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Meet Noreen Heron of Heron Agency in Lincoln Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Noreen Heron.

Noreen, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started Heron Agency 17 years ago after serving as the PR and Advertising Director of Hyatt Regency Chicago, Chicago’s largest hotel and Hyatt Hotels’ biggest property. Prior to that, I had served as the PR Director of a large and well-known entertainment/dining venue called Candlelight Playhouse/Forum Theatre with 1025 total seats. My background had been in representing hotels, live theater and restaurants so those were the agencies first clients in the early days. Since that time, we have represented 29 different hotel brands, hundreds of theater productions and restaurant groups and free standing restaurants, as well as large scale events such as the Taste of Chicago, the Grand Chefs Gala, the Jeff Awards, and the Highland Games, as well as sports teams, non-profit organizations, spas (all 49 Massage Envy locations in IL) and medical practices.

We are conveniently a one stop shop as we provide not only PR services, but Marketing, Social Media, Advertising Brand Management, and Digital as well. We are a tight knit team that takes pride in producing real and measurable results, tenacious in our pitching, and we provide a whole team of people to service each account. Our relationships not only with our clients but our family of co-workers run long and deep and we feel that our integrity is first and foremost.

We are big on accountability and love to play business matchmaker for our clients to set up long term relationships that drive their sales.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Owning your own business is never exactly “smooth”, as it is hard to ever leave work at the office. In our line of work, there is a lot of pressure as it is so contingent on obtaining great reviews. It often can go one way or the other based on what the critics and influencers say. Sometimes clients are not prepared when it goes negative, We work for clients all over the country, but we obviously have a large contingency in Chicago, the third largest media market in the U.S. So there is a lot of competition to obtain stories, segments, and placements and we are also working meticulously to make sure that we don’t leave a stone unturned. That can lead to some pressure!

Additionally, PR and Social Media is not a career that one can turn off at 5pm. If a reporter needs a story or quote quickly, it needs to get there! Monitoring our clients’ social media pages is also a 24-7 job.

Heron Agency – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We are a full service lifestyle communications firm, handling clients’ PR, Marketing, Digital, Brand Management and Social Media needs. We like to think of ourselves as business consultants as well.

Once a client comes on board, they don’t leave us! We grow their brand and then grow with their brand, which makes us immensely happy to be part of that process. We creatively work on strategy and engagement and are known for obtaining large national, regional and local placements as well as impacting their social media platforms in a significant way. Heron Agency works as a team, so we feel that provides more bandwidth allowing for a more robust campaign.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I don’t have one moment; more pride in the fact that I have brought such an excellent team together that is not only talented at what they do and produce, but treats each other like family.

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Heron Agency

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