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For more than 25 years, Sharon Banks honed her communication skills working in sales and marketing for top Fortune 500 companies, educational institutions, and the political arena. Today, that experience contributes to the successful growth of Bankable Marketing Strategies (BMS), an integrated communications agency Banks, president and CEO, launched in 2009 and runs with her daughter, Erica Banks.
“Client service is more than helping our clients reach their target market. It’s about helping to support and exceed their organization’s goals. We plan and execute with purpose, creating, designing, and executing for desired, measurable results,” Sharon says.
BMS helps clients large and small enhance their branding through strategic marketing platforms including digital marketing, media relations, video production, book publishing, community engagement, and events management. With loyal clients including corporations, government municipalities, elected officials, political candidates, and arts and culture organizations, BMS has established a deep level of trust with its personalized services that drive the agency’s growth. “We are adamant that what we do is consistent, valuable, and sustainable,” says Erica, director of communications. “We build on our client’s vision and mission for short- and long-term objectives, paying attention to trends, internal and external conditions, and unpredictable circumstances—like a devastating pandemic.”
Consistent messaging is strategically critical for BMS to e ectively position and support clients at all times. It’s how the agency helps them navigate through unforeseen and unchartered situations like a pandemic. For example, BMS successfully helped cra messages and deliver calls to action for the Detroit-Wayne Joint Building Authority, Michigan’s oldest public authority, which owns and manages the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center in Detroit. Sustainable and frequent messaging included collaboration on directives for conducting the crucial business of city and county government offices and the courts, 1,300 employees, and 5,000 daily visitors. For the Detroit Jazz Festival— the largest free jazz festival in the world, attracting 300,000 guests annually—and the Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre, Detroit’s 5,000-seat riverfront amphitheater, BMS worked to help transition from in-person music organizations to online live streaming performances and small events adhering to government safety mandates.
“Each client had to quickly develop plans to inform employees, visitors, guests, and the public on how they were managing and maintaining their facilities and operating safely during COVID-19,” Erica says. “It’s always about making sure messaging is accurate, specific, useful, and timely—believability and trust are key.”
Woven into BMS’ roots is community engagement. The agency is committed to ensuring clients are represented in a responsible and reverent way. “There’s such a rich fabric to who we all are, yet we’re not all cut from the same cloth,” Sharon says. “We engage in ways that give a diversity of thought and voice to our clients as they communicate with stakeholders, shareholders, customers, and the public.”
The BMS team always strives to connect clients with diverse communities and audiences to be included in meaningful and topical discussions. “We facilitate communication,” Sharon notes, “reinforcing that we are aligned with what our business is built upon and respected for. It’s not what we say about ourselves but what clients say about us that matters.
“From the block club to the boardroom, community centers to corporate suites, our responsibility is to provide opportunities for our clients to not merely feel engaged but to actually be engaged,” she concludes.