Strong to head new public relations division of Sosh

Milwaukee-based Sosh is branching outside its social media services with the addition of a new public relations and communications division.

The department, which will encompass public relations, media relations, experiential marketing and what Sosh describes as “relationship marketing,” will be headed by Wendy Strong, whom Sosh has named chief communications officer.

While the new division will include standard public relations services, such as press release writing, media outreach and events marketing, the gamut of its services will take clients to “the next level of PR,” said Strong, whose communications career has included a role as director of public relations at VISIT Milwaukee and reporting positions with FOX 6 News and the Milwaukee Business Journal.

The department’s mission is to connect people, groom relationships and help clients grow through those relationships. The “next level of PR” will largely be defined by relationship building and community outreach as Sosh works to connect clients and consumers face-to-face, particularly through in-person meetings and networking events.

Those events aim to create an experience for attendees and build brand loyalty around clients’ products and services. For instance, when working with a restaurant, Sosh might host a networking event featuring its menu items and then promote it through social media and word-of-mouth.

The new division is launching as Michelle D’Attilio, CEO of Sosh, anticipates a “shift” in communication preferences, with people valuing more in-person experiences while maintaining their presence on social media channels.

“As we look out at the future of social (media) over the next five years, I think that people are going to yearn for an opportunity to connect face-to-face in an environment that’s comfortable for them,” D’Attilio said.

Along with D’Atillio, Jeanette Pham, chief operating officer of Sosh, approached Strong about helping launch the new division.

“I think one of Wendy’s strongest assets is she’s a natural connector,” D’Attilio said.

In joining Sosh, Strong said she wants to be part of “growing something new” and making a significant difference in the community.

While Sosh will assist a range of clients with public relations services, including consumer goods businesses, the company also will likely help nonprofits in spreading awareness about their missions and core focus areas.

To operate its new division, Sosh expects to add two full-time positions by the end of the year and between one and three full-time positions in the first quarter of 2015, along with a couple of interns.

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