Category: Public Relations
June 26th, 2012

With No Clear-Cut Answers, GGU’s New Site Drives Alex Trebek Insane.

Questions are an inescapable part of our existence – particularly so if you’re a student or faculty member at Golden Gate University. These people spend hours picking apart the heated questions and issues currently affecting our lives. So when GGU asked for a website overhaul, it seemed only natural for their online presence to mirror that ethos.

Landing on the idea, “The biggest questions need answers,” we turned GGU’s website into a digital classroom of sorts. It puts current affairs front and center – the healthcare debate, high-tech patent wars, and white collar crime – and reveals what GGU faculty and students are saying about them. The site also uses Twitter hashtags to create related “conversation channels,” allowing anyone – from GGU’s professors, students, and 68,000+ alumni, to people on the street – to speak up, chime in, or start conversations of their own.

In addition to brains, the site has dashing good looks to match. As Mortar PR Account Executive Daniel Ray opines, “Those perfectly symmetrical lines and warm, earthy tones…it’s like Ryan Gosling died and came back to Earth in the form of a website.”

As the now-extinct Juicy Campus taught us, letting college students run wild in the online social-sphere can be a highly risky affair. But GGU’s students are smarter than that. The majority of them already leaders in the working world, these people are serious about succeeding. They’d rather debate how to stimulate green jobs than rip on Trisha’s new perm any day (although just for the record, that was totally the world’s worst perm ev-errr.)

GGU’s new site has already snagged the attention of the Campus Technology and SF Egotist. Get in on the conversation – if you’re not already preoccupied with harassing Sweden on Twitter.


May 22nd, 2012

Finally, A Gas To Be Pumped About.


Move over, Big Oil: There’s a new gas in town.

Based in Vancouver, our new client Westport Innovations designs natural gas engines that produce up to 27% less emissions than gasoline. Vehicles powered by the Westport WiNG Power System can travel 650 miles before having to refuel, eliminating the range anxiety caused by the latest crop of electric vehicles. Because natural gas is domestically sourced, it’s helping reduce our country’s dependence on foreign oil. To top it off, natural gas costs about half as much as gasoline or diesel. (The benefits pretty much sell themselves.)

Later this quarter, Westport will introduce two natural gas-powered trucks to the consumer market: the Ford F250 and Ford F530. To celebrate (or maybe just because it sounds like a crapload of fun), the Westport WiNG Team is embarking on a four-day road trip powered entirely by compressed natural gas. The team started in Detroit yesterday and will be trekking 700 miles to their final destination, Times Square.

They’ll be making pit stops along the way and letting people take the new trucks for a spin. If you want to be one of the first to test drive these bi-fueled babies, below is where you can find ‘em. (Just please try to display more maturity than we would and restrain from making any fart jokes.)

The Route:

Valley Ford Truck Sales, Cleveland OH: May 21, 12pm-3pm

SARTA-Clean Energy, Canton, OH: May 21, 4pm-5pm

Allegheny Ford Truck Sales, Pittsburgh, PA: May 22, 11am-2pm

John Kennedy Ford, Pottstown, PA: May 23, 10am-1pm

Times Square, New York City, NY: May 24, 1pm-5pm


In case sustainable resources don’t excite you, they’ll also be BBQing mountains of pulled pork at the dealerships. Ahh, now we have Nok’s attention.

If you fancy moving pictures, here’s a 3-minute explanation of how Westport is driving the future of transportation. (We’re keeping our fingers crossed for natural gas-powered Hoverboards.)


May 21st, 2012

Seeking Mid-Level PR Account Executive With Irrational Love of Marmosets.

Mortar is looking for a PR Account Executive to join our growing team. An ad agency that does PR? Crazy-talk, you might say. We think it’s crazy that most ad agencies don’t do their own PR.

But enough about us. You:

– Love writing and media relations.
– Are both organized, and fun to work with. (It is possible, you know.)
– REALLY like to pitch, and know how to find and share stories that can earn breakthrough media coverage for clients in the broadcast and online world.
– Understand the art and science of great client service, and enjoy making life easier for the media.
– Have 3 years experience doing PR at an agency, or in-house.
– Have experience creating PR-related social media and web content.
– Ideally have experience in healthcare, medical devices, education and technology, but it’s not a dealbreaker.
– Preferably have an affinity for marmosets, James Brown, hot crispy bacon, or all of the above.

In this role, you’ll work most closely with Mortar’s PR team, but you’ll also collaborate with Mortar’s top account managers, branding strategists and award-winning creatives. You’ll also help our clients create PR-aligned social media programs and campaigns, which includes content development for the web (including appropriate social media sites), distribution and measurement. Best of all, you’ll be part of a different kind of agency where integrated marketing is more than a buzzword – it’s a way of life.

If this sounds appealing, email with your resume, cover letter, and a sentence telling us what your favorite kind of monkey is and why. Emails lacking these three elements will be chewed up by our resident chimpanzee.


The type of marmoset you, job candidate, might harbor an irrational love for.


The Mortar chimp, hard at work as usual.

May 15th, 2012

A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood, This Is.

Dunh, dunh, dunh, dunh, dunh dunh, dunh, dunh dunh.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, a man named George wanted to build a massively sized, commercially outfitted movie studio in Marin County.

Normally, the neighbors would respond with a big fat “F U,” but this man happened to be the creator of a ludicrously successful space opera you may have heard of. So the neighbors had to be somewhat civil about it, and funnel their complaints through the local homeowners association. This is Marin, where the residents break out in hives at the sight of a Starbucks. You can imagine their reaction to the prospect of years of nearby construction activity, not to mention the increased foot traffic the movie studio would bring.

After 25 years of vehement resistance from the locals, Mr. Lucas decided to abandon the studio construction altogether. And in the end, all that whining led to the birth of a beautiful idea. Lucas now plans to transform the property into affordable housing for low-income families or seniors. Talk about a turn for the better.

And who is Lucas working with to make this goodness happen? None other than our friends at the Marin Community Foundation. Looks like that pretty website we made for them years ago is still reaping fruitful returns. As always, MCF is a living example of how change happens. And we heartily approve.

Just please promise us the doorman will be Chewbacca.

May 11th, 2012

Googly Eyes.

We love a good surprise. Especially ones that puts us in the same hemisphere as hobbits. Check what happens when you ask for walking directions from “The Shire” to “Mordor” in Google Maps:


Lord of the Rings fans will share in our gigglish glee. We admit, those Googlers can get preet-ty clever. But sometimes, the joke’s on them. Someone with far too much time on his hands found a way to turn Google Translate into a beatbox machine. Perfect way to spend a Friday afternoon.

Remember: One does not simply walk into Mortar.