Posts Tagged ‘marketing’


I’ve been in a list making kind of mood the last week. I noticed some new Anthology Marketing Group folks joining Twitter recently and was glad to see many of my colleagues using the service. This prompted me to do a more thorough investigation of just who from our agency – comprised of McNeil Wilson Communications, Laird Christianson Advertising, StarrTech Interactive, QMark Research, and Alt – was on there. If you’re interesting in following some folks working in Hawaii’s largest integrated marketing agency, just click this link to see all the tweeps.


Bookmark and Share



My friend and colleague Melissa Chang, director of marketing for Aloha Tower Marketplace and PR/social media queen and Honolulu Advertiser blogger, wrote a thoughtful post the other day titled “Welcome to my life” about the realities of public relations and misperceptions of our profession. I think she hit the bullseye (and some) as she shared a tale about a recent day at the office. It’s exactly this kind of chaotic schedule that attracted me to the profession more than nine years ago. I really believe you need to have some kind of “madness” within you to enter a career in PR. Just ask my wife…I’m sure she’d agree.

After graduating from UH Manoa in 1999 with a journalism/PR degree in hand, I fully understood what I was getting into when I got my first PR job at the now defunct PRWorks in Waikiki. After completing an internship and working part time there as an assistant account coordinator (don’t think you can have a lower title than that), it taught me that PR was a tough job that required a thick skin, long hours, sometimes working on the weekend, a lot of “grunt” work to start, and the ability to work with a bunch of different personalities to get the job done. Oh, did I mention the low pay? Who cares! It was the perfect job and I couldn’t wait to start!

As an eager 20-something at the time I did it all. I faxed, photocopied, filed, stuffed envelopes, made coffee, got the bosses lunch, answered the phone, took the mail down to the post office, took meeting notes, compiled horrendous clipping reports, and probably a lot more that I can’t remember. Not the most glorious of jobs coming out of college, but one that I loved. And I must have been pretty good at it because in short time, I was promoted to account executive. My attitude was work hard, learn everything I could, show my bosses I could do what was asked of me well, exceed their expectations, PAY MY DUES, then wait for the rewards to come. And they did.

Sure things are different now. I get to work with great clients, deal with important business people, develop and execute exciting PR initiatives, and manage a great team. But I still have the same attitude today as I did when I started at PRWorks and came to McNeil Wilson Communications in 2000. I take nothing for granted, am still learning something every day, and striving to deliver to the best of my ability. It doesn’t hurt that I had great mentors along the way like Craig Miyamoto, Deborah Sharkey, David McNeil, and David Wilson. Ultimately, I attribute my work ethic to my parents who always supported me, pushed me to do my best, and never let me give up. It’s also the attitude I try to instill in those I work with.

As a supervisor of people and workloads now, it’s hard to dismiss Melissa’s observation about the growing Generation Y work force coming into the marketplace. It’s also a subject of great discussion lately. In her post she writes:

“Yes, it (PR) can be glamorous, but you have to pay your dues and put in the hard work it takes to get there. If you are the type who physically punches in at 8 and out at 5, and demands to have a balance of “me” time, get a government job. If you are fresh out of school and looking to start at the top, call all the shots, make top dollar, and not have to do much but look pretty, … good luck.”

It’s the reality every company is facing today. A story in the Daily Mail describes Gen-Y as “those born after 1982 who expect everything to fall into their laps but who, in reality, massively overestimate their own abilities.” Yikes!

I’m still trying to figure out if this is a fair way to characterize this talented pool of “young-uns,” but one thing is certain in my opinion. This new work force is at our doorstep and cannot be ignored. The challenge for us Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers is to find ways to peacefully co-exist with Gen-Y, manage their expectations, keep them engaged and motivated, and show them that a little hard work never hurt anyone. Will this be easier said than done? Either way, I’m up for the challenge!

If anyone’s got some best practices to share, I’m all ears!


adrian.gifYes, the following is a bit of a pat on my own back, but it’s my blog so I can do what I want.

Congratulations to the McNeil Wilson Communications HVCB PR team for bringing home a platinum award in the prestigious HSMAI Adrian Awards competition. Kudos to my colleague Michael Ni for landing Bravo Network’s TOP CHEF season 2 finale last year which garnered the award in the “Feature Placement – Television” category. The two-hour show filmed on Hawaii’s Big Island was unreal, showcasing our state’s finest culinary assets and giving the destination priceless exposure.

It was a proud moment shared with our client, the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB),who took home the lion’s share of honors for destination marketing on January 28 at the 51st Adrian Awards Gala in New York City. HVCB received eight awards – two platinum, three gold, and three silver – recognizing excellence in public relations, advertising, and web marketing in 2007 and making HVCB the top winner in the worldwide “CVB/Destination/Offices of Tourism” category.

For more details about the awards, check out the HVCB press release we distributed the other day. As we hoped would happen, HVCB and our firm received some very nice press in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Honolulu Advertiser, and Pacific Business News over the past couple days.

It’s great being recognized for good work. Based on the TV shows we have slated to visit Hawaii this year, I’d say our chances of winning a few more awards next year are pretty strong.



What do you get when a team of public relations and advertising pros compete in an outrigger canoe race and ancient Hawaiian makahiki games? The Anthology Marketing Group (AMG) ‘ohana having a blast at the 23rd Annual Ala Wai Challenge this past Sunday…DUH!

From left: Rhegan Liwanag-Luat, Ashley Pias, Frank “The Enemy from CommPac” Clay, yours truly, and Karl Nakagawa. Amy Hennessey, Keith DeMello, Patrick Dugan, and Karl Nakagawa. Page Gaylord, Dan Zelikman, and the rest of TEAM LCA.

Roughly two dozen of the “finest athletes” from McNeil Wilson Communications, Laird Christianson Advertising, and StarrTech Interactive (all divisions within AMG) woke up very early to brave the morning cold and participate in this one-of-a-kind event celebrating the unique sports only found in Hawai‘i.

From left: TEAM MWC canoe paddlers Wok Kim, Keith, Ashley, Amy, and Karl. Cheering on TEAM MWC as they race into the wind.

There were more than a dozen teams (we had two) representing the hospitality industry who competed in a quarter mile outrigger canoe race along the Ala Wai Canal and in ancient Hawaiian games, including ‘ulu maika (bowling a round stone through pegs), o‘o ihe (spear throwing), moa pahe‘e (dart sliding), and ‘ihe pahe‘e (spear sliding).

From left: TEAM MWC makahiki squad Patrick, Erin Mankins, Rhegan, LeeAnne Mathews, me, and Darcy Maeda. Patrick rolling the ‘ulu maika. Leanne prepares to slide the spear.

From left: Erin in the moa pahee competition. Patrick leads off the spear throwing. Rhegan giving it her all to make it stick.

So how did our teams do? Well…considering we didn’t practice once for any of the events, I’d say we did…ummmmm…pretty good. There were definitely some ringers on other canoe teams that gave them a clear advantage. So our next opportunity to catch up was in the makahiki games competition. But seriously, how good could we expect to do? None of us have played these games since intermediate school or the last time we visited the Polynesian Cultural Center. We gave it our best, but in the end, there were just a few teams a bit more talented in rolling stones, throwing spears, and sliding darts than us.

From left: Darcy letting it fly. Me trying not to look foolish. TEAM MWC’s scoring sheet…aiya…where’s the rest of the points!

From left: LeeAnne and Erin Kinoshita, the MWC PR guru who had to work the event and got all four TV stations to cover the festivities. LeeAnne and Rhegan enjoying shave ice. AMG represent!

There was an area of the competition where Anthology Marketing Group was clearly the winner and that was in “team unity,” “enthusiasm” and “sportsmanship.” The entire AMG team had a great time! Who won versus who lost was inconsequential in the end…thought it was obvious it mattered a lot to one team in particular…not naming names here. If you’re wondering what kind of classless guy talks trash to girls from our firm, just ask anyone on TEAM MWC. We’ll tell you.

Last but not least, mahalo to the Waikiki Community Center for hosting the event and to Chris Tatum, general manager of the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, for being a great corporate citizen and sponsoring this great community cause.

I’m looking forward to doing this again next year!



Dear Macy’s Marketing Director:

If you are are in need of a cute baby boy to model in your next advertising campaign, look no further than our son Ensen. He’s definitely got that fresh “baby next door” appeal that your customers five years old and under can relate to. He’ll also melt the hearts of parents across Hawaii with his sweet looks which is certain to increase sales of your infant wear by at least 200%.

Ensen will work for diapers, baby food, baby mum mum, and straight cash. If you are interested in having him in your next ad campaign, please leave a comment on this post. We sincerely appreciate your consideration.


Nathan and Kelly
(Ensen’s joking parents)