Mower’s Partnership with MassRobotics Rings Gold and Silver Bell Awards

The Mower Boston team won both Gold and Silver Bells at the 50th Annual Publicity Club of New England Bell Ringer Awards.

Presented by the Publicity Club of New England (now the PR Club), the region’s leading communications trade organization, the Bell Ringer Awards are a symbol of outstanding achievement for New England public relations and communications professionals. The awards celebrate and honor the teams that raise industry standards of creativity and craftsmanship.

Mower’s “Creating the Hub of Robotics” campaign moved MassRobotics from concept to reality as the two worked together to develop the organization’s aspirational story (Rallying Cry), brand identity (logo, website), strategic public relations and marketing program that helped brand and promote the compelling concept.

The MassRobotics team had this to say about our work:

“The team at Mower is a significant contributor to the success of MassRobotics and has been an integral part of our team since the beginning. Their creative staff has provided support from logo design and website development, to setting up and managing social media accounts. Our Twitter and LinkedIn are always fun and engaging, and it’s amazing the number of shares and comments we get every day. They manage our content, press releases and media outreach – we’ve had a tremendous amount of media coverage this year in print, online and on TV.

They created promotional videos that capture the essence of MassRobotics; these videos are key tools in our growth as we approach additional partners, sponsors and new residents. Most recently, they helped us celebrate our first anniversary in our space with a video commemorating all we’ve accomplished in a year. The video has been watched thousands of times and is being shared all over our social networks. 

Simply stated, the Mower team is our marketing department. We rely on their recommendations for marketing campaigns, messaging and more – we even asked them to help us figure out what color scheme to paint our office!

This extremely responsive team keeps pace with us, and that’s not easy in the startup world where you’re never sure what the next day will bring. For example, when we hosted this fall’s Robot Block Party, it was like throwing a party, inviting everyone you know, but really having no idea if anyone would show up. Mower secured so much coverage and facilitated so much conversation in advance of the event that when we showed up for it, there was already a line out the door to attend. It became one of the most attended and memorable events for all of HUBweek.

We can’t say this any more succinctly: Mower has built our brand! And we can’t thank them enough for their continued support of our mission.”

In addition to the tremendously successful launch, which received both regional and national print, TV and radio coverage, MassRobotics was also awarded a $2.5 million MassWorks grant, allowing the organization to triple its space, which was more than 80 percent occupied upon opening and reached 100 percent within the first three months.

Mower also contended for the Super Bell for the first time in agency history, the Bell Ringer’s “best in show” award, by earning one of the five highest scoring entries of the evening. 

Learn more about our work with MassRobotics by clicking here.


HB Agency’s Julia Bucchianeri Wins Striker Award at the 47th Annual Bell Ringer Awards Ceremony


Newton, MA – June 12, 2015 Julia Bucchianeri, senior account executive at HB Agency, was honored with the Striker Award at the 47th Annual Bell Ringer Awards Ceremony hosted by The Publicity Club of New England.

The Striker Award recognizes one public relations professional who has demonstrated a love of the PR field, a dedication to their career and a superior work ethic. Bucchianeri is receiving this esteemed honor for demonstrating excellence in PR strategy and tactics, managing clients and staff, creativity, PR program implementation and results documentation, as well as superior written and interpersonal communication skills and professionalism.

Bucchianeri stood out from the list of nominees this year by showcasing her active leadership role across multiple accounts; creating new business opportunities; enhancing HB’s company culture and positive work environment; sharing her PR knowledge with others outside of the office walls; and giving back to the community through mission-driven initiatives.

“Since she started at HB, Julia has been hungry: first, to learn PR, and since, putting smart, creative ideas into action for clients and keeping the agency focused on the value of culture and community. She has also been instrumental in establishing HB as the go-to agency for energy and sustainability organizations,” said Mark O’Toole, managing director, public relations & content marketing at HB. “Julia has made a cultural impact on the organization by not only turning HB into a dog-friendly environment, but also encouraging the agency’s involvement in public service work with local organizations, including CitySprouts. We’re lucky to have her as a key member of our team.”

HB also took home a Silver Bell for the organizational identity communications campaign it developed for Greentown Labs, the nation’s largest cleantech incubator. The campaign included elements of earned and owned media, as well as graphic design, internal communications and media relations.

For more information about this year’s Bell Ringers, please visit


About HB Agency

Founded in 1999 as a business-to-business integrated marketing agency, HB’s public relations and creative services have earned national recognition through Bell Ringer Awards from the Publicity Club of New England, Telly Awards, Communitas Awards, Content Marketing Institute and a Summit Marketing Effectiveness SIA Award. To learn more about HB’s branding, marketing and public relations expertise, please visit, or call 781-893-0053.

HB Agency
Molly Delaney

Bringing Home the Hardware

At HB, our work illustrates and supports the stories our clients want to tell. Simply put, when we have a happy client, we consider it a job well done. However, highlighting some of these successful engagements is part of celebrating good work, and in doing so our Creative team recently won five awards!

Summit International Awards, Silver

Viewpointe “Command Your Content with Precision” Campaign


Viewpointe, one of the largest information technology service providers to regulated industries, needed to advance their sales. HB’s campaign generated awareness and leads, targeted at information management prospects, decision makers and influencers at a series of Viewpointe sponsored conferences. The Summit International Award (SIA) is an international competition, which offers participants the chance to showcase their talents alongside their peers.

Communicator Award, Gold

Jabil Circuit Inc. “Future Ready” Video

Jabil Circuit Inc. needed help introducing audiences to a new offering: Intelligent Power Management (IPM). HB worked together with the Jabil team to communicate that power is a major operational cost and a critical business issue for wireless providers. IPM is the solution, as it works to  reduce power interruptions, handle today’s cell site power needs and prepare for the future. The Communicator Awards is the leading international awards program recognizing big ideas in marketing and communications. It honors work that transcends innovation and craft and the HB team is thrilled to receive it for our engagement with Jabil.


Communicator Award, Silver

Cleantech Open “Get Involved with the Cleantech Open” Video

This is a critical moment for the clean technology sector; we’re scaling the world to 10 billion people while doubling the size of the consuming class, and it’s up to clean technology to help mitigate these effects. This video showcases leading industry figures as they discuss our current situation and how the mission of the Cleantech Open. HB’s Communicator Award speaks to our successful partnership with CTO in order to convey the role it plays in addressing today’s most urgent energy, environmental and economic challenges.

Telly Award, Bronze

Intelligent Power Management™ “Future Ready” Video

The Telly Awards is the premier award honoring the finest film and video productions, groundbreaking web commercials, videos and films, and outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs. Intelligent Power Management (IPM) is the flexible power control system designed to reduce power interruptions, handle today’s cell site power needs and prepare for the future. HB’s Bronze award acknowledges our success in explaining how IPM enables remote monitoring of power usage to help providers manage, prevent, predict and fix problems while integrating renewable energy sources.

The 3 Most Important Things That Happened At The Bell Ringer Awards

Did you miss last’s night’s  46th Annual Bell Ringer Awards? Here are the three most important things that happened at the ceremony.

1. David Wade thinks HB is funny(ish)

The night kicked off with drinks and a few HB shout-outs from WBZ-TV Anchor, David Wade. Before the Bell Ringers began, Wade tweeted out a challenge to pitch him in 140 characters or less. HB’s finest (Julia and Ruth) were publicly acknowledged for their clever pitches during Wade’s intro, while someone else was noticeably excluded (cough, me, cough). “I thought you were kidding! I thought it was a joke! I even wrote it down in my diary…”

2. HB walked away with three major awards 

Jokes aside, this year’s Bell Ringer Awards proved that PR in New England is at its best. The competition was one of the toughest in recent years. HB walked away with three awards–two Silver Bells in the Product/Service Publicity: High-Tech Campaign category for our work with clients Attivio and ProfitBricks– and a Merit for Local TV Placement for swissnex Boston/PlanetSolar.

3. @baznet was the night’s biggest winner!

In addition to bringing home some hardware, Ruth won a coveted raffle prize…

…and McDonald’s! Happy meals on Ruth to celebrate our wins!

DISCLAIMER: The post previously mentioned that the Pub Club tweet-punked Ruth re: the McDonald’s gift card. This is my public apology: I’m sorry for what I blogged when I was hangry

PR: Moving Beyond the Dead Channel

If you overuse a communications channel, it doesn’t work.

last place champs edYou don’t need to look any farther than your email inbox to see that. Remember when getting an email was an exciting occurrence? You loved that little ping. Now, we turn off notifications, it’s a drag. Too much!

As a kid we begged to get mail, we loved seeing the envelope and the packages. Now? We put most of it right into the recycle bin. A friend once joked about putting a shredder right below his mail slot so he never had to deal with it.

That’s what I believe happened with Boston’s Best Places to Work award from the BBJ.

When the award entry crossed everyone’s desks a few weeks back the local PR world started grumbling. There was no category for PR firms.

I felt their pain. Up until September when we joined with HB, I, along with Todd Van Hoosear, ran a small PR shop. We never entered for the award, but thought that one day we would. No one likes to be left out, unless you get a really cool trophy like the one I got for my 9-year-old bowling prowess (see above). It’s the 70s version of a “participation” trophy, but we digress.

The explanation as to why PR firms are banned is telling. According to the blog post from Matter Communications, BBJ Publisher Chris McIntosh wrote:

I’ve decided to change the structure of the BPTW event this year, given the general make-up of the small-company category, some disqualifications for cheating, near-perfect scoring, and the sheer number of submissions from PR firms. No one industry can dominate a category. Hope this helps you understand …

A lot of the grumbling lays blame at the feet of the cheaters, liars and schemers. That’s just what Meg O’Leary at Inkhouse wrote in a comment when the post appeared on PR Daily. Inkhouse is down the street, we can practically wave to the Inkhouse folks out the window (Hi Meg!).

 But for the BBJ to assume there is cheating going on with a company or two and then disqualify an entire category as a result is just plain wrong. Somehow ad and marketing agencies can still participate but PR cannot? They should expel cheaters and let the PR industry back in.

These aren’t the only two people balking at the change. I’ve heard similar complaints from other firms that won the award over the years.

Cheating, however, is not the only reason the BBJ cut out PR firms. McIntosh cut out PR firms because the agencies overwhelmed the BBJ with “the sheer number of submissions.” In reality, PR firms did what they are good at: identifying award entries, applying for those awards and then galvanizing a community to push for those awards. They overwhelmed the channel, now the channel is dead.

Of course, there are those that believe that traditional ad agencies, while still eligible for the BBJ Best Places to Work award, will ultimately lose out to their PR-focused counterparts. For that take, just read Tom Foremski’s post on how PR firms will thrive while ad agencies die. He says  that PR has a better chance of building deeper relationships than advertising. He also points out that a modern PR firm needs to be tech savvy, have some “media engineers” on board that blend development and communications, and also have some top-notch PR and media specialists.

Most importantly, “Teaching companies how to be media companies will be a core competency of any successful PR firm.” Yes! We agree!

But we also don’t think that public relations  is done only by agencies that have “PR” in their brand name. It’s done by agencies that can think in a PR mindset, even as they have a much broader toolset. It’s done by storytellers who can pull together a graphical sensibility, media savvy, and development chops.

It’s our job to use all screens, and not overwhelm any one of them.

Defining Communication Excellence

awardimageNext week, I get all dressed up and dust off my “announcer voice” to emcee the Awards Gala that caps a great day-long symposium. The Awards Gala honors the 2013 SNCR Excellence in New Communications Awards Winners. I’ve had the opportunity to learn about all the winners and to see what they have in common. My goal is to build a more complete picture of what exactly is involved in “communications excellence.”

I’ve been a SNCR fan since 2006, when the organization hosted the very first Social Media Club Boston event that I organized. I was impressed then by the caliber of awards winners, and I’m impressed today. Then and now, communication excellence is characterized by:

  1. Storytelling. Excellent communicators know that the key to creating memorable messages and campaigns is to tell a story. They recognize that stories require characters, and that characters require flaws. They embrace their own flaws, and aren’t afraid to point out flaws either.
  2. More listening than talking. Sure, excellent communicators create great messages. But they also spend as much, or more time, listening as they do talking.
  3. Alignment of message, medium and market. Excellent communicators make sure they pick the right message for the right channel that reaches the right community.
  4. Process-driven thinking. Excellent communicators are programmatic thinkers — when constructing their stories, they make sure that each piece of content supports the central story line, but also drives engaged community members further down through the sales funnel. To support content creation, they put a lot of writing and research time in up-front, creating policies, processes and calendars to shape the program over time and be able to respond more quickly when issues or opportunities come up.
  5. As much quant as qual. Good quality content is critical, but excellent communicators as also number crunchers. They understand that great marketing campaigns aren’t created in a vacuum — that testing, measuring and reporting are as important as creative design and well-edited copy when it comes to the success of the program.
  6. A business focus. Speaking of numbers, excellent communicators are multilingual — they speak CEO. They know how their marketing successes translate to business successes.

I know next week’s speakers and award winners have more to add to this, and you probably do too! Feel free to share your thoughts below.

If you want to hear what they have to say first-hand, click here to register and use discount code “Friend25” to get 25% off the event. Reading this before the Witching Hour? Through midnight tonight (October 31st), you can actually use discount code “Halloween” for 35% off!


Creating Excellence

In partnership with our clients, we are pleased to announce that HB was recognized by the 19th Annual Communicator Awards.

HB was awarded:


Brand Story Video for NxStage Medical, a part of The Disruptor Series

“Get into the Game” Campaign
Marketing and Promotion for OnPointe®, Viewpointe’s comprehensive information governance platform

What is Your Efficiency Ratio?
Lead-Generation for Aquanima

We’re thrilled to have this work recognized by the International Academy of Visual Arts, a group of professionals from media, communications, advertising, creative and marketing firms.

Thank you to our clients for allowing HB to tell their story.


Rewards & Awards

At HB, we humbly earn awards from time to time. Thanks to strong partnerships with our clients, here are some of the awards we’ve garnered over the past several months:


Telly Awards

Davey Award

Communicator Awards

We can’t thank our clients enough for their hard work in partnering with us to earn these awards.

Bringing Home the Hardware


Earlier this week, The Publicity Club of New England recognized our work in public relations and graphic design with five Bells and one Merit at the annual Bell Ringer Awards ceremony. The following would not be possible without great clients who motivate us to do our very best:

Best Direct Mailer: Compassionate Care ALS Benefit

Best Graphic Identity: The Marino Center for Integrative Health

Best Web site: The Marino Center for Integrative Health

Best Employee Communications Campaign: Harvard University Staff Survey

Best Product/Service Publicity for a B-to-B Campaign: ForHealth Technologies

Merit recognition for Response to Breaking News: ForHealth Technologies

Celebrating its 40th year, the Bell Ringer Awards recognize excellence in communications and public relations work in every field and industry, and across all media.

Awards Season


We recently received word that some of our work has won several design awards.

Our work with EMC on their “Efficiency” advertising campaign netted us a Gold Award from the Hermes Creative Awards.

Additionally, we earned three Summit International Awards: a bronze award for our work on the Harvard University Nieman Foundation annual report, a silver award for a Northeastern University on-line direct mailer, and a bronze award for our logo redesign for the Marino Center for Integrative Health.

At HB, we’re exceedingly lucky to work with a dedicated group of clients who help us to produce award-winning work.