The Secrets to a Better Agency-Client Relationship

The average agency-client relationship lasts 3 years. But at Devaney & Associates, many of our clients stay with us for 5, 10, and even 20+ years. Some of our benchmark-beating client relationships include:

  • Carroll Hospital, together since 1997
  • Georgia Relay, 2008
  • MJM Innovations, 2008
  • Maryland Hospital Association, 2010
  • Brotman Financial Group, 2012
  • Presbyterian Senior Living, 2012
  • EVAPCO, 2014
  • Route One Apparel, 2015
  • Leadership Maryland, 2014
  • Chase Brexton Health Care, 2016

So What's the secret to our long-term love connections?

“It has everything to do with our mantra: marketing with brains, hustle, and heart. Our team culture is one that values attitude and work ethic just as much as it values expertise,” explains president and founder Diane Devaney. “We work really hard to find the right people to be a part of the D&A team—people that we know our clients can count on no matter what.”

With that in mind, we asked our team members to reveal how they help keep the spark alive in our client relationships.

The Media Department: 

“Never take a day off when you’re protecting the client’s dollars.”

In the media department, we are often the keeper of the largest part of our clients’ marketing budgets: the advertising dollars. This is a responsibility we do not take lightly. Our clients know we are their advocates. We treat their money as we would our own, and fight for every dollar. We track every placement, continually assess campaigns for their effectiveness, and report on ROI—every step of the way.

The creative Department: 

“Put the brand first and leave your ego at the door.”

At some agencies, the creative is all about them: their egos and their awards. There is a lot of naval-gazing, pushback against client feedback, and treating one’s ideas as if they were precious. We take pride in being a “diva-free” creative team. Our first priority is our client’s brand: presenting ideas that push their business goals and their brand forward.

The Account Services Team:

“Be a good partner. Not just a good vendor.”

Our clients stick with us because they know we’ve got their back beyond today’s project. We answer their calls. We always have a solution or a next step. We keep them informed so they never feel like they’re in the dark. It all sounds simple—but when agencies start to take their clients for granted, these are the first things that go out the window.

The Public Relations Team:

“Honest communication is the best policy.”

Open and honest communication is key to sustaining any long-term relationship, and in the PR department, we make sure our clients always feel heard and understood. Through meaningful media placements, compelling original content, and useful and fun social media personas, our clients trust us to make certain their audiences stay informed and engaged.

Get the agency love you deserve. 

Contact us to learn how we can help you woo audiences with your next marketing project. We can help you with any brand challenge including: 

  • Marketing Strategy
  • Branding Strategy
  • Logo Development
  • Advertising
  • Public Relations
  • Media Buying
  • Website Development
  • Social Media Management 
  • Market Research
  • Content Marketing
  • Direct Marketing
  • Video 
  • Marketing Collateral 

The Social Value of Marketing: Serving Our Veterans

U.S. soldier holding a "hire me" sign
Marketing can help connect veterans to jobs and other life-changing services.

The business value of marketing is fairly obvious: Grow your customer base. Grow your sales. Grow your profits. Yes, please! But there’s an equally important value to marketing that often gets overlooked: the educational and social value of marketing.

Good marketing can connect people to information, products, and services that help them overcome barriers. Protect their health. Safeguard their families. And change their lives and their communities for the better.

In honor of Veterans Day, we’d like to recognize our clients who are using the power of marketing to help meet one of our greatest social needs: caring for and supporting those who have served our nation.

Project Sanctuary

This summer, our public relations team had the honor of raising awareness for Project Sanctuary, a non-profit that hosts therapeutic retreats all over the country for military families in need. Their evidenced-based program is the only program that treats the entire family, helping veterans, spouses, caregivers, and kids heal together

We secured invaluable media coverage for Project Sanctuary’s first-ever Maryland-based retreat, helping introduce the nonprofit’s healing services to families and potential donors in the Maryland, DC and Northern Virginia region.

Visit the Project Sanctuary website to learn more about their work.

Project Sanctuary logo
Carroll Hospice logo

Carroll Hospice

For its efforts in addressing the specialized needs of veteran patients, Carroll Hospice has been recognized as a Level Four hospice care provider (the highest level awarded) within the national We Honor Veterans program. Their commitment includes honoring every veteran patient with a special presentation; facilitating bereavement and support services for veterans and their families in partnership with the VA; and educating staff and the community about the challenges veterans face at the end of life.

In Carroll Hospice’s most recent integrated marketing campaign, we were able to help them increase hospice patient days (the amount of time a patient spends in hospice care) by 47%. That means families are seeking hospice care sooner, thus enabling Carroll Hospice to provide greater comfort and support for patients earlier in the disease process.

Learn more about Carroll Hospice’s We Honor Veterans program.

Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corporation (AAWDC)

When veterans transition into civilian life, many struggle to find work in a world where the military is no longer their primary identity. Furthermore, many businesses want to hire veterans but have no idea how to make it happen.

AAWDC logo

As part of their overall workforce development efforts, AAWDC is working to fix this by uniting veterans and businesses through innovative career navigation programs. We are proud to support their efforts with branding and marketing plans designed to clarify their complex message and raise awareness among veterans, businesses, government officials, and the community at large.

You can explore all of AAWDC’s services for veterans and their spouses here.

Senior man using Captioned Telephone

State Relays

Relay services are state-administered public services that help people who have difficulty using a standard telephone stay connected. Each year, they serve countless veterans who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have difficulty speaking due to aging or injury. 

As the marketing partner for Maryland Relay, Virginia Relay, and many other states, we have helped educate veterans about Relay’s life-changing telecommunications services.

We’ve also helped state Relay services connect veterans to free telecommunications equipment, such as captioned telephones, hands-free phones, and wheelchair pad phone switches. These telecommunications solutions provide simple but powerful benefits that many of us take for granted; they help veterans feel less isolated, conduct business, keep in touch with friends and family, and remain safe and independent in their own homes.

You can earn more about how we have supported state Relay services here.

Thank you to the men & women of the united states military, as well as all first responders, for their dedication, sacrifice & service to our country.

team d&A

How Can We Help You Serve Others?

If you have an audience-in-need that you are trying to better serve, Devaney & Associates can help. We have a proud history of partnering with non-profit organizations to create powerful, effective, and cost-efficient marketing tools that raise awareness, increase participation, and generate much-needed donor support. 

Call us at 410-296-0800 or contact us online today to see how we can support your mission.


The Power of Storytelling on Your Website (A Case Study)

Photo shoot with a former Tuerk House patient and now employee whose inspiring story helped our site come to life

It’s time for our third entry in Webapalooza—a look at how we use the power of great web design and development to help our clients overcome their marketing hurdles. In past entries, we’ve demonstrated how a website can help you reposition your brand and engage a diverse mix of target audiences.

Today, we’ll examine our work for Tuerk House and how a website can use storytelling to emotionally connect with your target audience in a way that sets you apart from your competition.

"Messages delivered as stories can be up to 22 times more memorable than just facts."

Forbes, “A Good Presentation is About Data and Story”

Tuerk House: Opening the Doors to Recovery

Tuerk House is a pioneering leader in the Baltimore recovery community. The nonprofit’s mission is to “transform lives by providing help and hope for enduring recovery to individuals, families and communities in the Baltimore metropolitan area who are struggling with addiction to alcohol and/or drugs.”

Before: Tuerk House’s Website Challenges

Challenge #1:  An existing—and severely outdated—website that did not even scratch the surface of Tuerk House’s story or offerings. When we first met Tuerk House, the organization was going through a transformation. It had expanded locations and services, including operating the first crisis stabilization center in Maryland for individuals who have overdosed. The website was not only missing this information, it did not include information on admissions, where services were offered, and other critical messages.

Challenge #2:  Donations to the nonprofit had dwindled, and so had messaging for potential donors. The previous site’s only request for support was a small “donate” button that linked to a PayPal account. However, Tuerk House was working to improve their internal fundraising efforts—adding a dedicated fundraising department, as well as embarking on major capital improvement projects on their main campus.

After: A Site Powered by Stories of Hope

Our team worked closely with clinical staff and Tuerk House leadership to ensure we created a site that would resonate with patients’ families, referral sources, and donors—as well as stay ahead of the competition.

While the aging facility got an update, we wanted to focus on the people of Tuerk House, and the hope that resides there. To do so, we shot custom photography at various locations around Baltimore, capturing the strength of the nonprofit and its people. To help inspire all our audiences, we interviewed former patients—some of whom are now current Tuerk House employeesand told their stories through written and video testimonials. 

We also created a donor page—making an initial case for support—for the first time in the facility’s recent history. This page laid the groundwork for the new fundraising team.

Tuerk House is thrilled with the site, from the executive director to the clinical providers and fund development team. Leadership finally feels like they have a website that shows how they’re working to transform lives in the Baltimore area, and will serve as a springboard for the next phase in their history.

Your Website Matters, Too!

Your website is one of your most valuable marketing assets. Don’t cut corners with DIY website builders and “fast and cheap” website solutions.

At Devaney & Associates, every site we create combines our exhaustive research, creativity, technological know-how, and well-oiled project management. This gives our clients 3 unbeatable advantages:

  1. Brand-building custom design and content
  2. A clear-cut strategy to convert visitors into leads or customers
  3. Content marketing tools to keep site visitors (and search engines!) engaged.

Contact us online or call us at 410-296-0800 to get the website your brand deserves.

Should You Rebrand Before Redesigning Your Website? (A Case Study)

Excel's Staging of the 2019 DC Swim Show
Excel Event & Lighting Solutions' event production for DC Swim Week 2019

Welcome back to Webapalooza—our celebration of the websites we’ve recently launched on behalf of our clients. Last entry, we looked at how a well-planned website helped a nonprofit health care provider better serve its patients while also growing its donor base.

Now it’s time to see how a growing B2B company used its website redesign as an opportunity to also reinvent its brand.

Excel Event & Lighting Solutions: Experiences Made Perfect

Excel Event & Lighting Solutions is a full-service event production company serving high-profile organizations throughout the Mid-Atlantic. Clients include the Baltimore Ravens, HBO, and the NCAA.

Excel combines everything event managers look for—anything-is-possible creativity, expert precision, and concierge-level service—into a single point of accountability. The result: delightfully perfect experiences for both the client and the client’s audience from start to finish.

Before: Excel’s Website Challenges

Challenge #1: The previous site (and overall brand identity) did not fully communicate Excel’s broad spectrum of event capabilities which includes planning, production, fabrication and décor, lighting design, and installation.

Challenge #2: The site’s language used vague promises like “excellent customer service” that did nothing to distinguish Excel from the competition. Copy described the company’s services, but did not offer up any differentiators. 

Challenge #3: The company was locked out of its existing website—an issue we see with increasing frequency. This occurs when a website was built years ago, and the client must rely on an expensive developer service contract to make edits.

Challenge #4: Excel felt the search engine optimization (SEO) plan was ineffective, a belief that our development team verified in one glance.

After: A New Brand First. Then a New Website to Match.

Our plan for Excel involved taking a step back—rebranding the company with a new name (from Excel Lighting Services to Excel Event & Lighting Solutions), new logo, and new brand positioning strategy and tagline (Experiences Made Perfect). This enabled us to help event managers not just understand what Excel does, but why they should choose Excel over the competition

Excel's Old Logo
Excel's Old Name & Logo
Excel's New Name, Logo & Tagline: Experiences Made Perfect
Excel's New Name, Logo & Tagline

We then tackled the web issues, writing and designing a new WordPress site that showcases those perfect experiences Excel is so adept at executing. Our creative team ensured site content sells and positions Excel, rather than just describes its services. Beautiful photos dominate the design and, combined with a minimalist site architecture, truly showcase the work. We also updated the organic SEO plan, writing page-by-page title and description tags to enhance search rankings and search engine user engagement.

Excel Home Page Design
We can bore you with all the technical details about how we helped Excel navigate the muddy waters of domain propagation, DNS records, and host transfer issues, but we will leave you to checking out the work—both ours and Excel’sat

Is Your Website Clearly Communicating Your Difference?

At Devaney & Associates, we help companies turn their websites into one of their most valuable marketing assets with a dynamic suite of services that goes beyond web design and development. Our solutions can include:

  • Branding audits
  • Competitive analysis & market research
  • Brand identity & positioning statement development 
  • Website audits 
  • Web design or content refreshes
  • Content management, including blog and newsroom writing
  • Advertising, marketing & PR campaigns to drive people to your site

Contact us online or at 410-296-0800  to discuss how we can help you maximize your site’s value.

Devaney & Associates Launches Total Health Care Website

Grandfather gives grandson piggy back ride at health care center

It is Webapalooza at Devaney & Associates—a celebration of our clients’ NEW website launches. Every site we create combines our exhaustive research, creativity, technological know-how, and well-oiled  project management to give our clients 3 unbeatable advantages:

  1. Brand-building custom design and content
  2. A clear-cut strategy to convert visitors into leads or customers
  3. Content marketing tools to keep site visitors (and search engines!) engaged.

Total Health Care: A Federally Qualified Health Center

For our first Webapalooza entry, we’re celebrating the launch of Total Health Care’s new site:

Total Health Care is a federally qualified health center (FQHC)—a community-based health care provider that receives funds from the US Department of Health & Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to provide primary care services in underserved areas.

Before: Total Health Care’s Website Challenges

Challenge #1: The nonprofit had not updated its website in a significant number of years. The site was out of date and frustrating to update.

Challenge #2: The former site also lacked messaging for donors. Donor-centric messaging is critical for Total Health Care because there is a misconception that the federal government provides the center sufficient funding to help serve patients’ needs.

Challenge #3: The existing site was not patient friendly. It was difficult to navigate and lacked features that other FQHCs offer, like appointment requests.

After: A Website That’s Just What the Doctor Ordered

To kick things off, we hosted a discovery workshop with various members of the Total Health Care team, including the medical director and development director, to ensure the site would meet the organization’s—and the patients’—needs.

We then wrote and designed a new site that focused on two main audiences: patients and donors. Our team designed an information architecture that would help guide patients through the site and give them multiple ways to connect with the exact services they were seeking, while also making it easy for donors to donate and discover other ways to get involved in the mission.

Total Health Care home page design
Total Health Care website interior page design

Copy addressed the FQHC “funding misconception” head on, to help a new fund development team in their quest to position Total Health Care as a nonprofit first, FQHC second.

Just as importantly, the WordPress interface was easy for the marketing team to digest. The client was so happy, they made the final edits to the site themselves. 

Let’s Make Website Magic

When you work with Devaney & Associates on a website project, you get the full suite of digital services, PLUS a seasoned marketing team who will design a site to meet your big picture objectives, not just look pretty.

We don’t just migrate content, we write it. We jump in the trenches and figure out host transfer issues or why old domains are not redirecting. And we will never inundate you with tech speak so your eyes glaze over, and we sound cool. Nor will we leave you to your own devices to navigate the digital landscape alone.

Want to learn more? Give us a call at 410-296-0800 or contact us online and share your website challenges with us.

3 Reasons to Think Twice Before Cutting Corners on Your Website

Man working on laptop on edge of cliff

With the proliferation of DIY website builder tools and “fast and cheap” web development solutions, it’s perfectly reasonable for brands to wonder why they should invest in an agency-built website instead.

For starters, having a full-service ad agency handle your entire website development project saves you a ton of time and headaches. Plus, an agency has the expertise—and the accountability—to handle all the technological hiccups that are a normal (but frustrating) part of the web development process.

But that’s not all. Here are 3 more reasons why you should think twice before cutting corners on one of your most valuable marketing assets.

1. Your Website Should Protect Your Brand

DIY and “fast and cheap” solutions traditionally rely on design templates to get your job done. The result: a cookie-cutter website that probably looks and sounds like a lot of other websites in your industry.

An integrated advertising agency like Devaney & Associates is different. Our team of designers and writers create custom websites and content for every client. No two sites are alike. Each is a reflection of the client’s unique brand look, voice, and positioning.

When you consider how many consumers rely on the Internet to inform their purchasing decisions, that level of website customization is essential to making your brand stand out from the competition.

2. Your Website Should Be a Strategic Engine

DIY and “fast and cheap” solutions may give you a nice looking site. But how hard is your site working?

A marketing agency like Devaney & Associates reframes the website development process as a strategic marketing process. Our goal is to make sure your site isn’t just an online brochure—but a marketing tool that helps you convert visitors into leads and customers.

And—as any marketing agency will tell you—the “if you build it, they will come” philosophy doesn’t work with websites. Having a full-service marketing partner like Devaney & Associates gives you a comprehensive strategy for getting traffic to your website, converting the traffic into customers, and retaining those customers after the initial transaction.

3. Your Website Should Always Feel Fresh

You know those super-outdated magazines in your dentist’s waiting room? An outdated website has the same depressing feel for your visitors.

Fresh content, such as regular blog posts and newsroom updates, tells your visitors that your brand is dynamic and open for business. Just as importantly, fresh content tends to get a higher ranking in search engines like Google, especially on topics that are frequently evolving.

“But who has time to constantly update their site,” you ask? A marketing agency does. At Devaney & Associates, we take the burden of website maintenance and content creation off our clients’ shoulders. We plan content schedules, draft content that’s optimized, shareable, and easy to repurpose across all your digital channels, and execute strategies to drive people to your new content.

Is your website working hard enough?

In addition to website development, Devaney & Associates offers website audits, refreshes, content management support, and more. Contact us today to learn how we can achieve your marketing goals!