Don’t Stop Believin’

Jennifer Curley by Jennifer Curley | March 19, 2021

Last night was a big night for our small team. Curley Company was a finalist for PRWeek Boutique Agency of the Year 2021 for North America. That means we were recognized among the top five agencies for our size. The award program was both inspiring to watch and humbling to be included among the best in our industry. 

While Curley Company didn’t win our category, we are still celebrating this important milestone for our team and we congratulate all the winners and finalists for the impressive work over the past year. When I founded Curley Company nearly 19 years ago, I never would have believed we’d face a year like 2020 and come out of it even stronger. 

The words to the Journey song Don’t Stop Believin’ are in my head on a loop right now. There are so many great memories attached to that song – seeing them in concert in 2016 at Jiffy Lube amphitheater with a group of friends, listening to the album with my brother when we were growing up, and putting it on my favorites playlist for motivation during my COVID runs and walks.

When PR Week asked me for a “walk-up song” if Curley were to win boutique agency of the year, Don’t Stop Believin’ was my hands down pick.

Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain says the inspiration for the song came from his dad who told him not to give up his dreams. He told him, “don’t stop believin’” and Jonathan wrote that down in his journal. Those words have always resonated with me and paired with the beat and energy of the music, it never fails to create positive energy and convey hope.

While we didn’t win the award (this time!), I am filled with gratitude and frankly, awe to be one of five agencies of our size in the country to be recognized. And I am also reminded of a few things that continue to guide me:

Don’t Stop Believin’ in each other. The Curley team continues to astound me. KayAnn, Greg, Denise, Tina, Jenny, Colleen, Stefani, Amanda, Kiersten, Sean, Jess, Lydia, Robin & Ryan – I see you and appreciate you. You are smart, curious, and resourceful people and as a group you support each other and push each other and me to be better. You all like to see wins for your clients but one of my favorite things about you is that you celebrate each other’s wins and share the victory across the team. At the very heart of it, you are all so good to work with.

In 19 years, there have been more than 70 additional members of the Curley team – employees or interns – who have spent time within our doors. Each person has had impact on me and the growth and evolution of the company. Thank you one and all!

Don’t Stop Believin’ in the power of PR. The pandemic reminded me of the power of PR in such a visceral way. As public relations professionals, we are challenged every day by the ever-changing world around us and by clients who need us. During the pandemic, the added complexities included messages changing often, sometimes daily, and no room for error as we helped our clients pivot and pivot again. The channels for reaching people evolved too and digital communications became even more important than ever. We embraced it and helped our clients adapt to using digital tools overnight. Our audiences evolved as their needs changed. Information was more important than ever, and our stakeholders craved and relied upon it. Getting the right message through the right channel was a daily strategy. And it continues today.

Through it all we felt true partnership with our clients and derived immense satisfaction in getting it right for them. The small but mighty Curley team harnessed the power of PR to deliver results and have impact, again and again.

Don’t Stop Believin’ in you!  I like to tell the team “you got this,” partly as a reminder to myself. When I opened the doors to Curley Company in 2002, I never imagined a PRWeek nomination but through the good and bad times, I never stopped believing.

I believe, too, in the possibilities ahead of us that come with creativity, vision, and the willingness to roll-up your sleeves and get it done. I believe in working with people you like, that respect is one of the world’s greatest gifts, and that there is so much more to come.

PRWeek asked for an acceptance speech in the form of a Haiku. Here you go:

Thank you one and all

Curley team, small but mighty

Don’t stop believin’

About PRWeek Agency of the Year:

Now celebrating its 22nd year, the PRWeek Awards is firmly established as the communications industry’s highest accolade. A PRWeek Award is a unique symbol of excellence and leadership and immediately sets victors apart from all others. It celebrates the best of the best corporate, agency, nonprofit, and education teams, and the work they produced during the entry period. For more information

Curley Company was named a finalist for PRWeek Boutique Agency of the Year 2021 for North America.