This is the company information page for the 2019 #ELGLHaverford award.
Learn more about the award program, and read about all of the honorees.
About JPW Communications
- Website: https://www.jpwcomm.com/
- Contact person: Marlena Medford
- Contact email: [email protected]
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/jpw-communication
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/jpwcomm
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jpwcomm/
- Industry sector: Communications
- Minority/Women-Owned: Yes
- Does the company have an articulated equity/inclusion policy: No
- Nominated by: City of San Marcos, CA
Engagement With ELGL:
- Blogs, Webinars, Podcasts with ELGL? Yes
- Links to Content: To the Class of 2019: Government Needs You
- Events, Activities with ELGL? Yes
- Links to Events: Gov 2.0 Technology & Public Engagement
Working with the Company:
Describe your work and interactions with the nominee – how have you worked with them, on what projects, in what capacity?
- I have worked directly with JPW on several city communications projects, including public outreach for our biggest capital improvement project ever. JPW is handling all public outreach for a major construction project that will increase mobility while restoring the local natural habitat. Although the three-year project has just launched, we have complete confidence in JPW because their success in public outreach speaks for itself.
Prior to this project, I worked with JPW to produce an economic development article series that just won a statewide award and international award for excellence in government promotions. While I was instrumental in providing ideas and data, JPW used its masterful storytelling to create compelling news about our city. I was impressed time and time again.
JPW has also spearheaded successful campaigns in public safety, including efforts to promote safe driving and curb wildfires—two very critical issues in our city. JPW also developed a talent attraction campaign for our city, which just won a statewide best in show award for outstanding communications. While I was not directly involved in the creation of these campaigns, I have witnessed their tremendous success in the community. Each campaign has raised awareness in ways that have exceeded our expectations—and perhaps more impressively, has managed to make some very icky issues (like road rage), fun and engaging.
Simply put, JPW makes government communications meaningful and even cool. I believe that is because their team has worked in local government and understands it in a way most cannot.
JPW produces our quarterly newsletter, which is mailed directly to more than 30,000 homes. I urge you to check out our latest edition online. You’ll be impressed with the sophisticated design and high caliber of content. JPW has helped us raise the bar on city newsletters, and we couldn’t be prouder.
Lastly, I should mention that Team JPW promotes ELGL every chance it gets! I’ve been in government for years but didn’t learn about ELGL until JPW started singing its praises, and I’m so happy they did!
What was the product/outcome of your relationship with the company?
- By my count, we have won more than seven awards over the past few years thanks to JPW’s expertise in government communications. This has included a statewide Best in Show award and two international awards.
I am most proud of the economic development article series that I co-produced with JPW. To date, 17 news articles have earned more than 40 media placements, which is remarkable. Beyond that, according to city data, those articles have earned an average social media engagement rate of more than 30 percent. According to Sprout Social, about 9 percent is considered good for government agencies! That data tells us that these stories written by JPW are resonating with the pubic in a way that is truly exceptional.
What are three words you’d use to describe the company?
- Trusted. Tenacious. Trendsetting.
Describe the on boarding process for your work with the company – either when you personally started working with them, or when your organization did. What could someone else in local government know about starting work with this company?
- I began working with JPW in 2015 when I joined the City of San Marcos. At that time, JPW was completing our city’s new brand—which has also won numerous awards.
Because the JPW team is former government communicators, the onboarding process was essentially seamless because they can hit the ground running. They understand our government jargon and all the red tape that comes with it. From day one, they’ve acted like an extension of our city staff and that’s a quality that is rare and highly valued in my book.
What is the company’s pricing structure? Please be as descriptive as possible.
Structured pricing (JPW has a rate sheet depending on project and client needs)
What’s the most interesting or fun aspect of your work with the company?
- I’m most fascinated by the JPW’s reverence for local government. Because they worked in local government for decades, they know that public service is sacred—and that shows in their work. They know with every project we launch, public trust in on the line and they do not take that lightly.
I can assure you that in my experience, most consultants do not understand this, or worse, don’t care. I admire and appreciate JPW’s commitment to keeping public trust at the top of its priority list.
How has your relationship with the company evolved or changed over time? How has the company reacted to or addressed any changes that your organization has requested in the scope/focus of your work together?
- Though my main duty is economic development, I recently began overseeing communications. In the past few months, we have also hired a new communications officer.
Despite the couple big changes on our end, JPW has helped us stay on track without missing a beat. Their team has been gracious enough to work with us through our learning curves, and go the extra mile as needed.
For example, we recently went over budget on one of our city newsletters because we took longer than anticipated to review the drafts. Again, this was due to our learning curve. JPW was kind enough to realize this and not charge us for any overages.
It is this level of client service and professionalism that I have come to appreciate over the years.
Anything else to add about the company that we haven’t already asked you?
- It’s obvious but worth pointing out: I love that is a bold, female-forward agency. I have personally witnessed these eight women blaze a path in the male-dominated government world, and it inspires me and so many other women in government. Plus, I feel good supporting a woman-owned business, as they are a marginalized enterprise.
Their collective strength is practically palpable. And these women support each other fiercely. Frankly, I wish that sort of encouragement and empowerment could be bottled and sold. Our world needs more it, and I applaud JPW for having it.
Lastly, I’d like to reinforce how much JPW advocates for ELGL, often even promoting its events in its company newsletter to government clients. When ELGL had its Road Show in LA, I saw Team JPW go above and beyond to pull together a panel of government staffers to participate. They also supported the Davenport Institute greatly by collaborating to produce the materials for the day. I can attest that they were happy to volunteer their time, engergy and expertise all in the name of better local government. Seeing this group in action, I truly believe that once you are a public servant, you always remain one. It’s engrained in us. These women may not work at city hall any more, but their hearts are very much still there.