OWC’s Williams to speak on crisis management and social media

Olmstead Williams Communications’ CEO and President Tracy Williams will speak on the panel “How to Lead Your Organization’s Social Media Messaging in a Crisis” as part of PR News’ two-day Digital Summit & Crisis Management Boot Camp at the oceanfront Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa on Feb. 23. The panel will explore ways to lead employees and senior leaders safely through media firestorms and social media scrutiny.

The summit will be a two-day immersion in brand-building digital communications and crisis management. Attendees will learn how to effectively mitigate a crisis situation by developing cross-departmental teams, build and maintain strong relationships with media to get a company’s message heard, and hear in-depth case studies on how crisis plans were developed.




January 12th, 2017|Categories: OWC News|Tags: , , , , , , |

The State of the Media in 2017 (with infographic) | eNews from OWC

“Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is an absurd one.” ~ Voltaire, as quoted in “The Undoing Project” by Michael Lewis

Some observers believe the media is on its heels, but it’s really an increase in platform diversity. True, there have been job cuts at newspapers, but the scope of digital publishing has doubled and traditional news outlets that embrace the changes are coming along for the ride. There are even green shoots. The publisher of The Washington Post, Jeff Bezos, announced in a memo this week that not only is the paper surviving, it’s profitable!

The Need for Reporters

Don’t we enjoy our Twitter newsfeeds? If you’re smart, the platform gives you your favorite articles and all the third-party credibility they bring with them. Don’t take away my print subscriptions to the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. I still pay thousands of dollars a year for those and dozens of other magazines and business journals, but several newspapers previously available nationally can now only be read online. If you don’t live in Washington, D.C., you need an online subscription to read The Washington Post. Still, I dream of a super-slim, newspaper-sized device, one for me and one for my husband. I don’t mean a tablet. Maybe something you could roll out to be your placemat at the breakfast table. I’m not sure when that’s coming, or when paper news is going away. What I am sure of is that there will always be a need for reporters digging for stories and the truth.

Google’s Media Power

Sixty percent of Americans trust articles indexed by Google News more than news delivered directly from the same sources. Fortunately, 98 percent of broadcast, radio and print news stories are available through the search engine. As an agency, we love the power of Google. It helps establish the credibility of our clients with real news written by reporters employed by legitimate news organizations. News clearly remains a priority for the overwhelming majority of Americans regardless of how we consume it. More than 70 percent of adults follow national and local news, and 65 percent follow international news. We just do it from our cell phones and other mobile devices.

The War on Fake News

Fake news is indeed a problem and we need to go to war against it. But I take heart that the millennial generation is apparently wise to fake news and can ferret it out faster than any bot. Media giants see the danger to their reputation and are beginning to take measures to block journalistic fraud. Already Google and Facebook have banned websites that promote fake news from using their online advertising services. Read the latest on fake news from the LA Times: “Without these ads, there wouldn’t be money in fake news“.

Join the Media Conversation

As we look to 2017, reporters have a big job. We all should support and applaud their efforts as they will have to work even harder in the new climate. We can help by offering facts and expertise that further inform reporting. This is not the time to cower – not for the American people and not for businesses. Don’t be afraid to join the media conversation. Get aggressive and talk about your differentiation. You can come from behind and be No. 1 in this climate as well as any other. More outlets mean more opportunities – for those who use them. So, share your company news and industry expertise, write that guest article, speak at that conference, and your customers and prospects will notice.

We’re here to help.

Happy Holidays!



Download PDF of this issue: The State of the Media in 2017

Year-end + PR = Revenue | eNews from OWC

The year-end means it’s time to move into high gear and drive revenue with public relations.  Your analysis of trends and issues facing your industry is news right now because print, online, broadcast and social media are looking for that “Year in Review” piece.

Issue ‘report card’ now

The end of the year is a great time for a company to produce a “Report Card” on the industry or its own metrics.  For example: “The company has grown 35 percent, opened three new offices and made deals totaling $15 million.”  Bring specific data points, analysis and ideas to reporters to provide context and content for their end of the year or “looks ahead.”  You don’t want to be the company that’s left out of a major year-end news story about your industry.

Third-party validation = credibility

A strategic communications effort must yield third-party validation and bring persuasive credibility to businesses and their products and services.  Earned media cannot be purchased and will always carry the most credibility — estimated at 10 to 1 vs. advertising.  Successful media coverage raises a company’s profile with the right audiences and brings long-term and often instant results.  Share coverage on social media for maximum impact. Be aggressive.

January is too late

Jump in and offer your insights on trends, issues and predictions for 2017 now.  In January, the media will be on to another story and this opportunity will be gone.


Download PDF of this issue: Year-end + PR = Revenue

November 15th, 2016|Categories: eNewsletter, OWC News|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

OWC’s Tracy Williams lists 5 questions you should be asking about your PR firm

Best-selling author Dr. Mark Goulston caught up with OWC’s CEO and President Tracy Williams to discuss five ways to tell if you have the right PR firm. Consider these following questions when determining whether your PR firm is the best fit for you:

  1. Does my PR firm call me regularly?

Out of sight, out of mind? If you’re not hearing from your PR firm regularly, they’re not paying attention. You should be on a cell phone, text and email basis with your PR account leader. You both should enjoy working together.

  1. Has my PR firm taught me anything new?

Good PR firms bring their clients new ideas — “aha” moments that energize and show the agency is thinking creatively about your pain points and how to reach your customer. Good PR means constantly brainstorming ideas to target your customers, challenge conventional wisdom and achieve your objectives.

  1. Does my PR firm monitor results and engage in discussions about return on investment, or do they wait for my call?

Good PR firms are proud of their results. In our agency, we have cowbells on our desks and ring them when we get a “hit” — that’s an article or a good share on social media. And we can’t wait to calculate key performance indicators and ROI. Your PR firm should be the ones to call for a review about how the public relations program is working and they should be eager to discuss what’s next.

  1. Does my PR firm know when to say no?

Good PR firms challenge you with ideas and statements that take you out of your comfort zone. It’s critical that your PR firm level with you to maximize your time and resources. If not, you’re wasting money.

  1. Does my PR firm let me know when things aren’t going well?

It’s the PR firm’s job to report their bad news — just like they tell you to do in a crisis. Your firm should know right away when a project doesn’t appear to be having the desired effect and recommend adjustments or program pivots. It’s not about blame. It should be an ongoing dialogue in an environment of transparency and teamwork.

PR doesn’t have to be as mysterious and elusive, as is often the case. If you use these 5 warning signs, they will greatly help you in getting the best and most out of whatever PR firm you do work with.

Read the full article: 5 ways to tell if you have the right PR firm (The Business Journals)


October 11th, 2016|Categories: OWC News|Tags: , , , , |