Leeza Hoyt, chief executive of her eponymous PR company, Hoyt Organization Inc., is gearing up for some new challenges such as cross-continental conference calls at 3 a.m. and learning new languages with Rosetta Stone. Her Torrance firm was recently selected to join the Public Relations Global Network, becoming its only Southern California presence among 46 members worldwide.
Hoyt Organization, which specializes in the real estate, financial services and technology industries with clients including USC’s Lusk Center for Real Estate and Sotheby’s International Realty, can now tap into resources from partner firms as far away as Cape Town, South Africa; Singapore; and Buenos Aires, Argentina. And these distant companies can call on Hoyt for on-the-ground assistance in Los Angeles.
“With us, they have coverage in the second-biggest media market,” Hoyt said.
The partnerships, she said, will make her midsize firm better qualified to tackle communications in today’s globalized world, but still able to run “lean and mean” without major overhead costs.
“It makes us equal to the task, so we can be very competitive,” Hoyt said.
The selection came during the network’s annual meeting in Dubai. There, Hoyt learned about Russia’s political situation from a chief executive based in Moscow and heard about the Asian economy from another boss working in Singapore.
“Business is all about relationships,” she said. “You can’t have a relationship without looking at the whites of someone’s eyes.”
Buzz About Buzz
The Public Relations Society of America’s 51st Annual PRism Awards earlier this month honored L.A. PR professionals for creative, compelling promotions, with subjects ranging ranging from video games to kitchen appliances to celebrities.
Business Journal editor Charles Crumpley was named outstanding news professional of the year.
Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles was the night’s biggest winner, taking home eight trophies, including best in show for achieving “zero media coverage of franchise closure.”
Unsurprisingly, Deborah Braidic, the hospital’s vice president for communications and digital strategy, said she could not divulge any details.
But most of the hospital’s projects, such as publicizing a neuroscience program, task her in-house team with conveying medical science in clear, compelling language. That often means the tough job of reaching out to patients to discuss their ailments.
“Finding the right moment to approach a family in their journey to ask them to go public with their story is the balance that we have to strike,” Braidic said.
Alan Nierob, executive vice president at West Hollywood’s Rogers & Cowan, was also honored for his sensitivity. The industry veteran guided former Olympic champion Bruce Jenner in his transition to becoming Caitlyn Jenner, a public process that stretched out over months. In accepting the outstanding achievement award, Nierob said Jenner confided in him 35 years ago about a certain “issue.” The gold medal decathlete returned to Nierob when he realized he wanted to control his own narrative and shake off intrusive paparazzi. Nierob responded: “OK, but you have to do it my way. You’re in a big mess right now. We need to clean it up and we need to simplify it. You and me.”
He laid out a strategy to have Jenner land an interview with Diane Sawyer, appear on the cover of Vanity Fair and speak out at the Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Awards.
“You don’t have to do a lot of interviews to get a lot of press. But when you do, it has to have impact,” Nierob said.
And it did. One million people followed the @Caitlyn_Jenner Twitter account within hours of launching, for example.
“It was not a coincidence, everything was planned,” said Nierob. “It’s helped to save lives. At the end of the day, it’s all my client wants to do.”
Agencies & Accounts
Ad agency Omelet in Culver City has partnered with entertainment creator Ubisoft to help produce a live-action TV commercial starring Idris Elba for the latest video game in “Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six” franchise. … Ad agency Camp Playa in Playa Vista has been tapped to represent West L.A.’s Spark Networks, which owns dating websites including ChristianMingle and JDate. … Ad agency Phelps in Santa Monica has hired Kim Haskell as partner. … Ad agency InterMedia Advertising in Woodland Hills has hired Carrie Bergman as vice president of radio affiliate sales. … DKC Public Relations in Beverly Hills is the new agency of record for the Dream Hollywood hotel, slated to open in the spring. The company will also represent Visit West Hollywood, a nonprofit tourism bureau. … Rogers & Cowan has named Mark Owens, previously at Bill Gates’ Corbis Entertainment, as chief executive. … Universal Music Group in Santa Monica has appointed Eric Berman to the new position of executive vice president of public affairs, overseeing government relations and public policy.
Staff reporter Daina Beth Solomon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (323) 549-5262, ext. 263.
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