Think Dutchess Alliance for Business


Impact PR & Communications (IPR&C) was selected as a partner by the Think Dutchess Alliance for Business (Think Dutchess), a business-led, nationally recognized economic development corporation that serves New York’s Dutchess County, to help lead the county’s brand-new initiative, the Dutchess County Micro-Marketing Program (MMP). Together Think Dutchess, the Dutchess County Government, Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce and Dutchess Tourism selected 45 local businesses to participate in the complimentary program for small businesses significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program was intended to aid small businesses in navigating the aftermath of the pandemic and increase foot traffic through one-on-one public relations and marketing counsel.

As the first program of its kind in Dutchess County, the MMP didn’t have blueprints or an existing framework to follow. IPR&C needed to move fast and ‘build the plane as we were flying it’ in order to meet goals and expectations by the County and a fast-track timeline with critical deliverables.


  • Develop an efficient process for auditing and meeting with each of the 27 small businesses that opted to participate in the program.
  • Create an evaluation system for the audits focusing on four critical PR and marketing areas: branding, website, social media and media relations.
  • Dedicate a minimum of two hours to the execution of each audit, ensuring that each small business would receive top-tier counsel, suggestions and guidance.
  • Create sample evergreen social media posts for each small business to utilize as part of their revamped social media strategies.
  • Provide businesses with a PR Toolkit, complete with ready-to-use templates of PR materials including press releases, media advisories and calendar listings.
  • Meet with businesses to review audit findings, discuss particulars of their business, and to field real-time questions as they recovered from the pandemic.
  • Deliver an informative presentation for all MMP participants, by IPR&C’s CEO Filomena Fanelli, on the PR Tools of the Trade, to educate participants on the dos and don’ts of securing positive publicity and getting best results from media efforts.


IPR&C completed all 27 audits, met with 23 small business owners and delivered the PR Tools of the Trade presentation within five months, one month ahead of the project’s six-month timeline. (Of the four businesses that did not meet with IPR&C, all were either unresponsive to IPR&C’s repeated efforts at scheduling a meeting or unable to dedicate time to meet.)

When asked about working with IPR&C on the MMP, Rachel Oliver, then marketing and communications coordinator for Think Dutchess, said, “My experience with the IPR&C team has been nothing but stellar. Without them, the MMP would not have been as successful. The team readily jumped in to not only assist but truly to help build the program as it was being delivered. Almost all MMP participants commented that the professionalism, care, attention to detail and clear explanations provided by the IPR&C team were critical to their success and helped them look at marketing with a new sense of purpose. They have since continued to apply the information shared to maintain business and level up their marketing efforts, continuing to increase business and awareness.”