Company Named ‘Best Public Relations Agency’ by Best of Small Business Awards

Philadelphia, Feb. 03, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The company slogan at ShinePR is “Your Purpose. Brighter.” and shining bright is just how the boutique public relations agency is starting the new year, thanks to the National Association of Women’s Business Owners (NAWBO). Earlier this week, NAWBO officially confirmed ShinePR as a Certified Women’s Business Enterprise (CWBE).

Women-owned businesses represent the fastest-growing segment of the economy, yet less than 2% are certified as WBE and/or Minority WBE (MWBE). NAWBO’s national CWBE certification exceeds the integrity and verification requirements of the Small Business Administration’s Women’s Business Enterprise certification.

“The NAWBO Institute Certification team would like to congratulate Martha on taking this important next step for her business,” said NAWBO CEO Jen Earle. “Certification gives customers confidence that they’re buying from a legitimate woman-owned business, and the business owner a powerful tool that increases visibility and opportunities for growth, not to mention equity and parity for all women business owners.”

The CWBE certification follows ShinePR’s national recognition, as the Best of Small Business Awards recently named ShinePR the Best Public Relations Agency in the United States. The Best of Small Business Awards recognizes small to mid-sized businesses that are privately owned, based in the U.S., and have less than 500 employees. Receiving their top award is a humbling accomplishment for ShinePR, which began its work to promote and protect purpose-driven brands just two years ago.

“Every brand has a purpose, a light to shine, that sets them apart and contributes to the greater good,” said Martha Holler, founder of ShinePR. “As an agency partner, we help clients articulate and illuminate their purpose because leading with purpose yields more powerful narratives, deeper emotional connections with audiences, and more word-of-mouth recommendations.”

“We know how to build and publicize strong brands, including our own,” said Laura Wessells, chief brand officer of ShinePR. “We’re grateful for these recognitions and for our clients who make it possible to do the work we love.”

Holler and Wessells started ShinePR in 2020 after 24 years of leadership and experience in public relations and brand marketing at Sallie Mae, the country’s largest private student loan provider. During that time, they oversaw partnerships with organizations such as US News, Gallup, Ipsos, and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund while working with more than 5,000 higher learning institutions across the United States.

They used that award-winning experience and expertise to start ShinePR as a boutique public relations agency focused on promoting and protecting purpose-driven brands. Holler and Wessells believe that a well-defined purpose forms the foundation for any brand. It lets an organization market its distinct advantages and becomes the core of the brand’s story it communicates about itself.

“Purpose is what drives individuals and entities to do their best work and to make a difference in the world,” Wessells said. “We’re here to help organizations do just that.”

ShinePR delivers its services using educational workshops, strategic initiatives, and ongoing engagements.

One of the unique aspects of ShinePR is its commitment to donate 10% of annual earnings to charitable causes on behalf of its clients. Some of the charities that have received financial contributions from ShinePR include:

  • Building Hope, a foundation dedicated to creating high-quality K-12 charter school opportunities for students
  • Dress for Success, a global not-for-profit organization that empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.
  • Junior Achievement, a nonprofit that inspires and prepares young people for success
  • The International Committee of the Red Cross, an independent, neutral organization whose mission is to protect and assist victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence.
  • Rawkstars, a nonprofit that teaches kids and young adults life skills through music.

“We firmly believe organizations that truly live their purpose, achieve the greatest success,” Holler said. “We’ve always known it creates competitive advantage, sparks growth, and transforms brands. And now we’ve experienced those very things, firsthand.”


About ShinePR

ShinePR delivers public relations strategy and execution to purpose-driven B2B organizations, both nonprofit and for profit, in the U.S. and Europe. The agency was founded on the belief that every organization has a purpose that sets it apart and contributes to the greater good. We help clients articulate and illuminate their purpose to raise their visibility, protect their reputation, create competitive advantage, cultivate brand advocates, and achieve success. Join the conversation on social media, and learn more at  


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