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TaskUs expands San Antonio offices, plans to have 500 employees

TaskUs, a Santa Monica, California-based company that provides business outsourcing to tech companies, has announced it is leasing 32,000-square-feet (two floors) of the Finesilver Building in San Antonio with plans to hire 500 employees. It now has about 60 workers in the local market, and uses the San Antonio office as an onshore option for businesses seeking customer service center operations.

“TaskUs is also working with large companies that are now updating legacy support operations and need our next-generation service to stay in step with how to best support their millennial customers and workforce,” Maddock said in a statement. “Some of those companies require services in the U.S., and so we’re here.”

Read the full article: TaskUs continues to expand, with plans to hire 500 U.S. employees (L.A. Biz)

TaskUs is leasing 32,000 square feet in the Finesilver Building is on Camaron Street in the Five Points Neighborhood just north of downtown.

April 14th, 2017|Categories: Client News|Tags: , , , , , , |

#twitterforbusiness from PR pros | eNews from OWC

The first step in perfecting the art of Twitter is to make sure to share the most topical and genuinely informative tweets. Maybe that’s you already, and the feedback is great. But are you really enhancing your reputation with the target audience? Are your competitors tweeting even better? Twitter isn’t a private bubble, it’s a fish bowl. We’re on display, so we need to know how we’re doing.

There are plenty of analytics tools to gauge the value of social media efforts, but with so many options finding the best one for your brand is daunting. What’s the set industry standard for success? There isn’t one. We’re on our own in judging key measurements like engagement rate. We’re both the product and test laboratory.

Download PDF version of this issue: #businessfortwitter from PR pros

OWC advocates the following tactics, which we work hard to apply to our own Twitter account, @owcpr.

  • Get comfortable with numbers. Tweeting just 10-12 times each week can be outreach enough, but the effort isn’t worthwhile if nobody communicates back to your brand. Twitter Analytics is a free tool that offers basic tracking to start measuring your audience. It tells you what you’re doing well and instantly identifies the duds.
  • Know the facts. Engagement rate is the metric that matters to social media managers and enthusiasts alike. While some analysts argue for a benchmark of 1-3 percent engagement rate per post, the reality is that there is no industry standard. Competing tools use entirely different formulas to calculate rates, which makes comparisons difficult. The simple fact is: we want engagement. If we’re not getting it, something needs to change.
  • Take charge. With no set standards, the right tool for the right objective is up to us. Taking on the challenge is the first step towards finding the right metrics for your brand. Research the analytics tools – each has its benefits and quirks. At OWC we use Simply Measured for a more detailed look at engagement. We’re also trying out Sprout Social, a lower-cost alternative that uses mainly replies, likes, mentions, re-tweets, detail expands and hashtag clicks to come up with a basic engagement rate.
  • Play smart. Keywords are social media gold. You can use them again and again. Which keywords get a reaction from your audience? Analytics will tell you. Monitor industry insiders and experts and compare your performance to theirs. Copy their success. You already know that tweets with a link and a visual element outperform all other tweets. As you weave in pictures, videos and animated GIFs, check the engagement rate. Do more of what works. Do less of what doesn’t. Always do something.

Social media for organizations is about connecting, defining and analyzing how your brand presents itself. We want to grow and engage. We want more followers, more responses, more recognition, more action. Tweets should be the sharpest tool in your daily communications kit. Finding the right analytics program – and using it – will sharpen your Twitter approach to a fine edge.

April 11th, 2017|Categories: eNewsletter|Tags: , , , , , , |

TaskUs is moving to the Santa Monica Airport

TaskUs, a leader in digital business process outsourcing, is moving into new offices in the Santa Monica Airport in October of this year. The 6,193-square-foot space, dubbed “TaskForce One” and which previously housed the restaurant Typhoon, has been redesigned by global design firm Unispace to reflect both the setting of the airport and TaskUs’ global presence.

“We love this location and we’re excited to be part of its revitalization,” said CEO Bryce Maddock in a statement. “The space itself is rich in local history and our team frequented Typhoon, so there’s a sentimental value to us personally. It reminds us of how far we’ve come, from TaskUs’ humble two-person beginning to the more than 7,000 team members we now have worldwide.”

Read the full article: TaskUs lands new HQ at Santa Monica Airport (L.A. Biz)

April 6th, 2017|Categories: Client News|Tags: , , , , , , |

TaskUs’s Jaspar Weir shares his tips for future entrepreneurs

New Theory surveyed top entrepreneurs, including TaskUs CEO Jaspar Weir and asked them for tips for new millennial entrepreneurs. 24 founders, presidents, directors, managers, authors and other notable guests shared their secrets for success.

Radical Transparency is the key. Regular and comprehensive updates meet Boomers’ need for stability, Xers – the latch-key generation that took care of themselves as kids – equate communication, in small doses, with respect and trust. And the Millennials’ distrustful nature is calmed when a company is forthright even when the news isn’t good,” said Weir. “TaskUs takes transparency to an extreme, sharing revenue, C-suite salaries and much more with its employees”

Read the full article: Top 24 Tips for Millennial Entrepreneurs From The Best of The Best (New Theory)

EY announces Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2017 Greater Los Angeles Awards semifinalists

EY today announced semifinalists for the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2017 Awards in the Greater Los Angeles program. As the world’s most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs, Entrepreneur Of The Year recognizes innovative trailblazers in more than 145 cities in 60 countries who are excelling in areas such as innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. The semifinalists listed below were selected by a panel of independent judges from nearly 60 business leaders nominated. Finalists will be announced May 8, and winners will be revealed at a black-tie awards gala on Thursday, June 15 hosted by FOX 11 News anchor Christine Devine at The Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, California.

Semifinalists:

• 24Hr HomeCare | David Allerby, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Tyner Brenneman-Slay, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, and Ryan Iwamoto, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer | Los Angeles, California
• Berkley International | Eric Berkley, Co-Founder and President, and Jeff Berkley, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer | Carson, CA
• Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop, Inc. | Ashley Morris, Chief Executive Officer, and Jason Smylie, President | Las Vegas, Nevada
• Chef’d | Kyle Ransford, Founder and Chief Executive Officer | El Segundo, California
• Cherokee Global Brands | Henry Ian Stupp, Chief Executive Officer | Sherman Oaks, California
• Chrome River Technologies, Inc. | Alan Rich, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer | Los Angeles, California
• Clipper Corporation | Lina Hu, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer | Carson, California
• Cloudbreak Health, LLC | Jamey Edwards, Chief Executive Officer | El Segundo, California
• Coolhaus | Natasha Case, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer | Culver City, California
• Cypress Creek Renewables | Matt McGovern, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, and Mike Cohen, Co-Founder and President | Santa Monica, California
• DECO Lighting | Benjamin Pouladian, President, and Sam Sinai, Chief Executive Officer | Commerce, California
• Direct Relief | Thomas Tighe, President and Chief Executive Officer | Goleta, California
• Evite | Victor Cho, Chief Executive Officer | Los Angeles, California
• FabFitFun | Daniel Asher Broukhim, Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer, Michael Barouch Broukhim, Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer, and Katie Rosen Kitchens, Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief | Los Angeles, California
• Factual | Gil Elbaz, Founder and Chief Executive Officer | Los Angeles, California
• FreedomPop | Stephen Stokols, Chief Executive Officer | Los Angeles, California
• Gelt, Inc. | Keith Wasserman, Founder and President | Tarzana, California
• HATCHBEAUTY Products, LLC. | Tracy Holland, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Los Angeles, California
• Hawthorne | Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Chief Executive Officer and Owner | Los Angeles, California
• Imprenta Communications Group | Ron W. Wong, President and Chief Executive Officer | Los Angeles, California
• inMarket | Todd Dipaola, Chief Executive Officer | Venice, California
• Inspire Energy Holdings LLC | Patrick Maloney, Founder and Chief Executive Officer | Santa Monica, California
• KabaFusion | Dr. Sohail Masood, President and Chief Executive Officer | Cerritos, California
• Los York | Dex Deboree, Co-Founder, and Seth Epstein, Co-Founder | Santa Monica, California
• Micro Quality Labs Inc. | Karine Aylozyan, Chief Executive Officer and Q.A. Technical Director | Burbank, California
• Omaze | Ryan Cummins, Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer, and Matt Pohlson, Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer | Los Angeles, California
• Render Media | Vic Belonogoff, Chief Executive Officer | Los Angeles, California
• Ross Organic | Stephanie Leshney, Chief Executive Officer and President, and Erin Coulter, Chief Operating Officer | Santa Fe Springs, California
• ServiceTitan | Ara Mahdessian, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer | Glendale, California
• SmartyPants Vitamins | Gordon Gould, Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer, and Courtney Nichols Gould, Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer | Marina del Rey, California
• Soothe Inc. | Merlin Kauffman, Chief Executive Officer and Founder | Hollywood, California
• StackCommerce | Josh Payne | Founder and Chief Executive Officer | Venice, California
• TaskUs | Bryce Maddock, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, and Jaspar Weir, Co-Founder and President | Santa Monica, California
• The Agency | Billy Rose, President, and Mauricio Umansky, Chief Executive Officer | Beverly Hills, California
• The Bouqs Company | John Tabis, Founder and Chief Executive Officer | Marina del Rey, California
• The Camp Transformation Center | Dr. Sam Bakhtiar, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, and Alejandra Font, Co-Founder and Partner | Los Angeles, California
• The Mobile Majority | Rob Jonathan Emrich, Chief Executive Officer | Santa Monica, California
• TrackR | Chris Herbert, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, and Christian Johan Smith, Co-Founder and President | Santa Barbara, California
• Xencor Inc. | Bassil Dahiyat, Founder, Chief Executive Officer and President | Monrovia, California
• Yamibuy | Alex Zhou, Founder and Chief Executive Officer | City of Industry, California

Olmstead Williams Communications is a proud sponsor of the Entrepreneur Of The Year® program. To learn more about the Greater Los Angeles program, please visit www.ey.com/us/eoy/greaterla. Join the conversation on social media by following @EY_EOYUS and using #EOYGLA.

March 29th, 2017|Categories: Client News|Tags: , , , , , |

Marlborough School’s Dr. Priscilla Sands advises parents on how to deal with rejection

Admission to top colleges is getting tougher every year. Many schools, including Yale University, Brown University, Duke University and Cornell, reported record high early application numbers for the class of 2021, according to IvyWise, an educational consulting company. Most students have until May 1 to decide where to go. Marlborough School’s Dr. Priscilla Sands spoke to the Wall Street Journal about what she tells students and parents when things don’t necessarily go as planned. Dr. Sands draws from her own personal experience, from working as a waitress from graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with a doctorate in Educational Leadership, to illustrate the importance of resilience.

“I talk with parents and the girls about how my life took all sorts of twists and turns, how I was disappointed and didn’t go to the college I wanted or get the job I wanted,” she says. Each disappointment, she tells them, put her on a new path forward.

Read the full article: How to Help When College Rejection Letters Land (The Wall Street Journal)

Deborah Shames on what holds women back from becoming strong public speakers

Deborah Shames, co-founder of Eloqui, a communication and presentation company based in Calabasas, and author of the new book Out Front: How Women Can Become Engaging, Memorable, and Fearless Speakers, stresses that strong public speaking skills are necessary for career advancement. She states that while women have advanced in many arenas, women will never achieve their full potential if they avoid public speaking.

“It’s time for women to create their own destinies. Better communication and public speaking gives women the ability to seize every opportunity and aspire to new heights,” said Shames. Whether pitching for new business, delivering a talk at a conference, raising money for a favorite non-profit, or communicating one-on-one, women can become a powerful force when they speak with authenticity and confidence.”

Read the full article: What Holds Women Back From Becoming Strong (Thrive Global)

March 27th, 2017|Categories: Client News|Tags: , , , , |

How a freelance writer found her zen through The Great Courses

At 57, Nancy Durham decided it was time to go back to school–but not exactly. She had heard her husband and his friends rave about online courses so she decided to give them a try. In doing so, she found The Great Courses, a provider of online courses for personal growth which has gained 125,000 subscribers since 2015. She registered for a 24-part video lecture series on mindful meditation, with interactive exercises, taught by a mostly suit-jacketed Harvard professor of religious studies.

“In the video series, the Great Courses instructor spoke with the warm, folksy optimism of Garrison Keillor and came across as the ideal mindfulness Sherpa. His voice and initial presentation — he likened his own life to a movie he couldn’t enjoy due to the ongoing background commentary — sold me,” said Durham.

Read the full article: A+ for E-Learning (AARP)

March 21st, 2017|Categories: Client News|Tags: , , , , , |

Crain’s LA spotlights WashOS’s approach on auto detailing

Bertrand Patriarca launched WashOS with co-founders Benjamin Guez, Francois Pradel and Kevin Guez in 2015. While copycat apps have come and gone, Patriarca explained to Crain’s how the WashOS softward and its eco-friendly processes have made it the largest car detailing app in Southern California. Nothing more than an average size parking space is required for WashOS to clean a car, sparing customers the hassle of driving to a car wash and waiting while the work is done. In fact, you don’t even need that much water.

“We wash a complete car with less than one gallon of water, using eco-friendly solutions and microfiber cloths,” Patriarca said.

Read the full article: Washos puts eco-friendly spin on mobile car detailing (Crain’s LA)

March 21st, 2017|Categories: Client News|Tags: , , , , , |

8 tips from Crisis Boot Camp | eNews from OWC

Last week I spoke on “How to Lead Your Organization’s Social Media Messaging in a Crisis” during PRNews’ Digital Summit in Huntington Beach.  Here are some key points from my remarks and those of my fellow presenters at Crisis Management Boot Camp:

Download the PDF version here: 8 tips from Crisis Boot Camp

  • Be ready — and few are.  Only 50 percent of companies have a ready-to-go crisis plan — and only 5 percent of those have a designated response team.  A plan only helps if people are assigned and trained in advance to do the work, and there’s a lot of work to manage.
  • Assess your risk.  Measure the crisis on a scale of one to 10.  Not every crisis requires a 10 response.  Check out OWC’s Crisis Response Risk Assessment Tool. 
  • Prepare emergency “holding statements.”  A major crisis breaks fast, and a response needs to go out within an hour and a half.  A holding statement is the company position on a potential threat or foreseeable emergency.  Think it through before it happens.  “Semper paratus” (“always ready”).
  • Don’t leave your fate in the hands of outside web developers.  In a crisis, people will check your website.  Do you have a person in your office who has the access and training to upload changes to your site?  Most don’t, but you can change that today.  It’s easy with a modern content management system such as WordPress.
  • Be timely and ready to go on camera.  Are you prepared to respond with a YouTube or Facebook Live video within 90 minutes of a crisis breaking?  Especially if the source of the crisis is itself a video, you must respond through the appropriate platform and be prepped like a seasoned pro.
  • Social strategy is media strategy.  Sixty-two percent of U.S. adults get their news from social media, and 18 percent do so frequently.  So, bad news travels even faster.  Monitor social so you know immediately when you’re being discussed in blogs and on Facebook and Twitter.  Here at OWC we use Hootsuite and Google Alerts.
  • Robots aren’t just driving our cars. They’re now a part of newsrooms.  The Associated Press has a robot that takes information from SEC filings and press releases and automatically produces wire reports on earnings that are completely devoid of context and nuance. It’s now more important than ever for organizations to expand on sparse news reports with a more complete message through company-controlled platforms.
  • We’re all in the data business. What would a data breach mean to your clients, customers, employees and how quickly would the news spread and on what platforms?  In a breach, IT will be too busy to help.  Management needs a plan.

Crisis comes just when things seem to be going so well.  We all heard about the Oscars Sunday night.  We’ll see in real time how Uber deals with the self-inflicted blows to its image and brand.  Three out of five CEOs believe corporate brand and reputation represent more than 40 percent of their market capitalization which is why crisis preparation and response is a bottom-line job.

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