First things first—allow us to introduce ourselves.
We are Hello – a small but mighty engagement agency made up of all women. We are small with intent. We know big. We were big. Big has limitations. Layers. Politics. Flaws. You sell a good solution, then peace out.
We are going to be bigger and better by being smaller.
Small is more fulfilling. Small delivers better results. Small can deliver real relationships. Small is efficient & nimble. We will never be big… And that’s a good place to be.
At Hello, we work pretty hard to create engaging experiences. Two-way, mutually beneficial experiences & relationships between you + your consumer. And despite the crazy world we live in, it’s never been easier to get to know said consumer and make that relationship a reality.
No really, we can show you.
Welcome to Hello LLC, an Engagement Agency.
We are small with intent. We know big. We were big. Big has limitations. Layers. Politics. Flaws. You sell a good solution and then peace out. We helped create big. We were part of big. No thanks.
We are going to be bigger and better by being smaller. Where we can make a difference.
Small is more fulfilling. Small delivers better results. Small can deliver relationships where real value can be seen. Small is efficient and nimble. We will never be big… And that’s a good place to be.
We don’t mean to toot our own horn, but we’re ridiculously proud of our group & think we have some of the best minds around.
Oh OK. Toot toot.
Hello was founded in 2013 on a porch. Or was it over drinks? No wait — rooftop at Greenhouse! In reality, it’s D: all the above. Hello was an idea Michelle had and a drive to get the band back together. Today, we’re a growing group of like-minded marketers — 10 women (6 working moms!) — with over 100 years of combined experience and passion galore. Our backgrounds are a mix of PR, social media, brand strategy, creative, random pop culture facts, event planning, oh my. What does this mean? We take a holistic approach to your challenge, start off media agnostic, and never rush to said tactic as the saving grace. And like to have a little (a lot!) of fun along the way.
Learn more about how we got started, why getting fired isn’t such a bad thing, the way we do that thing we do and why Pearl Jam will forever be the best band in the land. THEN, learn more here about how we created a culture that works on a human level (and why Joy Rides rule!).
Our humble beginnings
We were founded by two peers who spent over 10 years working together and learning from each other. Our team includes a group of like-minded marketers with over 70 years of combined experience. We don’t want to toot our own horn, but we’re pretty proud of our group and think they are some of the best minds around.
Oh OK. Toot toot.
Michelle Venorsky, apr.
Hello, my name is Michelle.
Good stuff: Slightly obsessed with food, mom to Natalie and Olivia, has consistently believed this year is the Browns year since 1986, Pearl Jam fanatic, retired blogger behind ClevelandFoodie.com, happy with cheese, wine and bread.
Boring stuff: Over 20 years of hybrid social and PR experience, mainly focusing on moms, CPG, OPE and Housewares. Prior to founding Hello, Michelle launched the social marketing practice at Rosetta Publicis, one of the top 5 digital agencies according to AdAge and named #2 customer engagement agency in the world by Forrester. Prior to Rosetta, she spent 10 years at Marcus Thomas in the PR group and launched that agency’s social media practice. She once authored the largest food blog in Ohio, is a freelance writer for Forbes Travel, an accredited member of PRSA and a fellow for The Society for New Communications Research.
Hello, my name is Lisa.
Good stuff: Avid window shopper, croissant connoisseur and mom to a hilarious toddler. Enjoys anything animal print, snail mail and Laffy Taffy wrapper jokes.
Boring stuff: A native Clevelander, Lisa spent the past 8 years in Chicago, managing activations, branding and events for a variety of CPG, technology, health and fashion brands. With a strong background in both PR and marketing, she led PR efforts and thought leadership strategy for a Chicago-based tech start-up who was awarded “Most Innovative Company” and “Tech Startup of the Year” by the American Business Awards. Her prior endeavors include the rebrand and launch of “It Designer” Azeeza Khan’s fashion line and account work for the health and beauty arm of a major pharmaceutical company. Lisa also ran social media and events for a non-profit professional women’s networking group in the city. She is a graduate of DePaul University.
Hello, my name is Giovanna.
Good stuff: Self-proclaimed pasta connoisseur, football fanatic, rom-com junkie, all things CLE, when life hands you lemons, just make lemoncello.
Boring stuff: Giovanna is a highly motivated hybrid PR professional with proven experience in creating, activating and optimizing successful campaigns and media relations programs for regional and national btoc clients. She has expertise in planning and managing an array of events and tradeshows, and using strategic communication approaches for paid, owned, earned and shared media. She brings an in-depth knowledge of strategically telling a company’s story for a variety of audiences. She holds a bachelor’s degree in strategic communications from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism from Ohio University.
Hello, my name is Dana.
Good stuff: Purveyor of useless knowledge, eats chocolate daily, loves live music and watches too much reality TV.
Boring stuff: Dana grew up in Cleveland and found her way back to raise her two children. Her son was named after a reality show contestant and her daughter’s namesake owns a chocolate bar (see good stuff!). She has worked in diverse marketing roles throughout her career and enjoys the creative process and fostering strong client relationships. Her previous experience includes working with consumer products, fashion brands, CLE’s largest music festival and a variety of non-profits. She has expertise in planning events, client service and managing activation. Dana holds a bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism from Ohio University.
Hello, my name is Meagan.
Good stuff: Fiercely loyal. List maker. Daydreamer. Mom to Elsie, Mac and Sully. Serial organizer, nicknamer, Lumineers lover. Enjoys cozy wine bars, sunny trail hikes and a little friendly competition (esp. word scrambles or sports with her hub, Mike).
Boring stuff: 15-year PR and MKT/COM experience including 10 years agency with a focus in public affairs and real estate. Launched her PR career with an internship at Fleishman-Hillard’s global headquarters in St. Louis. A Cleveland native and enthusiast, she spent 5+ years with Lesic & Camper Communications as lead account exec on Flats East Bank, Cleveland’s $500 million waterfront redevelopment project. She has managed complex public relations campaigns surrounding a bank’s rebrand, a congressional campaign as well as executed high-profile ground-breakings, topping-offs and grand openings. Meagan also spent 2+ years with University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital where she worked closely with the Rainbow Foundation Board and launched and wrote/produced a regular newsletter to 4500+ donors. Meagan is a proud graduate of Miami University’s Farmer School of Business.
Hello, my name is Victoria.
Good stuff: Small, but fierce. Fashion lover, lifelong dancer and undefeated Scrabble champ. Always keeping up with reality TV.
Boring stuff: Victoria is a driven, versatile PR professional with both corporate and agency experience. Even at a young age, her passion for writing and storytelling was evident. She is also a member of the Kappa Tau Alpha Honor Society in Journalism and Mass Communication. Before joining Hello, she was a copywriter for Victoria’s Secret and also managed copy for the brand’s beauty business, while partnering with merchandising and digital teams to develop overall marketing strategy. Prior to, she interned on the Victoria’s Secret PINK digital marketing team in New York City. She is a Kent State graduate with a degree in public relations and is currently pursuing her master’s in Organizational Communication at Ohio University.
Hello, my name is Jenny.
Good stuff: Idea person, thinker, mom to Laney, Macy, two cats, one dog, dance team & field hockey fan, volunteer & taxi, manager of never-quite-finished projects, love hiking the CVNP and wine/cheese most anywhere.
Boring stuff: More than 23+ idea-generating and copywriting for an interesting mix of agencies and corporate clients. Jenny’s created messaging for international brands and unique start-ups across multiple industries with a focus on CPG, healthcare, home products and education. Some familiar brands include Kraft/Heinz, Oreo, Nabisco, J.M. Smucker Co., Stouffer’s, Sherwin-Williams, Goodyear, GE, Aspire Brands, Dupont, Shurtech Brands, The University of Akron, Old Trail School, Akron Children’s Hospital and Summa. From television spots to social posts, Jenny’s words have generated sales, built brands, educated and entertained audiences, and collected numerous ADDYs along the way.
We love this business
And we like to think we know our stuff, too. But that doesn’t mean we still aren’t learning or willing to take intelligent risks here or there if it benefits you in the end. Whatever it takes to help strengthen your relationships.
We don’t think in terms of PR strategy, digital strategy, social strategy. Yikes, that’s a lot of strategies. Instead, we think about a connections strategy for a digital world. Your consumer doesn’t think all choppy, so neither do we. It’s all about building and strengthening your connections and uncovering the Value Exchange. So how do we uncover those connections exactly?
01 – Discovery
What’s the business outcome? What keeps you up at night? What’s the conversation? What’s the competition up to?
02 – Insight
Really, this step is first cousins with Discovery. Here, we get deep inside your customer’s head to find out what keeps them up at night. And we’re not just talking women, 35–54 with a HHI of $75,000. No, we’re talking a working mom in her mid 30s of two crazy toddlers, avid yogi, addicted to Starbucks soy cappuccino, doesn’t have cable in favor of Netflix, has a slight panic attack every time her iPhone is not within arm’s reach and hates when the clock turns 4 because she has no idea what to feed her family that night.
03 – Strategy + Hypothesis
Insight always drives strategy. Now that we’re armed with all this information, we’re able to figure out the best way to help solve your challenge.
04 – Ideate
Strategy comfortably in place, we begin the fun part—the ideation process. So how are we going to bring your strategy to life?
05 – Engage
We’re media agnostic up until this point, but now we’re able to clearly see what specific tactics are needed to support the big idea and your Value Exchange. These may include: community management, blogger outreach, media relations, events, customer service, crisis support, content development + more.
06 – Measure (Rinse + Repeat)
Ok, we told a slight fib. Don’t hold it against us. We say this is last but it’s actually sitting up there pretty snug in Discovery. That’s because before we get started, we’ll determine KPIs for success together. And then we’ll monitor our performance along the way and modify as needed to optimize for greater success. We are always in beta—always learning.
A small sampling of our clients. We’re happy to chat about the engagement for each + those not listed (or better yet, talk to our clients directly about us!).
In a pickle:
The Paisley Farm Case Study
And we lost our client.
While not the typical makings of a case study, ending our mutually enjoyable collaboration with Paisley Farms is exactly what we set out to do.
While Willoughby, Ohio-based Paisley Farms was doing an amazing job of selling pickled vegetables and relishes, owner Ken Anderson needed a bit of assistance with selling something out of his realm of expertise: his company.
How could he capture the attention of interested buyers? Ken needed the proverbial (pickled) carrot to dangle in front of their noses. He needed to tell his story and elevate his brand.
Immediately we steeped ourselves in the Paisley brine. We learned the business, the category, the customers and every story in between—like our personal favorite, the one where the owner started working there for $5 an hour and eventually bought the company.
So with no shortage of stories to tell, we got busy garnering media coverage for the brand and reengaging its social community. We carefully crafted angles and opportunities to secure ongoing coverage from a variety of media outlets including broadcast, print and radio.
Then, by being in right place at the right time, Ken’s story connected.
One morning in between emails and sips of coffee, an advisor for The Fremont Company, a family-owned manufacturer of sauces and sauerkrauts saw an article in Crain’s about Ken Anderson and how he turned Paisley Farm around. He was intrigued. He’d been exploring ways to help Fremont increase its footprint.
One phone call led to another and, well, mission accomplished.
We elevated and communicated the Paisley Farm brand and Ken sold his company. And while we prefer client relationships not comparable in length to a Paisley’s pickled baby corn, we’re particularly proud of this couldn’t-be-happier ending.
The Vue Case Study
We needed to one-up downtown.
We were tasked with convincing millennials and young Gen Xers to consider The Vue, a luxury apartment complex new to Cleveland that was everything our audience wanted, modern with an upscale urban feel, but it was located in the—shhhhh—suburbs.
The NRP Group wanted to position The Vue as a viable competitor to downtown dwellings and communicate its amazing community and lifestyle to a young, socially-charged audience.
So we got social. With a mix of social media, PR and events, Hello crafted an extension of the Vue community with in-the-know content that spoke to the interests and lifestyle of our audience. From events to food to the arts, we curated the best of Cleveland –sprinkling in Vue-centric updates that touched on the upscale amenities and features they couldn’t’ find anywhere else in town.
Then, we created a series of buzz-worthy experiential events positioning The Vue as must-see-must-know-must-tour. We assembled swanky guest lists, gourmet menus, music and cocktails and threw a VIP preview party. We entertained and enticed our guests Vue-style with the sophisticated amenities and well, flamethrowers and acrobatic dancers that floated across the pool in custom bubbles…and so the conversations began.
Then we decided we shouldn’t be the only ones doing the wooing. With #HireMeVue we set out to find a social ambassador. Through social channels and the media we searched for the voice of The Vue. We needed a person willing to share their life and the amazingness of Vue amenities with the world for 6 months in exchange for living rent-free. With friends and families campaigning on their behalf, people from all over the globe applied. In addition to finding our ambassador, #HireMeVue created an amazing amount of user-generated content and ongoing press coverage that exceeded all expectation.
We captured the attention of our audience and then some. The #HireMeVue campaign alone resulted in 20+ news stories in print, TV and radio, over 100 applicants — from as far away as Australia — and 850,000+ socials mentions.
The Vue reached capacity goals before our client’s target date. And an elite group of Clevelanders is most certainly enjoying a luxurious new lease on life.
The Window Nation Case Study
Replacing windows and doors is what Window Nation does best.
However, when faced with restoring some worn out elements within their own company, they installed something completely different: us.
Although Maryland-based Window Nation was ranked the 9th largest home improvement company in the nation, they realized that they themselves were in need of improvement. Some not-so-great customer experiences resulted in poor online ratings—and comments that were even worse.
Enter Hello. We agreed that it was time to take a bulldozer or wrecking ball (or at least a squeegee) to their online reputation and work on building something better.
So we did. First we went offline. We did a quick audit of their sales process and modified it. We painstakingly reviewed poor encounters and formulated fixes.
Then, we took over all of their social channels. We made sure each customer interaction was unique and positive—ensuring each experience would beat any in the industry and then some. We started generating and sharing relevant content to keep previous customers engaged well past the sale.
And with each bit of effort we added, customers added stars. In a matter of months, Window Nation was exceeding expectations left and right. So much so that the entire industry started taking notice.
In 2015, Window& Door magazine awarded Window Nation Dealer of the Year for their use of social media to support customers. They earned an A ranking on Angie’s List and A+ rating with the BBB. Positive online reviews of customer experiences double to over 10,000. Plus, employee morale improved and not surprisingly, so did their bottom line.
So that’s how we helped fix a broken window company. And, inspired by the 96% of now-happy Window Nation customers, we’d rate our experience the very same way: ☆☆☆☆☆
Changing the way you wash your hair:
The ShampYou Case Study
Long gone are the days of a one-size-fits-all shampoo. Today’s consumer is as unique as her hair and wants products that reflect her individualism. Enter ShampYou – a customizable hair care regimen that consists of a base blend, two super serums to fit your hair needs and a quick shake. Straight and brunette this spring? Maybe blonde ambition for summer? It’s a product inspired by cocktail mixology, but created by you.
The ShampYou concept was certainly new, but the Millennial audience segment can be tough to reach, especially when launching in the competitive market of ULTA stores. But we believed if we could appeal to our target customer’s lifestyle, communicating to them in a way that’s authentic, real and relatable, we’d spark interest, trial and ultimately drive purchase.
By using targeted media relations and influencer programming to reach both beauty and hair care editors and category influencers, we grew ShampYou’s initial social footprint to 32,000 fans. We also landed features in Teen Vogue, Refinery29, “Today Show” and InStyle, as the Millennial audience embraced their custom blends and the distinctive positioning of the brand.
Using a Selfie to Propel a Brand
The Formula 10.0.6 Case Study
Since 1933, FORMULA 10.0.6’s So Totally Clean has remained a tried and trusted deep pore cleanser. Alongside the rest of the product lineup, the brand delivers on their promise of modern skin care made with everything consumers need and nothing they don’t.
But each day within the crowded marketplace, there always seemed to be another product popping up and competing for our audience’s attention.
To build awareness and educate the consumer on our full line of products, stemming from the popularity of the original favorite, we employed targeted media relations and Millennial influencer outreach to land features on Eleventh-Gorgeous and Into The Gloss, while new users and loyalists shared their selfies, thanks to targeted influencer events and parties including #FreshFaceSelfies, #UltaHauls #MaskTheNightAway and various sorority challenges. Not to mention, the affordable luxury of FORMULA 10.0.6 products was featured in Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, E! Online and Refinery29.
The Sipt Case Study
How did Hello quench Cleveland’s thirst for deliciously healthy beverages?
With an approach just as fresh and deliciously satisfying.
Carina Grenier was looking for help in bringing her idea for a healthy beverage establishment to life. Her place wasn’t like all the others—her juice bar/coffee shop/café wasn’t a national chain hocking sugary drinks and pre-packaged food items. So how could she set her place apart and attract the fitness-minded customers she was after?
Just say Hello.
Right away the Hello team got busy pouring over ideas and crafting a refreshingly unique marketing concoction of our own.
We partnered with Studio Chartreuse to develop a new name, logo, identity system, brand platform and store signage, then got busy introducing Sipt. Pressed+Poured to Cleveland in a big way—with a hyper-caffeinated engagement plan.
From establishing the Sipt website and social channels to garnering media coverage, we carefully crafted angles and opportunities to share Carina’s story, and to get east siders craving smoothies and avocado toast like never before!
The café was featured across nearly every single broadcast, print and social outlets including: Fox8, WKYC, Ch. 19, The Plain Dealer/cleveland. com, Cleveland Jewish News, Beachwood Buzz, Edible Cleveland, Today’s Family Living Magazine, and Freshwater Magazine.
So while Sipt got busy choosing outstanding ingredients—cough, cough—Hello included our blend of smart, stylish branding and engagement expertise proved to be a refreshingly-energizing and wellness-inducing success. And – it proved to be another successful pairing of Hello + Chartreuse!
We are small by intent.Do not take yourself too seriously.You are not above doing anything.Find a way. Make it happen.Over-communicate.Keep promises.You’re always on.If you aren’t having fun, you’re in the wrong field.Manage expectations — your word is your bond.Question premises & strategy. Don’t question goodwill & intent.Be nimble.Always be a student.Take chances. We did. (that’s why you’re here)Don’t be an asshole.It works because it’s personal.The only stupid question is the one you didn’t ask.Make mistakes. Own them. Fix them. Then share the learnings.Mostly we like to do things that haven’t been done before. So don’t be surprised when you’re surprised.Treat everyone with kindness, compassion and dignity. Not because they’re a client, but because they’re a human being.
Let's Continue This Conversation in Person.
After all, the best relationships do require some good ol’ fashioned face time. Plus, we’re tired of talking about us… your turn!
139 Bell St.
Chagrin Falls OH 44022
o: (440) 394-8007 m: (216) 346-3988 (hint, hint: mobile is best bet these days as we're all staying safe at home)