“At PARKER PR, we look for opportunities to tell the stories that matter, and help create a supportive, caring, and kind community.”
ELLEN IN 100 WORDS
Before founding PARKER PR, Ellen worked in New York City for the Institute for Children and Poverty and boutique PR firms representing a variety of celebrities, hotels, and small businesses. In Canada, Ellen has worked for the Alberta government, WordFest: Banff Calgary International Writers Festival, the Calgary Food Bank and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.
Ellen is most proud of her family – including her husband and her two boys, her team at PARKER PR, and her commitment to volunteerism. Ellen is a board member for Dress For Success, the Co-Chair of the Hillhurst Parent Council and an ongoing volunteer for the Brenda Strafford Centre – a home for women and children fleeing domestic violence. Ellen is one of Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 Alumni and a recipient of the Mayors Excellence Award for her work as the Manager of Education and Outreach with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.
Formed by Ellen Parker in 2014, PARKER PR is a full-service public relations, marketing, and digital media agency. PARKER PR provides communications support to a broad range of clients – including developers, restaurants, fashion houses, salons, and beauty organizations. “At PARKER PR, we look for opportunities to tell the stories that matter, and help create a supportive, caring, and kind community,” said Ellen. PARKER PR has grown to employ seven full-time employees and two part-time employees – with gross revenue increasing over 200% in recent years.
With a portfolio of over 100 clients – on both a local and national level – PARKER PR’s pro bono efforts and are as notable as their revenue growth. “It’s my responsibility as a communicator to tell those stories that may not be able to be shared because of financial barriers,” Said Ellen. PARKER PR’s pro bono clients include – The Brenda Strafford Centre, Dress for Success, The Emma House, Inn From The Cold, Wood’s Homes, Vino for Bambinos, and dozens more.
“When I go into my TEC meetings, I filter the information that I garner down to my team, so my team is also strengthening their toolbox and their skill set,” said Ellen. Being one of the youngest group members – and one of the only women – Ellen reflected; “It’s interesting when I bring my ideas to the table because the other members in my group are appreciative and grateful. My TEC Chair, Mark Terrill, is amazing, and everyone in my group shares professional and personal values.”
PARKER PR was rapidly growing when Ellen decided to join TEC. “I had my company for five years, and phase one was complete – which was building, growing, and establishing. Phase two was taking it to the next level,” said Ellen, “I wanted the opportunity to have more insight, support, and opportunity to brainstorm ideas while being in the room with people who are going through similar things. Being able to predict risk, and then plan ahead of time, so when it happens, you’re prepared – a TEC membership is great for that.”
“If it wasn’t for TEC, I’d be somewhat floundering with the confidence of running a business because it’s a competitive market, I’m a young CEO with a family, and a female – so I have a few things going against me when it comes to the norm. TEC has really inspired a new level of confidence,” said Ellen.
When asked what the most impactful aspect of her TEC membership has been, Ellen said; “The speakers that TEC brings in are invaluable. I recently heard Bill Bishop speak about how to take your service offering to another level to create more sustainability for your company – so the speakers are an asset for business owners like myself.” In addition to the speakers, Ellen continued; “The seminars that we have access to through TEC are impactful as well. The learning opportunity is very strong, and I’ve come up with a whole new business idea that I’m going to be implementing because of one of the workshops.”