Posts Taged pr-services-portland

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

An Olympic-Sized Celebration


Aren’t the Olympics great? I mean, after all they are an institution – not just in our country but around the world. A coming together. A celebration of camaraderie, commitment and, of course, sports. I’m sure we can all remember some of our favorite Olympic moments. Whether it was Flo Jo and her amazing nails, or Kerri Strug landing that vault one-footed, or the famous Battle of the Brians in 1988 when Brian Boitano and Brian Orser both skated for the gold – to the same military-themed long programs. I get chills just remembering it!

For the past several weeks I’ve been wishing that I was more excited about the 2014 Winter Games. I don’t know why but this Olympiad just seemed to lack some of the pizzazz of previous Games. Perhaps it’s the looming threat of terrorism or the political tensions that exist between the U.S. and Russia. Since we’ve had plenty of days to be at home watching TV while the snow falls outside, I have encouraged my kids to spend some time watching the Olympics, wanting them to not miss out on this special celebration that only happens once every four (or two) years. There have already been some heartwarming – and heart-stopping – moments. And even some for the PR record books (I’m looking at you, Ashley Wagner). With just a few days, here are

My top 5 things about the Games so far:

  1. Bob Costas’ pink eye. It makes me cringe just looking at him. Ouch.
  2. Ashley Wagner’s look of disgust at her less-than-stellar scores in the team competition. Move over McKayla.
  3. Russia’s 15-year-old figure skating extraordinaire, Julia Lipnitskaia. Amazing.
  4. The new slopestyle event in snowboarding. Badass.
  5. The story about American ice dancers’ Meryl Davis and Charlie White’s moms who brought them together when they hadn’t even cracked double-digits and haven’t missed a competition since. Commitment pays off.

Battle of the memes


Why Everyone is Talking About Richard Sherman

Richard Sherman's post-game interview

You may care little about football or you may have watched last night’s game with bated breath. Either way, there’s a pretty good chance that by now you’ve seen or heard reference to Richard Sherman’s post-game interview. See it here. It’s intense.

The media reaction has been split between condemnation for his unsportsman-like conduct and dismissal as typical exuberance in the tail of a significant win. What has also followed were media responses that implicated race, some subtly and some not so subtly (I’ve seen a few online comments that make me feel pretty disappointed in society).

Interestingly, Sherman has a communications degree from Stanford, which points to a higher level of PR awareness: He looked straight into the camera and avoided inappropriate language, even while he hollered like a WWF wrestler.  Sherman himself has outlined a response in his column where he says, “To those who would call me a thug or worse because I show passion on a football field—don’t judge a person’s character by what they do between the lines. Judge a man by what he does off the field, what he does for his community, what he does for his family.”

So, what do you think? Does Richard Sherman’s post-game interview deserve to be lambasted for his aggressive speech? Or is this just part of the football mythology that embraces showboating, touchdown dances and crushing people whenever possible? Tommy Tomlinson, sportswriter, has some thoughts over on Forbes if you’re interested.


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!




A Christmas (and PR) Miracle

WestJet made Christmas dreams come true

Oh Wow. Incredible idea. Brilliant PR move. WestJet shared a full serving of Christmas joy and happiness to customers, and the results will make any heart grow three sizes. Take the 5 minutes to watch this Christmas (and PR) miracle – it will inspire you to believe that miracles really do happen. Happy Holidays!

When It’s Not All About Me Anymore

A new logo for A.wordsmith

When I first started A.wordsmith in early 2009, it was more of an experiment than anything else. I had just fallen victim to the economy and was part of a large round of layoffs. I was also very pregnant and not very marketable when it came to a new job. I had nine years of professional experience under my belt and after conversations with several mentors and my family I decided to take the plunge and become my own boss.

My initial goal was really just to have a couple of clients and bring in enough money to support our household. The A.wordsmith moniker was born as a clever combination of my name and what I love doing and my logo was central to me, myself and I – with my beaming face front and center.

Fast forward to present day and what has been discovered is my own deep entrepreneurial spirit that is part of my Simmons-born DNA. Not only am I passionate about providing excellent client service, but also growing my business as part of that effort.  In early 2012 I came to a crossroads, realizing that either I needed put the brakes on new business and be satisfied with my current state, or forge on and grow. I could no longer go it alone.  Since then I have been fortunate to engage a stellar team of contract employees with skills ranging from strategic PR, writing, graphic design and copy editing.

Bottom line is that A.wordsmith is no longer just about Ann – and I love that!  But with that came the realization that no longer was my logo truly representative of the business. The original logo for A.wordsmith has served me well and prompted many a conversation. I’m deeply thankful to our friend, neighbor and graphic designer extraordinaire Vince Ewert who did the design back when there was no extra cash and his payment was truly a dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings. For this latest phase of branding, I enlisted the help of designer Megan Zimmer, a member of the A.wordsmith team, and I’m very excited about the look and feel. The logo is definitely not a far cry from the first one, which I like…makes me feel at home, and I hope it evokes those same feelings for others who have been around for the whole journey or those just coming on board.

old logo for A.wordsmith logo for A.wordsmith

Is That What You Call an Apology, Paula Deen?


Ever since she was a no-show on TODAY last Friday I’ve been eagerly awaiting Paula Deen’s interview with Matt Lauer that was rescheduled for this morning.  First of all, what was she thinking not honoring her commitment to be on the program last week, immediately following revelations that she has used racial slurs?  Instead of going on live TV with an apology, Paula Deen explained that she was “exhausted and disturbed,” an excuse that is weak at best given the situation. Where was her PR counsel last week?  If they were there, did they do all they could to get her to make the interview? Did she reject their counsel? Or was it that they weren’t there (seems highly unlikely), and if so why not?


Blame game pity party

Regardless, we fast forward to today and the interview that seemed more like a blame game pity party than an actual apology.  As the experts have already said, the rambling 13-minute long segment was “bizarre.”  Given her celebrity status Deen had the opportunity to do what most of us would never – go on national television and make things right.  Take responsibility.  Own up to her mistakes.  Set a clear standard and precedent for the future.  Come across as trustworthy, remorseful and understanding.  Instead, she appeared on the defensive, commenting on how those who know her can’t believe how she’s being treated and what’s being said about her.  She went on a long rant about hearing “kids” in kitchens talk in a way that is just “distressing.”  When Lauer asked if she had engaged in similar dialogue she said absolutely not.  Maybe she’s telling the truth.  For some reason she didn’t come across as fully believable.

What next?

As a communications advisor I would be most nervous about her statement that she only used the most offensive racial slur one time while being robbed.  In today’s digital age so much is caught on tape – not to mention she’s a TV personality who is constantly around cameras and microphones that are on.  If additional instances of her using racial slurs come to light, she is not only a racist but a liar. And that’s not an easy mess to clean up.

And finally, I would have to believe that she was working from a set of talking points for today’s interview, and I can’t imagine that throwing in a slang phrase as her parting words was in the recommended messaging.  “I is what I is, and I’m not changing.” Hmm…no, Paula, I’m sure you’re not.

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!