Posts Taged pr-portland

Four-year-old’s CVS-Themed Birthday Party Wins PR

CVS-themed birthday party

In PR, many things are out of your control. It is the job of a PR person to maintain and manufacture as much control as possible. Control of the message, control of the spokesperson, control of the campaign, control over the competition. Because for the most part, losing control of any one of those things can be disastrous for a brand.

And then sometimes, something happens that makes PR people stand up and acknowledge that the most organic and uncontrolled events can be PR magic.

I know today that CVS’s PR team is doing just that.

The magic in question is a four-year-old’s CVS-themed birthday party, complete with name tags, themed cake and shopping.

The Arkansas four-year-old’s obsession with CVS began from the ground up.

Source: Instagram, @sarahfortune

Source: Instagram, @sarahfortune

“The site happens to be directly on our path to Iris’ school, so we drive past the location at least twice a day,” Iris’ mom wrote. “Being that she was only three when it opened, she watched the progress of the structure being built for nearly half of her life, so naturally it was a big deal when the store finally opened.”

When the little girl asked for a CVS-themed birthday party, the mother and blogger alerted CVS who provided party favors and snacks for attendees.

source: Instagram, @sarahfortune

source: Instagram, @sarahfortune

This is true, uncontrolled love. And the PR team at CVS is smart to help facilitate a great party…and then to stay out of the way. The internet is in love with Iris and her hilarious birthday wish.

source: Instagram, @sarahfortune

source: Instagram, @sarahfortune

From One Working Mother to Another

working mother

A frustrating truth

Today a powerful column appeared on It was written by Katharine Zaleski, a former journalistic powerhouse who held top roles at The Huffington Post and The Washington Post in her mid-20s.  She is open and honest about how she viewed and treated women who were mothers during that time. Honestly recalling how she killed a potential partnership with an online editor because of the number of kid photos the lady had up in her office; also confessing her agreement to fire a woman “before she got pregnant”; sharing that she regularly scheduled meetings at 4:30pm, dismissing the fact that working mothers may need to be leaving to get their kids from daycare; and admitting to looking down on mothers who couldn’t join happy hour functions because of family commitments.  Wow.

Today this same woman is a working mother – with a very different perspective. After having her daughter she resigned from her role in journalism and founded her own business, PowerToFly, a technology company geared at helping mothers find work they can do virtually from home. She readily admits that “mothers are the people you need on your team” and is proud to share that the editor she dissed because of the children photos is now the executive editor at PowerToFly. IMG_4672

Since the column first appeared earlier today the social media world lit up with comments and shares, most overwhelmingly positive toward Katharine for admitting her previous short-comings and furthering the conversation on this controversial topic.

Life as a working mother

What it means to be a working mother is hard to describe. Just because we are mothers does not mean we have lost our will, or ability, or drive to work hard. And just because we want to work does not mean we don’t care about our children. Every mother is different and what feels right in her gut is something that only she can determine. For me, I am proud to be a mother who works. That is what feels right to me. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t come without sacrifice or challenge. Sometimes it takes a village to coordinate client meetings, make sports practices and still get dinner on the table. But at the end of the day when the kids are asleep and I sit down with a glass of wine, my soul feels fulfilled in a way that it wouldn’t should kids and work not co-exist.

I am continually inspired by the group of working women at A.wordsmith, and I am proud of the model we have in place. A model that has brought out some of the most talented professionals I know, who also happen to be amazing moms. Thank you to Katharine Zaleski for your honestly and candor about being a working mother and for pushing open the door for women just a bit wider.


Drew Carney Goes Viral

Portland, Oregon sign

For those of us in Portland, Drew Carney is a bit of a TV superstar. You might get ready in the morning while watching his antics, or catch him emceeing the annual Kells Smoker at the St. Patrick’s Day Irish Festival; however this week he cemented his place in national, viral infamy.  To try to explain what happened would likely ruin some of its impact, so it’s best to just let the clip speak for itself.  GO USA! GO DREW!


A Beautiful Project, Indeed

Lately I have become captivated by the amazing A Beautiful Body Project by photographer Jade Beall.  I am not too proud to admit that my stomach does not resemble itself from nine years ago, before I’d birthed a 10 pound (no, that is not a joke or exaggeration) baby – and then three years later her 8 1/2 pound sister.  The skin is stretched and wrinkled and my belly button is more of an outie now than an innie.  There have been times when I’ve hated that new stomach and contemplated how to get it flatter and firmer, whether that meant shaking through a plank hold or researching plastic surgery.

A Beautiful Body Project is so well done, and it really gets to the core of what matters – loving yourself and those around you.  Jade’s book The Bodies of Mothers which she did as part of the project has the ability to make you appreciate – or at the very least, happily accept – those stretches and wrinkles and what they represent as a mom.  The story behind the project is inspiring and the results of her Kickstarter and subsequent PR campaign speak for themselves.  Jade is single-handedly breaking down insecurities and building self-confidence in women…one stretch mark at a time. @ABeautBodyProj

ABBP Cover

Inc. magazine recognizes Voodoo Doughnut as one of “Most Audacious Companies”


Great piece in Inc. on Voodoo Doughnut about how the company has earned its spot in history through outrageous doughnuts, word-of-mouth marketing, quirky weddings, and a record label. Love to see Portland businesses making national news!

Welcome Kailee!

Welcome Kailee Pence to the A.wordsmith team! Kailee joins as our spring intern and we’re so excited to have her. There’s much about her to like, starting with her love of country music, good Chinese food and visits to both the beach and mountain. Here are 5 more things you might not know about her unless you asked:

  • As a senior in college, I lived 3 months abroad in Paderno del Grappa, Italy
  • I’ve been a dancer since I was 10, dancing as a Junior Blazer Dancer and a member of the University of Oregon dance team
  • I love to bake! Especially during the holidays I am constantly in the kitchen
  • My favorite music to listen to is country and I rarely listen to anything else
  • I would spend all my time at the beach if I could. I love to be near the ocean eating seafood!

Happy Word Nerd Day!

Today is National Word Nerd Day (although some feel strongly that it was yesterday…who are we to judge?).  We are celebrating with our friends (and clients) at the American Copy Editors Society (ACES).  Check out the great guest articles by ACES Board member Karen Martwick in PRNewser and  Now go unleash your inner word nerd!




We’re Blogging!

we're blogging

Welcome to the A.wordsmith blog!

After more than four years in business we are taking the leap and starting a blog. As with any blog, the goal is to keep in better touch with all of you in a way that informs, insights and hopefully inspires new thinking on a variety of topics. Since we are communicators we’ll be weighing in on issues facing the public relations and marketing industries as well as sharing key learnings, successes, and our take on current news and trends. You’ll be hearing from a variety of A.wordsmith team members – each with different backgrounds and areas of interest and expertise. So without further adieu, let’s get this thing started!