Do you use an exclamation point? How about two?

01CULTURALSTUDIES-articleLarge-v2As writers, we are old school when it comes to punctuation.  We don’t use an exclamation point unless we’re exclaiming, and we certainly don’t use two.  But the rules are changing.  The New York Times, which says “our punctuation is on steroids,” details a world where periods are aggressive and commas are geriatric.  There’s been much debate in our office, but we continue to look to “The Associated Press Stylebook” for updates to the journalistic standard.  What about you?  Where do you take your cues?

This New York Times article details the predicament: When Your Punctuation Says It All (!)

8 things you must know before you get on stage

The agency is preparing for The Montgomery Summit next week, where 150 companies will present to investors and salons with panelists will talk tech.  We go to conferences to learn something and meet people.  But we learn even more when we’re the speaker.  An invitation to speak about your own experience focuses your mind on what you know.  Your willingness to share earns you recognition and credibility.  The fact is, speaking is for everyone.  If we follow a few simple rules, we’ll shine and maybe even be invited to do it again.

  1. Tell your audience what they don’t know.  Surprise them with facts, reality and experience.
  2. Skip the joke, the anecdote, the roundabout beginning.  Plunge right into your topic.
  3. You do have a topic, right?  One topic, not three?  Recall how bored you were when the last speaker wandered from point to point and the sound of silverware rattling got so loud?
  4. Practice what you’ll say.  Not as much as your golf swing or your backhand, of course.  But at least as much as you would before pitching an important potential colleague, client or investor.  Because that’s what audiences are.
  5. Get a third-party critique of your talk.  If you can keep the attention of an eight-year old, you’re already a hit.
  6. Nervousness cures overconfidence.
  7. Enthusiasm is contagious.  Have some.
  8. Remember that speaking is giving, not taking.  Ego has nothing to do with it, and that’s why it feels good to share what you know.

Consider starting with a panel

A good way to start speaking is to be part of a panel.  Your fellow panelists are experts, too.  Questions will be directed to your specialized knowledge, and panels take some of the pressure off standing up alone.  Panels are made up of good people to share an evening, and you may find much in common.

What makes an attractive candidate for speaking engagements?

Beyond solid knowledge in his or her field, good speakers are well prepared, on time and willing to help.  They know it’s not about them, it’s about everyone in the room.

How do you secure speaking opportunities? 

It’s best to have help, unless you like pitching yourself.  Conferences book up to a year in advance, so organization is required.  There are short-notice slots that most people are unlikely to be aware of.  The mix of speakers is always important, and your potential contribution might not be obvious to you.

Your job as the speaker is to make your host, panel or conference look good, and to leave the audience knowing something they didn’t know before.

 

Tracy Williams featured in Executive Style

Olmstead Williams Communications Tracy WilliamsOlmstead Williams Communications CEO Tracy Williams was featured in the Los Angeles Business Journal‘s Executive Style for here innovative way of combining appropriate business attire with work out clothing.

Williams often meets with clients during workouts, making the gym an extension of her office – and her exercise clothes an extension of her work wardrobe.

Read the full article below:

Executive Style

Tracy Williams on panel for SUSTAINATOPIA

sustainatopialogoOlmstead Williams Communications CEO Tracy Williams, was selected to speak at SUSTAINATOPIA on October 30 for a panel on Lead By Example: Maintaining Authenticity. Keynote speakers are Kyra Sedgwick and Philippe Cousteau Headline. SUSTAINATOPIA is a catalyst for companies, entrepreneurs and political and cultural leaders to create a more economically viable and socially just world. The event will be held from October 29 through November 2 at the Hyatt Regency in Century City.

 

Read the announcement below:

Kyra Sedgwick, Philippe Cousteau Headline SUSTAINATOPIA, October 29 – November 2 at the Hyatt Regency in Century City

LABJ features OWC as one of just 7 multi-win agencies

Joel Russell of the Los Angles Business Journal features Olmstead Williams Communications in his “Advertising and PR” column this week for winning two PRisms from the Public Relations Society of America in LA earlier this month.

The other agencies winning more than one award are: GolinHarris, Citizen Paine, Hill & Knowlton, Edelman, Ketchum and Calvin Nieto.

Broads Circle honors OWC’s Tracy Williams as ‘Bottom Line-Oriented Service Provider’

Tracy Williams is president and CEO of Los Angeles-based Olmstead Williams Communications.

Broads Circle, the executive level women’s networking group in Los Angeles, honored Tracy Williams, president and CEO of Olmstead Williams Communications, recently at its first annual “Bottom Lime Broads Awards.”

Williams was named the “Bottom Line-Oriented Service Provider,” one of six awards categories. The luncheon honored Broads Circle members who have absolute commitment to the bottom line and full support of women’s leadership in the corporate world.

Business Awards + Your Great Work = Branding

Awards generate awareness, excitement and stories in the media. Pictured, OWC won two PRisms from the Public Relations Society of America this past week for its work with Big Four accounting firm Ernst & Young LLP ("Ongoing Product or Service Program") and FlexEnergy Inc. ("Green/Sustainable Programs").

Fortune Magazine just released its “40 Under 40” issue, and while everyone already knows Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, did you know Mon Mourshed, age 39, of McKinsey? Well, we do now. She made the list because she heads the firm’s Middle East office. Awards are nice, but the real reward is recognition for your brand. Awards generate awareness, excitement and stories in the media.

Soon it will be time to submit nominations for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Awards which span more than 140 cities in 50 countries representing more than 90 percent of the global economy. There are other awards for top lawyers, leading companies in sustainability, best places to work, top innovators and so many more.

Companies and individuals often apply for these awards themselves, sometimes others nominate them, some even require voting from colleagues outside your organization. Regardless how each program works, it’s important to put these opportunities on your radar screen. You can’t get upset when a competitor gets an award if you didn’t even apply.

As a part of your marketing mix, look for awards, honors and lists that are respected within your industry and get to work. The applications take time, thought and often require back-up materials and measurements. It’s work, but your work is worth showcasing to your customers, clients, prospects and perhaps most importantly, your team. After all, it’s your team that got you there.

OWC wins two PRism Awards for work with E&Y and cleantech pioneer FlexEnergy

Pictured, from left, the team at Olmstead Williams Communications: Derek Houck, Carla Collado, Kaitlen Murphy, Trent Freeman, Tracy Williams and Ashton Uytengsu. OWC won two PRisms this past week for its work with Big Four accounting firm Ernst & Young LLP ("Ongoing Product or Service Program") and FlexEnergy Inc. ("Green/Sustainable Programs").

Los Angeles-based Olmstead Williams Communications, a business-to-business public relations and social media firm which focuses on technology and professional services, won two PRism awards for its work with Big Four accounting firm Ernst & Young LLP (“Ongoing Product or Service Program”) and FlexEnergy Inc. (“Green/Sustainable Programs”) during the 47th Annual PRSA-Los Angeles PRism Awards Wednesday, November 9, at the Renaissance Grand Ballroom in Hollywood.

The Los Angeles chapter of PRSA annually recognizes outstanding programs created by public relations professionals who have completed assignments for LA-based clients. This year’s program included 59 winners in a wide range of categories and sub-categories.

 

OWC named finalist in two categories for 2011 PRSA-Los Angeles PRism Awards

Olmstead Williams Communications has been named a finalist in two categories for the 47th Annual PRSA-Los Angeles PRism Awards. The firm will compete in the “Ongoing Product or Service Program – Business to Business” category for its work with Big Four accounting firm Ernst & Young LLP and the “Green/Sustainable Programs – Ongoing Corporate/Consumer Brand” category for its work with FlexEnergy Inc.

“This shows the power of a hard-working OWC team and two outstanding clients,” said Tracy Olmstead Williams, president and CEO of Olmstead Williams Communications. “We’re honored to be a finalist in one of our industry’s top competitions.”

This year’s program features 29 categories. The Los Angeles chapter of PRSA annually recognizes outstanding programs created by public relations professionals who have completed assignments for L.A.-based clients. Winners will be announced on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011 at the Renaissance Grand Ballroom in Hollywood.

OWC named to LABJ’s annual top women-owned businesses list

Olmstead Williams Communications has been named to the Los Angeles Business Journal‘s list of the 100 largest women-owned businesses in LA.

“Public relations is even more important to businesses during economic turmoil,” Tracy Williams, president and CEO of OWC, says in the announcement. “The advent of social media has helped agencies like ours thrive. There are so many more communications levers to pull that opportunities and challenges are growing, making our role critical.”

OWC is a business-to-business public relations and social media firm that focuses on technology and professional services. The company was founded in August 2008, making it the youngest business on the list. OWC generated $1.4 million in revenue in 2010, according to the Los Angeles Business Journal.