It's About the Work



Happy Administrative Professionals’ Day!

From left to right: Susan Salazar (Dallas), Brigitta Del Valle (San Francisco), Stacy Heimlich (New York), and Marilyn Finegold (Los Angeles)

Today, on Administrative Professionals’ Day, we honor Allison+Partners troubleshooters, problem solvers and organization aficionados: our office managers. Brigitta (SF), Marilyn (LA), Susan (Dallas) and Stacy (NY) make life at Allison+Partners run smoothly day in and day out. While we appreciate these lovely ladies year round, today is the day we can shout it from Allison+Partners’ rooftop. Thank you for all you do to keep this agency chugging along! We would be lost without you.

The San Francisco Office – Brigitta Del Valle

In honor of Administrative Professionals’ Day, I’d like to spotlight Brigitta Del Valle, who cares deeply about helping every member of the Allison+Partners’ team succeed, whether that means lending creature comforts to Allison University (AU), our biannual training event for staff; offering flawless catering and concierge services to client meetings; or designing an organized, fun workspace in our San Francisco office. She brings confidence and a positive attitude to every assignment, no matter how large or small, and is even willing to don a costume to entertain staff, as she did here for the 2014 town hall.

Brigitta enthusiastically took on the huge challenge of expanding the San Francisco office to accommodate growing staff. In addition to the functional needs of furniture and wiring, Brigitta managed aesthetic changes to banish the beige of “cubeland,” including colorful paint, TVs, a chalkboard and a whiteboard decorated with our core values in fun colors and fonts. She was also instrumental in bringing the San Francisco sports bar to life, brainstorming design ideas on a budget, sewing the black-and-white-striped awning in her free time, and searching for just the right accessories to finish it off.  It’s the hub of all things fun in San Francisco.

Brigitta’s passion and enthusiasm make Allison+Partners a kinder, gentler place to work.

The Los Angeles Office – Marilyn Finegold

Making sure the LA office has their act together since 2001
Always ready to lend a hand
Remembers the little things
Is a smiling face to greet us every morning
Listens to our random Trader Joe’s snack requests (Megan loves almond milk and Whitney only drinks decaf… etc)
You haven’t seen anything ’till you’ve seen Marilyn’s dance moves
Not a day goes by that we aren’t thankful for Marilyn’s dedication and love for our office

The Dallas Office – Susan Salazar

To say we are thankful for Susan Salazar would be the understatement of understatements. The Dallas office would simply not be the same without her … in culture, in spirit … or in functional efficiency. Some of the many hats she wears on a daily basis include: accounting guru, time management maven, computer troubleshooter, internet problem solver, travel advisor, keeper of memory for where badly needed documents from the past are located… and much, much more. Susan has worked with the Dallas team for almost 14 years and is truly the heart and soul of the office. While others in the organization know her from her weekly time entry emails (remarkably un-pestlike), her warm smile and infectious laugh make each day’s unexpected tasks and duties seem like nothing out of the ordinary – while they and she are far from ordinary. While it is Administrative Professionals’ Day, the Dallas office hopes she feels appreciated every day of the year.

The New York Office – Stacy Heimlich

We love Stacy because she keeps us sane and most of all, ORGANIZED! She is always willing to lend a hand no matter the size of the ask. She genuinely cares about all of us and is our support system whether we need a shoulder to lean on, an ear to listen, or just a much needed hug. Stacy is the glue that holds the NY office together, and we could not imagine our lives without her. What would we do without Stacy? We hope to never find out!

Happy Administrative Professionals’ Day!


Our Internship Series looks at public relations practices through our interns’ eyes. Here you will find tips and tricks, lessons learned and personal reflections.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from an internship at Allison+Partners. I knew the agency had a strong reputation for building close relationships with notable clients (both big and small) and that they were growing – fast. The interview process was no skip through the park and I was excited to be offered the position at the agency’s San Francisco office.

The internship seemed like the perfect opportunity to both learn a lot and grow at a slow and steady pace. I thought it would all just be much of the same – a few clips here and a status report there. Therefore, I was feeling more confident than I was nervous…prepared to take on any media list that came my way. However, quite the opposite was true and I learned quickly that at Allison+Partners, professional growth in all areas was fair game.

In just three short months at Allison+Partners I learned more about the PR industry and the working world than I had in my last four years at school. I also learned more about my own personal work ethic and the best methods to perform both quickly and efficiently on a deadline. However, these lessons did not come easily. We all have moments when we feel like there is not enough time in one day to get everything done, and our time management skills fall by the way side. This lesson was learned the hard way when I spent too much time on one client, while other important tasks continued to build up. By working to improve my time management skills I quickly learned best practices for working in a time crunch and can now avoid situations like these.

As I look back on my experience as an Intern, I’ve learned to make over-communicating a rule rather than an expectation. In today’s work environment — with all the distractions — it’s becoming increasingly difficult to stay focused on one thing at a time. I’ve found that team members actually appreciate tons of follow-up questions because in the long run, it makes their job easier. And with that I’ll end with a quote from George Bernard Shaw because well, it’s George Bernard Shaw: “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”



Let’s Get Visual, Visual

Last Thursday I attended the Visual Content Marketing & Communications Summit hosted by the Business Development Institute and PRNewswire. A major takeaway – humans are visual beings and brands need to embrace appropriate and timely visual strategies to effectively reach consumers.

Thank you, Kristin Takahashi, for your last minute trip to D.C.!










For those who cannot read at the speed of Vine, here’s a recap ; )

  • Visual Moment of Truth = VMOT. The time between a consumers’ first exposure to branding for a product and the ultimate purchase decision
  • To execute VMOT, there are three components: Right Content. Right Time. Right Place.
  • Make sure you develop content that is digestible and consistent across multiple devices and platforms
  • Humans have really short attention spans – 8 seconds – so with content longer than 60-90 seconds, or TL; DR (too long; didn’t read), you may lose your audience. With social platform parameters, 140 characters, 6-15 second videos, it forces us to be more articulate and to the point.
  • Images are the new unit of social engagement
  • 1 billion daily images are shared
  • What do consumers want? They want snackable (nom nom) content!
  • Everything looks the same, so we have to differentiate and brand
  • Ownable does not mean your own, so brand it by delivering it in your own way
  • When the story comes first, the visuals have a greater impact
  • Make sure to always keep it real

Miami was buzzing last week as Hispanicize hosted its fifth annual mega conference, attracting more than 1,500 influential Latino trendsetters and newsmakers in music, film, technology, marketing, journalism, social media and content creation.

The four-day event was noted as a “Hispanicized” version of SXSW in an NBC Online interview with Hispanicize Founder Manny Ruiz, a former Miami Herald reporter and current Latino blogger for Best Western.

Hispanicize served as a launch pad to share creative endeavors, new products, technologies, marketing campaigns, and more, targeting U.S. Latinos. Top brands and conference sponsors, including Coca-Cola, Google, Toyota, Target, 3M and McDonalds, took center stage to discuss best practices in reaching the market.

In talking to NBC Online, Toyota’s Group Vice President Patricia Piñeda pointed out that the U.S. Hispanic market is larger than that of Canada’s total population and its buying power is projected to reach $1.5 trillion by 2015. And when it comes to car purchases, for example, Latinos return to the new-vehicle market sooner than others.

From a marketing perspective, three key takeaways from the conference stood out most.

1. Hispanic Millennials: Among the most compelling, dynamic, and often misunderstood, segments

Did you know 65 percent of U.S. Hispanics are Millennials? The Hispanic Millennial Project, a research initiative looking at Hispanic Millennials in comparison to non-Hispanic Millennials and their older Hispanic (35+) counterparts, found that as multigenerational households continue to grow, older family members tap Hispanic Millennials more often when it comes to using technology or making family decisions. Hispanic Millennials also make up the greatest share of bicultural Hispanics. They define themselves culturally as both Hispanic and American. The result is a new “parity” cultural identity, fueled by a combination of bilingualism, technology connections to Latin America, and continued retro-acculturation.

2. Latinas: A force to be reckoned with

Though still facing many hurdles, Latinas continue to make impressive strides with unprecedented empowerment in their careers, access to education, social media, journalism and marketing. New Nielsen research results reveal that 86 percent of U.S. Latinas are the primary shopper in the household, and are up 1 percent from non-Hispanic women in education enrollment. Latinas also outnumber their male counterparts in achievements and are no longer stereotyped as “stay-at-home” moms but rather emerging entrepreneurs—accounting for twice as much growth than non-Hispanics in the small business sector.

3. The evolving “Total Market” debate

Nearly three years after Walmart eliminated its multicultural marketing team and asked employees to embrace a new “Total Market” method as a companywide priority, debate on this approach continues. Research shows that more than 50 percent of advertisers, and counting, use some form of the Total Market strategy. Top brands explained the Total Market approach still calls for long-term, inclusive strategies. It’s not as simple as hiring ethnic actors to display in a campaign or commercial. The method requires thoughtfulness, carefulness and an understanding of the market in order to maintain relevancy without appearing to alienate anyone.

Hispanicize also showcased influential “Latinovators” throughout the conference, including award-winning journalist, anchor and NPR Latino USA executive producer Maria Hinojosa. Other notable “Latinovators” included Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez, Grammy award-winning Colombian singer Carlos Vives, and musician and actress Sheila E.

While Hispanicize focused on the three C’s (converging, collaborating and co-creating), it was perhaps the most digitally engaged conference I’ve experienced. The phenomenal number of social media posts using #Hispz14 only reiterates Latinos’ passion for sharing and connecting. And the optimistic conversations about opportunities for the future echo an interest to experience Hispanicize all over again!

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