MarketInk: SDSU’s La Monica Everett-Haynes Named Communicator of the Year


La Monica Everett-Haynes
La Monica Everett-Haynes

The International Association of Business Communicators San Diego Chapter has selected La Monica Everett-Haynes, associate VP and chief communications officer for strategic communications and public affairs at San Diego State University, as its 2022 Communicator of the Year.

IABC said its award recognizes a San Diego leader who demonstrates strategic excellence in communications and serves as an outstanding example to others through quality of work and contributions to the communications profession.

An IABC statement said, “La Monica Everett-Haynes exemplifies what it takes to be a communications professional and is shining example of what it means to be IABC San Diego’s 2022 Communicator of the Year. With more than 20 years of experience, La Monica is a strategic communicator and trusted leader recognized for her commitment to compassion, diversity and community. She believes that the full power of the organization begins with its people and the collaborative culture they cultivate.”

“This award is such a tremendous honor and I have such gratitude for IABC for recognizing and celebrating my work,” Everett-Haynes told the Times of San Diego. “The and responsibilities of communications, especially those in large and service-oriented organizations, have become strikingly complex and important range of professionals as there are a growing to which communicators must be attentive and responsive. Every day, I reflect on how I can be better for myself, for my team and for the diverse communities we serve at SDSU. I appreciate being part of a community of people who genuinely care for the health, safety and development of others, especially our students.

“In addition to recognizing my work, this award also reflects both the creativity and contributions of my team and my colleagues, including those who provide me with the guidance, support and accountability checks I need to consistently improve my own practice. As I am being honored with this award, I honor and appreciate those around me.”

Everett-Haynes joined SDSU in July 2017 as director of marketing and communications. Over the past five years, she has progressed to serve as director of media relations, then interim associate VP and chief communications officer to now holding the permanent AVP role.

At SDSU, her responsibilities include overseeing internal and external communications, marketing and media relations efforts, as well as social media, guidance and consultation in issues management and crisis communications and communications training for faculty, staff and students.

Prior to SDSU, she spent 10 years at the University of Arizona serving as senior communications manager and assistant director of new editorial. Prior to working in academia, Everett-Haynes was a newspaper reporter, primarily covering law enforcement and education at the Tucson Citizen. While on a Hearst Fellowship (2002-2004), she worked at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Beaumont Enterprise and Houston Chronicle.

Everett-Haynes will be honored at an in-person celebration starting at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 27. At press time, IABC had not yet selected a venue. For more event information, visit sandiego.iabc.com.

Previous IABC winners have included: Sarah Bilyeu, San Diego County Credit Union (2021); Kate Griffin, Qualcomm (2020); Mike Godfrey, Scripps Health (2019); Margie Newman, Intesa Communications Group (2018); Lisa Hunter, Booz Allen Hamilton (2017); Anna Davison, AMN Healthcare (2016); Marilyn Olson, Charles Schwab financial services (2015); Cason Lane, Cason Lane Strategic Communications (2014).

Power Digital Names Stephanie Feldman as Chief Marketing Officer

Power Digital Marketing, a San Diego-based digital marketing agency, has named Stephanie Feldman as chief marketing officer.

Stephanie Feldman

Feldman, a Del Mar resident, is the company’s first-ever CMO. Founded in 2012, Power Digital has more than 400 employees at offices in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Washington, DC

With 15 years of experience specializing in digital, customer and employee experience, Feldman will drive the strategic vision for the Power Digital brand, positioning the company as the premier digital partners for companies seeking growth, a statement said. She will focus on telling the Power Digital story by building a best-in-class marketing organization, underpinned with strategic, bold creativity, real-time thinking and an agile mindset.

Feldman was previously with consultancy PwC, where who oversaw digital and emerging offerings for such brands as Chipotle, Wyndham and AXS. Prior to PwC, she developed the first social media division at Digitaria. She also has experience driving digital and social media strategies for Oakley, Intel, LPL Financial, Royal Caribbean, Chiquita, CamelBank, E3 and Major League Gaming.

“Hiring a CMO for Power Digital has been a goal of ours for quite some time now but we wanted to make sure we got the hire right and got a dynamic leader,” said Grayson Lafrenz, CEO and founder of Power Digital. “We looked for a long time and we found the perfect fit in Stephanie. I could not be more excited that Stephanie is leading us on this transformative journey and joining our executive team. Her experience, energy and passion to take Power Digital’s brand marketing to the next level is exactly what we were looking for, and we could not have asked for a better addition. It’s time for everyone to know who we are and what we do, and I am confident Stephanie will do that, and more.”

“I am thrilled to join Power Digital to elevate the brand from the inside out as a partner to the business,” said Feldman. “My philosophy has always been that marketing must hold a strategic position in go-to-market initiatives to cultivate innovation, spur new revenue streams, build brand equity and enable meaningful customer and partner relationships. Power Digital understands just that.”

Feldman, who speaks Spanish and Russian, has been a keynote speaker at MarTech, a marketing technology conference, as well as at Information Technology Services Marketing Association events and Social Media Marketing World, a social media conference.

She was named to DMNews’ Marketing Hall of Femme. Additionally, Feldman is the author of “Showing Up Smart,” a book for students looking to start their careers and enter the workforce.

Feldman is currently an advisor for Alpha Capital, a special purpose acquisition company. She also has served on the board of Athena, a professional association dedicated to advancing women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of California San Diego.

Tourism Marketing District to Spend $38 Million on Promotion

The San Diego Tourism Marketing District, a nonprofit corporation funded by an assessment on room nights at city hotels with 70 rooms or more, has announced $38 million in grants for destination marketing programs in fiscal year 2023, which began July 1.

The district said the budget is $10 million higher than last year, but $10 million short of the record $48 allocated for fiscal year 2020, prior to the COVID pandemic.

“The tourism industry has made great strides when compared to the previous fiscal year during the pandemic,” said Richard Bartell, board chair. “We are pleased to support a great cross-section of tourism-generating programs in the upcoming year that will continue to drive the recovery, especially with respect to meetings and events.”

The San Diego Tourism Authority, the city’s destination marketing organization, is the biggest recipient of funding at approximately $35 million.

The remaining funds will support several new events that fall under the umbrella of Sports San Diego, a newly formed local organization whose primary goal is booking sporting events that will ultimately boost local tourism dollars. Sports San Diego is run by the not-for-profit San Diego Bowl Game Association, which organizes the annual Holiday Bowl.

Among the new sports events are the Old Town Luche Libre Festival (Nov. 29-Dec. 1), Winter Gold Squash Tournament (Dec. 16-18) and World Lacrosse Championships (June 21-July 1).

The district said sponsored events over the next year are projected to drive approximately 164,000 room nights to generate more than $35 million in revenue in addition to $3.7 million in Transient Occupancy Tax for the city.

FTC Eyes New Rules to Reduce Misleading Auto Advertising

In a move that could potentially change how auto dealers advertise, the Federal Trade Commission is considering new rules in response to what it says are bait-and-switch marketing tactics that can mislead consumers. The proposed new rules would require accurate pricing information in dealer advertising.

As reported in Insider Radio, an industry trade publication, the FTC is considering a ban of mentioning factory rebates and discounts in an advertised price unless they are available to all potential buyers. Also proposed is an end to advertising a vehicle’s low monthly payment without making it clear the price is for a lease.

The FTC cites “chronic problems” in dealer advertising, which it says often includes misrepresentations made regarding a vehicle’s price, the availability of discounts and rebates, the monthly payment and the amount due at signing. Consumers will visit a dealership based on an advertised offer only to learn later the offer does not exist, the FTC said.

“Misleading advertisements can cause significant consumer harm and reduce competition amongst law-abiding dealers,” said the FTC. “It is deceptive for dealers to advertise a price without disclosing material limitations or additional charges required by the dealer that are fixed and, thus, can be readily included in the price at the outset.

“When dealerships advertise prices, discounts or other terms that are not actually available to typical consumers, those consumers end-up selecting that dealership instead of others and spending time visiting it and transacting with it under false pretenses.”

The FTC proposals would also require dealers to keep records to help the FTC ensure compliance with the new disclosure requirements. That includes keeping records of all their advertising for at least 24 months.

Dealers are likely to complain it will be a burden. Indeed, the FTC has already acknowledged as much. The new proposals would likely take the 46,525 US auto dealers more than 7.8 million combined man-hours each to comply with the requirements at an estimated cost of $221.9 million.

The National Automobile Dealers Association reports total dealer ad spending in 2021 was $8.19 billion, a 9% increase from the pandemic-impacted 2020. NADA estimated the typical new car dealership spent $491,038 on advertising last year.

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

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