We help companies tell their best story.

The Harbinger Group delivers high-value business results through public relations and communications programs.

In an increasingly fractured media environment, industry experts seem to come and go with the day's news. Commanding the attention of any audience is difficult; sustaining that attention requires much more than public statements and press releases.

At The Harbinger Group, we can help you rise above the clamor.

 
$10,000+
 
$100 - $149 / hr
 
10 - 49
 
Undisclosed
Show all +
Chicago, IL
headquarters
  • The Harbinger Group
    4500 N Francisco Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60625
    United States
    844.463.2480

Reviews

Sort by

Rebranding and Brand Awareness for Nonprofit

"If I need something drafted, written, reviewed, or posted, Harbinger Group is flexible and available to do it."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
3.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
Project summary: 

Harbinger Group increased brand awareness for a nonprofit. They provided web service management, tactical and strategic outreach, communication through advertising, and geotargeted marketing services.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Officer, Nonprofit
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

There were dramatic improvements in website visits, candidate flow, and an increase in funder support. Additionally, social media specifics have tripled since 2016. Harbinger Group's availability and flexibility were integral to the branding project's success. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are a nonprofit foundation which does work in the state of Illinois. I’m an officer in the organization.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Harbinger Group?

We wanted to dramatically increase the awareness of our program throughout the Chicago land area. In order to do this, we needed some understanding of what our brand was in the marketplace and to work on improving it. We defined success as increased brand awareness in the marketplace, which can be measured in dynamic and static metrics such as website use, applicant flow, the sum of our programs, and so on. It can also be acknowledged in whether or not we're seeing increases in funder interest, which is where a significant portion of our operational funding comes from.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Harbinger Group manages all of our marketing and communication. We don't have in-house staff for this, so when it comes to simple tactical things like media buys for announcing big events, Harbinger Group will manage both the strategy and the tactical outreach in order to make all of that happen. They also manage our website interface and how we're communicating through advertising. We're placing ads and doing geo-targeted marketing. Harbinger Group is the one who comes up with the strategy for this and executes on it. They've done a ton of work with us in making our outreach more systematic and professional, and figuring out new ways to target our consumers, whether they be on the funder side or people who are actually participating in our programs.

How did you come to work with Harbinger Group?

They were selected far before I started working with the organization. Harbinger Group is being retained because they provide very reliable support at a good value.

How much have you invested with Harbinger Group?

This is confidential but substantial. Annual costs include communication outreach, media buys, website improvements, fliers, banners, and whatever else we need.

What is the status of this engagement?

I have been personally working with Harbinger Group for 2 ½ years, but the organization has used their group for almost six years before that.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

We have begun to work with a survey of what our current awareness in the marketplace is, and will replicate it in the near future in order to have an apples-to-apples comparison. In general, we've seen dramatic improvements in our website visits and candidate flow, as well as a steady increase in funder support.

As part of our model, we recognize master teachers in the Chicago land area. Each year, once we've gone through the work of nominating and selecting award recipients, we notify them by surprising them at their school, and create a lot of excitement not only by having special guests appear and hand out the awards, but also by having TV and other media outlets available for them to tell their stories.

We measure our media outreach specifics, whether it be TV or newspaper spots, or social media attention. This year, we have tripled our social media specifics compared to 2016. We've just concluded our event, so those numbers will continue to go up for a while. Each year, we're building on the prior one and adding things which will make the event even more impressive.

How did Harbinger Group perform from a project management standpoint?

We are a small organization with only 20–25 employees, so we use a large number of contractors, over one hundred, which work with us on a part-time basis. Having more full-time staff is important whenever we are trying to do anything with a degree of sophistication in the marketing space. We can't possibly hire the number of specialists which would be needed. Harbinger Group is able to supply us with branding help, tactical media outreach and management, or even simply day-to-day communication. We have over 2,500 alumni in our network who have participated in our programming, and we want to communicate regularly and engage them to help us with initiatives. We're seeing a real professionalization of our communication efforts, especially throughout the last couple of years as we've become more strategic about our planning. We've integrated Harbinger Group's team more into our weekly meetings.

What did you find most impressive about Harbinger Group?

I appreciate Harbinger Group's availability and flexibility. They're a planned and thoughtful group, but they're not rigid. Harbinger Group will take a call from me on Sunday night asking for something for Monday morning. If I need something drafted, written, reviewed, or posted, Harbinger Group is flexible and available to do it. At the same time, they're not a temp agency, so they can bring a point of view to the work and advise as much as they execute.

When I joined the organization, it was run by great educators, but they didn't have operational backgrounds. We often needed to print posters and send them to schools in order to get the word out about our awards cycle. Since then, we've put our outreach completely on the digital side. By that decision alone, we have increased our effectiveness and outreach efforts, while decreasing the nonproductive marketing communication costs.

Are there any areas Harbinger Group could improve?

Harbinger Group is a small organization, so they may lack internal resources at times for getting some of our tasks done. They can't possibly have specialists for every single area of marketing and communications. This will mean that, in order to get the work done, Harbinger Group will have to subcontract it. This will equate to a higher cost for us at times.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 3.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Harbinger Group sometimes deserved a five, and sometimes a two. If they have to go outside for expertise, it will take longer.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Harbinger Group is very good about letting me know if they're running close to the budget, and if we need to raise what we were planning, or decrease what we were asking them to do.
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    There are areas in which they don’t have full expertise in-house. A five would be for larger firms that have specialists for every single communication and marketing category. For the areas which Harbinger Group claims to cover, they do a very good job.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer