Hemsworth Communications is extending its “COVID-19 Public Relations Stimulus Program” through the second quarter of 2022. Launched one year ago, the program is designed to provide PR resources to businesses within the agency's core sectors of focus—travel and tourism, hospitality (food/wine/spirits) and franchising. The initial stimulus program included upfront pro bono support for those who met specific criteria; up to 50 percent reduced monthly retainers through 2021; a new “Flex-Pay” contract with deferred payment options; and tailored pandemic and post-pandemic strategic communications plans. “We decided to extend our 'COVID-19 PR Stimulus Program' so that we can continue providing quality agency resources to businesses who view public relations as a vital part of their reactivation strategy, but may still be resource-challenged," said Hemsworth founder and president Samantha Jacobs, founder and president of Hemsworth Communications. The agency is now accepting requests for program consideration.


Mower is collaborating with the New York State Tourism Industry Association on a pro bono campaign to encourage tourism in the state this summer. “Roam the Empire” aims to inspire New Yorkers to vacation in their home state. The NYSTIA says that by vacationing close to home, New Yorkers could help re-employ 300,000 state residents who have lost tourism-related jobs during the pandemic. As part of the campaign, Mower created a free, downloadable tool kit, complete with banner ads, social media graphics, posters and window stickers, as well as the campaign’s official logo and website. Since the launch on May 4, more than 80 New York State entities have signed on. Organizations and businesses that would like to join the initiative are invited to participate by registering with this link.


Idea Lab, based in Skopje, North Macedonia, has been elected to partnership in PROI Worldwide. Founded in 2013, Idea Lab supports PR, event management, video production and social media programs for clients across consumer products, healthcare and government programs. The agency is owned by marketing director Dimitar Atanasovski and team leader Ema Anchevska. “We are used to collaborating with agencies on programs across the Balkan Region and we look forward to networking and extending our reach with PROI Partners on a wider scale,” said Atanasovski. PROI worldwide global chair Ciro Dias Reis said that Idea Lab’s “creative approach and attitude to client service and business growth will be a perfect fit to help support our partners in the region.”


Mattio Communications, a cannabis marketing services firm, launches Confluency Agency, a subsidiary agency focused on influencer marketing. In addition to supporting cannabis clients, Confluency will target clients in such sectors as fashion, beauty, food, home, tech, lifestyle and travel. Victoria Baek, who was previously head of influencer marketing at Mattio, will lead Confluence Agency as CEO. Baek has worked with consumer brands including Coca-Cola, Taco Bell, Disney and Forever 21. "We've seen firsthand how influencer marketing drives growth among our own cannabis clients and is the future of brand marketing,” said Mattio founder and CEO Rose Mattio. “Launching an agency dedicated to executing best-in-class influencer campaigns aligns with our core mission of providing novel and effective media services to high-growth industries."