Next One Up

Critical Awareness for Next One Up


Maroon PR was engaged by Next One Up (NOU) to showcase what the social impact nonprofit has grown into, now in its 11th year. With the dual goals to publicize NOU’s programs success in direct, positive results for at-risk young men in Baltimore City’s toughest neighborhoods, and to help them attract potential donors, Maroon PR developed an aggressive three-month campaign strategy. 


Maroon PR was retained by NOU for a three-month project to assist with key internal communications needs and execute an external media relations campaign focused on two key areas:

  • Publicize NOU’s programs success in direct, positive results for at-risk young men in Baltimore City’s toughest neighborhoods

  • Help attract potential donors

The primary strategy was to position NOU Founder/CEO Matt Hanna as a thought leader in the social impact nonprofit space as way to garner media attention for Next One Up. By using Matt’s expertise in this space, he could talk about timely issues while bringing attention to his efforts with NOU and his vision for growth.

Our secondary focus was on highlighting NOU’s current and former participants, called “scholar athletes” while part of the program. Featured in media hits were NOU’s current program director, who is a former participant, along with several of their current high school and college, and recent college graduate scholar athletes.


Our team secured media hits in a mix of local, regional and national outlets across TV, radio, web and print, including a feature story that laned on the front page of The Baltimore Sun. The same story was later published in The Washington Post. 

BILLION Earned Media Impressions

As part of our work with Next One Up, Maroon PR developed a comprehensive social media strategy designed to assist their team in curating the right content and post cadence to help grow their social channels.

Maroon PR’s design team also enhanced the NOU logo, developed brand guidelines for the organization and developed several social media graphics to be implemented in their content moving foward.

Baltimore Sun Front Page Feature

After seeing multiple stories about the upcoming movie, Charm City Kings, Maroon PR pitched the powerful story of Next One Up to show the sharp contrast between what the media portrays of Baltimore City, compared to the reality for so many here. Tatyana Turner, at the Baltimore Sun, had already covered Charm City Kings and had a history of covering black community initiatives, similar to NOU. 

Baltimore Business Journal Viewpoints

This editorial piece was written by Greg Jones, a technical analyst at Flywheel Digital, a local managed service company driving brand growth in digital retail. He was a Next One Up scholar athlete program participant from middle school through college.

WJZ -TV Feature

This story was pitched in an effort to share how Next One Up is helping Baltimore students through mentorship. 

As a growing non-profit, Next One Up needed to reach more people with the inspiring stories of our young members as well as formalize a real public relations and social media strategy.  John Maroon and his great staff at Maroon PR took us on, knowing we were smaller than most non-profit organizations they had worked with in the past. They saw something special in Next One Up and from the first day, we felt the impact and after three months, we can truly say that this was exactly the partner we needed during these times.

Matt Hanna

Founder and CEO, Next One Up

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Maroon PR, Inc., Public Relations Counselor, Columbia, MD

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