Fireside / Archives

How Did Forbes & BusinessWeek Rank YOUR City?

Over the past year or so, the great city of Richmond has made itself better known by earning placement on dozens of publications’ “best cities” lists, developed to inform readers on where the bests spots for food, culture, education or market opportunity are hidden across the globe.  For examples, see Parade’s Best and Worst Cities for Celebrating the 4th of July, The Huffington Post’s 8 ‘Under-the-Radar’ Foodies Cities worldwide, and’s Best American Riverfront Cities, where Richmond respectively ranked #1, #6 and #10.


Maybe you’ve seen RVA’s skyline pop up on such a list or two, but what you may not know is how Richmond – geographically and culturally nestled somewhere between north and south, political and civic, urban and rural – has achieved a citywide rebrand in just a few short years.  Or better yet, what it has to offer against the larger American “meccas” in this competitive global economy.

Allow us River City dwellers to proudly turn that key for you and unlock just a few of our headquartering city’s secrets, with the help of some of the biggest names in media and research:

  • According to, Richmond is the principal prospect for finding business or a partner to propel your company forward. As the capitol of the #1 State for Business, we tout “business-friendly government policies and strong incentive offerings,” and a thriving market for the technology industry.  9.8% of Virginia’s private sector workforce is tech-based, and job creation has experienced a surge with data center construction, expansion and management – which also means Wireside is aptly located for success in B2B, high-tech public relations.
  • And here is what makes those abovementioned points possible: according to the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research, Richmond is the happiest city in the country.  It makes good, practical sense; businesses thrive where people thrive.  While economic giant New York City landed city #1 for unhappiest, Richmond was “topping the table” for most content, “a ‘glass half-full’ town.”

So ask yourself: How’s your business – half-empty or half-full?  Here’s a better question: How can Richmond help?



Photo by and courtesy of Tim Wilson/Fine Art America.

How the Stars Align for PR & the Performing Arts

mic_blogpicWe members of the Wireside team rarely break focus on our clients’ needs and campaigns.  Our busy workdays are filled with conversation and collaboration, but we seldom stop to share or reflect on the lives we lead outside the agency.

I’m Wireside’s resident newbie, and admittedly, I’m still getting to know the folks with whom I spend more than 40 hours of the week.  So I’m going to shake it up by starting the round of team introductions in a more personal light.

Before “My Life in PR,” I was a performer, and lived for the exhilaration of being onstage.  Through childhood to young adulthood, I was in and out of bands, plays and musicals, choirs, acting workshops, and lessons for voice, piano, guitar, and very briefly (thank goodness), drums.  I wrote short plays during my summers, and turned every public appearance I could into an impromptu gig; I would have belted out a tune for a brick wall.

But with time and age comes “practical thinking,” and I chose to study communications instead of theatre or music when I went to college.  The performance part of my life (and identity) dwindled to only a couple hours a week dabbling on the piano, singing to my plants on the windowsill.  How did a real-girl-walking Glee character like me become so focused on press releases, social content and global conferences surrounding SDN, NFV, IPv6, IoT, and all those other techie acronyms?

The answer?  When I realized that my longtime experiences in performance had well prepared me for a PR career behind the scenes, and here’s how:

  • A PR pro is always there on the spot.  We may not be in the spotlight like our clients, but we are daily called to improvise: to think on our feet and outside the box – like acting.
  • A PR pro must epitomize, without breaking character, what it means to be a “people person” and a strong communicator, whether on the phone, in emails or face-to-face meetings.  We are in the business of getting our clients’ stories and messages heard, and heard correctly – like play or songwriting.
  • PR pros are expected by clients, media and even competition to never waste someone’s time and to always deliver an outstanding production – like any good show.

All that said, how can I claim to have “lost” a part of who I am or what I love to do?  My talents may have taken on different styles of delivery and new directions (speaking of Glee…), but during Wireside workdays, I frequently find myself channeling the performer and composer I was during my formative years.

I’m certain my co-workers have their own hidden talents and passions, and that they too use them to “put on a show” every day.  Together, our many gifts not only keep the machine that is the Wireside agency running, but also fulfill our innate, deeply human dreams to be showstoppers, divas and storytellers in our own rights.  And for this, I’m very grateful.