Year Three Update


On our third anniversary, we once again want to thank all of our clients for trusting us to help them build and protect their reputations in this incredibly unpredictable and challenging world we now live in. 

This year we had the opportunity to recognize one of my mentors, win a few additional awards, author a piece about the radicalization of rhetoric and teach a graduate-level class at USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. A banner year for sure.

Paying Tribute to Our Mentors

This year marked the 28th anniversary of the Kenneth Owler Smith Symposium sponsored by the Center for Public Relations at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. I currently serve on the Center's Board of Advisors. Held on April 12, the Symposium titled, "The Evolution of Ethics," featured a keynote from Edelman CEO, Richard Edelman, and the unveiling of the results of the 2018 Global Communications Report by Center Director and Golin Chairman, Fred Cook.

Dr. Smith was one of the most important influences on my academic and professional career. That's the reason several of his former students and I started the Symposium in his honor shortly after his passing in 1988. As part of this year's Symposium, we produced a short video tribute in memory of Dr. Smith and the profound impact he had on all of us. You can watch it here.

Our Work

During the year, we worked with some of the leading companies in their industries on a wide variety of projects. Our services ranged from developing year-long communications campaigns, providing needed crisis communications planning and support, to revitalizing brands.

Below is a summary of just some of our work this past year:

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Corporate Communications

  • Conducted a communications audit and benchmarking for a rare disease nonprofit and developed a comprehensive year-long communications plan focused on patients, caregivers, donors, clinicians, researchers and D.C. influencers
  • Working with a financial institution to identify key influencers and providing recommendations on how to create increased visibility for the CEO's blog
  • Developed insights on the quantitative impact of a strong brand and how strategic communications drives overall corporate brand reputation, including case studies on successful corporate branding campaigns for the leading provider of integrated food and facilities management services
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Crisis and Issues Management

  • Working with a leading toy company to help them update and benchmark their existing crisis response plan and protocols
  • Providing support to a nonprofit on a series of potential crises scenarios
  • Continued to support a leading apparel brand on a host of issues ranging from collective bargaining to trade, tax and NAFTA issues
  • Providing recommendations on crisis preparedness to a leading financial institution
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Consumer Marketing

  • Developed a brand and message framework, refined visual identity, trained spokespersons and provided media relations support to a nonprofit providing needed services to older adults and their caregivers
  • Continued to provide ongoing marketing support for the new USC Annenberg Center for Third Space Thinking, including website design and copy, content creation for an e-newsletter, blog posts and social media engagement and leadership development conference marketing

More Awards

We were fortunate to win several additional awards for our integrated communications campaign that opened the new Nixon Library and Museum - It's Time to Take Another Look at Richard Nixon. We recently won an Honorable Mention Award in PRWeek's national competition in the Nonprofit category. This follows our PRSA Silver Anvil and Paul Holmes SABRE awards, giving us awards in the three most important industry competitions. We also received two PRism Awards and one Award of Excellence given by the Los Angeles Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). In addition, we won one PRotos Award and one Award of Excellence given by the Orange County Chapter of PRSA. 

My congratulations to our client the Richard Nixon Foundation and the amazing communications team that helped bring the campaign to life, including Pinkston Group, The Woo, James Robie Design and APCO Insight.

More on Civility

As a member of the board of advisors at the USC Annenberg Center for Public Relations, I had the opportunity to author a thought piece on the future of our profession as part of the Center's 2018 Relevance Report titled, the Radicalization of Rhetoric. You can read my article here.

Adjunct Professorship

This past spring, I had the good fortune of creating and teaching a new, graduate-level class at USC Annenberg titled, PR Management: A 360-Degree View. The first half of the class focused on managing the communications function inside an organization and the second half on managing an agency. The students, who were nearly all second-year graduate students, were incredibly smart and talented. After spending 15 weeks with these amazing students, I can tell you the future of our profession is in excellent hands.

Thanks again to our terrific clients.

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