Public relations software is a booming industry, but the Westside’s high-profile public relations firms are struggling to keep up.
Westshore, one of the nation’s largest, is trying to build out its software development services into a broader business, which is why the company has hired a high-level marketing executive to help it build out a broader portfolio.
The executive will help Westshore’s media, advertising and public relations teams, according to a Westshore public affairs website.
The company also has hired its first digital marketing director to help manage the digital outreach of its social media platforms.
The new executive, Dan Riggs, will help manage a team of about 70 people.
“We’ve always had a strong emphasis on brand, but we also know that we have a tremendous opportunity to make Westshore the best public relations company in the country,” Westshore president Mike Treadwell said in a statement.
“Dan is a terrific hire, and we look forward to him working with us to build on our existing capabilities and provide our clients with the best PR possible.”
In addition to hiring a marketing executive, Westshore also has an executive vice president and an executive director.
The hiring of the Westlands PR manager follows an earlier hiring of two digital marketing and public affairs executives to help the company expand its business, including hiring a public relations executive who will help build out Westshore and digital marketing teams.
West Shore, which has a reputation for high-quality work, is one of several companies in the state that is trying the marketing and PR strategies pioneered by its public relations firm, Public Affairs Associates, which began its career in the 1980s and has been the leading public relations outfit in the region.
Public Affairs, which was founded by George Soros, is a marketing firm that provides advertising and PR services to companies in both public and private sectors.
It was one of many companies that helped create the digital marketing industry and is a prime example of how public relations is evolving.
While public relations can be done in-house, the firms are often able to take advantage of a variety of tools available to them.
They can work directly with companies in different industries or even with outside firms to help them improve their efforts, said Paul Riggs Jr., an associate professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
The Westlands hires are a sign that Westshore is trying more aggressively to reach beyond its core clientele of government and nonprofit organizations, Riggs said.
“It’s really a recognition that you need to broaden your focus, to try to get more exposure to your audience and be able to serve their needs,” he said.
Riggs was impressed with Westshore PR manager Dan Riggles recent success in reaching out to media outlets and others interested in covering the controversy over the West Coast’s response to a Superstorm Sandy.
Westland is also seeking to grow its digital marketing team, which he called “an extremely important step.”
Westshore had nearly 3,000 employees by the end of its fiscal year ending March 31.
The firm reported $2.3 billion in revenue for the fiscal year, up 10 percent from the previous year.
It also reported revenue of $858 million for the current fiscal year.
For the first quarter of fiscal 2017, Westside reported $9.9 billion in revenues, up from $928 million in the previous quarter.
The rise in revenues came largely from the launch of its “Candy Crush” gaming title and a digital subscription business.
The business, developed by the gaming studio King Digital Entertainment, generated revenue of more than $7 billion, up 30 percent from $531 million a year ago.
Westside is looking for more ways to engage with consumers and brands and is investing in social media to help drive more engagement and drive engagement, Rigges said.