Don’t just consider non-urban areas — prioritize them

Rural Marketing

Specialties > Rural Reach

Conventional marketing tactics often don’t work with rural populations. We’ve designed an approach that can bridge the gap between urban and rural communities.

Over the years, we’ve learned people living in rural areas aren’t as actively engaged by marketing messages. The reason? Geographic and economic disadvantages separate rural citizens from experiencing the complete media landscape.

High-speed internet and 4G network technology are less available in some rural areas, which can minimize the impact of digital marketing techniques if communicators aren’t intentional about the types of platforms they use for campaigns. In addition, radio and television signals are often lower quality, outdoor signage is rare, and many residents don’t have access to common advertising and public relations executions.

The typical strategies and tactics just aren’t working outside urban areas.

That’s why Hirons created Rural Reach, a proprietary program and tailored marketing approach to engage rural audiences. Rural Reach helps companies, nonprofits and government agencies speak directly to rural residents by using public relations, branding and digital techniques specifically tailored for them. Our team is continually finding or creating ways to bypass traditional barriers and engage with rural communities.

Advertising

We’ll do our homework, determining the best mediums to engage the rural communities you want to target.

Branding

We can help you become an approachable brand developed to serve rural audiences.

Digital

Internet access isn’t the same for everyone. We consider these disparities in our digital campaigns, made to work in tandem with rural lifestyles.

Public Relations

We work around potentially unavailable mass media vehicles to connect with rural Americans through community and interpersonal engagement.

Deana Haworth, APR
Chief Operating Officer

As COO, Deana leads all company operations including business development, growth and strategic planning and serves as a senior adviser on key accounts.

In her 20 years at Hirons, Deana has led many projects to success, including the transfer of water and wastewater from the City of Indianapolis to Citizens Energy; a renaming, rebranding and capital campaign for Eskenazi Health; the launch of ParkIND at Indianapolis International Airport; and public outreach efforts for RebuildIndy — the $1 billion initiative to improve water quality and an aging sewer system.

She also led federal initiatives for the National Park Service, the Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau and the U.S. Army. Deana heads up Hirons’ proprietary Rural Reach program, bringing clients unique strategies for reaching rural populations.

Deana was born and raised in rural southern Indiana. She’s an expert at effective communication and outreach to rural communities, which she saw was lacking in many communications initiatives to people living in places like her childhood hometown. She worked with members of the Hirons team to develop Rural Reach, a research-based communications strategy for effectively engaging rural populations across the United States.

Deana earned her Accreditation in Public Relations from the Public Relations Society of America. She has a master’s degree in public relations from Ball State University and a bachelor’s in journalism from Franklin College.

Deana Haworth
Mark LeClerc
Mark LeClerc
Executive Creative Director

A rural Indiana native with more than 30 years of industry experience, Mark oversees all creative and quality control personnel at Hirons. Mark has garnered five career Best of Show awards in various advertising competitions, and his TV spots have appeared in the Communications Arts Advertising Annual. He previously served as executive creative director for the Indianapolis outpost of Publicis Worldwide.

At Hirons, Mark delivers a heightened level of creative strategy for client campaigns. He oversees all creative output in the agency, helps lead new business efforts, mentors creative staff and works closely with Hirons’ leadership team. Mark assists the public affairs team with branding and has directed the creative work for digital and traditional media advertisements and collateral materials for several state clients, including the City of Brazil’s rebranding, the Commission for Higher Education’s Next Level Jobs marketing and the Bureau of Motor Vehicle’s REAL ID digital advertising.

With years of experience in leadership positions, he also conducts seamless cross-departmental collaboration, resulting in superior client service for both current and prospective clients. Mark holds a bachelor’s degree in radio/television from Butler University. He is a former member of the board of directors for the International School of Indiana and chaired its marketing committee.

Marissa Smith-Kenny
Business Development Manager

Originally from a rural town in east central Indiana, Marissa relocated to Indianapolis in 2015. Marissa found her passion in the field of communications, exploring both the nonprofit and agency sectors of public relations through a variety of professional and volunteer roles. In the fall of 2018, Marissa joined Hirons’ communications management team as an intern. Her ability to meet tight deadlines and think strategically quickly earned her a full-time position within the agency.

She currently serves as the business development manager, a role in which she is responsible for developing new business proposals, tracking budget projections and assessing new client opportunities. She also works closely with Deana on the Rural Reach program, a passion project driven by her personal background.

Marissa is a member of the Public Relations Society of America’s Hoosier Chapter and leads Hirons’ Diversity Team. She also serves as Hirons’ representative for the Indy Rainbow Chamber and is on the Board of Directors for Girls Rock! Indianapolis. She holds a bachelor’s in journalism from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Her degree includes a concentration in public relations and a minor in advertising.

Marissa Smith-Kenny
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Ready to talk?

From small-town government to national nonprofits, we have the experience and expertise required to reach audiences outside of urban centers — specifically the rural poor. We’ll help you unlock rural markets. Let’s talk.