IMPACT! Inc., a public relations firm headquartered in the Charleston, South Carolina area, celebrated its 20-year Anniversary on May 1, 2011.


Over the past 20 years, IMPACT! has successfully assisted more than 70 major corporations, non-profit organizations, education institutions, and small business owners with public relations, strategic planning, fund raising, marketing, crisis management, community involvement, curriculum development, and education services.


“I highly recommend IMPACT! for any type of public relations work,”   said Gerald J. Geier, Jr. SPHR, Vice President Human Resources, Giant Cement Holding Inc (GCHI Inc).


“GCHI has employed Susan Mertz of IMPACT! as our Public Relations Consultant for over ten years.   Her activities cover a variety of tasks including conducting customer surveys, covering public hearings, contacting local legislators, producing the corporate newsletter, and coordinating GCHI's involvement with the local school system and community.  Susan’s work is very professional, timely, and insightful for our business planning.”


IMPACT! was established in California in 1991 as a primary learning education consulting firm,  assisting museums and informal education institutions with curriculum development, exhibit design, and hands-on, minds-on educational activity programs.  The company expanded in the mid-1990s into capital campaign feasibility studies, annual giving, and major gift fund raising.


IMPACT! relocated to Charleston, SC, in 1992.   Seeing an opportunity to assist small to large companies increase their market share with cost effective public relations strategies, Mertz incorporated IMPACT! Inc.  as a PR firm in 2000.


“I actively educate my clients on the benefits of cost effective marketing PR strategies tied to linking with non-profits organizations,” said Mertz.  “It’s a win-win situation.  It builds employee morale and helps worthy organizations, which benefits the entire community.  This enhances a company’s reputation in the community and to its customers .  . . and at the end of the day, everyone feels good about what they have accomplished.”


As a PR firm and fund raising consultant, Mertz has linked dozens of local businesses with non-profit organizations, including, Audubon South Carolina, The Summerville YMCA, area school districts and public and private schools, Charleston’s (America’s) Promise, Children’s Museum of Charleston, Children’s Charities, Rein and Shine, and the Summerville Community Orchestra.


“Susan has consistently demonstrated creativity, resourcefulness and abundant enthusiasm while helping us enhance our reputation as a firm committed to making a difference in its community," said Tori Anderson, marketing specialist with Young Clement Rivers, LLC, Charleston, SC.


“I recommend IMPACT! strategy sessions and public relations services to any company who desires to increase their client base and to enhance their image and reputation,”  said Nina Marshtein, SCS Engineers, Charleston, SC.


Susan Mertz has assisted SCS Engineerswith strategic planning strategies that enhanced our marketing, presentation, and communications approach to existing and potential clients.  Her tactics allow us to successfully target, cultivate, and obtain business from major manufacturers, opening our services to a new industry, and expanding our client base in existing markets.  Her ideas work.”


“We always had immediate access to Susan and her staff.  With her market knowledge and PR savvy, we were able to capitalize on many “cost free” public awareness initiatives and realize an even greater return on our investment than we had expected,” said Paul L. Connerty, Administrator, Trident Workforce Investment Board, Charleston, SC.


“Susan’s strategic planning process helped us prioritize our marketing efforts with cost effective strategies and has provided results-proven public relations and marketing services to our firm,”  said Debbie Williams, President, Signet Human Resource Management, Goose Creek, SC.


She offers strategies on fund raising and public relations tactics for non-profit organizations, and has participated in a wide variety of community service projects as a former member of the Junior League of San Diego, (CA) and Junior League of Charleston (SC).


Mertz currently serves on the board of directors of Heritage Trust Federal Credit Union in Charleston, SC. She completed Leadership Charleston in 1997 and was named in several leading Who's Who in America editions.