Putting plan into action: The story of how I created my own website

By Marie Ebenezer Logo-TKC

About three months ago, I had to get an MRI for a knee checkup. Anyone who has ever had an MRI knows that you have to lie completely still or else the scan will be blurry. So I found myself with 20 minutes of nothingness – no movement, no phone, no internet, no book – it was just me, my thoughts and the numbing sound of the machine. My mind started to wander and it quickly ended up at the question that hovers over any soon-to-be university graduate: what should I do after I finish school?! I would like to work in PR, this much I know. My internship at OWC was a valuable first step for me, but where to go from there? It has been almost two years since I went to Los Angeles, so I’ve been feeling like I have to do something to get back in the game. Well, it was while I was lying in the MRI scanner that I figured it out: I should do a recipe website. It all made sense: I love to cook and bake, I enjoy writing about things that interest me, and if I created my own website, I could also gain some valuable PR know-how. This seemed like the perfect plan, and I eagerly went home to start working on my little project.

food-TKC001The first thing I did was to decide what I wanted my page to be like. There are countless of recipe websites, let alone food blogs, so it was important for me to find a niche that had not yet been explored. I came up with a concept that reflected who I am, and that I thought could be successful: fun family style recipes from Europe and beyond, accessible to Europeans as well as Americans (and others, of course!). I also debated for a long time whether I should do a blog or a regular website. I went for a mix between the two! What I like about blogs is that people can see right away what the newest posts are, but I find that websites are often more clearly laid out, with a distinct menu bar and a more user-friendly setup.

Having a concrete idea of the website in mind, I then thought about a name for my “brand”. Obviously, the name had to be catchy, but I also wanted it to be “transparent”, which means that people intuitively understand what a word or phrase means. I decided to call it “The Kitchen Corner”. Intuitively, people will know that The Kitchen Corner has something to do with food, and the simple name with a positive ring is in line with the easy and tasty dishes I want to write about. I checked online to make sure that no website called The Kitchen Corner already existed, and I was in luck. Now that the name was settled, it was time to get serious!

To create your own website, you have to get a domain. A domain is basically an address, or a piece of “internet land”, that you buy the rights for from a web hosting service. Because I am not an apt web designer, I chose a web host that allows you to use WordPress (WP) for the domain you bought. This is great because as soon as your domain has been activated (which usually only takes a few hours), you can get started with designing your website using WP as a framework. WP has hundreds of different themes and customization options, so you can create a personalized layout that meets your needs exactly. For the layout of The Kitchen Corner, I chose a clean and feel-good look with recognition value. It took me about 6 weeks until I was happy with the layout of the website – 6 weeks of intense googling and watching video tutorials with the occasional verbal assault against my laptop! And then, I could finally start writing and “PR-ing”!

Marie-TKCBefore going public, I wrote an about page, as well as five recipes as a starting point. This way, first time visitors of the page could see right away what the idea behind the website was, and what kind of recipes they could expect to see in the future. I also created a Facebook page to go hand in hand with the homepage. The purpose of it is that people who are interested in The Kitchen Corner, can “like” it on Facebook, where they will be informed when a new recipe goes online. Social media are a must if you want to maintain an online presence, and users are much more likely to comment on the links posted on social media platforms that on the website itself. In addition, I downloaded an SEO plug-in to my website, which helps you write your posts with a certain SEO key word in mind. The aim of that is to increase potential traffic and to decide yourself what the snippet preview of each page should look like on search engine result pages. And, finally, I also went old school and ordered some business cards with my logo and a slogan on it: “Simple, tasty, family style recipes – from my kitchen to yours…”

I am glad I put my plan into action, and seeing the result is very rewarding, even though running the website is taking up a lot of my free time. For the The Kitchen Corner to keep growing, I am always on the look for new ways to make it stand out. I have many ideas, but first, I should probably finish my degree!

P.S.: If you are curious about The Kitchen Corner, check out the website at www.thekitchencorner.net. And don’t hesitate to share this if you like the page!

Ebenezer is a former OWC intern.

Ice Energy and Geneva Healthcare select OWC

Ice Energy

Business-to-business public relations firm Olmstead Williams Communications has signed contracts with energy storage solution firm Ice Energy and healthcare technology platform maker Geneva Healthcare.

“Both of these companies are providing advanced technology solutions to improve efficiency, reduce costs and save the planet. It makes us proud to be a part of their success, and this is the area where we thrive,” said Tracy Williams, CEO and president of Olmstead Williams Communications.

Read the full announcement below:

Olmstead Williams Communications Selected By Ice Energy and Geneva Healthcare

Why are eNewsletters important?

Tracy Williams

Tracy Williams, CEO and President of Olmstead Williams Communications

By Tracy Williams

Most eNewsletter tips articles focus on the content: make sure the information addresses the audience you’re targeting; keep it short and to the point; and always, have something newsworthy to say or don’t bother.

Those are all great tips, but they have nothing to do with WHY an eNewsletter is important.

Here is a top five list:

  • eNewsletters give you a communications hub for all outreach to your customers and prospects. If it’s critical for your audience to hear, put it in your eNewsletter. Include news coverage about your company that highlights how you help solve problems for customers. Reuse valuable charts, tips and content developed for other projects.
  • Go where your customers are. Social media is becoming more and more important all the time, but email still rules. More than 90 percent of all businesses are on email, while according to some estimates as few as 60 percent have made the leap to social. That’s not to say that eNewsletters and social media can’t work in tandem. Use your best content from social in your eNewsletter and vice versa.
  • When executed properly, an ongoing eNewsletter campaign is the perfect soft push for staying in touch with hundreds or even thousands of key contacts depending on the size of your business. Remind them what you do and why they should care with a shiny new eNewsletter every six weeks to two months. As long as you make it easy to unsubscribe, you have nothing to lose.
  • Email is continuing to grow. As of 2013, there were nearly 3.9 billion email accounts worldwide, according to The Radicati Group. That number is expected to increase to 4.9 billion by the end of 2017.
  • eNewsletters move the conversation to commerce. Two-thirds of consumers have made a purchase online as a result of email marketing, according to the Direct Marketing Association. In the business-to-business world, law and professional services firms report consistent success attracting new clients through eNewsletters, so we know they work. Have you ever gotten business this way? Reply to this email with “yes” or “no,” and we’ll report the results.

So stop waiting for the next big thing, and take advantage of the current big thing with an eNewsletter that tells your story, shares your news and keeps you top of mind with your customers and prospects.

Williams is president and CEO of Olmstead Williams Communications.

OWC signs five new clients


OWC’s Trent Freeman plots strategy for one of the business-to-business PR firm’s five new clients.

Olmstead Williams Communications has signed contracts with five new clients: Bruin Biometrics, Cynvenio Biosystems, T+ink, TRUCKAST and the USC Marshall School of Business.

“We’re always excited to work with companies that are passionate about disrupting the status quo, and each of these new clients is a true innovator with products and solutions that make all of our lives better and more interesting,” said Tracy Williams, CEO and president of Olmstead Williams Communications, which has won seven PRSA-Los Angeles PRism Awards in three years.

Read more about the new clients in the full announcement:

Olmstead Williams Communications signs five new clients

OWC top 30 PR firm for 5th straight year


This is the fifth consecutive year that Olmstead Williams Communications has been named to the list.

Olmstead Williams Communications, a business-to-business public relations firm specializing in technology, healthcare and professional services, has been named to the Los Angeles Business Journal‘s list of the “30 Largest Public Relations Firms” in Los Angeles County.

“Our clients are the engineers, scientists, financial and business executives who are creating great companies, and it’s an honor to help meet their sales and marketing objectives,” said Tracy Olmstead Williams, president and CEO of the agency, which is ranked No. 22 this year.

This is the fifth consecutive year that OWC has been named to the list which honors firms throughout Los Angeles based on their fee income.

Read the full news release here:

Olmstead Williams Communications top 30 PR firm for 5th straight year

OWC’s Williams to moderate panel on managing crises

Tracy Williams

Tracy Williams, CEO and President of Olmstead Williams Communications

Tracy Williams, CEO and President of Olmstead Williams Communications, will moderate a panel presented by Broads Circle founder Darya Allen-Attar at 5 p.m. on April 29 at the Luxe Sunset Hotel in Los Angeles titled “4 Strategies for Managing Crises Successfully.”

The event features co-moderator Pamela Palmer, Partner at Latham & Watkins LLP; and panelists Susan M. Collins, Chief Financial Officer at Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp; Elizabeth Greenwood, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer at Tennenbaum Capital Partners, LLC; Mary Kasper, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary at Fresh & Easy; and Diane W. Biagianti, Vice President and Chief Responsibility Officer at Edwards Lifesciences LLC.

Tickets are $75, with an additional fee of $50 for non-members. You must purchase a ticket online if you wish to register for this event.

Read more about the event:

4 Strategies for Managing Crises Successfully

OWC intern helps keep steam locomotive running

Alex (leaning on the headlight) and the rest of the crew.

Alex Gillman recently joined Olmstead Williams Communications as an intern with a very unique passion: steam locomotives. When not building media lists or studying at California State University Northridge, you’ll usually find him on the train tracks.

This past weekend, Alex and the all-volunteer crew of the San Bernardino Railroad Historical Society (SBRHS) fired up their 1927 restored steam locomotive, ex-Santa Fe 3751, and used the engine to pull a special passenger train from Los Angeles to San Bernardino and back over the course of two days. The trip was made in conjunction with the San Bernardino Railroad Days Festival, which takes place in April.

“When we roll, we affect peoples lives,” Gillman said. “These engines used to be as common as big-rig trucks on the highway, and now they’re as rare as can be.”

Santa Fe 3751 traveled to San Bernardino via Metrolink tracks passing through locations such as El Monte, Covina, Rancho Cucamonga and Rialto. The locomotive is usually only able to make one or two trips every year due to the cost.

For more information about Santa Fe 3751 and the SBRHS, visit www.sbrhs.org or their Facebook page.

2014 media outlook: Opportunities to tell your story are strong

By Tracy Williams
Tracy Williams
Much is changing in the news media, and the numbers tell us opportunities to tell your story are strong.

In 1950, there were 1,772 daily newspapers.
By 2000 — 1,480 daily newspapers.
Today — There are still 1,380 daily newspapers, and each article carries more value than ever with fewer papers reporting.

The daily circulation at the top 100 newspapers. That’s a lot of people who still like to get their fingers dirty.

Digital pay plans are now in place at 430 of the country’s dailies. Gannett showed in 2013 that success at the New York Times would work at smaller newspapers and other media followed. People are willing to pay for information and services they value.

157.7 million
There are hundreds of millions of blogs. Tumblr alone has 157.7 million blogs with 69.9 billion posts. Of course, not all blogs are great news sources. Your cousin Jimmy’s blog about turtles comes to mind. The Huffington Post is a good one, as are Gizmodo, Mashable and Business Insider, among others.

1.5 million
Cision’s Global Media Database used by thousands of PR pros includes over 1.5 million journalists, editors, bloggers, freelancers, analysts and other influencers and is updated over 20,000 times a day.

Olmstead Williams Communications has won 7 PRisms over the past three years from the Public Relations Society of America- Los Angeles for work with technology, healthcare, professional services firms and non-profits. OWC positions CEOs and other executives as leaders in their fields through traditional and new media, as well as speaking opportunities and networking connections.

Make sure everything you do is repurposed across as many of your company’s platforms as you can in 2014, and don’t forget SEO. That newspaper article about your latest product launch needs to be shared on all of your social media platforms. 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.

Williams is president and CEO of Olmstead Williams Communications.

‘Been There, Done That, Would Do It Again’ panel

AUSB logo“A Dialogue with Leaders:  Been There, Done That, Would Do It Again” on Sunday at Antioch University Santa Barbara will feature a guest panel moderated by Jon Goodman, PhD.

Tracy Williams, CEO and president of Olmstead Williams Communications, joins other panelists Rise Phillips, CEO & President of T.H.E. Clinic, and Diana Ingram, Emerging Technology Business Development Consultant.

The panel, which begins with breakfast at 8:30 a.m., is part of the university’s “Women & Leadership Certificate Program” and concludes a weekend of activities.

OWC’s Williams named to ‘Who’s Who in LA Business’

Tracy Williams

Tracy Williams, president and CEO of Olmstead Williams Communications

Tracy Williams, president and CEO of Olmstead Williams Communications, is one of 13 public relations executives named to the annual special report “Who’s Who in Los Angeles Business” by the Los Angeles Business Journal.

The list includes executives in LA’s biggest companies and organizations across a variety of industries from aerospace/defense to software.

Williams has helped clients build their reputations through PR for 25 years. She has represented industry leaders such as Hewlett Packard, Computer Science Corporation (CSC), Acer, California Energy Commission, Ernst & Young, Greenberg Traurig, Oberthur Technologies, Dimensional Fund Advisors and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.

OWC is an award-winning public relations and social media agency serving clients nationally from offices in Los Angeles and Seattle. The firm works with technology and professional services companies to meet their sales and marketing objectives, raise their brand profile, and capture mind and market share.