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In 2003, Mary Beth West planted the seed for a company that would redefine the role of public relations in East Tennessee. Eleven years later, we continue to push the envelope on what strategic communications and marketing can do…now on a national basis. Seated in our core values, we help clients communicate, engage and build meaningful connections with their stakeholders through brand relationships, digital innovation and competitive impact. We don’t mean to brag, but check out our kudos here. Want to hear more from us? Sign up for our monthly gossip here.
Mary Beth West is a public relations executive with 20 years’ experience managing marketing communications strategies and campaigns, with proven business results meeting companies’ and organizations’ sales/development, branding and reputation management objectives.
Celebrating 11 years in business in spring 2014, Mary Beth West founded her public relations firm in March 2003. She serves as a key strategist on agency accounts, leads the financial and business growth of the company, and manages the development of her team. More about Mary Beth...
Randy McGinnis brings more than 30 years of experience as both a business owner and an operational executive, with much of his experience in federal government contracting, as well as crisis prevention and response operations. With expertise in strategy, vision, and mission planning, his excellent business relationships extend throughout the U.S. Department of Energy and Department of Defense.
Prior to joining MBWC, Randy served as founder and CEO of Echota Technologies Corporation, Inc., a multi-million dollar corporation that specialized in providing technology and consulting services combined with effective management of large-scale projects within the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, international commercial nuclear communities and private industry. Echota was the largest 8(a) firm in the Greater Knoxville area before Randy sold the company in 2011. In 2009, Randy was awarded “Tennessee Small Business Person of the Year” by the U.S. Small Business Administration, and in 2008, his company was named Tennessee’s Minority Business of the Year. In 2006, he was awarded the U.S. Department of Defense’s prestigious Nunn-Perry Award. His earlier career included special assignments and supervisory posts at the Y-12 Nuclear Weapons Plant in Oak Ridge and at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Portsmouth, Ohio, supervising all plant operations personnel. A Native American Cherokee (Deer Clan), Randy is well-known in East Tennessee as well as nationally as a Native American flute player, with numerous CDs released – from which he directs all proceeds go to charity – and a winner in 2010 of the Native American Music Awards. He is currently a 2014 NAMA nominee. Randy enjoys volunteering as part of the International Native American Flute Association to preserve the heritage of the Native American flute and to conduct educational outreach. He also serves on the board of the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center in Townsend, Tenn., where he also founded the Smoky Mountain Flute Circle. Randy and his wife Marsha live in Knoxville.
Tyra brings nine years of experience to Mary Beth West Communications with an award-winning background in media relations. Tyra is responsible for spearheading the planning and management of client communications strategies – including local, regional and national media relations campaigns – for a diverse base of agency clients.
Her award-winning client work includes campaigns for Alcoa - Tennessee Operations, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Girl Scouts, among many others.Previously, Tyra was the project director and media spokesperson for the Metropolitan Drug Commission (MDC) in Knoxville, Tenn., where she managed media relations efforts, community outreach initiatives, educational training programs and state-funded grants. Prior to joining the MDC, Tyra developed a passion for news media during her time at WBIR-TV (NBC affiliate). Tyra earned dual degrees from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville – one in communications and one in Spanish. Locally, Tyra serves in a variety of leadership roles including the Junior League of Knoxville, Clayton Center for the Arts Advisory Board, the Knoxville Area Alumnae Chapter of Alpha Omicron Pi and the Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) Task Force.
Tori brings more than 20 years of experience to Mary Beth West Communications across several marketing disciplines. Her extensive and diverse background includes work for companies in both the United States and Canada. Tori manages the firm’s creative and digital output, ranging from traditional collaterals to mobile, website and social media strategy and interface design.
Previously, Tori was creative director for Knoxville-based Efficience, where she worked with clients such as Radio Systems, Inc., WDVX, DenTek, H.T. Hackney and MasterCraft. She was also principal and creative director of her own agency, Blue Media Boutique, which won a 2010 Gold ADDY Award and the 2010 PRSA “Award of Excellence”. She has also served as vice president, creative director of RIVR Media Interactive and creative director of Edison Schools in New York, New York. She holds a Master’s degree in Media from The New School University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wake Forest University.
April Timko is responsible for managing campaigns and projects for MBWC clients, ensuring all projects are communicated and executed on time and within budget according to the required strategic direction of each campaign. With her experience in account management as well as project and production supervision, April is skilled at listening and leading to achieve results above and beyond clients’ expectations.
Since earning a bachelor of arts in advertising and music from Carson Newman University, April has developed skills in agency roles that have allowed her to work directly with all departments and oversee projects from conception to completion. Prior to joining MBWC, she has worked with clients such as Grainger, Kohler, Boeing, Weis Markets, Food City, Home Federal Bank and numerous utilities such as Ameren and FirstEnergy. She’s earned a reputation as someone who can bring together and execute a communications plan with discipline and creativity. With an additional strong background in production management, April has earned several industry awards.
Laura is responsible for managing multiple projects from initial job start through completion. She works along with the account service team to estimate, schedule and track jobs through delivery. As an internal agency liaison with all departments, she makes sure projects stay on schedule and within budget.
Laura is a Maryville College graduate and holds certificates in both social media marketing from the University of Tennessee and inbound marketing from HubSpot. Laura has over 15 years’ experience in marketing and project management and was with national handbag company Maggie Bags prior to joining our team. Among just some of her responsibilities at Maggie Bags, Laura wrote copy for both their website and social media outlets; planned and implemented brand contests; completed graphic design for website, e-mail marketing, and social media; helped plan and facilitate professional photo shoots; handled website maintenance; and managed daily electronic data interchange and drop ship operations. Prior to Maggie Bags, Laura worked for nine years at a higher education professional association as manager of corporate relations, and prior to that, served for five years with a major processor of credit card transactions as relationship manager and team trainer.
Jessica is responsible for managing client and project activities for Mary Beth West Communications. She is designated as the liaison between clients and the MBWC team to ensure streamlined communications, accurate information and client satisfaction across all components.
Jessica has a variety of marketing and communications experience stemming from work with the State of Tennessee, engineering firms and various entrepreneurial clients. Through these experiences she executed client and project management for public sector, real estate and technical service organizations. Also, she currently serves as the communications chair for the Junior Diabetes Research Foundation East Tennessee chapter. Jessica graduated from the University of Tennessee with a bachelor’s in public relations and minor in business administration in May 2012. During her collegiate career, she worked for the Athletic Department in media relations while serving in leadership positions for her sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha, the Public Relations Student Society of America and Susan G. Komen – Knoxville.
Jamie serves the Mary Beth West Communications team as the firm’s interactive coordinator on all agency accounts. In this role she helps develop social and interactive communications support tools, content and knowledge support for clients.
Jamie previously served as marketing coordinator for Diverse Concepts, parent company of many restaurants in the Greater Knoxville area including Lakeside Tavern, Riverside Grille and Parkside Tavern. Jamie graduated from the University of Tennessee with a bachelor’s in advertising and minors in business and psychology in May 2013. During her time at UT, she was a member of the Ad Club and participated in campaign projects for Microsoft Bing!, Abilify and Doritos’ Crash the Super Bowl contest.
Cassandra serves the Mary Beth West Communications team as the firm’s media relations coordinator. In this role, she assists the director of communications in the oversight of local, regional and national media relations campaigns for clients, which currently include accounts in the energy, educational, housing, non-profit and consumer financial services sectors.
Previously, Cassandra worked in the University of Tennessee’s athletic media relations office where she handled media relations efforts for the women’s basketball and volleyball teams, conducted media training and branding for student-athletes and coaches, and assisted with community outreach appearances. She also was part of the implementation of Lady Vol basketball’s “Grind for 9” campaign during the 2013-14 season. Prior to UT, Cassandra filled the role of communications assistant at the Big 12 Conference in Dallas. She graduated from the University of Tennessee with a master’s degree in sport management in May 2014, and holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism, with a minor in Spanish, from the University of Missouri.
Sarah’s main responsibilities at Mary Beth West Communications are to support the client service team with general communications and outreach tasks including media relations, community relations and organizational outreach. Her focus is on successfully fulfilling client scopes of work, meeting client service needs and helping grow client relationships.
Sarah gained experience in project management and sustainability communications through her previous position as the Communications Manager for the University of Tennessee’s EcoCAR 2 team. During her senior year, she made connections throughout the community through her role as Co-Vice President of the Sammie Lynn Puett chapter of PRSSA. She also worked for the University of Tennessee Outdoor Program; where she assisted with trip marketing, trip leading and group building. Sarah graduated from UT with a bachelor’s degree in public relations and a minor in business administration in August 2014. Her campaign studies focused on nonprofit fundraising and member and donor relations.
Catherine serves the Mary Beth West Communications team as a Public Relations intern. She is a senior at the University of Tennessee, majoring in Public Relations with a minor in Business Administration.
Prior to Mary Beth West Communications, Catherine spent one year interning with the Knoxville Ice Bears of the Southern Professional Hockey League. She currently serves as the Co-Vice President of the Sammie Lynn Puett Chapter of PRSSA.
Marijo Soto graduated from the Universidad del Valle de Mexico in graphic design 2003 with honors. From 2005 to 2009, Marijo was a part of the creative team of La Jabonera Studio, designing for companies such as Kellogg, Coca-Cola, Bticino and Hafele.
For the past three years, Marijo has served as the lead designer at Efficience, producing both print and web materials. She specializes in computer and hand illustration.
Élan’s primary focus on the team is writing and editing content for the firm’s clients. From short, punchy marketing copy to press releases, to longer business proposals, Élan uses her skills in over 10 years as a writer, editor and writing teacher to develop copy appropriate for a wide range of client projects.
Prior to Mary Beth West Communications, Élan worked as Downtown Knoxville’s marketing coordinator. Previously, she worked with the Amputee Coalition, a national non-profit organization, where she wrote, edited and coordinated content for its bimonthly magazine and other resource publications. She has also taught English to college students at Maryville College and UNC Greensboro. Since 2002 she has written and edited for a range of publications on a freelance basis. Élan has an MFA in Creative Writing from UNC Greensboro and a BA in Public Policy from UNC Chapel Hill.
The discovery is the starting point for all clients. We’ll listen to you and gather information to begin a thorough assessment of where and how we can work together. This might include learning about the company’s strengths and challenges, or collecting information such as mission, vision and positioning statements. It might include looking at business and strategic plans for the company as a whole or for specific projects. The discovery usually helps our clients know what services they need us to focus on before we get to work. This process should be a two-way conversation, with our goal to be able to create a framework for our relationship. With that process in place, we’ll be able to determine which promotion tools will best create a positive result for each type of business and each budget.
Next we’ll develop a strategic blueprint that will be a custom-tailored blend of traditional and interactive digital media to enable you to reach the right audience with the right message on time, every time. We do this by evaluating the company and its goals, crafting brands, digital products and messaging to fit those goals, and then disseminating these through social and traditional media outlets that we have developed trusted relationships with. With over ten years in business and up-to-the-minute digital technology in our company’s toolbox, we help all our clients achieve greater impact with their messages and digital impact by leveraging the business and media relationships we’ve developed locally and regionally.
Creative is key to captivating your audience’s attention and making a strong visual and emotional impact. Our competent and creative team is known for award-winning approaches to solving complex and everyday brand problems. Our content and digital design isn’t just going to tell a story, it will pull people in to engage them at a new level. We’re confident because we’re competitive about having fun. When we let loose our creative minds, our clients win big time.
A brilliant, creative plan means nothing without the ability to execute it seamlessly with professional finesse. With an effective plan in place, we go to work to turn it into reality. Execution takes place with the help of timetables and open communication, not to mention our ability to engage our friends in business and media to help us connect your message to thought leaders.
Once the plan has been executed, we won’t leave you wondering what the effect of our work was. We’ll take a look at the tracks we’ve made and put together analytics that are easy to understand to help you navigate how your company is growing in its public perception and digital footprint. Whether you need analytics for a one-time project or on an ongoing basis, we’ve got subscription tools and skills to crunch data for all your pr and marketing needs.
Through public relations campaigns, we help our clients position themselves in line with their business goals and enable them to successfully reach their audiences. Our work connects the right strategies with relationship-building outreach as well as compelling content for local media and other points of influence. Our public relations expertise includes media relations, community outreach, employee communications, crisis preparedness and response, event planning / execution, investor/donor relations, third-party stakeholder outreach, and industry trade / B2B campaigns.
We provide intelligent and effective interactive social media plans to our clients. Every day, we help manage the communities surrounding a variety of brands and use our resources to widen a company’s audience. Our team has experience with a full range of social media tools and strategies to weave into traditional PR strategies.
Our team of creative and technical experts will develop custom digital products to help your business strengthen its presence in today’s digital universe from mobile apps and responsive website design to social media contesting, digital brand development and much more.
As a full-service agency, we offer print and digital advertising design and marketing for a range of media outlets. Whether you need a brand overhaul or help creating a specific powerful message, we have the creative and strategic capacity to take you wherever you need to go with your brand.
Our members—retailers, restaurants, spas, salons, galleries—were looking for ways to increase foot traffic and drive sales. Wow! We have been blown away by the sleek mobile app they developed for us. Customers are ecstatic.
-Bebe Vogel, The District in Bearden
I can’t say enough about how well their team did on our first project. From the project’s onset through to the final deliverable, their team impressed me with their knowledge, communication, and expertise.
-Aaron Gerraughty, WAXIE Sanitary Supply
From the very beginning, their team quickly understood our business challenges and helped develop solutions that addressed them.
-Mike Asbury, Personal Computer Systems
I have found them to be very focused. They actively listen to you…no canned “stuff” based on what they do but targeted solutions in response to what we need – results confirm this. They are definitely a part of our team…an extension of our firm, darn near family.
-David Cockrill, Red Chair Architects
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We welcome you to contact us directly with any questions or requests. Thank you for reaching out to us.
3401 Russ Circle, St. C
Alcoa, TN 37701