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PR for Business Growth

Our Team. Your Social Media Super Heroes.

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We know you work hard. You run a business and we understand the demands that puts on you. It’s imperative that you maximize your reach, grow your audience and expand your connections if you want your business to flourish. Because it takes a million different parts to run a successful business, marketing yourself online often takes a backseat. Presenting your business through popular social media platforms may not be your strong suit, but there’s good news – it’s ours.

Social media is not the temporary fad some thought it would be. Sure, there are teenagers over-sharing and under-studying, but there are a plethora of companies of every size experiencing rapid growth and success by tapping into the massive number of people with buying power and a keyboard. Facebook and friends are here to stay.

Your options are endless when you consider social media as a marketing resource. In addition to having a broad reach, it’s exceptionally cost effective. Social media is the cheapest form of advertising you can get your hands on today. To get the most bang for your literal buck, you still need to be strategic so that you’re best positioned to have an effective presence online. Thankfully, there are local experts right at your disposal. Just call on our name, we’ll be there. Winter, spring, summer or fall. All you have to do is…okay. You get it.

Did you know, in 2015, over 2 billion internet users had active social media accounts? That number is increasing everyday so, there is no doubt your potential reach through social media is huge. Today’s statistics show that 76% of online adults are on social networking sites. Our firm is thrilled to offer various packages to help any business with their online presence. Whether you’re just dipping your toes in these new waters or you’re online already but not seeing the benefit – we can provide the resources and expertise you need. We’re kind of like social media super heroes…except we’re not allowed to wear leotards. Something about personal space…

Your new customers and clients are waiting. We’ll show you where they are…you might be surprised. Email us today!

And the winner is… PSCI!

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Tracy Leach receiving the Kern Citizens for Energy Award of Merit from PRSA Central CA Board President Jill Wagner.

Our company is proud to be a part of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the world’s largest organization of public relations professionals. PRSA provides professional development, sets standards of excellence, upholds principles of ethics for its members and acts as one of the industry’s leading voices on critical business and professional issues.

Each year PRSA showcases efforts by issuing “Image Awards” for PR excellence. These Awards honor the work done in the practice of public relations, communications, marketing and advertising throughout the Central Valley, and the entries are judged by PR professionals from a PRSA chapter in another state.

Providence considers it a privilege to advocate for all the businesses and industries who drive our economy in Kern County – including the oil industry, for which we won this award. We’re so honored to be able to advocate for local oil & gas production alongside the rest of our community. Kern Citizens for Energy has grown into a robust, recognizable coalition of local citizens, small business owners, nonprofits, chambers of commerce, energy companies and taxpayer advocates who support the energy industry here in Kern.

The Perfect Guide to Christmas Shopping (Maybe)

Steven_ElfYou know the holiday season is here when you find yourself scrambling to buy presents for your family, friends and coworkers. Some people can be hard to shop for but others are fans of Justin Bieber and really, anything can appease them – it’s unbeliebable.

In addition to the shopping, there will be plenty of parties out there. Whether you’re invited to them or not is a different story.

Instead of taking these things personally, remind yourself that everything happens for a reason. Most of these parties are probably going to be packed with Raiders fans and they wouldn’t know what to do around a winner like you anyways. When you think about it, this might actually explain the team’s success or lack thereof the last 10 seasons. So instead of sulking, organize an office Christmas party and earn infinite brownie points! Just make sure to leave the mistletoe at home. Or at the very least, don’t invite HR. It’s your call.

What you should really be putting your time and energy into is thinking about the gag gifts you’re going to buy your friends. Personally, I suggest going with a Nickelback album. The key to buying a good gag gift is that the recipient has no real use for it and this album fits the bill perfectly. On the off chance they like Nickelback, feel free to unfriend them on Facebook and in real life. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.

With that said, I still would rather listen to Nickelback than “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer”. Over the course of my childhood it’s safe to say that I saw the animated Christmas special on Cartoon Network over 100 times. So before you throw me into the “War on Christmas” group with Starbucks, take a moment to try and understand my pain.

It’s the same kind of pain you’ll have to endure when you have to pay up for “one-day” and “two-day” shipping to ensure your presents arrive on time. Not so funny anymore is it?

If you’ve learned anything from this blog (which is highly unlikely) it’s that you shouldn’t put off your Christmas shopping until the last second (kind of like the fact that I shouldn’t have put writing this blog off until the last second). You will avoid a lot of stress and your wallet will thank you for all the money you’ll save on shipping. When it comes down to it, take a deep breath and remind yourself – it’s the thought that counts.

Thankful Hearts at PSCI

As we blast full speed into the holiday season, we wanted to pump the breaks for a moment and take some time to reflect back on the last ten months in our world of public relations. We’ve had so much fun advocating for our clients within the business community here in Kern and feel privileged to be given the opportunity to represent them. Our day-to-day is chock-full of email blasts, meetings, social media management, media relations, writing, editing and much more. Just like anyone else, if we don’t intentionally make the time to take a step back to reflect and be thankful, we’ll miss it – because we can remember last November like it was yesterday. Can you?thankful blog

The top 5 things we at PSCI are thankful for this season:

  • Wonderful clients – our people are some of the more kind-hearted, hilarious people we’ve come by. They make our job enjoyable and our interactions pleasant and rewarding. We realize that this is not always a guarantee, and in that case, we welcome a good challenge!
  • The thriving community of Kern County – #1 in energy production in the country, a leader in agriculture and home to some of the largest and most successful non-profit chapters in the country, Kern County is truly a force to be reckoned with. It’s a great place to do business, find community and raise a family. We are so thankful for those that have paved the way before us, laying the framework and foundation for a vibrant, healthy business community.
  • RAIN! That which we’ve had and that which is to come (El Niño anyone?). There is nothing quite like Bakersfield after the rain!
  • Food for our bellies and fuel for our cars – remember the line about Kern taking the cake in energy production and agriculture (see second bullet)? Our thriving oil and ag industries work together in beautiful harmony, feeding our appetites and fueling our lives. We are incredibly appreciative of both these industries as they truly make Kern County the vibrant community that it is!
  • And lastly… our new home! Psst… PSCI is moving! We have been truly blessed with a healthy, growing business with so much opportunity ahead of us. We are so thankful for a space of our own with more room to work and solve problems for our clients. Stay tuned for more info on that in 2016!

It’s hairy out there: 3 PR tips we can learn from ‘The Donald’

Trump blogBrash billionaire businessman, Donald Trump has thrown his toupee (we know, he says it’s “real”), in the ring in the race for the White House, and believe it or not, we can learn a few things from this tough tycoon…

 

You don’t have to appeal to everyone. Just don’t offend an entire nation. #Mexico

Just in case you thought making broad, public, criminal assumptions about an entire people…don’t. In all seriousness, not everyone will like you or want to do business with you and that’s OK. Don’t ever compromise what you stand for just to get business. Maintaining your unique, genuine self is imperative. People will respect you. People will also respect you if you keep some things to yourself, possess a filter and present yourself professionally.

 

Harness the power of social media: But please refrain from starting Twitter wars with the ladies from The View…

Whether Molly Sims is deserving of a seat at the table on The View, I really don’t know. Do not attack others via social media. You will always look bad and will undoubtedly damage your company’s reputation. Your company or organization has an incredible opportunity to engage with its audience via social media platforms. What Trump has done, though, is use his social platforms to apologize, engage and repair his image. Use these resources to stay relevant, boost business and keep customers happy.

 

Don’t hide from a crisis: But you can avoid creating it. Remove foot from mouth…

“Stuff” happens, but don’t wait until the situation is out of control before you get help. Work with your PR professionals to establish a dynamite Crisis Management plan so you and your team can overcomb…I mean, overcome. Address the controversy swiftly, with transparency and humility. With the right help from an experienced firm, that ‘crisis’ can quickly become anything but.

#winning.

 

By Rachel Glauser, Communications Manager

She Means Business

she means business_June blogRecently I had the privilege of listening to and gleaning from a panel of three business owners in Kern County, all who have one thing in common: their gender. All three are females who have spearheaded their businesses here in Kern for many years. As a young twenty-something, this is not abnormal for me to see or experience; women owning and running their own businesses. But I know it is unusual for many who grew up in a generation where women in the U.S. were considered of lesser-value, and treated as such. I won’t dive into that discussion, but it was a reality that dominated our American culture and still is an undercurrent in our society while influencing much of our world today.

I am encouraged and challenged by women who choose to lead the way in their field with passion as their fuel. Women who are born leaders, but have learned what it takes to lead by example with integrity and passion. They understand the level of commitment and drive that it takes to make a dream reality, even in this often times disheartening society. This is what I see in the three women who were a part of the “Female-owned Businesses” panel at our recent Alliance of Women in Energy luncheon—Tracy Leach, Owner of Providence Strategic Consulting, Inc. and Dagny Energy Group, Robin Brassfield-Cooper, Owner of Robin’s Envirovac, and Karen Martinez, Owner of Antrox Engineering, Inc. All three women live, work and play in Kern County but they also have something else in common—their love of working in the energy industry.

Tracy owns our public affairs firm, which assists businesses and organizations with strategic public outreach and communications, a lot of that business coming from the energy sector. She said she loves setting goals for our clients and achieving them, as well as building relationships with many amazing people in our community. Tracy is one of the hardest working people I know; she epitomizes hard work (full disclosure: I work here!). She said it herself, balance is hard to find. She attributes her struggle with balance to her drive and desire to satisfy our clients. But amidst the constant deadlines and client expectations, she manages to keep her sense of humor and let things roll.

Robin’s company has been assisting in oil field maintenance for about 16 years. She says their goal is, “Focusing on working safe and maintaining a clean safe work record.” As Robin spoke, I sensed her love for what she does and those that she works with. I also sensed the love and respect those in the room have for her. It was evident that she’s made a positive mark on Kern County and the business community. She is a woman that is well-respected. When asked what one thing she would have done differently when starting out, she replied “pursue my education.” Although Robin jumped into the workforce at a young age and now has an extremely successful business, she sees the importance and value of higher education. Robin embodies the passion and commitment needed to overcome obstacles along the way.

Karen owns Antrox Engineering, named after her two children, Anthony and Roxanne (adorable, right?). Karen is a consulting electrical engineer who specializes in electrical design for commercial, institutional, retail and industrial facilities, architectural lighting, solar plans, industrial control system design and programming, and renewable energy projects. This woman stays busy and seems to have a brain that functions on a whole other level from the average individual! She is brilliant, and her satisfied clients can attest to that. Karen quickly became someone that I respect and would trust as a consultant, someone that has the expertise as well as integrity.

When asked how to overcome the potential barriers that can stand in the way of being a woman and owning your own business, all three women agreed: “Work hard and prove yourself. That is what matters. When people see the hard work and a job well done, you will be respected and taken seriously.” Tracy, Robin and Karen lead three of an estimated 9.1 million women-owned businesses in the U.S. that produce more than $1.4 trillion in revenues, according to the 2014 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, commissioned by American Express OPEN. I hope to see many more female-owned businesses sprout up all around Kern County and beyond in the years to come and I am assured that there are many women who are currently paving the way for generations of future businesswomen.

“Small business isn’t for the faint of heart; it’s for the brave, the patient and the persistent. It’s for the overcomer.” – Anonymous

By Julie Bell, Office Manager/Project Coordinator

Business Crises – “What, Me Worry?”

crisis averted_May blogOnly teenagers think, “That’ll never happen to me”….right? As mature businessmen and women you have fully protected your business, brand and reputation with a clear Crisis Communications Plan in place, your top executives are media trained and you won’t ever get caught unprepared by an accident, emission, employee misbehavior or lawsuit. Uh huh. Or not.

Think of all the eventualities you have prepared for within your business from budgeting to safety to succession plans. But how equipped are you for one of the above medium to major disasters?

If you encounter any of these crises, what impression will be left of your company by your customers, employees, public, media and regulators?

We have entered multiple crises with clients and preparation is the key to protecting your business. How you respond can make the difference between continuing success and a disastrous financial nosedive.

So what can you do to make sure your company is ready for a really bad day/week/month?

  • Create even a simple plan that you will follow in case of an emergency;
  • Define and list contact information for your management team, public relations professional and legal counsel;
  • Identify a single spokesperson – and their backup – ahead of time. How prepared are these individuals for media encounters? Media training will help you prepare;
  • Review and update the plan regularly

Need help? Call us. We can help you prepare and support your company during difficult litigation, activist opposition, job site accidents or other crises.

Stuff happens. How you respond will distinguish the great companies from the mediocre.

What the #hashtag?

Social media is still a very confusing and superfluous concept for many. What is the point of it? Do I need it? Won’t it be easier without it? And… What on earth is a hashtag?

What the hashtag?For most businesses today, the question isn’t why, but how. The use of social media has become wildly popular with people of all generations and the reality is your business will likely suffer without it. We aren’t picking up and scouring the Yellow Pages. We’re getting on Facebook, searching Yelp, checking our photos on Instagram and polling our friends on Twitter to find the best restaurant, automotive shop, gym, law firm, you name it. It’s great you have a website, but if you aren’t at least on Facebook, we’re moving on.

With the Internet and social media having an obvious impact on how we do business, your online presence essentially becomes your business card. In fact, it takes just seven seconds for a person to form an opinion of someone and 93% of that comes from your image. Therefore we need to be conscious of what we put out there in cyberspace for all to see.

Here are a few things to remember if you or your business is on social media:

  1. Remember that what you post is there…forever. You may have deleted it, but the cyberspace world saves it all.
  2. Be consistent! Having a vacant or underutilized social media page is just as bad as not having one at all. Make yourself a calendar item, set an alarm, do what you have to do in order to engage with your audience and keep your page up to date.
  3. Always respond to comments, questions and concern from your followers. Be humble, address the issue and do what you can to make it right. This, I assure you, will not go unnoticed.
  4. Find ways to engage with people offline. Use your social media platforms to build your real life relationships, find new customers and network.
  5. Get help! Social media can be overwhelming and time consuming for some. Ignoring this key business tool is not the answer. A firm like ours can step in, get you set up and keep you relevant while you remain focused on your customers and clients.

Oh, and the hashtag? It’s just a search term preceded by the # symbol. It allows you to search for common topics and start specific conversations. When you add a # to beginning of a word or phrase, you’re essentially “tagging” it. Don’t hashtag alone, let us help.

Surviving the World of Public Relations

The world of Public Relations can be a scary place. Tasks can come from every direction in PR, which makes it important to have a game plan. Here are three tips that will help you survive the world of PR:

1. Buckle Up! PR is a rollercoaster
Public Relations is unpredictable. Some days will fly by without you ever knowing, while other days may make you want to curl up under your desk in the fetal position. It comes with the territory and you’re just going to have to roll with the punches. A big project may feel like going 12 rounds with a heavyweight, but you’ll feel great when it’s all over! Ask questions – it can help alleviate the burden of an imposing task. Remember, there are no stupid questions, unless you’ve asked them already. By that definition most of my questions are stupid.

2. Always double check that social media post!
It can be difficult to hold back how you really feel about a situation, whether it involves a disagreement with your boss or how bad your co-worker’s taste in music is, but try and refrain from posting anything on social media – you’ll thank yourself for it later! Anything you post on the internet is capable of following you for the rest of your life. Remember that spelling and grammer is important. No one is going to take your rant seriously if you spell like a second grader. The same can be said for tweeting at appropriate times. People aren’t going to enjoy being tagged in your tweet at 2 a.m. This is a great way to lose a follower!

3. Stretch, eat, laugh
Make your day in the office less daunting by breaking it up. Get up and stretch, practice yoga, run with theMarch Blog bulls, the possibilities are endless. Find a reasonable pace between that of the tortoise and the hair to avoid getting burnt out too quickly at work and to actually get things done! And much like how athletes need to take a break after a quarter or period, you can refresh while you’re at lunch. Having to stay and eat lunch at work every day could be the definition of cruel and unusual punishment. Lastly, remember to have some HR approved fun at work. You’ll appreciate your job more and your relationships with your coworkers will grow.

Not Your Grandma’s Christmas Blog

Christmas shopping can be described in one word: hectic. While it’s amazing to make someone’s jaw drop Christmas morning, the process can test your patience, will and love for your fellow human beings. So skip those crowded stores this year and buy online or at the very least, go in with a plan. If you’re having trouble coming up with gift ideas, feel free to take something off our Christmas lists:

Let’s start with Tracy’s list! She would like…boxing gloves? Oh, to fend off the activists – of course. Tracy also asked for a nice bottle of wine to ease her husband’s pain after each and every Raider’s game. Rounding out the list are flowers for her desk. You know, for those who want to bond with something that doesn’t have a life outside of work either. I wish my desk had flowers, they would hold down the fort after I get fired for that comment.

On the morning of Christmas, Julie would like to wake up to a never ending supply of Dr. Pepper and french fries. I’m pretty sure that isn’t in the budget. What may be in the budget however, are a couple tickets to a Taylor Swift concert. Hmm, she also mentioned a broken drum – we’ll go with that. You just can’t beat it!

For Christmas, Rachel would like a new camera to capture all of her baby’s firsts. She would also like a fruitcake, not to feed to the baby, but to re-gift later down the road. In retrospect, maybe the baby would like fruitcake – somebody has to, right? And lastly she would like a cheese and crackers cutting board, because when the party is stale, you got to get it crackin’!

I almost forgot about myself, who more than anything would like to go a festive season without hearing “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.” I would also ask for some hockey gear, surely to survive the onslaught of office supplies thrown at me for this blog post. But most importantly, I want a Golden Ticket, because nobody on this planet has the resources to fund my sweet tooth.

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Well, there you have it – a collection of what our office wants for Christmas. Be bold this season and give the gift everyone will remember. Just make sure to avoid the naughty list. Merry Christmas!

– Steven Gaede