Public Relations Global Network Bi-Annual Meeting

Succession and acquisition strategies, digital solutions and services, growth in the Asia-Pacific region and reaching and involving Generation Z among larger opportunities discussed by global PR professionals at the public relations global network ‘s bi-annual meeting.

The Public Relations Global Network (PRGN) held its bi-annual meeting. The meeting took place in Amersfoort, the Netherlands, between May 16-18, 2019. The group’s leadership teams discuss best practices and sought new ways to collaborate and develop business partnerships globally. These meetings help inform the group’s direction as a result of each member’s input.

The three-day event includes sessions and presentations on leadership succession and agency acquisition strategies. This enhances individual agency performance, growth opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region and digital solutions and services spearheading change in public relations.

Members present had a chance to enjoy insights from René C.W. Bounder, “Brain Agent” and counselor to the world’s top-ranking companies. In his keynote speech he shared his recipes to the best approaches to reach and involve Generation Z and Millennials. Bounder points to new avenues of public relations and communications in a digital age. Because so much is digital this was an essential portion.

The Amersfoort meeting’s attendance includes members from 41 agencies. PRGN members chose to elect Aaron Blank, CEO and president of Seattle-based The Fearey Group as its 27th president. Because of his experience he made a fantastic candidate. Current members also selected two new agency members. Due to this selection, the global communications group now is comprised of 50 independent, owner-operated communications and public relations firms.

PRGN was founded in 1992 by a group of visionary public relations leaders. PRGN is now one of the largest international networks of independent public relations and communications agencies. It has more than $85 million in revenues. Members amount to approximately 1,000 professionals globally.

PRGN partners meet twice a year to share knowledge and develop global business. Since they change locations each time, the next meeting will be held in Puerto Varas, Chile. This is on schedule during Oct. 24-26, 2019. PRGN’s agency members are independent, local, owner-operated public relations, digital marketing and communications firms that share expertise and resources, while providing broad-based comprehensive communications strategies to clients worldwide.

Companies or organizations with interest in the services of PRGN’s local agency network can reach out. Visit or contact PRGN’s executive director, Gábor Jelinek at

Independent agencies with interest in joining the network can visit the member recruitment section of the PRGN website for more information. You can also email PRGN Membership Chair David Wills at Willis is senior vice president of Media Profile

About Public Relations Global Network (PRGN)

Clients across six continents depend on the combination of resources of the Public Relations Global Network (PRGN). They rely on PRGN to deliver targeted public relations and marketing campaigns in regions around the world. It is possible due to the global presence. With revenues of more than $85 million (US), PRGN is one of the world’s largest international public relations networks. PRGN harnesses the resources of 50 independent public relations firms and approximately 1,000 communications professionals to connect international companies and organizations with individual and culturally diverse markets globally. Visit PRGN online at, on Twitter at @PRGN and on Instagram at @publicrelationsglobalnetwork.

The original article is on the PRGN website here. Please share and attribute to the original PRGN article.


PRGN Adds Offices in Finland and New York, Elects Aaron Blank as President

Group elects new president and adds two new member agencies from Helsinki (Finland) and New York (USA) during bi-annual meeting; Succession and acquisition strategies, digital solutions and services, growth in the Asia-Pacific region and reaching and involving generation Z among larger opportunities discussed by global PR professionals, PRGN.

Amersfoort, Netherlands (May 23, 2019) – The Public Relations Global Network (PRGN) announced today the slate of new officers for one of the top five largest networks of independent PR and communications agencies. The appointments were announced during PRGN’s recent bi-annual meeting in Amersfoort, the Netherlands. The three-day event, where the group’s leadership teams discuss best practices and find new ways to collaborate and develop business partnerships globally, included sessions and presentations on succession and acquisition strategies, agency performance, growth in the Asia-Pacific region, digital solutions and services and reaching and involving Generation Z.

At the Amersfoort meeting, attended by members from 31 countries, PRGN members elected Aaron Blank, CEO and president of Seattle-based The Fearey Group as its 27th president to lead the worldwide network of 50 independently owned firms for the next 12 months. C.L. Conroy, president and CEO of The Conroy Martinez Group, assumes the role of immediate past president and chair of the Advisory Board. Other officers named include: President-elect Robert Bauer, managing partner of accelent communications (formerly asoluto communications), a leading PR agency in Vienna, Austria, Amanda Hill, principal and CEO of Dallas-based Three Box Strategic Communications who will serve as Treasurer and Andy See Teong Leng, principal partner and managing director of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia-based Perspective Strategies who will serve as Secretary.

Aaron Blank, president/CEO of Seattle-based The Fearey Group, president of PRGN. Right

“With 50 offices on six continents, PRGN is as strong as ever,” said Blank. “The back-half of 2019 is going to be profound for PR business throughout the globe. I am truly excited that we can offer communications services to clients in practically every corner of the world.”


At its spring meeting, the global agency network also selected two new agency members and now is comprised of 50 independent, owner operated communications and public relations firms.

New York-based Southard Communications was selected to represent the group. Established 25 years ago, Southard Communications identifies itself as a strategic marketing and communications partner focused on helping clients build business in a cost-effective and meaningful manner. Southard Communications was founded by Bill Southard, a communications professional with more than 35 years of experience, who has counseled some of the U.S.’s leading Fortune 500 firms.

Left to right: C.L.  Conroy, president & CEO of The Conroy Martinez Group; Päivi Holmquist, managing director of hasan communications; Bill Southard, founder, chief executive officer of Southard Communications and David Wills, senior vice president of Media Profile.

Also joining the members of PRGN agencies is hasan communications, a communications and public relations agency based in Helsinki, Finland. Led by Managing Director Päivi Holmquist, the agency helps organizations to grow their visibility and brand awareness supporting them with innovative thinking, carefully targeted communications, engaging storytelling and effective marketing.

Founded in 1990 by a group of visionary public relations leaders, PRGN is one of the world’s largest international networks of independent public relations and communications agencies with more than $85 million in revenues and approximately 1,000 professionals throughout the globe.

PRGN partners meet twice a year to share knowledge and develop global business. The next meeting will be held in Puerto Varas, Chile from Oct. 24-26, 2019. Agency members are independent, local, owner-operated public relations, digital marketing and communications firms that share expertise and resources, while providing broad-based comprehensive communications strategies to clients worldwide. Companies or organizations interested in the services of PRGN’s local agency network can visit or contact PRGN’s executive director Gábor Jelinek at for more information.

Members of the Public Relations Global Network (PRGN) recently convened in Amersfoort, Netherlands

Independent agencies interested in joining the network can visit the member recruitment section of the PRGN website for more information or email its membership chair, David Wills, senior vice president, Media Profile at

About Public Relations Global Network (PRGN)

Clients across six continents depend on the combined resources of the Public Relations Global Network (PRGN) to deliver targeted public relations and marketing campaigns in regions around the world. With revenues of more than $85 million (US), PRGN is one of the world’s largest international public relations networks. PRGN harnesses the resources of 50 independent public relations firms and approximately 1,000 communications professionals to connect international companies and organizations with individual and culturally diverse markets globally. Visit PRGN online at, on twitter at @PRGN and on Instagram at @publicrelationsglobalnetwork.

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Media Moment: Dennis Lynch

Dennis Lynch, can you tell us a little about yourself and how you got into journalism? I realized after graduating high school that journalism was a pretty good way to incorporate a lot of the interests I’ve had since I was a kid — history, politics, social science, etc. I couldn’t think of any career that wouldn’t bore me after a while and journalism lets you get into so many different things, sort of switch gears whenever you want, so it’s good for people like me who have wide interests that don’t fit into many other careers.  My father was also a journalist when he was younger, so that probably influenced me.

What do you enjoy about journalism and real estate? From the outside, real estate is an intimidating beat to cover. I had never covered anything as complex before I started at The Real Deal and it’s been rewarding and fun to learn how the machine works. That’s true about anything you cover. The most exciting thing for me is that point when you realize your following the right path — that your inferences were right and that you’re asking good questions, on the way to a good story.

Apart from that I genuinely enjoy providing (what I think is) unbiased information to people, because you know, that’s the job, and what I like about The Real Deal, is that we straddle a trade publication and a general interest publication. I think that provides an opportunity to help the general interest crowd better understand the business and to remind our industry readers that cap rates, rents, and development affect more than just a company’s bottom line, which I’ve seen get lost in the sauce.

What is your favorite story that you have covered? Not my “biggest” story by any means, but a story I wrote a year ago about a fairly small lease dispute led me down a rabbit hole that involves a missing foreign royal, a web of LLCs excessive even for real estate, and allegations of massive fraud. It’s an example of why you should always dig as deep as you can. Still digging on that one.

What are some changes/trends you have seen in the real estate sector? On the positive side, it’s great to see more architects and developers thinking environmentally. They’re some of the few people who can directly influence the everyday living habits and ecological footprint of hundreds, if not thousands of people, so I hope that stays a trend. I hope they continue to keep pedestrians at the center of the conversation too.

On the other side of the coin, it’s very disheartening to see the low quality, identical development projects that are popping up in cities across the country. This is a problem in both commercial and residential sectors. I know the financials sometimes only allow for it, but I would like to see developers think more long-term — a built environment who’s main purpose is to create cashflow for the people who own it isn’t a nice place to live. Sooner or later the financials will suffer. I worry that every block in every city across the country is going to look the same and what’s the good in that? On a side note, it’s only a matter of time before popular opinion turns against the exposed brick, coffee shop, hip design style. I think it’s on its last legs, so I hope we’re about to see some changes.

Tell us something most people wouldn’t know about Dennis Lynch. I’m hijacking this for a shameless plug: most people don’t know I’m in Los Angeles for work for most of April, so LA folks email me ( with story ideas and tips, lets meet up in person!



Thank you Dennis Lynch for being a Media Moment!


Six Tips for Managing Social Media for a Business, Client or Brand

Have a good calendar

This may seem like common knowledge, but many people just fly by the seat of their pants when it comes to social media. This can be attributed to the fact that personal accounts tend to involve less planning and more spontaneity. Having a schedule in place is imperative to maintaining a consistent flow of content. No need to get too fancy – even free, commonly used programs like Google Sheets can work. Programs like this allow you to color code sections, map out each day of the month and gives you the option to “hover” over text boxes to see more details.

Alternate post content

Variety is the spice of life. Try to switch things up now and then, alternating from the typical boomerangs and classic photos to some info graphics. Sharing articles and blogs are also a great way to add variation and ensure your page has a nice flow to it. If you only post one style of content, your followers are likely to get bored.

Have a defined aesthetic

To create a unified brand image, it can help to determine a common filter, color scheme or theme in terms of content. Make sure your brand logo and colors are in the profile picture area. Doing so establishes consistency and creates a cohesive social media presence.


 @ihavethisthingwithfloors                   @hbgoodie                              @sugaredandbronzed

Engagement is key

While having artfully crafted posts and trendy articles are a crucial part of social media, it is called social media for a reason. It’s a key part of a business’ social media, yet frequently forgotten. To grow your following and gain credibility, try to set aside time each day to like, comment, share, and engage with other people’s posts. This engagement and interaction is the key that many people forget about.

Coordinate with brand managers from other companies

At times, it can be difficult to get people to like or repost your content. If you have friends in the same industry, a product partnership, or anything else that will connect you to others on social media, reach out and see if you can plan something that will highlight both brands. For example, you can send card, small package, or a cupcake (literally anything) to someone at their office and have them post about it and tag you. Then you can reshare that content.


The Hoyt Organization lost a bet with the Castle Group over the Super Bowl outcome. So we had to send them a treat box from Los Angeles. This was a cute way to get cross posts and followers for both profiles. 

Be respectful if you get message and/or backlash

Some brands are more prone to customer service issues than others (like McDonalds or American Apparel) and when people reach out to complain or praise your brand, you need to respond with respect. The rule of thumb is to simply ignore a message is if it’s extremely hateful or if it’s actual spam.


You can follow THO on Twitter and Instagram @thehoytorg





International Women’s Day

In honor of International Women’s Day, we wanted to spotlight all of the incredible women at The Hoyt Organization. We asked them three insightful questions: 1. If you could have dinner with any woman, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why? 2. Who is your female role model? 3. What does International Women’s Day mean to you? (Here’s the link to their advice on Public Relations.)


Erika Snow-Robinson

If you could have dinner with any woman living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why? Who could limit it to just one?  It would be a girls night in and I’d want to pick their brains, have a glass of wine and chat it up. I’d pick Oprah Winfrey, because she does and has change(d) the world for good; Condoleeza Rice, because she is super smart and has been able to navigate ably on a mostly-male dominated playground; Golda Meir, because she was a woman in an impossibly hard situation, WAY before her time (and I’m Jewish); Amy Adams, because I’m pretty sure we could be best friends in another life (or this one); and Ingrid Michaelson and Melissa Etheridge because life without music is not life, and these two women are not only amazing singers, but awesome musicians and songwriters in their own right.

Who is your female role model? I suppose it would be my mama, in that I definitely credit her for where I get my strength from and that I’ve always felt and known I was loved, no matter my circumstances. She’s been through unbelievable or horrific situations, from enlisting in the Air Force in the late 1960’s to great personal tragedy where it was up to her to ensure her four young children under the age of 10 (including a newborn) continued to thrive despite losing our father. She’s not perfect but I definitely think my ability to persevere and my upbeat nature is directly due to her. I’ve seen what she’s been through and most people would’ve simply given up and would have been well within their rights to do so, but she never did.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you? To me, it’s just a way to continue celebrating women, their achievements and strides forward that we’ve made. I think it’s also a day to celebrate being born in a country where women can achieve anything. Conversely, it’s a day to mourn the fact that there are lots of countries where women are still oppressed, and treated as second-class citizens or worse.


Diana Winn

If you could have dinner with any woman living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why? I would love to have Dinner with Ina Garten. Of course, I would enjoy it even more if she were to cook the meal and invite me to her house! I love her cooking style – classic and favorable. I would soak up the food knowledge that she was willing to impart. Ina was successful before switching careers and getting into the food game, but followed her love of cooking. She had no formal training; taught herself and I respect that very much. She also really likes her husband and spoils him with yummy food!

Who is your female role model? The main female role-model I have would not just be one woman, but all of my girl friends.  I was a stay-at-home mom for 15 years and could not have gotten through all those years without having their support and advice. Stay-at-home moms are incredible. It is a 24/7 job.

What does International Women’s Day mean to me? International Women’s Day brings hope that the world is recognizing women’s right and the contributions that women make.


Lauren Howe

If you could have dinner with any woman living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why? Sally Ride, who was the first woman astronaut. I believe that because of her strides she has empowered and encouraged other women to pursue their interests in STEM and to push boundaries. She was the perfect image of a woman pushing boundaries to pursue her passions and make a difference, leading by example.

Who is your female role model? I find all of the strong women that I cross paths with to be my role-models in various ways. I have learned so much from so many different women – I can’t name just one!

What does International Women’s Day mean to you? To me, International Women’s Day means setting aside a time to honor the women who have fought hard for our rights and for equality. It’s acknowledging all of the work, intelligence and bravery that has brought us to this point in history.



Leeza Hoyt is President + Founder and a former lead singer of a Pop Band

Leeza Hoyt

If you could have dinner with any woman living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why? Jacqueline Kennedy or Princess Diana.  Both managed to navigate their public world with finesse; in Jackie’s case she ended up there simply because she married a Kennedy; in Diana’s case, she married the man who would become the future king.  They both “trained on the job”, and learned to navigate their new world with grace, charm and dignity – no matter what was going on at the time. Telling for Jackie was the celebration of her son’s three-year birthday just three days after her husband had been assassinated.  It was a true testament of her

character and showed the world that life moves forward.

Who is your female role model?  My mother. She started her own real estate company when women were expected to stay at home, and became very successful.  My mother raised three children single-handedly. She taught me the power of strength and conviction. My mom was also a great role model of some things NOT to do, so either way, she was a powerful role model for me.

 What does International Women’s Day mean to you? Since there are so many women in the public relations and marketing industry, It gives us a chance to highlight the fabulous women we have working for us. Hopefully, it also means I may get out of cooking dinner that night.


Pippa O’Brien

If you could have dinner with any woman living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why? This question is nearly impossible for me to answer. Mainly because I have so many women I would love to have dinner with and just absorb their knowledge. Each time I tried to brainstorm my response, the list would grow rather than shrink. So instead of choosing just one, I will just give my shortlist for who I would like to have dinner with (and if any of them are available, dinner is on me). Rosa Parks. Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Nancy Drew. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Hilary Duff? Michele Obama. Looking back at the list, I realize that they all have certain characteristics in common: courage, poise, intelligence, and persistence. Each dinner would be so valuable to me to learn more about civil rights, feminism, public policy, justice and passion. These women are all dedicated to helping others and working towards a brighter future.

Who is your female role model? Even though it’s probably cliché, my mom is definitely my female role model. My mom is funny, witty, academic, driven, … I could go on forever. But most of all she is thoughtful. I strive to not only have as many career and life accomplishments as my mom, but also to be just as thoughtful, caring and kind to everyone around me. When the weight of the world is on her shoulders, she handles it with such grace and poise…and maybe a little bit of cursing (which is proven to relive stress).

What does International Women’s Day mean to you? To me, it’s a day to celebrate all of the badass women in my life and all of their accomplishments. I have such strong, intelligent and kind family, friends and co-workers. In a world where women are constantly fighting for equality, I think this day is a great way to get global coverage on women’s issues and rights.



Farida Waquar

If you could have dinner with any woman living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why? Meghan Markle because she has been a huge advocate for women’s empowerment and is every definition of a modern woman. As she is now a part of the Royal Family, her public voice has been silenced, and she has to acquiesce to different traditions and customs that may go against her upbringing and lifestyle. I’d like to know how she navigates through this ‘new normal’.

Who is your female role model? Anyone like J.K. Rowling who started off with nothing, writing the Harry Potter book series on napkins and has created a prolific brand for herself. I love seeing pioneering women who start off from the bottom and create successful empires for themselves.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you? It’s a time to honor all that women have done and how far we’ve come, but International Women’s Day should really also extend to tomorrow and every day after that. True equality is that we don’t have to have a designated “day” to celebrate women because everyday should be that without even questioning it.



Jill Hills

If you could have dinner with any woman living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why? If I could have dinner with any woman it would be my Grandmother Mae who passed away one year ago almost exactly.  She was 97 and lived through so many changes in the world including the depression and my Grandfather serving in the Hump in World War 2. My grandmother was from a tobacco farm in South Carolina and one of the hardest working people I know. She had amazing stories of how things had changed in her lifetime and the three generations before her also lived to be 95 years old. I feel we can humbly learn a lot by sitting and listening to older generations who have lived through so many experiences. She would definitely be my dinner companion choice so I could tell her I love her, respect her and miss her but I think of her and smile every time I go out in my garden.

Who is your female role model? My female role model is my mom Gloria Corbett. She is  kind-hearted and strong. She is a 30 year military wife who raised my brother and I while moving around the world 12 times to support my Dad’s career in Public Affairs for the Air Force. My mom raised us for a year alone while Dad served in Korea and took care of us as babies with bamboo snakes coiled up on end tables while we lived in Taipei, Taiwan.  She, like my Grandmother is strong, loves to laugh, beautiful inside and out and one of my favorite humans in this world.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?  International Women’s day to me is hope for all women around the world to live in a world that respects them and recognizes that all women are beautiful no matter where you live, what you look like or who you are.


Amber Hergen Senior Account Executive was a competitive gymnast for 10 years

Amber Hergen

If you could have dinner with any woman living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why? Wilma Flintstone, I really never understood why she married Fred and I would so appreciate some insight into their relationship, perhaps over a glass of wine. Other women I would love to have dinner with include Harriet Tubman-what a courageous woman! I love activists so, Rosa Parks and Erin Brockovitch are definitely on my list as well!

Who is your female role model? My mom is my role model. She is the most loving and patient person I know—I also really admire Heidi Klum—she has the ability to take charge and be very inclusive at the same time. I think that is an admirable trait and skill.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?  This is a bit of a tough question actually—I think, for me it is a day to celebrate women and also femininity in both men and women. I hope it’s a day to recognize that there is a value to gentility.


Media Moment: An Interview with Jillian Spokely

Jillian Spokely, tell us a bit about your path into real estate? What do you like about working in the luxury residential sector?

I got into real estate in 2016, shortly after moving to California. Previous to LA, I was living in Minneapolis, MN working at an advertising agency and bartending on nights & weekends. When I moved to Los Angeles, I started completely fresh. I loved aspects of advertising, and I wanted to do something that would allow me to use my creativity without compromising my true (not so traditional) self. After a few months of job and soul searching, my boyfriend asked me if I ever considered Real Estate as a career. The moment I heard those words, my jaw hit the floor because I had the most exciting vision of myself as an agent and what I wanted to create. I Googled “real estate brokerage near me” and scheduled a meeting with the recruiter. The next day, I signed up for classes to get my license. Everything has truly fallen into place since that moment. That recruiter is one of my besties to this day.


What sparked your love for real estate?

What originally sparked my passion for real estate was that there are no limits to what you can create.  From there, I have discovered so many aspects of being a Realtor that I am completely in love with. Being of service to others is by far my favorite part. I’m extremely grateful to always be in that constant flow of giving and receiving.


What are some of the changes you have seen in the real estate landscape?

This is a great question. Style-wise there are too many changes to name! I was born and raised in rural North Dakota where ranch-style homes are virtually the only style home you ever see built. When I lived in Minneapolis, there were so many beautiful brownstones built in the early 1900s. Those are my personal favorite – and I will always love the old beach bungalows in the South Bay.


How does social media help you with your work?

I personally love social media as a creative outlet. My Instagram is such a sacred communication platform. I wear my heart on my sleeve and my Instagram feed. In return, I have the best support system of followers! Most of whom I’ve never even met. I have an album of screenshots in my phone from followers with the most encouraging, inspiring, kind words and I read them constantly to keep me motivated.


Tell us something most people don’t know about you?

I constantly crave salt. I put it on everything! I carry a little jar of truffle salt in my purse. Truffle salt + lipstick = essentials.


Thank you Jillian Spokely for being a Media moment!


The New Launches…And The Shoemaker’s Kids Have New Shoes

Public relations, marketing and communications professionals – the really good ones, anyway – are notorious for ignoring their own advice.  We correctly insist, in no uncertain terms, that clients’ websites, blogs, media relations, social media programs, and countless other communications tools are key to giving clients a digital advantage over their competitors. Day in and day out, we design and implement just that.

Rarely do we take our own advice.

Just as a home builder can finish an entire subdivision before finishing his or her own kitchen remodel; an interior designer creates hundreds of incredible living spaces in home after home while his own walls are adorned with only paint swatches; or a landscaper hires the neighbor kid to mow his law; or a broker rents an apartment until the perfect home comes along; The Hoyt Organization team always puts clients’ needs first. We embody the phrase “The Shoemaker’s Kids Have No Shoes.”

Until now.

We are pleased to present the new, completed over the last year in baby steps of progress. Five minutes here. 10 minutes there. Brief, guilty windows of time – when we practiced what we preach – and worked on our own digital presence. In the time it took to redesign one website, our team won dozens of awards, placed hundreds of news stories and wrote millions of words.

Yet, somehow working on our own website just felt weird. Still does.

So, the THO team and our colleagues from around the world will spend the next year giving back those 5 and 10-minute increments of time spent on ourselves.

52 Weeks of Free Advice will publish each week in this space, and answer questions that PR clients have (or should) ask us.

After a year, we will call it even.


THO Takes the 2017 PRism Awards

On Nov. 29, 2018 the Public Relations Society of America – Los Angeles (PRSA-LA) held its 53rd annual PRism Awards at the Omni Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. The event brings together public relations professionals from all over Los Angeles County to honor some of the best campaigns of the year. The event was hosted by local celebs Michelle Valles and Ted Chen of NBC4.

Our team from The Hoyt Organization had the opportunity to attend – and enjoy some delicious food and cocktails along the way – as finalists in the category of Media Relations – Business-to-Business. In fact, not one, but two of our campaigns were among the top three finalists in the category. THO campaigns considered for the award included “Creating a Name for Forté in the Vegas Lights,” on behalf Forté Specialty Contractors and “Launching Kennedy Wilson Brokerage into the National Spotlight” on behalf Kennedy Wilson. While Zeno Group took home the top PRism Award, THO brought home two awards of excellence and some great memories.

It was a true honor to even be recognized by an organization like PRSA-LA for our work. Just the opportunity to stand next to finalists with some of the most innovative and impactful campaigns in Southern California was reason enough to drive to DTLA at 5 p.m. on a Wednesday. We loved seeing the fantastic work of our colleagues and were inspired as we head into another great year of campaigns for our own clients. Of course, as PR pros, we couldn’t pass up the chance for a good photo opp.

PRism Awards - The Forté team. L-R: Alyson Campbell, senior media strategist; Leeza Hoyt, president; and Elsa Embler, account coordinator
The Forté team. L-R: Alyson Campbell, senior media strategist; Leeza Hoyt, president; and Elsa Embler, account coordinator
PRism Awards - The Kennedy Wilson team. L-R: Mindi Sue Black, senior account executive; Leeza Hoyt, president; and Alicia Mistry, associate account executive
The Kennedy Wilson team. L-R: Mindi Sue Black, senior account executive; Leeza Hoyt, president; and Alicia Mistry, associate account executive
Prism Awards - Finalists for Media Relations
Finalists for Media Relations – Business-to-Business.


PRGN Fall Meeting-Kyoto: What does being part of a global agency network mean for THO’s clients?

Your company is opening a new office in Florida… or Singapore … or Moscow… with the goal of expanding your global footprint and boosting profits. It’s a critical time that requires a knowledgeable approach to PR.

But does your firm truly understand the market you’re about to jump into?
As the Los Angeles agency in the Public Relations Global Network (, THO has partner agencies in 51 cities around the globe. What does this mean for our clients? We have access to the power of an international organization behind us, complete with innovative ideas, international best practices and a global network of advisers who help us understand a range of industries and geographical regions.

This global reach allows us to continue to discover new, groundbreaking ways to serve our clients locally, regionally and around the world.

We’ve discussed the benefits of being PRGN’s exclusive Southern California agency in previous posts, but never are the benefits to our clients more evident than when we gather with other partner agencies to share knowledge, traditions, best practices and lessons learned.

To Kyoto and back
At PRGN’s Fall 2017 Meeting, which was hosted in Kyoto by our Tokyo-based partner Integrate Communications, we welcomed three more partners, expanding our international reach even further.

It’s fitting that the meeting opened with a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony, led by a 16th generation “teacher” who shared with PRGN members a tradition of Japanese tea that dates back to the ninth Century. It involves the ceremonial preparation and presentation of powdered green tea, called matcha, which has evolved from a spiritual exercise to one practiced by nobles or used for medicinal purposes. Ultimately, the tea tradition extended to all Japanese townspeople.

In 2017, PRGN celebrated 25 years since being founded by four American agencies. Like the tradition of Japanese tea, it has evolved ever since.

Originally known as The Phoenix Network when it was founded in 1992, PRGN quickly expanded throughout the United States and ultimately to the world in the years that followed. This year, PRGN adds Karina Barcellos from SMARTPR.COM in Brazil; Jaspar Eyears from Another Company, which has offices in Mexico, Panama and Colombia; and Andy See from Perspective Strategies in Malaysia.

Throughout its history, PRGN has continued to be an open forum for members to share with each other. It’s this exchange of ideas that makes THO and our PRGN partners better agencies and communications practitioners. Each time we meet, every agency comes away with creative ways to more efficiently and effectively serve the needs of our clients. Even our newest partners have already taught us about strategies and business practices that can be integrated into the ways in which we serve our own clients.

Just as learning about Japanese history in Kyoto – from customs and traditions, to the art of Sake-making – enriched each of us and enhanced our world view, the ability to learn from global professional communicators and PR practitioners boosts our professional pursuits and the success of our clients. This is what makes The Hoyt Organization – as well as likeminded PRGN partners throughout the world – truly different from other agencies.


An interview with Heather Turk Freelancer entertainment writer & editor; associate editor for Sunseeker

A graduate of the University of Southern California, Heather’s byline has appeared everywhere from the Los Angeles Times to — with her review of “The Truman Show” making the front page of The Detroit News’ movie section when she was just 17 years old. Throughout her career she has interviewed some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, including Jim Carrey, Will Smith, Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore and George Clooney. She is currently the Associate Editor of Allegiant’s in-flight publication, Sunseeker, and writes for a variety of other outlets, including the Los Angeles Times Las Vegas Travel Guide, Front Row Features,, and

Tell us a bit about yourself and your path to journalism
My mom used to tell stories of how, when I was a toddler, I would walk around our apartment with a notebook and pencil in hand and tell everyone I was going to write in my “journal.” Mind you at this age I couldn’t read or write yet, but my mom says all signs were there that I was going to be a journalist. In middle school and high school I was always involved with the school newspapers, and when I was in the eighth grade, our county newspaper in Michigan was looking for some local movie critics. I submitted a review of “Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit” and it was chosen for publication, and they started publishing my reviews every Thursday never knowing I was just a kid. I continued emailing in my reviews every week for publication until I was ready to go to college. By the time I moved to Los Angeles and started college at the University of Southern California (where I double majored in Print Journalism and Film/TV Critical Studies), I had more than a hundred movie reviews printed, including my review of “The Truman Show” which ran on the front page of The Detroit News’ movie section when I was 17 years old. By Christmas break my freshman year at USC, I had already interviewed two of the top three celebrities I wanted to interview at some point during my career – Will Smith and Adam Sandler – and worked on a movie set with the other, Jim Carrey (I would later go on to interview Carrey for “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “The Majestic” and “Bruce Almighty.”)

What is your favorite aspect of the work you do every day?
Being in Las Vegas now, I love that there’s literally something I can write about every day, whether it’s a show, a movie screening, a restaurant, a spa or some big event. I’m also just a short plane ride away from Southern California, so I go back and forth often to cover things there as well. There’s never enough time to cover everything, but I make sure to typically RSVP for at least one thing a day so I can write about it later. There’s no point in living in the Entertainment Capital of the World if you’re just going to sit on your sofa at home! That’s the fun part of my job—but there’s definitely a work part, too, where I’m writing, fact checking, interviewing and proof reading.

What is the best pitch you’ve ever received?
There was some new party bus in Las Vegas launching a tour and I got a cryptic email from a local PR firm asking when would be a good time for someone to make a delivery. I didn’t know what to expect. When the day/time came and I opened the door, there was a mime on my doorstep holding a cake. You had to eat the cake to get to the official invite inside. Not only was the whole pitch creative, it was one of the best chocolate cakes I’ve ever had in my life!

What are some tips for people who want to pitch you a story?
Just like anything else, know your audience. I know I freelance for a variety of places, so I don’t mind getting last-minute press releases because you never know if I might be able to use it someplace, but a lot of the print outlets I write for are quarterly or bi-monthly. It’s always nice to receive pitches as early as possible so I can try to include them in some print publications, too.

Check out more from Heather on Social Media:


Development in Southern California: Beyond Downtown Los Angeles

Southern California Development Forum (SCDF) recently hosted their monthly panel event on Nov. 14, 2017 at the City Club Los Angeles in DTLA. THO attended to not only support SCDF as our client, but also to better understand how greater Los Angeles is changing.

Hal Bastian, of Hal Bastian Inc., moderated the morning’s panel. Panelists included Michael White, managing director and principal of Gensler, Matthew T. Howell, vice president at Lincoln Property West and Robert Sonnenblick, chairman at Sonnenblick Development, LLC.

Among other insights, THO learned the greater Los Angeles region is the fastest growing megalopolis in North America, and development is expected to continue to grow over the next decade and beyond. At the event, panelists discussed current projects throughout Southern California and spoke of expectations for the region.

Certain issues such as infill development, transportation, infrastructure and housing were discussed at length during the panel event. The matter of housing the growing aging population in Los Angeles was addressed as well.

“In terms of the aging of our population, I see seniors housing as having the brightest future,” said Sonnenblick. “But, since land prices in Los Angeles are so expensive, you won’t see any of these structures built in the urban center.”

The issue of housing was of particular concern during the panel event. “Los Angeles’ population is growing,” said White. “From a residential standpoint, there’s a huge housing shortage.”

According to the National Association of Home Builders, Los Angeles surpassed San Francisco as the least affordable housing market for the first time in 19 consecutive quarters. In Los Angeles, only 9.1 percent of homes sold during the third quarter were considered affordable for the area’s median income of $64,300.

As Bastian would phrase it, “affordable housing in Los Angeles is an oxymoron.”

SCDF hosts monthly panels on various topics such as this, specifically speaking to in the Greater Los Angeles region. Panel topics have included hospitality, education, healthcare and more.

For more on the organization’s next event, check out:


Are you using the best management tools to communicate?

All too often, we stick with tried and true methods as we track projects and communicate with our clients. However, a number of alternatives are now being used – all with increased efficiency and effectiveness, depending on what you’re trying to achieve and with whom you need to communicate. Each of these new tools offers a different way of managing information. As such, an evaluation of each is always helpful. Here are the top five management programs that have now moved into our day-to-day lives at THO.

  • Basecamp: A web-based project management tool, Basecamp organizes projects in addition to internal communications and can be used by a wide variety of users.
    Bottom line: It’s easy to use and can help cut down on email clutter.
  • Slack: Designed to make team communication simpler, Slack organizes communications into specific groups and channels so the right people are finding the right communications. It also provides file sharing capabilities and access to all kinds of team information, if organized correctly.
    Bottom line: Much like Basecamp, this platform can streamline communication among team members.
  • Google Docs: A simple and free way to create web-based documents that can be shared and used by a variety of people, no matter where they are located.
    Bottom line: This tool is easily accessible and a no-brainer for even the least tech-savvy.
  • Asana: Another program designed for team collaboration, Asana allows every member to plan, track and collaborate easily. It offers team pages, dashboards in addition to attachments for quick file sharing.
    Bottom line: With solid calendar functions, this app helps teams keep long-term deadlines in mind.
  • Smartsheet: A web-based application, this can be used to assign tasks, track project process, manage calendars and share documents. Once again, this program is also easy to use.
    Bottom line: With Smartsheet, you’ll never miss a deadline again.

We all know managing information isn’t easy, but staying on top of the newest methods – as well as shifting to better, stronger ways to communicate is one way to cut down on the email clutter and actually move the ball forward. If you haven’t heard of some of these, check them out. You’ll set yourself up for a much more productive 2018.


Media Monday: An Interview with Bill Shaikin

Baseball Staff Writer at Los Angeles Times

On Friday night, I had dinner and drinks with Bill Shaikin, baseball staff writer at Los Angeles Times. We started the night at my favorite Italian restaurant in West Los Angeles, Guido’s, and continued on to a local, upscale bar in Brentwood – Bruhaus. The funniest part of our friendship, also known as every time we try not to talk shop, is the fact we inevitably always start talking sports and baseball.

This particular night, we ate at the bar and had all of the patrons completely engaged and mesmerized in our conversation, to the point that a few of them came over to us and said we needed our own radio show because our banter exchange was brilliant. To that, I thank my Pops for teaching me to school most boys with stats on almost every team.

Bill has become a very dear friend of mine over the years, and when we decided to meet for dinner, I told him about the great Media Monday program we participate in at The Hoyt Organization. He was more than willing to pitch (get it?!) in and be interviewed, after the hype surrounding the Dodgers’ run at the World Series was over of course.

Of course, our conversation was side-barred and I had to email him for his input. The first question I asked him was, “What was the best pitch you’ve ever received?” Of course, he responded with, “The first one I got from you 😊 LOL.” Flattery will get him everywhere!

Next, I asked Bill what have been the worst pitches he’s received. Here’s some worldly advice from journalist to anyone who wants to be a public relations practitioner.:

  • Don’t use the word “revolutionary.” Everything is revolutionary. We see that word and think “overhype.”
  • Know how to use punctuation and grammar properly – “Punctuation before quotation!”
  • Don’t send any pitches that are essentially asking for contributions to Kickstarter campaigns (no matter how “revolutionary” the product).
  • Don’t blindly buy an email list or use an old one. Take the time to do a Google search and make sure the targets of your pitch actually cover the appropriate subject areas. I can’t tell you how many pitches I’ve gotten for non-sports stuff – or, curiously enough, for events outside the Los Angeles area. If I remember your name for an inappropriate pitch, I might delete the appropriate one before I read it, if I see your name or agency.
  • If you’re essentially asking for an advertisement, please gently advise your client to buy an ad, or come up with a different strategy. I get pitches all the time from auction companies, who basically want stories about how the companies are selling this or that item. The news value is dubious, at best. One PR rep sent three emails and finally said, “If you’re not the right contact in your organization, could you forward this to the right contact?” It was all I could do not to send him a link to “How to place an ad in the LA Times.”
  • What has the best chance to succeed is if you have taken the time to see what I write about and who my audience is. I could be wrong, and maybe PR companies have done studies about this, but I’d bet 100 closely targeted emails deliver better results than 1,000 widely sent emails.
  • PLEASE don’t send three e-mails following up to see if I’ve had the chance to review. We’re all overworked – you are, I am, we all are. If we didn’t respond, we’re not interested.
  • Read relevant industry information and stay informed. I find this quite useful and a good read: “Journalists’ Advice on How to Write Press Releases They’ll Actually Read”
  • And finally, although Mindi’s Yankees went well into the playoffs unexpectedly and lost, and my Dodgers lost in Game 7 of the World Series, we both came out winners as the New York Yankees Aaron Judge won AL Rookie of the Year and the Los Angeles Dodgers Cody Bellinger won NL Rookie of the Year – so I guess, we can all get along!


How Can We Help?

Make us your first call if you’re launching a new product or service, re-branding or encounter a need for media relations or crisis communications. We’re here for you:

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