A name change is tricky business. Take it from someone who continues to use her maiden name professionally, more than a decade and a half after being married. It is “Hollywood” after all, so hard to part with since it’s a memorable surname as well as business moniker. Still, checking into a professional conference that requires a photo ID isn’t easy. My business card and Scuba School International membership – the only photo ID I still hold with my given name – generally suffices, though possibly not for much longer as that picture is almost two decades old.

So, when faced with a decision to change the name of the agency, I didn’t take it lightly. There’s the federal employer identification number, local registration of the DBA, accounts receivable issues with the bank, etc. More details than I’d want to bore you with. But when times change, evolution isn’t an option, it’s a requirement.

The art of public relations was defined in the early 1900s by Ivy Lee, the man responsible for reinstating the reputation of Rockefeller. For more than 100 years, his practice of promoting positive exposure and negating negative through earned media defined the profession.

But as social media made its way into the pockets of Americans, the game changed. With owned and paid channels demanding consumer attention, the media wasn’t the only credible source in town. Everyday influencers began to recommend products and services to gaggles of followers who, in turn, evangelized those brands.

Today, there’s little to no separation between an editorial church and a publishing state. Sponsored and organic content coexist in this new media landscape. While public relations will always play an integral part of the marketing mix, including traditional media relations, PR agencies need to adapt and better understand the vital role owned and paid media will continue to play. We here have embraced the industry’s transformation.

Alas, Hollywood Public Relations has become Hollywood Agency to take earned, owned and paid by storm.

Darlene Hollywood

Principal

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