Tony Manolatos (left), Kelly Murphy Lamkin and Bob Nelson of Manolatos Nelson Murphy Advertising & Public Relations

Three San Diego political consultants have formed a new advertising and PR agency offering public affairs consulting, strategic planning, coalition building and crisis communications services.

Tony Manolatos, principal of Apex Strategies, has joined with Bob Nelson and Kelly Murphy Lamkin, principals of BNA Communications, to form Manolatos Nelson Murphy Advertising & Public Relations.

The firm’s current list of clients includes 7-Eleven, Community Housing Works, the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors, the San Diego County Apartment Association and the San Diego County Taxpayers Association. Previous clients have included corporations, nonprofit organizations, professional associations, trade groups, public utilities, professional service providers, political campaigns and elected leaders.

Manolatos was spokesman for San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s Citizens’ Stadium Advisory Group in 2015. He also worked on Faulconer’s mayoral election campaign and Chris Cate’s election to the San Diego City Council in 2014.

Nelson, a commissioner for the San Diego Unified Port District, has led victorious campaigns for major ballot propositions in California since 1980 and dozens of state and local projects in 13 states. Previously, he served as chair of the San Diego Convention Center Corporation board of directors, and as secretary-treasurer of San Diego Theatres, operator of San Diego Civic Theater and Balboa Theatre.

Lamkin, who specializes in print, online and broadcast advertising, will oversee day-to-day operations. She has worked on campaigns for public utilities, nonprofits and politicians, including the successful reelection of former San Diego Mayor Dick Murphy.

Allison + Partners Nabs 10 Bernays at PRSA Awards

San Diego public relations firms Allison + Partners received 10 awards and MJE Marketing took home nine awards at the recent 2016 Edward L. Bernays Mark of Excellence award program presented by the Public Relations Society of America‘s San Diego/Imperial Counties chapter.

Others among the 26 companies and organizations receiving awards: Canale Communications, nine awards; Southwest Strategies, five awards; and Nuffer, Smith, Tucker, four awards.

Diane Lofgrem

Four best-of-show awards were presented, including two for Allison + Partners in the research category for their client Kampgrounds of America, and in the special events category for their client Great Wolf Resorts for an entry titled “Great Wolf Splashes into Southern California.” Two other best of show awards went to Nuffer, Smith, Tucker in the public service announcements category for an entry titled “Save Your Citrus,” and the San Diego County Water Authority public outreach and conservation department in the integrated communications category for “When In Drought: Save Every Day, Every Way.

Three special awards also were presented, including: Lidiya Kravchuk, senior account executive, Southwest Strategies with the New Professional of the Year Award; Diane Gage Lofgren, chief marketing officer, Sharp HealthCare, with the Otto Bos Lifetime Achievement Award; Liz Maland, city clerk, City of San Diego, with the Diogenes Award, which is presented to a local newsmaker for honesty and candor.

The awards are named after Edward L. Bernays, the man who launched the field of public relations in the 1920s. Often called the “father of public relations,” Bernays’ history-making campaigns explain why people eat bacon with eggs, why women smoke cigarettes and why bank managers join civic groups. He died in 1995 at age 103. A total of 55 awards were presented Oct. 20 A complete list of winners is available at

Media Supporting Free Health Screenings for Kids

KUSI-NEWS, XLTN 104.5-FM Radio Latina, KSON 97.3-FM and 92.1-FM and San Diego Family Magazine have stepped forward to support Kids Care Fest, a health fair for children to be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5, at the Lakeside Rodeo Grounds, 12584 Mapleview Street in Lakeside.

Now in its 15th year, Kids Care Fest is an opportunity for children to receive free, potentially life-saving health care screenings, including vision and dental screenings and children’s wellness checkups. The event also will feature information from dermatologists, pharmacists and other medical professionals, along with free kids fingerprinting and free flu shots. Additional free activities will include rock climbing, inflatable obstacle course and pony rides, along with demonstrations and displays from law enforcement, including police and fire officials. Also available will be free children’s readings books. For more information, phone (619) 825‑5050 or visit

KUSI-TV’s “Good Morning San Diego” show is planning a live remote with weathercaster Dave Scott. Radio Latina will have live call-ins with Jesse Vazquez. Recent issues of San Diego Family Magazine will be available.

Event organizers include Grossmont Healthcare District, a public agency that supports health-related community programs and services in San Diego’s East County, along with Sharp Grossmont Hospital and Rady Children’s Hospital. Healthcare partners include Borrego Community Health Foundation, University of California at San Diego Eye Mobile for Children, La Maestra Community Health Centers, Family Health Centers of San Diego, Neighborhood Healthcare and the County of San Diego Health & Human Services Agency. Other community partners include El Capitan Stadium Association, Lakeside Chamber of Commerce, Optimist Club of Lakeside, Lakeside Union School District and Santee-Lakeside Rotary Club. For event information, visit

San Diego AMA to Host `Art of Marketing’ Conference

San Diego’s American Marketing Association chapter will host its sixth annual “Art of Marketing” conference from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 3, at the San Diego Marriott Del Mar Hotel, 11966 El Camino Real in San Diego. The theme is “Closing the Loop.”

Keynote speakers include: Aaron Carpenter, chief creative officer, HubNami; Chris Goward, founder and CEO, Widerfunnel; and Rob Fugetta, CEO, Zuberance. Others among the 35 speakers include: Shanda Maloney , director of digital marketing and social media, UFC; Wayne Partello, CMO, San Diego Padres; Mark Weslar, VP of marketing, Karl Strauss; Frank Cowell , president, Elevator Agency; Gary Ware, co-founder and chief strategy officer, Tower 33 Digital; and Kenneth Wilbur, professor, UCSD Rady School of Management.

Cost to attend is $149 per person for members and $299 for non-members. For more information, visit

Rick Griffin

Rick Griffin is a San Diego-based public relations and marketing consultant. His MarketInk column appears weekly on Mondays in Times of San Diego.

Show comments