Archive for the ‘Public Relations’ Category

“I’m on a mountain, on my phone!”

August 3, 2010

This weekend I stayed in and rented a silly movie that unexpectedly reminded me of the PR world.

The movie? Hot Tub Time Machine, a DVD I would have rented,watched and returned without comment if I hadn’t read Robyn’s “Caught in the Middle Continues” blog post just a few days earlier.

"You're never gonna believe where I'm callin' you from, man. I'm on a mountain, on my phone!"

While the premise is outlandish – four men on a ski weekend find themselves back in 1986 after taking a dip in what must be “some kind of hot tub time machine” – the idea of going back to a time before the Internet and cell phones  reminded me of how difficult and different media relations must have been in the past.

Jacob: I’m kinda right in the middle of a thing right now, but can I text you later?
Girl: Can you what?
Jacob: Are you online at all?
Girl: I have no idea what you’re talking about.
Jacob: How do I get a hold of you?
Girl: You come find me.
Jacob: That sounds… exhausting.

It does sound exhausting. In fact, as a 22-year-old who grew up with the Internet, I can’t imagine what it would be like to try tracking down reporters without email or cell phones. For people who don’t like to be tethered to their office lines all day and night, these new(-ish) technological tools allow us to communicate wirelessly, effortlessly and immediately. Being in the HKA office, and especially reading Robyn’s “Caught in the Middle” entries, has given me a great deal of perspective on how reliant we are now on the digital world as a means of communication and how lucky I feel to be able to use Twitter, Facebook, instant messaging and text messages to reach someone instantaneously. From now on, when I want to pull my hair out after not being able to find someone’s contact info online, I’ll count my blessings and be happy that the Internet and Google (or “Lougle” as it’s known after the Hot Tub guys change history) even exist.


Now THAT Was a Great Idea! x2

July 12, 2010

I like a lot of things about being in the PR biz.

But when I stop and think about what I like BEST – I’d have to say I love seeing our good ideas take shape.

Whether the idea is something that I, personally, cooked up, or an idea hatched by one of our intrepid HKA team members, I love the satisfaction of seeing it come to life.

The week before the 4th of July was a perfect example of crazy deadlines, sky-high expectations, and what seemed like insurmountable challenges that popped up along the way – yet ultimately an incredibly satisfying week of work.

Twice in one week our ideas came to fruition:

The first idea sprung to life in a plaza courtyard in San Juan Capistrano, where O’Connor Mortuary presented its Heart & Soul Awards to three very worthy recipients in an intimate, joyous ceremony.

Heart & Soul Award Recipients - L-R, Steve Concialdi, James Pribram, Sharon Davis, Neil O'Connor

Heart & Soul Awards Ceremony

At first blush, it’s true, the idea of getting an award from a mortuary is a bit unsettling. But those who know O’Connor recognize that, perhaps paradoxically, it focuses on celebrating the living. The Heart & Soul Awards are the perfect manifestation of the O’Connor philosophy, now led by 4th generation CEO Neil O’Connor. The recipients — a firefighter, a nurse and an eco-warrior – were commended for the self-less roles they play in life. As Neil says, NOW is the time to recognize these people. And so he did.

Each month will see a new winner – if you have suggestions, send ‘em in!

The second idea was a bit more complicated, involving three clients: Haskell & White LLP, F&M Bank and OC Affiliate of Komen for the Cure. Whew! This one was too complicated to explain in detail in a blog post (and the previous post by Allison did such a good job!) so I’ll just point out the 40-foot-long PINK RV (owned by H&W managing partner Wayne Pinnell, who is a Komen Pink Tie Guy) decorated with larger-than-life faces of smiling breast cancer survivors; the famous Huntington Beach 4th of July Parade featuring breast cancer survivors walking and waving to the cheering crowd; a new pink checking account from F&M Bank with a $125 donation to Komen for each account opened for mammograms for under-served women in OC.

Busy July 3 at HB F&M Bank parking lot (that's Big Pink in the background!)

Breast cancer survivors from Komen for the Cure, OC Affiliate, at July 4th parade with F&M Bank

Wayne and Karen with "Big Pink" on Parade Day!

Along the way, we learned how to wrap a huge RV, secure a parade route spot at the 11th hour and organize an entry in the parade. I repeat, whew!

This past week was tame by comparison. Can’t wait to see what’s next!

Photo Friday

June 11, 2010

Nicole praying for her Protos award!

Let’s all keep our fingers crossed that the HKA team will win SEVERAL awards Friday, June 25, 2010 at OC/PRSA’s 35th Annual PROTOS Awards celebration.

Good luck team HKA!

Turning Fear into Action

May 3, 2010

I’m lucky; I like and respect pretty much everyone that I get to work with.  But sometimes, a client will say or do something that really makes me think about things in a new way.  Recently this happened when I was talking with my client, John Brown of Primary Freight Services.

John mentioned to me that he tries really hard to not allow fear to effect his judgment in business.  In fact he said, “I often have to ask myself: what would I do if I wasn’t afraid.”

Powerful words.

Hearing this got me thinking about a variety of things that I might do differently in my work, if I wasn’t afraid.

Years ago, I battled and overcame the demons of fear regarding media relations.  I was chronically afraid to pick up the phone and boldly pitch story ideas to reporters I’d never talked to, and had at least in my mind, put on a pedestal.

I walked through that fear, day in and day out, challenging myself to write and deliver strong, meaningful story ideas and pitches to media, building relationships along the way.  The result:  I am no longer afraid of media relations.  In fact, I love it.

I acted as if I wasn’t afraid, even though I was, and overcame it.

Powerful actions.

As a result of facing those fears and becoming strong and confident in media relations, I’ve won almost a dozen awards, am viewed my by peers and coworkers as an expert and a resource, and most importantly, I’m able to pass those skills along to others in my field.

If I’d been paralyzed by fear, I may have changed careers before I’d ever had a chance to see where this journey would take me.  What a shame that would have been!

Powerful results.

So, what would you do in your business if you weren’t afraid?  Would you fight to save jobs instead of handing out pink slips?  Would you stretch your personal abilities to grow expertise in areas that you know you need, but feel afraid to reach for?

Whatever the answer, I think it is the question that is important to ask ourselves over and over:  What would I do if I wasn’t afraid?

My Second HKA Anniversary!

March 1, 2010

Going off of Mari’s last post, which she wrote on her birthday (happy birthday again!), I thought I’d jump in and announce that my two-year anniversary with HKA is just over a week from today. I wrote about my one-year anniversary last year, so I thought it was fitting to honor the occasion with a blog post once again. In last year’s post I talked about the changes I experienced during my first year at HKA, and my second year was no different. In the past year I welcomed a desk change and a promotion, and I also helped the rest of the staff welcome new clients and some new team members.

One of my favorite parts of working here has been the opportunity to meet the awesome people I work with every day. As a firm believer that you should strive to be a perpetual student and never stop learning, I wanted to share some of the things I’ve learned from the ladies at HKA. (more…)