The Fearey Five: How We Hire

The Fearey Group is hiring. There are lots of good reasons to join one of the best workplaces in Washington, but how do you know if you’re the right fit? Here are five traits a future Fearey family member should possess:

  1. Think Fearlessly. Big Ideas. Bold moves. How do you approach a problem? Does winning mean win/win? Do you have the courage to collaborate? We look for results-oriented people who take things head-on, always ready to pick up the ball and run.
  2. Attention to Detail. Do you know the difference between Splenda and Equal? Portrait and landscape? Can you spot whats wrong with this sentence? Missed details are the enemy of efficiency and we hire with efficiency in mind.
  3. Agency Experience. We are a veteran organization that moves fast. Can you drop in and hit the ground running? We want you battle-tested and road-ready.
  4. Tuned in to Fearey. Are you engaged with us online? Following the Fearey social media channels is a crucial part of understanding our approach and our culture, and it shows us you are already part of the conversation.
  5. Portfolio. We want to see what you bring to the table, literally. Hard examples of your best work are always going to be the most critical measure of your skills. Have it, bring it.

We’ve been an industry leader in Seattle for 35 years, and we’re only growing. We hire the best so we can be the best. Are you ready to join the Fearey family?

Guest Post: PRSA Counselors Academy Preview – How You Can Develop Marketing Solutions to Drive New Business Opportunities

Today’s guest post comes from Pam Golden, President, GLA Communications and Bret Werner, Managing Director, Catalyst Public Relations, an IMG Consulting Company. Pam interviewed Bret to get a sneak peak of his presentation to the PRSA 2014 Counselors Academy Conference. The conference is from May 4-6, 2014 in Key West, Fla.  

Virtually every agency faces the same internal struggle.  We excel at doing great work for our clients, helping them achieve their communications goals.  But, when it comes to achieving our own goals we tend to fall down on the job.   You know what I am talking about.  We’ll focus on the agency when we have time, but clients come first.  And, more often than not, creating a new business strategy falls to the bottom of the to-do list.

The time has come to make your agency the number one client.  And, there is no one better to tell us how to achieve this than Bret Werner, Managing Director, Catalyst Public Relations, an IMG Consulting Company.  At the upcoming Counselors Academy Spring Conference, Bret will discuss “How You Can Develop Marketing Solutions to Drive New Business Opportunities.” 

 Bret will discuss why every agency needs a differentiator that sets it apart from the competition.  He will share how creating a marketing piece that showcases your expertise and insights, that works for you throughout the year and that resonates with prospective clients is the key to success.  And trust me, he knows what he is talking about.  The Catalyst Fan Engagement Study is the industry standard and Bret will share how his agency comes together to create this study and how it has helped them attract top tier new clients.

 I met Bret at last year’s Counselors conference in Austin and can promise you that you will come away inspired to create new marketing solutions for your agency. 

 A veteran attendee at Counselors Academy, Bret Werner joined Catalyst as Managing Partner in 2006 and is spearheading the agency’s dynamic growth as a leader in strategic media relations. Prior to joining Catalyst, Werner spent 15 years at Taylor, formerly Alan Taylor Communications, becoming one of the youngest Vice Presidents in the company’s history. Werner has created marketing communications efforts to help distinguish consumer brands in a variety of industry categories, from sports and nutrition, to online and packaged goods.


Pam Golden, President, GLA Communications

Pam founded GLA Communications in 1986 during the first wave of the home technology boom. Since then, her expertise has helped fuel many of the most successful communications campaigns in the field. With Pam’s help, home satellite TV became the most quickly adopted consumer electronics product in industry history. Just a few years later she helped launch the technology that would become the new market champion—the DVD.

In addition to managing the agency, Pam provides high-level strategic and tactical counsel to GLA’s clients, bringing the benefit of more than 20 years of experience in creating and executing campaigns that work. Her extensive network of key media relationships, keen understanding of the inner-workings of the media, and affinity for strategic communications in the technology sectors have brought consistent, winning results for clients in national broadcast, online, cable, and print media outlets.

Twitter: @PamPR


Bret Werner, Managing Director, Catalyst Public Relations, an IMG Consulting Company 

Bret joined Catalyst as Managing Partner in 2006, and is spearheading the agency’s dynamic growth with global brands that include SUBWAY Restaurants, Under Armour and vitaminwater. During his tenure the agency has experienced revenue growth every year while maintaining client and staff retention at 90+% on an annual basis.

Prior to joining Catalyst, Bret spent 15 years at Taylor, becoming one of the youngest Vice Presidents in the company’s history. Bret has created a variety of marketing communications efforts to help distinguish consumer brands in a variety of industry categories, online, sports, health and packaged goods.

He helped develop consumer strategies for brands such as Subway, Microsoft’s Xbox and

His work on behalf of MasterCard’s global sports sponsorships has taken him around the world, from the European Football Championships in England to the African Cup of Nations in South Africa where he played an essential role in the development of global activation communication platforms.

Twitter: @bret_werner

The Power of the PR Baton

The PR Baton

By, Aaron Blank

We hear it every day – “Twitter is changing the way we tell stories.” As a PR professional, I have to love it.

Twitter and the endless tools and apps that rally around it each have contributed to my professional development, my awareness of the community around me, my ability to connect with others at any time. More importantly, it has aided me in telling stories and to hear those of others.

When I was asked by Dana Hughens and the Clairemont Communications team (Raleigh, North Carolina folk) to carry the @PRBaton, I was immediately interested. Though in its infancy (I was baton twirler #3) it was the chance to help the PR industry tell a story about itself that excited me. People always ask – “what is it exactly that you do?” My answer is usually – we help build relationships for people and companies with people and companies. But it is way cooler and sexier to show your industry in a visually compelling way.

The PR Baton opens up a window in to our world. We’re fathers and mothers. Husbands and wives. We drink coffee or tea (or wine!). We have small offices or big offices or no offices. We run, jog or drive to meetings. We’re up early and go to bed late. We listen, read, taste and dream.

As a PR professional, no two days are alike. One day we are live streaming a major announcement, the next we are in the trenches with our clients strategically planning for 2014, or helping them through tough situations. In the morning, it is writing blog posts, by mid-day we are building out a social media strategy plan and come nightfall it is off to an event to support media. Big brands, small brands. Business to business. Business to consumers. From Forbes to the community daily newspaper. From C-Suites to those on the front line. Every day we get the chance to help people tell their stories – so who are we?

The Baton is a powerful new tool that displays our PR profession, brings it to life and shares a story from one end of the world to another.

Dana is thinking fearlessly. She and her team have created a simple concept, using off-the-shelf social platforms, to tell a story. The PR Baton does this so perfectly and it gives the world a straight up look at what Public Relations is really about in a visual way. The goal of it is simple – Show the world what a day in #PR looks like one photo at a time. It allows PR pros come together in an Instagram photo relay that offers a play-by-play pictorial of what it takes to make it in the PR business.

Dana, the Baton was a great experience. You have me hooked. You have my team hooked. As a result, we’re giving you the title of: “Ultimate PR Baton Twirler!”

My experience was documented. It came and went. If you missed it, you can still check out my story to visualize my day and see exactly why I switched phones because of the Baton experience.

From the Desk of a PR Intern

…a blog series by Anthony Cogswell

Get a good night’s sleep. Eat a healthy breakfast in the morning. Grab a cup of coffee on your way into the office. Dress well, work well. Do your best. Don’t forget to smile.

These are all things that people tell you before your first day at a new internship. And all of this advice feels encouraging, right up until the elevator doors open on your floor and you come to the unsettling realization that after all the effort you’ve put into college and gathering experience, you still wonder if you know enough.

My name is Anthony and I am the newest intern at The Fearey Group. I am a 22-year-old recent graduate with a BA in Public Relations. After completing my major and three college internships, I believed I had a complete understanding of the field of public relations.

I was wrong.

Sure, I can develop an effective communication plan and draft a press release, but after only a week interning at this agency it’s clear to me that there’s a lot more to it than that. Although my experience and education have given me a strong overall foundation in this field, I can tell that PR in an agency setting is a whole different animal. I have a lot to learn.

But the truth is, I don’t think I’m alone in my search to redefine my understanding of public relations. Even professionals who have been in the industry for years have trouble putting their finger on exactly how it works today. This is because PR has become a business of endless reinvention and progress.

The advent of digital technology and the way that it continually changes how we communicate is just one example of the many factors that contribute to the shifting definition of public relations.  I think the only way to really know what this industry is all about is to actively learn, then adapt and evolve.

So here I am at the beginning of my journey. I have a long way to go. I have the opportunity to learn and grow in one of the most established agencies in Seattle. Over the next twelve weeks, I will record my experiences and insights as I learn the ropes and develop an understanding of what it means to practice public relations in an agency. It may have been three years or thirty years since you stood in my shoes, but it never hurts to take a look at where you started, how far you’ve come, and remember there’s always more to learn. Check back every Tuesday to see the world of public relations through an intern’s eyes.

We’ve Got Some Questions for You

By Aaron Blank

We field several calls a week from people and organizations interested in working with us. In that first contact with a potential partner, we usually run through a series of questions.

Here is the list:

  1. Have you ever worked with a communications agency before?
  2. Do you have a clear idea why you want communications support or do you just want to see a story about yourself in the New York Times or TIME magazine?
  3. Do you understand what it means to create foundational materials and messages before attempting to do any work?
  4. What is the level of commitment you expect to make with research?
  5. What does communications mean to you? What about public relations or public affairs? What about digital media?
  6. Are you willing to hear about new methods of communicating with your audiences?
  7. Will we have access to the decision maker(s) or will we only be working with the middle manager?
  8. Is the budget realistic? Do you have sky-high expectations but are willing only to pay a minimalist budget to get the work accomplished?
  9. Do you value communication and understand what it can do for your bottom line?
  10. Where do you want to be in five years?
  11. What is your short term goal for success?

Why Would You Hire a PR Agency?

By Aaron Blank

(Editor’s Note: This week is running a series of reports from Aaron Blank’s trip to the annual Counselors Academy, sponsored by PRSA. This is Part Two of an occasional series.)

There are many reasons to hire a Public Relations firm to support your organization or communications team.

Here are just three reasons.

  1. With an agency, you get a mix of expertises from senior counsel to middle management support that can perform the work with some junior staff members who can implement basic tactics. Your team expands at great lengths.
  2. When you hire a Public Relations agency, you get a variable cost. You don’t expand your head count. You don’t have to pay extra insurance.  Your agency does not go on vacation. You get a full team of experts who can support your communication strategies without the added overhead.
  3. Your Public Relations agency usually comes to the table with a host of innovative ideas and fresh thoughts. They usually offer up a different perspective and add value almost immediately.

I Went to PRSA And All I Learned Was These 10 Things

By Aaron Blank

(Editor’s Note: Aaron actually learned quite a bit at PRSA’s Counselors Academy Conference in New Orleans last week. This week, the Reinventing PR blog will feature several takeaways from the event. For more on the event, see below.)

  1. Agencies and counselors with strong points of view break out of the hubbub. People are attracted to viewpoints. Clients want it. They expect it. Share your views online. Don’t be afraid to do it.
  2. Generating new business might mean more speaking engagements, lunch-and-learns, offering up more online content, giving away free information on your website, and focusing on a specific industry.
  3. Google Plus is the only social platform with a material impact on search engine results.
  4. We all think we have the “secret sauce” but all we have is Thousand Island dressing. Customers just want the truth. Offer up your “secret sauce” and make it available online.
  5. Growth is the number one problem marketing- and communications-service companies face. Make sure growth can be handled by your staff.
  6. If the flag pole is missing from a golf course, the golfers will not find the hole. Show your staff the flag pole. Give them a vision and direct them to the hole.
  7. Being different is attractive. People like new, innovative solutions that are different. Be different.
  8. Agencies give people the ability to be entrepreneurs. Empower the entrepreneurial spirit.
  9. If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life. Enjoy the ride.
  10. Create more content online. Answer questions. Become an “available” brand.

The Counselors Academy is a national professional-interest section of PRSA that facilitates peer-to-peer exchanges between senior-level agency executives regarding public relations agency management. Focusing on professional development, ethical standards and agency practices, Counselors Academy programs are designed to encourage networking, mentoring and peer support between principals and senior counselors of public relations firms.

Each year, the Counselors Academy hosts a national conference where agency leaders get together to discuss best and worst practices. This year it was held in New Orleans. Next year it will be Austin, Texas.