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The Millbrook Independent

The Millbrook Independent (TMI) approached Bang + Collins PR to grow the readership for this local newspaper beyond its namesake community.  A market analysis determined there was growth potential by extending into Amenia, Pine Plains, Stanford and Dover Plains.  BCPR made numerous editorial content recommendations to capture this audience and conceived an innovative direct mail campaign.  A flyer was created showcasing recent headlines that captured the essence of the paper’s coverage – and offered a free trial subscription for four weeks.  Humor helped the flyer generate a 12 percent subscription increase:  the cover of the direct mail piece reported, “Publisher Temporarily Loses Mind, Gives Paper Away for Free”.

Beyond direct mail, BCPR created a series of special events to reinforce TMI’s profile and gain additional grassroots exposure within the community: sponsorship of and a table at the Millbrook Farmers Market, and the creation of a “Gallery of Windows” pop-up venue in a large vacant storefront, enabling businesses without a brick-and-mortar presence in the Village to participate in Millbrook’s high-traffic Community Day.  BCPR also helped TMI secure a weekly radio spot on NPR affiliate WHDD 91.9 FM.

PR gurus settle down in Harlem Valley

Susan Bang + Emily Collins of Bang + Collins Public Relations

Susan Bang (left) and Emily Collins are collectively Bang + Collins Public Relations, new Pine Plains-based firm ready to serve the unique needs of local businesses.

PINE PLAINS – Bang + Collins, a new public relations agency based out of Pine Plains, is offering that extra “oomph” to local businesses in the area.

The two partners, Susan Bang and Emily Collins, both have ties to northeastern Dutchess County. Bang has had a weekend residence in Shekomeko for the past 15 years before recently moving to the village of Millerton, and Collins was raised in Millbrook, where she attended high school, and now lives full time in Shekomeko.

Both also have extensive public relations experience. Bang’s resume includes both large corporate companies like L’Oreal Paris and Procter & Gamble, as well as smaller firms specializing in tourism and home furnishings. Collins worked with Bang at that smaller firm before turning to marine conservation work in southern Florida for several years.

Both were attracted to the burgeoning business scene in the area and hope to enable local businesses to take the extra step and capitalize on the “incredible things happening in this region,” said Bang.

“In 15 short years there’s been a real shift in population,” she continued. “There are so many artisans and entrepreneurs here now, and we hope they want to think a little more broadly in how they want to promote themselves.”

“Small communities are on the map now,” Collins pointed out. “A lot of businesses realize that it’s been tough, and they need to be really well-positioned.”

The two business partners said they are open to working with any local business owners and that each shop or restaurant in the area is unique in the way of promotion. Whether it’s maintenance of websites or organizing events and sales, Collins said her firm will assist in “just about everything,” and that they look to target “what is it about your business that’s unique.”

Since opening in May, Bang + Collins has built a variety of clientele, including the Kate Carty clothing boutique in Millerton, the Stissing House restaurant in Pine Plains and The Millbrook Independent newspaper company.

“We’ve been very busy this summer,” Collins said happily.

Bang + Collins operates out of its home offices in Shekomeko and Millerton. The firm can be reached at (518) 771-3003. Visit or e-mail the PR firm [here].

“There really is such a sense of pride in the community here,” Bang added about the possibilities for the Harlem Valley. “Millerton should really be considered a model of what a community can do to grow and develop in a respectful way.”

© Reprinted with permission, copyright The Lakeville Journal Company, LLC, 2010.
Story [and photo] by Cory Allyn, The Millerton News

Bang + Collins Public Relations

Bang + Collins Public Relations company is located in the Hudson Valley area, with operations in Dutchess County and beyond. We are committed to helping local businesses grow and thrive by creating effective public relations and a powerful media strategy.

As the go-to agency for this region, Bang + Collins PR can customize a communications plan for your business, apply focused regional knowledge, and create a targeted outreach to editors and bloggers across local, regional and national consumer and trade media, along with radio and television.

Bang + Collins PR is focused on meeting the needs of regional entrepreneurs and businesses and helping them build or reposition their overall brand visibility through experienced, professional public relations support.

We are poised to help develop or improve your communication and brand strategy, harmonizing it with your goals and budget, customer needs and the unique quality of the area.