The Waite Company
Public Relations, Marketing and Advertising,
Crisis Management, Fundraising, Social Media.
You name it. We get it.
A BIT ABOUT US
The Waite Company is an award-winning, results-driven, strategic communications firm specializing in all aspects of “free” media messaging, public outreach and education, and corporate branding and design. We work with non-profits to help them fundraise and grow their organizations, and we love start-up companies who need affordable options in advertising.
We’re the ones who aren’t afraid to launch a week-long phone bank to drive attendance to an event, or to train our outreach staff to “spread the word” on your behalf when there’s just not enough of you to go around. In a nutshell, we are a lean, mean, and highly-versatile public relations machine that is efficient with both your time, and your money.
Our Firm has a particular focus in healthcare, water & natural resources, and business development. We are national in scope and have the capability to work in any media market across the United States. Here at The Waite Company, we pride ourselves on the honest advice we offer and the quality of work we produce.
If we can’t accommodate your PR and advertising needs for any reason, we’ll shoot you straight and help you find the firm that can. Just give us a call. We’re here to help.
Awards, Recognitions, and Memberships
The Waite Company is a self-certified, woman-owned small business with the Small Business Administration (SBA). In 2015, the firm was awarded six Cumbre Awards from the New Mexico Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), including one Gold Award in the
category of “Campaigns – Community Relations” and a Silver Award in the category of
“Campaigns – Public Service”.
TWC was launched in early 2012 and has been ranked among New Mexico’s top ten PR firms
ever since. This year, TWC was ranked the #1 public relations firm in New Mexico by the Albuquerque Business First.
TWC employs a large team of top-notch public relations professionals, five of whom retain membership with the NM PRSA and the PRSA. TWC Account Executive Marissa Le currently serves on the 2016 Board of Directors of the NM PRSA. The Waite Company is a proud member
of the Association of Commerce and Industry (ACI), the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce, the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce, and the Taos Chamber of Congress. Company President Whitney Waite also serves on the Board of Directors of the Uptown Progress Team, an organization of business owners and executives who continue to work toward a world-class development plan for the Uptown business area of Albuquerque.
OUR AGENCY SPECIALIZES IN
• Public education and outreach
• Grassroots and grasstops PR campaigns
• Media relations
• Content development for electronic and traditional marketing materials
• Policy research
• Political consulting
• Promoting experts as media sources
and event speakers
• B2B marketing and small business
• Search engine optimization
• Social and new media advertising strategies
• Traditional advertising campaigns
• Website development, assessment
• Writing and publishing feature stories
and opinion pieces
• Government relations
• Crisis management
• Graphic Design
• Marketing and Advertising
• Web Design
Some of our 2012–2016 clients include:
• UNM Health Sciences Center
• Gold Financial Advisors
The Waite Company is a results-driven,
New Mexico-based Strategic Communications firm.
Cumbre Awards – Gold • UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center
Campaign – Community Relations
UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center
Community Speakers Bureau and Physician Outreach Program
Rio Rancho, perched on the northern edge of the Albuquerque metro area, is the third-largest city in New Mexico. Yet even with a growing population and thriving business environment, the community suffered from a lack of medical facilities. But that all changed in July of 2012, when doors opened at the University of New Mexico Sandoval Regional Medical Center. As a way for the new facility to introduce itself to the community, UNM SRMC launched a community outreach program that included a speakers’ bureau and a referring physician education effort. The goal was to form new relationships and strengthen existing ones with the surrounding community the hospital was built to serve.
The Waite Company was tasked with implementing both programs. Team members used on-the-ground research as well as post-event surveys to bolster the development of the outreach initiative. The speakers’ bureau placed medical and administrative leaders from the hospital wherever the discussion of a diverse array of current healthcare topics could find an interested group of listeners. The referring physician program was an ongoing series of small, educational events aimed at forming stronger relationships with Sandoval County physicians. The events were intended to introduce the state-of-the-art hospital and its exceptional group of providers to the area’s medical community. With budget constraints, the challenge of educating as many community leaders as possible fell not only to relying on SRMC leaders to volunteer their time, but also to presenting to groups that didn’t require advertising to drive turnout.
The program objectives included completing one or two speakers’ bureau events per month and at least two referring physicians events per year. In addition, TWC collected feedback results on surveys. By identifying clear objectives and developing tracking mechanisms to properly evaluate the campaign results, TWC was able to demonstrate successes for the client and also identify areas of improvement along the way.
As part of the larger program, several other community relations efforts were conducted in 2014, including take-home magnets for K-12 students and an informational event for about 40 school nurses. TWC also provided social media content for SRMC’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.. “The results of the 2014 community relations campaign in Sandoval County were extremely positive,” said Melissa Romine, Executive Director of Communications and Outreach, UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center. “The Waite Company’s focus on measurement and accountability, and their systematic approach to outreach, helped SRMC accomplish its goals of improving and strengthening relationships throughout the community.”
Cumbre Awards – Silver • Augustin Plains Ranch
Augustin Plains Ranch
A Proposal for Rainwater Harvesting Gains Momentum in New Mexico
Drought in New Mexico is nothing new, but in mid-2014, the drought was exceptionally severe. The demand for water in New Mexico exceeds the supply even in the best of times. As a result, leaders and entrepreneurs are always looking for new sources of water to support the state's growing population.
One such project is the Augustin Plains Ranch (APR). Located in west central New Mexico, APR is seeking to develop a sustainable rainwater/aquifer harvesting and transport project that will bring about 54,000 acre-feet of water every year to New Mexico communities in need.
In 2013, The Waite Company (TWC) was hired by the Augustin Plains Ranch (APR) to provide general public relations and media relations services. As part of this ongoing campaign, TWC sought to capitalize on earned media opportunities, including the development of feature stories.
Using our in-house Cision database of reporters and media outlets, TWC monitored editorial calendars to identify opportunities relevant to APR and contact those reporters and publications accordingly. In early 2014, one such publication became interested in the project. Water Conditioning & Purification, a monthly magazine with a circulation audience of about 18,000 water treatment professionals.
WC&P requested that TWC's feature story not only describe the project, but also demonstrate how the water might be used by a business, should it become available. In particular, they were looking for how it would impact a sod or landscaping business.
At the time, TWC was also representing a fertilizer developer and native tree grower from Belen, New Mexico. Soil Secrets, owned by Michael Melendrez, provides organic soil additives to customers that promote healthy tree growth in New Mexico's arid environment. TWC contacted Melendrez and asked if he would be interested in participating in a story that highlighted his business and his opinions on water availability, and he agreed.
Tying the two viewpoints together was a challenge given that that neither company was aware of the other prior to the story and did not necessarily want to appear as an advocate for the other. One excerpt from the article that illustrates the wall of separation we built is this: "On the demand side of the New Mexico water equation, Melendrez and countless others push for conservation and more efficient water use and delivery. On the supply side, the race is on to find new sources of water for the growing population centers of the state..."
The result was an originally produced feature story that accurately depicted both viewpoints on water availability, and creatively captured the unique contributions they both make to New Mexico and its water-challenged environment.
"A Proposal for Rainwater Harvesting Gains Momentum in New Mexico" ran in July 2014 and was the most creative and widely read feature story published about the project to date. Both APR and Soil Secrets used the story in company marketing materials and shared the article on their websites and social media outlets.
The story provided key message points to an audience that was relevant to both. Soil Secrets, which runs an aggressive online business, was able to mention its soil fortification products, enzymes, fertilizers, and conditioners to a national audience of 18,000 water leaders.
Readers also learned that APR: "...could provide up to 54,000 acre feet of water for cities, industry, agriculture and the environment. Plans for this project call for collection and isolation of rainwater from the hills that abut the ranch. Instead of evaporating, the water would be collected, diverted and sunk into the ground, recharging the aquifer like a battery."
Both companies expressed great satisfaction with the story.
Cumbre Awards – Silver • beWellnm, New Mexico's Health Insurance Exchange
Campaign – Public Service
beWellnm, New Mexico's Health Insurance Exchange
Outreach and Education Activities
In February 2015, TWC successfully completed what was quite possibly the most extensive, intensive, non-political, grassroots outreach effort ever conducted in the state of New Mexico. The campaign was awarded a Silver Cumbre Award from the NMPRSA in 2015.
The program was designed to provide a critical, community-based link between the broader marketing and advertising campaign and the exchange’s one-on-one enrollers. Basically, we educated New Mexicans on how health insurance works in a more comprehensive fashion than is possible in a billboard or TV ad, ensuring that they were ahead of the game when it came time to sit down with an expert and actually enroll in a plan.
The program was comprehensive, with multiple, blended outreach strategies. Between December 1, 2014 and February 15, 2015, 222 organizations allowed us to communicate with their members and constituencies for event mobilization purposes. One hundred thirty-eight elected officials were invited to local events, with 16 press releases issued, and 13 newspaper advertisements and seven radio advertisements (one of them in Spanish) placed. Sixty church pulpit announcements were made, 53 free bulletin or newsletter advertisements were placed, and 71 organizations assisted with the distribution of flyers and/or posters. One hundred fourteen schools either hosted or were invited to a NMHIX event, with 41,415 students receiving backpack flier invitations. Sixty seven events were held, most of which combined the promotional efforts of several organizations.
Though we certainly don’t take credit for all of the enrollments, we’re proud to report that year-over-year enrollment in NMHIX plans jumped from about 30,000 to about 50,000 during the 2014-2015 open enrollment.
In March of 2015, TWC shifted its outreach focus to those individuals who qualified for enrollment due to “special circumstances,” and that program was heavily weighted toward small businesses. Between March and November 2015, TWC conducted more than 10,000 live phone calls, 125 events for small businesses and worked with agencies across the state, including the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, to raise awareness of health insurance options.
TWC remains under contract with the NMHIX and is continuing outreach and education programs during the current open enrollment period.
MEET THE TEAM
Whitney Waite, President of The Waite Company, comes from Cheshire Communications Strategies and brings nearly 20 years of communications, public relations, grassroots mobilizations, media relations, and crisis management experience to her client’s campaigns. For nearly two decades, Waite managed political campaigns and campaign communications for candidates running for Albuquerque City Council, the Albuquerque mayor’s office, the state legislature, state governor, U.S. Congress, and U.S. presidency. Her unique and lengthy career in all levels of New Mexico politics and government earned her a s a position as a weekly panelist on public television’s current affairs roundtable program “New Mexico in Focus,” as well as many invaluable leaders, and more. Waite graduated from the University of Miami (Florida) in 1993 with a B.A. in political science and international studies.
Matt Kennicott joined The Waite Company in 2016 as Vice President of Communications, bringing his ten-plus years’ experience in policy, government, campaign development and crisis communications to the benefit of client campaigns. Prior to joining The Waite Company, he served as the Director of Communications for the New Mexico Department of Transportation, where he implemented innovative strategies for delivering clear and concise messages to both internal and external audiences. Matt also possesses an extensive background in health policy and health communications having served as the Chief of Staff for the New Mexico House of Representatives Republican Caucus, the Director of Policy for Governor Susana Martinez, and Director of External Affairs and Policy for the New Mexico Human Services Department. He holds several certifications and certificates from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in crisis and emergency communications, training that he put to use most recently in serving as the Deputy Director of Joint Information for the Dog Head Fire near Chilili, NM in June 2016. Matt holds a BA in Political Science and US History from the University of New Mexico, and studies and teaches Krav Maga, an Israeli martial art.
Kyle Stake recently joined the Waite Company with a mandate to expand the firm’s graphic design department and improve upon its tradition of providing top-notch creative design services for its clients. Stake brings more than 10 years of website design, graphic design, art direction, photography, and production art experience to his position. Innovative, visionary, and bold, his knack for creating memorable imagery will greatly serve Waite Company clients who look to him for marketing and advertising services. A former production artist and junior designer with OneCreative, Inc., Stake most recently served as the art director and chief designer for Copper Pointe Church, where he produced digital media, developed and executed creative concepts and themes to reach as many congregants as possible, and designed church-branded apparel. He’s also produced original branding, art, and design for a diverse selection of companies including Red Door Brewing, Chick Fil-A, A+ Construction, and Go Aviation Middle East.
Marissa Le is our Account Executive at The Waite Company and specializes in helping members of the media tell great stories about our clients. With grit, persistence, firm leadership and an impressive eye for detail, Marissa zeroes in on potential leads, while tending to any logistical details that might be necessary to execute flawless events, campaigns, or articles. A graduate of the University of New Mexico, she has interned with The Garrity Group Public Relations and ABQ Live, as well as The Waite Company. She has served as the leader for such client campaigns as UNM Health Sciences Center, UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center, CSI Aviation, and BeWellNM.
Feature Writer and Copy Editor Peter Rice has been working on Waite Company client campaigns since 2013, making sure written messages come across in a crisp, easy-to-understand, grammar-compliant fashion. A journalist and feature writer by trade, he worked as a beat reporter for newspapers in Colorado and Oregon before moving to New Mexico to cover city government for the now defunct Albuquerque Tribune. Rice is an avid outdoorsman and bicycle tourist, having peddled through 17 of New Mexico’s 33 counties, and 11 of the 50 states. He is the author of the how-to guide Spandex-Optional Bicycle Touring, and Bike Tour New Mexico, a trilogy of prime New Mexico touring routes. Rice is proficient in Spanish and adept at designing and delivering Spanish language presentations and materials when our client campaigns require it. Also possessing an extensive background in video and radio, Rice provides media and public speaking training as needed for Waite Company clients. He graduated from Colorado College in 2004, with a B.A. in political science.
Shamon Padilla is the Outreach Manager at The Waite Company and is our go-to guy for event scheduling and logistics coordination. Shamon’s extensive background in non-profit work and team management allows him to take on many operational roles at The Waite Co. When he is not working on behalf of clients like BeWellNM and the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Shamon donates much of his time to important health awareness causes championed by groups like the Junior Diabetes Research Foundation and the New Mexico Alzheimer’s Association.
Alex Mostaghni is The Waite Company’s Administrative Assistant and is a key part of what keeps our office running smoothly and efficiently. She is no stranger to the role, having worked in several different offices and departments at the University of New Mexico. She is currently a student at UNM and majoring in Organizational Communication.
Lauren Hyde joined the Waite Company in fall 2015, and her experience and expertise in the fields of fundraising, political campaigns and event organization have made her an invaluable addition to the team. As the Development Director for the Carrie Tingley Hospital Foundation, Lauren wrote grants, created and implemented fundraising campaigns and fostered relationships with individual donors and corporations statewide. In addition, Lauren has managed mail and reported on finance for various legislative campaigns, and honed her skills on the ground floor as an assistant at the New Mexico State Legislature. Lauren’s professionalism, top-notch organizational skills and ability to multitask make her an asset not only to the Waite Company but to all clients who work with her.
Account Representative Kate Murphy Sanchez has been with the Waite Company since August of 2015. Kate has a dynamic background in writing and journalism, having worked as both a copy editor and correspondent news editor for Scripps Howard News Service in Washington, DC. She also served as the resident playwright at Albuquerque Little Theatre for five years, where she specialized in adaptations and comedic works for children. A resident of Santa Fe, her wide network of contacts in the arts community keep her up-to-the-minute on cultural events going on throughout the state, and her writing is specially crafted for clients to show off the best New Mexico has to offer. She studied multimedia journalism and history at the University of New Mexico.
Faith-based outreach specialist Christin Moreland has expert-level knowledge of religious organizations and a knack for public speaking, interpersonal communication, and building relationships with diverse communities around the state. In addition to holding a Master’s degree in sociology from UNM, Christin also has years of experience in teaching, working with youth, and volunteering for a wide variety of organizations. As the Waite Company’s faith-based outreach specialist, Christin conducts outreach and education for clergy and religious organizations across the state primarily for beWellnm, the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange, and the Affordable Care Act.
Outreach Specialist James Caswell joined the team in 2015, and his behind-the-scenes work for beWellnm is an integral part of what makes the Waite Company’s healthcare education and outreach go off without a hitch. His years of experience in supervision, organization and inventory make him an invaluable asset to the company. His attention to detail, honed by years working as an auto mechanic, assures that the many moving parts of beWellnm operate smoothly and efficiently, and his unparalleled customer service skills, kindness and patience make him the go-to guy for questions. James practices martial arts and holds a 2nd-degree black belt in shaolin-do.
IF YOU HAVE A PROJECT THEN
SPEAK TO US DIRECT ON +44 888888
WHERE WE ARE
6000 Uptown Boulevard Suite 350
Albuquerque, NM 87110
PO Box 70475
Albuquerque, NM 87197
phone: (505) 433-3498
© The Waite Company 2016