[Editor’s Note: PRNEWS is profiling agencies that have recently launched, and speaking to the founders about why now—on the heels of economic and social uncertainty—they are launching new businesses.
In this spotlight, we look at Washington, D.C.-based Better Together, a Black, woman-founded agency that describes itself as “dedicated to advocating for positive societal change by creating a values-led communications approach that blends differences in backgrounds, experiences and perspectives to achieve equity.”]
MXP Ventures, a public relations agency start-up accelerator and venture fund, decided to invest in Better Together. Catharine Montgomery founded the agency after spending her career at larger outfits, and knowing she wanted to focus specifically on “community-focused, mission-driven work.”
As she tells it, during the summer of 2020, following the murder of George Floyd, many organizations promised to donate resources to make the world a better place. But nearly three years later, it’s difficult to see where those funds have gone.
Montgomery points to a Washington Post article that spells out just how little of that investment actually went toward real action. In fact, more than 90 percent of the committed $49.5 billion was allocated as loans or investments.
Montgomery wants to hold these companies accountable, while supporting the organizations whose sole mission is to help communities but simply lack the funding.
Specifically, the agency looks to support “underserved communities, underinvested communities, and causes that need more of a voice,” such as those focused on voting rights, climate justice, or cannabis and psychedelic equity and decriminalization.
Montgomery sees her competitive advantage against some of the larger agencies as having a mission-driven foundation, as opposed to adding a new practice area in response to societal change.
What’s more, she says, she has the luxury of declining work if the mission of a potential client is not aligned with the work in which she wants to focus. And, prospective and current clients can feel secure knowing that the agency they have hired isn’t also working with other clients in direct opposition to their cause – which may not always be the case with some of the larger, global agencies.
“We're committed to … sticking to our truth, sticking to our mission of only working with those organizations that are helping others,” Montgomery says.
A Proud Moment
A campaign that Montgomery is most proud of is her work with Real Action for Cannabis Equity (R.A.C.E.), supporting Economic Empowerment applicants in Cambridge, Mass..
In Cambridge, equity measures were on the brink of being wiped out. The struggle for equity in the cannabis industry required a modular brand that could be adopted by advocates in various municipalities and quickly “go viral” within the EE community.
R.A.C.E. launched an advertising campaign on Facebook and Google directed at Cambridge residents between the ages of 18 and 65. The team developed a program of speakers for a press release launch, designed to show a broad range of perspectives supporting one common cause in the mission of R.A.C.E.
Erika Bradbury is editorial director for PRNEWS. Reach her at [email protected].