With the year winding down we thought it would be fun to reflect on 2016 and what we hope lays in store for 2017!

Question: What was the best PR campaign you saw in 2016?

Allison: It’s hard for me to remember any because it was probably hard for any PR campaign to get noticed in all the election noise of 2016.

Mike: I enjoyed working on a media relations campaign for the International Cannabis Business Conference in San Francisco. The producer of the event assembles remarkable thought leaders and it’s interesting to work at the forefront of an evolving industry, and to witness the end to cannabis prohibition nationwide. I know there are still stigmas related to cannabis, and a new Trump administration raises questions, but I’m personally happy to know that at least in a few states families won’t be torn apart and lives won’t be ruined as the result of draconian laws created with no scientific basis.
Starbucks cup photographed on October 26, 2016. (Joshua Trujillo/Starbucks)
Karly: My favorite PR campaign had to be from Starbucks and their green cups. I loved everything they did on social media and even though they received a lot of backlash for not debuting their traditional red holiday cups, they had a strong message. Starbucks for me always brings positivity to my timelines on social media, so I was glad to they didn’t disappoint in 2016.

Question: What was your favorite accomplishment (personal or professional) from this year?

kkkkkkkPat: On the personal side, thanks to Allison who gave it to me as a birthday gift, I was able to build the 4,080 piece Lego Disney Castle during our December snow days. (Pictured right)

Allison: Helping my sister give birth to the world’s cutest and smartest baby – Haxton Francis Ayres McCormick.

Mike: Making it through another year of grad school has been my favorite personal achievement.

Karly: I guess it is both personal and professional but graduating college. I am the first on both sides of my family to graduate with a bachelors degree so that was very cool. Oh and getting hired at AM:PM PR (obviously).

Question: What was your least favorite ad campaign from 2016?

Allison: Any pop up add that blocked my view of a webpage until I clicked it away.

Mike: I really didn’t like that puppy monkey baby Super Bowl ad. You can’t un-see that commercial, and I can’t even remember what product it was for so I suppose it wasn’t very effective for me personally. (Note: I looked it up and thought it was for Doritos, but turns out it was for another brand)
Karly: I’m in the same boat with Mike. I’m not a fan of Mountain Dew’s puppy monkey baby ad. I know it went viral and people loved it but I have to change the channel when it comes on because it drives me crazy.

Question: What are you most excited for (professional or personal) in 2017?

Pat: Two of my grandchildren turn 9 in 2017, which means each is eligible for the traditional trip to Disneyland with me. We stay at the Disneyland Hotel for 4 nights and spend 5 days in the parks. I take them during the school year so they also get a few days out of school.

Allison: My new MacBook Pro with a touch bar.

Mike: I’m excited to begin working on my thesis and to graduate from grad school in June. We also have some great new clients at AM:PM PR – I think 2017 is going to be a great year.

Karly: I’m excited to grow more as a professional with AM:PM PR. It’s exciting to work with a variety of clients and learn the ins-and-outs of both traditional PR and the digital landscape.

Question: What is your favorite memory from 2016?

Pat: My favorite memory of 2016 was being with Daughter Erin, her husband Brooks and a handful of family for the home delivery of our 10th grandchild in August – Haxton Francis Ayres McCormick. He’s a great baby and his birth extends my role as Disneyland guide for grandchildren at least through 2026.

Allison: Can’t narrow it down to just one. It’s every moment we get to spend with these three (pictured below), the birth of my new nephew and getting a new brother when my sister Erin married Brooks Haxton in the best ceremony I’ve ever attended.

Mike: I had a friend lose a battle with cancer this year. My favorite moment came after I experienced an emergency surgery of my own, and he was feeling well enough at the time to come visit me by my bedside.

Karly: I loved traveling with my friends and family throughout the year. I went to Mexico, Arizona and all over Oregon and Washington. It was such a blessing to be able to experience those places with the people I love.

Question: What was your favorite tech gadget you used in 2016?

Pat: I like my new iPhone 7s, its cameras and its operating system. But I’m eager to get our new MacBook Pro with Touchbar expected to arrive in January. I use an iPad Pro as a third desktop screen, thanks to software by former Apple engineers called Duet. Even before the new Touchbar laptop arrives, Duet now allows me to have the Touchbar functionality appear on the bottom of my iPad Pro when I’m using it as a third desktop.

Allison: My Apple Watch. But, I also have to say that I LOVE the iOS updates to the phone this year – especially being able to send texts with lasers.

Mike: I’m not the biggest tech person, though I did use a new type of guitar tuner that clipped onto the head of my guitar. That was pretty cool.

Karly: I upgraded to an iPhone 6s Plus so that is pretty great. I’m also a fan of Comcast’s voice controlled remote that you can talk into and it finds your shows. It makes watching The Real Housewives that much easier.

Question: What is the best way to relax after a long day in the office?

Pat: Binge-watching something on Netflix.

Mike: I like to lean back, kick my heels up, and spend three hours in a classroom.

Karly: Depending on my mood I like to either go to the gym or drink a glass of red wine. Sometimes both.

Question: What was your least favorite thing that went viral this year?

Pat: Fake news. The continued erosion of journalism as the fourth estate; the depth of mistrust in institutions, public officials, academics, scientists and experts; and the growing reliance on the validity of information from people in my political tribe is terribly troubling. The viral reach and impact of fake news is a symptom of the lack of civics education and growing disdain for civil discourse.

Allison: Anything related to Donald Trump.

Mike: Fake news.

Karly: The hype around Blac Chyna and Rob Kardashian. As much as I love watching the Kardashian sister’s antics’ I can’t stand watching those two on tv and how their relationship is making headlines on CNN.

Question: What was the most surprising thing that happened in 2016 (either happened to you or in society)?

Pat: I tried to avoid politics in my responses, though politics certainly surprised me in 2016. The trend toward populism in European and U.S. politics is worrisome. I agree with sentiments expressed just today (Dec. 23) by England’s Prince Charles: “We are now seeing the rise of many populist groups across the world that are increasingly aggressive to those who adhere to a minority faith. All of this has deeply disturbing echoes of the dark days of the 1930s.”

Allison: So many. This was a sad year. Easily, the top tragic surprises were Brexit and the election of Donald Trump.
Mike: I’m still grappling with Trump’s electoral college victory.

Karly: There were so many surprising things that happened in 2016. But I would have to say the election results shocked me the most.