When Matt Polk and Jessica Johnson co-founded the New York City-based public relations firm Polk & Company, they envisioned using their experience in non-profit and commercial endeavors, and press management to develop major campaigns for Broadway and those devoting their lives to theater.
More than 20 years later, the firm has established itself by working with numerous clients in theatre, film, television, and dance. Polk & Co. has created an impressive clientele for which it has run public relations campaigns based on a network of media relationships built over time in New York City and nationally, while helping clients through the ever-changing field of new media and social networks.
Their Broadway campaigns range from Tony Award-winning productions of The Band’s Visitto The Color Purple, as well as notable shows Wicked, All My Sons, and Pretty Woman. The Band’s Visit won 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and was also named the year’s best by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Hollywood Reporter and Huffington Post, among others.
Polk & Co.’s campaigns for film production companies include 20th Century Fox (The Greatest Showman) and Lionsgate (La La Land), and FOX’s “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and “A Christmas Story.” The goal of each campaign is creating a strong brand and identity across all media platforms from those who have worked in theatre for many years. They also manage celebrity publicity campaigns, including John Stamos, as well as philanthropic and outreach campaigns.
The company has run multiple campaigns for more than 35 shows in 2019-20, includingRiverdance 25th Anniversary Show, Tina – The Tina Turner Musical, 1776, and A Soldier’s Story.
Polk & Co.’s staff of fewer than 15 people brings a wide range of experience with Broadway and theatrical productions throughout the U.S. and Canada. The firm has worked for more than 15 years with the New York-based nonprofit theatrical institution Roundabout Theatre Company, which runs five stages on and off Broadway and reaches more than one million theatregoers annually. They have also worked with other New York City stalwarts Second Stage Theatre, Birdland Jazz Club, TED Talks: Live in New York, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre.
The company’s campaigns include media coverage with branding, press events, meet and greets, strategies, and media training. In addition to running campaigns for shows in New York City, Polk & Co. also consult on publicity for out-of-town shows and for national touring theatrical productions. Print features include articles in local and national magazines, and newspapers across the country. Campaigns also work on magazine covers and national television, and new media appearances.
The company provides regular internships throughout the year that gives college students (and recent graduates) the opportunity to work on numerous theatrical and entertainment projects, while learning from the senior staff. Two current members of the company began their careers through the internship program.