S4 E9: Building a Communications Team: The Client Perspective with Leeza Hoyt and James Mowdy

PRGN Presents: News & Views from the Public Relations Global Network

May 2 2024 • 21 mins

In this episode, Abbie Fink talks with Leeza Hoyt and James Mowdy about the client perspective on building a communications team and working with an external public relations agency.

James shares his experience transitioning from being a consultant to working in-house at CHOC and assembling a team of external communications professionals. They discuss the organizational structure of CHOC’s communications department, the importance of managing expectations, budgeting for communications, and the value of having quality assets for media coverage.

Key Takeaways

  • CHOC has built a team of consultants to support their communications efforts, ensuring they have access to top-notch professionals in various areas.
  • James Mowdy’s previous experience as a consultant gives him a unique perspective on hiring and working with communications agencies, allowing him to understand the challenges and needs of both sides.
  • The partnership between CHOC and the Hoyt Organization has been successful due to a shared passion for the organization’s mission and a strong understanding of each other’s roles and expertise.
  • Having quality assets, such as photos and videos, is crucial for media coverage and can make the job of the communications agency much easier.
  • Budgeting for communications is an important aspect of planning, and CHOC has been able to predict their costs by working closely with their consultants and setting clear expectations.

About the Guests

Leeza Hoyt, APR, is president of The Hoyt Organization, Inc., the Los Angeles area partner agency of PRGN. As a 25+ year veteran of the communications industry, she is passionate about helping clients navigate the new world of today's communications landscape. Her team has developed awarding winning campaigns for regional companies and national organizations in a wide variety of industries. She has been recognized by many organizations including being named as a "woman to watch" by Globest.com, and named as one of the top Marketing & Communications CRE Influencers by Real Estate Forum. In addition, she is a member of the Forbes Council, and the agency was named one of the top 200 PR firms in the country in 2021.

James Mowdy, MBA, is the Director, Corporate Communications for the Community Housing Opportunities Corporation (CHOC), a non-profit, affordable housing developer based in Fairfield, California. He is known for transforming stories into bold tactics and a winning, goal-focused strategy. Prior to joining CHOC, he had his own consulting practice that delivered communications solutions to small businesses, startups and the C-suite across multiple sectors. His background also includes working with Discovery Communications, MC Saatchi Advertising and British Airways prior to founding his own practice.

About the Host

Abbie Fink is president of HMA Public Relations in Phoenix, Arizona and a founding member of PRGN. Her marketing communications background includes skills in media relations, digital communications, social media strategies, special event management, crisis communications, community relations, issues management, and marketing promotions for both the private and public sectors, including such industries as healthcare, financial services, professional services, government affairs and...