Media Relations

Media is our stock and trade. We have worked with local, regional, national and international reporters for 35 years, and former broadcast and print journalists make up a significant part of our staff. We know inside-out what journalists want and how they want it, and we get results.

We also counsel our clients on how to navigate the rapidly changing media landscape, driven by new technologies. A local story has the potential to become an international story the moment it hits – for better or worse.

Social Media

Chew on these stats for a minute – the Pew Internet and American Life Project reports:

  • In solving common problems, more people (58 percent) turn to the internet (at home, work, libraries or other places) than any other source of information, including experts and family members (Dec. 2007).
  • 62 percent of employed adults in the U.S. are “networked workers” who use the internet or email at their workplace (Sep. 2008).
  • Nearly 50 percent of internet users use search engines on a typical day (Aug 2008).
  • 85 percent of teens engage at least occasionally in some form of electronic personal communication, which includes text messaging, sending email or instant messages, or posting comments on social networking sites (Apr 2008).
  • 97 percent of teens play computer, web, portable, or console games (Sep 2008).
  • 87 percent of parents who have a teen child use the internet (Oct 2007)
  • Daily traffic to video-sharing site YouTube nearly doubled from 2006 to 2007.

Blogs. Online conversations. Video sharing. Mobile communications. Search engine results. What’s your strategy?

Strategic Planning

We have seen companies waste considerable money on misguided public relations programs that lack focus, solid research and meaningful objectives. Splashy events and slick marketing materials may impress, but they do little else for the organization if they aren’t part of a thoughtful, results-oriented program.

Involving clients in every step of the planning process means everyone is on the same page and there are no surprises. Plans may be as simple as a two-page outline for a specific project or as comprehensive as a full-blown crisis communications plan. Large or small, JohnstonWells has drafted literally hundreds of plans for clients that have accomplished the results they were seeking in a methodical way.

Media Training

JohnstonWells conducts message development and media training programs to help prepare our client spokespersons for effective media interviews in a variety of interview situations.

Our expert team of media trainers – comprised of former broadcast and print journalists – has conducted media training programs for dozens of clients in a variety of industries. During training sessions, our clients participate in a variety of mock print and broadcast interviews conducted by former reporters.

Corporate & Business-to-Business
Through the years, JohnstonWells has provided general strategic counsel and public relations support for the region's largest corporations, including Coors Brewery, Gates Rubber Company, StorageTek, Samsonite Corporation, Qwest Communications and Public Service Company of Colorado. Our corporate work has included crisis planning and advice, executive and corporate positioning, employee communications, issues management, message development and media and presentation training.

We also have considerable experience developing business-to-business marketing support programs for a variety of clients, both large and small, local and national. In addition to trade show and media relations support, we provide research and strategic planning to determine venues appropriate for reaching target audiences.

JohnstonWells provides its clients with a wide array of research services, including:

  • Communications audits to analyze the reach and effectiveness of existing communications tools.
  • Media audits to gauge coverage of our clients, their competitors and their industry as a whole. This can also include audits and interviews with reporters and editors to gauge their impressions of a client.
  • Surveys and focus groups to gauge awareness and perceptions of employees, customers and other key audiences. When large-scale formal research is required, we partner with local survey research firms.

Clients for whom we have conducted research projects include Coors Brewing Company, Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, American Water Works Association, StorageTek, Gulf Canada Resources, City of Aurora, Koala Corporation, PacifiCare of Colorado, the Alexander Dawson School and Norwest Banks.

Crisis Communications

JohnstonWells is the regional leader in crisis communications. We have managed numerous crisis programs for clients in a variety of unique and challenging situations, including threatened labor strikes, product tampering, bankruptcy and other financial crises, controversial medical issues, abrupt management changes and downsizing.

We believe it is vital for our clients to develop a crisis plan that will determine, in advance, how the company will react if and when a crisis occurs. Crisis plans assess an organization’s overall preparedness – culturally and logistically – for dealing with a crisis, identify strengths and weaknesses and detail appropriate responses and programs for the organization.

Internal Communications

JohnstonWells has had considerable experience in helping clients effectively communicate during periods of change and transition – often for companies that have experienced mergers, organizational and operational changes and that have a geographically-dispersed employee base difficult to reach with traditional communications techniques.

While no template fits all companies, some basic success factors have emerged as critical to an effective internal communications program, such as the importance of two-way communication, stability and the repetition of messages.

Cocktail Talk

Cocktail Talk is a signature program of JohnstonWells that is designed to help members of an organization—whether they're staff, board members or volunteers—be effective ambassadors for that organization. The program trains participants on the important messages that will help them explain their organization's work and raise funds to support it.

The program involves a series of skits and role-plays to explain the messages and give board members a chance to try them out. Prior to the training session, the JohnstonWells team works with the organization's staff to develop the right messages and an acronym to make them memorable.

Community Relations

JohnstonWells has long assisted clients in developing creative community relations and philanthropy programs, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it’s the smart thing to do. Community involvement is a meaningful, essential rung on the reputation-building ladder.

Our leadership team has long been personally involved in the region’s major community organizations and is uniquely qualified to assist clients with executive positioning and effective community relations programs. The Holmes Report ranked JohnstonWells in the top 10 public relations firms in the country for its community involvement programs.

Nonprofits & Community Involvement

JohnstonWells has long assisted clients in developing smart community relations and philanthropy programs, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it’s the smart thing to do. Community involvement is a meaningful, essential rung on the reputation-building ladder. Our community relations expertise has been honed by years of experience in counseling Mile High United Way, the Denver Art Museum, the Boys and Girls Club, the Denver Botanic Gardens and other nonprofit organizations. JohnstonWells was the 2003 National Philanthropy Day Award winner for Outstanding Small Business in Colorado.