First-of-its-Kind Legislative Staff Survey Finds California’s Capitol Can’t Function Without Digital Advocacy
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento’s top public relations and public affairs firm, and digital advocacy pioneers, Randle Communications (Randle), today released its fourth annual Digital Influencer Report, which details how social media is used to advance policy in California’s legislative process. The report includes findings from a first-of-its-kind survey of legislative staff on the effectiveness of digital advocacy and highlights the most powerful digital strategies and tactics in a legislative environment defined by the lasting impacts of COVID-19.
“COVID-19 turbocharged the already rapid shift to digital advocacy in California’s Capitol,” Jeff Randle, President and CEO of Randle Communications said. “Our survey of legislative staff found that digital advocacy is more important than ever before and essential to moving the needle with lawmakers.”
The survey found that more than three-quarters of legislative staff survey respondents (76.9%) say digital advocacy is more important to advancing policy due to COVID-19 impacts. Here’s what legislative staffers are saying:
- “Digital advocacy has been one of the only ways for advocates, organizations, and legislators to spread the word on a bill.”
- “When people advocate for an issue on social media, it is just like them making a phone call to our office or an in-person visit. We read what they are saying, who is saying it, how frequently they are saying it.”
- “Now we pay more attention to digital advocacy but still give proper consideration to other forms of communications.”
Given these insights, our report outlines three important lessons:
- COVID-19 accelerated the new era of digital-first advocacy
- Virtual advocacy is here to stay
- Authentic content – and voices – are essential to digital success
“What we heard from legislative staff is simple: California’s Capitol can’t function without digital advocacy,” Lindsey Goodwin, Vice President of Public Affairs at Randle Communications said. “Those who win in the post-COVID-19 world prioritize an engaging content strategy that elevates authentic voices and recognizes that virtual advocacy is here to stay.”
Randle designs custom public affairs programs with strategic digital elements to help clients achieve their advocacy goals. Randle’s in-house creative and content team, the Randle Content Studio, includes proprietary News-Style Impact Videos, authentic social content development and a comprehensive toolkit of traditional media as well as paid digital strategies.
About Randle Communications:
Jeff Randle created Randle Communications in 2001 with partner Mitch Zak to give clients great service from senior-level professionals. Randle Communications is Sacramento’s top-ranked public relations and public affairs firm, specializing in strategic planning, media relations, coalition building, digital advocacy, ballot initiative campaigns and crisis management. Sacramento Business Journal has named Randle an A+ Employer every year since 2010.
Grace McNamara Joins Growing Creative Services Practice at Randle Communications
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Randle Communications (Randle) today announced the hire of Grace McNamara as a creative services account coordinator to support the company’s thriving creative services practice. Adding McNamara to the team reflects the firm’s steadfast dedication to providing clients with innovative and dynamic content that elevates industry standards.
“Grace is a tremendously talented designer who has made an immediate impact helping the firm’s clients bolster brand awareness and engage key audiences,” Randle President and CEO Jeff Randle said. “We are thrilled to welcome her to the Randle team and know her skills and hard work will elevate the creative services we offer clients.”
As a creative services account coordinator, McNamara provides creative support for all Randle clients and marketing initiatives, developing professionally designed collateral, digital content and motion graphic videos.
“Joining Team Randle means joining a family of professionals who are not only committed to fostering an environment of teamwork and collaboration, but also supporting each team member’s own professional growth,” McNamara said. “I’m very grateful for the opportunity to do what I love and be part of such a strong, goal-oriented team.”
McNamara graduated from the University of California, Davis, in December 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in Design and emphases in graphic design and motion graphics. While completing her degree, McNamara honed her design skills working as an administrative assistant in the UC Davis Campus Recreation and Unions, where she provided creative services for internal marketing efforts.
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Creating a Positive Atmosphere in your Workplace
A positive attitude is contagious. Walk through the doors of Randle Communications on any given day and you’ll discover a positive team.
One might say not only is Randle the best PR firm in the region, it’s also the happiest, and there is good and strategic reason why. Positivity is at the core of Randle’s culture and philosophy.
CEO Jeff Randle and partner Mitch Zak are big followers of Jon Gordon. Jeff and Mitch carry out Gordon’s philosophies and encourage the team to embrace a positive mindset as leaders.
Last year the team devoted time to “attend” virtual webinars from Gordon’s “The Power of Positive Summit,” which included close to 40 testimonies by leading experts who shared their strategies on staying positive, overcoming challenges and serving as a strong team member. For the culmination of the summit, the team enjoyed a thoughtful discussion about speakers and identified opportunities to grow our mindsets and leadership.
We also dove in and enjoyed reading Gordon’s book “One Word that Will Change Your Life.” Gordon’s philosophy and instruction were the focus of our year-end retreat as well, giving the team momentum to kick off the new year with a refreshed, positive outlook.
The firm is EXCITED that Gordon is launching another Power of Positive Summit in late April, and we can’t wait to hear more from these experts again this year.
In the meantime, we’re sharing 4 ways to spread a positive attitude in your workplace:
- Appreciate every team member: Make sure you appreciate every staff member, no matter their position, title or generation. Everyone plays a vital role in making your company a success.
- Foster meaningful relationships: To create a positive environment across all levels, it’s important to develop trust and respect among all employees within your company. Host social gatherings outside of work and prioritize relationships.
- Practice gratitude. You can’t be stressed and thankful at the same time: Acknowledge your blessings and try to see challenges as opportunities.
- Keep the doors open: Encourage office doors to remain open. It fosters openness, reduces the opportunity for gossip and promotes a more collaborative work environment.
There are numerous ways you can spread positivity. But remember, negativity is always a threat, and sometimes it’s faster and easier to go around. To prevent negativity from infiltrating your office, stay focused on being positive and encouraging. Spreading positivity will help strengthen everyone’s mindset, while creating an encouraging and empowering environment.
Randle Shines the Spotlight on Our College Athletes
It takes grit, hard work and dedication to thrive as a student athlete.
With Saturday marking National Student-Athlete Day, we are featuring two college juniors who are standout student athletes, exceling on the field and in the classroom.
Lilly Enes attends Yale University, where she is setting records as a sprinter on the track team. Competing in the 60-meter, 100-meter, 200-meter, 400-meter and 4X400 relay races, she has set two school records already this season. Lilly says that takes a lot of dedication to her team and to her schoolwork, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I’m so lucky I get to do what I love (running) with people on my team who share the same passions, standards, and values as I do,” she says.
Lilly is a Political Science major and completed an internship last summer at Randle Communications. We enjoyed having her on our team where she says the skills she learned come in handy with her intense training and collegiate schedule.
“My internship really helped me with my time management skills. I became really good at allocating my time and prioritizing projects. It’s a critical skill to ensure I get all my studying and homework done while training. Developing time management skills has helped me stay on top of all my work, while also allowing me to give my all in everything I do.”
A typical day for Lilly includes classes until the mid-afternoon, followed by three hours of training and then homework. Factor in her travel schedule for competing in away-meets, and it’s even more shocking that she is setting records!
Lilly has traveled to Boston, New York, New Jersey and North Carolina for track meets, and she heads to Alabama later this month. Lilly has three younger sisters, and occasionally her family comes to watch her compete, which is very meaningful to her.
Lilly is looking forward to her upcoming summer internship at Charles Schwab where she will be tackling financial crime risk management, but says she misses Randle dearly, especially our “fun Fridays.”
“One of my best memories at Randle was on Fridays when we would play music, specifically the Shrek soundtrack, and everyone would sing along.”
We miss her, too, and wish her the best on her future endeavors.
Jake Randle, son of CEO Jeff Randle, has practically grown up in the Randle offices and has spent a lot of time with the Randle team over the years.
He is a scrum-half* on the rugby team at the University of Notre Dame, where he is a finance major in the Mendoza College of Business.
Being on any rugby team can be intense, and the Notre Dame team is no exception. Jake says he is quite busy tackling his academic coursework along with practice, workouts, games and tournaments. Rugby has a fall and a spring season, requiring him to travel about 60% of the time.
He says although he is fortunate to be pursuing his passion as a student athlete, it is much more than that.
“I am competing at a high level across the country, but it is also helping me develop my work ethic and leadership skills. Knowing that I have to plan my academics and other extracurriculars around my athletic obligations adds structure to my life.”
He adds rugby provides an outlet for his natural competitive spirit, while also helping him develop important relationships.
“All of the coaches and trainers for the rugby team at Notre Dame are fantastic, which is a large part of why my experience has been so special.”
The Randle family is dedicated to Jake’s rugby career and makes concerted efforts to travel to South Bend a few times each season to watch him play. He notes it’s convenient that rugby season lines up with football season, so his family can fly out to watch him play rugby and get in a Notre Dame football game on the same weekend. Jake also travels to the west coast fairly often to compete against California schools and his family is usually able to make trips around the state to watch him play.
Jake will temporarily hang up his rugby cleats this summer to work as a Capital Deployment intern at the largest public real estate investment trust in the world, Prologis. He will be working directly with investment officers, focusing on financial analysis of developments and acquisitions, among many other things.
“I am very excited for this opportunity and I am eager to gain invaluable industry-relevant experience with top professionals.”
We are excited for his summer opportunity and look forward to watching him throw around the pitch in the fall.
*A scrum-half is the player who directs the game and works with the stand-off player to control the attach and decide with their passes how the team attacks and if, when and where the ball is kicked. This player is also responsible for making sure all the other players are in the right position for an attacking move.
How Facebook’s Changes to Ad Analytics Will Help You Craft A Strong Social Media Message
As public relations practitioners, we are always searching for new ways to report the success of our initiatives, including social media metrics. Analytics tell us if we’re crafting the perfect message to reach our target audience. Earlier this month (March), Facebook announced it is implementing changes that will make it easier to develop that message and report on its success.
Innovation is nothing new for Facebook, which has always been a leader in shaping the social media landscape. In 2015, the social media platform developed a Relevance Score to project an ad’s performance compared to similar ads that target the same audience. Using a 1-10 scale, the higher the number, the better the ad was expected to perform.
Curious about your relevance score? Click here
Now, the social media platform is getting even more granular with reporting metrics, announcing it will replace the Relevance Score with three other diagnostics:
- Quality Ranking: How your ad’s perceived quality compared with ads competing for the same audience.
- Engagement Rate Ranking: How your ad’s expected engagement rate compared with ads competing for the same audience.
- Conversion Rate Ranking: How your ad’s expected conversion rate compared with ads that had the same optimization goal and competed for the same audience.
These changes will allow you to monitor ads in real-time and make adaptions to increase their effectiveness, whether it’s changing creative, the target audience or the messaging. This will make ad development a more efficient process, help boost performance and help stretch ad dollars further resulting in more impressions and a higher engagement rate.
Expect to see this change made gradually over the next couple of weeks with Quality Ranking, Engagement Rate Ranking and Conversion Rate Ranking fully implemented and the Relevance Score fully removed starting April 30.
Engaging Employees – 3 Ways to Cultivate an Environment to Foster Teamwork
Fun gatherings to celebrate and acknowledge individual milestones and team accomplishments are always in vogue and a great way to engage employees. They also encourage open communication and serve as a great bonding experience.
Following are three key tips to host successful Happy Hour Hangouts:
1. 100% Attendance = 100% Fun!
You have the right people on your team. Now make sure everyone can attend your gatherings. You don’t want anyone to feel left out. Team celebrations are the best when everyone attends.
2. Have an Agenda – Sort of
You want your gatherings to serve a purpose, but you also need to build in the flexibility for the natural flow of conversation. Icebreakers can lighten the mood, generate laughs and get everyone relaxed. Plus, they’re a lot of fun.
If you go that route, here are a few suggestions to include:
- Ask each staff what their favorite year was (and why);
- “Famous Faces” – choosing names of noted celebrities, tag each staff member on his or her back with the name of a celebrity, and have each staff member ask others for hints about the celebrity whose name they are wearing
- Play a “who said it” game. You can use movie or TV quotes, or you can even use quotes from staff to see how well you all know each other
It’s also helpful to use the happy hours to acknowledge work anniversaries, birthdays or major accomplishments. These milestones are fun, spur conversation and set the mood for team members to share memories and positive stories about their colleagues.
3. Provide Fabulous Food and Beverages
Presenting the right cuisine is a must. Charcuterie plates with wine, beer and an assortment of treats and refreshments are great garnishments to keep the fresh ideas and bold thoughts flowing.
Tovey Giezentanner Joins Randle Communications as Senior Counselor
SACRAMENTO – Randle Communications (Randle), Sacramento’s top-ranked public relations and public affairs firm, announced today that Tovey Giezentanner has joined the team as senior counselor. A U.S. Army veteran, Giezentanner comes to Randle with more than 20 years of strategic communications experience, including working in the administration of Governor Pete Wilson, United States Congress and as president and CEO of the Conaway Preservation Group, LLC for six years.
“We are thrilled to share the great news that Tovey is joining our talented team who continue to show the market what it takes to succeed in an evolving PR and PA landscape,” Jeff Randle, President and CEO of Randle Communications said. “Tovey is an exceptional strategist and focused on bringing the full potential of Randle’s storytelling expertise, public affairs know-how and creative spirit to our clients. The expansion of our leadership team will allow the firm to scale innovation and pursue opportunities critical to our clients and our firm’s future.”
As senior counselor, Giezentanner will provide strategic counsel and advocacy support to a wide range of Randle clients across the health care, real estate, water and infrastructure industries. Most recently, he led the 2018 launch of the Behavioral Health Action coalition, Randle’s signature health care initiative on behalf of the California Hospital Association. The coalition leveraged traditional and emerging communication tools in an initiative that culminated when behavioral health advocates met with then candidate for governor Gavin Newsom in October 2018. The campaign is designed to elevate behavioral health as a key policy issue for California’s elected leaders.
From 2001-2018, Giezentanner also ran his own public relations firm where he managed various long-term projects. His clients included Calpine Corporation, PacifiCare of California and the California Motor Car Dealers Association. He also led in the development and construction of two major multifamily apartment developments in San Francisco and his home town of Chico.
“Randle Communications is a real power player in the strategic public affairs arena in California and I’m excited to bring my experience to help support an already exceptional team,” Giezentanner said. “I’m proud to be part of the Randle Communications family and look forward to being part of a great team to elevate Randle’s client service.”
Happy International Women’s Day!
More than 60 percent of Randle Communications team members are women, and we’re tremendously proud of the great contributions and accomplishments from our female employees.
A special Randle Communications shout-out to:
Coalition-Building Extraordinaire, Ana Helman; Jack of All Trades and Avid Reader, Erin Dunlay; Grammar Goddess, Mary Parra; AP Style Savant, Jenna Sharp; Project Management Allstar, Rachael Serrao; Passionate PA Pro, Lindsey Goodwin; Multi-Media Maven, Maikalina Madali; Marketer and Media Junkie, Margeaux Cardona; Gala Guru Kellie Randle; Exceptional Excel Wiz, Jennifer Kifer; Operations Officer, Julie Phillips; Dynamic and Driven Taylor Davies; and, Organizational Expert Erin Coyle.