Bowers PR and Marketing and ECDI believe in helping businesses growECDI Spotlight — By Amy Szabo on June 28, 2012 at 8:00 am
Growing a small business into a profitable and innovative brand looks easy from the outside. Susan Bowers Fortner knows better.
Using hard work and ingenuity, she has spent her publishing and public relations career making increasing profits and positive branding easier for others. Fortner’s firm, Bowers PR and Marketing, utilizes fresh, out of the box thinking for its cost-effective campaigns.
Fortner has more than 22 years of experience sharing the incredible stories of others. She began her career as a beat reporter for both The Barberton Herald and the Akron Beacon Journal, while anchoring weekends at Channel 23, now a Fox affiliate.
She then worked at Fahlgren Martin Advertising Agency on the Nestle Foods account as an account executive. She also assisted with public relations for Nestle and McDonalds. For the next 12 years, Fortner was the publisher for a statewide print publication in Ohio that served more than 63,000 readers.
After founding Bowers PR in 2006, Fortner believes she identified and is performing her true life mission. By influencing the pulse of public relations with her clients, she enhances the lives of countless other individuals, often sharing in the fulfillment of their dreams.
Fortner’s own comment expresses it best: “It is an incredible feeling to help a business thrive, and then eventually become part of the strong heartbeat of a vital community.”
Just as Fortner’s firm contributes to small business success by creating positive media and marketing campaigns for its clients. The Economic and Community Development Institute understands what it takes to help a small business thrive and how thriving small businesses contribute to vital communities. Fortner and her business are a testament to ECDI’s impact on local, small businesses.
With a recent small business loan from ECDI, Bowers PR was able to purchase a broader license to its PR and marketing software, a powerful tool that gives the team at Bowers PR access to the world’s database of journalists and allows them to monitor news, distribute press releases, and engage in social media.
The use of this broader license has already produced dramatic results for many clients, including OXYwater, whose message was recently publicized on more than 37,000 sites, including YahooNews.com and GoodMorning America.com. That exposure, combined with a comprehensive marketing strategy, led to a rapid expansion of retailers offering the ultimate OXYwater to consumers.
There are a lot of parallels between the work that ECDI and Bowers PR do.
Both organizations serve an expansive landscape of business owners. From startups to veteran businesses, many are in need of an infusion of capital (in ECDI’s case) or fresh thinking or rebranding (in Bowers PR’s case). Both agencies’ growth and list of successful clients proves that their respective strategies are working.
One Bowers PR client was involved in Extreme Makeover Home Edition’s Columbus area transformation, which provided a national platform to feature the talents of many local businesses and individuals.
“Extreme Makeover brought to Columbus some of the greatest creative minds in the field of home renovation,” Fortner says. “By helping one family, we help our entire community. This is how I view public relations: the entire community is enriched when businesses grow, allowing them to share their talents and skills with others.”
If you could invest in fuller lives for Central Ohioans looking to capitalize their dream, would you? For more information on becoming an investor in the Invest Local Ohio campaign, contact ECDI President Steve Fireman at 614-732-0577 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amy Szabo’s foray into microenterprise development began in graduate school as she researched microfinance as a response to human trafficking and poverty. She holds a master's degree in Slavic and Eastern European Studies from The Ohio State University, as well as a bachelor's degree in English from Oklahoma State University. From 2002 to 2004, Amy did humanitarian work in the former Yugoslavia, helping Kosovar Serbs who had been resettled in Belgrade Serbia after the Balkan wars. She also spent time in Athens, Greece, where she designed and built a human trafficking resource and response kit targeted for use by a humanitarian organization with staff throughout Eastern Europe. Amy is the Economic and Community Development Institute’s resident wordsmith (aka Director of Communications and Development). She is happy to spend her days applying what she learned about microenterprise development as a poverty alleviation strategy internationally to her hometown. In her (vanishingly-small) spare time, Amy is a voracious reader, trained labor doula, part-time craftswoman, and full-time stepmother.
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