Marketing company brings PR in-house with new hire

Jacksonville Business Journal – by Mark Szakonyi Staff Writer

JACKSONVILLE — BroadBased Communications Inc., is even broader with the addition of public relations services to its marketing, advertising and design repertoire.

The company’s president and founder, Jan Korb, said she decided to bring the public relations services in-house, instead of contracting out, because more of the company’s clients are asking for such assistance.

Choosing Maria Coppola, who worked for The McCormick Agency since 2000, as director of public relations made sense after the two women shared an epiphany while working together about a year ago.

“We realized that we never had a consultant collaborative partnership like that before,” said Coppola, who left McCormick Oct. 9 as senior vice president. The two have worked together with shared clients for about four years.

Coppola said it was time to leave McCormick, and like many of those who have worked at the agency, she was ready for the “big job.”

But unlike others who found it as corporate spokesmen, Coppola said she has gone to the next level at a nimble company that behaves like a family or close-knit team.

Bill Sulzbacher, president of Atlantic Coast Developers LLC, said Coppola and Korb’s flexibility, accessibility and understanding of his company has kept him as a client. He recalls having to change plans for sending out a press release, needing to have it issued immediately rather than in several weeks. Coppola got it done.

“That kind of ability to make things happen is key,” said Sulzbacher, who will retain Coppola now she’s working at BroadBased.

Coppola, who worked in TV and radio before beginning her public relations career, is bringing three long-term clients, and five clients she does regular work for, to BroadBased. She will handle six full-time, monthly clients.

BroadBased has about 25 clients, including CSX Corp. (NYSE: CSX) and the Jacksonville Children’s Commission.

Korb, who founded the company in 1991, is interested in expanding the company by expanding its office space and adding staff, but could not say when.

About Jan

Jan Hirabayashi founded BroadBased in 1996 and is the company's CEO and lead marketing strategist.

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