Over the years, we have helped clients launch highly successful brand image campaigns and PR plans; reach millions of individuals with stories; and equip executive leaders with the tools to market their organizations.

The results include:

Guided community development nonprofits from San Francisco to Jacksonville in developing their own marketing communications campaigns that achieve meaningful results.

Designed and established a niche for arts marketing and communications to help position the four crown jewels of the Kansas City arts renaissance throughout the industry and nationwide: Kansas City Ballet, Lyric Opera of Kansas City and Kansas City Repertory Theatre.

Developed a new philanthropic program with policies and procedures for a local bank as well as created an inspiring national community relations program for a major financial institution.

Success Stories


The first ever two–state, five-county arts regional plan launched!

ArtsKC had just completed an 18-month bi-state, five-county process to design something truly unprecedented: OneArtsKC, a regional arts and cultural living plan for the entire Kansas City region that sets forth the vision for cultural development based on each counties’ needs. The next critical step was the public unveiling to not only reveal the priorities of the region but to secure ownership and support from each county.

Mershon & McDonald designed and directed  a three-phase launch targeted  with clear goals and outcomes. OneArtsKC has secured the support of critical community leaders and is well on its way to becoming an integral part of the region’s community development.



Is there such a thing as too much coffee? Well, no.

When the world’s largest and most successful coffee retailer was preparing to enter the Kansas City market, little did Starbucks Coffee Company know that their next-door neighbor was a popular, locally owned coffee-house.  Known for its outstanding and award-winning commitment to the community, the company was ill prepared for the pending local resistance.

Mershon & McDonald recommended a two-fold response. The first was to communicate a critical point to key media outlets that Starbucks enhances the sales of coffee for everyone in the community. The second response was actively involving Starbucks in two areas of local corporate commitment: literacy and AIDS. We worked diligently to partner Starbucks with other major Kansas City-based national corporations to serve on the AIDS Partners, a grant-giving agency. The result was one of the quietest and most successful openings in Starbucks’ history as well as the creation of a case used nationally by other Starbucks facing community resistance.



Ready, Set, Now What?

ReDiscover, a nonprofit community mental health agency, and the Linwood Area Ministry Place (LAMP), the development arm of the Heartland Presbytery, partnered to create an urban community campus housed in the former Linwood Presbyterian Church. They were about to undertake a multi-million dollar capital campaign. Major gifts were pledged with the two partners’ commitment unwavering; but was Kansas City leadership and community ready to support such a large undertaking?

Mershon & McDonald customized a large-scale, targeted feasibility study to answer that question. Through the survey, the targeted database and numerous confidential interviews, we determined the feasibility of the project and set a realistic goal. We drafted a development plan that would address the challenges uncovered. Now the partnership is poised to proceed.



A multi-million dollar international specialty-advertising company based in Gardner, Kansas, TradeNet was successful and committed to the community through a variety of projects. However, the company was unknown throughout the region and finding well-trained and eager people to employ had become a challenge. Who on earth would want to work in the Land of Oz for a no-name company? When TradeNet approached Mershon & McDonald to address this problem, we were ready.

We prepared a communications plan integrating both internal and external tactics geared to “telling the world about the secret of TradeNet.” After only one- and-a-half years, TradeNet was nominated and selected as a Top Ten Small Business of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City. Their innovative yet simple philosophy of outstanding customer service, combined with aggressive growth and its serious commitment to the community, made it an obvious selection.

Media placements increased 350% and their human resource needs were soon met. The preeminent Business Journal has even used TradeNet as a “field trip” for its staff to demonstrate outstanding customer service!



How Do We Give Away Money?

Blue Ridge Bank Trust, an independently owned community bank in operation for more than 50 years, realized its charitable giving program needed an overhaul. Numerous requests were coming in from all points of entry throughout the year requiring considerable staff time resulting in a large number of small gifts with little impact.

Mershon & McDonald designed a customized process that resulted in a strategic charitable giving program with goals, policies and procedures. In rolling out the new program, several thousand dollars in contributions were distributed throughout the community and strengthened Blue Ridge Bank Trust’s position.