The Jones PR team knew their President & CEO Brenda Barwick wanted to increase the publishing frequency of The Oklahoma 100 newsletter to weekly from bi-weekly, but the busy team wasn’t sure how to squeeze in what they first thought would be more work – until they looked into it.
The Oklahoma City-based team was surprised to discover producing six stories weekly was easier than 12 stories twice monthly. Not only were their stories more timely, Jones PR found the fewer stories were easier to schedule along with their normal agency work serving clients.
“It’s a better benefit to our staff – that they can work ahead in a time that seems so time-crunched – but it’s actually been very beneficial for my team,” said Carolyn Taylor, editor of The Oklahoma 100 and an assistant account executive handling client work at Jones PR.
In this issue’s video interview, Carolyn describes the transition and offered insight into the production process of The Oklahoma 100, the flagship network member of The 100 Companies, following its initial launch with The Atlanta 100.
Their secrets include establishing an editorial calendar and assigning team members “beats” to write about in 100-word columns. Not only was the team able to quickly promote their clients’ news to the 100,000-plus readers of The Oklahoma 100, they developed their own personal columns, such as Ashley Glass’ series on traveling across the Sooner State in an RV with her husband.
Brenda announced that her team was interested in going weekly in the May issue of The 100 News to improve service to the agency’s clients. Brenda saw the value of increased frequency after The 100 Companies announced it was halving its membership prices following its investment in three proprietary software platforms that greatly increased its production and distribution efficiency.
Carolyn, who joined Jones PR in 2018 while still in college as a weekly contributor to The Oklahoma 100, has served as editor of The Oklahoma 100 since summer 2020, so when Brenda issued her staff the challenge to go weekly, they were prepared.
“We really put the team together and thought about the process and procedure and wanted to make sure we made the right decision,” Carolyn said. “This is a great opportunity for me in my career to showcase me and my team’s talents and to grow our own media channel. There are not many agencies that can say they not only pitch media but they also own their own media.”
“I send out assignments on Mondays and they are due on Friday the week before publication,” she said. “It’s been really quick, easy and simple.” She then works with Alex Simon of The 100 Companies’ editorial team to ensure the newsletter, website and social media posts are all ready to go. One tip she has: ask the writers to submit a social media post with the story, saving time and effort down the line.
When she first started working on The Oklahoma 100, Carolyn found writing exactly 100 words in each story required a “learning curve,” but later discovered writing 100 words helped her develop better media pitches for her clients. “Something I’ve heard in the PR world is that a great pitch is no more than 100 words so it helped developed me and my team in media.
“If you can’t say it in 100 words, you’re writing too much,” Carolyn said.