OWC wins PRism Award for work with Ice Energy

OWC's Roxanna Eke and Tracy Williams.

OWC’s Roxanna Eke and Tracy Williams.

Olmstead Williams Communications won a PRism Award at the 2015 PRSA-Los Angeles PRism Awards held Wednesday at Taglyan Entertainment Complex. The firm was honored in the Green/Sustainability Program for its work creating awareness among major utilities for Ice Energy’s cost-effective energy storage technology.

This is the eighth PRism OWC has won in the past five years. This is the second time the firm has been honored in this category. OWC also has won for its work in the non-profit, pro bono, business to business, reputation/brand management and healthcare categories.

Read the full announcement:

Olmstead Williams Communications Wins Greentech PRism Award at 51st Annual PRSA-Los Angeles Awards

Top social media questions No. 6: What is social listening? Why should I care?

This is the last in a series of six blog posts addressing the top social media issues.

Social listening is the process of monitoring everything that’s being said about your company so you can better target customers and prospects. Every time a new social media platform rises to prominence, it’s a challenge to develop the best way to track its influence. There are more than 150 social media monitoring and analytics tools for the U.S. alone. Hootsuite is one of the best all-around free social media management tools and covers multiple platforms including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, WordPress, Foursquare and Google+. Focusing on Twitter? Try using TweetReach which measures the actual impact and implications of Twitter discussions. If you’re big on data and analytics, try Simply Measured which makes it easy to analyze your paid, owned and earned activity on many popular social platforms. See sample social media analysis

At Olmstead Williams Communications, we suggest most B2Bs start with the basics — Twitter and LinkedIn. Master those, then layer in Facebook, Instagram and other emerging platforms if and only if they work for your specific business goals. You can’t do everything well, and you’ll diminish impact if you spread yourself too thin. Stay strategic in all that you do, and don’t worry about the things that don’t work for you.

Happy posting.

Top social media issues No. 5: Do I even still need a website?

This is the fifth in a series of six blog posts addressing the top social media issues.

Matthew Knell, vice president of social media at About.com, made this one clear in a presentation at the LIFT social media conference in Seattle recently: Your website is the hub of all your social media content. It’s where you post your content to be shared on other platforms. That’s content that needs to bend and stretch to meet the needs of multiple sites and applications.

How do you do that? For starters, make sure each page has a social friendly title that people want to share. Would you click on the story if it appeared in your news feed? Don’t forget about meta descriptions that aren’t visible until you share the page (ask your web guy), and always include an optimized photo which will appear when your content is shared on social media channels and make it inherently more shareable. Images that are at least 1200 x 630 pixels display the best on high resolution devices, and anything under 600 x 315 will show up much smaller on Facebook.

Top social media issues No. 4: Why aren’t our website traffic and visitor counts going up?

The image on the left shows a typical post from Buzzfeed which has been mobilized with bolding, paragraph spaces and photos to make it easy to read. The image on the right is just plain text and is much more intimidating.

The image on the left shows a typical post from Buzzfeed which has been mobilized with bolding, paragraph spaces and photos to make it easy to read. The image on the right is just plain text and is much more intimidating.

This is the fourth in a series of six blog posts addressing the top social media issues.

Although your website may be mobile friendly, doing the minimum gets you … minimal results. It’s all about creating “content snacks.” Meaning, we must mobilize each article and video. Reading a giant text block with no bolding, paragraph spaces or photos looks daunting on desktops and even more so on cell phones.

Break up your copy into easily digestible content. Videos should include text that make it easy to follow even if the audio is turned off. In fact, just assume the audio will be turned off and develop your videos accordingly.


Top social media issues No. 3: Should I send out eNewsletters? Or, is that too old school?

This is the third in a series of six blog posts addressing the top social media issues.

eNewsletters are arguably just getting started because brands are beginning to produce more sharable content. For every dollar spent on email marketing, $40 is made. Yes, we all get too many emails, but as with all social media, if the information is compelling, people respond.

If you already publish content on a regular basis, flag the most compelling materials in an eNewsletter that you send to clients and prospects interested in a niche topic. You’ll have higher open rates and conversion rates while fostering better relationships.

Top social media issues No. 2: How do I drive traffic to our website through social media?

This is the second in a series of six blog posts addressing the top social media issues.

The question of driving website traffic from social media efforts is another constant query of new media specialists. Answer: Create content worth sharing, worth “liking” and worth the investment of your time. Think “Added Value” not “Selling.”

The tweet below from Cisco is designed to show support for Breast Cancer awareness while fostering the relationship with Twitter fans by sharing stories about their employees. It shows Cisco is sensitive to other initiatives besides those directly related to itself. The link doesn’t go to a Cisco homepage or blog. Instead, it goes to a newsfeed of tweets about breast cancer awareness.

Cisco Example

Top social media issues No. 1: What does a successful social media campaign look like?

Trent and Roxanna standing 03

OWC’s Freeman and Eke

This is the first in a series of six blog posts addressing the top social media issues.

Roxanna Eke and Trent Freeman from Olmstead Williams Communications joined hundreds of social media and marketing professionals this month at the first LIFT conference in Seattle. Keynote speakers and panelists from companies like TechCrunch, Forrester and Microsoft shared how they’re addressing the constant barrage of advances and hurdles companies face as they expand their brands. One of the most frequently asked questions is: What does a successful social media campaign look like?

Smoke comes out of Roxanna’s ears when she gets this question from earnest clients and colleagues. Why? Because clearly it’s completely dependent on what you want to achieve. A major consumer campaign for the latest sports drink might require 20,000 new followers to be considered a success, but a B2B campaign for a law firm or accounting firm that attracts the right 50 followers (or even the right 5) might mean even more to the company’s bottom line. Similarly, a trendy clothing store might expect over 1,000 likes on any given post, but for a healthcare company, 1 to 5 likes from industry leaders may be more than enough to position them as relevant with top targets.

Perfect your voice, master scheduling posts and solidify campaign ideas. Be as relentless with social media as you would any other marketing tactic. Test, execute, assess and start over until you reach your objectives.

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