Bender Group Public Relations: Company Profile
Self-help author Deborah Day probably summed up Bender Group Public Relations’ philosophy best when she wrote, “Flexibility requires an open mind & a welcoming of new alternatives.” The firm was founded in 1995 by PR veteran Stacey Bender after she gave birth to her fourth child. Her other three kids were young – 6, 3, and 1 at the time.
Today’s current name only came about in 2013 after Day separated from her husband, who co-owned the agency. Until then, the PR firm had been known as the Bender-Hammerling Group, with her then-husband managing the financial aspects of the agency. Without a formal written business agreement, the usual personal financial agreements in the divorce have to be agreed upon and the matter of dealing with the firm’s ownership and its assets. The experience in resolving that gave Day valuable relationship lessons that she successfully carried over and has used with clients.
Bender’s expertise centers around top tier media placement for clients, influencer ambassador programs, social media channel placement and optimization, and Amazon management. The latter involves a manager who’s dedicated to helping clients maximize their sales success on the Amazon platform. Clients range from start-ups to well-known brands.
Since its start, the hallmark of the agency has been the top tier placement of clients and brands in highly visible media like the New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Better Homes & Garden, People, Good Morning America, HuffPost, the Food Network, Cooking Channel, Rachel Ray Every Day, Women’s Health, Epicurious, and the Kelly Clarkson Show to name a few.
Bender has a diverse group of clients that represent the food, beverage, travel, service, technology, and lifestyle industries. Some of the better-known ones include Aunt Jemima, French’s, Skippy Peanut Butter, Mike & Ike, Jarlsberg, Frank’s Red Hot, Duncan Hines, Vlasic, Manischewitz, and Spice Islands.
One of the brands the agency has been marketing recently is NasalGuard Airborne Particle Blocker. In August, Bender also launched a donation program offering the NasalGuard gel-free to firefighters and healthcare workers in Northern California because of smoke inhalation problems caused by the recent numerous wildfires as well as the pandemic.
Montclair, New Jersey-based Bender, pays as much attention to smaller clients like Abeles & Heymann, a family deli in the nearby Bronx, New York, as it does their large clients. In 2017, after Hurricane Harvey struck Houston, Bender established partnerships with nonprofits and disaster relief groups there and created a program in which customers of A&H could purchase a salami to donate to victims that A&H would not only match but also cover the cost of shipping. Working with A&H, Bender also helped A&H put on a hot dog trimming contest at a kosher food trade show that was highly popularized.
In addition to Bender as President, the agency’s leadership still involves family. Today, it includes Bender’s CPA brother, Barry, as CFO. Her oldest daughter, Haley Hammerling, also worked there for a while as vice president until Hayden Ari replaced her in late 2017. Ari’s specialties are E-commerce, SEO optimization, social media growth, PR strategy, and media relations. A team of five other professionals supports Bender and Ari.