Hempel: Public relations in the blog age

Today when a company addresses the public, it doesn’t need to contact a press officer who contacts a publicist who faxes releases all over town. Chief officers can post updates directly to blogs read by clients, investors and consumers.

But PR has retained its place in the interaction by introducing services called “social media,” such as controlling a company’s blog presence and providing blogger support, said Lisa Hempel, new president of Eastwick Communications.

“The consumer is fewer steps away from the company’s communications,” Hempel said. “Executives are not behind a curtain as much as they were.”

Eastwick named Hempel president Nov. 1. The firm, based in San Francisco and Mountain View, with clients including Seagate, Fujitsu and Cake Financial, has represented technology companies in the area for 15 years.

Hempel previously ran a firm called Sparkpr, and came to Eastwick after a year spent consulting for offices including Eastwick’s. She said she formed a relationship with Barbara Bates, who together with Elaine Cummings founded Eastwick Communications in 1992.

“The founders have a real interesting style,” Hempel said. “They’re very networked in the Valley. So I did consulting with Eastwick and gained a relationship with Barb and found they were looking for a president.”

Hempel, 41, who in the mid-1990s was the youngest member of the management team at Qwest Communications, began her career in Washington, D.C., in the public relations office for the National Association of Manufacturers. She didn’t like working for the government, however, and moved into tech, working on Apple’s consumer marketing and later with Cunningham Communications.

“In those days it was very different,” Hempel said. “We barely had the Internet.”

By contrast, the tech-savvy CEOs found in Silicon Valley are easy to cultivate, facilitating Hempel’s efforts to bring executives into the blogosphere.

“If you’re doing a good job managing the communication program overall, the CEO is very likely to be on target with his postings,” Hempel said. “You wouldn’t want an executive blogging regularly if it wasn’t within their scope of strengths. But that’s rarely the case these days.”

businessBusiness & Real Estate

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

A San Francisco Unified School District program that gave would-be teachers extra training in the classroom has lost a key partner. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/2019 S.F. Examiner)</ins>
USF ends partnership with SFUSD in teacher residency program

District launched training effort to improve low retention rates for new hires

The Rev. Norman Fong of the Chinatown Community Development Center joined San Francisco city leaders and community partners in a “Campaign for Solidarity” at Civic Center Plaza on Saturday, Apr 17, 2021. (CraigLee/Special to the S.F. Examiner)
City launches ‘Campaign for Solidarity’ to combat racial violence

Mayor London Breed, the city’s Human Rights Commission and community leaders launched… Continue reading

It’s time to break the code of silence and end the stigmatism against infertility, which is fairly common. <ins>(Shuttterstock)</ins>
Struggles with infertility are common

We all can support friends, ask legislators to mandate sppropriate insurance

Former Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs spoke to San Francisco’s new Guaranteed Income Advisory Group on April 16. (Courtesy SFGOV)
City launches task force to explore Universal Basic Income programs

San Francisco on Friday launched a guaranteed income task force that could… Continue reading

Muni’s K-Ingleside line will return six months earlier than previously announced. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
K-Ingleside train to return on May 15

Announcement comes on the heels of pressure from Supervisor Myrna Melgar

Most Read