InGroup Inc. – A Quarter-Century of Community Outreach Expertise for New Jersey and New York’s Public, Private and Non-Profit Sectors – 1995 to 2020
Twenty-five years ago this summer, InGroup Inc. filed its incorporation papers with a simple philosophy – “Inspire, Inform, Interact” – toward a complex goal: Superior outreach communications.
InGroup, now based in Newark, New Jersey, is a federally and locally certified Small and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE), which offers full-service marketing, public relations, crisis management, social media, website and other digital services to its clients.
The company operates west and east of the Hudson River in New Jersey and New York, helping government, business/corporate and non-profit entities establish branding, communicate effectively in the digital age and ensure their messaging and objectives reach the proper audiences. Getting clients feedback from stakeholders to further project goals is vital to our mission.
With a talented team of marketing, public relations, digital and graphic arts professionals, the agency has made communications’ outreach in the niche public sector/government, transportation, and infrastructure-redevelopment fields a specialty. But InGroup is so much more, with other clients in the environmental, healthcare, energy, franchise and food service, real estate, education and non-profit sectors.
Founded by Marlene Bauer, whose marketing background in healthcare publishing propelled her to create her own communications business, InGroup has successfully served more than 3,500 entities and steadily broadened its client range over the past 25 years.
“InGroup is dedicated to ensuring our clients’ stakeholders truly are ‘in’ on a project’s critical purpose, details, impacts and mitigation efforts,’’ says Bauer. “We strive for open and honest engagement with stakeholders to help move public interest projects forward, while ensuring interaction between the parties and responsiveness to community concerns.”
Bauer is a graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program and has served on several boards, including a decade with the Bergen Community College’s Women’s Institute – all with a focus on empowering women, minority and small business entrepreneurs.
Summer of 2020 represents InGroup’s silver anniversary, not just for filing incorporation papers in July 1995, but also for actually opening our doors to clients in August 1995. The agency is indulging a moment of celebration, mixed with some healthy reflection and analysis, as we chart InGroup’s course for the next quarter century.
Our governmental transportation/infrastructure clients have included strategic partnerships with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ), NJ Transit, Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), New Jersey State Board of Public Utilities (BPU), Empire
State Development Corp., New York City Economic Development Corp., North Jersey Transportation Planning Council (NJTPA), New York State Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery and the New York State Dormitory Authority (DASNY), as well as the New Jersey counties of Bergen, Hudson and Monmouth.
From bridges to tunnels, to planes, trains, automobiles and buses, along with flood resiliency to green energy, InGroup has helped message a myriad of regional infrastructure projects. The overarching goal is to inform communities on ways to move people and goods more efficiently and safely to advance the metropolitan area’s economic growth, with mitigation to limit adverse local impacts.
For example, we’ve helped keep communities up-to-date on an airport redevelopment project, providing information not only on the construction, but ways local residents and businesses could seek employment upon completion.
Over the years, the company has explained the ins-and-outs of massive bridge, tunnel and port commerce projects, helping the outreach process with residents, elected officials and other stakeholders. InGroup has helped tell the narratives of both the necessity for the infrastructure work and what was being done to reduce construction issues like noise, vibrations and dust in host communities.
InGroup’s comprehensive outreach efforts have included the vital coordination and logistics support for scoping meetings and public hearings, as part of the federally mandated environmental review process.
Superstorm Sandy ravaged our region in late 2012, with the impacts still being felt and addressed nearly a decade later. The company helped support a proactive approach to fixing and improving resilience of damaged infrastructure by developing a dynamic branding plan, in conjunction with an outreach communications’ program for the public.
InGroup brings its hallmark 3-E’s – expertise, experience and excellence – to all of its outreach initiatives and other project responsibilities, complementing our firm’s guiding philosophy: “Inspire, Inform, Interact.” Those three “I” words are interspersed in all our client and stakeholder outreach initiatives.
InGroup has partnered with the nation’s – in some cases the world’s – largest engineering firms on many projects.
Where heavy rail isn’t feasible, InGroup helped support the feasibility analysis or next implementation phases for Rapid Bus Transit – dedicated rights-of-way and stops for buses only with quick ticketing methods to speed commutes – in places such as Bergen County, Monmouth County, Hudson County, South Jersey and on Staten Island.
The agency has even tilted at a few windmills, but only ones with a practical and important future purpose: Helping with early communications to develop a strategic plan for New Jersey’s fledgling massive offshore wind power system – one of the nation’s most ambitious public green energy initiatives.
On the New York side, InGroup worked to promote the broad statewide implementation of a safe, secure and reliable smart energy grid.
From hospitality to healthcare, InGroup also has assisted private sector companies make their mark via public campaigns.
In the realm of hospitality services, InGroup has put on its marketing/public relations hat and conducted publicity campaigns. We count among our past clients, Doherty Enterprises, a large franchise restaurant group that includes Applebee’s, Panera Bread and Spuntino Wine Bar and Italian Tapas in the New York metropolitan area, as well as Carlos Bakery (aka the famed Cake Boss of TV fame) in New Jersey.
In the healthcare arena, which includes pharmaceutical and hospital clients, InGroup provided hyper-local public relations support and grant administration for Hackensack University Medical Center, which has since merged into Hackensack Meridian Health.
The firm’s efforts in this important and expansive field have included promoting awareness of wellness programs throughout the region.
Notable non-profit clients have included the Girl Scouts of Central and Southern New Jersey, the National Campaign for Hearing Health, AIHA, and the Center for Hope and Safety. We have helped charitable organizations design their websites, produce annual reports and create eye-catching invitations to fundraisers.
Technology is another of InGroup’s trademark skill areas, including digital marketing, website development, social media and audio/video, and remote meeting expertise.
Webswagger, our digital division, has built and maintained hundreds of client websites since we created it more than a decade ago, with our dedicated team’s knowledge of all things “Web.’’
Finding ways to communicate remotely and effectively amid ongoing Covid-19 shelter-in-place restrictions and the cautious, gradual re-opening of operations in New Jersey and New York has been at the forefront of InGroup’s thought process since March.
InGroup helped a client hold its first fully virtual meeting just weeks into the Covid-19 shutdowns, with a Webex public meeting to explain action related to a historic structure. Viewers received an opportunity to comment on the plan and suggest alternative solutions
for the agency’s consideration – all remotely.
The company recently published a public community outreach meeting guide and whitepaper to help entities meet the challenges of interacting virtually with stakeholders during these difficult times that require social distancing.
“We’ve enjoyed building strong relationships with our clients since 1995,” said Bauer. “We look forward to strengthening those valued ties, while creating lasting new ones.”
Come visit with InGroup – virtually for now – to learn how the agency can help connect you with companies, customers and communities.