Posted by: Katie Zinn | September 18, 2014

Limelight: From Tombstone to The Undead

Traditionally, summer is a fairly slow time in Phoenix. We tend to attempt to hibernate in order to avoid the sweltering temps, and enjoy endless news coverage about said weather while holing up near and an AC somewhere. It’s magical, really, but summer 2014 has seemingly (and thankfully) broken the mold. With fairly tolerable temperatures came a flurry of new news and plenty to keep us here at Olson Comm busier than ever.

It’s been a great season. From a ton of local love for Southern Rail to some cute-as-can-be coverage for the new Don’t Trash Arizona, Kids! campaign, we have had a lot going on around here; and September has been no exception. While we’re only midway through the month, our clients have already had some exciting stories to share:


Tombstone_May_2014Vantage West Credit Union Opens Tombstone Branch
Earlier this year, we announced that Tucson-based Vantage West merged with Tombstone Federal Credit Union. Last week, the doors officially opened marking Southern Arizona’s largest credit union’s debut in the historic town. The brand was well-received with a successful grand opening event and great market coverage including Copper Area News, the Sierra Vista Herald and The Tombstone News.

-pnibrd01-22-2014republic1b00120140121imgpni0122-metbarriste11P.B. Bell to Re-Develop Barrister Place
The revitalization of Downtown Phoenix continues as the iconic Barrister Place is set to become a boutique-style, mixed-use development thanks to P.B. Bell and Davis Enterprises. The building, which opened as the Jefferson Hotel in 1915, is most recognizable from the opening scenes of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho.” And yes, that famous façade will be preserved.  See more on this story from AZ Central, AZ Big Media, The Phoenix Business Journal and Multi-Housing News.

mummy32-300x225‘Tis the Season for Scares at Chambers of Fear
Deck the halls with…goblins and ghouls, of course! The season for scaring is upon us and Chambers of Fear is ready and waiting for brave guests to make their way through its creepy corridors. The acclaimed haunted house was featured on both Channels CBS 5 and 12 News last week before scaring the pants – and the legs that go in them – right off FOX 10 weather man Cory McCloskey.

Does controversy equal bad PR or an unorthodox sales technique?

As the saying goes, “Any press is good press.” But is that really true? Lately it seems that one company in particular is taking advantage of any and all publicity, Urban Outfitters (UO). It was just this week that UO released what they called a “vintage” sweatshirt featuring Kent State University. Although the sweatshirt is supposed to appear paint-spattered, the design looks more like blood stains. Kent State was the home to the 1970 massacre in which four students were killed and nine others wounded by National Guard soldiers.

UO Sweatshirt scandal

However, this isn’t the first time UO has been called out for their offensive products. In 2010, the company released a shirt with, “Eat Less” written across the front.  It was said that the store was promoting anorexia and unhealthy lifestyles. Actress Sophia Bush became involved and started a world-wide boycott against the store.  Also in 2010, UO designed a t-shirt which came in an “Obama/Black” color option. Using Obama’s name to describe the color of a black t-shirt offended many.  Although the company is always quick to apologize, that hasn’t stopped them from further angering the public with their merchandise.

With their target audience being a younger crowd, some argue that UO is creating an edgy persona for themselves as it is the nature of the hipster to go against the grain. Others say that the store is simply careless in its pursuits. Either way, it’s working. Urban Outfitters Inc., the company that owns Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Free People, Terrain, and Bhldn brands, recently announced record quarterly sales of $811 million.

What do you think Urban Outfitters is up to?

If you want to see more of UO’s controversial merchandise, check out this slideshow.

Posted by: Lauren Mendoza | September 12, 2014

PR Tips as Told by Cute Animal GIFs

For those of you who may not know, I am one of the Olson PR interns. I have been lucky enough to work side-by-side with the wonderful Olson team members for a few months, and have learned many valuable (and more importantly, invaluable) lessons along the way.

Today is a happy day. Not only is it Friday (T.G.I.F), but it’s also what I like to call “T-GIF:” my very own way of acknowledging the end of a work week with my favorite digital media facet: GIFs! The O-Squad knows my love affair with GIFs (as I not-so-subtly sprinkle them into team emails,) and now I would like to share it with you.

For today’s T-GIF, it seems only fitting to provide some career and mood-boosting advice for PR hopefuls, interns, and other professionals through GIFs of adorable animals, because well, someone had to do it.

1. Make the most of every opportunity.

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Whether it be conducting a quick writing task or organizing an exciting event, give it your all. Take every opportunity that comes your way and go above and beyond, your team and your clients will take notice.

2. Don’t be afraid to take risks.

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Have an idea on a blog or creative pitch angle? Speak up! There’s nothing wrong with taking a little risk, and it may even work in your favor. As long as your risks are within reason, you may pleasantly surprise your clients (and yourself).

3. Maintain a positive attitude.

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Having a good attitude is essential to gaining the most experience in every aspect of office life. While your day-to-day schedule may vary, your consistent can-do attitude will show your team that you are willing and ready for any task.

4. Be a team player. 

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A helping hand means a lot in the office. Ask around if your team needs help with anything. Chances are, their schedule is tightly packed and they have something for you to do. You’ll get more experience and they’ll greatly appreciate the assistance.

5. Be a leader.

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While it’s great to be a team player, if you see a certain task needs a good driving force, don’t be afraid to step up! Showing initiative (without being too commanding) is a great attribute for future opportunities.

6. Keep on, keeping on.

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Whatever the task, whatever the day, the great thing is there’s always a tomorrow. Have an embarrassing moment in the office? Spill coffee all over your pants? It’s ok, worse things have happened. Just dust yourself off and keep on, keeping on.

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