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CSR that Makes a Difference, Cone Communications
RF|Binder’s CSR Practice: Making an Impact Where it Matters, RF|Binder Partners
Grand Prize: CSR Agency of the Year
This “anti-venture capital” agency brings empathy to Atlanta start-ups
Nebo describes itself as “the anti-VC” agency in treating start-ups with the respect and dignity they need and deserve.
If your idea of the classic PR firm comes from eight years of watching “Mad Men” on AMC, you’ll likely be disappointed or bored by the story of the Atlanta agency Nebo. But if you’re looking for an organization that believes in something different—and better—you’ll find it in Nebo, winner in the “Grand Prize: CSR Agency of the Year” category of PR Daily’s 2015 Corporate Social Responsibility Awards.
Nebo was founded in 2004 by Brian Easter and Adam Harrell, two young men who “decided to bring humanity back to a de-humanized industry” with a commitment to the following principles:
- A PR firm should not view its employees as interchangeable commodities.
- A PR agency shouldn’t look at a client as one more term in a pure ROI calculation.
- An agency should treat clients, employees, and vendors the way it would like to be treated.
That’s easy to say, not so easy to do. But Nebo lives up to these precepts.
This seemingly naïve, idealistic small agency (70 persons) is on an 11-year hot streak. Here’s what they say about themselves:
- “We’re proudest of the number ‘zero,’ the number of employees we’ve laid off.”
- “What we value most is the opportunity to change our community—and the world.”
- “The typical marketing firm’s ‘hire-in-good-times-and-fire-in-bad model’ goes against everything we stand for.”
- “Nebo cares deeply about animals; we apply our talents to giving voices to this voiceless community.”
- “Some businesses do charity for the publicity. But putting people first is our core belief.”
- “We don’t squeeze start-ups; we bring their ideas to life without asking them to sacrifice their share of their profits.”
- “Last year, we gave more than $1 million in donations and discounted PR work.”
Nebo backs up their ideals with free work for the Atlanta ASPCA on the horrors of factory farming of chickens, the “Change Your Chicken Challenge.” Nebo also did yeoman pro bono PR work for the “Atlanta BeltLine,” 33 miles of multi-use trails, transportation networks and parks—a cummerbund of greensward and trees that will encircle Atlanta by 2030—raising $35,000.
Congratulations to the two hardheaded, practical idealists who founded Nebo, Brian Easter and Adam Harrell, and the entire Nebo staff!