(W)right On Communications Best of 2017! #GSD

By Julie Wright —President
Twitter: @juliewright


I’m excited to see what 2018 holds for (W)right On Communications, but when I look back on 2017, I’m awed by all that our growing agency achieved! As we like to say here, we GSD–got “stuff” done! But more than that, we made stuff happen, and that’s how we measure success. Here’s a quick glimpse at the events that made a difference in 2017 from where I sit.

Epic Team Outing to Kick Off the Year

JANUARY: We started 2017 off on the right foot with a trip to Universal Studios to bring our hard-working team together for a fun outing. There was just one little challenge: the torrential rain. Talk about team building. Wearing our ponchos like super heroes, we braved the storm and had a blast. The day left us soaked with memories.

In January, we also celebrated Chance Shay’s promotion to Practice Area Director overseeing the agency’s dedicated B2B & Technology Public Relations practice and Land Development PR & Community Outreach practice. With eight years of strategic communications experience, Chance continues to make significant contributions to (W)right On Communications and 2017 was no exception.

Talking PR Measurement in Miami

FEBRUARY: PR measurement was something we continued to invest in throughout 2017. Attending the Ragan PR Measurement Conference in Miami Feb. 1-2 allowed me to hear from industry veterans, academics and PR leaders from MuckRack, Google, IBM and Spirit Airlines–to name just a few of the great speakers.

Ragan’s 2018 PR Measurement Conference is in San Diego Feb. 20 and 21. If you’re interested in staying on top of the latest in PR measurement trends, tech and best practices, it’s not too late to register here.

Launched “Thoughtful Thursdays”—WOC’s Internal Professional Development Series

MARCH: We launched our “Thoughtful Thursdays” in March. These were one-hour professional development workshops that brought our team together (in-person and via our web-conferencing tech) to learn the latest in PR measurement, media interviewing, social media advertising, integrated strategic campaigns, leading effective meetings and more. Sessions were led by Chance Shay, Kara DeMent and me. I really enjoyed these mornings and now look forward to our 2018 series.

Adding Media Integration Services

APRIL: We added media integration services to our agency public relations services. Unlike traditional publicity, media integration opportunities are paid, not earned, opportunities. They can feature your product or service as part of a national, regional or local news or lifestyle program and will often include a lead generation component. Media integration works extremely well for products that are experiential like a resort or destination, and our hospitality public relations practice and its client partners have made good use of media integration since the service launched.

Opening WOC’s Downtown L.A. Office

MAY: We took a space on the 35th floor of the Gas Tower in the Banker’s Hill area of downtown Los Angeles. Our convenient base in L.A. makes it easier for the team to meet with clients and media plus opens the door to new relationships. Personally, I love my Pacific Surfliner trips up and down the Southern California coast plus exploring all that downtown L.A. offers like the sights and flavors of Grand Central Market.

Taking the PR Measurement Conversation Global

JUNE: Grant and I traveled to Bangkok to attend the AMEC Global Summit on Measurement and annual awards dinner. The conference attracted communicators, media researchers and evaluation experts from across Europe and Southeast Asia. One of the highlights for me was meeting Professor Jim Macnamara in person. Somehow, I had the good fortune to sit next to him throughout the two-day conference. As the author of all the textbooks I studied on PR measurement, I was thrilled to meet him in person and hear about his latest projects firsthand.

A New WOC Strategist as Sweet as She is Swedish

JULY: Sandra Wellhausen joined our team this summer, and it felt like we’d found the missing bolt in an Ikea Billy bookcase box!

Nothing Eclipsed August

AUGUST: Pardon the pun, but a lot of effort went into seeing this major solar event. Being able to enjoy it with friends and family was the result of a great team supporting our (W)right On client partners and operations.

Peak Mindfulness

SEPTEMBER: It was a month of mindfulness for WOC with everyone at the agency focused on major client projects from a video for the City of San Diego’s energy efficiency programs to the grand opening of the University of Redlands’ new San Diego campus. Speaking of universities, our friends at the College of Business Administration at CSUSM had Grant and I in to speak to students during their “In the Executive’s Chair” class. But peak mindfulness (you’re expecting puns, now, I hope?) occurred as Shae Geary and I attended the Yosemite Wellness Retreat Weekend hosted by client partner Tenaya Lodge. We hiked Sentinel Dome stopping for yoga as we started off and once we summited. It was out of this world. Check out the link for their 2018 wellness weekend dates!

Are You Guys Dressing Up for Halloween? Of Course.

OCTOBER: It was another fun Halloween at (W)right On’s San Diego office.

Keeping the Creative Visual Communications Flowing

NOVEMBER: We were grateful that KeAsha Rogers joined our team bringing her graphic and digital design skills and passion to benefit our client partners. She had to hit the ground running as we were full-tilt in a sprint ourselves to launch a rebrand for one of our nonprofit client partners. (KeAsha, 16-hour days aren’t the norm—we swear!)

Making a Difference for a Major Nonprofit Client Partner

DECEMBER: December was the debut of Radiant Health Centers, a rebrand for AIDS Services Foundation Orange County which had been providing HIV testing, prevention and education services and comprehensive social services for 32 years. The nonprofit’s leadership saw the need to offer broader services to Orange County’s most vulnerable LGBT community members. Their launch event was a rousing success, and it was a proud moment for the entire (W)right On team. We have had the good fortune of helping many nonprofit clients over the years, but the courage and vision of Radiant Health Centers’ leadership and supporters have really touched and inspired us.

Not to be overlooked, we celebrated Kara DeMent’s promotion from Communications Coordinator to Communications Strategist in December.

What’s in Store for 2018?

We have so much planned for this year, but at (W)right On Communications, we like to take stock of our achievements and not gloss over the high points we hit in 2017.

2018 will mark a very significant milestone in the agency’s history. And to celebrate it, we’re working on exciting plans that will continue our growth, our ability to produce wins for our client partners and opportunities for our team members to grow and achieve. Stay tuned!

 

The Perfect Media List – First Step in PR Success

media list

media list

By Rhiannon Seider, Business & New Media Specialist

Media outreach is often the bread and butter of a public relations program. Of course, there’s a lot more that goes into a successful campaign, but if your content isn’t shared, it doesn’t matter how great it is. The first step in spreading the word is a solid media list.

Why Media Lists Matter

The media list is arguably the most important part of any media outreach program. It is essentially a go-to database of contacts for every outlet you want content published in, and a well-researched media list can be the difference between a decent campaign and a great campaign.

media listAs every organization is different, every media list should be different. The target audience and messaging should be used as a guide to build a customized list. The more aligned the contacts on the list are with the program goals, the more likely you are to be successful.

All About the Research

The first step in building a perfect media list is research. Every contact included on your list should have the potential to cover your pitch, and the way to ensure this is through diligent research.

media listAn online database is a useful tool for finding the publications that you want to target. While a database can be a huge help, it should only be used as a starting point for building a list. Most publications, especially larger ones, have multiple reporters who cover the same beat, so finding the right contact is largely up to you. Taking the time to read each publication to figure out which contact is right for your client is essential.

A few questions to keep in mind when researching a publication:

“Who has written about my client in the past?”

“Who has written about their competitors?”

“Who covers topics that are most aligned with my client?”

If you take the time to answer those three questions, you are putting yourself and your client at a huge advantage.

Organization is Key

A media list is bound to get long, so keeping it neat and organized is important. The time spent researching different types of publications and outlets should be reflected in your media list. If you have your list organized according to publication type and size, it will be easier to find the correct contacts when you need them.

disorganizedHaving your media list organized can also help you spot gaps in your list. While a list may look full when all of the contacts are grouped together, once you start segmenting it out, it is easy to identify the areas in which you’re lacking.

Another important element is a section to add notes about each contact. While notes are not necessary for every contact, it is helpful to know which contacts have written about your clients or their competitors. You can also add in anything else you know about the contact that may aid you in the pitching process. Mentioning that a reporter is particularly unfriendly towards PR people, for example, can help your colleagues prep for a call or tailor an email to address the person in the best possible manner.

Great PR involves forming relationships with the press, and keeping notes in your list can help build and maintain those relationships.

Stay Up-to-Date

Creating the perfect media list is a lengthy process that is never completely finished. It is important to consistently go through and update your list. In such a fast-paced media landscape, publications and contacts change rapidly, and you need to make sure your list reflects these changes. Updating contact information and adding notes can go a long way to make sure your media list is relevant.

A great media list requires a substantial amount of time and effort, but, when it is done right, it can become one of the most important tools you can have.

 

Meet the Team: Julie – San Diego PR Pro

Because it’s her birthday today, we’re dedicating our 3rd edition of “Meet our Team” to our President and in-house champagne connoisseur, Julie Wright.

A connected and passionate communicator and successful entrepreneur, Julie leads client strategy development and oversees the hard-working team at (W)right On, inspiring excellence and achievement for the agency’s clients every day.

Originally from Vancouver, B.C., she began her career as a journalist, working as a radio news anchor. Today, her knowledge and skill in traditional public relations strategies and marketing communications is matched with her social media and online marketing know-how. Julie is a past chair of the San Diego North Economic Development Council Board of Directors and the President’s University Council, a community advisory group at California State University San Marcos. She sits on the Board of Trustees of the Tri-City Hospital Foundation and on the advisory board for RSI Systems International, developers of the RoomKey guest experience software for the hospitality industry.

Julie has achieved various recognitions for her community service and leadership, including being named a Woman Who Means Business by the San Diego Business Journal in 2010 and a 40 Under 40 honoree by San Diego Metropolitan in 2006. She received the Fran Aleshire Award for Community Leadership from the alumni of Leadership North County in 2009.

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

I would be the host of my own champagne travel show and leading champagne travel tours. (Don’t let me think too hard about this or I just might run off and do it!)

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

Adventurous

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

Where I’m ticklish.

 What super power would you like to have?

Time travel

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

Wake to a Hawaiian sunrise. Go for a run. Eat papaya with a squeeze of lime for breakfast. Go snorkeling or diving. Sip a maitai by the pool. Nap. Go shopping. Buy a pretty dress. Wear it to dinner under a Banyan tree. Listen to the Hawaiian singers and watch the sunset.

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

I’m happiest when I’m laughing.

Best vacation you’ve had?

See #5 (Hawaii). See also #1 (champagne).

Favorite quote?

Luck is opportunity meeting preparation.

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

Helen Mirren.

What’s your drink of choice?A Champagne Cheers!

See #1, but I have many drinks of choice depending on mood or time of day. If you are talking happy hour, then I would say a pint of Avery White Rascal. But in the hot drink category, it has to be Good Earth Green Tea Lemongrass, which I have been hoarding since it was discontinued.

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

The Eagles Greatest Hits

Foo Fighters Greatest Hits

Green Day’s American Idiot

Willie Nelson’s Greatest Hits

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons

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

I am not actually ticklish.

What’s your biggest pet peeve?

The expression, “I know, right?” If you know, then why are you asking me?

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

My sons.

Favorite line from a movie?

“You don’t know what it’s like to be me out here for you. It’s a pride-swallowing siege that I will never fully tell you about.” – Jerry Maguire

Do you have an office nickname? What is it?

J-Dub

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

For my 12th birthday, my mom bought me hot pink overalls. For my 13th birthday, she bought me banana yellow rugby pants. Not exactly what young teenage girls are hoping to get when they just want to fit in. My grandfather gave me a rake one year. I guess he thought I should be pitching in around his yard. And, to round out the list, I have to throw in the white yarn vest with tasseled fringe that my husband got me for my birthday the month after we got engaged.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Anything active. Run, hike, yoga, cycle, practice golf, walk the dogs…