As our agency enters its 15th year of operation, our namesake partners embark on a new chapter in their respective careers—going from founders to chief executive officers of their award-winning San Diego public relations firm.
“When we connected in late 2009 to establish the foundation of what would eventually become Scatena Daniels, all we wanted to do was serve our community the best way we could,” says Arika Daniels, co-CEO and founding partner. “We’ve built amazing relationships with many of Southern California’s most impactful philanthropy-focused organizations, brought on a team of full-time staff, and expanded our clientele to work with some of the region’s most recognizable higher education and healthcare institutions.”
“Since the very beginning Arika and I have been partners. We’ve made every decision together, and relied on the individual strengths of one another while balancing our professional and personal commitments,” says Denise Scatena, co-CEO and founding partner. “Elevating to a two-CEO structure reflects the value we have in our partnership while showing our commitment to innovation. We see this dual CEO approach emerging in other industries. We have clear responsibilities and our personalities have helped us maintain a strong business relationship. Scatena Daniels performs well and continues to grow. There aren’t many co-CEOs who run communications agencies, we may be among the first in the region. This allows us to continue to serve our company the best ways we can while also setting a new example for women and minorities in business.”
Scatena Daniels was born under the most humble circumstances when Arika and Denise pooled together just $3,000 in seed money and ran the entire business from laptops in their living rooms. We’ve expanded well past their living rooms in the years since, becoming one of the most sought-after and respected San Diego PR firms for non-profit, healthcare, and higher education organizations.
First Order of Business as New CEOs? Promote Ann Marie Price and Geneva Gámez
Say hello to our new director – Ann Marie Price! Ann Marie has been with us for almost a decade, leading San Diego public relations campaigns that garner her heaps of local and regional praise and showcase the positive community impact of our clients.
Since joining Scatena Daniels in 2015, Ann Marie has been awarded the Excellence in Journalism Award from the San Diego Press Club, the Edward L. Bernays Mark of Excellence by PRSA San Diego and Imperial Counties, and the North County Philanthropy Council’s Volunteer Award. Oh, and who can forget–she was named the PRSA San Diego New Professional of the Year in 2015.
“Ann Marie’s well-deserved promotion marks a testament to her impressive journey with the firm, and exceptional commitment to our clientele. It is thrilling to see her grow into senior leadership, and guide the overall strategy and planning for clients, maintaining her hands-on approach to day-to-day media relations,” says Daniels.
Ann Marie isn’t the only employee climbing the ladder to start the year. We’ve also promoted Geneva Gámez to senior account manager! In the two years since joining Scatena Daniels, Geneva has made herself an indispensable team member with her unparalleled ability to connect with local media.
Having spent the majority of her career with one foot in the Southern California public relations industry and the other as a broadcast producer and journalist, Geneva has developed a keen understanding of media operations which allows her to spearhead numerous successful public relations campaigns across San Diego and Southern California.
“Geneva’s journalism expertise helps our clients unlock the best human interest stories and perspectives so they may advance their cause in a meaningful and relatable manner,” says Scatena. “We are excited to support her career path as a strategic communications professional.”
Both Ann Marie and Geneva will continue being heavily involved in day-to-day media outreach and client services. Each will take on more strategic responsibility and play larger roles in guiding the overall communication strategies for Scatena Daniels and our clients.
New Year, New Face: Introducing Senior Publicist Connor Christiansen
We’ve got serious plans for growth in 2024, and we can’t do it alone! That’s why we’ve brought San Diego native Connor Christiansen aboard as our new senior publicist. Connor will support our new strategic initiatives throughout the year while leading campaigns for a handful of our San Diego public relations initiatives.
How We Became an Award-Winning San Diego PR Firm
Simply put, we keep our clients at the forefront of the public consciousness, helping them reach their audiences where they are. We earn more than 275 media interviews a year resulting in thousands of media placements annually. We also provide counsel to position executives and organizations as thought leaders through community engagement and strategic content marketing. Because of our campaigns, our clients see measurable growth in financial metrics, community support, and brand awareness. We provide further investment to our clients, with in-kind support totaling more than $100,000 annually.
It’s not just our clients who have taken notice of our work, either. Over the years, Scatena Daniels has earned award recognition from various media outlets and community organizations, including the San Diego Business Journal, Health Care Communicators of Southern California, North County Philanthropy Council, and the International Association of Business Communicators.
In 2023 we took home top honors at three different Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) award ceremonies across Southern California, and the agency was recognized among the Top 10 San Diego PR firms by San Diego Business Journal. Our newly minted Co-CEOs were even named Top Marketing Executives by the San Diego Metropolitan Magazine thanks to their work in San Diego public relations.
Unprecedented Challenges Demanded Change–And Change Inspired Growth
COVID-19 changed our lives and forced us all to adapt. For our clients, COVID-19 utterly disrupted their typical programming and caused compounding anxieties.
Without their marquee fundraising events, our non-profit partners were unsure how they’d raise the money that funds their programs. They found it harder than ever to connect with potential volunteers. They were worried the general public would just forget about them.
We couldn’t sit by and let our clients flounder. So we went further than we ever had to get our clients what they needed when they needed it. For the first time since opening the shop in 2009, Scatena Daniels was offering additional communications services, not just media relations, to get the word out about our clients.
Embracing aspects of digital marketing for nonprofits—like offering robust content marketing plans and increasing social media outreach—allowed our clients to reach new audiences in new ways while allowing us to explore new services. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, our clients emerged as strong as ever. Our work, combined with the tireless efforts of our clients, resulted in more volunteers, more funding (even more than a usual year), and more awareness among the general public.
Looking ahead to 2024, we’ve never felt more poised for substantial growth. We’ve got big plans, and soon you’ll see us supporting meaningful organizations across Southern California and beyond.
To learn more or to connect with our team to see how we can help your organization with communications services, reach out to us today.