Category Archive: Orlando Media Relations

Building your brand one step at a time

Marketing agencies like to tout their wins for big companies. We applaud those wins, for we know how hard they are to garner.

Yet, what about small companies? Don’t they deserve the same services as the big firms? Emphatically we say yes!

Sometimes when you’re a small company just trying to make your way in the world you have to start somewhere. That somewhere might be a single press release, or media pitching, or social media campaign.

We have had the privilege of working with national companies in multiple markets.  Our firm takes an equal amount of pride in the work we do to promote smaller businesses. We are happy to provide project work – a single press release if needed – to bring companies the publicity and business they richly deserve.

In just the past few months we’ve announced restaurant openings, worked with dance companies, app developers, window shade manufacturers, and even horse farms to help promote small business owners.

We’d love to tell your story!  Reach out to us at 407.339.0879 or emailmystory@wellonscommunications.com to discuss your PR potential.

Thanks Ma – for the worldwide publicity!

We had the pleasure of providing publicity and media relations support for the listing of the renowned Ma Barker house.

The story was launched with an online exclusive in the Wall Street Journal, followed by a front page story in the Orlando Sentinel, followed by a story from Reuters news service. The ensuing media coverage led to the story appearing all over the world, in all types of publications. Media hits included CNN, the front page of Yahoo, CNBC, real estate trades and even overseas media like the Daily Mail.

The number of people who read the Ma Barker House story is well into the millions and growing.

When you have a great story to tell, it’s worth knowing seasoned public relations people who have worked in the media. Our firm carefully crafted the message and pitched the story to key national and local media that would give us the best chance for widespread pickup.

Cynics might say that anybody handling PR for a renowned gangster hideout house will get coverage. However, people who’ve worked in the media and are experienced in public relations understand that proper placement can make the difference between a few hits and global coverage.

Not everyone has a Ma Barker story to tell. The truth is, you don’t have to be Ma Barker to make public relations work effectively for you. Our agency uses the same research-based approach for each project. Whether announcing a new business, a promotion, a restaurant opening, a community event or a new product, we spend time finding the right person to pitch the story to and craft the story in the right manner. At the end of the day, that messaging becomes the cornerstone for much of your media coverage. We use the same approach whether working with media in Central Florida or media across North America.

We can never dictate what members of the media will cover – but we can strive to serve up news of all kinds in the most appropriate manner for the audience we are trying to reach. The Ma Barker house is our latest shining example of the success we can achieve with a single press release followed by experienced media pitching and follow up.

Tell us your story – we can likely find a home for it too. To learn more about project assignments with Wellons Communications, please feel free to contact us at mystory@wellonscommunications.com or call 407.339.0879.

Wellons Communications helps tell your story in 2012

The New Year is right ahead. Have you drafted your story/vision for the coming year? WWC Logo 2011 - small

It’s likely that you have a story to tell and may not even realize it. Many businesses have stories about their progress, new programs, expansions or cool new ideas of how to get things done.  Journalists, bloggers and even your Facebook fans love to learn what you have planned.

Communicating often – whether to your employees, your customers or your future customers – pays consistent dividends.

One of our clients recently remarked, “I had no idea what we were doing was even remotely newsworthy.’’ The comment came after she was profiled in the most highly sought after trade magazine for her industry.

Stories worth telling net business results, either with direct impact to the bottom line or a priceless boost in credibility.

We are experts in developing and promoting businesses’ stories.  So if you don’t know your story yet, let us help.

What do the media and hurricanes have in common?

Unpredictability is the rule of the game when it comes to hurricanes…..and the media.

This past weekend, the media rushed to call Hurricane Irene a once-in-a life time storm – a major hurricane that would race up the eastern seaboard and wreck havoc on all along its path.

In many ways, Irene lived up to its billing. Just ask the millions of people still without power or the good citizens of Vermont who are still sopping up the damage from massive flooding.

Yet the same media that staked out weather teams ready for wall-to-wall coverage did not appear satisfied with the multi-billion dollars of destruction. As soon as the storm cleared the U.S. border, many news organizations switched quickly from forecasters predicting gloom to news writers asking why the gloom and doom didn’t meet the forecast.

Only the media could create so much noise and then turnaround and complain that the noise was too loud for the result.

Hurricanes have been – and always will be – unpredictable. You never know what path they will take or how hard they might hit their target. Unfortunately, the same can be said for many members of the media.

The take away: Prepare as best you can. Whether with hurricanes or media relations, it is best to have a firm plan in place for when the storm hits your business.

Wellons welcomes a new member of the PR team

headshots 009We would like to welcome Cori Pope to the Wellons Communications team.

Cori is a veteran TV broadcaster from Texas who moved to Florida to pursue new career opportunities.  As a PR Specialist, she will manage accounts for the hospitality, health, education and technology industries.

Prior to coming to Wellons Communications, Cori worked at the NBC affiliate in Midland, Texas.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Texas Tech University.

Cori continues our commitment to hire former journalists to provide PR, media relations and content support for our nationwide clients.  Her strong broadcast background and her work on the station’s website were key elements in bringing Cori onboard.

Welcome, Cori!

At Wellons Communications, We Take Education Seriously

Education and TrainingYes, education clients are a pillar of our PR agency. We represent trade schools, private schools and the technology companies that keep school systems properly staffed with dedicated, qualified teachers.

The education that we take the most pride in is the growth and training of our staff and our fine group of interns. We provide a rigorous teaching environment for our staff—focusing on how newsrooms and digital media need and want information.

Over the years, we have taken great pride in seeing members of our agency family move on to great jobs and top-line opportunities, including contract positions for The Walt Disney Company, jobs opening The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal, posts with Edelman in Australia, and intern slots in New York and London.

So whether you are looking for that great first job or internship, consider the following:

  • Does the agency you work at care about your growth as a PR pro?
  • Will you get daily lessons in better communications?
  • Do you get to work directly on national and international clients with a proven track record of success?
  • Are you challenged to learn how to work smarter and write better?

As many of our grads have told us, a college education is a wonderful thing—but the real education starts when you step out the door.

Learn more about our Orlando Public Relations Firm by joining us on Facebook and Twitter. And submit your resume and cover letter today by e-mailing Sara Marinan at sara@wellonscommunications.com.

Unlocking the PR Power of #Twitter

From your mood to the movement of your favorite rapper, there’s a lot we can learn from Twitter.

For one, the U.S. West Coast is happier than the East Coast—or so say Northeastern and Harvard researchers, who mapped out a way to quantify and visualize happiness all based on real-time Twitter comments (although I’m happy to say—and Tweet—that the map shows we’re pretty content here in Central Florida).

Then, there’s rapper Kanye West. He joined the popular social media site after a visit to its headquarters—and received instant coverage. Then, a few weeks later, Stephen Homes, a Twitter user from England, became a minor celebrity when he tweeted West to ask what kind of toothpaste he used on his diamond teeth. That question made Holmes the only person West himself chose to follow—and earned him a mention on NPR.

It goes to show you: social media’s pull is strong when it comes to media coverage and public awareness, and it should be an integral part of your overall strategic public relations campaign. So how do you build your brand on Twitter? Here are a few social media starter tips:

Kayne Tweet

  1. Decide how you want to brand your company: Fill out your entire profile and design your background—this makes your page look legitimate and extends your brand image onto Twitter.
  2. Become known as an expert/resource: Mashable writes that Twitter is a shorter and more viral form of blogging, so the same rules still apply.
  3. Establish a Twitter marketing plan: This includes adding Twitter links to e-mail signatures, Web sites, newsletters, presentations, business cards, promotion products, etc. Just like with any social network or blog, the more people who follow you, the easier it is to grow your already existing community.
  4. RT and Hashtags: Retweets, hashtags and following other people are essential ways to get new followers (What are hashtags? They’re the # signs placed in front of key search terms).

Ad Age calls promotion and public relations through Twitter “a souped-up word of mouth.” So start talking—140 characters at a time—and begin to unlock the PR power of Twitter.

For more social media and public relations advice, contact Wellons Communications at 407-339-0879. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @Wellons_PR.

A lesson in bad media relations

There was an old Saturday Night Live sketch that featured a character named Leonard Pinth-Garnell . He was an arts critic who showcased the worst in everything; Bad Playhouse, Bad Cinema, Bad Opera, etc. The audience got to witness a truly awful performance.

Today we’ll borrow a page from Leonard Pinth-Garnell for an installment of Bad Media Relations. KGO-TV in San Francisco was doing a story looking at how money in a hospital patient gift fund was being spent.

Watch as the hospital community relations director touches investigative reporter Dan Noyes a couple dozen times and then shoves his hand in a camera lens. It’s one of the most bizarre PR-media encounters you’ll ever see.

The station says it went to a community meeting to try and get an interview after the hospital ignored its phone calls. This is a standard practice, and an excellent reason to not ignore repeated phone calls from a reporter. Not calling back is basically an invitation for the I-Team to show up unannounced.

The PR person says the reporter purposely disrupted the meeting and the hospital says the story was unfair and distorted the facts. You can read statements from both here.

This ugly scene was easily preventable. Call the reporter back and find out what they are working on. Work with the hospital administrators and defend your position if you believe what you’re doing is right. Do a sit-down interview with the reporter, or at least provide a statement or written answers to his questions.

Handle your media relations properly and you have a story that you may not like on one TV station. Bungle your media relations and your story is now all over major news sites and the video of your bizarre tactics are there for all to see.

To quote Leonard Pinth-Garnell: “Stunningly bad!”

Modern-day Public Relations: Social vs. Traditional Media

Pew Examines how blogs and social media agendas relate and differ from traditional press

Pew examines how blogs and social media agendas relate and differ from traditional press

Public relations isn’t just about getting in the local newspaper these days. The new mantra, for some, seems to have become “Extra. Extra. Read all about it (on Twitter).”

While traditional media should never be disregarded, it is important for your PR team to take a broad approach and deliver your message, brand or service to as many eyeballs as possible.

Step one in this process: understand the different types of stories/messages that social and traditional media gravitate toward.

According to a recent study by the Pew Research Center, new media (blogs, Twitter, YouTube) and traditional media (newspapers, magazines, TV) focus on different issues most of the time. Blogs, for instance, led with the same story as traditional media in only 13 weeks (of a 49-week period).

Social media site Mashable noted that the study underlines a large disconnect between what mainstream media thinks is “top news” and what social media users consider newsworthy.

Still, traditional media remains important. While the leading stories differed most of the time, 80 percent of blog stories still come from just four legacy networks or newspapers: the BBC, CNN, the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Let us know what you think via our own social media networks. Join Wellons Communications on Facebook and Twitter, or check out our new multimedia clip book, using the Endavo Media Player.