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Crisp Public Relations Celebrates Five Year Anniversary

It occurred to me earlier today that this week (week of February 20, 2012) marks the five year anniversary of Crisp Public Relations, a business that was never supposed to be a long term enterprise but that has become something dear to me.

In late 2006/early 2007, I left a wonderful job at a small agency in Atlanta that caters exclusively to telecommunication and technology clients.  I didn’t leave because of the people there (who are all great), the clients (all of whom I was proud to work for) or the work itself (which was definitely fun and challenging). Simply stated, I left because of the traffic in Atlanta. I had a little money saved and figured “why stay somewhere where almost 1/3 of my waking life is in the car?” That isn’t meant as a slight against that great city – it just wasn’t a good fit for me at that time.

My plan was to begin searching for a new job in another city with better public transit or less traffic.

While looking for my next job in the industry, I moved back to my hometown of Marion, N.C. to be closer to my parents and my sister.  While working my connections in the industry, I reached out to Bob Cook, a colleague, who, about 10 years ago, had owned and worked at an advertising agency employed by one of my clients. After selling his very successful business to members of his staff, Bob was (and still is) semi-retired (which is to say, he will probably never retire – he loves the work too much). While he didn’t have any job leads, he did have a project he needed PR support on – specifically a joint venture between Dow Chemical and Reichhold called (creatively enough) Dow Reichhold Specialty Latex. I first started on that account this week five years ago.

That project allowed me to forego my job hunt and spend my “spare time” looking for additional clients. Additionally, I found a lot of project work thanks to some great people in the industry, including Reed and Kristie Byrum with The Byrum Innovation Group in Greenville S.C. (Kristie had been my boss at Henderson Advertising and remains a dear friend), Peter Baron with Carabiner Communications in Atlanta, Dan Attenberger (and crew) at AGP & Associates in Midland, MI and Woody Stoudemire with Gotham Strategic Marketing in Hickory, N.C.

A few years ago, Dow Reichhold Specialty Latex closed operations when Dow acquired Rohm and Haas and needed to dissolve the JV due to potential competitive conflicts or compliance issues.  By then, however, Crisp Public Relations had a strong list of dedicated clients (and has since acquired more).

It was never my goal to start my own practice – or to move back to Western North Carolina – but I am thankful that it has worked out this way.  It allows me to practice Public Relations the way I feel it should be done, relying upon my own professional ethics and beliefs as I work with clients. I end each day knowing that every hour I billed to my clients that day was spent on actually public relations – and never the administrative tasks that accompany agency life.

So, as I begin the sixth year of my business, I felt the need to tell this little story and take a moment to reflect on where my career has led me. I still, today, work with Bob –albeit on a different client – as well as work I found independently.

Most importantly, I realize that I would have never been able to take that first step – or have the success I do today – without a lot of help from other people, not limited too (but definitely including) those mentioned in this article. I can only wish that they all feel as content and happy in their careers as I do today.

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Posted by on February 21, 2012 in Uncategorized


Arkema Forms New Coatings Business Unit

Big news from one of my clients:
Arkema Forms New Coatings Business Unit

Arkema Coating Resins Includes Coatings Assets from Arkema Emulsion Systems, Cook Composites and Polymers and Cray Valley


Arkema has combined the assets of its existing Arkema Emulsion Systems with those recently acquired from TOTAL to form Arkema Coating Resins. With more than 20 coating production facilities, six dedicated R&D labs and multiple sales and management offices, Arkema Coating Resins is now one of the largest producers of raw materials for coating formulators in the world.

The new business offers chemistries for almost every coating and related industry application, including architectural paints, industrial finishes, powder coatings, construction products, traffic paints, sealants, adhesives, inks and graphic arts products.

“Everything we do is based around the needs of the formulators,” Richard Jenkins, the newly appointed global group president for Arkema Coating Resins, explained. “This new business unit gives us the scope – in terms of technology, product lines and manufacturing sites along with the global presence to meet those needs in ways few suppliers can. Arkema Coating Resins will provide the chemistry, expertise and reliable global supply our customers need to remain competitive and meet the challenges of the industry today.”

The new business offers many different product lines, including water and solvent based alkyds, polyester resins, powder coating resins, high solid acrylic polyols, additives and one of the industry’s widest range of waterborne emulsions, including 100% acrylic, styrene acrylic, vinyl acrylic, ethylene modified polymers and many others. Additionally, Arkema Coating Resins will be part of a family of Arkema businesses that serve the coatings industry with a comprehensive range of products. This includes products from other business units within Arkema, such as COATEX® rheology modifiers, Acrylic Monomers, KYNAR® fluoropolymers and Sartomer® photocure resins.

According to Jenkins, in bringing these business and technology assets together, Arkema Coating Resins offers a different value proposition to the industry – a major raw material supplier that adapts based on formulator and industry needs.

“One of the most important tenets of the new business is open communication with our customers,” Jenkins said. “The customer needs a partner who understands their needs and responds. If a customer comes to us with a challenge, whether it is related to new environmental standards, end-user performance demands or supply logistics, we will listen, and we will work together to develop the best solution possible.”

Arkema finalized the acquisition of coatings assets from TOTAL on July 1, 2011. To learn more about Arkema Coating Resins, visit

About Arkema

A global chemical company and France’s leading chemicals producer, Arkema is building the future of the chemical industry every day. Deploying a responsible, innovation-based approach, we produce state-of-the-art specialty chemicals that provide customers with practical solutions to such challenges as climate change, access to drinking water, the future of energy, fossil fuel preservation and the need for lighter materials. With operations in more than 40 countries, 14,000 employees and 8 research centers, Arkema generates annual revenue of €5.9 billion and holds leadership positions in all its markets with a portfolio of internationally recognized brands. The world is our inspiration.

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Posted by on July 14, 2011 in Uncategorized


Not Enough Time in the Day

It has become clear that, with my current responsibilities to my clients, I don’t have the time required to maintain this blog in the manner I originally intended. My first priority has to be my clients, and with the activities planned for the rest of this year, I do not see a lot of free time for something that was started mostly for fun.

For that reason, I will be shifting the editorial direction slightly. I don’t expect to update often, but when I do, the posts will be shorter and probably focused more closely on a (still PR related) topic that I just need to rant a little about on that given day.

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Posted by on June 27, 2011 in Uncategorized