Bill Atkinson, Public Relations Executive and Former Baltimore Sun Columnist, Joins 212 Communications LLC, a Baltimore-based Boutique Public Relations Firm

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Atkinson and 212 Communications Founder Erica Mechlinski are building a PR firm serving companies focused on growth and brand recognition.

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Reputation is now more important than ever. We know CEOs and corporations are looking for sound advice as they roll out new products, break ground on a development, or make strategic decisions that impact their operations and their communities.

212 Communications LLC, a boutique public relations and marketing firm serving businesses in the Baltimore region, announced today that Bill Atkinson has joined the firm as partner.

Atkinson, a former business columnist and reporter at the Baltimore Sun, joins 212 Communications after 10 years at Weber Shandwick, a global public relations firm based in New York, where he specialized in strategic communications, crisis communications and media relations. His areas of expertise include financial institutions, energy producers, environmental, real estate development and manufacturing.

“Bill understands how business works, what keeps CEOs up at night and what makes them tick,” said Erica Mechlinski, 212 Communications’ founder and partner. “He is a strategist who prides himself on delivering unbiased advice. His years in the newsroom provide valuable insight on when and how to approach reporters and which stories are worth pitching.”

“Reputation is now more important than ever,” Atkinson said. “We know CEOs and corporations are looking for sound advice as they roll out new products, break ground on a development, or make strategic decisions that impact their operations and the communities where they do business. We help CEOs and corporations navigate the issues that can effect their brand and reputation.”

Mechlinski launched 212 Communications in 2013 to serve businesses focused on growth and brand recognition in industries ranging from technology, finance, banking and real estate development, to healthcare, education, nonprofit and environment.

The firm also specializes corporate reputation enhancement and protection, media relations, social media strategies, crisis communications and spokesperson and media training.

“212 Communications is unique because individually we have had the opportunity to work with some of the largest corporations in the U.S.,” Mechlinski said. “We can apply what we have learned from these partnerships and add incredible value to businesses growing in the area. We are assisting an array of businesses that are transforming the Baltimore community. We understand the regional market, as well as the challenges executive leadership and their companies face.”

While at Weber Shandwick, Atkinson led the firm’s environmental public relations practice in Baltimore and worked with clients that included Constellation Energy, General Motors, Bank of America, Promontory Financial Group and 1st Mariner Bank.

Prior to joining the agency, Atkinson was a business columnist and financial reporter at the Baltimore Sun where he wrote a twice-weekly column that tracked the personal dimensions of top executives of Maryland corporations. He also was the newspaper’s economics correspondent and covered the banking industry, stock market, mutual funds, brokerage houses and investment banks. A series of stories on Allfirst Bank was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and the Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism.

Atkinson was an editor at American Banker newspaper and a reporter covering federal regulators and regional and community banking issues. He also worked as a reporter for the Washington Business Journal and for American City Business Journals newspapers in San Jose, Calif., Columbus, Ohio, and Milwaukee, Wis.

Mechlinski brings more than a decade of strategic public relations and marketing communications experience to her clients.

Prior to forming 212 Communications, she worked at Weber Shandwick for nearly seven years. She led environmental public affairs and community programming initiatives in Baltimore for a Fortune 100 company. Mechlinski also served as a strategic public relations partner for the company’s corporate social responsibility initiative, implementing educational and humanitarian programs that have launched globally.

Her previous experience included positions at Stanton Communications in Baltimore, MD, where she specialized in media relations and events management for clients.

Mechlinski’s work has been honored with a prestigious national Silver Anvil award and recognized as national SABRE and PR News CSR award finalists. She is a member of the Greater Baltimore Committee's LEADERship class of 2015.

About 212 Communications LLC:
Launched in 2013, 212 Communications serves businesses focused on growth and brand recognition in industries ranging from technology, finance, banking and real estate development, to healthcare, education, nonprofit and environment. The firm also specializes in corporate reputation enhancement and protection, media relations, social media strategies, crisis communications and spokesperson and media training. To learn more about 212 Communications, visit: http://www.212comm.com.

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