On a dreary Friday morning, several PRSSA members made their way to Clark Communications in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We were greeted by a “new office smell” and the smiling faces of associates, Jenny Griffin and Morgan Fedewa. The cozy office was such a delight to the members, it was chic and minimalistic. They promised they had intentions of hanging wall art, but they’ve been so busy since they moved in at the beginning of January, that they haven’t had the chance.

            Craig Clark came out from around the corner greeting us as we all snaked our way in. Clark is the owner of Clark Communications. He had previously worked in corporate public relations with experience at Spectrum, Metro Health, St. Mary’s and Sparrow Hospitals in West Michigan. After a while he wanted change, so in a basement with his son he gave it a shot. With a six month time span and a delegated fund for this start up project, he was ready to go. He worked hard, made connections and succeeded in that time frame. The rest is history.
            Jenny Giffin (Employee 001), senior associate, has been with Clark Communications going on five years. She’s Craig’s right hand woman. She takes care of clients, media and so much more for the organization. Morgan Fedewa (Employee 002), account associate and recent GVSU grad is excited to be on the team, joining last spring. In this intimate setting they understand where the others are on projects, so one can pick up where the other left off. Craig said this is so valuable because any client of theirs knows himself, Jenny and Morgan on a personal level. If one is not in the office, the other can help with any questions the client might have.

            That’s why Craig started Clark Communications. He values the relationship between client and firm. They have two approaches to their work, retainer (always a client) and project based (empowering the client). They really enjoy working with a client and being able to help them get on their own two feet. The staff eventually steps back and watches the company grow with the skills that Clark Communications gives them. They like to focus on this aspect of the company because it’s not an aggressive approach. The client moves at their own pace tailored to their specific needs. Organizations entrust Clark Communications, they have great relationships between themselves and their clients.

            With this type of firm, Jenny said that they all look forward to the moment when a client turns over. Not only can they see the client work on their own, but it’s a change of pace when gaining a new client. With this approach they are also able to experience news things very often. At Clark Communications they are constantly learning, evolving and enjoying the variety of work. 
           Clark Communications’ clients are local businesses. Often time they are businesses that have one person wearing many hats in the organization, and public relations falls to the wayside. That’s where Clark comes in. They set up a project where the organization can learn to integrate the public relations aspect of their organization into their everyday operations. Clark Communications focuses on three main aspects of public relations: media, community and online communication. This narrower approach helps Clark be a more inviting firm to a potential client.

            In his final words, Craig Clark said he doesn’t do this for the money. He’s taking an $80,000 project and doing it for $20,000. It won’t make him a millionaire by any means, but he’s focused on truly helping the community, one local client at a time.

For more information about Clark Communications, visit them online at www.clarkcommunication.com or follow them on Twitter @ClarkCom.

-Kelsey Juergens 
PRSSA Member