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imre: Employee Needs Leads Decision to Move Office

Submitted by Jill Wroblewski, Senior Program Director, Public Relations, imre

After more than 26 years in the Baltimore area, imre will move from its current office in Sparks, MD to Towson. Diving into the why move now and why Towson gives us a peak at how a PR agency lives its brand with a commitment to its staff – and how it uses research to yield decisions.

The catalyst for change came as imre needed more space to keep adding employees to its fast-growing marketing communications agency. CEO Dave Imre and President Mark Eber wanted to make sure the new locale would be convenient for 80 percent of its local workforce and would accommodate future growth. Taking staff’s needs in consideration, they utilized a heat map using employees’ ZIP codes that helped narrow the possibilities down to between Hunt Valley and Mount Washington. They then considered staff’s needs for easy access to dining and fitness among other conveniences. In the end, Towson won.

“We wanted a place with lots of light, collaborative working spaces where you could walk to great restaurants, go to the gym.  We will also be sure to utilize the kitchen space; which will be our focal point, since a lot of our employees work and gather in the kitchen,” said Eber.

Towson’s burgeoning core — with more retail and restaurants on the way — fit the bill. Imre, which has offices in New York and Los Angeles, had previously been located in Towson, but moved north to Sparks 12 years ago. The firm will be moving its 95 employees on November 1, 2019. The new offices, located at 210 West Pennsylvania Avenue, will be able to house 149 people.

The new office will include large conference spaces, a sprawling modern kitchen and an outdoor patio where employees can work in warmer weather. The goal is to create a technology-friendly space with multiple outlets to plug devices in and big TV screens.

Imre expanded in October 2018, with the acquisition of JMPR, a boutique firm in Los Angeles whose clients include Infiniti, Bugatti and Airstream.  Founded in 1993 and owned by David Imre and Mark Eber, the agency has a 26-year history of delivering meaningful results for some of the world’s leading brands through full-service creative, social, digital marketing and public relations services. Imre’s client roster includes brands such as, 3M, AstraZeneca, Dickies, John Deere, NFL, Pfizer, STIHL, T. Rowe Price and Under Armour.


Unfortunately, PR company websites are some of the more challenging sites to SEO. But all is not lost.

By Jessie Newburn

To my colleagues in the PR industry, and particularly those in the PRSA Maryland Chapter, I’d love to tell you that you should get your website SEO-ed. That you can have great expectations of not just more traffic but more leads. That you can transform your website from a digital brochure into an actual lead-generation tool.

That would be lovely, wouldn’t it?

But I would be remiss were I to promise such things.

This is not to say you shouldn’t tune into and implement good SEO practices. It’s simply that so many PR agencies are general practice agencies working with a variety and range of clients. Alas, the big search volume keyphrases you may wish to opt your site for–keyphrases such as public relations, media training, reputation management–are already “taken,” and it would require Herculean effort, intense focus and probably more dollars and technical skill than you either have or want to spend to rank for such terms.

But even if you did rank for such phrases, there isn’t much buying intent in those keyphrases and so you’d potentially get a lot of traffic but hardly any conversions, so your efforts to rank would be for naught.

Also, for those of you who five or so years ago got on the “Public Relations, Annapolis,” “Public Relations, Baltimore” bandwagon, you might have achieved some success with such an approach, though I’d guess any previous successes there have dwindled of late.

So, what do you do?

Throw in the towel? That’s one option.

Get smart about it? That’s a better option, I’d think. Here are some tips.

First, you’ve got to have an SEO strategy (preferably based on research) and a content creation schedule aligned with your strategy.

Second, go for the long-tail keyphrases. Long-tail keyphrases show greater indication of buying intent, and when you create content and optimize it for the long-tail, you may not get as much traffic volume, but you’re likely to get better conversions. Examples of long-tail keyphrases are —

How do I respond to a PR crisis

Media relations training for government officials

How do I get rid of negative information on the internet

3 tips for managing influencer relations

Third, do what you do so well! Get those backlinks to your site. Work with bloggers and influencers. Get some buzz about what you’re doing. Get people talking. And get them linking to your site.

And, overall, remember to write for people and optimize for search engines. This approach is key. People want to read relevant, useful information and Google wants to deliver relevant, useful information to people. This is where you come in and where PR professionals are poised to get great SEO results for their companies and clients.

There’s a lot more to SEO, of course, and much of it technical, though, as you can see, a lot of good SEO practices are within your reach.

Thanks! And wishing you the best!

About the author: Jessie Newburn manages BizDev and the Partner Program Manager at Atigro Digital Marketing. She can be reached at 202-794-7276, or at jessie@atigro.com.

*Atigro Digital Marketing was the top sponsor at the 2018 PRSA Maryland Conference. We hope you got a chance to talk with Jessie.

Photo by Martin Sattler on Unsplash

Greater Baltimore Committee & Associated Black Charities to Host Maryland Gubernatorial Forum

Join the Greater Baltimore Committee and Associated Black Charities for a Maryland Gubernatorial Forum featuring seven Democratic candidates for Governor of Maryland: Rushern Baker, Benjamin Jealous, Kevin Kamenetz, Richard Madaleno, Alec Ross, Jim Shea and Krish Vignarajah.

If you go:

When: Thursday, April 26, 2018; 5:30-6 p.m. reception, 6-7:30 p.m. program
Where: University of Maryland School of Medicine, Leadership Hall, 685 West Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201
Cost: Complimentary, but you must be pre-registered to attend

Register to attend

For event and sponsorship information, contact Sophia Silbergeld, Director of Membership and Member Relations, at 410-727-2820.

Learning Never Ends: The Value of Continuing Education for Public Relations Professionals

Learn how staying on top of the latest trends can help practitioners in one of the most dynamic professions continue to advance their careers.
By Malissa Carroll 

As someone who works in a health professions school, I have become familiar with the value that continuing education holds for physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other health care professionals. In addition to the mandated continuing education requirements to which they must adhere to remain in practice, these practitioners are always searching for new opportunities to expand their knowledge and skillsets, allowing them to better serve their patients and practice at the top of their licensure. While health care and public relations are two vastly different fields, my experience has shown me that, in the area of continuing education, there might be some lessons that we can share.

To Learn is to Lead

Similar to health care, which has witnessed an incredible evolution in recent years, advances in technology have helped public relations become one of the most dynamic professions in which individuals can pursue a career. The constant advent of new mediums and platforms through which brands can share their messages – from smart phones to social media – challenges public relations professionals to keep up with ever-changing trends, contributing to the need for continuing education to help us acquire the skills necessary to incorporate these advancements into existing plans, strategies, and tactics.

Fortunately, we as public relations professionals do not need to look too far for opportunities to build on our existing knowledge and skills to ensure that our work makes the greatest impact for our clients. Whether you are an early career professional who is interested in obtaining an advanced degree or an experienced practitioner who wants hone his or her skills on a new platform, there are numerous options available to help you meet your personal and professional education goals.

Attend a Conference

One way for working professionals to gain new knowledge or acquire new skills is to attend conferences focused on their field or area of interest. These events often feature distinguished speakers who are leaders in the profession and from whose experiences everyone in attendance can learn. In addition to the national conferences and workshops offered through the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), you can find a number of local and regional events through PRSA-MD, which can offer insight into how peer organizations are staying on top of the changing industry.

Complete an Advanced Degree

Colleges and universities are becoming increasingly sensitive to the needs of working professionals who are looking to advance their careers with a master’s or other professional degree. Many institutions now offer students the option to complete their degrees entirely online, while others provide evening and weekend courses that seamlessly fit into working professionals’ busy schedules. The University of Maryland University College, Notre Dame of Maryland University, Georgetown University, and New York University are just a few of the institutions that offer advanced degree programs for public relations professionals. A quick Internet search will lead you to many more results – at least one of which is sure to meet your unique needs.

Pursue a Certification

Obtaining a professional certification is another way to demonstrate your proficiency as a public relations practitioner. As the nation’s largest professional organization serving the communications community, PRSA offers a range of certifications for new and experienced professionals to demonstrate drive, dedication, and values in the field of public relations, including the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) credential. The APR credential certifies a public relations practitioner’s drive, professionalism, and principals, setting that individual apart from peers and positioning him or her as a leader and mentor in the public relations field.

Register for a Webinar

For public relations practitioners who do not have much time to spare, webinars provide an excellent opportunity to pursue continuing education. These one- to two-hour events are designed for professionals who want to keep abreast of current trends in the field, but who might not have the time available to earn a formal certification or degree. PRSA offers a wide range of webinars – many available at no cost to members – that aim to help practitioners understand new concepts or tools, as well as refine their existing skills.

Abigail Adams once said, “Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.” Whether on the frontlines of patient care or behind-the-scenes bringing awareness to a brand, the value that continuing education can have on an individual’s career cannot be understated. If you have one hour, one week, or one year or more to spare, there are continuing education options available that will help you stay on top of current trends to ensure that you can continue providing the best service for your clients.

Baltimore-Based Vitamin® Agency Helps Bring Offshore Wind Industry to Maryland

The Story

When Vitamin® first partnered with the Business Network for Offshore Wind, the offshore wind industry was at a crucial decision-making moment. The industry needed a central hub in the United States to develop a domestic supply chain, and Maryland had the opportunity to become that hub and obtain thousands of jobs for the state.

The Maryland Public Service Commission was in the process of deciding whether to award a $1.9 billion Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Credit (OREC) to one or more developers with intent to build a large-scale offshore wind farm off the coast of Maryland. As the only nonprofit dedicated to the growth of the offshore wind industry in the United States, the Network was committed to raising awareness around the benefits of offshore wind and influencing a positive OREC decision. So, the organization brought Vitamin® in to generate buzz and awareness around OREC, and to position the Network as a thought leader in the offshore wind industry.

The Campaign

To kick off the campaign, Vitamin® put together an aggressive media relations strategy around the Network’s “Meet the Developers” event, inviting media to attend and hear directly from the two developers vying for OREC funding. We set up on-site interviews with the two developers and executives from the Network about the benefits of offshore wind, the importance of the Public Service Commission supporting offshore wind, and what it would mean for the state of Maryland if OREC did not pass. This event became a catalyst for subsequent media coverage and the media’s full understanding of OREC.

Vitamin® also handled media relations for the Network’s annual International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum (IPF), a major industry conference that drew hundreds of attendees from around the world. We handled pre-event pitching, day-of-event pitching, and post-event pitching to drive registrations, encourage media attendance, and continue the conversation around the benefits of offshore wind. Through the IPF, we provided the media with expert perspectives from around the world on how to successfully develop an offshore wind industry in the U.S. and how the industry would impact Maryland and the country at large.

Following the IPF conference, Vitamin® focused on thought leadership and positioned the Network as an expert in offshore wind. We pitched the organization’s executive director to local media and trade publications for print, online, and broadcast interviews; bylined articles; and op-eds.

The Results

Vitamin® secured nearly 20 hits in 60 days for the Network in key local and trade press, including the Baltimore Business JournalThe Baltimore SunNorth American WindpowerUS News & World ReportWindpower Engineering & Development, and more. Additionally, the 2017 IPF sold out prior to the conference and drew in hundreds of attendees from around the world. It was the Network’s largest IPF conference to date.

Most importantly, on May 11, 2017, the Public Service Commission awarded OREC funding to both offshore wind developers who will each build a large-scale offshore wind farm off the coast of Maryland. This decision made Maryland the central hub of this new industry in the United States and is expected to bring tens of thousands of jobs and enormous health and environmental benefits to the state.

Vitamin® is proud to have been a part of bringing this new industry to Maryland and we look forward to seeing how it develops and shapes our state.

Vitamin at Work

To find out more ways that Vitamin® is the Cure for the Common Brand®, click here.

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Thank You to Our Chapter Sponsors

Thank You to Our Chapter Sponsors