by Joanna Huss, CEO & Founder of Huss Group
People think that public relations is all about working with media to get people publicity in newspapers and on TV. True, that’s a big part of the job. But the part that excites and fulfills me even more is creating lasting partnerships by connecting clients whose work I respect and admire. In this business, like so many others, collaboration can lead to important work on relevant issues.
An event today at Bakery Square illustrated how such partnerships can benefit a widening sphere of people. Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai visited the company’s Pittsburgh offices to announce a $1 billion community initiative. Yes, a huge investment that comes on the heels of Huss Group’s work to connect our client, the Pittsburgh Public Schools, with Google’s nonprofit initiative to bridge the digital divide among students in underserved middle schools. With its Dynamic Learning Project, the multinational tech company is investing in teachers and youths in 50 schools, including three in Pittsburgh, to teach them about computers and Internet-related services and products, essentially showing them the opportunities that technical literacy can bring: jobs, entrepreneurship, economic empowerment.
As he talked about Google’s commitment to its communities, Pichai enumerated the remarkable things that we can accomplish through collaboration. We couldn’t agree more.
His rare public appearance here to announce a national initiative shined the spotlight on our city, and his powerful words sparked my reflection on the collaborative partnerships that led up to this investment. Although many partners contributed to this watershed moment, our client, Walnut Capital, first set the machinery in motion. With its vision for Bakery Square, re-activating a living and working community adjacent to Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, Walnut Capital created a physical pipeline to carry innovation from academia to market. It’s a space where some of the most influential companies of a generation are taking root.
Drawing inspiration from Pittsburgh’s industrial past, this local company has led by example, staking our city’s claim in creating the technology sector that will shape our future. Walnut’s principals created a cool neighborhood and tech community that reaches beyond Bakery Square and activates partnerships to lift up others to new levels.