Sara Brooks, Covet PR founder and CEO, told Times of San Diego that financial terms of the deal were not disclosed and all 25 Covet team members will keep their jobs, including 12 in San Diego, eight in New York, four in Los Angeles and one in San Francisco. They will become employees of Power Digital, which had 130 employees prior to the acquisition. Brooks will serve as president of the Covet Consumer Business Unit with a focus on division growth and client satisfaction.
Brooks said she was motivated to sell her company because the PR industry has undergone changes in recent years and Covet PR needed help.
“When I launched Covet PR in 2014, the PR industry was significantly different than it is today,” said Brooks, who has worked in PR for 15 years. “I’ve seen it coming for a while. The PR industry has changed and we haven’t kept up. There hasn’t been a lot of innovation in technology and data. We need to up our game, quit working in a silo and show a better ROI to clients.”
Brooks continued, “The lines have been blurred between such categories as paid, earned, shared, owned and influencers. The metrics used in the past, such as number of impressions and circulation, don’t really show our effectiveness. It is glaringly apparent that the traditional PR landscape has plateaued.”
She said her clients, which include consumer brands across food, beverage, beauty and wellness sectors, will benefit from Power Digital’s proprietary data analytics for measurability and a cohesive marketing approach.
“In order to continue to deliver undeniable value to clients, we have to take a much more holistic approach,” Brooks said. “PR needs to be in all parts of a marketing plan, across the entire marketing panel.
“I have been looking for the perfect partner to help take our service offerings and client results to the next level and have found that in Power Digital. I am beyond excited to tap into their technology, resources and expertise to drive even deeper growth for our clients and team.”
A statement from Power Digital said the acquisition of Covet PR will result in a “new breed of storytelling to media relations and cross-channel marketing. Covet PR will layer robust earned media strategy into Power Digital’s existing framework, offering new and existing clients a comprehensive, thoughtful approach to full-funnel marketing.”
Grayson Lafrenz, CEO of Power Digital, said in a statement, “As a tech-enabled, full-service growth agency, we have long been in search of a best-in-class PR partner that could level up our existing PR product offering to make Power Digital that much more impactful across the entire customer journey. I have admired what Sara has built and the niche Covet PR has carved for itself as being the go-to agency for innovative consumer brands. As a leader, she demonstrates an undisputed level of commitment to her team and clients, and Covet’s core values are closely aligned with Power Digital’s. On behalf of the entire Power Digital organization, I am thrilled to welcome Sara, her talented team and its roster of clients to the Power Digital family.”
Power Digital, founded in 2012, calls itself a “data-driven performance marketing agency” and offers SEO, content marketing, paid media, social media marketing, PR, influencer, email, conversion rate optimization, Amazon marketing and web development services. It has been featured annually for the past three years in Inc. Magazine’s 5,000 fastest-growing, privately-held companies in the U.S., and has been recognized as a “best workplace” by Inc. Magazine. Likewise, Covet PR has been nationally recognized as a Top Place to Work in PR by PR News.
NBC 7 San Diego and Telemundo 20 Offering Virtual ‘Clear the Shelters’
KNSD-TV/NBC 7 San Diego and KUAN-TV/Telemundo 20 San Diego, both operated by NBC Universal, will participate again in “Clear the Shelters,” a nationwide pet adoption drive. This year’s Clear the Shelters, the sixth annual spearheaded by NBC Universal-owned TV stations, will be virtual throughout the month of August and include online pet adoptions and online donations to participating shelters.
Helping to connect animals with new adoptive families this year will be the WeRescue app, which will help locate adoptable pets near a zip code, submit adoption applications through a shelter’s website and ask questions directly to shelters. Other virtual aspects will include donations accepted through www.GreaterGood.org, as well as www.24PetShelter.com, where visitors can see a list of participating shelters and their adoptable pets.
A statement said both stations will feature animal-related news stories throughout the month to further raise awareness about the importance of pet adoptions, fostering pets and other ways to support local animal shelters in San Diego County. Since 2015, the effort has resulted in more than 411,000 adoptions nationwide. More information is available at www.cleartheshelters.com or www.desocuparlosalbergues.com.
Every year, about 6 1/2 million animals end up in shelters nationwide, with a little over three million being adopted, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The ASPCA says that nearly 1.5 million animals are euthanized each year, mostly because of overcrowding in shelters.
KPBS is Producing National GI Film Festival
San Diego public broadcasting station KPBS has been named the sole producer of the national GI Film Festival, a military-themed film festival that presents films and events for, by and about military service members and veterans. It will be held May 18-23, 2021, in San Diego, which will allow extra time to plan screening events without COVID-19 restrictions.
Previously, the national film festival was produced by Army veteran Laura Law-Millett and her husband Brandon Millett. For over a decade, the film festival was held in Washington, D.C., with additional events hosted on military bases around the country and in Los Angeles. With the acquisition of the GI Film Festival by KPBS, San Diego will be the home for the national film festival for years to come, a statement said.
“As the first military film festival in the country, the GI Film Festival provided a voice for the military community in entertainment and we are so proud to have helped deliver hundreds of films into the marketplace showing the honor and courage of those who serve,” Brandon Millett said in a statement. “And now, under the leadership of KPBS, we have no doubt that the festival will continue to grow and encourage filmmakers everywhere to share their stories.”
In related news, KPBS said the California Arts Council has awarded to GI Film Festival a $13,421 grant under the Arts and Public Media category for its activities to engage Californians and California filmmakers and showcase creative expression.
Press Club Webinar Discusses Journalists and PR
The San Diego Press Club will host “Journalism and PR,” a webinar from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 11. The webinar will discuss what journalists don’t want to hear from PR people, what PR people don’t want to hear from journalists, and best practices for PR pitches. Speakers will include David Moye, a contributor to Huff Post, Jean Walcher, president of J. Walcher Communications, and Press Club board member Eileen Gaffen, president of Steres Gaffen Media. To register, visit www.sdpressclub.org. The webinar is part of the Press Club’s “Nuts & Bolts” series.
Rick Griffin is a San Diego-based public relations and marketing consultant. His MarketInk column appears weekly on Mondays in Times of San Diego.