Progress at Caryl Communications Reflects Changes in the PR Industry and an Improving Economy

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PR Agency Adds Services, Promotes Staff and Expands Client Base

Caryl Bixon-Gordon

“We are writing for, and reaching, multiple generations of readers that get their news in different ways.” - Caryl Bixon-Gordon, Caryl Communications

Caryl Communications (Caryl), a public relations and marketing firm based in Paramus, New Jersey, has launched a new website, promoted and added staff and expanded its services, reflecting a changing industry, new technology and a wider range of client requirements. Caryl Bixon-Gordon, President, founded the firm in the 1980s as a traditional full-service agency. Caryl initially focused on the placement of news articles about clients in traditional print media and offered newsletters, community outreach programs and internal employee communications as well as events.

The agency’s operation and services have evolved over time, reflecting opportunities and technological advancements as well as cyclical industries and markets. The last recession had the most impact according to Bixon-Gordon. “Most clients stayed with us, however, some required adjusted fees and modified services to get through the toughest times,” she explained. “We offered them more options and weathered the downturn together while enhancing our services as new technologies provided new opportunities. Today, we are a stronger, multifaceted and nimble firm that continues to expand our capabilities and grow.”

Caryl uses many new technologies, catering to a news industry that has become a 24/7 business. “We are writing for, and reaching, multiple generations of readers that get their news in different ways,” she said. “As a result, we use more tactics to target broader audiences. From online news sources, to social media, email marketing and traditional print press, the content provided by Caryl has far-reaching impact for B2B and B2C communication.”

New Website Maintains Home Page News Room
While diversifying services, Caryl has always kept media at the core of its campaigns. The company launched a new website to leverage new technologies, but preserved its home page/news room. The page features articles about clients, written by the company’s writers, many of whom are former journalists. “We had our site about 10 years, which is remarkable as it was still very relevant,” she noted. “However, we updated it for today’s world; it has better navigation, stronger search engine optimization, an updated design, and it is compatible with mobile devices, which are central today in everything we do.”

Additionally, the site caters to reporters covering client industries. Since its formation, Caryl has established a strong niche in real estate, servicing commercial, residential, multi-family and retail sectors. In addition, technology, legal, financial services and health care firms have been among Caryl’s many clients as well as hospitality, food services, educational, non-profit and trade organizations.

Uptick in the Economy and New Ways of Working with Clients Spark Expanded Services
In the past six months, the economy appears to have improved according to Bixon-Gordon. “We have experienced a definite uptick in business with more inquiries, new clients and prospects than any time in the past six years,” she said. “The recession slowed the decision-making process for new business for us and for other companies and industries as well. But that seems to be changing; people are making quicker decisions, which is a great sign.”

As a result of the industry changes and economic recovery, Caryl has added new staff, restructured its departments and teams, and continues to incorporate new communication services. “Our new offerings appeal to different audiences and needs. With technological advancements, we can be more flexible in our work and get quicker results.”

Recently, the firm promoted Joia Pisani to director of digital communications and Karen Ravensbergen to account manager. The agency also hired Amanda Caruso as an account coordinator. The company’s vice president and director of client services, Evelyn Francisco has been with the firm 15 years, and many of its team members have worked with Caryl for five to 25 years. Bob Gordon is the company’s CFO and manages the finances of the business as well as internal operations, while Bixon-Gordon focuses on staff, clients and services. “Our public relations professionals work in different roles with media and keep the company going and growing.” “They are very dedicated and talented.”

Bixon-Gordon noted that the public relations industry is still largely retainer based as ongoing news and activities are integral to successful campaigns. “However, the last recession has changed what many clients want and what they will spend, so we offer more short-term project campaigns and introductory programs as well as long-term retainer relationships.” The firm has many long-term clients for 10 and 20 years.

“We have had a number of crisis communication and rush project requirements recently. Because of our experience, the tools we use today, and the multiple media outlets available, we can respond quickly. We maintain a proprietary media database with many contacts that rely on us for strong content, so we are able to impact public sentiment and educate target audiences.”

Reaching More Diverse and Broader Audiences through Content Marketing
Caryl’s core capability, writing, is in high demand as a result of content marketing. Today, when Caryl releases hard news for its clients as well as bylined and feature articles, the company is targeting wider audiences.

The same news content works in messaging for direct outreach campaigns and collateral material, and on social media including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Blogs. Perhaps most important, the agency leverages results for clients by promoting news published or posted by reputable newspapers, magazines and online services. All of the material then becomes part of a client’s marketing package and Internet profile. “Active article links have tremendous credibility; they can be shared online and go viral, so the reach of a single news piece is greater than ever,” Bixon-Gordon noted.

“Public Relations is an exciting, changing industry, and no two days are the same,” she added. “Our philosophy is to cultivate the skills and talents of our people. We are always learning and growing, and our company culture produces individuals who develop their skills, get results for clients and enjoy success. They are team players, motivated by challenges and opportunities, and they share a sense of pride and commitment in all that we accomplish together.”


About Caryl:
Incorporated in 1984, Caryl Communications is one of the most successful woman-owned public relations firms in the tri-state area. In addition to traditional and social media and email and digital marketing, the agency offers event planning, employee communications and full-scale marketing. Caryl has garnered numerous awards over the years from organizations such as the Public Relations Society of America, the Working Press Association of New Jersey, the National Association of Home Builders, NAIOP-NJ, and the International Association of Business Communicators. The company’s president has also been named one of the top 50 women in business by NJBiz.

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