ProVisors’ Matt Toledo on building the best relationships

As Matt Toledo writes for Forbes, one of the surprising truths in the professional services world is that the more you give and help others, the more you reap the benefits.

“The rule of reciprocity goes into effect, and you start leveraging the power of relationships. The cultivation of long-term, deep relationships with people you can trust when referral opportunities arise can create something meaningful professionally and personally.”

According to Toledo, there are three simple ways you can be generous to those around you, while also reaping the benefits of these relationships for your business.

Read the full article: Relationships: The More You Give The More You Get (Forbes)

April 16th, 2018|Categories: Client News|Tags: , , , , |

6 ways to add fireworks to your networking | eNews from OWC

Networking is an art that takes practice to master.  The wider the network, the greater reach your message and your brand will have.  After all, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. So how do you start to make these connections?  A new contact can provide new viewpoints and new opportunities.  Here are six tips to network like a pro.

Download PDF version of this issue: 6 ways to add fireworks to your networking

  • Develop a roadmap.  The first step to successful networking is to figure out where you should be headed and what stops to make along the way.  Before the year ends, create an events calendar with dates for all major industry conferences and meetings.  Start local and go from there.  Make it your mission to attend at least 10 events each year.  Conferences like Fortune Brainstorm TECH and Thrive are popular for business leaders and key influencers.  Watch for speaking and panel opportunities.
  • Do your research.  Before an event, pinpoint who will be there.  Look at speakers’ social media activity and browse through recent media coverage of them.  Subscribe to newsletters and news alerts from major outlets like The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal and business trades such as Inc., Forbes and Entrepreneur.  Collect information so that, when an introduction occurs, you can work what you have learned into the conversation.  It only takes one tidbit to strike a connection.
  • Step outside your comfort zone.  Make a point to talk to new people.  If you’re an introvert, start a conversation with someone who is standing alone.  They may appreciate that you were the initiator.  For the more socially confident, stake out a high-traffic location like the bar or near the check-in table.  This will give you access to many potential connections.
  • Be a giver.  Start with your business card.  Make this exchange more memorable by handwriting additional contact information or a keyword relating to your conversation on it.   Introduce your new connections to the people you’ve already met, especially when you see a reason why they should meet.
  • Be smart about social.  The number of Fortune 500 CEOs on Twitter continues to rise.  Social media allows you to network at the palm of your hands.  Conferences always have a hashtag – use it for your posts and to see what other attendees have shared.  Join the conversation, ask questions and jump in when you see an opening.  This will be the easiest way to network.
  • Stay connected.  After a conference or a business lunch, don’t stop networking.  Keep in touch.  Connect with new contacts on LinkedIn, and while you’re at it, publish a post about the event, its value and your key takeaways.  Don’t just build your network, stay engaged with your network.

It’s crucial to meet new people to grow a business or build a brand.  You’re not trying to become fast friends, but rather establish a professional relationship that will benefit both parties.  The more opportunities for growth and exposure, the better.  With the rise of social media, the world has become more connected than ever.  Take advantage of the tools that are already at your disposal.


Send the invite, pick up the phone. Practice these tips at your next summer party.


On June 23, 2017, OWC CEO and Founder Tracy Williams (far right) moderated the “Scale Your Business, Build Your Future” panel at the 2017 Los Angeles Business Journal Women’s Summit. The event hosted hundreds of thriving women entrepreneurs.

July 6th, 2017|Categories: eNewsletter|Tags: , , , , , , |

Beyond the Booth + OWC Finalist for National PR Award | eNews from OWC

Trade show season heats up in the fall with promises of new business leads from a targeted pool of prospects.  The average expense of participating ranges from $35,000 to beyond $50,000 when you add booth space and construction, conference fees, travel, lodging, meals and sponsorship.  Is it worth it? Yes: It only takes one new customer to justify the investment.

Download PDF of this issue: Beyond the Booth and OWC Finalist for National PR Award

Another big payoff is the public relations opportunities these shows provide.  Below is a checklist after negotiating a keynote speech or panelist position:

  1. Set up meetings with attending media.  Trade shows provide reporters with free passes to encourage them to attend.  The media list can be obtained four to six weeks in advance, allowing ample time to reach out to individual reporters and editors.  Invite them to the booth to meet and discuss industry trends with key executives who have been prepped on approved messaging.  Just sending a press release is passive.  Be active.
  2. Trade shows provide a five-minute platform to announce news during the show.  Take advantage and tout your latest news, a new client, new market, new partner or perhaps a white paper.  Give them something to remember that sets you apart from others.
  3. Conduct a media breakfast or dinner to build relationships.  Reporters don’t want to be grouped with their competitors, but they’ll come if you give them access to something interesting.  A CEO breakfast with customers, research analyst or the author of a relevant book can make it easy for a journalist to find news and new contacts.  It also positions the company as a thought leader with a story sense.
  4. Work with the event publication to feature your products and services each day.  Trade shows need content too — so offer them some.  Drone World Expo is one of many shows with an extensive news section.  They’ll be featuring interviews with companies and touting their news releases in the run-up to the November event.
  5. Showcase customers at your booth and in all communications with the media during the event.  Customers are the proof point, and their front-line stories offer the quotations journalists need to tell your story.
  6. Finally, always add the name of the trade show to news releases distributed through wire services such as Business Wire and PRNewswire during the show.  Media covering the industry will be on alert for news coming from the show; make it easy for them to find.  Who doesn’t want to know what’s hot at the annual Consumer Electronics Show?  Also, trade shows typically offer wire service discounts for exhibitors, a small savings.  Check with your marketing contact.

Olmstead Williams Communications is at work for clients attending the October fintech conference Money 20/20 (submit your news for the show).  ESNA, one of the top energy storage shows, is just a few weeks away, too — a can’t-miss event for our cleantech clients.  With countless shows nationwide, there is always at least one that will move your business forward.

We know the business media is interested in business. Make it your business to be interested in them. Contact me if you want more tips.

The Oberthur Technologies booth attracted hundreds of targeted prospects at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, earlier this year. Just as important at trade shows are the media interviews and other opportunities that take place beyond the booth

The Oberthur Technologies booth attracted hundreds of targeted prospects at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, earlier this year. Just as important at trade shows are the media interviews and other opportunities that take place beyond the booth.


OWC Finalist for Top Award


Olmstead Williams Communications is one of three finalists nationally for the PR News Agency Elite Awards in the Financial Communications category.  The annual awards honor firms that set industry standards for excellence across all areas of public relations.

“In just one year, our client  Oberthur Technologies became the No. 1 chip-card supplier in the U.S.,” said Tracy Williams, president and CEO of Olmstead Williams Communications.  “Solid outcomes are what companies deserve in our industry, and we congratulate the other finalists named by PR News for their accomplishments.”

Williams was honored by PR News as one of the Top Women in PR in 2015.  Winners of the “Agency Elite Awards” will be announced at a luncheon on October 19 in New York City.

So, what does this have to do with public relations?

Marie is from Germany and has been interning at OWC since November
Marie Ebenezer is from Germany and has been interning at OWC since November.

Last week, I wrote about my time here in Los Angeles and the intercultural challenges I’ve faced so far. Olmstead Williams Communications received a lot of positive feedback about my post, and it encouraged me to keep writing.

One of the responses I got for my blog posts was: “That’s very nice, but what does this have to do with public relations?” My father – who is always very interested in what I do – was a little bit puzzled by the fact that I’m basically writing a travel blog, instead of doing what I should be doing at OWC, namely, public relations.

Many people who do not work in this industry find it hard to understand what PR really is. Well, here is what I’ve learned so far:


The term “public relations” is tricky to pinpoint. Especially in recent years with the rise of social media, the practice of PR has undergone a tremendous change. The aim of PR is to influence public opinion by managing the flow of information between an organization and the public. PR is a mutually beneficial communication. For example, when a reporter is writing a story, we want to feature our client in their story– ideally, both the reporter and our client benefit from this exchange.

Data is the key to a successful pitch. It is important to know the targeted audience and the current attitudes about the issue.

Data is the key to a successful pitch. It is important to know the targeted audience and the current attitudes about the issue.


This communication between our client and the public has to be planned ahead and thoughtfully executed.  At OWC, I’ve learned that data is the key to a successful pitch. It is important to know the targeted audience and the current attitudes about the issue. You have to ask yourself several questions: Who do we want to reach? Are people talking about this? What is the position of the product/organization/person on the market? Once we know this, we can successfully communicate information about the client to the public through the media. Finally, we monitor what we’ve communicated to see if coverage has been successful.


Now, all this jargon does not yet tell you what we actually do – Germans like to know the concrete facts – so I should get to the point. Much of our time is spent writing. Press releases are probably the most well-known tactic, but we also write speeches, pamphlets, reports, etc. And, lots of e-mails! In order to get the data we need, we also spend a lot of time researching attitudes and opinions. Social media is a crucial interface between our clients and the public, and part of our job is to monitor our clients’ websites and blogs. Finally, a big part of working in PR is getting business. Very often, several PR firms compete for the same client, and whoever has the best pitch – and sometimes the lowest bid – wins. This also means that you always have to be networking, shaking hands, and meeting people, because who knows – your next client could be the next hand you shake.

These are just a few of the tasks PR professionals have, but from what I’ve experienced at Olmstead Williams Communications so far, they are crucial.  I’m excited to find out more. And maybe the most important lesson that I’ve learned about public relations – like in many other professions – is that one is never done learning.

January 29th, 2013|Categories: Client News|Tags: , , , , , , |