Congratulations Greentown Labs on Three Wonderful Years

greentown-labs-logoWe just wanted to take a moment to congratulate Greentown Labs on a great week. We here at HB are sponsors of Greentown Labs, so we’re very invested in their success. So far Greentown Labs has been called the “coolest startup space in Boston,” asked to “save the world,” and praised for helping startups “work around VCs, find niches in cleantech.”

Last week marked the third anniversary of the cleantech incubator and what a celebration! Not only did they have great beer from neighbor Aeronaut Brewing and wonderful pulled pork thanks to a pig roast, they also gave the first-ever Greentown Labs prize to Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone. Being the type of place Greentown Labs is, of course it was created on a 3D printer. Senator Benjamin Downing also stopped by, he is co-chair of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy, as did reporters from around town. A full rundown of the day can be found on Storify.

That’s not all, George Takei popped in late last week:

As did Congressman Mike Capuano:


In the middle of it all, the Boston Business Journal honored Greentown Labs Executive Director Emily Reichert as one of the MHT 2014 Women to Watch.

All this prompted Greentown Labs founding partner Embue to note how all this coverage is hitting the inbox.

Of course, we marked Greentown Labs’ growth with an infographic (below). It captures the excitement many feel about the incubator and why we at HB are so proud to be part of its growth.


From startup to corporate giant, failure is an option

Lisa Raiola

Founder Lisa Raiola at the Hope & Main headquarters

Rhode Island is a small state with a big reputation for high-quality, locally-sourced foods. The state ships most of its food outside of its borders, creating an opportunity for the Ocean State to strengthen its economy by bolstering its inter-state commerce. It’s an opportunity that Lisa Raiola is working to realize with her food-based startup incubator Hope & Main.

Raiola started the project specifically to support local food businesses and cultivate Rhode Island’s economy. She believed in it so strongly, that despite receiving no state assistance to start the project, Raiola secured a $3 million loan from the federal government by putting up her house as collateral. Few would argue that conviction is an underpinning of successful entrepreneurism and so far, Hope & Main is already starting to prove this theory true.

Being invited to speak with Hope & Main’s inaugural applicant class about marketing and branding on April 26 was a thrill. As a technology-focused marketing communicator, it gave me pause to consider the essential elements of any successful startup in 2014.

When preparing for my talk, the unifying message throughout the presentation was something for which HB’s own Kevin Hart was recently quoted in BostInno.


Empower Your People to Fail

From what I’ve seen, the HB team is dedicated to a lifetime of learning. When you have a strong desire to learn, you won’t let anything get in the way of it, including the risk of failure. This culture emanates throughout the company and starts from the top down.

Any startup – whether it’s a bakery, a technology business or a marketing communications agency – needs to accept the failure risk as an essential element in achieving overall success. Embracing this culture at our own agency has given us the chance to work with other scrappy, passionate and talented people from small startups to Fortune 1000 companies.

Identifying opportunities to work with people who exude a love of learning will leave you more satisfied professionally and result in some exciting projects.

Every day I watch HB in a steady state of evolution and growth. The companies I’m working with are experiencing this, too. We’ve given ourselves permission to fail, and by its very nature, cultivate success at every turn.

Selfies, Bagels and Other Reasons To Work at HB

enhanced-9520-1397081786-30I know it sounds cliché when I say working at HB means more than fulfilling a role. But I don’t care—I’ll say it anyway. In fact, I’ll even put it in print and publish it right here on this blog.

Because it’s true. Working at HB is an understanding. It’s a Way. Being an HBer means you understand that Perrin will never touch the dirty dish sponge; that if you smell something great cooking in the morning, you know it’s probably Julia’s doing before you even turn the corner; and that the weekly PR team meeting will probably never happen. It means you have an opinion on the kind of chocolate Nicolas gives out, that you know Kevin’s three favorite words [censored] and that Ruth has bamboozled you into a selfie. It means you expect four o’clock pushups to go down, everyday, even if you don’t take part; and it means you chase any exercise (difficult writing assignments and client calls included) with a piece of candy from the liquor boxes in the conference room.

But maybe more important are the underlying traits we share that make The HB Way possible. These are the things we bring to the table, uphold in one another and seek out in all new HBers. Things like having the guts to try new things and risk failing, or a dedication to teamwork founded in good humor and effort. Things like a penchant for carbs, coffee and seasonal beers.

If I still have your attention, check out this BuzzFeed post we created. It includes pictures, videos and gifs of what work and life are like here at HB HQ. If you think you’re a good fit for our team, visit the HB careers page to learn more about open positions!


New Year, New Site

Welcome to the brand new Fresh Ground website! We’ve been doing a lot of thinking, a lot of growing and a lot of really cool client work since we last posted to the Fresh Ground blog many, many months ago.


We’ve hired two new employees and added some really cool clients. We’ve fine-tuned our offerings, and there’s more news on that front coming! We also have a new logo, which we think reflects our vision for the future of PR, but also our roots.

Chuck and I are very proud of where we are today, but there’s so much more growth in our future. We’d love for you to grow alongside us! Whether you’re looking for a great place to work or a firm to to some great work for you, Fresh Ground is the place to go! Drop us a note!


I’m happy to announce that our own Chuck Tanowitz will moderate next Wednesday’s Social Media Club Boston event on “Hyper-Local, Hyper-Social, Hyper-Competitive: The New Journalism,” hosted by IDG and Sponsored by IDG and BusinessWire. As a passionate, engaged and opinionated follower of the profession, not to mention a former journalist, Chuck was a perfect fit for this panel.

From the front line to the local coffee shop to the courthouse, journalism faces pressure not only to remain profitable, but to remain relevant. Join this panel of journalists for an in-depth discussion of the pressures and possibilities facing the journalism profession today.

His panelists will include:

  • Ed Medina (@surfermedina), Director of Multimedia Development, Boston Globe and
  • Kristin Burnham (@kmburnham), Staff Writer,
  • Tom Langford (@tom_langford), Reporter, NECN
  • Adam Kaufman (@AdamMKaufman), New Media Contributor,

Hope to see you there!

Launch Your Website in a Day

I have a few upcoming events I want to call your attention to. The first is a day-long program aimed at people who need to get their web presence in line.

“Create a Killer Web Strategy for Your Business & Launch Your Website in a Day” is taking place on Saturday, May 14, 2011 from 8:30am to 3:30pm, and I will be one of four speakers / workshop facilitators helping out. If you need to build a new site, or are not happy with the messaging, performance or traffic on your existing site, this is the program for you.

The full-day program will help you bring your business strategy to your website. We’ll work with you to determine the most effective design, message, tools and channels to achieve your business goals online. I’m helping with the section on promoting your site and building your community. Hope to see you there!

In this very hands-on program, we’ll translate your strategy into technical features, visual design, copy and audience acquisition channels–then start implementing. Mini-seminars alternate with open work sessions and one-on-one consulting to help you reach your goals.

What You Need: Bring your positioning statement and your laptop. Each registrant receives a hosted website that is set up and ready to be customized. If you have a website already running on a content management system (CMS), you can opt to pick up from where you are and improve its effectiveness.

What You Get: You leave with your business website online and with the practical skills needed for ongoing development. Registration includes lunch and two months of hosting and phone/email support.

Cost: $420 | members (10% discount) $378 | Students with valid ID (20% discount) $336

One Marina Park Drive (near S. Station and Courthouse T stops)
GPS: 55 Northern Ave., Boston, MA 02210


Please Vote for Fresh Ground Intel

Chuck and I are VERY proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish in the year and a half that we’ve been together. One of our first projects was to get us smarter about our clients. To do that, we built Fresh Ground Intel: a smart combination of monitoring, competitive intelligence and content curation services.

Now, I’ll tell you more about Fresh Ground Intel in a second, but what I really need to do before I go any further is to explain what MassChallenge is, why we entered it, and how you can help us. MassChallenge is billed as “the world’s largest startup competition.” MassChallenge strengthens and accelerates finalists “by providing them high-quality, personalized mentorship and by connecting them to potential team members, advisors, customers and sponsors.”

There are over 700 entrants competing for about 70 finalist spots. 10 percent of our overall score is based on your votes. Will you lend us a helping hand by voting for Fresh Ground Intel in MassChallenge? Here’s how you do it!

  1. Go to and either Log in or Register as an Observer/Supporter
  2. Go to our profile at, have a look and click on the number of stars you would like to give us. That’s it, you’re done, but please feel free to browse and vote for some other entrants as well.

So what is Fresh Ground Intel? In a tweet: Fresh Ground Intel delivers actionable industry insights that help organizations connect, learn and compete. It is a fusion of monitoring, competitive intelligence and content curation tools. By adding human insight and context to the monitoring and filtering process, Fresh Ground Intel can quickly add value to individuals across an organization. Our hybrid technology/services business model was designed to be scalable, yet still remain “intimate.”

Fresh Ground Intel is the cure for information overload. We monitor, filter and add industry- and organization-specific context to the torrent of data coming from traditional, online and social media sources. We work alongside existing listening tools and help marketers get the right information to the right people – whether they are inside or outside the organization. Fresh Ground Intel helps marketers get the most value out of their listening tools.

Want more information? Drop us a line!

And please don’t forget to vote!

Our New View

First of all, we apologize for not giving our blog readers — all three of you at this point (hi dad!) — the news and commentary we strived for when we launched the blog. Things have been very busy at Fresh Ground these past few months, and we’ve barely had time to stick our heads above water.

But now we have, and here they are, showing off the view from our new offices:

Our New Office View!

(Yes, that’s the Moakley Courthouse directly behind us, Barking Crab on the left of the photo, just below Fort Point Channel, and the Boston skyline behind that. For me, I’ve come full circle, as my first job after coming to Boston was on Summer Street just a few blocks away. My how things have changed since then!)

We signed the agreements today on our new offices, so you will find us, through May, 2011, at:

Fresh Ground, Inc.
One Marina Park Drive, 14th Floor
Boston, MA 02210

Fresh Ground, One Marina Park Drive, Boston, MA

For those of you who recognize the address, it is indeed the Mass Challenge space — a great effort to promote technology and business innovation in the state. We’re happy to play a small role in promoting what our city and state have to offer the world.

So come visit and we’ll show you around. Our only challenge is to find a decent independent coffee shop somewhere nearby — or maybe find a second use for our name…

Please help support Gulf Coast families in need

6PM – 11PM

Citizen Effect’s CitizenGulf project will become a National Day of Action on August 25th, in alignment with the week of the fifth anniversary of Katrina. The benefit — to be promoted by Gulf Coast Benefit — seeks to help fishing families find a new, more sustainable future by providing education resources for their children.

The Boston Event

We’ll be kicking things off at 6pm at the Precinct Bar in Union Square, Somerville with a reception. At 7pm, we’ll enjoy presentations from one or two of our special guests, speaking about the situation and efforts in the Gulf. Raffle and LIVE music will follow — stay tuned for more info on the band, guest speakers and raffle items. Sign up today at

Your $10 cover charge will get you in the door, a drink ticket for your favorite New Orleans – inspired cocktail, free food, and the opportunity to listen (to great bands), learn (from smart people) and win! Prizes will include a vacation package in Cape Cod, gift certificates and much, much more!

Go here for parking and directions:

Sign up now!

Become a Sponsor

Because all of the cover charge goes directly to the charity, we need your help to offset the costs of running the local event. If you would like to share a prize or otherwise help offset our costs, please drop Todd Van Hoosear an email at and consider signing up for one of the sponsorship options above.

CitizenGulf Education Program for Gulf Oil Spill Families

All ticket sales and donations from CitizenGulf Day of Action events will give families living in affected areas the extra support they need to get their children off to a great start this school year and to help ease stress on families with after school support services and activities.

The most vulnerable victims of the disaster are children. As part of our response to helping fishing families, Citizen Effect and Catholic Charities of New Orleans have created an education fund that will provide assistance to families in the form of school supplies and uniforms, as well as after school programming that includes tutoring and homework assistance, enrichment classes, recreational activities, and healthy snacks.

The Nationwide Effort

CitizenGulf is a collaborative initiative between Andy Sternberg, Citizen Effect,, Live Your Talk, Sloane Berrent, Social Media Club, Taylor Davidson and Zoetica.

Again, please sign up now at See you there!

Join me for "Social CRM Demystified" on Aug. 18th

I’m really excited to be able to share what I’ve learned so far about the growing space of Social CRM — the intersection of social media and what some people are calling demand generation. Join me on Wednesday, August 18th at 2pm for “Social CRM Demystified: The Business & Customer Benefits.”

Social technologies have become a new mainstay in the way we not only communicate and interact, but increasingly in how we work and form relationships with the people who matter most. With Social CRM, your business can transform and deepen the overall customer experience to improve your business performance—and more importantly, your customers’ overall satisfaction and loyalty.

Join social media pioneer Dan Bruns, Mzinga’s Sr. Vice President of Advanced Technologies, and me as we explain how social CRM is changing the way companies engage and interact with their customers, prospects, fans, and even employees. We’ll explore, among other things:

  • What is Social CRM, and why is it relevant to your business and your customers?
  • What are some of the common use cases and benefits?
  • How can you get started in turning Social CRM into a reality for your organization?