The Stern Communications Network
We are a network of senior communications executives who’ve fled the corporate world because we only want to report to one client – YOU. Internal politics and endless meetings waste huge amounts of time, which most of us have little to spare.
With most PR agencies the senior people pitch the account and then hand it off to a 20-something. We like junior people – their energy, creativity and talent are priceless. They help us figure out how to communicate and market in this brave new world of ours.
Stern Communication’s network is mostly public relations and marketing veterans with at least two decades of experience. Youth and enthusiasm are great, but there’s no substitute for experience.
Many of us are moms who didn’t want to sacrifice our kids “Wonder Years” for a corner office. Since we’re virtual, our overhead is low and we don’t waste your money on fancy office space. You’re not paying for people we’re not using, and the people who work on your account are totally focused on you. It’s as simple as that.
President, Chef and Resident Creative Leader
If you want a sassy New Yorker, a former journalist who says what she thinks tempered with Washington area’s savvy, she’s your person. Aimee’s resume is like the Energizer Bunny it keeps going and going and going.
She has written for the New York Times, Business Week, Money, Adweek, and many others. She spent time at the Harvard Business School living inside companies and writing its marketing case studies.
She launched a highly successful newsletter for senior marketers that still goes strong and spent five years attending every marketing conference known to man. She spent eight years at a D.C. PR agency and built a practice in science, engineering and health.
Three years ago she was working at a Washington D.C. PR and communications agency and realized that at her level of experience, if she wasn’t running the company, she should be. So she started Stern Communications, and the rest as they say is history.
Debbie Blankman is a versatile designer with extensive experience in electronic and print design in corporate, studio, and academic environments. She designed collateral for recruitment, alumni, conferences and special events for the graduate schools at the University of Maryland in Baltimore. Her work spanned its schools of nursing, pharmacy, social work, law, medicine and physical therapy.
Debbie also was the creative director for the Washington, DC office of Towers Perrin, a global human resource consulting firm. In this position, she developed branding and positioning materials as well as ongoing campaigns for clients in the agriculture, computer and bio-medical fields. She also was an art director for design firms in the Baltimore area, working on projects for Loyola College, Black & Decker, DAP, and Micros, among others.
Piper draws on 10+ years of experience to provide strategic direction and day-to-day communications support for clients. Piper works with her clients to define and advance a consistent brand message through the full range of marketing tools including PR, sales collateral, advertising, events, employee communications, and social media.
Piper has designed and executed communications campaigns for clients including VeriSign, Check Point Software, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Symantec, Apogen Technologies, and Software AG. Piper also brings a depth of experience in managing the internal and external communications around Merger & Acquisition activity.
Alissa is a rare find – a flexible and thoughtful designer, with incredible talent, who can listen to clients and project their vision with a flair that surprises all. She is a true artist who expresses her unique view of the world through music and fine art, as well as web sites, print, packaging and environmental signage. Her talent is taking all the pieces and putting them together across an array of marketing and communications products. Alissa holds a bachelor’s with honors in communications design from Carnegie Mellon University. Her clients include the National Commission on Energy Policy, The World Bank and the Bipartisan Policy Center.
Karen is a successful fundraiser and organizational strategist with nearly 20 years of experience in non-profit development, fundraising, management, publications and marketing. She knows how to take something that isn’t working and turn it around, and improve upon what already works. Karen can help an organization harness its current resources, train leadership, and craft creative and strategic development plans to help non-profits increase their fundraising potential.
Among the services she delivers:
- Identifying, researching, and soliciting major donors, foundations and corporations
- Organizing special fundraising events
- Writing successful grant proposals, reports, applications and other funding requests
- Writing and producing donor-relevant brochures, newsletters and annual reports
- Creating donor-friendly public education programs
- Designing marketing strategies to tie in with fundraising efforts
Susan Wade is an expert in corporate philanthropy, grant writing and database development for non-profits. She is the founding editor of the successful newsletter, The Foundation and Corporate Funding Advantage, a monthly publication for grant seekers, advising them on trends in the non-profit field and the best places to go for grants.
Her work is widely respected in the non-profit marketing world. She has contributed to a variety of articles in Fortune Magazine on corporate giving trends and spoken at several national conferences about recent trends in federal government and private sector funding.
Susan specializes in comprehensive strategic planning for grant seekers which includes prospect research, budgeting, business plan development, etc. This year, she launched Progressive Business Publications first online database of private foundations and corporate givers which is available to tens of thousands of subscribers. They can enter the site and search for funders by region, state or areas of interest.
Laura is a veteran marketer and public relations professional. One of her specialties is developing long-term relationships with key media in industries such as mortgage banking , real estate and corporate finance. She spent more than a decade in the financial services industry as a sales and marketing representative for the Investment Company Institute of the Calvert Group. She was Mid-Atlantic Marketing Director for the regional offices of real estate developers Trammell Crowe and Spaulding and Sly. In these positions, she managed public relations, advertising and oversaw all business-to-business marketing.
An entrepreneur at heart, Laura saw an opportunity five years ago and founded Forest Glen Pets, a company that boards and takes care of pets in the Washington, DC area. She oversees a staff of more than a dozen people, and a revenue stream of several hundred thousand dollars annually. The business is currently for sale and she will have more time to devote to PR, her first love, in the future.
Lou Ann Bradley
Lou Ann is a highly skilled writer and communications veteran who has worked with a wide variety of corporations ranging from start-ups to the Fortune 500. She excels at working in technical fields and at transforming complex information into concise materials for business to business markets. Some of her recent work includes:
- Creation of marketing strategy and materials for a security software manufacturer
- Development of a new Web identify for a data services provider in the legal industry
- Branding and materials development for a smart house design and engineering firm.
The majority of Lou Ann’s public relations experience is in the management of public relations programs for large, multi-national corporations. Her areas of expertise include healthcare, computer software, transportation, law and telecommunications, among others. She has managed and implemented communications efforts dealing with investors and security analysts, national and global media, database development and management, and customer service.
We also have a network of more than a dozen marketers, writers, social and traditional media strategists, designers (Web and Print), trainers, ad agency types and others around the country.