Hager Sharp Expands Education, Labor, and Economy Leadership Team

WASHINGTON (August 8, 2022)—Today, Hager Sharp announced the addition of Erik Robelen as a vice president in its industry-leading education, labor, and economy (ELE) practice. Robelen brings more than two decades of experience at the intersection of education, journalism, and communications to Hager Sharp, including 15 years covering the nation’s schools for Education Week and eight years as deputy director of the Education Writers Association, the premier professional membership organization for working journalists covering education in America.

“Erik will bring a valuable perspective to our client service, having both worked in a newsroom on breaking news and enterprise reporting and also, while at EWA, working collaboratively with journalists as they reported on critical issues facing schools, parents, and the country,” said Kathleen Kennedy Manzo, executive vice president and head of the agency’s ELE practice. “We are excited that Erik is joining our extraordinary education, labor, and economy leadership team, and cannot wait to leverage his rich experience to achieve new levels of success in the years ahead.”

“I am delighted to join Hager Sharp and am eager to help expand on the important work in the firm’s education, labor, and economy portfolio,” said Robelen. “I have dedicated my career to telling the important stories of how education and opportunity can change the life trajectories of so many children, families, and communities. I know my colleagues at Hager Sharp share this commitment, which is reflected in the results their work has achieved for the clients the practice has had the privilege to serve.”

During Robelen’s time at Education Week, the country’s leading trade publication for pre-K-12 education news, he covered a wide range of education issues at the federal, state, and local levels, as well as two presidential campaigns. His areas of focus at the paper ranged from state and federal education policy, the U.S. Supreme Court, school choice and charter schools, to education philanthropy and private education. Robelen also wrote extensively on student assessment and instruction in math, science, literacy, and social studies. As the outlet’s senior Washington reporter, he covered the White House, the U.S. Department of Education, and Congress, including leading the newspaper’s early coverage of the No Child Left Behind Act, from the initial debate and passage in Congress to implementation by states and school districts.

As the deputy director of the Education Writers Association, he supported the nation’s reporters and editors on the education beat and played a key role in the organization’s strategic leadership and communications efforts, including conceptualizing and executing conferences and other events, leading programs and projects, and writing and editing on a vast array of issues in education. He has produced in-depth programming and editorial content on issues in education, including the pandemic disruption and education recovery, standards and assessments, school accountability, curriculum and instruction, charters and school choice, federal and state policy and politics, social and emotional learning, school funding, and educational equity.

Hager Sharp is a full-service integrated marketing and communications firm with in-house research and evaluation; strategic planning; creative; digital, paid, earned, and owned media; partner and stakeholder engagement; event management; and campaign development and implementation expertise. Over the past five decades, Hager Sharp has exclusively partnered with clients working in the public interest on critical issues like fighting for equity in education, improving public health, empowering vulnerable populations, and transforming communities. Founded by Susan Hager and Marcia Sharp with $600 in cash and a bank loan guaranteed by Hager’s husband, the firm will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2023. Some of the firm’s ongoing client engagements include ACT, Inc.; Arizona State University; Joyce Foundation; Lumina Foundation; Scholastic, Inc.; and the National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as The Nation’s Report Card. Visit us at www.hagersharp.com.

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HAGER SHARP WINS PRESTIGIOUS PR DAILY SOCIAL MEDIA & DIGITAL AWARD FOR INTRANET

We are excited to share that Hager Sharp has been named a winner in PR Daily’s Social Media & Digital Awards in the Intranet category.

PR Daily’s Social Media & Digital Awards celebrate teams, organizations, and agencies who have redefined the industry with their innovative and captivating work.

Chosen from a wide pool of entries, we received recognition for developing an intranet that serves as an essential and engaging destination for our employees.

Our first-ever intranet, The Hager Sharp Portal, was designed with clear goals in mind. It needed to simplify business development and knowledge management tasks and facilitate information sharing and company culture.

So, while the portal contains features you may expect from an intranet—our social media feed and weekly newsletter, and frequently-used links—it also includes:

  • Custom questionnaires that collect business development data that informs a KPI dashboard in real-time;
  • Modules that virtually onboard new hires and facilitate secure, organized information sharing with HR;
  • A digital Diversity & Inclusion Resource Center that houses staff-curated videos, books, articles, and podcasts; and
  • A virtual kudos board that empowers employees to recognize their colleagues for their great work.

With a bit of encouragement and a change management plan in place, The Hager Sharp Portal quickly became a vital tool for staying connected.

“The portal has been a game-changer for Hager Sharp, keeping us better connected during a global pandemic and simplifying information collection and information sharing,” said Jennifer Wayman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “It’s especially rewarding to be recognized for this work with a Social Media & Digital Award from PR Daily.”

“For Hager Sharp, it was crucial that we developed a resource that was sustainable. We needed a tool that would collect and organize information and yield insights that could influence organizational strategies, but not at the expense of timely and complex backend updates. By integrating automation features, we were able to develop a site that offers new information upon each visit with little to no oversight. I believe the relevancy and timeliness of the information shared and the site’s ability to adapt based on employees’ needs have been crucial to its success,” said Samantha Stocksdale, Business Development and Marketing Manager.

We are honored to have received this recognition and look forward to continuing to adapt this resource to serve current and future Hager Sharpers.

 

To learn more about The Hager Sharp Portal and PR Daily’s Social Media and Digital Awards,
visit: https://www.prdaily.com/awards/events/social-media-digital-awards-2022/#winner-intranet-150.

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HAGER SHARP NAMED TO PR DAILY’S TOP AGENCIES LIST FOR 2022

We are thrilled to share that Hager Sharp has been named to PR Daily’s Top Agencies List for 2022.

PR Daily’s Top Agencies Awards celebrate firms that create compelling work for their clients and have redefined the industry with their groundbreaking approaches. The 2022 list was curated based on work completed between November 2020 and November 2021.

For Hager Sharp, winning this award this year is a true testament to our resilience and dedication to developing and executing ideas that make a difference. Despite navigating unprecedented times, we were able to generate some of our most innovative solutions yet. We adapted our services to overcome pandemic-related barriers and deployed our skills to engage in pandemic-driven conversations such as access to healthcare—each of which contributed to the well-being of our community.

The secret to our success? We directed our attention inward, not outward. To maintain and even elevate the quality of our client service and work product, we needed to first care for ourselves. We engaged in courageous conversations and prioritized staff well-being through various efforts, allowing creative and strategic thinking to flourish. And in doing so, we became better equipped to rededicate ourselves to our clients and their needs.

“Hager Sharp set themselves apart from an outstanding field of entrants. Their work was exceptional and displayed their innovative strategies for achieving success,” said Brendan Gannon, Senior Marketing Manager for Awards Programs at Ragan Communications.

“This year was a challenging one in so many ways. Our staff displayed remarkable creativity in navigating those challenges and I am extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished together,” said Jennifer Wayman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “It is an honor to be recognized for our team’s effort to carry on Hager Sharp’s legacy of making a positive difference for each other and for our clients.”

It is a privilege to have been named to PR Daily’s Top Agencies List for 2022, and we look forward to continuing to bring our best selves to the table for our clients.

 

To learn more about the innovative work being done at Hager Sharp, visit: https://hagersharp.com/our-work/.

To learn more about the PR Daily’s Top Agencies Awards, visit: https://www.prdaily.com/awards/events/top-agencies-awards-2022/#writeup-hager-sharp-8.

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Commitment to Addressing Health Disparities and Inequity Doesn’t End with National Minority Health Month

National Minority Health Month (NMHM) is recognized each year with two core goals in mind: build awareness of how racial disparities affect health and encourage action through health education, detection, and control of disease complicationsi. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the gaps in access to care for minority populations have widened and become more apparent, making this year’s observance theme of “Give Your Community a Boost!” critical for encouraging the expansion of COVID-19 vaccine access and encouraging uptake among vulnerable populations.

In recognition of NMHM, Hager Sharp deepened its commitment to helping organizations build initiatives that work to improve public health outcomes for racial and ethnic minority populations. Our leadership and account teams spent time this month engaging in conversations about our history as a communications firm rooted in social marketing for behavior change and our current role in helping organizations improve health equity. Moreover, our Multicultural Marketing and Communications Team met to plan its continued growth and discuss how it will further guide and support teams focused on developing and implementing outreach approaches for diverse audiences.

While this year’s NMHM has come to an end, Hager Sharp’s work in helping to eliminate health disparities is far from over. We will continue to support a variety of health programs and initiatives, including:

  • A three-year social norming campaign to help ensure all children’s pediatric vaccinations are up to date, with a focus on reaching disproportionately impacted populations, increasing access, and improving equity.
  • A marketing services contract to evolve a national public education campaign designed to increase awareness of urgent maternal warning signs among African American and American Indian and Alaska Native pregnant and postpartum women.
  • An initiative for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service to develop and promote MyPlate tools and resources for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants, on the heels of the single largest benefit increase in SNAP history.
  • Strategic communications services for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine to raise awareness of obstructive sleep apnea, including specifically addressing communities affected by sleep health disparities.
  • Support to The MayaTech Corporation for the planning and implementation of a national program for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health to improve health outcomes for adolescent girls and women at increased risk for insulin resistance, diabetes, and related hypertension.

With the appropriate strategy, messages, and materials, we can influence attitudes around health issues and encourage the desired action. However, to do this, we must present and share information in a culturally fluent way, which requires accurately reflecting lived experiences and engaging audience members who can inform the overall approach. Hager Sharp looks forward to continuing this work to reach and engage for positive change.

i National Minority Health Month (nih.gov)

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Kathleen Kennedy Manzo to Lead Hager Sharp’s Education, Labor, and Economy Practice

WASHINGTON (August 23, 2021)—Today, Hager Sharp announced the appointment of Kathleen Kennedy Manzo as executive vice president to lead its education, labor, and economy practice. Manzo brings more than 25 years of journalism and strategic communications experience to Hager Sharp, including nearly a decade as managing editor of Education Week’s newsroom and senior positions at Widmeyer/Finn Partners and The Hatcher Group, where she led marketing and communications efforts for mission-driven companies, foundations, nonprofit organizations, and institutions of higher education.

“Kathleen is a dynamic, strategic, and personable leader with a passion for Hager Sharp’s mission of doing good work for clients who do good,” said Jennifer Wayman, Hager Sharp’s president and CEO. “We are excited at the prospect of Kathleen leading our extraordinary education, labor, and economy practice to new levels of success in the years ahead.”

“I am delighted to join Hager Sharp and proud to lead and expand on the important work in the firm’s education, labor, and economy portfolio,” said Manzo. “I have dedicated my career to telling the important stories of how education and opportunity can change the life trajectories of so many children, families, and communities. I know my colleagues at Hager Sharp share this commitment, which is reflected in the work we do every day for the clients we have the privilege to serve.”

Manzo spent more than two decades at Education Week, the country’s leading trade publication for pre-K-12 education news, as a reporter and editor. For her first 13 years at Education Week, she covered state standards and accountability systems, national and international assessments, reading policy, teaching and learning, and ed tech. As managing editor, she directed the newsroom’s coverage across platforms; managed editorial strategy and planning across print, digital, and visual platforms; guided daily, weekly, and long-term content development; served as managing producer for segments reported for the PBS NewsHour; and oversaw the publication’s visuals approach and social presence. In her last three years with EdWeek, she was on the core team that designed and launched the publication’s new website. Earlier in her journalism career, Manzo covered the country’s colleges and universities for Diverse: Issues in Higher Education and covered local news and sports for The Washington Post.

As a senior partner at Widmeyer/Finn Partners, Manzo provided leadership, strategic counsel, content development, and communications expertise for the firm’s nonprofit and corporate clients in the education space. While at The Hatcher Group, Manzo helped launch communications efforts for the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, the Success for All Foundation, and Attendance Works.

Hager Sharp is a full-service integrated marketing and communications firm with in-house research and evaluation; strategic planning; creative; digital, paid, earned, and owned media; partner and stakeholder engagement; event management; and campaign development and implementation expertise. Since Hager Sharp’s founding nearly 50 years ago, we have worked solely with organizations that take on critical issues like fighting for equity in education, improving public health, empowering vulnerable populations, and transforming communities to create and execute ideas that make a difference. Visit us at www.hagersharp.com.

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