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Meet Sarah Jenkins of White Oak Communications in Palms

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sarah Jenkins.

Sarah, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I founded White Oak Communications in November 2014, but have been in PR my whole career, so I knew the industry from every perspective. While I studied art history & International Relations in college, I got my first taste of PR while bartending post-graduation. From there, I truly made my PR “bones” in entertainment, segueing into real estate and travel, and eventually into hospitality. After some time, I had a moment where I decided I wanted to disrupt the industry and do something different, that no other agency was doing – bringing a boutique personal touch to our work, with the resources and work of a large agency. Thus, White Oak was born. WOC has both a thriving real estate department, and culinary department, alongside a selection of culinary talent, so the agency truly blends together all aspects of my background. Today – we have an incredible team, including an experiential events department, a full-blown social media department, as well as both Real Estate and Culinary PR teams.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Hardly! But a road of struggles truly has brought us to where we are today. I learned all the things a first-time entrepreneur has to learn, sometimes the hard way.

From having to rename our agency from Salt & PR to White Oak Communications a year in (apparently when we filed for our trademark, a large agency out of SF found us in violation of their trademark) to making hiring mistakes, to having to fire someone, to sitting through some pretty tough client meetings, to learning to set up Outlook on a computer, there were so many things I just didn’t realize I was going to have to face. But through each struggle I learned and grew, and got stronger.

Some things were more trivial than others, but the key was to learn from each. Learning how important personal responsibility is, learning how to communicate effectively, learning to have a good accountant & lawyer! I truly believe you’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with, and building an incredible team has been the result of three years of growth – but personally and in the workplace.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the White Oak Communications story. Tell us more about the business.
We specialize in hospitality. But that is a broad term!! We represent stunning luxury residential real estate projects, restaurant groups, stand-alone restaurants, bars, food & spirits brands, as well as hotels. It’s basically like vacation PR – if you want to do it, eat it, stay at it, in your free time, we represent it. Lots of agencies focus on one of these areas, but we successfully tackle them all. Large, international, real estate developers come to us because we offer a youthful and refreshing perspective on a somewhat traditional market. Culinary clients tend to hire us for the same reasons as well. We help build brands and tell brand stories in the same way a large agency would, with the personal touch of a boutique setting. We have set ourselves apart by offering not just PR, but dedicated and in-depth social media, as well as Experiential Marketing & Events. I think these three offerings make us truly unique. I am still in shock that we are such a baby company (only 3 years old), but have over 15 employees, three thriving departments, and an incredible roster of clients.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I don’t believe in luck. Your life is what you make it. There was no luck involved when I left my last job, sat in my car, called clients and brought them along with me.

That was all grit. And a little charm too. I have worked very hard, and have been very blessed to find incredible people along the way who have joined me. I am lucky that the team here at White Oak is as incredible as they are, but it took a long time to find them. Our clients are truly exceptional, but they aren’t with us because I am lucky, they are with us because we’re good.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 3716 Motor Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90034
  • Website: www.wearewhiteoak.com
  • Email: hello@wearewhiteoak.com
  • Instagram: @wearewhiteoak.com
  • Facebook: @wearewhiteoak.com


Image Credit:
White Oak Communications

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