The Stissing House

An iconic restaurant and tavern since 1782, The Stissing House asked Bang + Collins PR to reposition their brand and refresh their image and appeal. The agency consulted on website redesign, provided content and menu redesign options, handled advertising and public relations, and created buzz through special events.

BCPR worked with proprietor Patricia Jean to create a Holiday Shopping bazaar dubbed “Le Shopping Holiday Market”. The two-day curated event invited the community to browse and shop among the area’s top artisans, designers and other vendors who lack a retail presence in the area.  A preview cocktail party and fundraiser reaped $2,000 for Adopt-A-Family, an area non-profit organization dedicated to helping families in need.

To draw in a more literary minded crowd that would appreciate the restaurant’s sophistication and heritage, and to raise awareness of the restaurant’s upstairs private event space, BCPR launched the Stissing House Literary Series.  Top local authors were invited to speak and sign books, organized with the help of Merritt Bookstore in Millbrook.  Three best-selling authors attracted audiences from throughout the region: Michael Korda presented Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia;  author and financial insider William B. Cohan spoke about Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule The World; and recently Susan Orlean read from her biography of Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend.

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.

Glass is Magic: Artisanal Glassworks Studio Gilmor Glass Gears up for the Holidays

Artisanal glass producer Gilmor Glass, founded in Pine Plains in 1977, is a retail pioneer in Millerton, NY where they have been designing, manufacturing and selling hand-blown glassware and art in their spacious Hudson Valley gallery/studio for the last 15 years.  Considered one of America’s “coolest little towns” by travel writers, Millerton has evolved into a retail destination in its own right.  Gilmor Glass creates exquisite hand-blown glass that draws acclaim and a following, and with heightened traffic to the Village, came the challenge of maintaining their profile during the busy holiday season.

Hand-blown glass pumpkins at Gilmor Glass

This past fall BCPR arranged and promoted a series of events leading up the holidays to draw attention and sales: “Design Your Own Pumpkin”, inviting fall foliage peepers over the busy Columbus Day weekend to participate in the creation of their own holiday gift or keepsake; followed by “Design Your Own Ornament” on Black Friday weekend; and finally the “Early Bird/Night Owl” sale benefitting two local charities set during a busy shopping Saturday leading up to the holidays.

Creating news on behalf of Gilmor Glass enabled extensive coverage of these creative promotions in the local media, highlighting both the challenges small businesses are still facing in the tough economy and how they are luring old and new customers alike, as well as the charitable angle.

Le Shopping: Holiday Market at the Stissing House – Holiday Shopping and Support for Local Charity and Area Artisans

DK Farnum Estate jewelry

Gina Dambra’s embroidered pillows next to jewelry by Gabriella Kiss and Caitlin Lightfoot

Shopping at the Stissing House’s Holiday Market

Bang + Collins PR helped client Stissing House restaurant in Pine Plains, NY, to showcase their special events capabilities while supporting the local community during the busy December holiday season.

BCPR helped choose and organize over 16 area vendors for Le Shopping: Holiday Market in the Stissing House’s historical event space to support these local small businesses without a retail presence.

Over 75 people attended the Holiday Market Cocktail Preview Party on Friday night with all admission proceeds donated to Adopt-A-Family.  Based in Millerton, NY, the charity, which is a member of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, provides new warm clothing and toys for over 120 area families (325+ children) in need over the holiday season.  Patricia Jean, proprietor of the Stissing House, presented Adopt-A-Family with a check for $2,000 which was raised at the benefit.

The Preview Party gave guests the first chance to shop from a variety of carefully curated items – ranging from personal and home accessories, paintings, ceramics, jewelry, clothing, and other gifts – with complimentary glasses of Prosecco and homemade cheese puffs as an added incentive.  The festively decorated upstairs event space offered the perfect backdrop for Le Shopping: Holiday Market, open to the public for no charge throughout the weekend.

BCPR and the Stissing House thank all who came out to support Adopt-A-Family and invited vendors and make the Le Shopping: Holiday Market weekend a success.

Manic Trout and Berkshire Mountain Distillers: Trunk Show & Hudson Valley Tasting at Tamarack Preserve

To showcase jewelry designer client Sierra Bailey’s funky and dramatic jewelry to new prospects in the Hudson Valley area, Bang + Collins PR organized a trunk show over Columbus Day weekend at Tamarack Preserve in Millbrook, NY.  Tamarack members, devoted Manic Trout followers and guests were invited to shop while sampling specialty cocktails from the area’s hottest new spirits producer, Berkshire Mountain Distillers.

"Bling rings" from Manic Trout

The eclectic, edgy jewelry – with a vintage touch – was displayed among Tamarack’s animal décor.  There were Zsa Zsa Bling Rings of every size and color, and Critter necklaces from every walk of the animal kingdom.   Manic Trout’s new Mermaid Parade necklaces also made their debut…modern elegance meets classic chic!

Bang + Collins PR invited Berkshire Mountain Distillers to be part of the Hudson Valley tasting and offer their handcrafted spirits for guests to sample.

Spirits from Berkshire Mountain Distillers

Specialty cocktails from their award-winning classics — Ragged Mountain Rum, Ethereal & Graylock Gins and Ice Glen Vodka — were poured alongside their brand-new New England Corn Whiskey.  Tamarack Preserve generously provided hors d’œuvre platters featuring local smoked game and mini quiches made with locally sourced vegetables.

Friends were made and sales were brisk, with many new Manic Trout clients added to the fold!

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 bangcollinspr.com 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.