Cara Good: Co-Founder and President of WunderMarx, Inc.

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Cara Good began her writing career at just 17 years old as a freelance feature writer. At 21, she was working as a reporter for the Orange County Register, covering stories such as the county's bankruptcy declaration in the mid 90s and business openings, as well as "everything in between." Good said during that time she worked with a lot of PR professionals and came to realize their importance in the news cycle and their ability to help shape public opinion. In 1995, she was offered a job at Ingram Micro to help create the technology wholesaler's marketing and communications messages.

"I jumped on the opportunity, and that began my career in corporate PR," Good said.

In 2002, Good, along with her husband, founded WunderMarx, Inc., a PR, marketing, and branding firm located in Orange County. Since its founding five years ago, the agency has met with rapid success, being named one of the top 25 agencies in Orange County in 2005 and working with a wide range of clients ranging from small startup companies to publicly traded corporations in the technology, life science, and medical arenas, as well as business services and nonprofit organizations in those areas.

"We work with the people and companies driving the innovation economy to create demand for their products, services, and organizations," Good said. "Our signature approach combines the senior-level consulting capabilities of a brand-development firm with the creative execution of a public relations, marketing communications, and web-development agency. Our services include brand development, business/trade media relations, social media outreach, analyst relations, financial communications, web development, and demand-generated programs."

In addition to its impressive range of services, the agency has also amassed quite a remarkable client list including Axiom Microdevices, Printronix, Torry Harris Business Solutions, Dexcom, Cedars-Sinai Health System, the University of California-Irvine Center for Diabetes Research and Treatment, WebVisible, and Enclarity.

Of all of the aspects of her career, Good is most proud of the fact that she is and was willing to take chances.

"We launched a PR company focused on the technology industry after the 'dot-bomb' bust of the Internet sector," she said.

And since her agency focuses on the technology industry, is it any wonder Good feels technology, particularly the Internet, has had a profound effect on the PR industry?

Q. What do you do for fun?
A. My day-to-day indulgence is reading—magazines, books, blogs, anything new. I read two to three books per month. When I can get away, I love to travel. There is no way to understand different people and cultures without experiencing the world firsthand.
Q. What CD is in your CD player right now?
A. The soundtrack to Marie Antoinette.
Q. What is the last magazine you read?
A. Business 2.0.
Q. What's your favorite TV show?
A. Anderson Cooper 360° and 24.
Q. Who is your role model?
A. My 95-year-old grandmother. Despite little formal education, she was a self-confident trailblazer and the generous matriarch of our family. As a young woman growing up during the Great Depression, she helped to get her siblings out of an orphanage. She later built a highly successful business with my grandfather, who called her "Spunky." Always drawn to fun and luck, she tells the best stories about the "nice boys" who ran Las Vegas during the Fabulous 50s!

"I call it the 'Googlization' of PR. This world of PR 2.0 means that PR practitioners must be Internet-savvy. The impact of social media on public relations is profound. User-powered (user content-generated) websites must be on our radar, and we must adapt how to communicate news to seize these opportunities. To put it in context, technology is evolutionary—and so is communications. Some say that the press release is dead, but I think simply that its purpose has changed. Today, readers are viewing press releases online at the same time journalists are receiving them. Although the term "press release" is acceptable, it's far more accurate to refer to these communications as news releases and recognize the enormous power they hold," Good said.

Good said that with increased access to information, there is an increased need to put that information into context. As the course of the industry progresses, PR will be "more and more about content generation and content exploration." While a reporter, consumer, or business can browse the web to learn about a service or product, Good feels that it is the PR expert's job to make that information relevant to those he or she is targeting.

"As the world becomes more and more global, our challenge is to become more and more local and help audiences find context and relevancy," Good said.
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