Account Director, Eric Hammond, began his media career more than 20 years ago. Eric has relied on his broad experience to help determine daily and long-term plans for his commercial and nonprofit clients during uncertain times.
Eric’s reflection – words that have meaning.
The word “work” keeps me motivated. Having exciting, challenging work in which I continue to develop and see results drives me every day, even on weekends. It gives me purpose and consistency. Work goes on, no matter pandemic, politics, protests, weather, anything. The work is always there to be done. The other word is “family.” Staying connected to my mom, sister, brother-in-law, niece, and a few good friends who I consider family has been essential for me.
What has been your favorite or most impactful client effort recently, and why?
This is hard to narrow down, as we have many genuinely amazing clients and achieved much success in my time with MPR so far. One of my favorite campaigns last year was one that was two-fold: Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Washington, D.C.’s (RMHCDC) dual events of the D.C. House renovation socially-distanced ribbon cutting, and their virtual state of the charity extravaganza dubbed “The Great Update.” Working alongside the wonderful team at RMHCDC (Karen, Sarah, Rachel and Dustin and co.), we helped pull together a wonderful The Great Update hosted by WJLA’s Adrianna Hopkins and featuring several guests. We also coordinated and edited a video compilation of many area celebrities and distinguished citizens giving their congratulations to RMHCDC on their 40th anniversary. The entire campaign was capped off with multiple media outlets covering the grand re-opening the fully-renovated and expanded D.C. House. Later this year, we looked forward to helping RMHCDC publicize the complete renovation and expansion (including them literally raising the roof and adding another story) of their Northern Virginia House as well.
What have you learned in the past year as it relates to the PR industry, our agency, your personal growth?
I’ve learned that our agency has what it takes to dig deep when times are tough and get the job done. I’m reminded of the adage “Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.” That’s Maroon PR. When the pandemic hit and the business world took losses and reductions, we pivoted to run lean but efficient, and to stay focused on achieving results for our clients. Our executive leaders also did a fantastic job of keeping morale up during the difficult shift to remote work. The Maroon PR culture is stronger than ever, and we are planning even greater things for the year ahead.
What have you learned FROM your clients?
For this one, I’ll call out Matt Hanna and his entire team at Next One Up (NOU). From them, I have learned that nothing is out of reach when you are relentlessly pursuing goals for common good. Even though they began as a small staff over a decade ago, they stayed focused on growing their programs serving socioeconomically challenged young men in Baltimore City. Now, they are bigger than ever and continue to serve more people through more programs every year. They have big dreams and are finding ways to accomplish them without ever doubting their ability to succeed. Matt and his crew are extraordinary people achieving extraordinary results. Stay tuned for more big announcements on NOU’s eye-popping growth later this year!
What is one thing you’ve learned from a MPR teammate?
Each week, I glean multiple nuggets of wisdom from our VP of Media Relations/Senior Strategist Matt Williams. Our company has a unique setup where our weekly one-on-ones with our supervisor aren’t so much complete project rundowns. They are information exchanges geared toward weekly professional development. Since Matt has been in the business for years longer than I have, I sincerely appreciate the time I get to ask him questions and to bounce ideas off of him.
This is just one example of the collaborative atmosphere at MPR. Everyone’s voice is sought, heard, considered and respected. I love working in a team setting, so being able to get feedback and learn from every single colleague in the agency is something I cherish. Each team member is a seasoned expert in their field, and we make each other better by sharing ideas, listening, and leaving any ego at the door. The family-type dynamic of our company is my favorite part of coming to work every day.
And just for fun….
If you could have lunch with anyone past or present, who would it be, and why?
Musician Glen Phillips, most well known for his work in the band Toad the Wet Sprocket. Toad is my absolute favorite band of all time. I interviewed Glen years ago when I co-produced and co-hosted a radio show. He has a calming presence combined with a deeply intellectual way of viewing life. He’s a unique human and brilliant songwriter, singer and guitar player. I’d probably spend most of the lunch asking him to teach me to play some of the more intricate acoustic parts of a ton of songs from both Toad and his solo albums.
What’s your PR super power?
Over more years than I care to mention (so as to not date myself so much), I have purposely developed experience in an array of communication disciplines. I have worked in several capacities in: TV news, radio, short films, documentaries, newspapers, magazines, marketing, public affairs programs (in two languages), studio design, classroom instruction, board membership, sales and management to name a few. It’s my feeling that this diverse background helps me understand and optimize strategy for these industries.
I’ve also been known to be called the AP Style Wizard. 🤷♂️
What’s one thing at your work space that you can’t live without?
Speakers to have music playing in the background. Music is everything to me and I need it often.
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