Making Moments: Greenough Communications Blends Brand Marketing and Communications to Disrupt the Traditional PR Agency Model

Greenough Favicon
Nikki Festa O’Brien
June 25, 2024
Making Moments: Greenough Communications Blends Brand Marketing and Communications to Disrupt the Traditional PR Agency Model

Making Moments isn’t just our brand moniker. It’s a promise that we make to our clients each and every day.  

We make bold moments.

We make moments that inspire.

We make moments that matter.

We make moments that drive action.

In these moments, our collective experience takes our work and our partnerships to the next level. But to make this magic happen, we need a team with diverse experience that doesn’t all pull from the same well. We also need a team that’s focused on different aspects of a brand’s journey.

I’m delighted to have a leadership team that embodies all the characteristics that are needed to make these moments a reality for our clients. And we are now putting a final piece of the puzzle into place by expanding our brand marketing team under the leadership of Jessika Parry. Jessika brings a tremendous amount of experience in digital marketing and advanced measurement skills, and together with the Brand Marketing team upholds a vision that is clear and unwavering to bridge brand marketing and communications together in a way that disrupts the traditional PR agency model.  

See below for a conversation Jessika and I had recently on the vision for the agency.

What is the vision for both the Greenough Communications’ brand and the agency’s Brand Marketing and Communications services?

Taking a step back, the line between PR and marketing gets blurrier every year. While some might view this shift with anxiety about what it means for both industries, I’m not alone in this belief; 90% of PR agency professionals and 82% of in-house PR experts  predict public relations will become more integrated with marketing over the next five years, according to this Global Communications Report. We favor this because it allows us to collectively tell better stories with more impact. We’ve always excelled at putting our clients in front of the right audiences, and now we have more tools in our toolbox to do this in a way that moves the needle for the brands we work with.  

Thinking about the Greenough Communications Brand, we want it to represent the holistic approach we bring to our clients and showcase the comprehensive set of skills we have internally. What makes us unique is that we immerse ourselves in the brands we represent, understand their short- and long-term goals, audit their industry and their competitors, and develop a brand strategy that drives our campaign approach. It’s not just about increasing brand awareness; it’s about deepening brand understanding, strengthening brand influence, and, of course, driving brand action.

Our team draws on its diverse talents, from technical writers to media gurus that leverage their journalist and broadcast roots to event, influencer, and social media prowess; we have the traditional PR skillsets well represented. We also have a team that includes creative strategists and designers, integrated marketers, and, at our core, a depth of experience that allows us to pen brand messaging that differentiates and disrupts markets and positions them for every stage of their growth journey. Our brand showcases these end-to-end skills and the power we possess when we bring them together.  

But more than practical knowledge and ability is required. We have a team that genuinely cares—both about each other and our clients. We want this personal commitment to be reflected in how outsiders view our brand so that caring—and that passion—comes through. I'm personally proud of this, and it is what excites me the most about building out this team. We want everyone to see and experience how we are changing the traditional "PR agency model" by integrating and elevating it.

We were born out of the PR agency principles of yesteryear but have evolved as brand’s needs have evolved. The ability to quickly pivot and respond to industry trends is not only the secret sauce that has cemented Greenough’s leadership position for 25 years, but also what keeps us a step ahead.

What are the top trends our industry should be prepared to embrace this year?

Audiences are expecting brands to react quickly to topics in their sphere of influence and make their values clear. For example, you may not comment on every social issue, but if you’re a brand focused on parenting that isn’t speaking out in support of parents (the Kyte Baby incident as one example…), you should probably prepare for an impact to your brand and its reputation. Brands need to know what their position is on the topics that influence their audiences, when they will speak out, and who is involved in that decision to stay agile and respond appropriately.  

We’ve always been fans of micro-influencers, and this trend is picking up fans this year. Because there are so many online influencers, the more specific and tailored you can get to your audience, the better. If someone has one million followers but posts about a wide range of topics, vs someone who has 10,000 followers but only posts on topics about your industry, chances are working with that second influencer will have more of an impact on your brand. It also adds credibility and authenticity that often feels like it’s missing with some of the mega-players.  

Another important shift for the industry to know is that 44% of PR professionals plan to spend more time on internal communications. What does this mean? It’s not just a realignment of daily activities but something more impactful. Brands finally understand that their number one customer and overwhelming priority should and needs to be on its employees. External and internal communications as separate entities are no longer a reality we live in, and we have been rolling out workshops to train our clients on how to reorient their thinking around this new truth. We have also formed a partnership with Axios HQ – as both their agency of record and agency partner - to help our clients better communicate to all audiences with clarity.

Finally, with AI-generated content running rampant, crafting high-quality – not just formulaic – content will be imperative, especially in more complex industries. While there are clear places for AI to augment content creation – we have our own AI code that we live by at the agency –  it can’t truly replicate the industry perspective and nuance that needs to come through in your content. Check out some of the predictions shared by our clients around the topics of AI here. And the most recent LinkedIn algorithm report by Richard van der Blom and Authored Up. It cites some very important stats that only scratch the surface as insights and caution for brands “over adopting” AI:

  • AI-generated posts have 30% less reach and 55% less engagement
  • AI-generated visuals get 70% less clicks
  • AI-generated comments have 4.2 x less response by the author and 5 x less engagement in general

We are all about jumping into the deep end when it comes to impactful trends, but knowing how to navigate them and how to use them to the betterment of our clients will always come first. We’re of the mind that being a fast follower is a strategy that will serve us well when it comes to new approaches and channels (does anyone else remember Clubhouse?!) and when breaking news strikes, we understand how to impactfully move the needle, leveraging our partners as the source of truth, rather than just commenting to be part of a trend.  

How is our team answering the call on these trends for our clients?

It starts with one of the basics – monitoring! Our team has the pulse on the latest opportunities for storytelling, what trends are taking hold (and when you should respond), and how your audiences are changing to bring an outside-in perspective to your brand.  

We also build data-driven insights into our planning, so we can quickly adapt or shift our strategy depending on what the data is telling us. This also provides a bit of a BS-detector, so we’re not chasing every new fad out there, but only those we believe will have staying power to impact strategy long-term.  

What’s next?

As we expand our services, we’re expanding the network of experts our clients can lean on under the same trusted umbrella of their Greenough team. We’re committed to offering educational resources such as the webinar we hosted this year. His talk was fantastic when we heard it at Hubspot’s Inbound conference, and we’re so excited to share his perspective with our community!  

We are also continuing to grow our brand marketing team with the recent hire of Grace Bonacum, who has run brand campaigns that include activations from podcasts and video series to ABM and PPC for leading brands, including SAP, Sailpoint, Phononic, Anaconda, WilliamsMarston, Cogito, Paytronix Systems and more!

We’re very fortunate to align our agency focus areas with our own passions, and this will continue as we expand our work with brands we’re EXCITED about! Having a more holistic view of how we can influence their brand reputation and loyalty will only fuel our creative fire!  

This summer, we’ll also roll out a few new industry reports to help our clients and community understand why siloed communications are dead and why we all should embrace the blur.

Watch this space!!!  

Prev post
Next Post
Greenough Communications

What our clients say

Ameresco

Ameresco

Leila Dillon, SVP, Corporate Marketing and Communications

It's clear that the Greenough Communications team has a deep understanding of the clean tech and climate transition spaces. Within the first month of working together, they were able to land interviews with The Washington Post, The New York Times and Canary Media, just to name a few! Since working together, we've seen our media coverage and quality increase significantly across the board. We value Greenough's partnership are looking forward to our continued work together.

Boston Micro Fabrication

Boston Micro Fabrication

Laura Galloway, Marketing Director

As a small marketing team, having an agency partner that feels like a true extension of my team is invaluable. The Greenough Communications team is professional, responsive and has taken the time to understand our business, putting our brand in front of the customers who matter for our growth. I’ve been very happy with our first year of partnership and look forward to future success.

Acrolinx

Acrolinx

Mariana Just, Vice President, Marketing

We started working with Greenough Communications over a year ago, and it's been a fantastic journey. They really understand who we are at Acrolinx and what we want to say. Their ability to amplify our message in a crowded AI space has been impressive, delivering solid media results in the outlets that matter, securing the AI Breakthrough Award, and boosting our executive team's social media presence. As we continue our partnership, we're excited about expanding our reach and market presence, building upon our refreshed positioning and messaging with Greenough's expertise guiding us every step of the way.

IQE

IQE

Steven Curwood, Director of Corporate Marketing

At IQE, one of our goals is to demystify the vital role compound semiconductors play in the industry and the future of innovation. As we aim to broaden our brand's reach in the U.S. market, finding an agency that understands our technology and the intricacies of our work is crucial. Greenough Communications stood out as that agency from the start. In the short time we've worked together, they've already validated our choice with opportunities in key media, including CNBC, NPR, and the U.S. trade media that will move the needle for our brand and message. There's much ahead for us, and we're excited to have the Greenough team by our side.

Arbella Insurance

Arbella Insurance

John Donohue, CEO

Our Greenough team has excelled in learning our business and our challenges and has been extremely effective in developing and executing a PR strategy that helps drive our success.

Wolters Kluwer Health

Wolters Kluwer Health

André Rebelo, Global Marketing Communications & Public Relations

Our Greenough team has been a strategic asset in sustaining targeted growth in our PR and external communications. The team really operates like an extension of our internal team, aligned and effective. They've deftly balanced the needs of multiple sub-groups' objectives and needs, getting great results in the publications our customers read.

GlobalFoundries

GlobalFoundries

Laurie Kelly, Chief Communications Officer

Greenough Communications has been more than just a PR agency for us at GlobalFoundries; they've been true partners. From navigating our IPO to driving impactful education campaigns like the one leading up to the passage of the CHIPS Act, they've been instrumental in showing the world our leadership role in this new technology era. Their knack for building connections with the industry and our team, including our executives, has been impressive. Every year, we throw new challenges their way, and they keep delivering. As we move ahead together, we're excited to keep pushing the boundaries, sharpening our brand narrative, and taking our brand awareness to the next level.

Greenough - Integrated Marketing

Integrated Marketing

Content Development

Public Relations

Brand Strategy

Integrated Marketing

Content Development

Public Relations

Brand Strategy

Public Relations

Brand Strategy

Integrated Marketing

Content Development

Public Relations

Brand Strategy

Integrated Marketing

Content Development

Let's start a project together.

Greenough - Brand Strategy