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84 posts tagged Agency News

Atomic Opens Seattle Office

Atomic has opened an office in Seattle led by SVP Nick Olsson - Read more here:

Atomic Opens Orange County Office

(photo source)

Atomic has expanded its Southern California regional presence with a new office in Orange County.
The office is headed by Vice President Krys Card Grondorf, a senior Orange County PR executive who joined Atomic from Citizen Paine, (formerly Paine PR), where she managed PR and social programs for a number of top consumer and technology brands including Procter & Gamble, Kraft Foods, Aflac, Sony Electronics and others. Previously, Krys was director of the entertainment technology practice at Los Angeles agency Bender/Helper Impact where she managed accounts including Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment, Dolby Labs, LG Mobile, NXN Software (acquired by Avid), Discreet (acquired by Autodesk), and others.
Jennifer Olson, veteran Atomic director, rounds out Atomic’s Orange County management team and additional regional firepower is provided by Atomic’s 18-person Los Angeles office, led by Senior Vice President, Rachel Rogers.
“Atomic is a world-class PR and social media firm with a unique approach and a strong pedigree with consumer and technology brands,” said Rick Sharga, president of the Technology Council of Southern California.  “Atomic offers an interesting new option to Orange County brands looking for a fresh perspective.”

Atomic also has offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, London and Munich.   

The case for brevity when talking

Human beings are very bad at retaining what they hear. On average, people forget more than 75% of the info they take in each day. On top of simple memory decay, add distraction - email, alerts, text messages, social network profile updates, tweets, multimedia, phone calls, cell phone calls, meetings, hallway conversations, etc. Oh, and then there’s actual work; multiple assignments, multi-tasking, etc. Plus all the inputs from life away from work. This is the baseline of noise level into which company spokespersons enter when talking with influencers, journalists, bloggers, business development associates, sales prospects, etc. And yet, most spokespeople say too much.

When a lot of ground is covered, most of a conversation is forgotten and takes on no particular shape in the mind of the listener. To cut through today, you need to go short. Think of conversations as opportunities to focus on the very few select topics that matter most to the particular interaction (especially with regard to what the listener is most interested in), and organize your content into short, discrete clusters around those topics - think in terms of a very short paragraph per topic. And stay high level. Get the big picture right first, then let the listener ask for or deliver more detail next. Avoid sub-referencing and tangents. Focus exclusively on the 25% of the content that matters, and give yourself a better chance that they’ll remember any of it.

The broader power of search

Search engine optimization is often thought of as having a singular purpose - driving traffic to a website - but in the modern communications landscape, SEO goes far beyond traffic building. Enquiro, a research firm commissioned by Google to study the brand effect of search, produced a report that shows just how influential search can be.

Also consider a Nielsen Net//Ratings study released in April 2009 on how trustworthy various forms of advertising or marketing were, in which “recommendations from people known” and “consumer opinions posted online” ranked as #1 and #2 respectively, with #4 being “editorial content posted online”. Ouch. It turns out that sometimes the best search results for a brand may not be that brand’s website at all.

And even if a brand website is ranking well, having lots of other touchpoints out there doesn’t hurt, and can help you defend the valuable first-page results against off-message content. Ensuring that your brand is well placed in the search ecosystem is mission-critical. The goal is for your brand to be easily discoverable, whether it be through your website, positive press, blog, or social media content.

Read more on this topic here.

* This post originally ran as a guest blogger entry on PR Week Insider week of Oct 5, 2009.

Atomic PR Among SF Business Times List of Fastest Growing Private San Francisco Bay Area Companies for 4th Year in a Row

Atomic posted growth of 44%+ in 2008, exclusively by referral and client side inquiry, and was included on the list of fastest growing private SF Bay Area companies published by the SF Business Times last week for the 4th consective year. We appreciate it. 100% of the growth in revenue was from referrals from current and former clients, performance-driven budget increases from existing clients and from unsolicited inbound inquiries from prospective clients. Over the same period, nearly a dozen of our start-up clients were acquired - good news/bad news. We’re grateful to our clients and colleagues for their enthusiasm, endorsement and active partnership in helping Atomic continue to evolve our methods and grow our business. Working closely with them, and generating orders of magnitude greater ROI than their past programs is our only new business activity. Snapshots of recent Atomic-designed breakthrough campaigns and results here:

More campaign result updates coming soon.

Traditional vs. social media? It’s all just media now

Some social media purists say the world has flipped from a top-down, traditional media driven landscape to a bottom-up, social driven landscape. We’re not sure that’s right. People often tweet and blog about what they encounter in the mass media, and the mass media often reports on memes that first evolved in the social media world. It’s probably more accurate to think in terms of a symbiotic continuum - the modern communications landscape ranges from real-time microblogs and status updates to long-lead print and broadcast outlets.

While the platforms remain relatively distinct, the content, links and thoughts regularly ricochet between entities in a mix of original reporting, iteration, discovery, sharing and conversation. Grassroots-up tends more toward short real-time communications, where top-down can take days, weeks or months. Mainstream press delivers mass audience, while individuals may reach a small group of highly interested others. A Twitter post can trigger broadcast coverage of a breaking issue while an article in a daily regional newspaper may spread worldwide through blogs and social networks. And then there’s search, which lives forever. So the distinctions may not be that important anymore. Offline, online, traditional, social - it’s all just media now. Embrace. Evolve.

This post originally ran last week as Part 2 of a 3-part series of posts from Atomic on PR Week’s Insider Blog.

Atomic is the guest blogger on PR Week Insider this week

On a technicality, they listed Andy as the sole blogger from Atomic - but actually, we both wrote the post from today about measurement, and also the one about traditional vs. social media to come. Sean Mulholland, Atomic’s director of digital operations wrote the one on the greater power of search to run later in the week. Liz Haas contributed a related link from Silicon Valley Watcher - Here’s the Insider post from today.

PR measurement: don’t CYA - drive strategy instead:

PR firms know that measurement is a good thing. And clients want it. But both often get the why wrong. Here’s an excerpt from a recent email selling a webinar on PR measurement: “You’ll learn how to communicate PR’s value, help drive PR funding and gain insight to create the right evaluation system for your organization and your budget.” Justifying your existence and driving higher budgets are OK I suppose, but they leave the far greater power of metrics and analysis sitting on the sidelines.

The very best use of measurement and analytics is to help PR people more professionally and reliably build, shape and protect their clients’ brands. With the sheer volume and velocity of content careening around our culture today, PR strategies based on personal opinion and past experience are no match for the more deeply informed strategies engineered by PR pros armed with sophisticated analytics tools, in terms of growing and shaping media coverage, online dialog, WOM, sales and brand value. So flip the proposition — use measurement for building strategy. When you achieve and surpass goals on a regular basis, CYA gives way to more productive forward-looking collaboration, and program funding usually takes care of itself.

News Roundup: Atomic PR & Huntsworth in New Venture to Open Atomic Offices in Europe and Asia

The announcement of Atomic and Huntsworth’s new venture to open Atomic PR offices in Europe and Asia generated a number of interesting pieces in communications trade outlets in the US and the UK this week. The story broke first in PR Week US with a solid, basic article.O’Dwyer’s was next to run, with a more in-depth piece that went a bit farther into the context around the venture from both companies’ perspectives, and profiled our new European managing director, Sandeep Kalsi. We especially enjoyed the very first sentence. Yesterday, PR Week UK ran a full page cover story featuring Huntsworth and Chime, and the new venture with Atomic was described as a good move for Huntsworth’s overall digital strategy. Then UK media services company Gorkana ran the following piece, which contains a flattering quote from senior Huntsworth executive Vikki Stace, a deeper profile of Sandeep and mentions some of the breakthrough work we’ve done for clients with global presence.

Behind the Scenes With Atomic PR at Fashion for the Cure September 28, 2009: Diane von Furstenberg @ Smashbox Studios

Atomic PR, Los Angeles was signed by the Los Angeles Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® in September 2008 to develop and manage the PR campaign for the affiliate’s flagship fundraiser, Race for the Cure 2009®. Atomic mixed analytics, classic and social media and SEO to significantly increase media and blog coverage, runner registrations, event participants, as well as the number of celebrity | political | entertainment hosts involved, and importantly - to drive up donations. Based on the results compared to past campaigns, Atomic was named Komen’s agency of record for Los Angeles.

Just this week, we completed a new campaign for Komen’s Fashion for the Cure®. In its 8th year, Fashion for the Cure® had traditionally tapped talented local designers and boutiques. With Susan G. Komen’s recently elevated brand presence and visibility in Los Angeles, Atomic suggested reaching out to an iconic couture designer to bring the event to the next level, engage a new and additional demographic demographic and maximize media and social media coverage. Our pick for designer was Diane von Furstenberg.

Happily, Diane agreed to participate. Smashbox Studios was secured as the location for the event and planning began in earnest. Atomic handled all the event management, traditional media relations and social media planning and execution. We secured and hosted more than 50 different media outlets on the red carpet including E! News, Los Angeles Times, Yelp, E! Online, People Magazine, 944 Magazine and CNN as well as top photographers from Wire Image, Globe Photos, Film Magic, WENN, Getty Images. Social media was also used to update affiliate profiles with news, behind the scenes photos and celebrity attendance updates.

View more photos…

Atomic opens office in London; first of four international offices to come

Global communications company Huntsworth, plc, announced in London today that it is providing financial, executive and logistical support to a new venture to open Atomic PR offices running Atomic-style programs outside the US. Atomic PR remains an independent agency, and is contributing similar resources to the venture, including financing, staff plus its own ComContext analytics platform, a sophisticated Web application for research, planning and program results measurement. View press release…

Atomic’s London office is up and running with a starting staff of 5, including several who have worked for Atomic in Europe for more than a year, as well as 3 clients, including global security leader ArcSight, smart grid technology leader Echelon, and Roamware, a global provider of roaming solutions who selected Atomic only weeks ago. The London office is currently in talks with several other potential UK and global PR clients as well as candidates for open spots on Atomic’s London team.

London is the first of four Atomic offices initially planned; others include Germany, France and Asia. London will be the hub for coordinating Atomic programs outside the US. Sandeep Kalsi, a highly experienced global PR executive and former board director of Next Fifteen Communications Group, owners of Text 100, Bite, Outcast and other PR firms, has signed on as managing director of Atomic PR Europe, working out of the London office.

There are three reasons why Atomic and Huntsworth teamed up to open Atomic offices outside the US.

  • First, a growing number of clients and potential clients would like us to be able to run Atomic style programs from Atomic branded offices outside the US, mixing analytics-fueled strategies with traditional + social media, video and SEO-supported programs in countries where we don’t currently have our own offices. Like many smaller firms, we’ve traditionally partnered with networks of smaller, independently-owned agencies in other countries on client work outside the US. But as the size, complexity and number of our multi-country engagements has grown, collaborating with other independents has become more complicated from a management standpoint, and there are IP protection issues around sharing Atomic’s analytics applications and related intellectual capital.

  • Secondly, combining our resources with those of Huntsworth gives us more financial backing, hands-on experience and logistical support that will allow us to grow our international footprint more quickly and intelligently. In addition, Atomic will leverage resources from Huntsworth’s network of wholly-owned offices on an on-demand basis in countries where Atomic doesn’t have its own. All of which is very good and cost-effective for Atomic clients. 

  • Lastly, it’s the best of both worlds: Atomic stays independent while being able to leverage the resources of a large and highly experienced agency group while we expand internationally.

A quick bit of backstory: We had been planning opening Atomic offices in London and Hong Kong on our own for more than a year. We met Huntsworth by chance, when Huntsworth business development executive Vikki Stace visited our San Francisco office.

We’ve been contacted regularly by companies looking to acquire agencies and we always let them know that we’re not interested in being acquired. Vikki was interested in meeting anyway to see if some sort of mutual referral or other relationship might come out of it, so we got together. The chemistry was good from the start, and both sides shared plans for growth and the future. A few weeks later, Vikki invited Judy Wilks and me to Huntsworth’s HQ in Marylebone while we were in London looking at potential locations for our own office there.

Vikki introduced us to a number of other senior Huntsworth execs. More visits took place over the next few months, and it percolated up that a joint venture outside the US might make sense.

Atomic’s advisors, including a few top VCs we work with as well as Keith McCracken, an agency growth consultant with Results International collectively felt Atomic could move faster and more surely with Huntsworth as a partner outside the US, and soon, we felt the same way. A definitive agreement was signed this summer to form Atomic Communications Holdings, Ltd. in London with the board to be shared by Atomic and Huntsworth. Sandeep Kalsi signed on as MD shortly thereafter.

We’re delighted with our new venture partners and colleagues at Huntsworth; and we look forward to seeing more of the world together. We’re very pleased with the welcome our new London office has gotten from clients and prospects, even before we were able to formally announce it. And if you know solid, creative and progressive PR people or tech clients in London looking for an authentic alternative, please send them our way.

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