Oklahoma agency lands statewide client, publishes commemorative issue
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Jones PR kicked off 2020 by winning the largest account in the firm's history – a milestone founder Brenda Jones Barwick says was aided by its effective deployment of The Oklahoma 100, the content marketing platform which this month celebrated its fifth year with a special issue, banner and retrospective video.
"In 2015, Jones PR was honored to sign The 100 Companies' contract, becoming The 100 Companies' first network affiliate, yet back then we had no idea how rewarding the journey would turn out to be," said Brenda. "Not only have we positioned our firm and clients as thought leaders throughout our state, the experience of being a high-profile publisher in our community led to greater awareness of our firm, increased market share and now the landing of our largest account ever."
Since its January 2016 inaugural issue, The Oklahoma 100 eNewsletter, website and social media network featuring 100-word stories and 100-second videos has won state and national awards, exploded to 70,000 subscribers while daily engaging a loyal social media following, including nearly 4,000 Facebook followers, the highest number within The 100 Companies network.
To celebrate the launch of its fifth year, The Oklahoma 100's first issue of 2020 featured the special banner and a video with one of its first video subjects, Mick Cornett, who was then mayor of Oklahoma City. Mick, an entrepreneur and broadcast journalist who served as president of theU.S. Conference of Mayors and was named one of Newsweek's five most innovative mayors, joined Jones PR as Executive Counsel in April 2019. In the video, Brenda and Mick reminisce about that first interview before looking ahead at what the next decade might have in store for Oklahoma.
Brenda, who previously worked in the White House, the State Department and one of the southwest's largest ad agencies, launched Jones PR in 2001. After attending Chris Schroder's May 2015 presentation about The Atlanta 100 at PRSA Counselors Academy, she joined a dozen PR firm owners who urged Chris to expand The 100 Companies into a larger network, now launched in 24 markets from Denali to Dubai. The 100 Companies' media offerings have expanded from geographic-focused media channels managed by PR firms to brand journalism publications serving industry vertical markets, municipal governments and, later this year, traditional journalism platforms sponsored by local and national brands.
Looking back over The Oklahoma 100's impressive growth, Brenda mused, "Along the way, we sharpened our editorial voice, sparked creativity in some of our youngest team members and have thoroughly enjoyed watching other members of The 100 Companies network bring innovative ideas to our platform."
Publishing options expand, offering increased flexibility
The 100 Companies continues to expand its options and flexibility based on innovative feedback from its network members. In 2019, the brand journalism platform expanded publishing choices from two to nine options. In 2020, The 100 Companies introduces a monthly flexibility option: while members commit to an annual publishing plan, they can now choose to increase or decrease the number of stories per issue and publishing frequency on a month-by-month basis. "We continually find some of the best ideas for the growth of our company come from listening to our innovative members, who bring their own creativity and perspective to our network," said The 100 Companies publisher and founder, Chris Schroder.
The 100 Editorial team expands, appoints new Editor-in-Chief
This month, The 100 Companies welcomed Kristie Coggins as our new editorial coordinator, who will increase editorial support to members. Kristie previously worked for two years at PR Newswire and for five years in the graduate admissions department at Western Carolina University, from which she earned bachelors and masters degrees in English.
Leah Steinberg has been promoted to editor-in-chief of The 100 Companies and will lead its six-person editorial and production staff. Leah has been a leader on the editorial team since 2016, serving as editor and co-managing editor, and brings to the position her prior experience in Colorado as writer, editor and media specialist and as a director in the University of Kansas development office.
Sam Bojarski has been promoted to co-managing editor. Sam joined the team in 2017 as an editor after working on The Pittsburgh 100 as part of the WordWrite team. Prior to that, he worked with several publications and the University of Pittsburgh.
Savanna Garde has been promoted to operations manager and will manage many of the systems and on-boarding needs of our PR members. Savanna joined The 100 Companies in 2018 as the content and distribution coordinator following four years as a logistics manager at Anisa International. She began her career as an intern with Schroder PR in Atlanta.