About Us

212 Communications is a rapidly growing public relations, strategic communications and crisis communications firm launched in 2013. 212 stands for 212 degrees, the boiling point of water. The name matches its strategists’ approach, enthusiasm and energy they bring to their work. 212 turns up the heat!

212’s strategists work with businesses, non-profits, government organizations and individuals looking to build their brands and reputations through the generation of positive media and storytelling. The firm also specializes in connecting and bridging gaps between corporations planning large developments and neighboring communities, and representing corporations, trade associations, government, investors and individuals in crisis situations. 212 works with clients in industries ranging from technology, finance, government, banking and real estate development, to consumer products, nonprofits and environment.

In short, we are Builders. Connectors. Navigators.

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212 Communications helps companies build their business by enhancing their image, status and reputation; connect with communities, the media and those with a common interest; and navigate crises, the media and the intimidating world of social media.

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212 is certified in the Baltimore City market area as a Women’s Business Enterprise.
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Our Story

In 2013, Erica Mechlinski launched 212 Communications, a boutique, women-owned strategic communications firm based in Baltimore.

A former executive at Weber Shandwick, one of the largest public relations firms in the world, Erica believed she could deliver big-agency public relations expertise, strategy and know-how to small and mid-sized companies in the Baltimore/Washington region. She quickly realized her skills – strategic communications and unmatched organizational talents that help communications teams operate more efficiently – were in high demand.

In 2015, Erica’s Weber colleague, Bill Atkinson, joined 212 Communications. A former business and investigative reporter for 20 years, Bill spent a career creating crises as a journalist, and now helps companies navigate the choppy waters. He understands the media, thinks strategically, relishes research and investigative work, and isn’t afraid to challenge the media when they are wrong.

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  • 211 degrees can serve a purpose but 212 is the extra degree - the extra degree that will bring exponential results.

    Sam Parker & Mac Anderson

Meet the Team

Erica Mechlinski
Erica brings 15 years of strategic public relations and marketing communications experience to her clients. She launched 212 Communications in 2013 to serve businesses focused on growth and brand recognition in the Baltimore area. For nearly seven years, Erica worked at Weber Shandwick and led environmental public affairs and community programming initiatives in Baltimore for a Fortune 100 company. She also served as a strategic public relations partner for the company’s corporate social responsibility initiative, implementing educational and humanitarian programs that have launched globally. Erica is a 2015 graduate of The LEADERship, a program of the Greater Baltimore Committee. She also sits on LEADERship Schools advisory board and The Living Classrooms Foundation’s Marketing Committee.
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Bill Atkinson
Bill, a former business columnist and reporter at the Baltimore Sun, became a partner in 212 Communications after 10 years at Weber Shandwick, a global public relations firm based in New York, where he specialized in strategic communications, crisis communications and media relations. While at Weber Shandwick, Bill led the firm’s environmental public relations practice in Baltimore and worked with clients that included Constellation Energy, General Motors, Bank of America, Promontory Financial Group and 1st Mariner Bank. His areas of expertise include financial institutions, energy, environmental and manufacturing, real estate and development. Bill is on the board of Junior Achievement of Central Maryland. He is also a former board member of the financial education nonprofit, Stocks in the Future.
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Emily Atkinson
Senior Account Executive
As senior account executive, Emily is responsible for working with an array of clients, helping them develop long-term public relations strategies that will build reputations, brands and businesses. She also assists clients with the execution of crisis communication plans. Emily began working at 212 Communications in 2014 as an intern. She is a graduate of the University of Mary Washington with a B.A. in English. Emily was a member of the University’s lacrosse team and was selected to attend the University of Mary Washington Leadership Academy. She was also a member of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, where she spearheaded the creation of a tutoring program for student-athletes and orchestrated community outreach events for the school’s Athletic Department. Emily served as the volunteer assistant lacrosse coach for Goucher College in 2015.
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Eric Stewart
Senior Account Executive
With a keen eye for language, Eric works closely with clients on brand building, storytelling, content creation, and public relations strategy. Prior to joining 212 Communications, Eric was the marketing and editorial director at The Rosen Group, where he oversaw the marketing strategy of The Rosen Group’s subsidiary e-commerce platform: Best in American Made. Additionally, Eric was charged with the production of The Rosen Group’s print and digital magazine: Niche Magazine. Eric also spent several years with SHIFT (formerly entreQuest) as a writing and communications specialist. Eric graduated from the University of Maryland College Park with a B.A. in History. He was also the captain and president of the University’s Men’s Crew Team. A US Rowing certified coach; Eric spent time as an assistant coach for Winston Churchill High School, and as a player-coach for University of Maryland.
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Marla Clendenin
Account Executive
As an account executive, Marla assists the firm’s strategists to develop and implement communications strategies for clients. Prior to joining 212, Marla worked for Kate Spade & Company, where she helped to position the brand’s identity in the media, as well as visualize and design a new store location that encouraged consumers to interact directly with product lines. Marla is a graduate of Loyola University Maryland with a B.A. in Public Relations/Advertising. She served as lead manager for the University’s Office of Annual Giving, where she created interactive campaigns to increase student philanthropy on campus.
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  • When the water starts boiling, it is foolish to turn off the heat.

    — Nelson Mandela —

Client News

Our clients #turnuptheheat!



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