(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!

 

How to Strengthen your Business with Diversity

By Ronda Williams—Marketing & Administrative Coordinator

Twitter: @R_Williams11


Diversity is defined as…

an instance of being composed of differing elements or qualities.

(W)OC has a diverse team of experts in various fields including communications, social media, public relations, graphic design, videography, and more. Not only is our team diverse but the industries we cover are also; this makes for a complementary partnership. Who says you can’t be an expert in more than one field?

The Facts about Diversity:

According to the Harvard School of Law, “the presence of an industry expert independent director is associated with an increase of 4.6% in firm value.”

Whether it be a firm, agency, or business having an industry expert will add to the value of your company.

Another fact  says, “40% of respondents in a recent survey of S&P 500 firms identified industry expertise as a desired background.”

We all could learn a thing-or-two from the business strategies of the S&P 500 firms.

Diversity in a Contagious Atmosphere:

At (W)OC we have a positive atmosphere that makes for less stress and allows us to GSD (Get Stuff Done).  Everyone here works together in  the benefit of achieving the tasks at hand.

Mark Nadler says, “You want people who understand the business and the industry that you’re in so they can think strategically.”

Having a team that is comprised of a diverse background makes for a winning team that can strategize together for the big win.

To put it simply, “a diverse team makes for a strong team!”

He goes on to say, “the roles of the individual board member, the outside person, is to pull the two sides together, to create a link and to bridge different opinions and different points of view.”  Again, backing up the concept of,

A diverse team = A strong team!

At (W)OC we help strengthen each other with our expertise. We’re always lending advice and coming together for a team huddle to create winning strategies for our client partner’s. Having that one team member that is an expert in such industries can be helpful to bring together both sides of a vision.

To learn more about the diverse industries that we cover please visit, www.WrightOnComm.com or give us a call at (858) 755-5411 and let us help bring your visions to life!

Trends Come and Go, But These 5 PR Tips Are Forever

By Aisha Belagam—Jr. Communications Strategist

Twitter: @AishaBelaPR


As we get closer to 2017, amidst a flurry of new trends, it is important to remember that the traditional fundamentals of public relations are timeless and the backbone of any campaign, be it 1977 or 2017.

Here are five forever PR techniques that I always return to, no matter what platform, reporter, or message I’m working with:

1) Write well, not good
The digital age has certainly increased the demands placed on public relations professionals. As the role has evolved into a management discipline, strategy and critical thinking drive executions. However, no matter how you slice it, writing continues to be the fundamental skill one must possess to thrive in the industry. Strong writing skills are consistently the top-rated PR skill in multitudes of surveys, including this recent one from Gould and Partners.Typewriter illustration vector Free Vector

Advanced writing skills are more important than ever in today’s changing landscape, where everything is instant. Journalists and PR professionals are dealing with 24/7 deadline pressures, while citizen journalists are simultaneously posting stories, videos, rumors, and statements that can permanently damage reputations. With heightened expectations and less time for give-and-take between journalists and publicists, it is vital that a PR professional can write well and deliver content that can be published as is, if needed.

It’s no wonder why so many PR pros, including myself, have journalism degrees.

2) Do your homework
Want to gain credibility and be taken seriously by reporters? Do your research. Distribution is easy if you spend your time wisely. Rather than blindly pitching hundreds of reporters and publications, spend your time developing a highly-targeted media list with unique angles to work with. You are more likely to spark interest this way. What has the reporter written about lately? How does it relate to your client’s story? Connect the dots and show the reporter why your story is relevant. Remember what runs through the reporter’s mind: WIFM (What’s In It For Me).

3) Put the relations back into public relations
Alluding to my last point, PR/journalist relationships still rest on the rudiments. Good chemistry trumps a random, well-crafted pitch. There is no substitution for real, emotional connection, regardless of how strategic and seamless your pitch is. Behind the screens, we are all humans. Build trust, rapport and friendships with media members and make life easier for both sides. Sure, no one has time for frequent business lunches anymore. Leverage the tools of today to balance it out. A Facebook comment, Instagram like or casual chitchat over the phone can help build that relationship.

“That Facebook video of your son taking his first steps was precious, William. Did he end up making it to the chair with some practice?”

4) Man bites dogyorkshire Free Photo
That sure got your attention. You never read about the dog that bit the man. Or about the plane that did not crash. Alfred Harmsworth’s (1865-1922) words hold true to this day. Be unusual. Make your story different. Offer a unique angle.

Why? Because as New York Sun editor John B. Bogart so eloquently said, “When a dog bites a man, that is not news, because it happens so often. But if a man bites a dog, that is news.”

5) Do the right thing
Public relations professionals face many unique and challenging ethical issues. Simultaneously, protecting integrity and public trust continue to be crucial to the profession’s role and reputation. That’s why it is vital to refer to the PRSA Code of Professional Ethics. Ethics make or break careers. The power of doing the right thing is illimitable.

It’s why I’m a part of (W)right On Communications. We provide award-winning, full-spectrum communications to billion-dollar companies and small businesses alike because we live by these timeless tips as we embrace the ever-changing landscape.

What matters most to you? Let us know in the comments. Or of course, tweet, tweet!

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

Headshot_Kara

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

Tasty chocolate and cream cake Free Photo

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.

The Hills 1x01 the hills 101 pr heidi

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.

People in social networking Free Vector

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.

Glass pint tankards Free Vector

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.