OWC wins 2 PRisms: Gay inclusion campaign and inner city police program

Derek Houck and Stephanie Harnett of Olmstead Williams Communications

Olmstead Williams Communications won two PRisms at the 2013 PRSA-Los Angeles PRism Awards held Wednesday, Nov. 6, at The Beverly Hills Hotel

The firm was honored for helping the Western Los Angeles County Council of Boy Scouts support inclusion for all gay Scouts and troop leaders (Pro Bono Program category). OWC also was recognized for its work with the Police Orientation Preparation Program (POPP) which helps inner city kids join the middle class by preparing them for jobs in law enforcement (Non-Profit Campaign category).

Over the past three year, OWC has won seven PRisms. Last year, the firm was honored for Ongoing Product or Service Program, Reputation/Brand Management and Healthcare Programs.

The Los Angeles Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America annually recognizes outstanding programs and materials created by public relations professionals who work in the Greater Los Angeles area or have completed assignments for LA-based clients.

Content marketing should drive business, not create confusion

content marketing quiz_Olmstead Williams CommunicationsBy Tracy Williams

Many companies have a tendency to get caught up in tactics aimed at “overcoming” the latest Google algorithms. The key has always been relevant content — “news you can use,” counterintuitive research or new products that make everyone perk up. That’s what encourages the search engines to take notice.

New terminology like “content marketing,” an alternative to “integrated marketing,” creates a mystique, and that’s not effective communications. Whatever the name, customers and clients care about content and context. That means taking another look at your studies, surveys, news releases, photos, commentary and more — and reworking, shortening/ expanding or even illustrating with infographics. Then publish and share with the audiences most likely to move the needle for your business.

With that in mind, below are six critical content marketing tips to utilize the latest tools and more importantly, drive new business:

  • Get senior staff involved. Don’t leave everything up to the unskilled intern who knows more about the “Breaking Bad” finale than they do your business.
  • Embed links to social media platforms in everything you do. This one sounds so simple, but often companies don’t even have email signatures with contact information, especially among senior executives. Not only should every email that ever leaves your company include the name, title and phone number of the person sending it — so it’s super easy to contact them — it should have links to their LinkedIn, corporate Facebook page, Twitter handle and any other platforms the company is actively using.
  • Stop shooting videos of everything you do and thinking anyone cares. We all have video cameras on our smart phones. You don’t want to watch our videos either. Learn to use video smartly. Educate yourself by studying the most successful videos on YouTube. What did they do differently that works? And remember, the only time there should be a talking head is when the CEO has breaking news to report.
  • Crack the code on blogs. There are different kinds of blogs. Some just want free stuff. Others expect you to pay them for media coverage. And then there are blogs that are legitimate, independent news sources offering the same third-party credibility of other earned media such as newspapers and TV news. Not all blogs are created equal. Target the credible ones.
  • Make sure everything you do is repurposed across as many of your platforms as you can, and don’t forget SEO. That newspaper article about your latest product launch needs to be shared on all of your social media platforms. And, to assure maximum SEO benefits, make certain your website and blog are optimized to load quickly and take advantage of keywords in headlines, body copy, title tags, meta descriptions and permalinks. Consider creating an enewsletter announcing the news and send to your full database of clients and prospects through a tool like Constant Contact. (We used it for this email.)
  • Embrace the power to measure everything, from Google Analytics that track your website and blog, to insights from Facebook that tell you new likes, the number of people talking about you and your weekly total reach, to Net Promoter scores that help you zero in on only the most loyal customers. Even Cision, a popular database of reporters and editors, has an Influencer rating for all reporters and editors to help you target the most important contacts for your business.

So, what really matters for your business? What platforms are the best for you, and how should you be engaged?

That’s all part of your content marketing strategy. If you need help figuring that out, feel free to let us know. We can develop a comprehensive program or assist with an extremely specific project. See “Boosting a Post on Facebook” as an example that worked well for one client wanting to increase traffic at their tradeshow booth.

Forrester Research predicts U.S. marketers will spend $4.8 billion on social media tactics alone this year. Make sure you spend it on the right ones and take full advantage of leveraging your content throughout all relevant channels.

We’re easy to find. Just call, email or direct message us on Twitter.

Williams is president and CEO of Olmstead Williams Communications.

OWC finalists for two PRism Awards

0027674 PremiumMarket_aOlmstead Williams Communications has been named a finalist in two categories for the 2013 PRSA Los Angeles PRism Awards.

The firm is being honored for helping the Western Los Angeles County Council of Boy Scouts support inclusion for all gay Scouts and troop leaders (Pro Bono Program category).

OWC also is being recognized and for its work with the Police Orientation Preparation Program (POPP) which helps inner city kids join the middle class by preparing them for jobs in law enforcement (Non-Profit Campaign category).

The PRism Awards Dinner and Show will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 6, at The Beverly Hills Hotel.

Olmstead Williams Communications signs four new clients

tracy-and-stephanie

Tracy Williams, CEO and president of Olmstead Williams Communications, and Stephanie Harnett, senior associate

Olmstead Williams Communications, a public relations and social media agency, has signed four new clients: The Great Courses, DreamHammer, SmartMetric and UCLA’s Sustainable Technology & Policy Program.

Media coverage of announcement:

“There was no business slowdown this summer,” said Tracy Williams, CEO and president of Olmstead Williams Communications. “From command and control software for drones to secured healthcare data and lifelong learning, OWC is growing with exceptional technology businesses and elite brands.”

More about each new client:

  • Bill Gates is one of 10 million people who have downloaded, streamed, or purchased CD and DVD copies of college courses taught by the best professors in the country through The Great Courses. This isn’t about class credit. It’s about extremely bright people continuing to dress up their minds long after they are finished with school.
  • DreamHammer provides world-class open architecture control software for all unmanned military and industrial systems. Drones can be nearly any vehicle in the air, water or on land — from a John Deere tractor to a construction crane — and with DreamHammer’s software, one person can control an entire fleet from a single device.
  • SmartMetric‘s mobile medical records solution MedicalKeyring features unmatched security with the smallest biometric fingerprint reader ever developed. It’s self-powered, and it’s also compatible with all leading healthcare records systems and file formats.
  • UCLA’s Sustainable Technology & Policy Program (STPP) promotes public health and environmental protection by developing innovative chemical policies to spread safer manufacturing processes throughout the country. That includes green solutions like wet cleaning — the safer alternative to dry cleaning.

KFWB’s ‘Business Rockstars’ talks social media, PR with Williams

Business Rockstars is a weekly show on KFWB, NEWS TALK 980 for ENTREPRENEURS by entrepreneurs. Every Monday through Friday, 2-4pm Ken Rutkowski connects the listener to some of the biggest names in business to share their experience and knowledge of entrepreneurship.

Business Rockstars is a weekly show on KFWB, NEWS TALK 980 for ENTREPRENEURS by entrepreneurs. Every Monday through Friday, 2-4 p.m. Ken Rutkowski connects the listener to some of the biggest names in business to share their experience and knowledge of entrepreneurship.

Ken Rutkowski of “Business Rockstars” on KFWB interviewed Tracy Williams in the studio on Tuesday about ways to get your brand and messaging out to the public.

Williams, president and CEO of Olmstead Williams Communications, talks about all of the latest social media tools and public relations tips that can be executed even if you’re on a budget.

Each episode of “Business Rockstars” features two guests discussing their business failures and success stories in the world of entrepreneurship.

Tracy’s “Rockstar” profile 

Language and identity in public relations

obama mirror

President Obama’s speeches, written by PR professionals, reflect the identity he adopts at that moment.

By Marie Ebenezer

This semester I am taking an English Linguistics class at Freiburg University in Germany called “Language and Identity.” I chose this class because I have always wondered about the relationship between the language(s) you speak and how you identify yourself.

I am bilingual, and people ask me all the time: “Do you feel more German or more French?” “What language do you dream in?” or “What are you going to speak with your children?” Speaking several languages changes how people perceive you and consequently how you are identified.

In public relations, we write many different kinds of materials — press releases, blog posts, tweets, speeches and more. The format and the style change depending on the type of document/post and the audience. This also happens in everyday situations. You speak differently to your best friend from college than you do to your boss.

As an example, President Obama’s speeches, written by PR professionals, reflect the identity he adopts at that moment. Here is an excerpt from his inauguration speech in January:

“What makes us exceptional, what makes us America is our allegiance to an idea articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

Obama is the solemn, composed head of state in that speech, and his words reflect the importance of the moment. In contrast, here is part of a speech he gave at Manor New Tech High School in Texas earlier this month:

“Hello, Texas!  Howdy, Manor.  Go Titans! I hear that there’s a rule that anyone who gives a presentation in front of the class has to dress up, so I made sure to wear a tie. I didn’t want to lose points.”

By using “howdy” and making reference to a popular sports team, Obama takes on a different identity – that of a cool and friendly president. It makes it easy for students to identify with him. The light and humorous tone stands in complete opposition to the graveness of the inaugural speech.

The relationship between language and identity is extremely relevant in PR because language is our main tool. All the aspects we need to consider when thinking of an audience – age, gender, cultural background – are what constitutes our identity.

In everyday life, most of this back and forth happens unconsciously. We don’t calculate how we talk to our friends or bosses because these processes are deeply ingrained. In public relations, however, we have to be aware of this difference.

Ebenezer is a former intern at Olmstead Williams Communications.

Agency’s Tracy Williams to serve as Morgan Stanley panelist

Tracy Williams, CEO and president of Olmstead Williams Communications

Tracy Williams, CEO and president of Olmstead Williams Communications

As part of The Nonprofit Breakfast Series presented by Morgan Stanley, Tracy Williams, president of Olmstead Williams Communications, will serve as a panelist at 7:30 a.m. this Friday at a seminar at the Luxe Sunset Hotel in Los Angeles titled “Driving Revenue: Tuning up Fundraising.”

Nonprofit board members and executives, please join Williams and the other panelists as they address the following questions: Are you using all available tools and methods to reach your community? Do you have a sustainable fundraising strategy? Are you just having events or are you engaging donors?

The seminar is free but requires registration.

OWC’s Williams hosts webinar on social media and PR

Tracy Olmstead Williams is the CEO of OWC. She is an expert on social media and public relations and a GW alumnus.

Tracy Williams, founder and CEO of Olmstead Williams Communications.

Tracy Williams, founder and CEO of Olmstead Williams Communications, hosted a webinar today titled “The Impact of Social Media on Public Relations” for George Washington University’s Alumni Association. Almost 100 people tuned in to hear Williams discuss how social media has changed the practice of public relations.

She assessed the challenges of social media and describes the best way to make use of these new platforms in public relations and business. The full webinar is available online.

Olmstead Williams Communications wins three PRisms at 48th annual PRSA-Los Angeles awards

Olmstead Williams Communications won three PRisms at the 48th Annual PRSA-Los Angeles Awards held at the Grand Ballroom in Hollywood on Wednesday, November 7. The firm was honored in the following categories:

  • “Ongoing Product or Service Program – Business to Business”
  • “Reputation/Brand Management – Corporate Business”
  • “Healthcare Programs – Ongoing”

“We have a team of superstars here, and these awards are a testament to their creativity and tenacity to get things done for our clients,” said Tracy Williams, president and CEO of Olmstead Williams Communications, which works with technology and professional services companies to meet their sales and marketing objectives. “It’s an honor to work with them each day. Plus, it’s fun.”

Agencies, corporations and non-profit organizations throughout Los Angeles won a total of 57 PRism Awards in 27 different categories. In addition, seven 2012 Special Honorees were recognized for outstanding public relations contributions. Emmy Award-winning TV personality Bob Eubanks, best known for the “The Newlywed Game,” presented one of the special awards to Sallie Bixby, president of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses. For a complete list of 2012 winners, visit: http://www.prsala.org/PRism/2012-PRism-Award-Winners