The cause of the homeless is near and dear to the heart of Resurgens Orthopaedics’ Dr. Gary Stewart. This marks the seventh year that Dr. Stewart has organized a coat and blanket drive, with Haven House of Henry County, a shelter for abused women and their children, being the beneficiary.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution gave Dr. Stewart a major boost by shining a positive light on his good works and his cause on Nov. 29 in its “Sunday Conversation” feature in the Metro Section. Lenz successfully pitched the idea to Ann Hardie, who handles the feature for the AJC that often has a non-profit or charitable theme to it.

“If you have done some charity work and it is easy,” Stewart told the AJC, “then maybe you aren’t giving enough.”

It’s not every day that one of your clients offers up a Super Bowl-winning football coach and a Grammy-winning recording artist for you to promote.

That’s exactly what Dr. Scott Miller did this year with Blue Ties, the largest annual event for the nonprofit that he founded, ProstAware, in the form of Joe Gibbs and Lee Greenwood. ProstAware uses music, sports and technology to create awareness in metro Atlanta for prostate cancer, which is the second-leading cause of cancer death among men in the United States.

At Lenz, we leaped at the chance to flex our PR muscles and we found the media ready and willing. The highlights included a mention of ProstAware during Gibbs’ interview with Jay Mohr on Mohr’s nationally syndicated Fox Sports Radio show (which has 4 million listeners on 250 affiliates), a mention on Gibbs’ interview on 680 The Fan, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution story in Jennifer Brett’s Peach Buzz column about the event, Gibbs’ interview with CBS 46 sports anchor Fred Kalil and Greenwood’s appearance on Good Day Atlanta.

The week leading up to Blue Ties also provided a pleasant coincidence. Fox 5, the only local news station with a dedicated medical team, aired a story about a unique and innovative surgical procedure that Dr. Miller performs. Being that September is prostate cancer awareness month, Fox 5 also aired a second segment on Dr. Miller and prostate cancer screening in the week following Blue Ties.

Below is a recap of the media hits that we had for Dr. Miller and for ProstAware:
Wednesday, Aug. 26: 11 Alive runs an item on its website off our press release about Jerry Carnes hosting Blue Ties
• Monday, Sept. 7: AJC Peach Buzz item on on Lee Greenwood and Joe Gibbs runs online.
• Wednesday, Sept. 9: Joe Gibbs interview with Chris Dimino airs on “The Rude Awakening” on 680 The Fan.
• Wednesday, Sept. 9: Joe Gibbs interview with Jay Mohr airs on Fox Sports Radio. The show airs on 250 affiliates across the United States and has more than 4 million listeners daily. (MP3 is attached below.)
• Wednesday, Sept. 9: Fox 5 medical team story about Dr. Miller and patient Tim Smith airs
• Thursday, Sept. 10: Lee Greenwood appears as a guest on Good Day Atlanta
• Thursday, Sept. 10: Lee Greenwood/Joe Gibbs AJC Peach Buzz item runs in print. (Screen shots attached.)
• Friday, Sept. 11: Short Joe Gibbs interview with Fred Kalil airs on CBS 46.
• Sunday, Sept. 13: Extended interview of Joe Gibbs with Fred Kalil airs during 11 p.m. hour.
• Thursday, Sept. 17: Fox 5 medical team airs segment with Dr. Miller on prostate cancer awareness.

by John Manasso, Media Relations Manager

Lenz recently presented the fifth annual Amplify Decatur concert series at iconic Eddie’s Attic from June 26 to 28, helping to raise $25,000 for Decatur Cooperative Ministry, a nonprofit that helps to keep families out of homelessness.

Since the first Amplify event (it was formerly known as Poverty Is Real) in 2011, Amplify has helped to raise nearly $75,000 for DCM and has served as the presenting sponsor each year. Amplify was founded by Lenz partner and vice president of marketing Mike Killeen, who remains an Amplify board member. Spencer Smith serves as Amplify’s executive director.

“Since our firm was founded 23 years ago in Decatur, part of our company’s mission has been to try to support the local community through a wide variety of public service, initiatives and sponsorships,” said Richard J. Lenz, founder, president and CEO of Lenz, who also has served as a founding member of the board of the AJC Decatur Book Festival, a nonprofit. “We are pleased that our efforts might help in some small way to alleviate the problem of homelessness for families in need. With this event, we creatively combine our love of music with positive action in Decatur to perform a public good. What Mike Killeen and Spencer Smith have been building with the organization is very smart, extremely effective, and inspiring.”

This year’s lineup was headlined by influential alternative country pioneer Jay Farrar and comprised six separate shows, including one by Christian artist Brady Toops. Two of the founding members of the label-defying band Cracker, known for its big ‘90’s alternative radio hits, performed two shows. Amplify Decatur also featured a Kids’ Show performed by female duo The Wishing Jar and a Neil Young tribute that included a number of notable local artists.

Jay Farrar

Jay Farrar

The weekend schedule included:

  • FRIDAY, JUNE 26, 7:30 p.m.: Performance by Farrar, who has received critical acclaim for more than two decades as the founder of Uncle Tupelo, as a solo artist and as the leader of Son Volt. Farrar combines heart-wrenching vocals with songwriting that has been influenced by Beat Generation writer Jack Kerouac’s free-flowing compositional style. Said Farrar of Son Volt’s sixth studio album, “Honky Tonk”: “Honky tonk music is about heartache, heartbreak, the road.” Instrumentalist Gary Hunt accompanied Farrar and Mike Killeen opened the show.


  • SATURDAY, JUNE 27, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.: Acoustic performances by “Cracker Unplugged with David Lowery & Johnny Hickman.” Cracker recently released its 10th studio album, entitled, “Berkeley to Bakersfield,” a double-album that includes tracks on the “Berkeley” disc from the band’s original lineup – the first time in almost 20 years that they have recorded together. The “Bakersfield” disc pays homage to the band’s “California country” side. Over the years, Cracker has been described as alt-rock, Americana, insurgent-country and even, at times, as punk and classic-rock. Lowery and Hickman performed as a duo.
  • SATURDAY, JUNE 27, 2 p.m.: Performance by The Wishing Jar (for children ages 3 to 8 years old). As singer-songwriters, Humphries and Shelton combine beauty, whimsy and a touch of vintage flair. They performed “Until Tomorrow,” a lullaby project of mostly original songs and an illustrated children’s companion book.
  • SUNDAY, JUNE 28: “Out on the Weekend,” a Neil Young celebration, featured local and regional acts performing mini-sets of Young’s greatest hits. Participating artists included Brian Collins with Craig Young, the Bitter Roots, Eliot Bronson, Doria Roberts, Jared & Amber, Adron, S. Connor of the Southern Gothic, Kristen Englenz, Rex Hussmann and Mike Killeen and some surprise special guests.

Full event details can be found at

Founded in 1969, Decatur Cooperative Ministry alleviates and prevents homelessness in and around Decatur. Its programs include an emergency shelter for women and children, transitional housing for families, veterans’ assistance, and emergency relief for families on the verge of losing their homes. Its work has helped make DeKalb County a better place for more than 40 years and Amplify is honored to celebrate DCM. More information is available at

Based in Decatur, Georgia, Lenz partners with its clients so they can grow together. For more than two decades, Lenz’s specialized expertise has helped its clients to reach their goals. Lenz offers the full range of digital and traditional marketing expertise, including brand strategy, advertising, PR, website development, inbound marketing and more. Learn more at

The Amplify Concert Series leverages the universal love of music to fight poverty and homelessness at the local level. Specifically, the Amplify Concert Series selects local-level charities combating poverty on the frontlines and hosts music concerts to celebrate their work and to raise funds for them. Amplify concerts unite communities by inviting local businesses to sponsor the events and by increasing awareness. Most importantly, every dollar raised at Amplify concerts goes directly to the beneficiary. The Amplify Concerts Series is produced by Poverty Is Real, a Decatur, Georgia-based 501(c)(3) organization, working to educate communities about issues surrounding homelessness and poverty. Learn more at

In May, Lenz helped Harris Botnick and Worthmore Jewelers land an Executive Profile in the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Former Business Chronicle staff writer and current Lenz media manager John Manasso developed the pitch and coordinated the interview. Congratulations Harris!

Download a jpeg of the story.

It was an incredibly busy pollen season for Atlanta Allergy & Asthma – both in terms of serving patients but also in terms of the practice’s presence in the media, highlighting its expertise as a leader in its space.

Perhaps no day demonstrated that better than April 9, when the pollen count hit 6,152 – the fifth-highest count on record since Atlanta Allergy began compiling them in 1991.

Fortuitously, WSB-TV meteorologist Katie Walls had reached out to Lenz nine days in advance of April 9 for an occasional science segment that she reports. She had expressed initial interest in doing such a segment at a previous visit to Atlanta Allergy’s East Cobb office in March for a story on the start of pollen season.

Walls and her cameraman met us at Atlanta Allergy’s Kennestone office at 5:10 a.m. The Atlanta Allergy pollen collectors showed how they perform the count and gave WSB great visual images of the pollen spores under the microscope, which the Atlanta Allergy team projected on a computer screen.

After several hours of reporting – and waiting for the count to be finalized while imbibing copious amounts of coffee – the team moved to Atlanta Allergy’s Northlake location to interview Dr. Lily Hwang. In setting up the piece, Walls had expressed her strong desire to speak to an allergy sufferer.

Lenz set her up with one of Hwang’s patients, 10-year-old Samantha Manasso, who also happens to be the daughter of Lenz media relations manager John Manasso.

The piece aired in the 5 p.m. hour that day. Atlanta Allergy ended up getting three separate media hits from it, as it also aired during the 11 p.m. hour and again early the following morning.

Previously, in March, the pollen count also kept Lenz and Atlanta Allergy on their collective toes. After several weeks of closely monitoring the pollen counts through the late winter months, the public relations staff arrived early on Monday, March 16, expecting to send our first alert of the spring to local media.

The pollen count reached 188 that morning – in the “high” range, as deemed by the National Allergy Bureau (NAB). It marked the seventh day of the month that the count was in the high range.

The Lenz team put previous weeks of planning – updated media lists and sample language for a media alert – to work and quickly sent out our email to the media. We received our first nibble that day, as WSB Radio’s Sabrina Gibbons requested an interview with AA&A’s Dr. Stanley Fineman, a past president of the prestigious American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

The next day, we entered the office to see in our inbox that pollen count had essentially maintained itself at 187 and that the website of local television station CBS46 had requested permission to embed the AA&A website into its own for purposes of showing the pollen count. It’s important to note that AA&A is the only local provider of the pollen count as certified by the NAB.

Granting permission expanded Atlanta Allergy’s reach to more prospective patients. Web users can simply click on the link to make appointments directly with AA&A.

On Wednesday, the pollen count exploded. It soared to 1,793 into NAB’s “extreme” range, prompting Rachel Cushing wisely to decide we should send out another media alert. Using the language from Lenz’s email alert, quoted John Manasso in Mike Morris’ 197-word story. A shorter version appeared in print.

The Gwinnett Daily Post called and we set them up with Dr. Judy Nam, who practices out of the county’s Hamilton Mill and Snellville’s offices.

The biggest news of the day came at 1:29 p.m. when we received an email from Carol Sbarge at WSB TV. She was hoping to set up an interview at one of Atlanta Allergy’s offices the next day for another reporter. After sorting out some schedules, we alighted upon a 10:30 a.m. interview at Dr. Fineman’s East Cobb office.

Before the day had ended, we received a call from Atlanta Allergy, informing us that 11Alive’s Keith Whitney had called one of the practice’s offices directly, based on a previous story he had done with one of the doctors there. He stopped by the Sandy Springs office and interviewed Dr. Kevin Schaffer.

On a rainy Thursday morning, we met WSB meteorologist Katie Walls at Dr. Fineman’s office on Johnson Ferry Road. She is an allergy sufferer herself and had a great deal of personal interest in the subject. She interviewed Dr. Fineman for what ended up being two stories, one that aired in the 4 p.m. hour and another in the 6 p.m. hour. She got a kick out at some plush toys hanging around the office that were in the form of dust mites.

Her cameraman shot footage of a sign in the office that indicated the extreme pollen count one day earlier and of a nurse preparing an injection for allergy therapy. He also shot footage of the numerous patients in the waiting room (taking care not to shoot anyone’s face without their permission; later, he asked for and received permission to shoot footage of a patient consulting with Dr. Fineman in his office).

Later, we supplied Katie with some historical pollen counts to provide her story with some context. This was the final product.

The week would not have been complete without one more hit. On Thursday afternoon, Mark Woolsey of the Georgia News Network (radio) called. He interviewed Dr. Fineman late on Thursdayfor a segment that aired on Friday.

By Thursday, the weather turned cool and rainy, dampening the pollen counts. But now allergy sufferers are now “primed” for April, when the pollen could hit its full bloom.

When it does, the media will know were to find Atlanta Allergy and Lenz.

Four years ago today, a professional athlete did what we want all professional athletes to do. He decided that money wasn’t the most important thing—winning championships, having great teammates, and helping his community were. And the public was outraged.

I’m talking of course about Lebron James’s infamous decision to take his “talents to South Beach” and play for the Miami Heat. But primarily, I’m talking about the televised announcement called “The Decision” and the fallout that ensued. Read more

On Wednesday, April 9, Worthmore Jewelers — a fine jewelry retailer and Lenz client based in Atlanta — was featured on CBS46 during the 11 p.m. newscast.

Entitled, “Shinola: Keeping it local from Detroit to Atlanta,” the story focuses on the popular, Detroit-based watch and leather goods brand, Shinola; the organization’s “cause-driven” approach to manufacturing; and how these keep-it-local business values parallel with those of small retailers, like Worthmore Jewelers, who carry their products. Read more

Many have asked me how Lenz’s event, Beatles Vs. Stones, came off.

As a marketing, advertising, pr and media firm, we believe communication is everything to a company (and a marriage!). And we believe that events are just another form of marketing communications. (Even weddings!)

Read more

Lenz Marketing Director Mike Killeen recently appeared in a feature article by the web site Politico regarding the insurance industry’s Obamacare advertising strategies.

The article, titled “It’s not Obamacare, It’s Business” by Kyle Cheney and Paige Winfield Cunningham, examines the unique marketing opportunities and challenges facing insurance companies in the era of Obamacare.

Politico contacted Lenz after identifying the company as a national expert in healthcare marketing.

Read more

The Lenz PR team celebrates a high-profile media feature for its client Worthmore Jewelers — a fine jewelry retailer specializing in unique wedding, commitment, and engagement rings, watches, bracelets, earrings, necklaces, silver, and custom work.

The article was featured in the Fall/Winter 2013 issue of Best Years, a USA TODAY Premium Magazine Publication.

Read more