The workweek and weekends feel no different to Lisa Araujo and Cyndi Gurrola.
Saturdays and Sundays also consist of early rising, meetings and late nights on their laptops, just as each weekday can.
The young co-owners of Creative Touch Communications, a small marketing and public relations company, live for what each different day brings.
“We’re always going and we love it,” said West Covina resident Gurrola, 24.
Araujo, 26 and Gurrola started their company, which they proudly refer to as, “CTC,” in early 2009. They provide innovative marketing, public relations and design to small and recently, large businesses. However, they brand themselves by customer service and “two-way communication.”
“Any client who has worked with us can tell you we go above and beyond to provide customer service,” said Araujo. “We strive to make each client feel as important as the next, and that has been proven by the number of new word-of-mouth clients.”
CTC says PR and marketing doesn’t have to be a one-way street. They encourage clients to interact through the Internet, primarily social networking and blogging and present ways they can solve their clients problems.
“We encourage our clients to talk with their clients,” said Gurrola. “It’s not just about producing content or information about our clients, it’s about presenting how our clients can solve a problem.”
CTC helps clients with website and database design, writing news releases (distribution and follow-up), e-mail marketing, planning events and promotions and creating various types of collateral and marketing material through graphic design.
They have a small office space in Chino, but find most of their time spent in the field, at client’s or in various Starbucks Coffee in between meetings.
Their client base grew from a few to over 25 in the last year. Gurrola started the concept in 2007, but took her and the company’s focus to a new level when she joined forces with Araujo, who picked the name.
Araujo was a soccer stand out at Cal Poly Pomona and Gurrola, a Communications major, was a staff writer for Cal Poly’s newspaper. They met briefly at Cal Poly and became even better friends in 2006 when they both held coaching positions for a Diamond Bar competitive soccer club. In 2007 they began co-coaching for The Claremont Stars Soccer Club. They’ve been with the club since and have two girls’ teams.
They also manage some marketing and website work for The Stars.
Araujo earned a Bachelor’s in Business and Gurrola in Communications with an emphasis in PR. Gurrola worked in the newspaper and public relations industry since she was a senior in high school in 2003, and Araujo worked in human resources and purchasing since 2005.
They service clients from a number of industries, but 40 percent are from the restaurant industry; sit down and fast food restaurants and distributors. Their recent efforts include trying to provide marketing and PR services to a nationwide fast food chain.
In July of this year, they also hope to open their own Quizno’s franchise in West Covina. They have been working with Quizno’s corporate since late March to acquire the West Covina store. Pending further negotiations, the two could also be some of the youngest franchisees in history.
They plan to use their marketing and PR expertise to help bring the store back to success, which closed the first week of April.
Beginnings are scary
While 2009 and early 2010 has yielded success it was a scary ride at the start and they’ve overcome many obstacles.
“Lisa wasn’t sure at first, and I’ll admit I was a little scared. The economy was tough and with a mortgage it was hard for her to leave her last position at a corporation,” said Gurrola.
At first, they both admit there were slow days, and the transition from what Gurrola had started to the birth of Creative Touch wasn’t picture perfect.
They lost Gurrola’s biggest account due to financial cut backs and at times it was slow.
However, once things picked up they haven’t looked back or wanted to.
Being young and female proved to be a weakness as well as a strength.
They’ve come across a small share of people who doubted their potential because of their age and/or gender, or who thought they could take advantage of the young entrepreneurs.
Araujo remembers when they provided service to a company who let their invoice go past due. When she responded sternly with a letter and plan of action, it came to them as a surprise.
“We’re tough and we’re not going to let anyone under estimate that we’re serious, about this,” she said.
CTC’s Innovative Future
CTC is growing at a time when marketing and public relations are changing and have a large common area.
“The Internet is changing it all,” said Gurrola. “We have to keep a mix or traditional and new-era PR and marketing.”
CTC is always reading and learning to stay up-to-date on changes and new ways to market its customers.
One of CTC’s most common monthly PR and marketing packages includes developing an e-mail campaign, search engine optimization and help with social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Most clients prefer CTC manages their website updates and changes as those go hand-in-hand with their marketing and PR strategies. CTC has recently employed two graphic designers with great experience and an understanding of how to use design to brand.
CTC will host a business mixer at The City Broiler in Chino Hills on Saturday, May 15 from 6-9 p.m. They will give a presentation about the company and then allow for people to mingle and enjoy appetizers and drinks.
For more information about Creative Touch Communications, visit www.creativetouchinc.com.