a San Diego public relations agency

7. You nag your coworkers about retweeting and sharing.

15 truths about working in social media marketing, (W)right on Communications; a San Diego public relations agency

Sorry, not sorry.

8. You are constantly scoping out other agencies to see how they use social media.

15 truths about working in social media marketing, (W)right on Communications; a San Diego public relations agency

A little healthy competition never hurt anyone.

9. Getting zero engagement is sometimes a reality.

15 truths about working in social media marketing, (W)right on Communications; a San Diego public relations agency

When you come up with the most clever Twitter post and don’t receive a single retweet. Borderline heartbreaking…

10. Social Media is constantly changing.

15 truths about working in social media marketing, (W)right on Communications; a San Diego public relations agency

The evolving nature of social media keeps us all on our toes and makes thought leadership all the more important.

11. You have memorized every random national holiday.

15 truths about working in social media marketing, (W)right on Communications; a San Diego public relations agency

Ya, that’s right. I know when National Hot Dog Day is and I’m not ashamed of it.

12. You have your own language.

15 truths about working in social media marketing, (W)right on Communications; a San Diego public relations agency

#Engagement #Impressions #GIF #Algorithm #HTML #Avatar

13. You sometimes get tired of social media.

15 truths about working in social media marketing, (W)right on Communications; a San Diego public relations agency

Let’s be honest. Being on social media as much as we are can take a toll.

14. You always have a camera handy.

15 truths about working in social media marketing, (W)right on Communications; a San Diego public relations agency

You’re always ready to catch that perfect picture to post on social!

15. You actually love what you do and secretly think that you can use marketing to change the world.

15 truths about working in social media marketing, (W)right on Communications; a San Diego public relations agency-weekend-update-high-five

So what do you think SoMe experts? Is this list pretty accurate? Leave your comments below!

Meet the Team: Jasmine – Marketing & Communications Coordinator

Headshot_Jasmine

We’re giving you the inside scoop on the entire WOC team with our “Meet the Team” series. This month, the spotlight is on our new Marketing & Administrative Coordinator, Jasmine Demers.

Jasmine is a known as an outgoing, self-starter with a passion for marketing communication. As the Marketing & Administrative Coordinator, she is responsible for (W)right On’s internal communication efforts as well as the support of client, employee and management needs.

Jasmine received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Cal State San Marcos, where she held a position as the Student Affairs Marketing & Promotion Assistant. She played an integral role in developing a new student life program for the university, along with the creation and maintenance of an official CSU website and social media platforms.

She takes pride in being able to connect to an audience and provide content that is engaging, fun and meaningful. Jasmine also has a love for writing and was the Managing Editor for the university newspaper. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking with her husband and dogs, going to the beach, reading, watching movies and traveling.

What would you be doing if you weren’t at your current job?
I wouldn’t be able to sit still. I have always found a way to keep busy and I know I’d be looking for a way to progress in my career.

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

Fill in the blank. “If you really knew me, you’d know ____.”
If you really knew me, you’d know that I am a feminist and social justice advocate.

What super power would you like to have?
I would love to have healing powers. I think the world could use a lot less physical and emotional pain.

What would a “perfect” day look like to you?
A perfect day would be being outdoors with my family and dogs, drinking wine, going swimming and playing card/board games.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in the past year?
You are the biggest obstacle standing between yourself and happiness. Self-appreciation is key.

Best vacation you’ve had?
Some of my greatest memories are from trips to Disneyland with my husband. We hope to go again soon!

What’s your most embarrassing moment at work?
There was this time I was working as a pizza delivery driver while in college, and I dropped a pizza on the ground right in front of a customer. I cried in my car before bringing them a new one!

Favorite quote?
“I raise up my voice—not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard…we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.” ―Malala Yousafzai

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

What’s your drink of choice?
It’s a tie between Moscato or Sangria. Just bring me both!

If you were stuck on an island and could only choose 5 CDs, what would they be?
10,000 Days by Tool, Speak Now by Taylor Swift, 1989 by Taylor Swift, 21 by Adele and Stripped by Christina Aguilera.

Fill in the blank. “People would be surprised if they knew___.”
People would be surprised if they knew that in high school I was the Drum Major of the marching band, the captain of my Academic Decathlon team, and a varsity cheerleader. Like I said before, I like to keep busy.

What’s your biggest pet peeve?
For some reason, it really bothers me when people don’t say bless you. It’s not even a religious thing, it just seems polite I guess!

What tv show/movie is your guilty pleasure?
I’ve watched all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls four times. No Shame.

What’s one thing you can’t live without?
My family!

Favorite line from a movie?
“I fell in love the way you fall asleep; slowly and then all at once.” – The Fault in Our Stars

Do you have an office nickname? What is it?
The consensus so far is either Jazz or Jazzmanian Devil.

What’s the best gift you have ever received?
It’s really hard to choose, but it’s between a necklace that I was given by my husband while he was away at boot camp and a poem that was written for me by my dad after I graduated college.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I really love to hike with my dogs, go to the beach, watch movies and travel!

The 411 on Social Media Best Practices in 2016

By Kara DeMent, Communications Coordinator


With more than two billion active social media users today, having a presence on social media is a must for brands that want to get noticed. With “best practices” and social media platforms evolving and ever-changing, it can be tough navigating the social media landscape to create effective campaigns.  If you want to be a savvy social media communicator in 2016, here are five ways you can stay on top of the game.

1. Inspiring Visuals

Use strong visuals that leave a lasting impression. Content paired with a great picture creates 650% more engagement according to recent studies. Recently, WOC helped hospitality client partner, Delaware North, secure the win for Best Use of Visuals from PR Daily – a great example of how creating captivating visuals can help your social media presence stand out.

2. Consistency is Key

Content says everything about your brand. And if you’re not consistent with creating and producing your own content, your brand will feel it. Continuously producing good original content gives you a better chance of being seen by your audience. The more you produce, the more love you’ll receive from your audience – although this depends on what your brands/clients’ needs are, you don’t want to over produce or under produce, so always keep this in mind.

3. Follow the Golden Rule

Whether it’s a fun visual, new product launch or exciting announcement; share, like and comment on content that other brands and influencers of interest to your audience produce. This exposes you to others who in return, may also share your content and help increase your followers and help your engagement. Give and you shall receive.

4. Engage Your Audience

Those of us who are social media pros don’t post content for the fun of it. We post for the opportunity to help our clients raise awareness, drive interest and build relationships. In order to make that opportunity a reality, that means we engage with our target audience by answering questions, commenting, sharing and liking content. The more you engage on social media, the closer you’re to achieving your client’s business goals.

5. Measuring Success

Measuring your social media results only helps you better your social media strategy. It shows you what’s working and what isn’t working. It gives you the leisure to experiment with what works for your brand. If you’re not sure how best to measure your results, the “Big 4” from Buffer is a great guide to follow.

If you’re still stuck on breaking through social media, our team at WOC can get you on the right track. Give us a call or find out more about our capabilities here.