5 Things I Learned as a PR Intern

  1. Connect With Others

Make the most of your internship by getting to know your colleagues. You can gain a lot of insight by going out to coffee or lunch with a coworker. Networking is an important part of PR, so focus on building and maintaining those relationships. Although you should maintain a professional attitude in the workplace don’t forget to be human.


  1. Stay Informed

Keep yourself current on local and international news. This allows you to brainstorm potential ideas for a client and engage in serious discussions at the office. Public relations revolve around the most recent topics, therefore staying informed is essential.


  1. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

Internships are the perfect way to gain hands-on PR experience. This is the best environment to gain practical skills. That being said, you should always remain open to new opportunities and absorb as much information as possible on the job. Ask questions when you need clarification or direction on a task, and exhibit your curiosity in the industry.


  1. Research Skills

Creating media lists and researching news outlets is a fundamental aspect of public relations, and will likely be a large part of your internship role. Chances are you will quickly be introduced to Cision, an incredibly useful research engine. This tool is crucial for building accurate lists and finding reporters’ contact information. While it is still critical to double check your results, Cision can help you cut through the clutter to save time.


  1. The Editing Process

Writing a news release requires creative thinking while optimizing length. Understand your first draft will probably be revised several times before there is a final version. The more you practice, the more you will learn how to effectively communicate the news.


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5 things to do now to improve the bottom line

OWC’s president and CEO, Tracy Williams, writes about “Marketing in the New Energy Ecosystem” in the July-August issue of the North American Clean Energy magazine.

“It’s now less about influencing public opinion or changing consumer behavior and more about strategic relationship building to make connections that move the needle for technology,” Williams writes. “What’s required is a focused strategy to establish credibility and gain the trust of potential investors, partners, affiliates, and installers throughout target markets.”

Williams offers five things energy companies can do now to improve their bottom lines: engage the community, apply for awards and lists, focus on messaging, become an industry expert, and network at trade shows and beyond.

Read the full article: Marketing in the New Energy Ecosystem: 5 things to do now to improve the bottom line. (North American Clean Energy)


Top talent additions at OWC

As public relations continues to evolve to include categories beyond earned media, the skillset of the team must be just as diverse. Olmstead Williams Communications is pleased to announce the addition of two highly skilled tech savvy, millennial professionals: Trish McCall, managing associate, and Paulo Acuña, associate.

Trish describes herself as a “textual predator” keenly focused on concise, effective communications, and brings a proven track record in social and traditional media. She managed the PR department at her previous agency, A Design Partnership, where she landed major news coverage and garnered significant social amplification of client projects, product launches and overall brand awareness.

Paulo writes, edits and designs across multiple platforms, both traditionally and digitally. His background includes Eisner Pediatric & Family Medical Center and BELLO Magazine. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, he is passionate about the power of communication to inspire and spread a positive message.

Trish McCall

Paulo Acuna

The evolution of 21st century public relations

The terms “advertising” and “public relations” are often confused. Until recently, the easiest explanation was that advertising is paid media — print ads, commercials and billboards — vs. public relations which is earned media or news coverage.

As technology continues to advance to help companies better communicate with customers and prospects, the lines are blurred even more. Earned media is still the bread and butter of PR, but other equally important categories continue to evolve and gain traction: owned media, shared media and paid media.

A recent study by USC’s Annenberg Center for Public Relations surveyed PR firms and in-house communications professionals, and compared the breakdown of these four categories now and projections for 2020. Today, earned media is just 41 percent of the total PR resources allocated, followed by owned media (26 percent), shared media (17 percent) and paid media (13 percent). The numbers are expected to shift even more dramatically by 2020 with earned media sliding to just 31 percent, followed by owned (28 percent), shared (24 percent) and paid (15 percent).

Companies must embrace these additional categories and challenge their PR firms to deliver balanced communications programs that take advantage of all opportunities. Like a good investment portfolio, you must diversify to manage risk. A balanced PR portfolio also helps you weather the storm and stay relevant with all audiences while you’re waiting for that Wall Street Journal article to run.
Even the term PR is changing to include these other categories. Instead of standing for public relations, PR now encompasses four categories of publishing and relations (P+R):

Earned Media — Earned media cannot be purchased and will always carry the most credibility — estimated at 10 to 1 vs. advertising. Profiles on your business and articles that include you as an industry source remain key for driving bottom-line business results.
Taboola helps extend the reach and lifetime of the best articles about your business.

Owned — Blog postings, long-form LinkedIn posts, online newsrooms and shorter posts on all social media platforms allow you complete control of the message with anyone actively engaged in digital platforms.

Shared — Think of social media in terms of shares and engagement. It’s important to build followers, but how you interact with those followers is key. What’s your engagement percentage and how is that flourishing over time?
Paid — This can be as simple as distributing your news releases through a wire service such as Business Wire or include paid guest articles, radio news releases, print article services like NAPS, Twitter ads, boosted Facebook posts, etc. The Los Angeles Times has paid online ads that look like news articles and can reach 100,000 or more people. Taboola and Outbrain are services that take earned media that has already appeared on another site touting your business and extends its reach and lifetime. Instead of just appearing on one site, the article appears on sites throughout the Internet. These are those stories you can’t help but click on at the bottom of your favorite sites.

The proliferation of platforms and need to engage appropriately keeps us on our toes and always looking forward. Like Einstein said: “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”

Bone Biologics announces $5.75M funding for bone graft substitute development project


Bone Biologics has just announced the completion of a $5.75 funding venture in collaboration with Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation, OrthoFix Holdings, Inc. and Hankey Capital, LLC. The proceeds will be geared toward further development and synthesis of a potential bone graft substitute product focused first on bone regeneration in spinal fusion procedures.

“We are pleased with the completion of this round of funding in a challenging investment environment which will allow the company to further execute on its development strategy,” said Steve La Neve, CEO and President of Bone Biologics. “The confidence that these equity investors continue to show in our technology platform, the management team and the professional partners we have assembled is encouraging.”

Read more:

Bone Biologics completes $5.75 Million round of financing (Medical Design and Outsourcing)

Bone Biologics Completes $5.75 Million Round Of Financing (OrthoSpineNews)

Bone Biologics closes $5.8m round (Mass Device)


The Usefulness of Twitter

For OWC, in the world of public relations, Twitter is a 140-character news feed. For public relations practitioners, this billion-dollar social media platform has become a lifeline for making news and in times of crisis, becomes our go-to for reaching our clients and reacting in a timely manner.

According to Joanna Stern of the Wall Street Journal, “it’s OK to use Twitter only as a real-time news wire, and only launch the app when you want to keep up with live events like the Oscars, presidential debates or the NCAA tournament. You’ll likely find it to be faster, franker and funnier than Facebook.”

Read the full article: How to Make Twitter Actually Useful. (The Wall Street Journal)


OWC’s Tracy Williams publishes column in The Recorder

OWC CEO and President Tracy Williams authored an article in this week’s issue of The Recorder, California’s leading legal trade publication. Her expert counsel on marketing strategies for attorneys includes five pillars of business development to establish credibility, stand out from the competition and improve the overall bottom line of the practice.

“Ever wonder why some business people have a confident, immediate response to questions about their business? It’s because they’ve honed their messages through writing,” said Williams. She also recommends building brand recognition, increasing referral sources and energizing the team through award and list opportunities, speaking engagements at industry conferences, networking in person beyond typical business events and engaging communities through nonprofit and pro bono work.

Read the full article:

Five Tips for Networking and Building Business (The Recorder)

Olmstead Williams Communications Tracy Williams

OWC’s Williams named to ‘Top 25 Women in PR’

27501 PRN Top Women Honoree LogoOlmstead Williams Communications’ CEO, Tracy Williams, has been named one of the “Top 25 Women in PR” by PR News. Other companies with executives represented on the list include Bank of America, Discovery Communications and ESPN. The award recognizes advances in managing crises, developing brand messages, protecting and building brand reputations and creating content for digital platforms.

“It’s a real honor to be among so many impressive women,” Williams said. “I know the recognition will make us all work even harder.”

Read the full announcement:

Olmstead Williams Communications CEO Named to “Top 25 Women in PR”

5 Things You Must Do in 2016

If you’re like us, January 4 wasn’t just a return to work, it was time to rev up your creative engines and brainstorm must-do marketing ideas for your company and clients in 2016.

Here are five categories to tackle in order to hit the ground running in the new year:

Opportunities will be going, going, gone in the next weeks. They book up fast at the best conferences, like Bloomberg LIVE, Inc. Conferences and Forbes Summits, but there are also important industry events, like Money 20/20 for fintech and GreenBiz for cleantech. Get on panels that put you in front of your target market or the people who can refer business. You may have to pay to participate. Evaluate through a cost-benefit analysis. Speaking hones your thinking and messages and is a great discipline to guide your year-long marketing effort. Host a webinar. It’s not the number of people who hear you — it’s who. Alumni groups host webinars and so do trade groups. Brainstorm with your team where you need to be.

What makes an industry expert? Writing. Commit to writing at least half a dozen articles for blogs, newsletters and business and trade publications that accept bylines or guest articles. Review submission guidelines that tell you how many words the article must be and don’t go beyond the word count. Don’t sell. Give readers information they don’t know and knowledge they can’t buy. No matter how limited the initial circulation, post the work on your LinkedIn page, Twitter account and share it in your eNewsletter. Frame the articles and hang them in your office. Ever wonder why some business people have a confident, immediate response to questions about their business? It’s because they’ve honed their messages through writing.

Meet people face-to-face. There’s no substitute. The goal is conversation — and a relationship based on more than business and sales goals. Such relationships expand your network and your life. It may come as a surprise when referrals come in. Create a calendar of events and conferences to attend in 2016. At OWC, we’re sponsoring Ernst & Young LLP’s Entrepreneur Of The Year program, and hosting tables at various Los Angeles Business Journal and Town Hall Los Angeles events. The author E.M. Forster famously stated the secret of all success: “Only connect.”

Awards, honors and lists
Awards and lists matter — especially if you’re not included. Business trades such as Inc. and Fast Company, the local business journals and trade publications publish annual lists of the top performers in nearly every industry. There is even a list by CareerBliss for the “50 Happiest U.S. Companies.” Who wouldn’t want to work for (or with) one of the companies on that list?

Engage Your Community
Give back. Find a local nonprofit that could use your services. Volunteer as a guest lecturer at your local college. It’s not just a good thing to do, it’s good for business. Almost 60 percent of Americans are more likely to buy a product associated with a nonprofit partnership.

Commit time and money to each of these categories to keep your brand fresh, your people energized and your ideas crisp. Call us if you want to brainstorm.


Read the article on socaltech:
Five Things Startups Must Do to Rev Up Business in 2016

The state of media – 2016

A published article in a top-tier national newspaper can live on longer than ever before with the help of distributed news across multiple platforms. More than two million people still enjoy reading the printed version of The Wall Street Journal each day. That’s just the beginning of a story’s life cycle though with more than 18 million people flocking to the WSJ’s website each month and millions more gaining exposure to the same article through social media.

Billionaires are taking notice. Jeff Bezos purchased the Washington Post a year ago because he could see the opportunity coming as the news industry continues to evolve digitally.

During the past two years, Olmstead Williams Communications’ media relations campaign for Oberthur Technologies attracted substantial news coverage with millions of media impression from print articles. The digital views of the same news? Millions more.

The OWC Media Environment survey illustrates that news stories are increasing in value and reach.


TV – and local media – still rock

Where people get their news:









  • Eighty-seven percent of people get their news from television, 69 percent from online, 65 percent from radio and 61 percent from print.
  • Network news viewership grew 5 percent this year while local news was up 3 percent.


All media is now social

  • Journalists are using social media to source articles with 75 percent researching stories through social media and 86 percent checking Twitter multiple times per day.

journalist on twitter











  • Eighty-eight percent of millennials get news through Facebook, while 46 percent of all Twitter users follow news organizations and reporters. Make sure your company and professionals are active and connecting on social media.

Distributed news is the new buzzword

  • Media seek more ways to distribute content.

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  • Some publications, like the Washington Post, are taking distributed news to a new level. The Post made its entire paper available through Facebook’s Instant Articles app.
  • It’s not just social media. Distributed news sources like Fusion are growing, reaching 3.1 million unique visitors this month.


The Golden Age for email

  • Even in today’s digital/social/distributed age, email is still effective.
  • The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Bloomberg, Fast Company, NBC News and more are cherry picking stories to share with readers in e-newsletter format.

new york times








  • The average gross open rate for media/publishing newsletters is almost 40 percent — far and above the standard 22 percent.


It’s clear that content is king — not the platform. The number of platforms continues to grow, but the power of the medium is measured by a story that is so compelling that it is shared everywhere. We look forward to sharing your stories in 2016.